St Patrick's School (Masterton)

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School Context

St Patrick’s School (Masterton) is a state integrated Catholic primary in Masterton catering for students in Years 1 to 6. The roll currently stands at 238 students, 25% of whom identify as Māori, with 6% Pacific. Approximately 5% identify as Filipino.

The school values and vision have been recently reviewed in consultation with parents and the community. Trustees, leaders and school staff seek to support students to be highly engaged, confident learners who demonstrate the values and dispositions.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • wellbeing for success.

Professional development has focused on building teachers’ cultural competence and capability in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and effective teaching in mathematics.

The school is a part of the recently formed Masterton (Whakaoriori) 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?

In 2017, most students achieved at or above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori student achievement and the achievement of girls in 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?

Acceleration is evident for many students, including Māori, in 2017 mathematics information. Acceleration is also evident for many of the target students in reading and writing.

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 school has a range of strategies in place to support those students whose achievement requires acceleration Learning and progress is tracked and monitored. There are robust schoolwide systems for tracking student progress and achievement..

Leaders and trustees demonstrate a strong sense of direction. A commitment to positive development of the whole child is apparent. The school’s special character is clearly reflected throughout school operations. Good working relationships with each other, staff, and the wider school community are evident.

Trustees are focused on and well informed about student achievement. They question and make good use of a range of information. They regularly make informed decisions regarding resourcing and other aspects of school operations. Roles and responsibilities of trustees are well understood. Succession planning is in place for the recruitment of new trustees and chairperson.

Leadership is future-focused with a clear vision for positive outcomes for all students. The views of students, parents and whānau inform the school’s vision, values and the development of the local curriculum. The school virtues, mission and vision are clearly articulated. The motto of ‘strength and kindness’ is clearly evident in all areas of school practice and operation. Leadership seeks to remove barriers to student success and wellbeing.

A wide range of strategies and resources are used to support students with additional educational needs. Teachers and support staff know these students well and develop individual plans to assist their learning. Staff ensure classrooms are inclusive environments. Their progress is regularly monitored and reported. External support is effectively accessed and well utilised.

The newly documented curriculum is coherent, inclusive and culturally responsive. It is clearly aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum and encompasses Catholic values. Teachers and leaders have strengthened their response to the culture, language and identity of Māori students. They have grown their understanding of te ao Māori through a commitment to professional learning in this area. They have identified a need to continue to grow strategies to strengthen the inclusion of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in the local curriculum. This should support Māori students to be confident in their identity as both Māori and as learners.

Teachers are challenged to change and improve their practice. They plan and work collaboratively and share their professional learning and changes in practices. A robust appraisal process supports teachers to improve their practice and to provide supported evidence for attestation to the Education Council against the Teacher Professional Standards.

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

Students value learning. The learner qualities are known and practised at all levels of the school. Students take increasing responsibility for their learning through identification of goals to support their next learning steps. The school acknowledges that the development of learner agency is at an early stage. Clearer criteria for success should support students to better evaluate their learning and empower them to take responsibility for identifying their next steps.

A distributed leadership model is building the capacity of teachers as leaders. There is a collective approach to ongoing strengthening and sharing of effective teacher practice. This is evident in classrooms and is leading to positive outcomes for students. Senior leaders are developing their collective capacity to lead change. This growth over time should enable leaders to more strategically lead and evaluate change. It should also enable innovation, and new initiatives, to be more coherently implemented throughout the school.

Leaders have a systematic approach to self review. They use a range of evidence to identify areas for improvement that support student learning and wellbeing. They put in place new initiatives to address the identified areas. A move from self review to internal evaluation that considers the desired improvement in outcomes and measures actual outcomes should better support decision making for change and improvement.

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:

  • leadership and stewardship that sets a clear direction for school development and student achievement

  • a supportive and collaborative culture that enabales teachers to share and improve their practice

  • curriculum development that is inclusive and culturally responsive.

Next steps

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

  • ongoing growth in the leadership skills of teachers to effectively lead and implement school-wide change

  • teaching strategies that support all students to have a better understanding of their learning to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes

  • internal evaluation processes and practices to better evaluate the impact of changes on student outcomes.

[Leaders have requested and ERO will 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

22 June 2018

About the school

Location

Masterton

Ministry of Education profile number

3016

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

238

Gender composition

Female 54%, Male 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 25%
Pākehā 55%
Pacific 6%
Filipino 5%
Other ethnic groups 9%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

22 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2015
Education Review May 2012
Education Review April 2009

Findings

Students learn in a welcoming, inclusive environment in which the Catholic character underpins all operations. They are actively engaged in, and enjoy, their learning. Most students achieve at and above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school is well placed to further develop, embed and sustain effective practices.

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 (Masterton) is a Catholic integrated school for students in Years 1 to 6. Twenty three percent of the school’s roll identify as Māori and 6 percent as Pacific. The motto ‘strength and kindness’ and special Catholic character underpin all operations. Pastoral care is an important feature and has its foundations in Gospel values. The school is part of the Catholic Parish of the Wairarapa.

Since the April 2012 ERO review, a new principal and deputy principals have been appointed. Leaders and teachers have participated in professional learning and development related to: accelerating progress in mathematics and literacy; teacher appraisal; inclusive practices and theology. New trustees have joined the board and participated in training for the governance role.

The board of trustees’ vision statement ‘Our Catholic community is committed to excellence’ guides long and short-term planning and annual target setting.

2 Learning

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

The school is developing its use of assessment information to make positive changes to students’ engagement, progress and achievement. This information is analysed to:

  • identify students below National Standards and set appropriate achievement targets to accelerate the progress of groups most at risk of not meeting the expected outcomes
  • inform teaching programmes
  • report to families and whānau about their children’s strengths and next steps linked to the Standards, with ideas about how they can help at home
  • report student achievement trends to the board of trustees about the Standards as well as progress made towards the school’s annual goals and targets.

Most students achieve at and above National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. Schoolwide trends show that achievement in reading is better than writing and mathematics. In general, Māori are not performing as well as their peers, girls perform better than boys in writing and Pacific students’ achievement is comparable with their peers.

Initial assessments on students' entry to school at five are well analysed to inform teaching and learning. Those requiring extra support are identified. The early interventions put in place in the first year of schooling show pleasing results.

A good range of programmes continues to be provided for students with moderate to high learning needs. All have individual education plans and some have teacher aides to support class programmes. The special education coordinator has introduced a useful tracking system to closely monitor the progress of these students over time.

Leaders identified the need to continue supporting teachers to gain shared understandings about National Standards. To assist this work, ERO suggests leaders and teachers:

  • establish explicit schoolwide expectations for effective assessment practices
  • support each other to analyse achievement information more closely and use it for responsive programme planning, teaching and learning
  • develop common understandings about accelerated progress for students below the Standards
  • use achievement information to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention programmes.

There are good examples of these practices within the school. Sharing these is likely to help develop consistently effective practice and promote excellence.

3 Curriculum

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

Student learning and engagement are well supported by a broad school curriculum. The principles, values and key competencies reflect the Catholic character, The New Zealand Curriculum and local context. Clear expectations are developed for effective teaching and learning.

Students experience a variety of interesting learning opportunities. Priority is give to religious education, literacy, numeracy, the performing arts and the development of a healthy body and mind. Many of these learning areas are integrated through a topic-based approach.

Examples of effective teaching practices are apparent. These include: teachers having good curriculum knowledge; making good use of achievement information to plan responsive programmes; sharing next steps with students; and providing specific feedback about their learning.

Students learn in a friendly, welcoming school environment. Classes are learning-focused. Relationships between teachers and students, and between students, are positive and supportive. Students are actively engaged in their activities and enjoy learning.

The curriculum is regularly reviewed. Leaders and teachers are giving careful consideration to developing ‘a future-focused learning environment’. They are working together to gain knowledge about:

  • an inquiry approach to learning for students
  • empowering students to take greater responsibility for their progress and achievement
  • making effective use of digital devices to support teaching and learning.

This development is likely to help students become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners as stated in the board’s charter.

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

The April 2012 ERO report noted the school’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi principles. This still remains apparent and is demonstrated through:

  • developing partnerships with whānau and iwi
  • the inclusion of language and culture in the school’s spiritual dimension and protocols
  • provision for students to celebrate their identity through leadership roles
  • opportunities for students to identify with former students who are successful.

Leaders and teachers are giving consideration to Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013 - 2017 and Tātaiako-Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. Agreed next steps are to develop a:

  • shared vision and understandings about success for Māori, as Māori, to guide development
  • schoolwide progression of learning for te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and provide appropriate support for its delivery.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to further develop, embed and sustain effective practices. Key features include:

  • the board of trustees’ commitment to improve outcomes for students, and support leaders and teachers with appropriate resources and professional learning opportunities
  • the introduction of a well-considered change management process by the leadership team
  • the development of a good, formal self-review process that includes input from teachers, students, parents and whānau
  • strengthening the appraisal process to encourage critical reflection and support for teachers to improve their practices
  • promoting partnerships for learning with families/whānau and the wider community
  • a collaborative school culture.

The next step is to refine the board’s annual planning process to include specific goals and indicators of success. This should help trustees and leaders establish the effectiveness of schoolwide development towards achieving the board’s long-term goals.

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

Students learn in a welcoming, inclusive environment in which the Catholic character underpins all operations. They are actively engaged in, and enjoy, their learning. Most students achieve at and above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school is well placed to further develop, embed and sustain effective practices.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

20 April 2015

About the School

Location

Masterton

Ministry of Education profile number

3016

School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

School roll

220

Gender composition

Female 54%

Male 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Filopino

Other ethnic groups

63%

22%

6%

3%

6%

Special Features

State integrated Catholic school

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

20 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2012

April 2009

April 2006