WBHS progressing but more work to be done: ERO

An ERO review team visited Waitaki Boys’ High School in May and recently released its findings....
An ERO review team visited Waitaki Boys’ High School in May and recently released its findings. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Positive strides are being made at Waitaki Boys' High School but there is still work to be done, an Education Review Office report on the Oamaru school says.

An ERO review team visited the school in May and recently released its findings.

Its report said the school had made good progress in "some areas of teaching and learning" since its last report, which included "focusing on clarity in the classroom and teaching" for staff, more focus on professional development and improved support for teachers with "better literacy strategies" for pupils.

However, it needed a more consistent and "unrelenting focus" on raising the "quality of teaching and learning for all teachers and all students", and to strengthen ties with parents.

School rector Darryl Paterson said the school was "developing", and engagement with pupils in the classroom was a major focal point.

"We know that there's areas we still need to get better in. The 2017 report was quite critical of a lot of aspects of the school. It's about getting that consistency in our programmes and our systems across the whole school.

"The report talks about student engagement and that's certainly our focus ... if the students are engaged they want to be coming to school and performing well."

He said a school-wide online mentoring programme had been introduced to address achievement levels, particularly in NCEA level 1, which was below the national average compared to like schools.

Pupils also met with staff house group leaders and Mr Paterson to discuss goals, and year 11 through 13 deans helped pupils who were "in the middle or struggling".

Department tutorials were being held regularly, Mr Paterson said.

It was recommended the ministry continue to support the school on issues such as governance, training and support for teachers, its response to issues, improving achievement levels and strategic planning, evaluation and reporting.

The school came in for criticism when the office last visited in 2017, when it stated it was not confident that the school's leaders were capable of addressing issues noted in that report.

At the time it was recommended the statutory intervention placed on the school by the Ministry of Education in 2014 continue, so it could address issues related to governance, leadership and change, and strategic planning and internal evaluation.

That invervention ended in June, when a board of trustees was elected and Andrea Ludemann was appointed chairwoman.

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