St Pius X School (Titahi Bay)

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School Context

St Pius X School is an integrated Roman Catholic school in Titahi Bay for children in Years 1 to 6. It draws from a culturally diverse community. Of the 83 children enrolled, 30 identify as Māori and 29 as of Pacific heritage.

The school’s vision statement is ‘with God’s love the family and school work together to help our students shine as life-long learners’. Students of St Pius X School, are expected to uphold the gospel values, as well as the school’s vision of ‘WAKA – Whānau, Atua, Kura and Aroha’. This is underpinned by the values and principles of ‘CREW – Care, Respect, Excellence and Wisdom’.

The school’s focus in 2018 is on raising the achievement of those students below expectations, to be at or above.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to school expectations
  • progress and achievement of the annual achievement targets in relation to raising achievement for Māori girls in writing and Pacific boys in mathematics.

Since the April 2015 ERO report, there have been a significant number of changes to the leadership and teaching team. This included the appointment of a new principal in 2017. Experienced and newly elected members make up the board of trustees. A longstanding member of the board has been appointed to the role as chair.

Since 2015, leaders and teachers have participated in professional learning and development opportunities in the Positive Behaviour for Learning programme (PB4L), science workshops, religious education, literacy and numeracy.

St Pius X School is a member of the Te Puna Mātauranga (Western Porirua) 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?

The school continues to work towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

Since the previous ERO report, there has been a decline in achievement, with 2017 school achievement information showing this, particularly for Māori students and significantly for students of Pacific heritage.

The 2017 student achievement information indicated that the small majority of children achieved well in reading and mathematics and less than half of all learners achieved well in writing.

The achievement of girls is above that of boys in writing and mathematics. There is disparity for Pacific learners, who achieve below their peers in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

St Pius X School continues to further develop its systems and processes to enable them to better respond to those students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

There is evidence of acceleration for some students however, this not sufficiently clear for those groups of students in the senior school.

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?

External expertise from the community is valued and used to enrich learning programmes.All learners are given opportunities to participate in learning experiences and community events that reflect Māori and Pacific cultures, languages and identities and the special character of the school.

A clear focus on promoting positive behaviour provides an inclusive environment underpinned by the school’s values. Students enjoy a sense of belonging and connection to the school.Positive relationships are evident between teachers and students. Learning environments are well managed in ways that support participation and engagement.

Parents, whānau and the community are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued participants. A considered approach to engaging and seeking whānau voice appropriately supports the school’s strategic direction.

Children with additional learning needs are well identified and appropriately supported. External agencies are accessed when required.

The board of trustees represents and serves the school and its community to uphold the special character of the school. They have established a clear vision and strategic direction underpinned by the school’s valued outcomes that promote learning opportunities for students.

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

In response to a period of significant leadership and staffing changes, the school needs to give priority to developing and strengthening its systems and processes to better respond to those students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Leaders should develop and pursue a small number of targets that focus on accelerating the learning and achievement of those students who are at risk of underachievement.

There is a need to update the curriculum document to reflect school, church and community aspirations. Leaders and teachers should continue to consider how a localised curriculum can be integrated in the learning programmes to promote and celebrate the uniqueness of te ao Māori.

data is required to support leaders and teachers to evaluate what is going well or not, and who for. This should support leaders and trustees to identify effective practices that respond well to those students at risk of underachievement, or areas requiring further improvement.A strategic approach is needed to build leadership and teaching capabilities to promote successful student outcomes. As identified at the previous ERO review, deeper analysis of

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.

In order to improve practice the board should ensure that police vetting is kept up to date for employees and contractors.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • clear direction setting by the board of trustees, that promotes the special character of the school

  • pastoral care, that responds to students’ needs and promotes their physical and spiritual wellbeing

  • engaging families and community in the life of the school.

Next steps

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

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning, that better focuses on those groups of students who require their learning and achievement to be accelerated
    [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]

  • curriculum responsiveness, including updating the curriculum document to reflect the uniqueness of the school and better respond to the needs of all students

  • building teacher and leadership capabilities across the school to support improved learner outcomes

  • internal evaluation processes and practices.
    [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

25 June 2018

About the school

Location

Titahi Bay

Ministry of Education profile number

3022

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

83

Gender composition

Boys 45, Girls 38

Ethnic composition

Māori 30
Pacific 29
Pākehā 19 
Asian 5

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

25 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

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

Findings

St Pius X School (Titahi Bay) provides education incorporating Christian values for students up to Year 6. Students develop literacy and numeracy skills for learning across the curriculum. Most achieve well. Cultural identities are celebrated. Future development should focus on designing a coherent framework for operation, evaluation and review.

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 Pius X School is a small, Catholic school located in Titahi Bay. It caters for students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this ERO review, there were 80 students attending, 35 identifying as Māori. European and Pacific student groups were of a similar size.

The charter commits to providing holistic education through Christian values and the principles and values from The New Zealand Curriculum. Whānau, Kura, Atua, and Aroha drive enactment of the vision ‘Together We Shine’.

Since the May 2012 ERO report, new trustees have been elected. The board also includes appointed representatives of the Catholic Church. Staffing has been stable. The principal and teachers have participated in a Ministry of Education contract to promote positive behaviour for learning. They have also undertaken professional development to cater for specific needs and foster literacy achievement.

Pastoral care has high priority. The principal and teachers work with whānau and access assistance from social and education agencies for promoting student wellbeing and learning. School culture is welcoming and inclusive.

2 Learning

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

Many forms of data are gathered and used to improve teaching and learning. Leaders analyse the information well to identify students of concern, areas of the curriculum needing development, set targets for raising achievement and plan for change.

Students achieve well. Over the past three years, school-reported information indicates steady performance above the National Standards. There is little overall variation between the main ethnic groups. Data indicates most students have sound foundations in literacy and numeracy.

Information gathering and use at class level supports teaching and learning. Teachers receive transition data to plan for student needs from the beginning of the year. Subsequent information is used to notice and respond to students’ social, emotional and academic development. The process teachers use needs to include evaluation of analysed information to be clear about what has worked well for students.

Progress information shows that nearly all students make gains as a result of their assisted learning. While progress is at or faster than the average rate, most of these students need continued support to meet expectations.

Students with specific needs are well catered for. Programmes and interventions are selected to target learning and behaviour needs. Progress is monitored closely by the teacher and leaders, who collaborate with whānau members and specialists. The board receives clear information about the value of these programmes to assist planning for curriculum resourcing.

Parents and whānau receive regular and useful information about their children’s learning, progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards, the wider curriculum and students’ goals. This year parents and whānau will be involved in the goal-setting process. This action supports the school's 2015 goal to strengthen partnerships for supporting learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum is effective for engaging students and fostering their success. Students are offered well planned programmes that are responsive to their cultural identities, needs and interests. Emphasis is placed on developing literacy and numeracy to enable students to gain knowledge, skills and understandings across other areas. Their opportunities for success are meaningful and varied. These include:

  • topic inquiries that integrate other curriculum areas to reinforce the main idea and introduce skills for learning
  • provision for individual interests
  • real-life experiences in and beyond the classroom.

The school environment is organised for learning and reflects students’ ethnic diversity. Displays demonstrate learning that is centred in the local area and the Pacific, and celebrates cultural richness.

Classrooms are orderly and settled. Teachers help students to be ready for work by sharing timetables, learning intentions, prompts and resources. This year a teaching goal is to help students articulate the learning purpose of their tasks and activities. Strategies to build their understanding should include:

  • sharing the teaching points and how to be successful in student-friendly terms
  • teacher comments, student self evaluation and peer feedback in relation to expectations for learning.

Teachers promote respectful, caring interactions. Students know class routines and expectations for learning and behaviour. Mostly students can work well on their own or with buddies.

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

The positive findings in the previous ERO report have been sustained. Māori culture and identity are fostered in the curriculum and made visible in displays, symbols and images. Leaders have continued to strengthen engagement with whānau and the wider local Māori community.

Overall, Māori students achieve well. Differences in year group performance are noticed and responded to.

Māori role models lead learning in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Students enjoy regular experiences to supplement the te reo Māori programme and integration of cultural dimensions in topic studies, including marae visits and kapa haka. A kaumatua guides leaders in undertaking consultation with whānau to promote their children’s success and pride in heritage. The school's 2015 whānau relationship goal is set to continue this work.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve performance because:

  • the vision is shared effectively. It is understood and embraced by trustees, staff, students and whānau
  • the school is well led and managed. The principal is highly visible and available. She has high expectations of herself, staff and students, leads teachers’ professional learning and participates in local education groups. She is ably supported by the deputy principal. Together they model effective practice
  • trustees are well informed about school operation and in particular, students’ learning and wellbeing. They receive frequent and regular reports providing information about progress in relation to planned actions
  • self review is systematic, referenced to planned actions and research about good practice, and used to inform the next cycle of planning. Specific steps for 2015 focus on areas identified as needing development to promote continuous improvement.

Two areas where change is needed to support improvement are board planning and school evaluation practices.

Strategic and annual plans need to be focused on outcomes, expressed in priorities identified from self review. Planning should build in measures of success for determining how well goals have been achieved. While the appraisal process supports goals and teacher development, leaders and teachers should consider how deliberately evidence is used in evaluation. Clear connections between strategies, actions and monitoring systems are needed.

Analysed information needs to be more rigorously explored to see reasons for success or lack of progress and achievement. Embedding an evidence-based approach, directly related to the expected outcomes, is likely to provide leaders with other insights to assist continuous 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.

Conclusion

St Pius X School (Titahi Bay) provides education incorporating Christian values for students up to Year 6. Students develop literacy and numeracy skills for learning across the curriculum. Most achieve well. Cultural identities are celebrated. Future development should focus on designing a coherent framework for operation, evaluation and review.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

22 April 2015

About the School

Location

Titahi Bay

Ministry of Education profile number

3022

School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

School roll

80

Gender composition

Female 41

Male 39

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

35

22

21

2

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

22 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2012

April 2009

June 2006