St James School (Aranui)

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Rowan Avenue, Aranui, Christchurch

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St James School (Aranui)

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 12 months of the Education Review Office and St James School (Aranui) working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website.


St James School (Aranui) is a contributing state integrated Catholic primary school situated in the suburb of Aranui in east Christchurch. The school provides education for students in Years 1-6 and the school’s motto is: Not just a school but a family.

St James School (Aranui)’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • To improve learning outcomes for all ākonga through quality teaching and a rich curriculum that is relevant now and, in the future.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on St James School (Aranui)’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the impact of strengthening partnerships with whānau to improve learning outcomes for all ākonga.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is: 

  • the strategic plan recognises the unique position of Māori children and their culture, and the school wants to better respond to the aspirations of Māori whānau 
  • staff professional development is planned to increase cultural responsiveness in all learning contexts.

The school expects to see: 

  • more whānau voice gathered and utilised to guide school strategic direction
  • increased consistent, culturally responsive practices across all learning contexts 
  • more consistent attendance levels across the student population.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to evaluate the impact of strengthening partnerships with whānau to improve learning outcomes for all ākonga.

  • The school already has an engaged and active Pasifika community.
  • Staff have high expectations, and they are responsive to the learning and pastoral needs of all learners. 
  • There are established and open pathways for communication between home and school.
  • A strong Catholic character permeates the school culture and binds school whānau together.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • providing a variety of opportunities for whānau to engage, and share their voice
  • all staff attending Tuahiwi cultural workshops so that teachers and support staff can begin and continue to develop their own cultural awareness
  • refining the new student information packs to include a way for whānau to share information about, and aspirations for their tamariki 
  • developing more learning focused relationships with whānau so that they know that their input is valued at St James Aranui.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years. 

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

10 April 2024 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

St James School (Aranui)

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of June 2023, the St James School (Aranui) Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Further Information

For further information please contact St James School (Aranui) School Board.

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

10 April 2024 

About the School 

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

St James School (Aranui) 

School Context

St James School (Aranui) provides education for students from Years 1 to 6. It is a small, urban, Catholic primary school located in Aranui, Christchurch. It has a current roll of 117 students of whom 51% are Pacific heritage and 24% are Māori.

The school charism comes from the First Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of the Missions. The school’s vision is ‘Together in faith, we develop as learners on our pathway to SUCCESS’. The vision is underpinned by the values of:

  • respect – whakakoha
  • responsibility – tutika
  • compassion – aroha
  • excellence – kairangatira.

As a consequence of the 2011 earthquake, the school’s classrooms and administration block were completely rebuilt in 2017.

The school has a stable and experienced leadership team. The board is capable and experienced with a mixture of long-serving and new trustees.

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

  • student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress being made by priority students
  • students who receive learning support.

The school is an active member of the Christchurch Catholic 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?

The school is highly effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for students.

The school’s data shows levels of achievement have been trending upwards over the last three years. Almost all students in reading and most students in writing and mathematics have achieved above school’s expectations for 2017. Students who need extra help are supported to accelerate their progress and succeed in their learning.

Students with additional learning needs are planned for individually. They have detailed plans that clearly show achievement of learning goals.

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

The school’s data shows that the school is highly responsive to Māori and other students whose learning needs acceleration. It is effective in accelerating the progress and achievement of students whose learning needs to be accelerated.

Students’ progress and achievement is closely monitored and individual students are provided with increased programmes that best support their particular needs. The school’s information shows rates of progress and acceleration throughout the year for these students.

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 board and leaders have maintained an unrelenting focus on improving outcomes for students. The board and the leadership team work very well together. This has ensured well-considered planning and change management following the relocation and subsequent rebuilding of the school administration block and classrooms in 2017.

Trustees access a range of good quality student data and evaluative information, including the perspective of students, parents, whānau and community, and use this to support:

  • identification of priorities and targets based on analysis of trends, patterns and progress
  • the making of decisions that will improve student outcomes taking into account evidence about the effectiveness of any proposed approach
  • strategic resourcing of strategies directed at improving student outcomes.

The principal and other leaders foster strong collaborative relationships across the school where everyone feels valued. There is astrong focus on the wellbeing of all students and staff. Attention is paid to establishing an orderly and supportive environment that is conducive to students’ learning, wellbeing and achievement.

The curriculum is highly responsive to children, their interests, learning and wellbeing. Students whose culture/first language differs from the culture/language of instruction are well supported to access learning. The school’s vision and values are very evident in all aspects of school life.

Teachers use differentiated learning approaches to engage students and ensure a balance of surface, deep and conceptual learning. They know their students well, cater for individual learning styles, and build on prior knowledge, culture, language and identity of students. Students are the focus of all effective professional learning. Enhancing student outcomes is both the purpose of professional learning and the basis for evaluating its success.

Taking a strengths-based approach, leaders and teachers recognise and affirm the diverse identities, languages and cultures of parents, whānau and the community and actively broker engagement and participation. This is evident in the school motto, ‘Not just a school, but a family’.

Strong connections with external agencies, targeted school programmes and intensive interventions that are focused on equity, are highly evident. Learners with additional needs experience a collaborative wrap-around approach to success across the school.

Assessment activities are inclusive, authentic and fit for purpose. They provide meaningful evidence of achievement and progress and a basis for determining next steps to inform internal evaluation. Leaders and teachers work together coherently, enabling the use of relevant information at student, classroom, teacher and school levels, to promote improvement.

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

The school has identified, and ERO supports the need to extend good practice, already evident in the assessment and monitoring of literacy and numeracy to other areas of the curriculum, and the valued outcomes of 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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • school systems, processes and practices that are strongly focused on achieving equity and excellence, and accelerating children’s progress
  • a well-developed and responsive school curriculum that effectively uses children’s interests, teachers’ skills and knowledge, the environment and wider community to make learning engaging and relevant
  • effective processes and practices for internal evaluation that promote high quality learning and teaching.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success the priority for further development is in:

  • extending the good practice already evident in the assessment and monitoring of literacy and numeracy to other areas of the curriculum and the valued outcomes of the school.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

13 September 2018

About the school

Ministry of Education profile number3523
School typeYears 1 to 6 Contributing
School roll116
Gender composition

Girls: 49%

Boys: 51%

Ethnic composition

Māori 25%

Pākeha 22%

Pacific 47%

Asian 6%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)No
Provision of Māori medium educationNo
Review team on siteAugust 2018
Date of this report13 September 2018
Most recent ERO reports

Education Review: September 2012

Education Review: January 2009