Marian College

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Education institution number:
343
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
400
Telephone:
Address:

122 Barbadoes Street, Christchurch Central, Christchurch

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School Context

Marian College is a Year 9 -13 Catholic girls’ school in Christchurch with a roll of 405 students. The school remains focused on its key values of courage, perseverance and commitment.

A new principal and senior leadership team have been appointed since the last ERO review in 2014.

Leaders, Heads of Learning areas and teachers regularly report to the board school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in all curriculum areas for students in Years 9 and 10
  • senior student NCEA data
  • learning information on Māori and Pacific students.

Marian College is a member of the Christchurch Catholic Community of Learning Kāhui Ako |Community of Learning (CoL). The school is also involved in three clusters: the Catholic Cluster, the East Christchurch Cluster and the Ōtākaro Cluster. 

The school shares some facilities and programmes with Catholic Cathedral College.

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’s achievement information generally shows equitable and excellent outcomes for its senior students over the past three years.

The overall patterns of achievement in NCEA show students achieve very well. Over the last three years:

  • almost all students have achieved NCEA Level 1
  • students have consistently achieved 90% and over at NCEA Level 2  
  • most students achieve the NCEA Level 3 qualification
  • the achievement of NCEA literacy and numeracy has remained high. 

Overall achievement for Māori learners in NCEA Levels 1 and 2 is very good. In 2017, all Māori and Pacific students achieved NCEA Level 2. In 2017 almost all Pacific students gained NCEA Levels 1 and 2. The achievement of Māori and Pacific students at NCEA Level 3 remains an area for ongoing improvement.

Senior students are well supported to remain at school and engage in meaningful pathways to achieve appropriate leavers' qualifications.

The school has suitable processes and practices for assessment and moderation, and provides useful guidelines for teachers about this. The school’s practices in managing national assessment for senior students are robust.

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

The school is responding very effectively to Māori, Pacific and other students in Years 11, 12 and 13 whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

There have been positive achievement outcomes for students with additional needs.

The school is developing systems to respond to students in Years 9 and 10 whose learning and achievement need acceleration. There is a range of information on individual students’ achievement. However, the school is not yet reporting clearly to the board on the extent to which students are making 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?

The school’s Catholic character is strongly evident in the culture of care that underpins the sense of belonging students experience at the school. Trustees, leaders and staff have created a culture of learning based on positive relationships and the school’s values of courage, perseverance and commitment. The core Māori values of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and tuakana teina are highly evident.

The school’s curriculum is responsive to students’ needs, interests and aspirations. Students learn in positive environments that are highly conducive to their learning and the development of self-management skills. They have a good understanding of their progress, achievement and next learning steps. Teachers maintain a deliberate focus on linking students’ abilities and skills with flexible and adaptive opportunities to learn. They make good use of learner views to inform curriculum planning and enactment. Students with additional needs are very well supported.

Meaningful integration of Māori and Pacific curriculum concepts and contexts promote student engagement and learning-centred relationships.

There is strong professional leadership at Marian College. The leadership has a clear focus on building collective responsibility for students’ learning and wellbeing. Teachers are provided with targeted professional learning opportunities, including ongoing building of culturally responsive teaching practices. This is supporting the ways teachers respond to identified learning needs. A robust appraisal process and targeted professional learning development opportunities are supporting a culture of ongoing improvement.   

Leaders and teachers take a systematic approach to gathering, tracking and sharing learning information. Robust moderation and assessment processes are contributing to effective teacher practice. Key staff carefully monitor each student’s attitude, engagement and achievement with learning. As a result, students, staff and parents benefit from timely and effective sharing of learner information.

The board is strongly focussed on serving the community and school in its role. Trustees receive reports about student achievement, practices, programmes and the school’s special character. They use this information to ensure the focus remains on equity and excellence for all students.

The board and senior leaders are strongly focused on meeting the language, culture and identity needs of Māori and Pacific students and their families.

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

Some aspects of school’s processes need to be strengthened and embedded to increase effectiveness in achieving equity and excellence for all students. The board and leaders need to:

  • strengthen the analysis and reporting of Years 9 and 10 achievement information to show rates of student progress and identify students whose progress needs acceleration
  • further develop the school’s guidelines for identifying and achieving consistently high quality teaching and learning practices across the school.

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.

Provision for international students 

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were no international students attending the school.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • providing an inclusive and caring school culture for all students
  • a highly responsive curriculum which focuses on a holistic education for each individual student, with flexible and adaptive opportunities to learn
  • leadership that focuses on high expectations and collective responsibility for students’ learning and wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • ensuring high quality analysis and use of achievement information over time, especially regarding those students who are at risk of not achieving
  • strengthening the analysis of Years 9 and 10 learner information to more effectively monitor and report student progress and acceleration over time
  • reviewing and consolidating the school’s desired teaching guidelines for what good practice looks like at this school. 

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

2 May 2018 

About the school 

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

343

School type

Secondary (9 -15)

School roll

405

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                  14%

Pākehā                               62%

Pacific                                  9%

Asian                                    8%

Other Ethnicities                7%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

2 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review  November 2014

Education Review  September 2009

Education Review  August 2006

Findings

Marian College has maintained very good to high levels of achievement and roll stability during a time of extreme earthquake-related challenges. Pastoral care of students’ wellbeing and teachers’ support for student learning and progress are significant strengths. Aspects of school governance and leadership are likely to benefit from the extra support recommended in this report.

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?

Marian College is an integrated Catholic secondary school for girls. Christian values, long-standing traditions and a rich history in Catholic education in Christchurch provide a strong foundation and shared purpose for the whole school community. The wellbeing and achievement of students are prioritised and very well supported. The student population is becoming increasingly diverse.

Since the previous ERO review in September 2009, the school has experienced major upheaval as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes. This includes the loss of the original school site, sharing a site with another school for a year, setting up again in a temporary site and managing the extreme challenges associated with the two relocations. Despite these challenges, the resilience and perseverance of the whole school has contributed to very good achievement outcomes and general roll stability over this time.

Over recent years, there have been a number of changes at board, senior leadership and staff levels.

An active Parent Teachers’ Association and a supportive parent community have continued to provide a range of meaningful support for the school that is highly valued by the board and staff.

The college is involved with local school clusters that are focused on continuing to improve learning and achievement outcomes for students. There has been a positive reporting history with ERO over many years.

2 Learning

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

The school is using achievement information very effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Areas of strength

The thorough analysis of achievement information at school-wide and department levels is used to:

  • place students in appropriate programmes and adapt programmes to meet a range of learning needs
  • monitor students’ progress and provide targeted support for individual students
  • keep the board well informed about achievement over time
  • identify where extra resourcing is needed to further support learning improvement.

Achievement information for 2013 National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 1 results, including outcomes for literacy, numeracy and endorsements, shows a high level of achievement. Achievement at other NCEA levels has generally remained very good over the years of major earthquake-related challenges. Data provided by the school shows that the national target of 85% for NCEA Level 2 has been achieved.

Students with identified learning needs receive a good range of targeted programmes and interventions. Provisions for students identified as gifted and talented include extension and enrichment within learning areas and in a range of activities beyond the school.

Leaders and teachers also make good use of achievement information to acknowledge and celebrate successes across academic, sporting and cultural codes in ways that motivate and further engage students.

Areas for review and development

Leaders could further review the learner support programmes to evaluate the impact of initiatives on student progress.

Teachers should continue to develop and extend assessment practices at Years 9 and 10 to ensure that the learning and progress of all students can be better monitored and reported over time.

3 Curriculum

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

The principal, leaders and teachers have retained a strong commitment to ensuring that students receive as broad and balanced a curriculum as possible.

Areas of strength

Curriculum opportunities have been extended through a relationship with successive nearby schools, distance learning and ongoing adjustments to curriculum programmes. Students’ pastoral needs are supported through systems and practices that have a positive impact on their wellbeing.

The school’s curriculum prioritises special character values such as the integration of social justice across learning areas and the all-round development of students. A particular feature of the school is the increasing prominence of student-led special character developments. Teachers are well supported with an internal professional development programme that addresses school-wide priorities and individual teacher interests and needs.

Extra-curricular opportunities are strongly promoted and supported by staff. Students achieve notable successes in a variety of cultural and sporting events at individual, group and team levels. Over time, a significant number of elite sports students have achieved at local, regional and national levels. The extensive support teachers provide through individual learning plans for these students helps to ensure that the development of high academic and sports achievement is promoted in a balanced way.

Students spoken with by ERO said that leaders and teachers provide a high level of commitment and consistently go the extra mile to support their wellbeing, learning and achievement. They also said that the culture of the school, the opportunities to have their views listened to and respected and the strength of relationships among girls contribute to their sense of belonging and pride in their school.

Considerable work has been done to provide appropriate careers advice and support for students across year levels.

Areas for review and development

School leaders and staff have been committed in the previous and current temporary sites to retaining a curriculum that is flexible and responsive to students’ needs. It is evident that circumstances beyond the school’s control are putting considerable pressure on the school’s ability to further develop and expand the curriculum.

In ways that are manageable for leaders and teachers, the next step for the school is to develop plans to update the school’s curriculum in order to:

  • further integrate the special character values of the school with New Zealand Curriculum values, principles and key competencies in meaningful ways for the school
  • identify expectations for teaching and learning that further promote the qualities, values, knowledge and skills for all students’ life-long learning
  • continue to provide a clear overview for the direction and priorities for the further development of vocational pathways across the school.

The principal and leaders should ensure that there are clear guidelines for the effective operation, review and reporting of curriculum and pastoral teams.

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

A number of positive and ongoing developments are helping to promote success for Māori, as Māori. These include:

  • the strong support Māori students receive from teachers who lead Māori programmes and the very good achievement of Māori students
  • a whānau committee and regular meetings that provide active and valued support for staff and students
  • participation by students in a range of cultural events, a designated space for Māori and Pacific students and the energetic kapa haka group
  • involvement in a cluster of schools that includes a focus on strategies for ongoing improvement of success for Māori, as Māori
  • consultation with whānau, Māori students and teachers of te reo Māori about the priorities for further developments
  • te reo Māori has a valued place and status in the college and is offered at all levels.

Area for review and development

The school’s next step is for leaders and teachers to continue to review and develop plans and priorities further promoting success for Māori, as Māori.

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

The range of increasing and effective support for Pacific students and their families is helping to strengthen:

  • relationships between the school and Pacific families
  • support for Pacific students’ pastoral, cultural and academic needs
  • the visibility of Pacific cultures in the school.
  • the very good individual achievement of a number of Pacific students.

Area for review and development

The principal has identified, and ERO agrees, that it is now timely to formalise and acknowledge the leadership position within the school to further promote and support Pacific cultures in the school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is likely to be in a stronger position to sustain and improve its performance when some key areas for improvement have been more effectively addressed and strengthened.

Areas of strength

Strong relationships between the school and parent community, past and present, continue to strengthen support for staff and student wellbeing.

Trustees on the new board bring a range of experience and expertise to their governance roles. Two new committees have been set up by the board to support the current and future direction of the school. This is helping to strengthen board and staff relationships about matters related to the school’s future.

The board and senior leaders have successfully managed shifts across three sites over the past four years. The whole school community has demonstrated the collective ability to sustain a positive school culture for students in the face of this challenge and adversity. The board, leaders and teachers have continued to ensure that learning outcomes for girls have not been compromised during this time.

Self-review practices are generally well established, helpful and robust within the school. This is providing senior leaders with very good information for further analysis and reporting to the board. The board and principal have put in place systems to maintain clear and regular communication with, and formal feedback from, all staff to promote their wellbeing and morale.

Areas for review and development

Trustees have been proactive in reviewing the school’s charter, strategic goals and reporting processes. The board should now:

  • identify future priorities to ensure annual planning processes are manageable
  • continue with governance training
  • establish a performance agreement for the principal that links to board goals and reporting requirements.

Trustees and senior leaders have recognised the need to improve some leadership practices. They are committed to resolving the areas of concern through a number of initiatives that include the use of external agencies.

Leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that there is a need to review appraisal processes for the principal and senior leaders. This should help to ensure that the quality of leadership, teaching and learning is increasingly effective.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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, the board should:

  • extend the pastoral care policy to include procedures, guidelines and practices for reporting suspected cases of child abuse.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education consider providing support for the board in order to bring about the following improvements:

  • extending governance effectiveness
  • strengthening relationships at senior leadership levels.

Conclusion

Marian College has maintained very good to high levels of achievement and roll stability during a time of extreme earthquake-related challenges. Pastoral care of students’ wellbeing and teachers’ support for student learning and progress are significant strengths. Aspects of school governance and leadership are likely to benefit from the extra support recommended in this report.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

6 November 2014

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

343

School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll

422

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other Ethnicities

73%

12%

5%

9%

1%

Review team on site

August 2014

Date of this report

6 November 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2009

August 2006

October 2003