The Auckland Seventh-Day Adventist High School (ASDAH) is a state integrated coeducational Year 9 to13 college. Founded under Adventist Schools New Zealand,the school provides a Bible-based curriculum in accordance with its special character status.Most students and their families are of Pacific heritage, with over half of Tongan descent. There is a small number of Māori students, and others from diverse cultural backgrounds. Year 9 students transition from over 20different primary schools, with many students travelling some distance to attend. The current principal took up the position at the beginning of 2016. Since that time, the board of trustees has appointed two new deputy principals.The new leadership team has a clear mandate from the board to promote change and improvement. New appointments have been made to lead curriculum areas and recent school wide initiatives.The school’s governing board has several new trustees and a new chairperson.ERO’s 2014report identified areas for improvement including the quality of governance, curriculum leadership and self-review.Considerable progress has been made in all these areas. External professional support has been accessed to promote teachers’ understanding and use of achievement information, the introduction of digital learning devices,and effective literacy strategies. The school is also promoting positive learning behaviours and restorative approaches.The school is a member of the Māngere North Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning.
How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?
The school responds well to Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. School leaders have led the development of effective approaches to reduce disparity and strengthen the school’s use of data.Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.Pastoral care processes and inclusive practices effectively promote student learning and wellbeing.2016 results in National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) show students achieve significantly higher at Level 1 and 2 than students in similar schools. In 2015 and 2016, students achieved above the national average in NCEA Level 2. A culture of professional collaboration among leaders, middle managers and teachers is promoting high expectations for learning. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.
Equity and Excellence
How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?
The school is responding well to students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.Teachers’ professional learning has focused on increasing students’ understanding of their own achievement and progress. Improved teaching strategies include better understanding of data that teachers use to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice.At Year 10,teachers are trialling new systems to support students who are learning English as an additional language.Teachers with specialist skills,provide targeted programmes for these students. The school reports that students show confidence, enjoyment and higher rates of achievement as a result of these new approaches.Students, including Māori students,are achieving well in NCEA.Effective leadership and teaching practices are used to reduce achievement disparity. Targeted programmes and support are provided for learners at risk of not achieving.The school focuses on addressing the challenge of continuing patterns of low achievement of many students as they enter the school at Year 9. As a result over the past three years, achievement at NCEA Level 1 has risen from 46percent to 78 percent,and at Level 2 from 64percentto 84 percent. Half of the students gain NCEA Level 3 and a third gain University Entrance qualifications. Disparity continues in achievement between male and female. Over the past three years this trend has increased at Level 1 but lessened at Level 2. School leaders are aware of this continued trend. Programmes for boys,such as fitness and mentoring,have been introduced to help with issues that influence their academic achievement. Staff delivering these programmes observe positive attitude changes,and teachers report improvement in learning engagement.
School conditions supporting equity and excellence
What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?
The school uses a wide range of effective processes to achieve equity and excellence. Purposeful staffing appointments have supported the board’s strategic goal of making a positive difference for every student. The annual management plan ensures the board is kept well informed by school leaders who report regularly on progress against the strategic goals.Trustees are very supportive in resourcing the school to improve outcomes for learners.The capable leadership team models collaborative ways of working that are building school-wide capability and improved internal evaluation. Worth while evaluation of the school’s curriculum and teaching practices has been undertaken, guided by appropriate external advisers. Middle leaders are becoming the leaders of learning,and are supporting teaching teams in trialling and implementing new initiatives.A revised graduate learner profile aligns the special character of the school to the key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). These desired outcomes are now better integrated into the school’s curriculum,and help students focus on being a successful learner.The curriculum is enriched through learner opportunities in sport and the arts.Teachers know learners and their families very well. They continue to strengthen learning partnerships with parents and the wider whānau.Useful information is shared with parents about their child’s progress and achievement. Learners have access to supervised after-school homework support.Relational trust between teachers and learners is positively impacting on student progress and achievement.With small numbers in senior classes, teachers develop relationships with students that are clearly focused on supporting academic achievement. Performance management processes have been updated, and guide teachers to use evidence-based reflections to improve their teaching practice.Feedback from students and other staff contributes to teachers’ planned actions to align practice with valued student outcomes.The board of trustees is confident in the school’s leadership team, and committed to supporting the principal as the professional leader of the school. Trustees value the use of data to evaluate the progress of strategic priorities,and they are proactive in their stewardship role.
Sustainable development for equity and excellence
What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?
School leaders have identified the need to continue evaluating the curriculum to ensure students are well prepared for future learning and career opportunities. They also plan to continue working towards:
strengthening the role of curriculum leaders
embedding approaches that promote students as agents of their own learning
offering students further learning and qualification pathway options.
Board assurance on legal requirements
Before the review, the board and principal of the school completed the ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:
management of health, safety and welfare
During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:
emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
physical safety of students
teacher registration and certification
processes for appointing staff
stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.
How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?
Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern Te Tai Raki -Northern Region
6 November 2017