St Michael's Catholic School (Remuera)

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Education institution number:
1506
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
243
Telephone:
Address:

6 Beatrice Road, Remuera, Auckland

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Summary

St Michael’s Catholic School (Remuera) is an integrated school and caters for students from Years
1 to 6. The school roll includes children from diverse cultural backgrounds. Ten percent of children are Filipino and there are small groups of Māori, Pacific, Hispanic, Chinese, Asian and other ethnicities. At the beginning of this year the school celebrated its centenary.

Since the 2014 ERO evaluation, the board has appointed a new senior leadership team and a large number of teaching staff. Early in 2016 the previous principal retired and there were several changes in leadership roles. An experienced principal started in 2017 bringing stable leadership to the school.

Good foundations are in place to underpin strategic plans that the principal and board have for the school. They aim to develop shared understandings and ownership at all levels, through the new school charter and revised curriculum.

An effective board succession process has ensured a smooth transition for the new board, which includes experienced and new trustees. There has been a good strategy to ensure trustees represent community diversity. The board and leaders have responded well to most of the findings from ERO’s 2014 report. They have identified further work around curriculum development as a priority.

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

St Michael’s Catholic School (Remuera) embraces its special character and follows the Mary MacKillop values of Make room for all, Listen to God’s call, Do your bit, and An attitude of gratitude. These values underpin school systems and processes, and contribute to equitable outcomes for children.

The school responds increasingly well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Good school processes and recently improved internal evaluation help leaders and teachers to achieve equity and excellence for children. A review of the school charter, mission and curriculum is planned to strengthen school processes and develop shared understandings about the school’s plans for the future.

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

Agreed next steps are to strengthen evaluation capability to sustain improvement, increase student agency and continue to explore ways of effectively engaging with parents/whānau to develop shared ownership of the new school direction.

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?

The school responds well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Senior leaders use the school’s achievement information well to identify and respond to trends and patterns in the learning and achievement of target groups. Leaders and teachers share knowledge about children as individuals, and take collective responsibility for children as learners. Their active promotion of and support for children’s wellbeing impacts positively on children’s engagement and learning.

Children who require additional learning support have good opportunities that enable them to make progress. The recently strengthened ‘teaching as inquiry’ process helps teachers to reflect on the impact of additional and classroom programmes and the difference they make to individual children’s achievement.

There are good processes to ensure the reliability of overall teacher judgements in relation to the National Standards. The school’s achievement information since 2013 shows that overall, children have continued to achieve well in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Historically the school has low numbers of Māori children. Data show that most achieve at the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Good achievement has also been sustained for Pacific children.

School achievement information shows that while the disparity between boys’ and girls’ achievement in reading has reduced over time, the school has not yet reduced the disparity in writing. The integration of digital technologies into the curriculum has had a positive impact for boys’ engagement in writing.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

School systems and improved internal evaluation processes are helping leaders and teachers to achieve equity and excellence for children. The principal has introduced a number of new initiatives that, when embedded, are likely to continue to strengthen teaching and management practices. Her leadership is strategic and focused on building collective capability across the school.

Children and teachers have respectful and affirming relationships that promote learning. Children speak with pride about the school’s Catholic values and about the ways in which their cultural identity is celebrated. Bicultural perspectives are integrated well in classroom learning experiences.

The learning environment is caring and inclusive, and children’s perspectives are valued. The school is well placed to strengthen teaching strategies that help children to be self-directed learners who take ownership of their own learning.

School leaders and trustees have a strong focus on building partnerships with the community. They are considering new ways to strengthen these partnerships to support student achievement and to increase families’ understanding of the school’s vision, values and new strategic direction.

The board uses a variety of information to support decision making. An agreed next step is to evaluate the impact of resourcing decisions on improved student learning.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school has established good processes for achieving equity. To strengthen these processes and to promote excellence, a review of the school charter, mission and curriculum is planned. Further developments include:

  • increasing opportunities for children to develop ownership of their learning and their next steps
  • strengthening the strategic plan, by developing indicators to enable regular tracking, monitoring and reporting to the board about progress over time
  • developing an online ‘hub of learning’ to enhance communication and connections between homes and the school.

To further support ongoing improvement the board and school leaders agree to:

  • access external training for trustees to support them in their governance role
  • implement revised school-wide systems to increase consistency in teaching practices and learning outcomes for children
  • evaluate the impact of new initiatives on improved learning outcomes for children.

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

Going forward

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

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

Agreed next steps are to:

  • strengthen evaluation capability to sustain improvement
  • increase student agency
  • continue to explore ways to effectively engage with parents/whānau to develop a shared sense of ownership of the new strategic direction and to improve outcomes for children.

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

Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1506

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

232

Gender composition

Girls       56%
Boys      44%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Filipino
Latin American
Samoan
Chinese
Sri Lankan
other European
other South East Asian
other Asian
other              

    2%
  53%
  10%
    4%
    3%
    3%
    3%
    9%
    2%
    2%
    9%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

15 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review 
Education Review
Education Review 

  February 2014
  November 2010
  December 2007

1 Context

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

St Michael’s Catholic School (Remuera) is a Catholic integrated school for students from Years 1 to 6. An increasing number of students with different cultural backgrounds and languages attend the school. New students are supported to feel welcome and included in the daily life of the school.

The school is committed to its special character and Catholic values. Students’ learning is enhanced through the opportunities they have to be part of a wider parish community. The positive school culture is strongly grounded in the respectful and supportive relationships that exist between students and adults. Students learn in a family-like atmosphere where they know each other well. All students show high levels of interest and motivation.

There is a very collaborative approach to supporting students’ learning and wellbeing. The board, school leaders and teachers share a collective responsibility for all children. Students benefit from the help parents provide with learning programmes and the board provides additional resources to support students’ learning.

ERO’s 2010 report for St Michael’s identified many school strengths. Areas for improvement related to developing inquiry approaches to learning and strengthening the use of achievement data to better show the progress and achievement of groups of students over time. The school has made very good progress in these areas.

2 Learning

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

Teachers, senior leaders and trustees make very good use of student achievement information. The analysis and reporting of student achievement are collaborative processes, involving discussion of findings and shared decision making. Students’ progress and achievement are assessed regularly and their learning strengths and needs are identified effectively and promptly.

Achievement information gathered by the school shows that the majority of students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori and Pacific learners achieve as well as other students and excel in some areas. Charter targets are appropriately focused on students at risk of not achieving. The school provides extensive resourcing and support for these students and, as a result, many make accelerated progress. Targets for other groups of students could now be set to promote further accelerated learning.

Students use achievement information to set learning goals with the support of their teachers and parents. Student led conferences encourage students to take ownership of their learning and help strengthen partnerships between parents and teachers.

Teachers have high expectations for students and use achievement information effectively to differentiate classroom learning programmes. They use outcomes for students to purposefully inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching practice. The school is an active learning community.

A wide range of information about student learning across the curriculum is considered when making judgements in relation to National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. The school could now consider ways to report student progress and achievement in other curriculum learning areas. ERO and school leaders agree that written reports to parents could be refined to ensure plain language reporting in relation to the National Standards is consistent across the school.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning. The holistic curriculum engages students in well planned and purposeful learning based on the vision and principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. A range of leadership, sports and cultural opportunities enrich curriculum provisions. A focus on caring for the environment is evident in specific learning programmes and across the school in general.

The school’s Catholic and St Mary McKillop values are central to all aspects of school life. Inclusive, welcoming relationships are established as children and their families’ transition into the school. School leaders plan to strengthen the effectiveness of the transition to school programme through discussions between the school and local early childhood centres.

Positive relationships between teachers and students contribute to high levels of student engagement in learning. Students benefit from very good quality teaching and learning programmes that are responsive to their needs and interests. Students are supported to learn by vibrant, well resourced and print-rich classrooms. ICT is increasingly used as a tool to promote learning. School leaders and teachers are initiating ways to recognise and respond to the prior knowledge of Pacific and all students.

Students are increasingly involved in decisions about what and how they learn. Teachers use effective questioning to promote students’ thinking. Consolidating and embedding inquiry learning approaches could further support the school’s aim of fostering self-managing learners.

Teachers have high expectations for students and their learning. Students have benefited from teachers’ participation in purposeful professional learning. This learning has helped teachers to reflect, evaluate and improve their teaching practice.

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

At the time of the review, a small number of Māori students were enrolled at the school. Teachers, school leaders and trustees are committed to promoting educational success for Māori students, as Maori. The religious education programme includes Māori perspectives and language. An external facilitator provides a fortnightly programme of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori for all students. A recently established kapa haka group contributes to student knowledge and understandings of Māori language and culture.

School leaders agree that they could now develop an education plan to reflect the school’s commitment to bicultural approaches and the dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Ministry of Education documents could be used as resources to develop this plan and to improve the inclusion of Te Ao Māori in students’ day-to-day learning.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The school charter and vision statement provide clear direction and guide the implementation of school priorities. The board is made up of new and experienced trustees who have a good understanding of effective governance. They base their decisions on what will best support students’ learning.

The principal’s collaborative leadership promotes a cohesive school culture. Very positive relationships exist between trustees, the principal and teachers. School leaders value parent input and are responsive to suggestions. An active parent group contributes to an affirming and inclusive school-wide tone in the school.

Targeted professional development increases teachers’ expertise and supports positive outcomes for students. Performance management systems encourage teachers to reflect on how teaching practices are benefitting students. ERO and school leaders agree that evaluation of teachers' professional goals will strengthen the appraisal process.

Aspects of effective review are evident through community consultation and surveys, and the review of policies and procedures. In order to sustain school improvements the board of trustees could now further enhance the school’s good quality self-review systems. Evaluating and documenting the impact of curriculum programmes and school goals on students' learning could support progress over time and inform future reviews.

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

12 February 2014

About the School

Location

Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1506

School type

Integrated Catholic (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

245

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Filipino

Samoan

Chinese

Indian

Korean

Sri Lankan

Tongan

Other

81%

1%

6%

4%

2%

2%

1%

1%

1%

1%

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

12 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2010

December 2007

November 2004