St Brendan's School (Heretaunga)

St Brendan's School (Heretaunga

School Evaluation Report

Tēnā koutou e mau manawa rahi ki te kaupapa e aro ake nei, ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa. Mā wai rā e kawe, mā tātau katoa.

We acknowledge the collective effort, responsibility and commitment by all to ensure that the child remains at the heart of the matter.


St Brendan’s School (Heretaunga) is a state-integrated Catholic primary school located in Upper Hutt provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. The school maintains its special character through its values, challenging students to strive for excellence, celebrate success, grow spirituality and become positive contributors to society.

There are two parts to this report.

Part A: An evaluative summary of learner success and school conditions to inform the school board’s future strategic direction, including any education in Rumaki/bilingual settings. 

Part B: The improvement actions prioritised for the school’s next evaluation cycle. 

Part A: Current State

The following findings are to inform the school’s future priorities for improvement.

Learner Success and Wellbeing

Most learners make sustained progress and achieve at the appropriate curriculum level.
  • Achievement information from 2021 to 2023 identifies achievement in writing to be a priority area for improvement across the school.
  • Achieving equity for groups of learners in all curriculum areas, particularly for Māori and Pacific students, remains a priority.
  • Attendance information from 2023 shows a majority of learners attend school more than 90% of the time; close monitoring and support is provided by leaders and teachers to improve attendance rates of learners.

Conditions to support learner success

Leadership uses multiple sources of evidence well to plan and monitor the strategic goals for improved learner outcomes. 
  • Improvement goals and targets are specifically set to improve and accelerate the progress of learners at risk of not achieving.
  • Clear expectations for high-quality, inclusive teaching and learning practices are monitored and knowing the impact of these practices on learner's progress and improvement is strengthening. 
  • Professional learning needs of staff are well supported and resourced to improve student attendance and outcomes.
Teachers are establishing responsive teaching and learning practices that are consistent and cohesive across the school.
  • Staff know learners well and work together to provide purposeful, well-paced learning opportunities for all learners.  
  • Learners are supported to engage, inquire and apply new learning within an inclusive, positive learning environment. 
  • Teachers are strengthening capability in responsive practices to meet the needs of all learners. 
The board effectively works with the school community and manages resourcing to provide conditions to realise the improvement priorities and goals related to learning, wellbeing, achievement and progress.
  • The board actively works with leaders, staff and whānau for strategic direction and is proactive in seeking more engagement from the school community. 
  • Parents and whānau are respected for what they bring to their child’s learning and their views are actively sought to bring about school improvement.
  • Relationships between staff, learners and whānau, founded on mutual trust, promotes wellbeing and inclusion.

Part B: Where to next?

The agreed next steps for the school are to: 

  • continue to improve the achievement outcomes for all learners, particularly for Māori and Pacific students and for all students in writing
  • further develop effective teaching practices focused on strengthening learner engagement and achievement in writing
  • strengthen responsive teaching and learning practices, with a focus on affirming and meeting the diverse learning needs and interests of students.

The agreed actions for the next improvement cycle and timeframes are as follows: 

Within six months:

  • review planning and learning programmes to support and promote improved outcomes for all learners, particularly Māori and Pacific learners
  • identify and implement actions to purposefully address barriers to learner progress and success in writing
  • select a framework to evaluate current teacher practice and collect baseline data for improving responsive practice.

Every six months:

  • review and report on the effectiveness of changes to teaching practice, particularly in writing, through teacher observation, collection of learner voice and learner outcomes to plan future actions
  • moderate, monitor and report on the progress, attendance and achievement of target learners, with a particular focus on writing progress and achievement.


  • review the achievement information of target learners to identify initiatives that have been most successful in accelerating progress and develop next steps for strategic planning
  • review, report, and use information about effective teaching of writing, to help set key strategic and annual implementation goals
  • conduct a wellbeing survey that includes aspects of responsive practices with staff, learners, and families, to assist with evaluating agency, engagement and sense of belonging.

Actions taken against these next steps are expected to result in:

  • reduced disparity and improved achievement outcomes for all learners 
  • responsive teaching and learning practices schoolwide, resulting in improved achievement outcomes for all learners, particularly in writing  
  • learners who are actively supported to develop a strong sense of identity, culture and belonging, leading to improved agency and engagement in learning.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.

Me mahi tahi tonu tātau, kia whai oranga a tātau tamariki 
Let’s continue to work together for the greater good of all children

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

30 May 2024

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

St Brendan's School (Heretaunga)

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2024 to 2027 

As of April 2024, the St Brendan’s School (Heretaunga) Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Further Information

For further information please contact St Brendan’s School (Heretaunga), School Board.

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools 

30 May 2024 

About the School 

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

St Brendan's School (Heretaunga) - 15/05/2018

School Context

St Brendan’s School (Heretaunga) is an integrated Catholic school in Upper Hutt. The roll of 248 students includes 15% who identify as Māori and 8% of Pacific heritage, predominately Samoan.

The school mission is to provide students with the challenge to strive for personal excellence, to celebrate their successes, grow spiritually and become positive contributors to society. The special Catholic character is underpinned by the values of faith, love, respect, courage, innovation and excellence. The school vision is to be an inspirational Catholic School that challenges students to be the best that they can.

Achievement targets are focused on accelerating the progress and achievement of students who need this at particular year levels and Māori and Pacific learners.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • attendance

  • student wellbeing.

New appointments include an assistant principal in 2017 and principal at the beginning of 2018.

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?

Well implemented systems, processes and practices support good outcomes for all students. Most students achieve at expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Identified disparities for Māori and Pacific learners are addressed by the end of Year 8.

Achievement targets in reading and writing were achieved by the school in 2017. Outcomes reported in mathematics, showed approximately 30% above expected levels.

Based on data, achievement targets in 2018 are appropriately focused on accelerating the achievement in literacy and mathematics of Māori and Pacific students and specific year groups.

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

Responsive systems, processes and practices support accelerated achievement for Māori learners and students identified with additional and complex learning needs.

School data shows that in 2017, of the 33 students identified as a priority group in writing, approximately two thirds made accelerated 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?

Leaders and teachers regularly track and monitor student progress and achievement. Annual achievement targets for students requiring acceleration are suitably reflected at syndicate and teacher level and form part of teacher inquiry. Parents and whānau are well informed in relation to the achievement of their children, including involvement in additional learning programmes. Trustees receive relevant and timely information to support their resourcing decisions.

The school curriculum promotes high levels of participation and engagement in learning. āori and Pacific students’ language, culture and identity are valued through delivery of relevant and authentic learning contexts and experiences. Students have sufficient opportunities to learn through topics of high interest. Learners demonstrate high levels of self-management.M

Professional capability and practice ensures a cohesive and comprehensive response to support equity and excellence of outcome for learners. Teachers are collaborative, collectively scrutinising assessment outcomes and tailoring strategies to encourage the active involvement of individuals in learning. School leaders work cohesively to guide progress toward the school’s identified priorities Well-developed educational partnerships between the school, parents, external specialists and the wider community provide opportunities to share and actively support delivery of the curriculum..

Highly inclusive school and classroom environments support positive student engagement. Shared school values are actively promoted. Interactions between individuals, peers, teachers and the community are positive and reflective of the school’s special Catholic character. Student transition is well managed. Student leadership is fostered, effectively contributing to the positive school culture and decision making. Leaders, teachers and trustees regularly gather information from students to consider their pastoral needs, informing a comprehensive response to student wellbeing.

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

The school has identified, and ERO’s external evaluation confirms, that next steps are to:

  • review and document evolving curriculum practice and use outcome indicators for curriculum evaluation
  • further implement the change and improvement plan to extend culturally responsive practice for Māori learners
  • strengthen learning partnerships with whānau.

ERO identifies further development of the school’s internal evaluation framework is needed. Using this to support curriculum evaluation should ensure staff extend their understanding of the impact of changed practice on equity and excellence outcomes for students.

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:

  • systems, processes and practice that positively impact on the acceleration of Māori learners and students identified with additional and complex learning needs

  • professional capability that enables a comprehensive response to learner needs

  • school and classroom environments that promote the purposeful engagement of students in learning.

Next steps

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

  • reviewing and documenting evolving curriculum practice and determining relevant outcome indicators to support curriculum evaluation

  • change and improvement planning to extend culturally responsive practice and partnerships with Māori whānau

  • strengthening the school’s internal evaluation framework.

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

15 May 2018

About the school


Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary – Years 1 to 8

School roll


Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 11%
Pākehā 70%
Pacific 8%
Other ethnic groups 11%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

15 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, February 2015
Education Review, January 2012
Education Review, May 2006