Carmel College

Education institution number:
35
School type:
Secondary (Year 7-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
993
Telephone:
Address:

108 Shakespeare Road, Milford, Auckland

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Carmel College - 25/11/2019

School Context

Carmel College is a Catholic girls’ school that caters for young women in Years 7 to 13. Of the 969 students currently enrolled at the school, four percent are Māori and six percent have Pacific heritage. The roll also includes groups of students from a variety of other ethnicities.

The school gathers its inspiration from the Mercy charism. Core Mercy values of ‘awhinatanga - service, tika - justice, aroha - compassion, te tapu o te tangata - respect, and aroha ki te rawa kore - care’ are taught, lived and authentically woven throughout all school systems and practices. These values are underpinned by the school vision to ‘empower young women through a Catholic education in the Mercy tradition to pursue personal excellence and to be prepared to challenge and shape the future’.

The board’s strategic goals focus on:

  • embedding the Catholic and Mercy values across all systems and practices of the school
  • engaging all learners in quality learning and teaching programmes
  • building and enhancing effective relationships and partnerships within and across the college community
  • providing high quality stewardship/kaitiakitanga.

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

  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Authority framework
  • progress and achievement of students at risk of not achieving
  • student engagement and wellbeing for success.

In June 2018, the Ministry of Education (MoE) appointed a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) to support the governance of the school. The LSM has positively contributed to rebuilding the stewardship of Carmel College. In November 2019, the MoE officially revoked the LSM.

The school is a member of the North Shore Catholic Schools Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL).

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?

Students achieve excellent educational outcomes.

The school’s achievement information shows consistently high levels of academic achievement in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) for all groups of students, including Māori and Pacific learners. Almost all students gain NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 in literacy and numeracy.

School data show high achievement in University Entrance has been sustained, and the number of excellent and merit endorsements have increased steadily over time.

Progress and achievement for Years 7 to 10 students is closely tracked and monitored. Most students in Years 7 and 8 achieve at or above the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels. Longitudinal data indicate students sustain high levels of achievement.

Students achieve very well in relation to the school’s other valued outcomes through leadership opportunities that permeate across all year levels and are evident through the Core Mercy values.

Students:

  • provide service in an environment of welcome, hospitality and community provision
  • promote social justice by demonstrating respect, inclusion and fairness in decision-making
  • show compassion by working cooperatively with others and acting with understanding and sensitivity
  • demonstrate respect in action for self, relationships, learning and the environment
  • express care for others in practical ways to those in need.

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

The school is very effective in responding to those students who need to make accelerated progress in their learning. Individual case studies and specific examples show sufficient rates of acceleration and success for these learners.

Student achievement data is individually tracked and monitored by leaders and teachers to support progress and achievement. Over time, Māori student data show parity of achievement, and Pacific student data show increasing parity.

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?

Leadership in the school collaboratively develops and enacts the school’s vision, values and priorities for equity and excellence. School leaders actively reinforce school values to promote positive relationships and an orderly environment for learning. They ensure teaching programmes are structured so that all students have sufficient opportunities to learn and achieve. A strategic approach by leaders to develop the capacity of middle school leadership is further strengthening conditions for equity and excellence.

Leaders and teachers promote a culture of learning. Students experience a rich and broad curriculum that enables them to excel academically and develop the Core Mercy values as lifelong contributors to society. The wellbeing of students and staff is embedded into the school culture. Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative and inclusive learning communities. Leaders and teachers make curriculum decisions based on students’ interests, talents and needs. They promote very good opportunities for students to experience meaningful learning that link to their preferred vocational pathways.

The school’s ethos of learning and supportive pastoral care systems enables students to participate and learn in extensive and holistic education and experiences. There is effective liaison between deans, teachers and specialist agencies. The learning support programme is well coordinated. Students are involved in programmes that are personalised to their strengths, interests and needs. They are supported to access individualised learning pathways.

Internal evaluation procedures are used very well to support ongoing improved outcomes for students. These processes are systematic and coherent at every level of the school. Opportunities for professional learning, mentoring and coaching promote knowledge and skills required for evaluation and inquiry. Internal evaluation practices across the school include student and teacher voice, carefully selected internal and external expertise to build teacher capacity, and effective communication that helps share and disseminate new knowledge.

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

The newly elected board is currently in a learning phase. Trustees continue to build sustainable governance practices focused on maintaining and enhancing the college’s legacy and ensuring continuous improvement and success.

Senior leaders, teachers and whānau Māori continue to explore ways to embed the Māori strategic plan and to further develop bicultural capabilities within the school. This initiative could help to develop and strengthen Māori language, culture and identity across school systems and practices.

Senior leaders are developing a schoolwide understanding of learning progressions and a shared language of learning aligned to coherent learning pathways. This will support Years 7 to 10 learning programmes to scaffold understandings about the skills, knowledge and dispositions of successful learners.

3 Other Matters

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 51 international students attending the school.

Carmel College has good systems to provide education and pastoral care for international students. Course selections are personalised, and progress and achievement are closely monitored. Students have many opportunities to participate in school activities and take leadership roles, and they integrate well into the school community. The school has very effective systems in place to monitor compliance with the Code.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Carmel College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that promotes equity and excellence for all
  • an enacted curriculum that centres on the college vision, special character and shared values
  • a culture of learning that supports students in their individual learning pathways
  • leaders and teachers that work collaboratively to continually build a school culture of ongoing improvement.

Next steps

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

  • the board continuing to build sustainable governance practices
  • trustees and school leaders strengthening and embedding bicultural capabilities
  • leaders and teachers consolidating Years 7 to 10 assessment systems and practices.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

25 November 2019

About the school

Location

Milford, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

35

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

969

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori 4%
NZ European/Pākehā 57%
Filipino 9%
Pacific groups 6%
other ethnic groups 24%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

25 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015
Education Review April 2011
Education Review December 2007

Carmel College - 15/06/2015

Findings

Carmel College continues to be very high performing. The strongly evident Mercy values promote a holistic approach to learning for life. A well established culture of high expectations results in successful academic outcomes for learners. Rigorous self review supports thoughtful, future-focused learning opportunities for students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Carmel College opened in 1957. It is a medium-sized state-integrated Catholic school for girls from Year 7 to 15. The school draws students from the North Shore, Kaipara and Rodney districts. Half of the students come from culturally diverse backgrounds, with six percent identifying as Māori, and six percent as Pacific.

The college is committed to educating and empowering young women to strive for excellence. Core Mercy values, and traditions of respect and service, continue to be central to the girls’ education. Academic education is complemented by cultural and sporting opportunities. A culture of high expectations continues to permeate all school practices.

The school is becoming more responsive to New Zealand’s bicultural heritage, particularly since 2014. Atawhai groups (vertical form classes) have recently been introduced to consolidate a sense of whānau across the school. The school charter demonstrates the school’s commitment to “Me pehea te kaupapa mahi tahi, noho tahi”(“How are we to be together?”) as the foundation principle to school decision making.

The board appointed a new principal in 2014. The principal is working collaboratively with the board of trustees, proprietors’ board and a redefined senior leadership team to further promote school improvement and positive outcomes for students. The school continues to be well supported by parents and the community.

Ongoing school development is aimed at achieving high standards in all aspects of school operations. The newly opened Harkins building provides a library, theatre, music, social sciences and ICT spaces, as well as an atrium. The positive response to ERO’s 2011 report includes an improved focus on the analysis and use of student achievement data.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information very effectively to promote student learning. A strong focus on evidence-driven practice is having a positive impact on the school’s ability to analyse and use student achievement data effectively to inform teaching and learning.

Students are highly engaged in their learning. Teachers and students have high expectations, and students work hard to deliver on these. There has been a gradual introduction of a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy. All students from Year 7 to 11 now have access to a wide variety of learning resources and to teacher support for their work in the classroom and beyond. This helps to promote a culture of active engagement in learning.

Almost all students achieve at or above National Standards in Years 7 and 8, and above national averages in the National Certificates of Achievement (NCEA). Rates of achievement compare favourably with girls' achievement in similar schools. For several years, the achievement of Māori and Pacific students has been higher than those at similar schools. For the past three years all Māori and Pacific students who entered NCEA Levels 1 and 2 achieved the qualification. More than a third of students achieve excellence endorsements in NCEA at Levels 1 and 2, and a quarter at Level 3.

Well analysed departmental reports to the board on student achievement provide trustees with useful information to inform their decision making. These reports are well aligned with school goals and targets. Classroom teachers are increasingly using individual student achievement information to inform their teaching practice. In many classrooms, teachers are helping students develop their skills and awareness of themselves as capable and self-managing learners.

The school maintains and closely monitors initiatives for students who need extra challenge or support. Teachers are provided with, and share, strategies and resources to help meet the needs of these students within the classroom. Other assistance such as special programmes, homework clubs and tutorials are also used, where appropriate.

Senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that more work needs to be done to ensure the validity of teachers' assessments in Years 7 to 10. These assessments could include learning areas other than English and mathematics to give students and their parents a sound understanding of student achievement levels and key competencies in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum.

The new student management system will help teachers to more effectively track the progress of students throughout the year and over their time at the school. This tracking will enable teachers and the board to be better assured that each student is meeting her own and her parents' aspirations.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting student learning. It is well aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum and is strongly influenced by the school’s special character and its commitment to service to others.

Students benefit from, and respond well to, the school’s focus on high expectations of and for learning. One of the school’s strategic goals is to engage all learners in quality learning and teaching programmes to achieve personal excellence and be learners for life. Good work is being done to personalise learning so that students are actively involved in decisions about their learning, building greater student ownership and responsibility for their own success.

Key features of the school’s curriculum include:

  • ongoing review and consultation to guide future-focused approaches and modern learning practices
  • strong commitment to e-learning and effective teaching practices to engage students in learning
  • relevant education outside the classroom that broadens students’ experiences and helps build leadership and resilience
  • deliberate creation of leadership roles for students at different year levels
  • strong pastoral systems that support all students to build life skills and key competencies
  • ongoing conversations with parents, families and whānau about their children’s learning.

As the school continues to enhance its curriculum, school leaders intend to further:

  • build teacher knowledge, appreciation and capacity in te ao Māori, as well as ensuring that bicultural considerations are threaded through the curriculum
  • encourage students’ ownership of the direction, content, process, and assessment of learning
  • capitalise on students’ experiences, culture and knowledge of their learning when they transition into the school
  • deepen Years 7 to 11 students’ understanding of careers options.

Senior leaders have also expressed their interest in conducting student and staff surveys to provide the board with further assurance of wellbeing at school.

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

Educational success for Māori, as Māori, is promoted well by the school’s strategic focus and commitment to building meaningful partnerships with Māori and integrating bicultural perspectives into the school.

Achievement levels for Māori students are similar to the levels of achievement for the whole school. 2014 NCEA results indicate that merit and excellence endorsements for Māori students were slightly above those for other students at Levels 1 and 3.

Initiatives and developments include:

  • strategic appointments for staffing pastoral support, the provision of te reo Māori in Years 7 to 13, and leadership in developing bicultural partnerships
  • school operations and environmental changes that show an appreciation and demonstration of tikanga Māori
  • increasing teacher knowledge and understanding about marae protocols, and the key concepts of biculturalism, equity and equality.

Next steps to build on this significant work could include continuing to work with the kaitakawaenga and te reo Māori teacher to develop a strategic plan for Māori student success that informs school direction and resourcing decisions.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Responsive and strategic self review at governance and leadership levels helps sustain a cycle of continuous development. The wellbeing of all students, especially Māori and Pacific students, is at the heart of decision making in the school.

The Core Mercy Values form a sound foundation for a shared and understood approach to teaching and learning. School systems, documentation and practices are coherent and well aligned with strategic and annual planning. Students are confident and take pride in their school. They are involved in service to the community and take advantage of the numerous events and activities to help them make decisions about their futures.

The new principal demonstrates a measured, strategic approach to leadership and change management. She is well supported by the other senior leaders. This cohesive team shows a sincere commitment to positive student outcomes.

The school is building teacher capacity by offering opportunities for short-term project leadership to staff. The recently refined appraisal system focuses well on developing professional teaching approaches to promote modern learning practices designed to improve learning outcomes for all students.

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. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were 47 international students attending the school, mainly from Asian countries such as Korea, China, Japan and Thailand.

International students receive very good learning opportunities and enjoy participation in all school activities and events. They are well supported by the school’s high quality pastoral care systems. Their English language acquisition is developed through a systematic and scaffolded programme and their classroom programmes. International students have leadership roles in the school.

To support more comprehensive self review of provision for international students, reports to the board should include students’ progress in academic and English language programmes, as well as their sporting and cultural involvement and successes.

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

Carmel College continues to be very high performing. The strongly evident Mercy values promote a holistic approach to learning for life. A well established culture of high expectations results in successful academic outcomes for learners. Rigorous self review supports thoughtful, future-focused learning opportunities for students.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

15 June 2015

About the School

Location

Milford, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

35

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

1027

Number of international students

47

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

South East Asian

African

Chinese

Indian

Middle Eastern

Samoan

Tongan

Latin American

other European

other Asian

other Pacific

other

6%

54%

8%

3%

3%

3%

3%

2%

2%

1%

8%

4%

2%

1%

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

15 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2011

December 2007

August 2004