Education Review Office
30 September 2010
To the Parents and Community of Newlands College
These are the findings of the Education Review Office's latest report on Newlands College.
Newlands College is a co-educational state secondary school in Newlands, a suburb of Wellington. At the time of this review the roll was 1049. The ethnic mix of the student population reflects the diverse nature of the community. A learning support centre attached to the college caters for 40 students. Approximately 50 international students attend during each year.
Students mostly achieve well in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs), with success notable at Levels 1 and 2, where performance is consistently above national comparisons. Overall results have shown steady improvement across several years. Multiple learning pathways are available for the increasing numbers staying on at college. Those in Years 9 and 10 are offered a wide range of curriculum options. Students participate fully in the co-curricular programme which is a feature of the college and a source of pride.
Leadership of the college is strong. Management and teachers are student focused, reflective and responsive. Established systems, with effective lines of communication, exist to provide support for students' academic and pastoral needs.
An appropriate focus on learning is evident in most classrooms. Students are well engaged when teachers confidently use effective teaching practices. These include relating learning to real-life situations and use of appropriate lesson sequences and structures. Teachers demonstrate good knowledge of The New Zealand Curriculum and learning area content.
Students are encouraged to be participants in college life through serving on various committees and being trained as peer support leaders. A focus on self-management skills should increase students' independence as learners.
The board of trustees ensures provision of a relevant, wide-ranging curriculum, and has effective teaching as a priority for meeting the diverse needs and abilities of students.
The college is well maintained. Recent property improvements include a new wharekura, the learning support centre. Considerable refurbishment includes that of the high quality library. Students have easy access to resources and information and communication technologies. Courses increasingly use electronic avenues to make learning interesting.
Parents are kept well informed about their children's progress, through sharing of relevant information about educational matters and college activities. They are extensively involved in sports and cultural events.
The college's priorities for further development and review are to continue to strengthen self review and the use of student achievement data. ERO agrees with this direction.
ERO is likely to carry out the next review within three years.
This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school's curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO's evaluation takes account of the school's previous reporting history and is based on:
- what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
- decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and self‑review information; and
- teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school's curriculum.
ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO's website.
If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.
National Manager Review Services
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS
ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.
About ERO Reviews
ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:
- improve educational achievement in schools; and
- provide information to parents, communities and the Government.
Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school's self review.
ERO's framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following:
- school curriculum;
- national evaluation topics – contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and
- Board Assurance Statement, including student and staff health and safety.
ERO's review is responsive to the school's context. When ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community from which it draws its students, its aspirations for its young people, and other relevant local factors.
ERO also builds on the school's own self-review information. ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information to improve student learning.
This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:
How effectively does this school's curriculum promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?
Areas for Development and Review
ERO reports include areas for development and review to support on-going improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.