St Joseph's School (Waitara)

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Education institution number:
2239
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
63
Telephone:
Address:

21 Nelson Street, Waitara

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Summary

St Joseph’s School (Waitara) is an integrated Catholic school that caters for children in Years 1 to 8. The roll of 119 students, incudes 35 who identify as Māori.

The school’s Christian character is central to teaching, learning and school operation and enacted through its values of: Responsibility-Mana Whakahaere; Respect-Manaakitanga; Relationships-Whānaugatanga; Reconciliation-Maungarongo; and Resilience-Manahau.

Since the September 2014 ERO report, positive practices have been sustained. Focus has been maintained on raising the achievement of those children whose learning and achievement need acceleration and developing staff capability to further strengthen practice.

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

Children achieve well at St Joseph’s School (Waitara). National Standard data indicates consistent achievement over the past three years. Māori learners overall, achieve similarly to their peers in reading, writing and mathematics. Children’s progress is well supported over their time at St Joseph’s, with the majority achieving at high levels in relation to National Standards by the time they leave the school in Year 8.

Trustees and senior leaders have an ongoing focus on enabling equitable achievement outcomes for all children. The board and leaders give emphasis to reducing disparities. At the time of this evaluation the majority of children achieved at or above in relation to National Standards. Staff have deliberately focused on factors that positively contribute to Māori success and they are responsive to and appreciative of whānau contributions. Strong focus is given to all learners achieving success across the curriculum, with examples of accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics for those at risk of underachievement.

School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Equity and excellence

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

The school is effective in responding to those Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The school’s internal evaluation of achievement identifies progress over time, with specific actions and programmes to support acceleration in literacy and numeracy. The board makes good, responsive resource provision based on this information.

Accelerated learning is evident for Māori children who are at risk of not achieving. Staff have deliberately focused on factors that positively contribute to Māori success and they are responsive to and appreciative of whānau contributions. Māori children achieve similarly to all children in the school. Most achieve above National Standards expectations in literacy and mathematics.

A good range of national assessment tools is used to support teachers make overall judgements in relation to National Standard expectations. Moderation occurs across classes. This supports the validity and dependability of achievement information. Assessment tools and analysis of achievement are used well to inform teaching.

Specific professional learning in literacy and mathematics has focused on the needs of those students whose progress needs to be accelerated and identifying and implementing strategies to support success.

Children with special education needs are well catered for. Individual education plans guide and support their ongoing development.

Parents and whānau receive useful reports in relation to National Standards. There is a clear focus on children’s progress over time.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Trustees and school leaders have an ongoing focus on enabling achievement of equity and working for excellence. Well-considered and aligned processes and practices support ongoing improvement and promote the school’s mission to challenge children “to achieve academic success, spiritual growth and positive citizenship, personalised learning and contribution to society.” These include:

  • an effective, culturally responsive curriculum

  • a strong focus on increasing teacher capability

  • robust tracking and monitoring of children’s achievement in literacy and mathematics, with particular attention being given to priority learners

  • internal evaluation systems that positively inform decision making

  • a consistently implemented appraisal process that guides improvement and is responsive to teachers’ development needs

  • strong leadership throughout the school

  • a child and improvement-focused board.

Te ao Māori is woven meaningfully through the school’s curriculum. Teachers use a range of deliberate teaching strategies that effectively engage children in their class learning programmes. The positive learning culture is inclusive of all and promotes children’s growth and achievement. Expectations are clearly stated and support children to achieve success. Student ownership of learning is growing. Creativity is celebrated in class environments.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school has high quality processes, including for determining its next steps and addressing areas for improvement. To sustain high quality provision for equitable learner outcomes, the school should continue to: focus on priority learners; follow through on actions identified in annual and strategic planning; and grow student ownership of learning.

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?

Learners are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

Agreed next steps are:

  • sustaining the focus on raising student achievement, especially for students who are below National Standard expectations
  • continuing to grow student ownership and responsibility for their own learning.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

27 September 2017

About the school

Location

Waitara

Ministry of Education profile number

2239

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

119

Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 29%
Pākehā 71%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

27 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2014
Education Review June 2011
Education Review May 2008

Findings

How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

St Joseph’s School’s vision, values and special character are clearly evident in practice. Students participate in a range of educational, sporting and cultural activities. Many achieve in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Teaching promotes positive engagement in the classroom. School personnel continue to strengthen processes and practices for review and evaluation.

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 Joseph’s School is a state integrated Catholic primary school, for Year 1 to 8 students in Waitara.

At the time of this review, in June 2014, the school had a roll of 146 students and 31% are Māori. The special character encompasses all aspects of school life. Teachers, students and parents promote the school’s Catholic values.

Changes to staffing and trustees have occurred since the 2011 ERO review. At the beginning of 2014, the school appointed a new deputy principal and a number of teaching staff. Induction of new personnel has been well considered to reflect the school’s curriculum priorities.

Leaders, teachers and trustees have ensured positive progress in the areas identified for review and development in the previous ERO report.

2 Learning

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

Assessment information is used purposefully by teachers, school leaders and trustees to promote student progress, engagement and achievement.

Reported National Standards data for reading, writing and mathematics in 2013 showed many students achieved positive outcomes, including Māori and Pacific learners. Analysis of assessment information identified a focus on writing and mathematics for 2014. These priority areas are supported by professional learning and development (PLD) for teachers to further develop practices to promote learning.

Teachers are well assisted to develop their capability to inquire into the impact of their practice on student progress and achievement. A useful model has been implemented. Continuing to strengthen this process should promote improved teacher practice and impact positively on student achievement.

Teachers collectively analyse data for use in the classroom. Students are grouped in reading, writing and mathematics to address similar needs. Processes are being trialled to agree on the best method of monitoring the progress of priority learners.

School leaders collate and analyse data for reporting to trustees. Data is used to decide on schoolwide PLD requirements and learning intervention programmes to promote student progress. Annual achievement targets identify students requiring accelerated progress to meet the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Leaders should strengthen the actions documented in annual plans. This should provide a better basis to review the successes and limitations of specific strategies used to address the needs of students.

3 Curriculum

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

Comprehensive curriculum guidelines clearly articulate the priorities and expectations of the school’s curriculum. Leaders and teachers continue to strengthen the delivery of their curriculum expectations. This is well supported through processes and practices that seek and guide improvement.

The St Joseph’s School vision and values are shaped by the special character and clearly demonstrated by staff and students. Students are active participants in the curriculum. They participate in a range of sporting and cultural activities to promote their positive involvement in school.

Priorities in religious instruction, literacy, mathematics and physical education are well supported by comprehensive guidelines for teachers. School leaders are supporting teachers new to the school to develop their knowledge of the school's curriculum expectations.

The integrated curriculum, linked to the natural environment, is implemented over a four year cycle. Learning is contextual and promoted through practical experiences for students.

Parents are valued and receive relevant information during the year to know about their child’s achievement. Interactions among students, teachers and the school community are positive. Parents contribute meaningfully to supporting student learning and engagement at school.

Students are suitably engaged in the classroom. Teachers use a range of useful strategies to promote student progress and achievement. Instructional teaching is well planned and specific to the identified needs of students. Trustees provide significant resourcing, including additional personnel to enhance learning in the classroom.

Comprehensive processes used to identify and plan for students with special or complex needs. Literacy and mathematics intervention programmes support students requiring additional learning support. Processes for individual education planning (IEP) include specific goals to promote academic progress and social development. External agencies are accessed when required to support the development and participation of individuals. Parents are actively involved in all aspects of the process.

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

The school has strengthened its curriculum to include reflections of Māori learners' culture, language and identity. Students participate in kapa haka, pōwhiri, relevant contexts for learning and external cultural competitions. Māori learners hear, see and participate in culturally responsive practices to suitably acknowledge their cultural identity.

Leadership within the school is building teacher capability. Establishment of a whānau group is providing the opportunity for whānau members to meet regularly, share happenings in the school and discuss aspirations for their children. The school has developed initial curriculum expectations to guide practice and identify knowledge and experiences for students.

The school has implemented a Māori achievement plan. Strengthening the actions and reviewable outcomes in the plan is suggested. Making clear links to curriculum development and building teacher capability should support further positive growth of culturally relevant practices across the school’s curriculum.

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. Staff continue to strengthen and implement review processes to support their understanding of the impact of the school’s curriculum.

Trustees are further developing their governance practice. Appropriate training opportunities promote knowledge and understanding of their roles. Reported achievement information supports their decision-making about resources. Policies and related procedures are systematically reviewed to reflect current school operation. The newly developed school charter is suitably guiding the school's strategic direction.

Leadership is collaborative and reflective. Regular monitoring and feedback to teachers promotes a shared direction for ongoing improvement.

Recent staffing changes have contributed to reassessing teachers' strengths. Staff demonstrate specific knowledge and skills in leading ongoing improvement. In light of this, it is timely to strengthen the strategic approach to building leadership across the school.

Staff could collectively agree on expectations for schoolwide leadership and decide how best to evaluate its effectiveness. Making clear links to curriculum review and development should also contribute to further improving student outcomes and support sustainable practices across the school.

Processes for self review are generally purposeful and promote positive outcomes for students. Review identifies successes, considers concerns and provides commentary on next steps.

School personnel should consider further developing their collective understanding of review and evaluation practice. Strengthening the capability of all staff in this area is likely to impact positively on building valuable knowledge about which school practices and approaches best promote students' progress and achievement.

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 Joseph’s School’s vision, values and special character are clearly evident in practice. Students participate in a range of educational, sporting and cultural activities. Many achieve in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Teaching promotes positive engagement in the classroom. School personnel continue to strengthen processes and practices for review and evaluation.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

3 September 2014

About the School

Location

Waitara

Ministry of Education profile number

2239

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

146

Gender composition

Male 53%

Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

31%

62%

1%

6%

Special features

Integrated Catholic School

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

3 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

May 2008

May 2005