St Mark's School (Pakuranga)

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Education institution number:
1501
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
206
Telephone:
Address:

334 Pakuranga Road, Pakuranga, Auckland

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School Context

St Mark’s School (Pakuranga) is a Catholic, state integrated, multicultural school in east Auckland. It caters for children in Years 1 to 6. The roll is 237 children of which five percent identify as Māori and a small number of children have Pacific heritage. The roll also includes 24 percent Filipino children and seven percent Chinese and Indian respectively. There are also smaller groups from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds.

The school’s mission and vision focus on providing “The best education in a Christ-centred environment where self-confident students achieve success”. This links through to the school motto ‘Seek and you shall find - Rapua kia kitea’. The school gathers its inspiration from the Sisters of Mission charism which underpins all school systems and operations.

Strategic goals emphasise building strong partnerships across the school, empowering children in their learning and developing skills in self reflection. In addition, the school’s valued outcomes for all children include living Gospel values, being respectful and well-rounded learners who experience success through inquiry and the development of skills for lifelong learning.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for children in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing, mathematics and other learning areas

  • progress and achievement for children with diverse needs

  • wellbeing for success.

The school continues to engage in ongoing professional learning and development (PLD) in mathematics, writing and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L).

The school is part of the South East Christian Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL) which has focuses on supporting children’s wellbeing, lifting achievement in writing, and strategies to help children lead their own learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is highly effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its learners.

School data show that most children achieve the expected New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels in reading and mathematics. This achievement has been consistent over time. School data also show that the majority of children achieve at their expected NZC levels in writing.

School leaders and teachers relentlessly monitor and support children‘s success and achievement. They address low levels of disparity for some groups of learners in literacy and numeracy, as these arise.

School leaders and teachers strongly support all children to meet the school’s valued outcomes. Most learners:

  • can demonstrate and talk about the ABC’s (attitude, behaviour, care) and the 3R’s (respect for self, others and the environment)
  • are articulate and respectful
  • are continually building self-confidence and the skills necessary to lead their own learning.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school effectively supports children whose learning needs to be accelerated.

The school has very good systems for identifying learners whose progress needs to be accelerated. This includes support for children with additional learning needs and those who are learning English as an additional language.

Leaders and teachers record specific information about individual children’s accelerated progress. They evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and interventions to ensure optimum progress for these learners. This information guides teachers’ decisions about how to accelerate children’s progress in literacy and mathematics, and to help them access the wider curriculum.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school has a well-established and a highly inclusive school culture. This forms a solid foundation for motivating learners to participate, contribute and progress. A respectful and welcoming environment is very evident, and supports children to build a strong sense of belonging and ownership in the school.

Whanaungatanga is a school priority and is skilfully woven through the school, parish and wider community. The board carefully considers its resourcing decisions to ensure that they enhance the wellbeing of students and staff.

The cohesive leadership team promotes high expectations and collective responsibility and care for students and staff. Teachers are supported with relevant targeted professional learning that aligns to school goals and targets.

Children benefit from highly responsive teaching and learning. Teachers purposefully integrate key learning areas across the curriculum making links to children’s diverse cultures. A collegial staff take a shared approach for all children’s learning and wellbeing. This approach is underpinned by a holistic methodology for teaching and learning.

There are many opportunities for children to learn, lead and build their experiences and skills for learning. Teachers engage children by using high quality intentional teaching strategies. These support students’ progress, and grow their ability to take risks in their learning within a positive environment.

Children progress and achieve in a culture which is optimistic about their potential and success. Leaders and teachers know children and their whānau very well. Clear systems and processes support collaborative teacher planning and assessment.

There is an unrelenting focus on those children whose learning is being specifically targeted as needing accelerated learning. All children have their learning closely monitored, including those with diverse needs and those who are learning English as an additional language.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

To support the achievement of equity and excellence, leaders and teachers are continuing to focus on lifting achievement in writing across all groups of children in the school. This is supported by ongoing in school PLD and across the Kāhui Ako | CoL.

Leaders and teachers have identified that they will continue to further embed child-led learning across the curriculum. Their aim is to continue enhancing children’s understanding about how they can shape and develop their own learning.

Leaders acknowledge that school internal evaluation would be strengthened by more clearly documenting the impact that changes make on outcomes for children. In addition, it could be worthwhile to extend the analysis, evaluation and reporting of learning to show children’s progress over their time at the school.

3 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

  • finance

  • 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 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were no international students attending the school.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • collaborative, cohesive leadership that fosters a professional and culturally responsive learning community

  • a highly inclusive school culture that supports all children to engage with learning

  • high quality teaching that encourages children to challenge themselves and think creatively

  • leadership that pursues strong partnerships across the school community to support equity and excellence

  • collective responsibility for teaching and learning that focuses on improving outcomes for all learners.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • further strengthening the analysis and reporting to the board about groups of students
  • embedding practices that support children’s agency to increase their ownership of their learning.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

14 December 2018

About the school

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1501

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

237

Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 5%
Pākehā 18%
Filipino 24%
Indian 7%
Chinese 7%
Tongan 5%
Sri Lankan 5%
other European 6%
other Pacific 6%
other Asian 5%
other ethnic groups 12%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

14 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review May 2011
Education Review March 2008

Findings

The school has an inclusive and supportive culture. It has made very good progress in developing curriculum practices that promote students’ learning. The school is very well supported by its board and community and is well placed to sustain high quality teaching practices and continued strategic improvement.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

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

St Mark’s School (Pakuranga) is a Catholic, state integrated, suburban school in Pakuranga. It continues to provide education for students from Years 1 to 6 in an attractive and well-resourced learning environment. The school has a stable roll with a wide range of ethnicities. A distinctive feature of the school is the high number of Filipino students who represent thirty percent of the roll.

Students benefit from a positive school culture that demonstrates the school motto ‘Seek and you shall find’ which encourages students to strive to do their very best. The school promotes the charism of the Mission Sisters, while also promoting the school charter values, through its curriculum. Learning, teamwork, key competencies and leadership are interwoven through the curriculum.

The school has a settled tone, with students focused on their learning. Students are confident, articulate and physically active. They have pride in their school. They mix well between year levels and have a strong sense of belonging at St Mark’s School. Students are responding well to high expectations for learning.

Since the 2011 ERO review, the long serving principal has continued to provide committed and strategic leadership and has promoted leadership opportunities for students and staff. Teachers support students’ wellbeing and nurture positive relationships for learning.

St Mark’s School has developed good links with the local community. Whānau/parents are increasingly involved in supporting their children’s learning. The board of trustees has members from five different nationalities and is very focused on school improvement.

ERO’s 2011 report noted that teaching and learning was an area of strength throughout the school. Leaders and teachers have made significant progress addressing areas for development identified in that report. The school has implemented professional learning communities to continue to strengthen effective teaching in literacy and student engagement in their learning.

2 Learning

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

St Mark’s School is using achievement information very well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Teachers and leaders use data to plan learning programmes that support and challenge identified groups of students.

Teachers appreciate students’ strengths, interests and abilities and are increasingly using these aspects to plan classroom programmes. There is good support for student learning and wellbeing. Students are confident and articulate learners and increasingly appreciate the joy of learning.

School data shows that most students, including Māori and Pacific students, are achieving at and above the National Standards in reading, writing, and mathematics. Teachers have developed good moderation processes to ensure the reliability of National Standards data. The board and parents receive good information about student achievement.

The school provides very well for students requiring additional support in literacy and mathematics. A recently introduced literacy programme is effectively helping students to improve their confidence and accelerate their learning.

School leaders and teachers are continuing to strengthening teaching practices that engage and challenge all students. Students understand their own learning, and setting and evaluating their own learning goals. Senior leaders are developing plans to continue to improve student achievement in writing.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports students’ learning very effectively. Teachers continually review and design the curriculum so that it is increasingly meaningful and engages students in learning. Students are very well supported as they transition into, through and out of the school.

The curriculum caters well for all aspects of student learning and wellbeing. Students have good opportunities to participate in programmes that promote and celebrate the performing arts and sport. There are good opportunities for students to be successful, be involved in leadership and have learning experiences outside the classroom.

The school’s values are integrated throughout the curriculum. Students use information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance their learning. They have opportunities to express their ideas and opinions through writing and have choices about their learning.

School leaders are focused on continuing to review and develop the school curriculum so that it is increasingly responsive to students’ interests and capabilities and promotes engagement and challenge for students. This focus provides growing opportunities to further develop student centred learning. It could also support the development of science programmes that emphasise critical thinking and problem solving as features of the curriculum.

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

The school is providing increasing opportunities for students to experience and have pride in their language, culture and identity. Māori students are well represented as student leaders and as high achievers throughout the school. The inclusive kapa haka has an important place in the school and provides good opportunities for leadership.

Teachers are developing a culturally responsive curriculum through strengthening their inclusion of te reo me ona tikanga Māori. Teachers are continuing to implement a sequential te reo programme using the Ministry of Education’s document, Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i Te Reo Māori - Kura Auraki, Te reo Māori in English medium schools.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

St Mark’s School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The principal provides considered and strategic leadership and has developed an evaluative culture of self review. Senior leaders support the principal and staff and have high expectations for students’ learning and teachers’ performance.

Trustees have a strong commitment to the school and have long standing links with the local community. Their professional backgrounds enable them to lead the school’s strategic planning processes effectively. Trustees receive good information from the principal about school operations and student achievement. Their strategic decision making is underpinned by effective self review. Trustees are aiming to promote Māori and Pacific representation on the board.

The principal has planned strategically to provide teachers with appropriate high quality professional learning opportunities. Teachers share and implement new teaching practices across the school.

Teachers make good use of self review to continually improve their teaching. An area for further consideration is to review the school’s curriculum against the principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum.

The school is responsive to and works with its community to nurture inclusion and well-being. Parents and whānau are involved in the school’s Pastoral Care Team which has established effective links with the wider community.

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. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school. The student’s progress and achievement in learning is monitored well and reported to the board of trustees. The student is involved and integrated well into the school community. ERO’s investigations 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.

Conclusion

The school has an inclusive and supportive culture. It has made very good progress in developing curriculum practices that promote students’ learning. The school is very well supported by its board and community and is well placed to sustain high quality teaching practices and continued strategic improvement.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

27 June 2014

About the School

Location

Pakuranga, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1501

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

237

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Boys 58% Girls 42%

Ethnic composition

Maori

NZ European/Pākehā

Filipino

Samoan

Chinese

Other Pacific

Other

8%

23%

30%

8%

8%

4%

19%

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

27 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

March 2008

March 2005