ERO Report

The Education Review Office (ERO) is a government department whose purpose is to evaluate and report publicly on the education and care of students in schools and early childhood services. ERO’s findings inform decisions and choices made by parents, teachers, managers, trustees and others, at the individual school and early childhood level and at the national level by Government policy makers.

Schools are reviewed on average once every three years. Reviews are undertaken more frequently where the performance of a school or centre is poor and there are risks to the education and safety of the students. ERO's reports on individual schools and early childhood services are freely available to the public. You can ask for a hard copy from the school’s office, any ERO office or use the link below to select a report you wish to read.

Dargaville High School had a ERO (Education Review Office) inspection in March 2012. The report was published on the internet on the 18/05/2012. Previous to this date Dargaville High School had an inspection in 2008. To access the findings of the 2008, 2006 and 2002 reports click here. Read the full 2012 ERO Report.

ERO Report 18 May 2012

Dargaville High School is a rural secondary school providing education from Year 9 to 13 in the Kaipara District of Northland. Since the last ERO report in October 2008 there has been a significant change in teaching staff and many new trustees have been appointed to the board. The previous report noted that the principal and board were prioritising improving student achievement and retaining students in the senior school. This report recommends that these continue to be priorities for the school. The board and school management provide ongoing support for key initiatives such as Te Kotahitanga that aim to improve student engagement and achievement. There are positive and respectful relationships evident between students and teachers, and among students. The school environment is settled... read full report

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?
Students are generally engaged with their learning. They have opportunities to be involved in a range of sporting and cultural activities. Academic coaching, a recent initiative, is in place and the aim is to help students to set goals and take greater responsibility for their own learning. Students’ progress towards achievement is regularly monitored by their form and subject teachers. The change to vertical form classes has assisted this initiative.

A programme designed to extend learning opportunities for gifted and talented students has been introduced. Good quality pastoral care systems are working well. Student Care Teams are successfully involved in providing support and peer mentoring for other students. Students with special learning needs are being well catered for with individual education programmes. Senior NCEA students have their progress tracked through an accumulating record of NCEA credits. This record is monitored by students’ form teacher. Teachers willingly give extra time to students who need additional support to complete assessments. Parents and students appreciate the commitment of teachers in this respect... read full report

ERO Report 24 January 2009

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s 2009 report on Dargaville High School:
Dargaville High School is a secondary school in the Kaipara District of Northland. Since the 2005 ERO review, the principal and trustees have prioritised improvement of student achievement and the retention of students in the senior school. They have supported the implementation of key initiatives aimed at improving student achievement and engagement. The board has also improved its data gathering and self-review processes.

Since the 2005 ERO review, student achievement overall has improved. In the junior school, while achievement in reading and mathematics remains below national age-related expectations, data show a clear improvement in Mâori student achievement. The percentage of students gaining National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Levels 1 to 3 and University Entrance is generally above national averages. NCEA merit endorsements at Levels 1-3 compare favourably with national levels. Three students were awarded NCEA scholarships in 2007.

Students participate in the many academic, sporting and cultural activities available to them at school. Teaching is purposeful and students are generally focused on their learning. Relationships between students and staff, and among students and their peers, are mostly respectful. High expectations for student achievement and behaviour are yet to be consistently shared across the school. The challenge for senior managers and staff is to continue to promote a school environment in which all students can experience and demonstrate respect, esteem and pride in their school, themselves and their potential.

For this review, ERO agreed to evaluate the quality of teaching and learning. In addition, this report comments on the achievement of Mâori and Pacific students, the school’s readiness to implement the New Zealand Curriculum, how the school is thinking about the future, provision for international students, adult and community education, and the provision of a safe environment for all students.

ERO finds that strategies to improve teaching and learning have been developed but are yet to be fully integrated into the learning culture of the school. Achievement data should be analysed and used to evaluate the effectiveness of recent teaching initiatives, identify students’ learning needs, and to monitor the progress of all students and of groups of students over time.

ERO recommends that the board of trustees improve aspects of school governance and management by aligning operational decisions and practices with charter priorities, strengthening personnel management, and making effective use of student achievement data to further improve teaching and learning in the school.

Future Action
ERO is confident that the board of trustees can manage the school in the interests of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report. ERO is likely to review the school again as part of the regular review cycle.

Review Coverage
ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school. If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz
Elizabeth Ellis, Area Manager for Chief Review Officer

ERO Report 1 February 2006

The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation (published 01/02/06)
Students at Dargaville High School have pride in their school and hold it in high regard. A strong guidance system underpins the positive, settled learning environment, and students achieve at or above national norms for schools of similar type. Some very able students achieve outstandingly and have received awards and scholarships to assist them in university study. Students participate in a wide range of academic and sporting activities, achieving good results regionally and nationally and in Australasian events and competitions.

A programme is provided for students with special needs and an alternative learning centre offers tuition and support to assist students to return to school or enter the work force. Gifted and talented students are identified and policies to support their learning are being developed. Music continues to feature strongly in the school, as do the performing arts and cultural activities.

Overall, teaching is of high quality. Teachers know their students well and effectively provide support and assistance. Students are encouraged to question and learn in a culture of mutual respect. Teachers value the increasing cultural diversity of their students and the bicultural heritage of many.

A new principal has been appointed since the 2002 ERO report. There have been changes in the senior management team including a restructuring of roles and responsibilities. There is now a need to consolidate and embed the school’s philosophy in practice. A school-wide focus on literacy has continued with ongoing staff professional development supported by resourcing from the board.

The board operates effectively. Trustees have undertaken training to strengthen their understanding of their governance roles. The school charter, policies and procedures are under review and the board is proactively seeking clear and concise information from the principal and staff to inform decision-making. School targets meet Ministry of Education guidelines. The board is aware of the need for annual targets to be directly linked to strategic goals.