St Patrick's School (Panmure)

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School Context

St Patrick’s School in Panmure, Auckland is a Catholic, state-integrated, full primary (Year 1-8). The roll of approximately 100 students comprises students from within, and outside of the local area. There are high numbers of Pacific and Filipino children and a small number of Māori. Over a third of students speak English as an additional language. The school is one of New Zealand’s oldest and it has strong historic links with the community. Long-serving staff and intergenerational links with families are features of the school.

The school’s mission is to provide Catholic education that enables all children to develop to their full potential. This mission encompasses the school’s special character, and its desire to promote thinkers and learners who are active participants in their own learning.

The school is a member of the Manaiakalani Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL) that has a strong focus on accelerating children’s academic achievement. The school’s current goals are to increase children’s understanding and ownership of their learning, and to accelerate their progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Recent professional learning for teachers has focussed on promoting children’s use of key learning competencies and updating some teaching and learning approaches.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for children in the following areas:

  • levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • learning progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress made against school targets set for student achievement.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

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

Leaders and teachers continue to effectively maintain and improve overall achievement results. They have a continuing focus on providing equitable and excellent outcomes for all children. Data from 2014 to 2016 shows improvement in mathematics and writing achievement across the school. However, there has been a small drop in reading achievement over this time.

School-wide achievement data from 2016 shows that between 55-68 percent of children achieve at the expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. There is evidence that disparity is being reduced for Pacific children in reading and mathematics and there are indications that many are making some accelerated progress. However, Pacific learners aren’t achieving as well as their peers in writing and boys’ achievement overall is below that of girls.

The school has well documented descriptions of other valued outcomes for learners. Staff are in the process of designing ways to determine how well children are achieving in relation to these valued outcomes.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds well to learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration. School data shows children making good progress and there is evidence of accelerated progress for some.

The school has in-depth knowledge of the progress and achievement of all children individually, including its very small number of Māori learners. Teachers use this information to identify children who need additional support. There is good planning to support these children. Leaders and teachers have established well defined systems for ensuring that parents are actively involved in these planning processes.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

The school’s systems for curriculum management, and leadership are helping to enable the achievement of equity and excellence.

Children and whānau’s diverse values, cultures and heritage languages are valued. School practices reflect and incorporate te ao Māori, and there is a clear sense of biculturalism.

Children benefit from a warm and nurturing school environment. They relate well to their teachers and are supportive of each other. Teachers are responsive to children’s individual backgrounds and circumstances. As a result, classrooms are settled and productive.

The principal has developed systems for curriculum management based on current research and theory about teaching and learning. These systems are very well documented and readily accessible for staff. Leaders and teachers are currently extending the depth and breadth of the curriculum. The aim is to better reflect the overarching principles of the New Zealand Curriculum. Children are also benefiting from better opportunities to use digital technologies as part of their learning. All of these developments are likely to help enrich the curriculum and improve children’s learning.

The CoL/Kahui Ako in-school leader is very active in her role. She promotes updated teaching approaches and models how teachers could inquire into the effectiveness of their own practices. In this role she is responsible for providing teachers with support and guidance to help them meet the school’s goals.

Children have increased opportunities to know about and understand their own learning. Student led conferences provide rich opportunities for them to plan, share and lead their learning. Through discussions with their teachers and parents, they are now more regularly involved in setting and reflecting on their own learning goals.

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

Greater consistency in teachers’ implementation of new teaching practices is necessary to continue ensuring all children benefit equitably from key developments. School leaders and teachers need to clarify their expectations for teaching and learning, including timeframes, and document shared understandings about the changes required to meet these expectations. Ongoing support for teachers to make changes could be linked to the school’s quality assurance and improvement monitoring processes.

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

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure that the appraisal processes for teachers and the principal are suitably robust and meet the requirements of the Education Council.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the inclusive practices used to support all students to feel secure and have a strong sense of belonging
  • monitoring student progress and achievement in ways that help teachers to focus on the impact of their teaching, and helping children to understand and own their learning
  • home/school partnerships that focus on involving family and whānau in supporting children’s learning and raising student achievement
  • an increasingly responsive curriculum with well managed curriculum systems to guide teachers.

Next step

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

  • establishing consistency in teachers’ implementation of improved and updated teaching practices, to help ensure that all children have access to high quality programmes across the school.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

19 February 2018

About the school 

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1507

School type

Full Primary (Year 1-8)

School roll

105

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Tongan
Filipino
Samoan
other

   4%
 40%
 28%
 22%
   6%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

19 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

 December 2011
 October 2008
 November 2005

Findings

St Patrick’s School provides good quality education in a supportive, learning-focused environment. School-wide developments help all students learn. Teachers support students to be confident, effective learners in the digital age. They are exploring further ways to strengthen student-led learning, including supporting students to think deeply about the world around them.

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

1 Context

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

St Patrick’s School in Panmure, Auckland provides good quality education for Years 1 to 8 students in a Catholic school environment. The board, principal, senior leaders and staff work together effectively to meet school goals and are committed to continuous improvement.

Long-standing family and whānau associations with the school contribute to a sense of belonging for adults and children. The school/home partnerships are founded on well formed, trusting relationships. Trustees and staff value the contributions of families, whānau and the community. Māori students have opportunities to learn using their language and cultural heritage.

Since the 2011 ERO review, the board and principal have improved quality assurance processes to ensure that school initiatives and effective teaching and learning programmes are implemented consistently. Teacher participation in several school-wide professional learning and development initiatives has improved outcomes for students. Staff are more aware of teaching and learning strategies that accelerate children’s progress.

The school is part of the Manaiakalani cluster of neighbouring schools. The cluster’s focus is on supporting all students to be confident and see themselves as digitally competent world citizens. The school accesses external expertise to report on the impact its e-learning environment is having on students’ educational progress and achievement.

2 Learning

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

Senior leaders, teachers and the board use achievement information well to improve students’ engagement and progress.

Teachers reflect on ways they can adapt their teaching practice to cater for learners’ diverse requirements. This focused approach to raising student achievement helps students to understand ways they can improve their learning. Students see themselves as capable, lifelong learners. Their confidence is evident in the way they engage positively in their work.

Teachers use their understanding of the National Standards to improve learning. They successfully collect and make sense of information from a variety of sources to gauge how well individual students achieve in relation to National Standards across the curriculum.

School achievement information shows that students achieve at similar levels as students in local schools. The refinements made to moderation processes and professional learning and development in mathematics position the school well for meeting the Government’s 2017 National Standards targets. Parents receive informative reports that enable them to understand and contribute to their child’s progress and achievement. The school should now refine the report formats to more clearly show student progress and achievement in relation to National Standards.

The board uses self-review information to make resourcing decisions for the benefit of all students. Trustees set targets and goals that are relevant to priority learners. These targets and goals reflect the school’s high expectations for staff and students, and are focused on improvement.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum successfully promotes and supports student learning. Good quality teaching and learning practices are evident across the school, and are evidence-based.

The school’s caring, inclusive environment ensures very good student wellbeing. Its set of values, reflected in the school’s charism of ‘service, community and prayer’, contributes to friendly and constructive interactions. Parents speak highly of the school and ways their children are supported in their education and the values they are taught.

Students’ connectedness to each other and people in the school community promotes successful learning. Tuakana/teina relationships are evident across the school. Students report that they feel safe and teachers are interested in them as individuals. Teachers use each other’s expertise and cultural experiences to enhance their teaching practice and deepen their knowledge of students.

Trustees work well together in supporting the principal and staff. The board is currently exploring ways to strengthen its strategic focus. Planned refinements to principal’s reports to the board will help trustees use information more purposefully to improve student achievement and progress.

School leaders coordinate the development of student-led learning across the school. They have identified areas for future development to more fully implement the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Teachers and senior leaders benefit from networking with educational professionals in the pursuit of improving student outcomes. They willingly share their practice with other colleagues, including visitors from other schools.

Pacific students representing Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Kiribati and Niue comprise 55 percent of the roll. Their progress and achievement is monitored and reported on to the board. School leaders, trustees and teachers are aware of the need to support Pacific students and their families to sustain positive gains in areas such as reading. The principal has coordinated new initiatives that have suited the particular learning requirements of students whose first language is not English and underachieving students. These initiatives are well monitored in order to assure the board and staff that they are effective in raising student achievement.

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

Māori students represent 11 percent of the school roll. They experience success as Māori in a variety of meaningful ways. Biculturalism is an integral part of school life. Māori students’ language and cultural identity are valued and built on by teachers.

Senior leaders provide opportunities for Māori knowledge to contribute to and enhance the value placed on Te Ao Māori. Staff are committed to building their use of te reo Māori. The school has developed a sequenced programme that builds on Māori students’ capabilities in their language as they progress through the school. The assistant principal’s leadership ensures that the programme is understood and implemented by all teachers.

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 and is well served by very good governance and leadership structures.

There is strong alignment between the school’s vision, strategic direction and action plans. Staff respond well to change and work co-operatively with each other to ensure positive student outcomes. Teachers are well supported by their colleagues and senior leaders to develop their professional practice. Senior leaders respect staff and the contributions they make to the school’s positive direction.

The board and principal demonstrate integrity in their governance and leadership roles. Self review has been strengthened as a result of external evaluation. Work with Ministry of Education personnel has provided the school with a framework that guides trustees and teachers to identify ways they can contribute to enhancing school effectiveness.

Self review has a positive impact on the school’s strategic direction. It is:

  • informed by parents, community, staff and students
  • evidence-based and tested by critique and feedback
  • ongoing and informs school priorities that are focused on positive outcomes for students.

Areas identified by the school and endorsed by ERO for further review and development include:

  • embedding new appraisal processes that promote teacher learning and development
  • progressing student-led learning in the practice of all teachers
  • strengthening partnerships with parents/whānau that are focused on learning.

ERO is confident that the board, senior leaders and staff have the capability to use the school’s well developed self-review processes to sustain and improve positive outcomes for all students.

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

St Patrick’s School provides good quality education in a supportive, learning-focused environment. School-wide developments help all students learn. Teachers support students to be confident, effective learners in the digital age. They are exploring further ways to strengthen student-led learning, including supporting students to think deeply about the world around them.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

3 December 2014

About the School

Location

Panmure, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1507

School type

Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

111

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Tongan

Filipino

Samoan

Indian

African

Chinese

Cook Island Māori

Irish

Kiribati

Niue

11%

1%

29%

23%

23%

4%

3%

2%

1%

1%

1%

1%

Special Features

Integrated Catholic school

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

3 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

October 2008

November 2005