St Peter Chanel School (Otaki)

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Education institution number:
3020
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
23
Telephone:
Address:

Convent Road, Otaki

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Findings

Good progress since the 2015 ERO report includes improvement to systems and processes for school operation and governance. Increased provision for learners is evident through more targeted teaching and greater consistency of teaching and assessment practices. Further developing recently established systems and processes and internal evaluation are important next steps for sustaining improved student outcomes.

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 Peter Chanel School is a state integrated Catholic school in Ōtaki for students in Years 1 to 8. It provides education aligned to the Marist Charism and tikanga Māori of its local iwi. Most students are Māori and many families whakapapa to Ngāti Kapumanawawhiti, a hapū of Ngāti Raukawa who hold mana whenua. Core school values are manaakitanga, mana, tapu, aroha and whakawhanaungatanga.

Nearly half the students are provided with instruction in te reo Maori in a Years 1 to 8 immersion class. Many staff and trustees have longstanding and strong connections with the school and the community.

The July 2015 ERO report identified areas for strengthening of practice. Since that time, a new principal and teachers have been appointed and new trustees elected. A range of external professional learning and development has been provided for staff and trustees, including by the New Zealand School Trustees Association and the Ministry of Education. ERO has evaluated the school’s progress.

Staff and trustees have worked with support networks to strengthen provision for learners and systems and processes for operation and improvement. There has been a steady increase in roll numbers. Increasing numbers of students with significant learning needs are enrolled.

2 Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

The school has worked to build its capacity and improve practice in relation to the following priorities:

  • development of the curriculum and teaching to enable each student to have sufficient and appropriate opportunities to learn
  • use of assessment to identify, respond to, monitor and promote learning and progress for each student
  • establishing and implementing systems and processes for school operation, review and improvement.

Progress

Good progress has been made in addressing the areas identified for improvement.

There is improved provision for learners through more targeted teaching and consistency of practice. Teachers and support staff work collaboratively to promote students’ wellbeing and learning. Increased teacher planning and the use of routines and clearer expectations assist children to positively engage in learning and school life. Teachers support learners to demonstrate behaviours that reflect the school values and help them to learn.

Staff are responsive to their learners. They work well to assist students with specific or additional needs to fully participate in learning. They successfully foster children’s culture, language and identity. Provision for Māori students has been strengthened through additional opportunities for learning through te reo Māori in the immersion class.

Curriculum statements have been developed to guide teaching and learning in each learning area.

There is improved evaluation and reporting of students’ achievement and progress. Teachers have developed their assessment practice. They are discussing and beginning to analyse information to build their understanding of how students are achieving and progressing.

Useful systems have been introduced to help teachers monitor learning. Reported data more clearly shows how students are improving their progress in relation to expectations. Developing individual plans for learners should help teachers focus more clearly on individual needs and next learning steps.

Teachers should continue to strengthen assessment practices by reviewing the purpose of and use of assessment tools.

Key next steps

Leaders and teachers should continue to:

  • develop curriculum documents to fully capture the key aspirations and priorities for successful learning for children at this school
  • ensure learning opportunities are maximised and teaching is clearly focused on individual needs and next steps
  • develop assessment practice to enable achievement information to be meaningfully gathered and analysed to inform teaching for individuals and groups of learners
  • improve achievement and accelerate progress for learners at risk of underachievement.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

There has been improvement in systems and processes for school operation and governance. Trustees and the principal engage well in professional learning and development and show increased understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Good processes for policy review, board communications and operation are now in place. Strategic and annual planning is responsive to priorities and provides good direction for ongoing improvement.

Appraisal processes have improved. These provide a useful framework to support teacher improvement and professional practice.

The school is working to involve the community in decision-making and participation in the life of the school. Regular hui enhance communication and assist the school to know about the aspirations of whānau. Community members demonstrate increased confidence in the school and families participate well in school activities and events.

Key next steps

Leaders, staff and trustees should continue to work together to:

  • consistently implement newly established systems and processes
  • continue to review and update policies and procedures
  • promote community participation and involvement to support decision-making and learning partnerships
  • develop processes and practices for review and internal evaluation and further develop appraisal to support ongoing 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.

To improve current practice, trustees should ensure that good processes for self review, including the monitoring of police-vetting of staff and teacher certification, are established and maintained.

4 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the board seek clarification from the Ministry of Education about the number of nonpreference students who can be enrolled in the school under the terms of its integration agreement.

Conclusion

Good progress since the 2015 ERO report includes improvement to systems and processes for school operation and governance. Increased provision for learners is evident through more targeted teaching and greater consistency of teaching and assessment practices. Further developing recently established systems and processes and internal evaluation are important next steps for sustaining improved student outcomes.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

29 June 2018

About the School

Location

Ōtaki

Ministry of Education profile number

3020

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

42

Gender composition

Male 22, Female 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Other ethnic groups

40

2

Special Features

Te reo Māori immersion class

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

July 2015
February 2012
October 2009

Findings

St Peter Chanel School (Otaki) offers primary education for students up to Year 8. A steadily declining roll has fallen to 8 students. Students learn together in a positive whānau environment. Catering for individual needs across the curriculum, and managing teaching so that all students receive daily tuition at their own levels, are areas to address with urgency.

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 Peter Chanel School (Otaki) caters for students from Years 1 to 8. The roll has declined steadily over the past decade. At the time of this ERO review, six Māori and two Kiribati students attended. Five students enrolled in Term 1, 2015. Students belong to four families and are aged between six and eleven years.

Since the February 2012 ERO report ,there have been changes of board and staff, particularly in 2014 during the principal’s sabbatical. Fixed-term appointments were made to fill the principal and release-teacher roles for the year. Further changes of personnel occurred within that time. The acting principal and release teacher were not fully registered. The principal returned at the beginning of 2015 and the release teacher has continued in her role. The board has sought assistance to build governance capability.

The buildings include several teaching spaces. Students learn together in an open-plan classroom under the instruction of the principal, her release teacher and the teacher aide. Other community personnel provide regular support for teaching and learning in mathematics and religious education. The class operates as a whānau.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement in relation to the National Standards was reported at the end of 2014. Little programme planning or assessment is available to substantiate the robustness of this information or indicate how well it was used. Few current students are included in this data.

Roll and staffing changes impact on the usefulness of data for monitoring group and individual student progress and achievement over time.

Assessment is beginning to be used more systematically to generate information for planning and monitoring progress and achievement. Reliable baseline data should be used to:

  • make immediate decisions about next steps and strategies for sustaining or accelerating progress
  • investigate barriers to learning or identify factors promoting success.

The board receives clear reports about the progress of students receiving reading recovery or intervention from the resource teacher of literacy. Progress after discontinuation needs to be reported as evidence of the quality and effectiveness of reading instruction.

Students with special education needs receive close attention in liaison with external agencies. Their dispositions and learning steps are managed well. Individual education plans recently developed for these students will need to be evaluated and reviewed within the planned timeframes to provide for continuity of learning and development.

Parents have received written reports on their children’s achievement at the end of each year. Parents should receive reports at least twice a year to show progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards.

The principal has developed individual learning plans for reading, writing and mathematics. These start with the student’s baseline data in relation to the National Standards and next learning steps. Progress is to be entered at the end of each term and discussed with parents or whānau.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculuminaction emphasises literacy, mathematics and religious education, and includes learning experiences across other areas. Worthwhile features are that teachers:

  • recognise students’ preferences, identities and cultures
  • incorporate topical matters, making links to local and national history, and local resources
  • reinforce writing skills within a learning context.

The school has limited evidence to show how effectively the curriculum promotes and supports student learning. Areas of curriculum provision needing further development relate to managing multi-level teaching and learning. These include:

  • planning more specifically for the different levels of learning outcomes in areas outside of literacy and numeracy
  • managing targeted teaching for all students within the daily timetable
  • providing purpose and appropriate challenge in individual learning activities
  • maintaining a good pace
  • providing written feedback in relation to the teaching points and success criteria.

The vision ‘Te Tamaiti, He Rama o te Ao’ (the child, the shining light of the world) is shared through programmes and modelled by teachers and parish members. Relationships are warm and positive. Students undertake tuakana-teina responsibilities with younger students, some being siblings.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and the special Catholic character form the daily medium for teaching and learning. The Kiribati culture is recognised alongside Māori. Students understand they have a place in the school.

It is several years since the curriculum was developed. There is no evidence of evaluation or review. Documentation should be revisited with the current community to see if it is responsive to the aspirations of parents and whānau, and is likely to result in the outcomes expressed in the Year 8 student profile.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is not well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The board acknowledges that self-review processes need to be developed and implemented.

Systems possibly operating prior to 2014 were not sufficiently robust to endure change. The need for development of new processes and systems has impacted on a prompt beginning to teaching and learning in Term 1, 2015.

Community members have a high level of interest in the school, its historic position in the area and its special character. The principal communicates with parents and whānau, members of iwi, and the educational community. A goal has been set to increase the roll. Larger numbers would provide greater opportunities for students to interact with and be challenged by peers.

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 students' 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 attested to meeting requirements in all areas except personnel management. Trustees signalled this and several other aspects of compliance were areas of uncertainty. These relate to:

  • performance management: there have been issues with appraisals of the principal and teaching staff, provision of advice and guidance for provisionally registered teachers and appraisal of support staff
  • reporting student achievement in relation to the National Standards
  • consultation for the health curriculum
  • provision of careers and guidance programmes for students in Years 7 and 8
  • student attendance.

The board of trustees must:

  • implement personnel policies to promote high levels of staff performance [National Administration Guideline 3 (a)]
  • report to students and their parents on the student’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards in writing in plain language at least twice a year [National Administration Guideline 2A (a)]
  • provide career education and guidance for students in Year 7 and above [National Administration Guideline 1 (f)]
  • comply with general legislation concerning attendance of students over the age of six years [National Administration Guideline 7]

To improve current practice and risk awareness the board should develop its familiarity with the National Administration Guidelines, by undertaking governance training. In addition the board needs to differentiate between policies and procedures and plan for their review within meaningful contexts.

Conclusion

St Peter Chanel School (Otaki) offers primary education for students up to Year 8. A steadily declining roll has fallen to 8 students. Students learn together in a positive whānau environment. Catering for individual needs across the curriculum, and managing teaching so that all students receive daily tuition at their own levels, are areas to address with urgency.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

20 July 2015

About the School

Location

Otaki

Ministry of Education profile number

3020

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

8

Gender composition

Male 4

Female 4

Ethnic composition

Māori

Kiribati

6

2

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

20 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2012

October 2009

May 2006