St Patrick's College (Silverstream)

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Education institution number:
252
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Boys School)
Definition:
School with Boarding Facilities
Total roll:
571
Telephone:
Address:

207 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt

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School Context

St Patrick's College (Silverstream), is a state integrated school in Upper Hutt that provides education for boys in Years 9 to 13. At the time of the review there were 709 students on the roll, with 18% identifying as Māori and 15% of Pacific heritage.

The college’s vision and priorities are closely aligned to the Marist traditions that inform its core values of faith, unity, support, courage and humility.

Current goals and targets for improvement and learner success are increased rates of achievement for Māori and Pacific students and raising literacy achievement for students in Years 9 and 10.

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

  • achievement in New Zealand education qualifications
  • end of year achievement in all learning areas.

In the past 18 months, significant changes have taken place in school leadership roles. A new experienced rector took up the position at the beginning of 2018. Several appointments have also been made to senior and middle management roles during this time. These include new deputy and assistant rectors, a plant manager, director of boarding and several new heads of departments and classroom teachers. Proprietor-appointed and parent-elected trustees govern the school.

In 2018, school priorities for teachers’ professional learning and development (PLD) have been in appraisal processes, teacher inquiry, culturally responsive practices, effective teaching and learning, sexuality education and digital citizenship. Some of these initiatives relate to areas identified for improvement in the May 2015 ERO report.

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?

Since the previous ERO review in 2015, rates of achievement overall have been improving with some recent variability at senior levels. School data for 2017, showed most students gained National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) at Levels 1 and 2 and achieved above schools of similar type. The majority gained Level 3 and University Entrance, but achieved below schools of similar type.

Māori students’ achievement has fluctuated over recent years, sometimes reaching similar levels to their peers. In 2016, nearly all Māori who left the school gained at least NCEA Level 2. Māori leavers with Level 3 achieved similar levels to their peers. The majority of Pacific leavers achieve NCEA Level 2, but these rates have declined over recent years and are below their peers at all levels.

Recent student achievement data at Years 9 and 10 shows Māori achieving at similar rates to their peers. High rates of retention of students at school until 17 years support learners’ success.

Rates of certificates endorsements for NCEA, at all levels, have steadily improved since 2015 but remain below rates in schools of similar type.

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

The school agrees it does not yet have a shared understanding of how well it accelerates the learning of those Māori and others who need it, particularly in Years 9 and 10.

School data indicates most students make expected progress in mathematics, science and literacy in Years 9 and 10 and as they move through to gain qualifications at senior levels. Leaders acknowledge that they need to better identify those not making accelerated progress and what is needed to address this.

At senior levels, those at risk of not achieving are well supported so that most gain success in NCEA qualifications.

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 system for closer tracking and monitoring students at senior levels has been strengthened. This provides a useful process for:

  • regular sharing of information by staff about students’ learning, engagement and wellbeing
  • reviewing the learning progress of students against expectations or goals
  • helping teachers to be responsive to students whose learning needs acceleration.

The school provides a wide range of curriculum choices and opportunities for senior students with different interests and aspirations to succeed within The New Zealand Curriculum. Diverse and responsive programmes are in place that support boys in academic pathways to further learning. Students’ learning is enhanced through a range of training and enrichment opportunities and vocational experiences beyond the school. Students are encouraged and supported to develop their leadership, sporting and service skills as they progress through the school.

Leadership at board and management levels has effectively strengthened review, consultation and knowledge building that is conducive to improving the school’s performance. Trustees are well informed about school operation and student outcomes through regular reporting. Strategic planning is well considered in relation to the school vision, values and priorities. Widespread consultation and meetings with parents, focused data gathering and use of student voice inform priorities and strategies.

Effective change management is responsive to challenges and identified areas needing improvement. Leaders and staff actively reinforce school values to promote positive relationships and an orderly environment for learning. A well aligned range of PLD and teacher inquiries throughout the year support the implementation of review findings, strategic priorities and goals.

The school has increased its emphasis on developing reciprocal, learning-centred relationships with Māori and Pacific parents and the community. Whānau hui provide opportunities for communication and contributions from parents. Pacific parents participate in a number of targeted support groups to address their needs, interests and aspirations for their boys’ success. These systems and structures extend opportunities to improve partnerships between school and home and improve valued outcomes for Māori and Pacific learners.

Strengthened pastoral care systems and improved processes for communicating with parents assist students to be connected, supported and successful in their learning. Guidance and mentoring through the tutor teacher role, with a focus on knowing learners well, is valued by students and is a school priority for ongoing development.

Students with additional learning needs are identified and supported with programmes that respond to their needs to make progress. Individual education plans are developed for high needs students in consultation with parents and external agencies.

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

Learning progress, as students move from entry at Year 9 through to the end of Year 10 is considered in science, literacy and mathematics. The school is exploring ways of strengthening tools and processes for collecting and using learning and progress information at Years 9 and 10. This should assist the school to make greater use of data to measure the achievement of students below expectations, and how effectively the junior curriculum and interventions are accelerating the progress of these students.

Leaders and teachers have identified a need to review and develop the junior curriculum to strengthen teaching practices, learning programmes and curriculum pathways. This should include:

  • extending the school’s response to the language, culture and identity of students
  • fully implementing the teaching and learning framework expectations, particularly in relation to improving the acceleration of learning of those students who need this
  • further developing the use of digital technology to enhance teaching and learning.

The school is improving its use of review and data gathering to inform improvement at a time of change. To strengthen these processes, trustees and leaders should ensure there is shared understanding of internal evaluation processes, to better measure the effectiveness of programmes and strategies to improve valued outcomes for learners.

In 2018, a revised, coherent and strengthened appraisal process is in place. It has the potential to fully meet requirements and contribute positively to teacher improvement and therefore improved student outcomes. To further develop the appraisal process leaders should:

  • continue to build the quality and consistency of the elements of the appraisal process. This includes more explicit evidence of meeting the Standards and next steps for improvement, linking measurable student outcomes to goal setting; and an increased focus on cultural responsiveness
  • include a more systematic appraisal of curriculum leaders that explicitly links to expectations of their roles within the college.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

Leaders and trustees have responded appropriately to update the cycle and process of policy review and some procedures to promote and improve student and staff wellbeing and safety.

To improve current practice the board of trustees should:

  • ensure all staff, students and community are aware of how to access school policies and procedures and the process for policy review
  • develop a process for recording complaints in keeping with school policy and keep good records of the board and leaders’ responses to any complaints
  • continue to refine tools and procedures for the monitoring and evaluation of the impact of strategies, programmes and processes to promote and sustain safety and wellbeing across the school.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The hostel is an integral part of the school and currently accommodates 92 students. They make up 13% of the school roll, with most drawn from the wider Wellington region. It is owned by the Silverstream Board of Proprietors, who have attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met. The rector and the director of boarding are responsible for the day-to-day operation. The hostel reflects the special character of the school and upholds its traditions and values. Systems and processes within and between the hostel and the school, promote a secure environment that supports students' learning and wellbeing. Good provision is made for boys to study individually and in supervised settings, with an appropriate focus on academic progress and achievement. Hostel practices effectively complement and support pastoral care and learning within the school.

Routines and expectations are well understood. Students have opportunities to participate in a range of school-based activities and sports. Meaningful opportunities are provided for boys to assume leadership roles and take responsibility. Feedback from boarders is sought and responded to.

Strengthening strategic planning and evaluation for improvement, with increased involvement of students in the process, are next steps for development.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a wide range of senior learning programmes and pathways that provide opportunities for diverse learners’ success

  • effective processes for regular support and monitoring of the progress of senior students to be successful

  • reciprocal relationships and communications with parent groups and the community

  • systems and processes for consultation, review and strategic planning that improve responsiveness and decision making.

Next steps

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

  • improving the use of achievement data, teaching strategies and programmes to accelerate achievement of those that need it, especially at Years 9 and 10
  • fully implementing the appraisal process to better support strategies for improving teaching practice and outcomes for learners
  • developing shared understanding of robust internal evaluation processes and practices so they better inform planning and resourcing priorities for improvement.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Southern Region

24 December 2018

About the school

St Patrick’s College (Silverstream)

Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

252

School type

Integrated Catholic Boys’ Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

709

Gender composition

Male 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori 18%
Pākehā 57%
Pacific 15%
Asian 8%
Other ethnic groups 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

24 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015

Education Review December 2011

Education Review October 2008

Findings

Catholic Marist values underpin all aspects of school life. Students achieve well and participate in a range of cultural, artistic, sporting and leadership activities. They benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers. Student wellbeing is supported by a well considered pastoral network. Boarders enjoy high quality facilities. Consolidation of newly introduced approaches to teaching and learning and evidence-based self review should assist continuous 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?

St Patrick’s College Silverstream is a large Years 9 to 15 boys’ secondary school. At the time of the review the roll stood at 740, with 15% identifying as Māori and 12% as Pacific. The hostel, located centrally on the school grounds, caters for 102 students, 14% of the school roll.

The school’s vision is to be "a boys’ school of excellence", founded on Catholic and Marist values and traditions whereby students are encouraged to become compassionate, just and successful citizens.’ Values of humility, support, courage, faith and unity underpin all aspects of school life.

A new principal and senior leadership team have been appointed since the December 2011 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results for 2014 show high levels of achievement in Levels 1 to 3. Results are comparable to schools of similar type and above that of schools nationally. While numbers at each level are small, overall Māori and Pacific students do not yet consistently achieve on a par with their peers.

Improving the proportion of merit and excellence certificate endorsements in NCEA is an ongoing focus. A strategic approach to achieving this includes:

  • setting schoolwide charter targets related to improved levels of endorsement
  • establishing a support tutor group for Māori and Pacific students
  • mentoring and regular monitoring by deans and tutor group teachers.

The weekly notes, (student engagement reports), enable clear tracking of student performance and early identification and response to emerging trends. Regular communication with families, which is integral to this system, supports a growing partnership with parents.

School leaders use a range of suitable assessment tools to establish baseline data on student entry at Year 9 and show progress through to Year 10. The information gathered is used to show schoolwide trends and patterns and identify students in need of targeted support. Years 9 and 10 charter targets aim to accelerate progress in writing for each cohort.

School leaders have identified, and ERO's findings agrees with, the need to continue to strengthen teacher capability in departmental and class-level analysis and the diagnostic use of assessment information. This should better inform planning and teaching, and assist teachers and curriculum leaders to evaluate lesson and programme effectiveness.

3 Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

Marist values underpin all aspects of school life. Students have extensive opportunities to participate and celebrate success in a range of cultural, artistic, sporting and leadership activities. They benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers.

A major review of the school’s vision, values and special character has led to significant changes to pastoral care, teaching and learning. The newly introduced Year 9 hubs encourage cross-subject collaboration with common themes, authentic and relevant contexts. Computer technology is well used by teachers and students to support and expand learning. Teachers incorporate the key competencies in their planning and teaching practices. There is a strong literacy focus and an increasing emphasis on meeting the needs and aspirations of individual learners. Students are encouraged to be self managing and take more responsibility for their learning.

Teaching promotes student engagement, progress and achievement effectively. The senior leadership team and board of trustees are committed to maintaining consistently high quality teaching. There is an appropriate focus on using professional learning and development and appraisal to support ongoing improvement in teaching practice. An effective model guides teachers' inquiry into their practice. The school recognises that ongoing implementation of this model has the potential to further enhance teaching practice and student engagement and achievement.

School leaders have developed sound processes to guide curriculum review. They understand the importance of formally evaluating the impact on student outcomes of recent and ongoing significant curriculum changes and initiatives.

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

The school effectively supports Māori students to succeed as Māori. Key aspects include:

  • fostering a strong sense of belonging
  • focusing on knowing the individual and engaging closely with whānau
  • the close relationship between the school’s special character and many aspects of te ao Māori
  • effectively mentoring individual students
  • increasing integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori contexts within the school curriculum.

It is timely for school leaders to consider the use of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners to further support teacher reflection and promote culturally responsive teaching practice.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to grow its ability to sustain and improve performance.

There is a clear, shared understanding of the school’s special character, beliefs and strategic direction. There is a positive tone and learning culture throughout the school. Relationships are respectful and reciprocal. Students and staff in the hostel value the family atmosphere. Student wellbeing is supported by a carefully considered pastoral and guidance network.

Trustees provide sound governance. They are well informed, ask appropriate questions and make evidence-based resourcing decisions. Trustees work collaboratively with the board of proprietors.

Leaders are reflective. Senior leaders have specific areas of responsibility linked to improving student outcomes. They are growing leadership schoolwide and promoting staff development using a range of internal expertise and external support. Change is well managed.

School leaders and trustees have recognised the need to continue to develop, refine and embed new approaches to teaching and learning. Effective review that is data-based and uses agreed indicators of success should enable leaders to evaluate the impact of these programmes and initiatives. This should inform ongoing planning leading to continuous improvement.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Redwood House, accommodates 102 students, 14% of the school roll. It is owned by the Silverstream College Board of Proprietors. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

Most of the boarders reside in the hostel from Monday to Friday. They, and their parents and whānau, receive clear, useful information about how the hostel operates and what is expected of students. Suitable, stable staffing ensures that students’ wellbeing and learning are well supported.

Boarders enjoy high quality facilities that have been extensively and appropriately refurbished. The hostel environment closely reflects the school’s special character and its emphasis on helping students to develop self-management skills. Living on the school campus contributes to boarders’ sense of belonging and seamless daily routines.

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

Catholic Marist values underpin all aspects of school life. Students achieve well and participate in a range of cultural, artistic, sporting and leadership activities. They benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers. Student wellbeing is supported by a well considered pastoral network. Boarders enjoy high quality facilities. Consolidation of newly introduced approaches to teaching and learning and evidence-based self review should assist continuous improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

20 May 2015

About the School

Location

Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

252

School type

Integrated Catholic Boys’ Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

740

Gender composition

Male 100%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

66%

15%

12%

7%

Special Features

Boarding Hostel

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

20 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

December 2011
October 2008
September 2005