St Joseph's School (Patea)

Education institution number:
2452
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
17
Telephone:
Address:

15 Suffolk Street, Patea

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St Joseph's School (Patea) - 10/12/2018

Findings

Leaders, teachers and trustees have made well-considered changes to improve the school’s response to meeting the needs of learners and their community. The school is well placed to sustain improvements and further strengthen internal capability to achieve equity and excellence for students.

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

1 Background and Context

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

St Joseph’s School is a small, Catholic school in the South Taranaki town of Patea. There are 16 students enrolled all identify as Māori. The school offers learning programmes that are linked to The New Zealand Curriculum, as well as religious education reflecting the special character of the school.

The vision of the school is to develop learners who can work in unity in an environment based on the principles of the Catholic Church. This is underpinned by the values of TAHI: taking responsibility, achieving excellence, having respect and in it together.

Since the January 2016 ERO report, the school has experienced staff changes, including a new principal who commenced in Term 2, 2017. A new chairperson for the board of trustees was elected since the previous review.

The 2016 ERO report expressed concerns in a number of areas of school practice, systems, capability and performance. The principal and trustees have taken a well-considered approach in addressing the areas identified for development. External support and professional learning and development (PLD) has been provided to leaders and teachers to strengthen the areas identified for development.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The January 2016 ERO report recommended that the board, principal and staff focus on developing sustainable school systems and processes to support improvement. This included strengthening:

  • the use of student achievement data to help make informed decisions
  • systems and processes for tracking and monitoring students whose learning and achievement require acceleration
  • systems and processes to support school improvement and sustainability
  • review and updating of the curriculum to be more responsive to student needs
  • the principal’s appraisal system
  • leaders’ capacity to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum and teacher practice for student outcomes.
Progress

A comprehensive tracking framework has been developed to monitor individual student progress in reading and writing. Plans are in place to further improve teaching and learning in the mathematics learning area. These provide useful achievement information for students and their whānau. The principal uses assessment information to inform next steps of learning.

Review and development to aspects of the school’s curriculum have taken place. Changes made include, the inclusion of learning and teaching expectations. Students experience relevant programmes of learning based on the church, their interests and needs. Teachers use a range of effective strategies to support learning. Leaders should consider how they can weave a localised curriculum into the learning programmes.

Parents, whānau and families are welcomed and actively involved in school activities as respected and valued participants of their child’s learning. Regular discussions are held between the school and parents about their child’s progress and their next steps of learning. A range of school-wide community events enable them to contribute to the life of the school.

Students requiring additional learning support are well identified, their needs known, and their learning effectively supported by the use of additional staff. External agencies are accessed when required.

Effective appraisal practice promotes and supports ongoing teacher development. The principal is using leadership inquiry well to further support growth as a first-time principal.

Key next steps

The school should continue to build its effectiveness by:

  • leaders consulting with the school community, to further develop the localised curriculum.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance.

Trustees are committed to achieving success for students. They have engaged with external support and professional learning and development so they can effectively fulfil their stewardship role. Strategic and annual plans identify priorities for improvement. Well-considered systems and processes have been developed to promote ongoing improvement across the school. Policies and procedures are regularly reviewed to ensure they meet current legislative requirements.

Clear systems and processes guide leaders' and teachers' practice to improve the school’s performance. Leaders and teachers are improvement focused. Systematic self review helps to improve the learning and wellbeing of all students. A key next step is for leaders to build their capability to evaluative the impact of the curriculum and teacher practice on student learning outcomes.

Trustees receive a range of useful information from the principal about initiatives, programmes, and student achievement and progress. This helps them make informed decisions for resourcing. Leaders should consider setting and relentlessly pursuing a small number of targets that relate to accelerating the learning of those students who are at risk of underachievement.

Key next steps

The school should continue to build their effectiveness by:

  • continuing to build leaders' knowledge and capability in internal evaluation
  • developing specific targets to accelerate learning of those students at risk of underachievement.

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

Leaders, teachers and trustees have made well-considered changes to improve the school’s response to meeting the needs of learners and their community. The school is well placed to sustain improvements and further strengthen internal capability to achieve equity and excellence for students.

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

10 December 2018

About the School

Location

Patea

Ministry of Education profile number

2452

School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

School roll

16

Gender composition

Male 11, Female 6

Ethnic composition

Māori

16

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

10 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

January 2016
December 2012
May 2011

St Joseph's School (Patea) - 21/01/2016

Findings

Students experience positive and respectful relationships with their teachers. Trustees are committed to improving outcomes for all students. Next steps include: improving the use of student information; strengthening the curriculum; responding to Māori students and their whānau; and strengthening leadership capacity to sustain and improve the school’s performance.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

1 Context

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

St Joseph’s School is a small, Catholic, semi-rural school in the South Taranaki town of Patea. It caters for 15 Year 1 to 6 students and 11 identify as Māori. The school offers learning programmes that are linked to The New Zealand Curriculum, as well as religious education reflecting the special character of the school.

Since the December 2012 ERO report, the school has experienced further staff changes with a new principal who commenced at the beginning of 2013. In 2015, the board gained two new co-opted members and one new proprietor’s representative.

2 Learning

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

The school needs to further develop an understanding of how to effectively use achievement information to promote student progress and achievement.

Teachers and leaders use a range of assessment tools to identify how well students are achieving. They also use this information to determine learning needs and support targeted students. The school reported that most students achieved at or above in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics in 2014.

Staff identify students at risk of poor educational outcomes and they set specific targets to help accelerate these students’ progress and achievement. 

To enhance the use of student achievement information, staff should:

  • strengthen tracking and monitoring of targeted students
  • analyse achievement data in depth to identify what strategies are making the biggest difference to student learning
  • use student achievement data to inform teacher planning
  • use achievement data to inform strategic decision making
  • develop teaching as inquiry to strengthen evidence-based evaluation and to enable teachers to measure the impact of their practice on student learning
  • share achievement data with each student to enable to them to identify their strengths and next learning steps.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes learning for most students. There is a documented framework linked to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) to guide teaching and assessment. It explains the expectations for effective teaching and learning as well as clearly expressing the school’s vision, values and special character.

Students experience positive and respectful relationships with their teachers. There is a strong focus on developing relationship with families, whānau and the community. Students have a range of learning opportunities.

The principal recognises the need to review and update the school’s curriculum to be more responsive to student needs. Aspects of the curriculum have been reviewed and developed. Through ongoing review school leaders should include:

  • the principles of the NZC
  • students’ strengths, culture, language and identity
  • response to individual needs, including challenge and extension for the more able learners
  • current best practice
  • the needs of the community.

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

The school is developing success for Māori as Māori. The board has developed clear expectations in the school’s charter in relation to how the school promotes te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Te reo Māori is integrated into everyday classroom practices. A te reo Māori programme helps students to develop their understanding of the language. Weekly kapa haka classes have been developed to provide opportunities for students and staff to build their cultural knowledge and language capability.

The school has developed good relationships with parents and whānau. A key next step is for leaders to develop learning partnerships with parents and whānau. This should help the school to identify whānau aspirations for their children, as well as what success looks like for their tamariki. 

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school needs to develop its capacity to sustain and improve its performance.

Trustees are committed to improving outcomes for all students. They actively support staff and set specific goals and targets focused on raising student achievement. Continuing to access training and development should help trustees to strengthen their roles and responsibilities as a board.

The appraisal system in the school urgently needs strengthening to:

  • promote regular professional conversations, support and development
  • set goals that are linked to the school strategic priorities as well as focusing on improved outcomes for students
  • monitor progress towards goals
  • identify next steps for improvement.

Leaders should strengthen their capacity to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and the curriculum. An effective evidence-based evaluation process should enable leaders to:

  • improve decision making and target setting
  • measure the impact of strategies, programmes and initiatives on improving outcomes
  • establish areas for improvement.

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 

The board of trustees needs to ensure that:

  • suitable human resource management practices are implemented, including police vetting of non-teaching positions. [section 77A State Sector Act]

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that trustees seek assistance from the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) to support their stewardship.

Conclusion

Students experience positive and respectful relationships with their teachers. Trustees are committed to improving outcomes for all students. Next steps include: improving the use of student information; strengthening the curriculum; responding to Māori students and their whānau; and strengthening leadership capacity to sustain and improve the school’s performance.

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

21 January 2016

About the School 

Location

Patea

Ministry of Education profile number

2452

School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

School roll

15

Gender composition

Male 11, Female 4

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

11

3

1

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

21 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2012

May 2011

December 2007