The Herald reports:
The secrets of some of the highest-performing lower decile schools have been unlocked in an attempt to address one of the biggest problems in New Zealand education.
Seven schools that draw their students from relatively poor areas have been visited by the Education Review Office (ERO), in an effort to find out what they are doing well. …
A study of high-performing lower decile schools cited numerous reasons for their success. Here are some of them.
Trident High School, Whakatane, decile 5:
Induction for new staff includes a trip from Ruatoki to Whakatane, hosted at several marae en route. This enables staff to fully appreciate where many of the students come from.
Mt Roskill Grammar School, Auckland, decile 4:
Staff are encouraged to trial and use new practices, including “flipped classrooms” – where teachers use videos to pre-teach ideas before class, then use lessons for collaborative work and individual tutoring.
Otaki College, Kapiti, decile 4:
Phone calls from parents are returned with urgency, and responses to situations are rapid and often involve the community beyond the college.
Naenae College, Lower Hutt, decile 2:
Timetable changes include a 100 minute period every day – which means staff can be more flexible in teaching, and work more with students one-on-one.
Gisborne Boys’ High School, decile 3:
A Tu Tane programme helps boys develop with a strong sense of themselves and their place in the community. Based around celebrating manhood, it is run with support from Gisborne Police.
McAuley High School, Otahuhu, South Auckland, decile 1:
Considerable sums are raised to pay for uniforms, trips and lunches so girls from the most disadvantaged backgrounds can participate in school on an equal footing.
Opotiki College, decile 1:
A morning tea group of students identified as at-risk makes it more likely they will attend school, and is a time for staff to mentor them.
There’s nothing as good as sharing success – which is why the Government’s plans to pay the best teachers and principals more to share their success is an excellent idea.