Marist Catholic School (Herne Bay)

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Summary

Marist Catholic School (Herne Bay) is a state integrated school catering for children from Years 1 to 6. The roll of approximately 200 students includes 55 percent Pākehā, six percent Māori, 28 percent Pacific, five percent Filipino and a variety of other ethnicities. 

Since the 2014 ERO review, a new principal has been appointed and the senior leadership restructured. Half of the teaching staff have been appointed since the beginning of 2015. Two-thirds of the current board of trustees were new to their governance role in 2016.  School leaders and the board are successfully building on the connections and relationships established with the school community, and the wider Catholic education community, to support educational improvement.

The school has benefited from guidance from the Ministry of Education (MoE) to help leaders and the community establish a new vision and strategic plan. Teachers have taken advantage of MoE professional learning and development related to innovative approaches to teaching and learning. They are  exploring different ways to support children to lead their own learning.

Publicly available achievement information indicates that since 2013 the school has sustained high levels of student achievement, with more than 85 percent of students achieving at or above the National Standards. All Māori students achieved at or above the National Standards in 2015 and 2016.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is making good progress towards achieving equitable outcomes for all children. At the time of this review most students were achieving very well. In addition, evidence indicates that most students whose progress needs acceleration are being well catered for.

School personnel are working collaboratively to sustain a school culture that supports all learners to succeed. School leaders and teachers know the children and their learning levels in relation to the National Standards. Relevant classroom-based initiatives and other support programmes are provided for children whose learning needs acceleration.

Processes are in place to improve the school curriculum and its delivery. Partnerships with parents are being strengthened. School leaders recognise the need to embed and sustain the improvements that have been introduced. Strengthening internal evaluation to monitor the impact of these improvements would support sustainability and ongoing development.

Most children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue to develop strong internal evaluation processes to guide planned self review
  • evaluate progress towards strategic goals to identify areas for on-going improvement   
  • continue to develop teaching practices that support children to take ownership of their own learning
  • continue to refine assessment practices including through moderation with other schools.

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?

At the time of this review the school’s curriculum and teaching programmes were becoming more effective at supporting children to achieve the valued learning outcomes identified in the school’s charter and the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Children demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the school’s RICH values of respect, integrity, courage, and humility, the school’s Māori values of arohatanga, manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, and of the key competencies of the NZC.

The school reports to parents about their children’s learning in relation to the NZC key competencies. No information is gathered about trends and patterns related to learning beyond the National Standards.

Data from 2013 to 2016 show that the school has sustained overall levels of achievement in the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics for most children, and especially Māori children, as they move through the year levels. All Māori students are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is able to show that it is accelerating the progress of most children at risk of not achieving the National Standards through well targeted teaching and support programmes.

Pacific students achieve well in mathematics. The school has identified disparity for these children in writing achievement. Their achievement improves in reading and mathematics as they move through the year levels and all achieve at or above the National Standards in Years 5 and 6. In 2016 almost 90 percent of Year 6 Pacific students achieved the National Standards in writing.

There are good processes for ensuring that overall teacher judgements for the National Standards are reliable. Teachers use a variety of assessment information and share this information when confirming their judgements. This process will be further strengthened when teachers moderate assessment information with other schools.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

School leadership and sound partnerships with parents and the community are helping the school to achieve excellence and equity for all children. The board and school leaders are building on established connections and relationships with the school community, and the wider Catholic education community, to support educational improvement.

The school’s leaders promote and support equity and excellence. They know children and their achievement levels well. The principal monitors the progress of individual children as well as school-wide achievement trends and patterns.

Senior leaders have high expectations of children and teachers. They support teachers to know about the achievement of their students. They are systematically building a professional culture. Useful processes encourage teachers to reflect on their practice, share their knowledge of effective teaching and its impact on children’s learning.

Teachers are changing the way they use achievement information with children to increase children’s knowledge about their own progress and achievement. Children and teachers are making greater use of digital information and communication technologies to support learning.

The school’s curriculum is being reviewed and significant curriculum changes to support equity and excellence are being embedded. Some changes are likely to contribute to children being better placed to direct and manage their own learning.

Teachers are trialling a more collaborative approach to teaching and learning in preparation for the new learning environments that are currently being built. Relevant professional learning and development is being provided for teachers. Some useful quality assurance systems are in place to monitor the impact of these changes.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Senior leaders are aware that they now need to embed recent significant developments in order to sustain and support equity and excellence.

Strengthening internal evaluation is a priority. This would help school leaders and teachers to determine the extent to which intended outcomes are being achieved and sustained. The ‘spiral of inquiry’ approach that is part of the school’s appraisal process is a useful tool to support internal evaluation. This approach is helping teachers to assess the impact of their teaching on the groups of children that need to accelerate their progress.

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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • asset management.

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
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989.  The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school is well placed to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

Most children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue to develop strong internal evaluation processes to guide planned self review
  • evaluate progress towards strategic goals to identify areas for on-going improvement   
  • continue to develop teaching practices that support children to take ownership of their own learning
  • continue to refine assessment practices, including through moderation with other schools. 

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years. 

Steffan Brough
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

15 May 2017

About the school 

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1360

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

200

Gender composition

Girls  49%

Boys 51%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Filipino

other European

other Pacific

other

6%

55%

19%

6%

5%

5%

3%

1%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

15 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Report, April 2014

Education Report, May 2011

Education Report, May 2008

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Marist Catholic School, in Herne Bay Auckland, is an integrated, multicultural school which caters for students from Years 1 to 6. The school is well supported by the local parish community. It is inclusive and welcomes all learners.

Since the 2011 ERO review, the board of trustees has further developed shared understandings of its governance role and of the relationship between the board and management. The principal and board have developed a productive and collaborative working relationship, enabling them to focus strategically on the future development of the school.

The charism of ‘As Marists, we think, feel and act in the way of Mary’ is evident in the attitudes and approaches of students and staff.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Marist Catholic School continues to make good use of achievement information. Most students, including Māori, achieve at or above National Standards. Teachers use multiple sources of assessment information to make judgements about students’ achievement and progress. There is evidence that teachers analyse and use achievement information well.

Teachers use student achievement data to plan and implement programmes to cater for individual learning needs. Leaders use good quality data to set relevant targets, monitor overall progress and to identify students with individual learning needs and those in need of further extension.

Trustees value leaders’ reports on students’ progress and achievement. This information guides their decision making and resourcing. Parents are well informed about their child’s progress and achievement and the ways they can support their child’s learning. Students identify their learning goals and next learning steps with the support of their teachers.

The school has good processes for supporting students to progress. Students know what teachers want them to learn. They discuss their achievements with their teachers and peers. Additional learning support programmes are well monitored to ensure students are making accelerated progress.

Leaders have identified priorities for development that include:

  • raising the number of students achieving above National Standards
  • supporting Pacific students to achieve as well as their peers at the school.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s curriculum is effective in promoting student learning and engagement. It reflects The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the New Zealand Catholic Religious Education Programme well. Students learn within the school’s values of ‘Respect, Integrity, Courage and Humility’ and alongside the Māori values of ‘Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga and Arohatanga.’

Leaders and staff model the school’s values. Teachers assert key roles in supporting achievement and wellbeing of the students. Tuakana/teina approaches are practised where senior and junior students regularly meet to build friendships, make connections and support the younger child.

Wellbeing is seen as pivotal for student engagement and achievement. A holistic curriculum approach is envisioned. The school’s essence statement for its health and physical education curriculum includes a focus on learning in a safe, nurturing environment, and acquiring the knowledge, skills and attitudes to enhance spiritual, physical, mental and social wellbeing. These concepts are integrated into inquiry topics and are also evident in some stand alone curriculum focuses.

Students are encouraged to become questioning, reflective and lifelong learners. They discuss and question learning and share their ideas and perspectives. Teachers give feedback and support students to become confident and aspire to excellence. Good emphasis is placed on the NZC key competencies so that there is a balance of students gaining knowledge and gaining understanding about the processes of learning. Students have weekly te reo Māori and Spanish lessons. Te reo and tikanga Māori is integrated within the school’s curriculum and the religious education programme.

Students often choose their own inquiry to follow within integrated topics. They are also encouraged to work on rich challenges over the course of the year at home. Completion of these challenges is widely celebrated.

Teachers use a strategic action plan as a framework to guide resourcing and their own professional learning. They are currently trialling and reviewing approaches to promote students’ use of digital devices to support their learning. The initiative to use digital devices is in response to feedback the board received from consultation with the school’s community about the school’s charter.

ERO also notes that a review of science teaching and learning is underway to increase students’ motivation, interest and inquiry in science. This review should help keep curriculum documentation in this learning area current.

As a further next step, school leaders and teachers could extend the review of digital learning devices and science to a broader review of the school’s curriculum to ensure that teaching and learning programmes offer sufficient challenge and interest for students.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school promotes educational success for Māori well and continues to provide an environment that acknowledges Māori language and culture. The religious education programme includes bicultural aspects and te reo Māori is both taught formally and integrated into the curriculum. Māori values are reflected in school practices.

The principal and board have introduced an effective initiative to consult with the school’s Māori and Pacific communities. A parent leadership group liaises with the communities and principal. Parents are invited to participate in meetings where leaders and parents share aspirations and information. This positive exercise of working together is growing relationships with parents and school.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to continue to sustain and improve its performance. Parents have a high level of involvement in the school. The strong PTA group has a major focus on pastoral care.

Since the 2011 ERO report, the board has worked with external advisors to develop a governance manual, a code of ethics, and a framework of policies and procedures. This development has helped to clarify roles and responsibilities and helped to make distinctions between governance and management clear. The board is well led and committed to developing the school’s direction and improvements.

Strategic priorities are guided by consultation with the parent community, staff and students. School leaders and teachers have some good frameworks to monitor the effectiveness of school practices. Trustees could now follow the useful guidelines in the school’s governance manual to regularly evaluate their work as a board.

The principal and deputy principal work collaboratively with team leaders and the Director of Religious Studies. Focus is placed on promoting student progress and welfare. Students acknowledge the support they give to each other within the curriculum and school, and appreciate teachers’ help in their learning.

Effective induction practices support new teachers to the school. Teachers’ strengths are valued. The principal recognises teachers’ talents and encourages them to take up leadership opportunities. Teaching and leadership is developed within an inclusive and collegial staff culture. Professional learning is valued by staff and well supported by the board.

The principal and the board acknowledge the continuing challenge of staff turnover and the impact this turnover can have on the growth and sustainability of curriculum development and teaching initiatives. The school is continuing to manage this process.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigation confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees 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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

30 April 2014

About the School

Location

Herne Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1360

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

184

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/ Pākehā

Samoan

Filipino

Tongan

Latin American

other

8%

53%

16%

8%

7%

3%

5%

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

30 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

May 2008

December 2004