St Patrick's School (Inglewood)

St Patrick's School (Inglewood) - 06/07/2018

School Context

St Patrick’s School (Inglewood) has students in Years 1 to 8. The school is supported by a strong Catholic community. At the time of this ERO review there are 83 students on the roll and 11 are Māori.

The school’s mission, to create children prepared for the future’, is supported by the school’s values and linked to the key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum.

The first-time principal took up her position in Term 3, 2017. There have been changes of staff and to the board of trustees since the July 2015 ERO report.

The 2018-2020 strategic plan gives priority to ongoing improvement in student outcomes. Current goals and targets include a strategic focus on raising achievement and accelerating learning in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of theNew Zealand Curriculum
  • target learners’ progress
  • intervention programmes, including reading recovery
  • wellbeing.

For leaders’ and teachers’ professional learning and development, the major areas of focus in 2018 is mathematics.

St Patrick’s School is part of the Inglewood Kāhui Ako. Its current areas of focus are mathematics, transitions, partnerships and children with additional needs.

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?

School reported information identifies a successful response to supporting all students in achieving equity and excellence. Reading is a strength, with most students achieving at and above expectation. In writing both Māori and girls achieve higher than their peers. Data shows declining achievement for Māori and girls in mathematics.

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

The school is developing its effectiveness in responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Target students are clearly identified in reading, writing and mathematics. Almost all students, including Māori, identified at the start of 2018 for targeted teaching in mathematics are making significant progress towards achievement of school expectations by the end of Term 2.

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 new principal has appropriately given priority to building effective processes and practices for teaching and learning. A collaboratively developed strategic plan with goals and targets strongly focuses on equity and excellence. The plan appropriately aligns schoolwide goals with teaching practices, appraisal and staff professional development.

Leadership has established a supportive environment with trust, participation and collaboration evident at many levels of the school community. The learning and teaching environments are characterised by respect, empathy, cooperation and teamwork, reflective of the school’s special character. The school enjoys high levels of parent support and participation at events and celebrations.

Leaders and teachers are strongly focused on ensuring schoolwide practices and processes promote students’ voice and enable them to learn and achieve at appropriate levels. Needs and strengths of children are identified and responded to through relevant interventions and a range of internal and external supports. Specific plans are developed for children with more complex needs.

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

The school should continue to review and develop the curriculum and delivery guidelines, to support the enactment of its vision for successful learning. Review should prioritise the role of the learner in relation to the vision, values and key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum. The focus for strengthening teaching and learning should include development of opportunities for students to lead and assess their own learning.

Te ao Māori is promoted well through the special character of the school. Acknowledgement of culture, language and identity is being further strengthened. The reviewed curriculum should reflect the commitment to ensuring te ao Māori is valued and interwoven throughout learning.

Practices and processes for tracking and monitoring students are now in place. Further development of teachers’ understanding of new assessment practices, combined with focused teaching and interventions should strengthen outcomes in equity and excellence. These developments should be underpinned by ongoing internal evaluation to systematically determine what is working well to promote valued outcomes, what is not, and what needs to change.

The school’s appraisal process has undergone a number of changes over the past year. Trustees should ensure appraisal is completed annually to a satisfactory level.

There are coherent, aligned, organisational processes and practices in place, that when embedded should lead to sustained improvement in learning and teaching. Trustees continue to seek relevant advice and resources to support them and strengthen their understanding of roles through training and sharing responsibilities.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a positive and respectful learning environment and conditions that support students’ engagement
  • regular identification of, and support for, the learning needs of individual students to promote achievement of equitable outcomes
  • lifting collective capability through teacher inquiry and professional development.

Next steps

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

  • effective implementation of a curriculum that enacts its vision for teaching and learning
  • strengthening collective understanding and effective use of systematic evaluation to support leaders, trustees and teachers to know what is working well and what needs to change to improve outcomes for all children. [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.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

6 July 2018

About the school

Location

Inglewood

Ministry of Education profile number

2241

School type

State Integrated Catholic Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

83

Gender composition

Female 50, Male 33

Ethnic composition

Māori 11
Pākehā 63
Asian 4
Other ethnic groups 5

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

6 July 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, July 2015
Education Review, June 2012
Education Review, June 2009

St Patrick's School (Inglewood) - 01/07/2015

1 Context

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

St Patrick’s School is a Years 1 to 8 state integrated Catholic school in Inglewood. Since the June 2012 ERO review, the roll has remained steady. Three classrooms cater for the 69 students, 6 of whom identify as Māori.

A recent Catholic Character review affirmed the quality of the school’s practice in providing a strongly evident special character environment.

The school's Shamrocks values have been recently reviewed and are embedded in teacher expectations of students. Respectful behaviour is evident school wide.

St Patrick’s School is part of the Inglewood cluster of schools and early childhood education organisations. Membership supports the principal and teachers to share ideas and contribute to community education. Senior leaders participate in the Taranaki Catholic cluster of schools, which provides opportunities for students to participate in special events and meet with a wider range of peers.

The Community Link and Shamrocks Care parent groups provide valuable support for student and family wellbeing. Members fundraise, welcome new school families, support families and celebrate special events.

The Little Shamrocks’ programme facilitates smooth transition for preschool children and their families.

2 Learning

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

The school is developing its use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Teachers use standardised tests and collectively discuss student work to make overall teacher judgements about student achievement in relation to National Standards. Schoolwide data shows that most students are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students achieve in a similar pattern to the schoolwide data.

Trustees and the principal use schoolwide data to set targets and identify students at risk of poor outcomes. Teachers use achievement information to establish learning groups, plan to meet the needs of individual students, and challenge them for ongoing improvement.

Those students who are not yet meeting the National Standards are identified and interventions are put into place to accelerate their progress. However, neither the writing nor mathematics targets were met in 2014. Some students accelerated their progress through the school's interventions.

Writing has appropriately been identified as the focus area for 2015. Teachers have participated in professional learning to become more familiar with useful strategies to accelerate student progress. Important next steps to increase the effectiveness of the schools' targeted response are:

  • improving the collection and use of writing assessment information to make more robust overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards
  • for teachers to become confident in using assessment tools that will help them to identify specific learning areas for each student
  • to more deliberately teach to those specific student needs
  • to more regularly reflect and inquire into the effectiveness of the strategies being used to accelerate the progress of students.

Parents are well informed about their child’s progress through the use of assessment books and student-led conferences. The assessment books provide samples of student work and all key assessments. They cover all learning areas, including religious education, key competencies and values.

3 Curriculum

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

The St Patrick’s School curriculum generally promotes and supports student learning. A few aspects, such as religious education and the mathematics and statistics learning area have been reviewed and updated. It is time to urgently review all other areas to provide better guidance and consistent expectations for teaching and learning.

Students learn in a supportive learning environment. Special programmes are in place to challenge and also support identified learners. Teachers have high expectations for achievement and learning outcomes. They are well supported by teacher aides.

Students are engaged, involved and active learners. Respectful relationships contribute to positive learning environments.

The coherent teaching team has a good knowledge of each student. Teachers regularly discuss the progress of students who they either previously taught or will in the next year.

Careers education is taught incidentally as part of social sciences lessons. A next step is to review and document a curriculum statement showing the purpose, delivery and expected outcomes of a careers programme for Years 7 and 8 students at the school.

Teachers deliver te reo Māori lessons that engage students in a well-structured programme of language learning.

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

The school has yet to articulate a vision for success for Māori as Māori. As a first step, the school should, in consultation with whānau and community, define what this concept means at St Patrick’s School. Māori students and their whānau are engaged and involved in school life.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The board of trustees is led by an experienced chairperson. A comprehensive set of policies, procedures and good practices support sound governance. There is an appropriate focus on health, safety and student wellbeing.

Purposeful leadership has a clear focus on positive outcomes. The principal provides useful information for the board to appropriately target resourcing.

The strategic and annual plans are well considered. The next step is to decide more focused targets for students' achievement and progress, particularly for learners at risk of not meeting National Standards. This should encourage more regular reporting about progress towards achievement targets and assist the board and leaders to quickly respond to the information received.

The review programme for policies and procedures is well structured and carefully followed. The next step for the board and staff is to strengthen self-review procedures to provide better evaluative information on the effectiveness of key aspects of school practices.

Teacher appraisal procedures have been reviewed, are robust, and support teachers’ development. Teachers are appraised in relation to the Teacher Registration Criteria and keep portfolios of evidence. The next step is for the documented procedures to more explicitly state expectations of the process.

There is a strong community-school relationship. The parish is very supportive and involved in school life.

Next Steps

To improve practice the principal and board should:

  • develop more specific strategic targets to support accelerated progress for students at risk of poor outcomes and regularly monitor progress towards meeting these goals
  • develop schoolwide guidelines for the teaching and assessment of writing
  • support teachers to strengthen the assessment and teaching of writing
  • strengthen the school’s approach to promoting success for Māori as Māori.

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

The special Catholic character is very evident in this small, family-oriented school. Interesting programmes engage students, who are respectful and motivated learners. Most students achieve at the National Standards. Writing has been identified as an area for strengthening. A stronger focus on accelerating progress for students at risk of poor outcomes is necessary.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

About the School

Location

Inglewood

Ministry of Education profile number

2241

School type

State Integrated Catholic Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

69

Gender composition

Female 38, Male 31

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

63

6

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

1 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2012

June 2009

February 2003