St Joseph's School (Papanui)

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Education institution number:
3531
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
407
Telephone:
Address:

4 Vagues Road, Papanui, Christchurch

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School Context

St Joseph’s school (Papanui) is a Catholic School catering for Years 1 to 8. It has a roll of 443 students and is in Christchurch.

Its vision is to empower students to become confident, motivated learners, learning gospel values. The gospel values are in the Mercy tradition.

Strategic goals for 2019 focus on fostering:

  • faith that is integral to each member of the school community
  • respect for the high value placed on education
  • the social and emotional development of all members of the community
  • a faith community that actively contributes to the common good.

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
  • additional learning needs, including gifted and talented students
  • engagement and wellbeing for success
  • the special character of the school.

Since the November 2014 ERO review, a new principal has been appointed and there have been changes within the leadership team and the board of trustees.

The school is a member of the Christchurch Catholic Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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 outcomes for students in reading, writing and mathematics. Most students, including Māori students, achieve at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. However, over the last three years boys have not achieved as well as girls in writing.

Equitable outcomes are being achieved in the areas of student wellbeing for success and engagement for learning.

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

Learning information shows the school effectively accelerates the progress of some groups of students who need this. Processes to identify, track and support students at risk of not achieving are well embedded.

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?

Students participate and learn in a caring, collaborative and inclusive environment. Classrooms are settled and managed in ways that support their participation, engagement and agency. Teachers use a variety of effective teaching strategies to support students’ sustained engagement. Leadership ensures an orderly environment conducive to student learning and wellbeing is maintained.

Diversity is valued at all levels. Students from other cultures and for whom English is a second language are welcomed and well supported in their learning. Those with additional/complex needs or special abilities are offered learning opportunities that provide appropriate support and challenge.

Students have a growing understanding of themselves as learners. Teachers and students construct challenging but realistic learning goals together. Assessment information is used well to adjust teaching practice and respond to individual needs. Suitable tools are in place to support teachers to make overall judgements about student learning and progress and understanding progressions of learning in the core subjects. A useful appraisal process builds teacher capability leading to improved student outcomes.

The school has a rich and responsive curriculum that supports students’ interests and community aspirations. Students have opportunities to learn in a range of local, relevant contexts and have access to a broad range of activities in and out of school time. Detailed curriculum guidelines support consistency of teacher understanding of expectations and approach. Special character values are highly evident throughout the curriculum. Concepts of te ao Māori are interwoven in programme planning.

A strong sense of community is evident. Parents and whānau are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning. Leaders and teachers recognise the importance of student and community voice and use them as a key resource when deciding priorities for inquiry and improvement.

Trustees have a range of useful skills that support effective governance. They have a shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities and an appropriate focus on measuring the success of the school in terms of agreed values and student outcomes.

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

Charter targets should focus on accelerating the progress of all students who are below expectations. In addition, leaders need to show and report how successfully the school has accelerated the learning of these students.

Understanding and use of internal evaluation need further development. This should enable leaders and teachers to measure the impact of new learning initiatives on student outcomes.

The strategic plan requires further review and refinement so that it adequately reflects current priorities and identifies suitable direction for school development.

The board and leaders should continue to improve the way change is managed and focus on building relational trust and effective collaboration with staff.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

St Joseph’s School (Papanui) 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 six international students attending the school.

Students receive a welcoming and personalised introduction to the school and the community. The international student department is well resourced. Staff ensure international students’ needs are met throughout their stay. Valued outcomes for students include academic and language learning, special character values, life skills and leadership opportunities.

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 St Joseph’s School (Papanui)’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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:

  • intentional well-established relationships with the community that promote positive learning and wellbeing for students
  • an inclusive environment where diversity is valued at all levels, and that is welcoming and supportive
  • an environment that is managed in ways that effectively support students’ participation, engagement and agency in learning.

Next steps

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

  • ensuring the school’s charter targets focus on accelerating the progress of all students who are below expectations
  • supporting understanding and use of internal evaluation to enable leaders and teachers to measure the impact of new learning initiatives on student achievement
  • refining the strategic plan so that it reflects current priorities and identifies the future direction of the school
  • improving the way change is managed to build relational trust and effective collaboration with staff.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

17 March 2020

About the school

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3531

School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll

443

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 8%

NZ European/Pākehā 60%

Filipino 17%

Asian 5%

Pacific 3%

Other ethnic groups 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

17 March 2020

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review November 2014

Education Review June 2009

Findings

The school’s Catholic character, vision and values strongly contribute to a welcoming and inclusive culture that supports positive relationships. The school’s curriculum provides a wide range of relevant learning experiences that effectively contributes toward students’ engagement in learning, progress and achievement. The board, principal and senior leaders have high expectations and provide strong professional leadership. School-wide, ongoing and thorough self review effectively supports continuous improvement.

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?

The school’s special character, vision and values, and learning and teaching expectations are very well understood. The positive, inclusive culture fosters students’ sense of wellbeing and belonging. The school’s welcoming and friendly approach has resulted in strong long-term family, parish and community connections. Parent and student surveys indicate high levels of satisfaction with the school.

Since the 2009 ERO review, the student roll has increased and become more diverse. There have been some changes in teaching staff as the school has grown. These changes have been carefully managed by the board and the school’s leaders.

The board, principal, senior leaders and teachers have been highly responsive to recommendations made in the 2009 ERO report. Student achievement targets are now specific and measurable. Well planned and consistently implemented self review has contributed to improved student engagement and progress over time. Senior leaders have also extended the analysis of achievement data of students in their first year at school.

2 Learning

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

The principal, senior leaders and teachers effectively use achievement information to make positive changes for learners.

This information is used effectively to form targets. It is also used to provide well-focused professional development for staff that contributes to consistent teaching strategies, student engagement and improved achievement.

Student achievement information in 2012 and 2013, shows that most students achieve at or above the National Standards in literacy and mathematics. While most students also achieve well in writing, the school has identified some groups that need extra support to reach the desired level. The school-wide focus on writing has included changes to teaching practices and a large range of programmes and resources. These programmes and teaching practices have been effectively reviewed. Improvements made have resulted in groups of students making very good progress over time.

The senior leaders and teachers have well-developed practices that help them increase the accuracy of their judgements about student assessment in literacy and mathematics school wide. Teachers and leaders work closely with external advisers to support decisions about programmes and practices to improve student achievement.

High achieving students are carefully tracked and provided with opportunities to develop their gifts and talents. Many of these students are successful in out of school activities such as speech and other academic competitions. Senior leaders are aware that they could do more to assess how well students are benefitting from these learning opportunities. To further the progress of these students senior leaders recognise the analysis of their achievement could be further refined.

Learning, progress and achievement are valued and celebrated. Students have good opportunities to explore their interests and be involved in goal setting. A greater consideration could be given to gaining students' ideas and providing them with more choices about their learning. Senior students have a wide range of leadership opportunities within the school curriculum and in the parish.

Senior leaders’ involvement in a community cluster of early childhood centres, primary and secondary schools is supporting the school’s well-organised transition practices. These include the sharing of assessment practices and information about students’ wellbeing. An innovative and popular programme called ‘Little Joes’ is supporting new entrants to make progress in their first year at school. Senior leaders agree that evaluating these initiatives thoroughly would provide useful information on their effectiveness over time.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum provides a wide range of relevant learning experiences through contexts that effectively promote and support student learning.

Useful guidelines, well-established systems and clear expectations for students’ achievement actively guide teachers' teaching and students’ learning.

Integrated school-wide themes provide suitable experiences for different age groups. These themes include the school’s special character, values and learning qualities.

Teachers know their students well, are highly reflective and make appropriate changes to practices and programmes to meet identified needs. They work together to plan and share practices including the use of a range of technologies that engage students in interesting ways.

The senior leaders and teachers have identified that to further improve the curriculum they will continue to review learning areas beyond literacy and mathematics, and strengthen the use of a wide range of technologies in learning and teaching.

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

The school has a positive and inclusive curriculum that supports Māori students to succeed as Māori. Teachers know students and whānau well.

Achievement information shows that most Māori students achieve above other Māori students nationally, in reading, writing and mathematics.

Since 2012, there have been targeted approaches to improve the involvement of parents and whānau in students' learning. This changed consultation process that includes personal contact, has resulted in improved attendance at the whānau hui and has influenced some families to identify as Māori.

Teachers are developing a good understanding of the importance of relationships for Māori. The large kapa haka group is very popular. Feedback from parents has resulted in more involvement by junior students.

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

The school’s inclusive culture supports family engagement and students’ potential to progress and achieve. The school provides a good range of cultural initiatives recognise students’ identity, language and culture.

Pacific students’ progress and achievement is supported by the way teachers know their students, effective teaching practices and ensuring Pacific students engage with learning.

The board, principal and senior leaders are supporting teachers well. They have plans for improving the use of the Māori and Pacific culture and language in the curriculum. This is likely to help teachers more confidently plan for and use these perspectives in their programmes and practices.

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.

The board, principal and senior leaders have high expectations and provide strong professional leadership. Trustees are knowledgeable and have a clear understanding of their governance roles.

The school’s strategic direction and annual plans are focused on raising student achievement and supporting professional practice.

The trustees, principal, senior leaders and teachers are highly committed and work collaboratively to discuss and plan ways to accelerate student progress. There is a high level of community support and parent participation in the school.

A school-wide culture of trust, ongoing and thorough critical reflection and self review contribute to continuous improvement. Senior leaders have clear roles and responsibilities and make effective use of individual staff strengths.

The principal and other senior leaders provide strong professional leadership. They are approachable, flexible and supportive of staff. Well-established communication systems across the school help to ensure that school-wide consistency and expectations are more readily met.

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 was one international student attending the school.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school has effective systems and practices to support and review the quality of students’ wellbeing and education. Students are actively included and involved in all aspects of the school.

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

The school’s Catholic character, vision and values strongly contribute to a welcoming and inclusive culture that supports positive relationships. The school’s curriculum provides a wide range of relevant learning experiences that effectively contributes toward students’ engagement in learning, progress and achievement. The board, principal and senior leaders have high expectations and provide strong professional leadership. School-wide, ongoing and thorough self review effectively supports continuous improvement.

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

24 November 2014

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3531

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

439

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Boys 50%;

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

European

Other ethnicities

77%

5%

2%

7%

3%

6%

Special Features

Catholic education

Review team on site

September 2014

Date of this report

24 November 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2009

March 2006

August 2002