Our Lady of Lourdes School (P North)

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Education institution number:
2416
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
141
Telephone:
Address:

96 Shamrock Street, Takaro, Palmerston North

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School Context

Our Lady of Lourdes School is a state integrated Catholic primary school, located in Palmerston North. The school caters for a diverse range of students in Years 1 to 6. Of the 151 children enrolled, 22 are Māori and 30 are of Pacific heritage. There are 21 children funded as English Language Learners (ELLs).

The vision ‘to provide students with the skills and motivation for life-long learning in a nurturing, Catholic environment’ guides school operation and practices.

School targets, to accelerate the progress and achievement of learners at risk of poor learning outcomes, are set annually. In 2018, raising the achievement of Pacific learners in mathematics was a school priority.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress and achievement in relation to the school targets
  • attendance.

The school has an experienced leadership team. Longstanding and newly elected members make up the board of trustees.

The school is a member of the Palmerston North Catholic Kāhui Ako.

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?

Achievement data from 2017 shows that most students are achieving at or above The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. 

Nearly all Māori learners achieve successfully in reading, and most in writing and mathematics.

In-school disparity for groups of students is recognised and is an ongoing focus for improvement.

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

Targets to raise the achievement of those students who are not succeeding at expected levels are appropriately set by trustees and leaders. School analysed data indicates that most target students experience acceleration in reading and mathematics through class programmes and interventions. Consistently reporting rates of progress and acceleration for individual or groups of students is a next step for the school.

The school has strengthened its response to students at risk of not achieving through the implementation of ‘Priority Learner Intervention Plans’. This framework enables teachers to determine students’ specific learning needs and plan targeted teaching strategies and interventions to promote their progress.

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?

School trustees, leaders and teachers have a strong focus on promoting the wellbeing of children and their families. A wide range of community relationships enhances their provision for learners and their whānau. The enactment and use of the school’s Catholic character, values and virtues is highly visible. These successfully underpin school practices and respectful interactions. 

Communication processes have been strengthened to enhance positive relationships with families and promote whānau engagement. A range of purposeful strategies provide opportunities for families to participate in their children’s learning and development at school. An appropriate approach nurtures learners’ effective transition into the school. There is an ongoing focus on continuity of learning for students out of the school onto their next learning pathway, through the Kāhui Ako.

Purposeful engagement with local iwi supports an increased acknowledgement of identity, language and culture for Māori students and their families. There has been a thoughtful approach to strengthening the reflection of te ao Māori through the school’s Māori action plan.

Teachers use a range of effective strategies and deliberate actions to engage students in purposeful learning. Well-organised environments successfully foster children’s participation and collaboration in learning. Routines and expectations are well communicated and known. Students demonstrate increasing confidence to make choices about their learning.

An appropriate range of systems, processes and strategies are used to identify, track and monitor the individual needs of students at risk of not achieving at expected curriculum levels. Provision for learners with additional needs, including ELL, are supported through programmes and external expertise.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers should continue to align and strengthen systems and processes to promote increased acceleration of student achievement. Better analysis of accelerated progress for all groups at risk of not achieving is a next step. This should better inform targeted resourcing and teaching for those learners at risk of underachievement.

Curriculum documents clearly describe valued outcomes for learners aligned to the school’s vision for learning and NZC. There is ongoing development to support the documentation of expectations for effective teaching practice across all learning areas. This should foster shared understandings to better promote positive student outcomes. The school should continue to refine and develop curriculum documents to:

  • reflect and respond to whānau Māori aspirations for Māori learners

  • identify expectations for effective culturally responsive practices across all learning areas

  • clearly articulate a localised curriculum

  • provide guidelines for moderation practices in reading, writing and mathematics.

Developing a shared understanding of evaluation across all levels of the school, to better determine the effectiveness of actions and strategies is a next step. This should assist trustees’, leaders’ and teachers’ knowledge of what has the most significant impact on raising achievement and next steps for development.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (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 were no international students attending the school.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure in-committee minutes are used for discussing and recording matters of a sensitive or confidential nature.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • well promoted school values and virtues that nurture learner success and wellbeing

  • learning environments that promote positive student outcomes

  • pastoral care that responds to students’ and families’ needs to promote their wellbeing

  • relational trust and developing partnerships that engage all stakeholders to contribute to schoolwide success.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening inquiry and analysis of achievement information by trustees, leaders and teachers, to systematically address in-school disparities

  • curriculum development, for a school curriculum that responds better to students’ identity culture and language, and the local context

  • building internal evaluation processes and practices, to better understand the impact of programmes and initiatives on acceleration and achievement for learners at risk of not achieving.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

7 February 2019

About the school

Location

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

2416

School type

Contributing Primary School (Year 1 - 6)

School roll

151

Gender composition

Female 53%, Male 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 14%
NZ European/Pākehā 46%
Pacific 20%
Asian 20%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

7 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2016
Education Review January 2012
Education Review December 2008

Findings

Our Lady of Lourdes School is a positive environment for students and their families. Most students achieve well. Recent plans highlight development of the school’s curriculum to improve the response to Māori and Pacific learners' cultures, languages and identities. Building a collective knowledge of internal evaluation should strengthen processes to promote ongoing school improvement.

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?

Our Lady of Lourdes School is a state integrated Catholic school in Palmerston North. Of the 141 students in Years 1 to 6, 19% identify as Māori and 14% as Pacific. The welcoming environment is characterised by friendliness, openness and respect for students, parents, whānau and aiga.

Events and celebrations are inclusive of parents, families and whānau recognising the school’s special character. Information evenings are held for parents new to the school. The outcome of students’ learning is shared and celebrated. The Reading Together programme supports families to assist with literacy learning at home.

Extensive refurbishment of classrooms is currently being undertaken to enhance the environment and further develop student engagement in learning.

Stable leadership and governance articulate a shared vision for student success through their strategic goals. Staff and the wider parish and school community contribute purposefully in the school.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history.

2 Learning

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

Assessment information is used appropriately to make a positive change to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Achievement information at the end of 2014 showed most students, including Māori, achieved at or above the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Pacific students achieved slightly lower levels in reading and mathematics and similar to their peers in writing. Collated mid-year data shows most students on track to meet the National Standards by the end of 2015.

Teachers moderate assessment data to inform overall teacher judgements about students' achievement in relation to the National Standards. To strengthen moderation practice teachers should:

seek to moderate externally with other schools to ensure consistency of assessment judgements

develop guidelines to inform a shared interpretation of data when making overall teacher judgements against the National Standards.

Teachers work well together to reflect on the progress and achievement of individuals. Data is well used to determine and plan for the learning needs of students.

Annual achievement targets are developed by school leaders and trustees to plan for students working toward achieving the National Standards. The lead team gathers data at the end of each year to consider priorities for the coming year.

As a next step leaders and trustees should use this information to establish targets for specific groups requiring accelerated progress to meet the National Standards. Targeting these groups should inform actions that closely align to learners’ needs. Strengthening this process is likely to provide evidence for evaluation of the effectiveness of the strategies used.

The lead team suitably tracks, monitors and reports student progress and achievement during the year. Trustees receive information to guide their decision making. Leaders support teachers to collaboratively reflect on student outcomes and establish next learning steps.

Well-designed writing and mathematics rubrics encourage students to self-assess their current learning needs. The school is seeking to develop this process.

Families, whānau and aiga receive appropriate information about their child’s progress and achievement. Written reports and conferences between the teacher, families and students are used to share progress and next learning steps. Staff are available informally to meet with parents and discuss students' learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum successfully promotes student learning. An ongoing priority for the leaders, teachers and trustees is to strengthen the curriculum response to Māori and Pacific learners’ culture, language and identity.

The school’s special character underpins the curriculum. The mission, vision and values are well established by the whole community. Key competencies are defined and fostered. The virtues programme establishes a collective focus on the desired characteristics and attitudes for students and the school community.

Students are well engaged in the classroom. They participate in a wide range of experiences to motivate and encourage learning and engagement at school. Information from students is used to decide on themes for integrated inquiry. Individuals identified with special abilities are provided with extension in the classroom, opportunities to participate in external competitions and group projects.

Students requiring additional support are appropriately identified and a range of programmes and initiatives put in place to support their learning.

Students access relevant digital technology as a tool to motivate and support their learning. Completion of a fitness circuit demonstrates the school's commitment to promoting students' physical education.

As identified in the 2012 ERO review, curriculum documents continue to provide comprehensive guidance to teachers.

Information gathered by leaders shows that Pacific students are positive and enjoy school. The Pasifika Success Talanoa Action Plan has been developed to raise student achievement and strengthen the school’s curriculum response to Pacific learners. These goals align to the national strategy documented in the Pasifika Education Plan: 2013-2017. To strengthen the potential for improvement, leaders and trustees should consider developing the action plan further to clearly show how the actions will be implemented and include outcome indicators to provide an explicit basis for internal evaluation of the plan's success.

Leaders demonstrate a sound understanding of teaching strengths and areas for further development. Coaching, mentoring and peer observations encourage teacher reflection, and share and guide practice. Leaders have usefully identified areas to further extend the scope and depth of their performance management processes.

Teaching as inquiry is an integral part of teachers’ appraisal evidence. This established process leads to practices focused on improving outcomes for students. It is timely for the lead team to further strengthen teacher’s evaluative knowledge when using this process.

Students' transition into and through the school, and at the end of Year 6, is well considered.

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

Contexts for learning, predominantly in religious education and inquiry learning make culturally appropriate connections for Māori learners. As identified in the 2012 ERO report, students continue to participate in kapa haka and in whānau groups.

An increased response to promoting Māori students' culture, language and identity across the curriculum is required. An action plan has been developed. Goals reflect a strategic intent to build practice and strengthen the curriculum.

To strengthen planning and evaluation, leaders and trustees should consider deciding measurable outcomes in relation to the goals, and aligning internal evaluation processes to regularly review progress against the action plan. Accessing external support to build internal capability should also be considered to achieve a comprehensive response to the actions contained in the plan.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain its performance and build internal evaluation capability to promote further improvement.

Trustees demonstrate a commitment to student success by providing appropriate resources to support learning. Clear roles and responsibilities guide governance practice. As a next step, they should strengthen annual planning to guide improvement and support improved internal evaluation.

Families, whānau and aiga are valuable contributors to their child’s learning. They receive regular information to support their understanding of teaching and curriculum practice. Strengthening partnerships with Māori and Pacific should be undertaken to progress the school's action plans.

Leaders purposefully guide teaching and learning. They foster development to meet trustees’ and the community’s vision for student success. The principal promotes and encourages emerging and current leaders’ practice. To further strengthen outcomes, leaders, teachers and trustees should develop their knowledge and understanding of effective internal evaluation.

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

Our Lady of Lourdes School is a positive environment for students and their families. Most students achieve well. Recent plans highlight development of the school’s curriculum to improve the response to Māori and Pacific learners' cultures, languages and identities. Building a collective knowledge of internal evaluation should strengthen processes to promote ongoing school improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

5 February 2016

School Statistics

Location

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

2416

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

141

Gender composition

Female 53%, Male 47%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

55%

19%

14%

12%

Special features

Catholic special character, state integrated

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

5 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2012

December 2008

February 2006