St Pius X Catholic School (Melville)

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Education institution number:
1966
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
220
Telephone:
Address:

57 Pine Avenue, Melville, Hamilton

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School Context

St Pius X Catholic School is located in the suburb of Melville, Hamilton. It is a full primary, integrated school providing education for students in Years 1 to 8 from a culturally diverse community. The school’s roll has increased to 167 and includes 21 Māori and 53 Filipino students.

The school’s vision states that they aim “to learn love, to learn wisdom, the way we are.” There is a commitment to uphold the Catholic character of the school. The school’s charter includes a statement to create an environment where Māori students experience success as Māori.

Since the 2014 ERO report there have been upgrades to the administration block and students’ playgrounds. Trustees and staffing have remained consistent. The school has implemented a te reo Māori language programme. Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board about school-wide information on outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics

  • Reading Recovery

  • students with identified needs.

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?

The school is achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for many students. Achievement data from 2014 to 2016 shows the majority of students achieve at or above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students achieve as well, or better than their Pākehā peers in these areas. Other ethnic groups achieve at higher levels in reading and mathematics, and at similar levels in writing. The number of boys achieving at expected levels in reading and mathematics has increased in the past three years. There is no disparity with girls in these curriculum areas. Disparity is evident for boys in writing.

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

The school is yet to respond effectively to accelerating the achievement of all Māori and other at-risk students. Leaders are not yet able to show the numbers of at-risk students school wide whose learning has been accelerated.School data shows that many students with identified learning needs who participated in specialist programmes, made accelerated progress in literacy and mathematics.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Students have equitable opportunities to learn. There are positive, affirming relationships amongst students and teachers. Students learn in well-resourced and inclusive environments. Teachers identify students who require support in their learning and monitor their progress using appropriate assessment tools. Students with additional learning needs, including English language learners, are well supported by an appropriate variety of classroom programmes and specialist interventions.

The curriculum promotes students’ learning and wellbeing. It is well designed to be responsive to the special Catholic character of the community. There is an appropriate emphasis on the teaching of literacy and mathematics. Students have many opportunities to participate in school-wide events, celebrations and education outside the classroom.

Trustees and leaders demonstrate a strong commitment to upholding the Catholic character and the school’s vision. They have established and sustained a positive and safe environment for learning.

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

Leaders need to place priority on strengthening the use of student achievement information. School-wide student achievement information needs to be more consistently analysed to identify rates of acceleration, particularly for at-risk students. Charter targets need to specifically identify the number of student whose learning requires acceleration. Trustees need to be better informed about the progress and achievement of targeted student throughout the year. There needs to be a more consistent school-wide approach by teachers to the use of achievement information to specifically plan to accelerate achievement. Systems are yet to be implemented to support students and their families to be aware of their achievement and next steps for learning.

There is a need to improve internal evaluation systems and processes. Leaders should:

  • strengthen the performance management system for teachers

  • report regularly to the board on the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives designed to accelerate the progress and achievement of at risk learners

  • establish a strategic approach to policy review to ensure the school is meeting statutory requirements

  • undertake formal consultation with the community and report on outcomes to the board.

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.

Appraisal audit

To improve practice, leaders need to ensure the appraisal process meets the Education Council guidelines and there is sufficient evidence provided by teachers in relation to the standards.

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 school has effective systems and processes in place to support the pastoral care of this student. The student is well integrated into the life of the school and experiences positive relationships with teachers and students.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to consultation with the community regarding implementing the health curriculum and updating the child protection policy.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. Comply with the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community. [Section 60B Education Act 1989]

  2. Update the child protection policy to align with the requirements of the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014. [Sections 18, 19 Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • develop and make known to the school’s community policies, plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students in consultation with the school’s Māori community.
    [National Administration Guideline 1(e)]

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a curriculum that responds to student’s identified learning needs

  • shared values and positive support for the school’s parent and parish community that underpin a positive and orderly environment for learning.

Next steps

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

  • leadership for learning to build teacher capability, including rigorous performance management for the principal and teachers

  • strengthening the use of student achievement information to support a strategically aligned approach to accelerating the achievement of at-risk students

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning
    [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]

  • internal evaluation processes and practices.
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

14 February 2018

About the school

Location

Melville, Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

1966

School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll

167

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 12%
Pākehā20%
South East Asian 32%
Indian 19%
Pacific Island 8%
Other Asian 4%
Other 5%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

International student(s)

1

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

14 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review August 2011 Education Review August 2009

Findings

Students respond well to high expectations in a positive and supportive learning environment. They receive good quality education that caters well for individual student learning needs. Teachers make good use of professional development to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

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 Pius X Catholic School (Melville) is located in the Melville suburb of Hamilton. It is an integrated Catholic school that provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. The school’s roll reflects the cultural diversity of its community. The current school roll of 147 students is made up of a diverse range of cultural groups. Māori students are 17% of the roll. For a considerable proportion of students English is an additional language, and most of these students receive specific and appropriate learning support.

The school’s special Catholic character is strongly evident in all aspects of school life. Christian values strongly underpin student learning programmes, school community events and celebrations, and family and community orientated school culture. The school continues to maintain a strong partnership with its families, the local parish and community.

Board membership is now representing Māori, Filipino and Indian families. The chairperson and other key members provide valuable experience and continuity. School leaders have remained the same, and continue to provide sound professional leadership. There have also been few changes in the teaching team. A new multi-purpose hall has significantly enhanced the educational environment for students, parents and teachers, and is well used by the local community.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. The board and senior leaders have responded positively to the 2011 ERO report. Significant progress has been made in aspects of assessment and teaching practice identified for development in that report. The board, senior leaders and teaching staff have recently begun to plan to develop a stronger Māori dimension in the curriculum.

2 Learning

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

The school has worked hard to improve the quality of assessment systems and practices. School leaders and teaching staff have participated in extensive professional development about the effective use of achievement information. They are committed to developing success for Māori as Māori, and improving the overall achievement of Māori students in relation to National Standards.

Teachers use a wide range of tools, including nationally referenced tests, to identify students’ needs and plan appropriate programmes. School leaders analyse school wide data to determine trends and patterns, identify priority groups of learners and set targets. Achievement information is reported to trustees throughout the year. They use this information to make informed decisions about ongoing resourcing and future curriculum development.

The principal regularly shares and discusses assessment information with teachers. This process allows them to make sound judgements about student progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards. The school’s data for 2012 and 2013 indicates that most students, including Māori and Pacific students, are achieving at and above the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics. These results are comparable with national averages.

Parents are kept well informed through written reports and parent teacher interviews about their children’s progress and achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum continues to support students’ holistic development and is responsive to the diverse learning needs of students and their families. It is closely aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum and the Catholic faith. Teachers focus on nurturing students’ love of God and helping them to become good citizens and lifelong learners.

Literacy and mathematics are priority areas for learning and this is reflected in the professional development undertaken by teachers. Professional learning and development in mathematics and writing is strengthening teaching practice in these areas. Teachers regularly reflect on and inquire into their practice and share teaching strategies to raise student achievement. Teachers use effective strategies to engage students in purposeful learning. Classrooms are well resourced and students confidently use computer technologies as tools for learning.

The principal annually leads a process of curriculum review. Teachers are able to share their views, consider relevant professional readings, and share new ideas. As a result of this review teachers modify the curriculum to reflect best practice and meet the needs of students.

ERO identified the need for school leaders to involve parents and community in the curriculum review process. This would enable parents to share their aspirations for their children’s well being and education, including the incorporation of the languages, cultures and identities of Māori, Pacific and other ethnic groups represented in the school. This is likely to involve parents as partners in their children’s learning. During the review several parents and students expressed a desire for students to have more opportunities to share and learn Māori and other school community languages and cultures.

These developments are likely to focus the school more clearly on achieving its strategic priorities.

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

The strong emphasis placed on whanaungatanga ensures that Māori students have a strong sense of belonging. They know that their language and culture is valued because it is acknowledged in special assemblies, masses and on cultural days. Teachers are starting to use te reo Māori in their classrooms. Students expressed a desire to have more opportunities to share and learn about their language and culture.

The board, senior leaders and teaching staff have recently begun to develop a stronger Māori dimension in the curriculum. They are also aware of the need, to develop and implement a systematic, sequential and sustainable Māori language programme for the whole school. The person responsible has organised external support to assist with the development of a strategic implementation plan.

The Māori representative on the board of trustees is surveying Māori whānau about what they would like the school to provide for their children. Further consultation is planned. It would also be appropriate to plan strategically to:

  • include teaching of local Māori history
  • encourage more consistent use of teaching and learning strategies to support Māori learners
  • strengthen ongoing consultation with Māori whānau, and establish links with local iwi.

These strategies should continue to benefit the learning and achievement of all Māori students.

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. Aspects that contribute to this are:

  • a strong commitment to improving student learning outcomes
  • well-analysed and evaluative reports on student achievement
  • effective professional and educational leadership
  • effective use of professional learning and development about best teaching practice
  • open communication, and trusting and collaborative relationships
  • high levels of student engagement
  • a safe and inclusive school culture.

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

Students respond well to high expectations in a positive and supportive learning environment. They receive good quality education that caters well for individual student learning needs. Teachers make good use of professional development to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

26 June 2014

About the School

Location

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

1966

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

147

Gender composition

Girls 51%

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

South East Asian

Pacific

African

Other Asian

Other European

17%

23%

32%

10%

2%

10%

6%

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

26 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2011

August 2009

July 2006