St John Bosco School (New Plymouth)

Education institution number:
School type:
School gender:
Not Applicable
Total roll:

21 Clinton Street, New Plymouth

View on map

St John Bosco School (New Plymouth) - 26/04/2019

School Context

St John Bosco School is an integrated Catholic school in New Plymouth. The roll of 251 students includes 19% who identify as Māori. The roll has continued to grow, in particular the numbers of Māori and Asian students. The ongoing renovation of learning spaces is now in the final planning stages.

The school’s vision is focused on foundations and faith for the future. This is promoted through the provision of a caring Catholic environment, where children’s rights and needs are considered, independence and confidence is fostered and children are challenged.

Within the school’s special character valued outcomes are for students to be: ‘independent; creative thinkers; active in their learning; collaborators and confident communicators’.

The aspirational aim is for all students to be working within or above school expectations. Targets for improvement are for all priority students to make accelerated progress.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • ongoing progress and achievement of priority learners
  • engagement and wellbeing for success
  • trends and patterns of achievement over time for specific groups
  • effectiveness of interventions in promoting acceleration in reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

Overall, the school has reduced disparity and Māori students are achieving as well as other students in the school.

Schoolwide end-of-year achievement information for 2018, indicates that most students, including Māori and Pacific, achieved at or above expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. Data over time shows an increase in Māori and Pacific students achieving at or above in reading, writing and mathematics. Disparity in writing for boys continues. By the end of Year 6 almost all students reach expectation in reading.

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

Those students who are at risk of not achieving expected levels are identified, monitored and well known to school leaders and teaching teams. The school continues to make good progress in accelerating the learning of those Māori and others who need this. During 2018, just over half of students identified in the achievement targets made progress and many accelerated their learning in reading and writing and some in mathematics.

Students with diverse learning needs are well supported through a range of initiatives and interventions, including the use of appropriate teacher external agencies and specialists. Clear plans are developed that promote and monitor progress and learning of these students.

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?

Te ao Māori is authentically woven through the school’s vision, curriculum and ways of leading, teaching and learning. Partnership with iwi and kaumatua guide the provision of a culturally responsive curriculum that promotes the bicultural heritage of Taranaki and Aotearoa. Leaders and teachers continue to build their collective capacity in culturally responsive practice by extending their confidence and competence in te ao Māori. The learning environment reflects the school’s special character and priority of cultural responsiveness. Well-developed practices and resources provide opportunities for Māori to be successful as Māori. Culture, language and identity is modelled, valued and celebrated.

School leaders are knowledgeable, inclusive and provide effective leadership for learning. A strong collaborative culture and high expectations support leaders’ and teachers’ ongoing learning, knowledge building and innovation. Comprehensive guidelines and processes for appraisal of staff promotes inquiry and fosters collaboration and sharing of evidence of good practice. Teachers’ professional learning and development and inquiry are closely aligned with the school’s goals and priorities. There is a strong focus on building leadership capability across the school. Leaders and teachers actively participate and contribute to local, regional and national learning networks and initiatives.

Clear systems and processes support teaching teams to identify, respond to and track progress and achievement of priority learners. Collaborative practices within teams are focused on proactively responding to meeting student needs. Staff know students well and are collectively responsible for all learners. This promotes positive, inclusive learning environments and supports students to actively engage in their learning. School-developed processes assist students to have ownership of, and responsibility for, their own learning. Students confidently share and articulate their learning.

A well-planned approach to the introduction and use of digital technologies supports teaching and enhances learning. Students are supported to use digital devices that promote creative, purposeful thinking and shared learning.

The board is well informed about student achievement, curriculum developments and school priorities. They use this to inform decision making and resourcing. Trustees are using Hautū - Maori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review Tool to build their knowledge and understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Strong and effective relationships with parents and whānau supports the sharing of information about student wellbeing and learning. Transitions to, through and beyond the school are wellconsidered and responsive to children and their families.

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

Reflection, review and inquiry are regularly used to inform decisions for improvement. This is supported by a wide range of useful information about learning, progress and achievement. A next step is to strengthen internal evaluation, extending established processes to evaluate how well innovations and practice are effective in promoting and accelerating learning, particularly for priority students.

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.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO‘s overall evaluation judgement St John Bosco School performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • clear alignment from the strategic and annual goals and plans to collaborative enactment of the curriculum in practice
  • achieving outcomes for students, that are equitable and show consistently good levels of achievement
  • comprehensive systems, processes and practices that effectively respond to targeted learners and students with additional and complex needs
  • a culture of collaboration among trustees leaders, teachers, parents and whānau, that maintains high expectations for teaching and learning throughout the school.

Next steps

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

  • extending internal evaluation to more clearly know of what is working well for students learning and where improvements are needed.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

26 April 2019

About the school


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 58% Male 42%

Ethnic composition

Māori 19%
Pākehā 64%
Pacific 4%
Other ethnic groups 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

26 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2016
Education Review March 2012
Education Review August 2008

St John Bosco School (New Plymouth) - 09/05/2016

1 Context

St John Bosco's School is an integrated Catholic school in New Plymouth. The roll of 232 students includes 13% who identify as Māori.

The roll has grown steadily over the last four years. An increase in the diversity of the students includes those with English language and additional learning needs. A building project is in the final planning stages.

The special Catholic character is promoted through the values of love, resilience, cooperation and service. The vision and values underpin strategic direction, school systems and classroom programmes. There are high expectations for student engagement and learning.

The school has had significant involvement in the Skills4Life programme. Physical activity and student confidence in participating have increased as a result.

Since the March 2012 ERO report, a new principal and senior management team have been appointed.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are that they will thrive as a result of a collaborative approach to enacting the school's vision of "Foundations and Faith for the Future". Successful students are seen as creative, independent, self-managing, critical thinkers, who collaborate, actively participate and communicate effectively. An increased focus on inquiry-based learning fosters these attributes.

There has been a significant focus on developing a curriculum framework for teaching, learning and assessment. Students' learning in literacy and mathematics is enhanced through an integrated approach in a science-based context. Evidence indicates increased levels of engagement and achievement in writing for groups of boys and others.

The school’s achievement information shows that the large majority of students achieve at or above National Standards in reading and writing. Variance in achievement between groups of students is evident, particularly in mathematics. The achievement of Māori students is slightly below that of their peers in writing and reading. Strengthening the strategic focus on accelerating achievement for this group of students should assist the school to achieve equitable outcomes for learners.

Mathematics has been identified by the school as an area to continue working on to raise overall achievement. Accelerating boys’ achievement in writing was identified by the school in 2015 as an area for development. This approach in 2016 should be sustained to achieve the desired levels of success.

Leaders and teachers share and use evidence of student achievement and progress to support decision making that assists ongoing improvement. They know the students well. A collaborative approach to promoting student wellbeing and successful outcomes is highly evident.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has:

  • developed a curriculum that clearly articulates the vision and expectations for effective teaching and learning
  • continued to strengthen home-school partnerships
  • developed appropriate programmes to extend and develop learning for children with special needs
  • extended a reflective and collaborative culture across the school
  • through teaching as inquiry, focused on building capability to better meet the needs of their students.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school uses a wide range of data, assessment tools and information to identify those at risk of not achieving. This data is explored and analysed by all the staff, and used to inform student learning pathways and programmes. Students' learning styles and preferences are shared between teachers to enhance productive learning relationships.

Teachers plan responsive programmes and inquiries that enable most Māori students to make progress. School leaders and trustees have identified the need to focus on strategies and resourcing that will help accelerate the progress of those students who are achieving below expectations.

Regular consultation with the Māori community has identified both strengths and areas to further enhance responsiveness to tamariki. A focus on establishing learning partnerships with whānau is evident. There are well-considered transition strategies for children on entry to school. The school is continuing to strengthen the partnerships for leaders, teachers and students through establishing stronger links with the hapū, iwi and local marae.

Māori students experience an environment where their language, culture and identity are affirmed and valued. A next step to further improve the responsiveness of the curriculum for these students is to:

  • strengthen the cultural competencies of teachers of Māori learners
  • ensure contexts and experiences are more representative of te ao Māori across all levels and areas of the curriculum.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Through good access to a wide range of information teachers know their children well and plan responsively to meet their needs. The consistent and collaborative approach to planning enables effective, ongoing sharing of information. This includes data, learning attributes, intervention strategies, successes and challenges teachers have faced in accelerating learners. Some students who are at risk of not achieving are included in the teachers' inquiry into their practice.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The board is community-focused. A wide range of achievement data is presented to the board and used to inform resourcing decisions. Trustees are culturally diverse and bring a range of expertise to their roles.

The principal and senior managers are actively involved in planning, coordinating and leading curriculum initiatives. A deliberate approach to growing leadership within the school is highly evident. Leaders focus on building collective capacity through inquiry, to help inform innovation in teaching programmes and improve engagement and success for all students.

Community collaboration and partnerships extend and enrich opportunities for students to become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners. The board and leaders actively seek the perspectives and aspirations of students, parents, and whānau to inform change. A range of opportunities is provided for parents, whānau and adults to contribute, participate and extend students' learning experiences.

Teachers and leaders engage in learning conversations to share strategies and find solutions to meet the needs of students in curriculum programmes and through high quality teaching practices.

Students participate in a caring, collaborative and inclusive learning community. Their ownership of learning is being encouraged across the school. Many students can discuss their learning, goals and what they need to do to improve. Students in most classes confidently use a range of tools and strategies to support independent learning.

Significant work has been undertaken to improve the processes and systems that promote high quality teaching, learning and student achievement. To sustain ongoing improvement, the school should further develop its understanding and use of effective internal evaluation at all levels, to ensure equity and excellence for all learners.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • do not always or systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • have a plan in place but have not yet built teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children.

To further raise the achievement for students at risk of poor educational outcomes, a clear line of sight from board to leaders to teachers needs to be developed. This should include:

  • appropriate achievement targets that identify strategies and groups of students whose learning needs accelerating
  • developing specific, personalised strategies to address the identified gaps
  • leaders and teachers including the target students learning outcomes in their appraisal goals
  • reports to the board of trustees on the progress towards the strategic achievement goals, to better monitor the impact interventions are having on these groups.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop a Raising Achievement Plan to further develop processes and practices that respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s Raising Achievement Plan and the progress the school makes. ERO is likely to carry out the next full review in three years.

6 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 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.

  • Processes for appointing staff.

  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions.

  • Attendance.

  • Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that trustees, leaders and teachers continue to strengthen current practices to more sharply focus on deliberate strategies to further improve outcomes for Māori and other groups of learners. Accelerating the progress of these students is a priority. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

9 May 2016

About the school


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 58%, Boys 42%

Ethnic composition




Other ethnic groups





Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

9 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2012

August 2008

August 2005