Sacred Heart School (Petone)

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School Context

Sacred Heart School (Petone) is an integrated Catholic primary school providing education for students from Years 1 to 8. At the time of the review there were 151 students on the roll. Over half of the roll is made up of students who identify as Māori, Tokelauan, Samoan and Asian.

The school’s vision is to provide ‘education within the Catholic faith’. RISE values of ‘respect, integrity, sense of community and excellence’ are valued outcomes. The school’s special Catholic character highlights positive, inclusive relationships between students, staff, parents and the wider community.

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

  • schoolwide progress and achievement in relation to the school’s annual targets in literacy and numeracy

  • wellbeing, language, culture and identity

  • learners with additional needs

  • the development and enactment of special Catholic character.

Board membership and staffing is stable with few changes since the December 2014 ERO report. A new deputy principal was appointed in 2015.

The Pasifika Proud Study Centre, an initiative of the Pasifika Parents Group, provides learning through activities after school for students of pacific heritage. When space allows other students are welcome to attend.

Extensive professional learning and development (PLD) during 2016 and 2017 for teachers in literacy, mathematics, digital learning and physical literacy reflects the school’s focus on continuous improvement. In 2018 teachers are focusing on embedding stronger transition-to-school practices, the ‘learning through play’ approach and whole school numeracy.

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?

Most students achieve at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There has been a similar overall pattern of achievement since 2015.

Achievement in reading improved for all groups in 2017. Māori and Pacific achievement in writing and mathematics is below that of other students.

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

The school is successful in accelerating the learning for some Māori and other students whose achievement requires acceleration, including for a number of students with additional learning and teaching needs.

Improvement for many students, including Pacific and Māori, is evident in reading, writing and mathematics in 2017.

There is a range of strategies in place to support those students whose achievement requires acceleration.

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 board is highly committed and diligent in upholding the school’s special character, mission and values. They support an inclusive, holistic curriculum. Trustees regularly receive and discuss schoolwide achievement information with the principal and leadership. They make resourcing decisions to support and target student learning and achievement.

Parent and students’ views and comments are regularly sought and acted on by the board and leadership. Pacific aiga and Māori whānau are consulted and their feedback and expertise is valued. Every three years the board and leadership lead extensive community consultation to formulate the school’s strategic plan.

All parents and the wider whānau are welcomed into the school. A range of communication strategies are used to engage and involve them in school activities as valued partners in learning. Aiga and whānau groups actively work with leadership, teachers and students to support and contribute to teaching and learning programmes, teacher professional development and pastoral care.

Students are actively involved in their learning. Their strengths, interests and needs are well known and responded to by classroom teachers. They are supported to reflect and act on positive and constructive feedback. Digital tools are employed where appropriate. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are enacted through school learning programmes, children’s liturgies and celebrations. Classrooms are welcoming, settled environments and interactions are respectful. There is a clear focus on student wellbeing.

A wide range of strategies and resources is used to support students with additional needs. Their progress is regularly monitored and reported. External support is effectively accessed and well used.

Strong relationship-based leadership has established high, consistent expectations of good practice that guide and support teaching and learning. Teachers show care about, and promote students’ success and meaningful participation in learning. They are highly reflective and collaborative. Leaders and teachers take collective responsibility for meeting the needs of diverse learners. Appropriate PLD and appraisal systems promote the professional growth of teachers.

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

School leaders and teachers are using inquiry to reflect on practices and systems. The next step is for the board, leadership and teachers to deeply analyse and evaluate all information and evidence gathered to ascertain the impact of strategies on student outcomes, ask what is making the most difference, and decide on next steps. To strengthen inquiry and practice, teachers should evaluate the effectiveness of classroom strategies and interventions on student outcomes.

Continuing to build leadership capacity to effectively evaluate the impact of strategies and initiatives on student outcomes is an agreed next step. This should lead to more effective systematic and manageable evaluation aligned to school priorities.

Further refining of systems for evaluating the acceleration of learners at risk is required. Continued development of this process to measure and determine the effectiveness of teaching strategies on acceleration should support this improvement.

The curriculum is a useful, working document that weaves together key expectations and guidance for teaching and learning. It requires further development to reflect the special, unique character, vision and context of the school, acknowledging the community’s languages, cultures and identity.

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:

  • strategic direction setting by the board and leadership, well informed by consultation and extensive information, that establishes targets for student achievement, wellbeing and community involvement

  • positive learning partnerships with parents, extended families and the wider community, that actively support student learning and wellbeing

  • whānau and Pacific parent groups that uphold and value the children’s languages, culture and identity, and supporting the school through the Pasifika Proud Study centre, schoolwide pastoral care and PLD.

Next steps

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

  • internal evaluation processes and practices, so that trustees, leadership and teachers inquire, deeply analyse and evaluate student achievement information and the impact of teaching programmes to specifically target and resource student learning
  • strengthening school tracking and monitoring systems so that the leadership and teachers gain in-depth information about progress and improved student outcomes, what works and why
  • building on the school curriculum so that it prioritises the school’s faith, culture and identity.

The school has requested that ERO 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

19 June 2018

About the school

Location

Petone)

Ministry of Education profile number

2984

School type

State Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 – 8)

School roll

151

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 10%
Pākehā 43%
Pacific 34%
Other ethnic groups 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

19 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, December 2014
Education Review, November 2011
Education Review, October 2008

Findings

1 Context

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

Sacred Heart School (Petone) is a Catholic integrated school providing education for students from Years 1 to 8. At the time of the review, there were 159 students on the roll. Approximately half of the school roll identified as Māori, Tokelauan, Samoan and Asian, with New Zealand Pākehā making up the remaining student numbers. A few students are learning English as a second language.

Staffing is stable with few changes since the November 2011 ERO report. Many staff have a long association with the school. A new deputy principal is due to start in 2015.

The school is an established part of its community. Positive initiatives support parents, whanau, aiga and parish involvement in the life of the school.

The school’s special Catholic character and RISE values of 'respect, integrity, sense of community and excellence’ are strongly evident and enacted in school learning and activities.

Teachers and leaders are actively involved in relevant professional learning and development opportunities. School leaders responded positively to areas identified 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?

Leaders, teachers and trustees make effective use of achievement information to support students’ progress and achievement. Most students achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing, and mathematics.

Leaders and teachers gather and analyse an appropriate range of student achievement information. This is used well to identify and set targets to raise overall levels and to identify students who require additional support with their learning.

Teachers use student achievement information in their class planning and adapt programmes to meet the needs of students. They continue to work together to ensure the overall teacher judgements made in relation to National Standards are consistent. Students whose first language is not English are well supported through suitable programmes.

There are recent improvements to processes for tracking and monitoring programmes for students with specific learning needs. These processes have the potential to support teachers and leaders to know about the impact of teaching interventions and strategies on students' learning outcomes.

The board receives reports on student progress against school targets and a summary of specific programmes. Data is used by the board to inform resourcing and staffing decisions. Parents have regular opportunities to discuss their children’s wellbeing, progress and achievement. Written reports provide information on children’s learning levels, next steps and ways that families can support learning at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum successfully promotes and supports student learning.

The values and special Catholic character are actively fostered by staff and are visible in student behaviours and in the positive school culture.

Curriculum guidelines outline learning and teaching expectations, including shared expectations for classroom planning. There is an appropriate emphasis on literacy and numeracy, with very good levels of achievement in literacy and good levels in mathematics.

Development of a draft te ao Māori curriculum, with high levels of parent input, is likely to contribute to further promoting bicultural practices and integrating te reo me ngā tikanga Māori into planning and teaching programmes.

There are clear expectations and established routines for learning and behaviour that help to create a positive learning environment for students. Relationships among students and teachers are respectful. Teachers use a good range of effective strategies to promote student learning.

Leadership opportunities and activities that encourage collaboration foster a sense of student wellbeing. Teachers use practices that support students to know about the purpose of their learning and next steps.

ERO affirms the school’s change priorities, developed as part of an external group, that focus on student agency, home-school partnerships and effective use of technology. School leaders and ERO agree it is timely to review the school curriculum. This includes how well The New Zealand Curriculum aligns with local contexts.

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

The school reports that most Māori students achieve at and above the National Standards in reading, writing, and mathematics.

The well-led and considered development of a draft te ao Māori curriculum has the potential to be more responsive to Māori learners' culture, language and identity and to build staff capability. Staff and whānau are working well to progress this work.

Māori learners benefit from positive relationships between teachers and students. There are increasing opportunities for whānau to contribute to aspects of the school.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Pacific learners?

Data for Pacific learners indicates most achieve at and above the National Standards in reading, writing, and mathematics.

An active and supportive group of family and aiga have successfully established a ‘Pasifika proud programme’ that the school reports has contributed to increased levels of achievement for groups of Pacific learners. High levels of aiga involvement help to support staff and students with relevant curriculum experiences for Pacific learners.

Teachers use a range of strategies to promote a positive sense of language, culture and identity for students. The principal, trustees and Pasifika Parents' Group have a shared direction and vision for Pacific learners’ success.

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. Trustees are focused on promoting the school’s special Catholic character and raising student achievement. Since the 2011 ERO review governance processes have been reviewed and revised to clarify and define roles and responsibilities. Trustees access relevant support and they are well informed.

The principal leads a collegial, collaborative team and shares responsibility for aspects of leadership. She actively promotes success for Pacific and Māori learners. There is a range of ways that the views and ideas of parents, whānau and aiga are gathered.

There is an established culture of reflection across school operation. The appraisal process for teachers is a useful model to support them to grow and develop their teaching and learning practice. Extending this to include clearer and more frequent feedback and feed forward for teachers is an agreed next step.

Self-review processes are well established at board and school levels. Review is used to inform actions and make changes to improve outcomes for students. Extending this to more clearly identify the impact and effectiveness of strategies, interventions, and programmes is an agreed next step.

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

A focus on ongoing improvement supports the school to be well placed to sustain and build on its performance. The special Catholic character and values are highly evident. The curriculum successfully promotes student learning and positive levels of achievement. Further developing evaluative capacity in reviews of teaching and learning is a next step.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

16 December 2014Image removed.

About the School

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2984

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

159

Gender composition

Girls 53%, Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Tokelauan

Samoan

Tongan

Other ethnic groups

10%

49%

20%

13%

1%

7%

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

16 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

October 2008

November 2005