St Joseph's School (Hawera)

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Education institution number:
2235
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
256
Telephone:
Address:

32 Victoria Street, Hawera

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Findings

The school has made sufficient progress in relation to priorities identified in this report and will transition into the School’s Evaluation for Improvement process. 

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

St Joseph’s School, located in Hāwera Taranaki, provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. It is an integrated Catholic school adjacent to the Hāwera Catholic parish church. The school’s roll of 251 children includes 29 Māori. A new principal started at the school in Term 1 2021.

The school has been involved in a longitudinal evaluation with ERO since the end of 2019 to support school progress and development.

ERO’s evaluations of progress have involved meetings with the principal and deputy principal, the board of trustees, parents, teachers, and the Limited Statutory Manager (LSM).

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

The priorities for improvement identified in the 2019 ERO report were to:

  • continue to implement effective systems and processes for sustainable, improvement-focused school operation
  • establish school-wide achievement information that is dependable, consistent and well analysed to promote a more deliberate and responsive approach to achieving equity and excellence
  • ensure that robust, consistently implemented processes to support building teacher capability are embedded
  • develop a shared understanding and use of internal evaluation.

Additionally, several compliance issues were identified.

Progress

School leaders and trustees are implementing processes that contribute to positive change and improvement in the school. A strong platform is now in place. This platform provides the school with a solid foundation to support planned development.

Relational trust within and amongst the school community is much improved. This is helping the school maintain its focus on teaching and learning.

The board of trustees has consulted with its community to develop a new school charter. The charter clearly identifies achievement targets and achievement information is now shared with the board.

Assessment systems have been substantially strengthened. Assessment information is now used to promote a more deliberate and responsive approach to achieving equity and excellence. Systems support teachers with a consistent approach which is steadily building assessment capability.

More reliable assessment information is used to identify children with learning needs. Target students are identified, their progress is regularly reviewed and, where needed, children are supported with appropriate additional resource. Reporting of achievement information for all students can now be reliably shared with the community. Over time, this information can be used to track the progress of each learner helping the school to better target resources for learning.

Classroom observations show deliberate acts of teaching are contributing to purposeful learning. Children are able to articulate what they are learning and why. They can talk about their learning goals and progress. Learning environments support a diverse range of learner needs and teachers use a range of relational teaching approaches. A positive tone is evident across the school.

Trustees bring a range of expertise and knowledge to their positions and seek opportunities to further develop their governance capabilities. They understand their roles, obligations and responsibilities. Trustees remain committed to governing the school in the best interests of children. Previous compliance issues have been resolved.

A board workplan has been established that will continue to support the organised and systematic review and evaluation of a range of school systems and processes. The board maintains a clear focus on current charter priorities.

A culture of evaluation is developing within the teaching team. More robust assessment evidence is influencing teaching decisions. Embedding the teacher growth cycle should help to develop this disposition further.

Key next steps
  •  continue to strengthen home-school partnerships to genuinely support learner outcomes
  • further embed a consistently understood, school-wide approach to teaching and learning
  • nourish and sustain partnerships with iwi.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school has the ability to sustain and improve its performance. Useful systems and processes have strengthened responses to the individual needs of learners.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.

Conclusion

The school has made sufficient progress in relation to priorities identified in this report and will transition into the School’s Evaluation for Improvement process. 

Shelley Booysen
Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

6 December 2021

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

School Context

St Joseph’s School, (Hawera), is a state integrated Catholic primary school catering for children in Years 1 to 8. Of the 259 learners enrolled, 13% identify as Māori, and 6% as learners of Asian heritage.

The school’s mission statement emphasises a commitment to the values of Jesus Christ and to excellence in learning and teaching. This is supported by the school’s core values of respect, responsibility and reconciliation.

The annual student achievement goal for 2019 is to ensure that identified students become self-extending in reading.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • special character
  • attendance.

The longstanding principal, deputy principal and Director of Religious Studies (DRS) all retired during 2018. A new principal began in February 2019. A number of staff are long-serving. The majority of the board was new at the recent elections.

The school is a part of the South Taranaki – Hawera Kāhui Ako I Community of 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?

A school-wide picture of equitable and excellent outcomes is unclear. Available information is not sufficiently robust to accurately show the overall achievement and progress outcomes for students. While teachers assess and monitor individual children, a school-wide strategic focus on identifying and addressing disparity for groups of students is not in place.

In Term 1 2019 the student assessment procedures was strengthened. The impact of this is not yet known.

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

The school is currently unable to identify and report how well learning is accelerated for students at risk.

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 special Catholic character provides a strong foundation for building ongoing relationships and support within the school community. The curriculum and classroom practices, including prayer and devotions, appropriately promote the school wide valued outcomes.

Well-established routines encourage focused learning environments. Students are engaged in their learning and talk confidently about their learning tasks. Positive interactions were observed by ERO. Leaders identify that the school is in the early stages of promoting students to take more responsibility for leading their learning.

Learners with additional needs are very well supported. They are appropriately identified, their needs recognised, and programmes are put in place. External expertise supports this provision.

Te ao Māori is valued and visible in the curriculum. Through professional development, teachers and leaders have increased their knowledge and use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

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

In response to recent leadership and board changes, a priority is to develop and embed effective systems and processes for sustainable, improvement-focused school operation. To further build relational trust and effective collaboration the establishment of consistent expectations for working as a team, along with clear communication, is important.

School leaders should ensure that school-wide achievement information is dependable, consistent and well analysed to clearly show the progress and achievement of individuals and groups of students. Establishing a coherent picture, from classroom level through to the board level of those students who need acceleration, is a priority. Annual target setting and monitoring of progress towards these goals needs to be strengthened. This should support the school to measure its overall effectiveness and inform next steps to improve outcomes for priority learners.

Leaders have identified that further development of the school curriculum is an area of ongoing focus. Clear expectations for teaching and learning in curriculum areas should be articulated to ensure consistency across the school.

In 2019, actions were put in place to introduce a new appraisal process. The next step is to ensure this is robust, consistently implemented and embedded to promote teacher development and ongoing improvement of practice.

A range of information to inform decisions for improvement is being gathered. Developing a shared understanding and use of internal evaluation is a next step. This should better inform trustees, leaders and teacher’s knowledge of what has the most significant impact on raising achievement and support continued development.

Trustees are working with the New Zealand School Trustees Association to develop an understanding of their roles and responsibilities, including meeting statutory requirements.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of St Joseph's School (Hawera)’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

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:

  • the strong Catholic character which promotes the schools valued outcomes
  • well-established classroom routines that promote learning
  • an appropriate focus on te ao Māori which supports a bicultural curriculum
  • provision for learners with additional needs.

Next steps

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

  • continue to implement effective systems and processes for sustainable, improvement-focused school operation
  • establishing school-wide achievement information that is dependable, consistent and well analysed to promote a more deliberate and responsive approach to achieving equity and excellence
  • ensuring that robust, consistently implemented appraisal is embedded
  • developing a shared understanding and use of internal evaluation
  • increasing trustees understanding of their roles and responsibilities to meet statutory requirements.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to:

  • ensuring that staff working with children are safety checked in accordance with the Children’s Act Regulations
  • ensuring that all teachers have up to date certification
  • reporting to the school’s community on schoolwide student progress and achievement
  • reporting on the progress and achievement of Māori children against plans and targets
  • consultation with the school’s Māori community
  • appraisal of staff
  • maintaining an ongoing programme of self review.

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

  • ensure that existing core children’s workers are safety checked in accordance with the Vulnerable Children (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015.
    [Children’s Act 2014 and regulations]

  • report to the school’s community on the progress and achievement of students as a whole, and on the progress and achievement of groups of students at risk of not achieving
    [National Administration Guideline 1(c)]

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

  • report on the progress and achievement of Māori students against plans and targets referred to in NAG 1(e)
    [National Administration Guideline 2(d)]

  • implement policies and procedures for appraisal of staff
    [s77C State Sector Act 1988; NZ Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreement]

  • maintain an ongoing programme of self-review in relation to policies, plans and programmes, including evaluation of good quality assessment information on student progress and achievement
    [National Administration Guideline 2(b)]

  • ensure all teachers have up to date teacher certification
    [s349-350 of the Education Act 1989]

Since the onsite review, all teachers now have current certification and all workers have a current police vet.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure:

  • the implementation of a comprehensive hazard management system
  • the implementation of robust processes when recording accidents and completing risk analysis and management plans
  • provision for all students to learn a second language in Year 7 and 8.

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association continue providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement in:

  • trustees understanding of their roles, responsibilities and legislative obligations
  • understanding of assessment practices and reporting.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

29 October 2019

About the school

Location

Hawera

Ministry of Education profile number

2235

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

259

Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 13%

NZ European/Pākehā 80%

Asian 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

29 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015

Education Review May 2010