St Martins School

Education institution number:
3534
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
473
Telephone:
Address:

Albert Terrace, St Martins, Christchurch

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St Martin's School - 23/02/2018

School Context

St Martins School is a full primary, Years 1 to 8, in Christchurch with a roll of 585 children. A number of children are from a diverse range of cultures, including a small number of English Language Learners (ELL).

The school’s vision is to ‘inspire a passion for learning’ through the S’MART way. The school values and beliefs of respect, caring, responsibility, personal best and learning underpin all aspects of school operations. The strategic direction is guided by key cornerstones which identify Environment, Culture and Identity, Community Engagement and High Quality Learning as school priorities.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to school targets
  • outcomes for students with special and additional learning needs, including gifted and talented students
  • outcomes related to engagement and wellbeing for success
  • other valued outcomes in other areas of the local curriculum, as defined by the school
  • whole-school improvement, or other trends and patterns over time

Whole school professional learning and development during 2016-2017, facilitated by external expertise, has made good use of action-research and been aligned to the school priorities.

The school Māori whānau group meets regularly and has representation on the board of trustees.

The principal is the co-leader of the Te Mana Raupō Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

The school is currently planning for the rebuild of the school in 2018.   

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is very effectively achieving equitable and excellence outcomes for most children in literacy, mathematics and the New Zealand Curriculum key competencies.

In reading, writing and mathematics there have been consistent levels of high performance by groups and cohorts over time. Data in mathematics, while indicating high levels of achievement overall, has identified a small disparity for some Māori students.

The school is responding by providing high quality, targeted professional development and programmes to address identified disparity.  There are clearly formulated and enacted interventions in place for children not yet meeting expected levels of achievement. Most of these targeted children are making accelerated progress towards meeting their individual learning goals.

The school is highly effective in promoting the school’s valued outcomes for children, as expressed in the school’s vision and S’MART values.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is highly effective in its response to those Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

In 2017 most Māori children needing to make accelerated progress in reading and writing did so. The majority of these Māori learners also made sufficient progress in mathematics. Most other targeted children made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. 

Children with additional needs participate in learning opportunities that provide appropriate support and challenge. They are very well supported through a culture of strong pastoral care that includes input from parents, whānau and internal and external experts.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

St Martins school continues to be a high performing school. There is strong professional leadership at all levels of the school. Leadership collaboratively develops and pursues its vision, goals and targets to promote equity and excellence. Leadership builds collective capacity for inquiry, evaluation and innovation. They have established effective systems, processes and practices that place a relentless focus on continued improvement.

The board works with leaders and teachers to develop the schools vision, values, strategic direction and equity and excellence goals and targets. These are clearly aligned to high quality professional learning, school priorities and a robust appraisal process. Children’s wellbeing, learning and achievement and progress are the board’s central focus.

The board, leaders and teachers strategically build relational trust and develop culturally responsive relationships with the school community. This is to ensure active, reciprocal communication with, and participation in, the life of the school. The school has a strong commitment to te ao Māori and implementing bicultural practices in ways that are respectful of the Māori culture. They regularly consult with Māori whānau and involve them in decision making.

Children learn in a highly collaborative, inclusive and positive learning environment. Teachers provide a broad, well designed curriculum that offers children rich opportunities for learning. Parents, whānau and community are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning.

Children are provided with many opportunities to be confident, connected communicators, critical thinkers and successful learners. Māori children have many opportunities to lead cultural experiences and to succeed as Māori.

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

The board and school leaders have identified and ERO agrees, that the key next steps for the school are to:

  • successfully manage the pending building programme while sustaining the high level of school performance
  • develop a strategic action plan for Māori whānau priorities  
  • embed the revised mathematics programme

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:

  • achieving equitable and excellence outcomes for children in literacy, mathematics and the New Zealand Curriculum key competencies
  • responding successfully to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration
  • strong professional leadership at all levels of the school
  • pastoral care, that systematically responds to students’ needs, promotes their wellbeing and supports their learning success
  • appraisal and performance management systems that are comprehensive and robust and inform and promote strong professional teacher practices.

Next steps

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

  • successfully managing the pending building programme while sustaining the high level of school performance
  • developing a strategic action plan for Māori whānau priorities  
  • embedding the revised mathematics programme.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

23 February 2018 

About the school 

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3534

School type

Full Primary

School roll

585

Gender composition

Girls: 295

Boys: 290

Ethnic composition

Māori: 7%

Pākehā: 83%

Other ethnicities: 10%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

23 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review: October 2013

  

St Martin's School - 04/10/2013

1. Context

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

The school has successfully used the recommendations from the 2010 ERO review to make improvements to learning and teaching across the school, and to further develop governance and leadership roles and responsibilities. This has resulted in improvements that directly affect students’ wellbeing and learning.

The Canterbury earthquakes have had a substantial impact on the school. There have been fluctuations in the school roll, an increase in the number of students who need personal and learning support, and extensive damage to buildings resulting in the need for a major rebuild of the school. The board and staff have been proactive in their response to addressing the significant wellbeing and learning needs of students and their families. After roll fluctuations, the number of students is increasing. The board is managing this appropriately. Staffing has remained stable.

2. Learning

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

Teachers effectively engage students in their learning through high quality teaching in well managed classrooms. They gather a range of assessment information that is used to identify and meet the learning needs of their students. A detailed assessment plan gives good guidance for the use of assessment tests and how the information should be used. Teachers have spent some time making sure their practices are consistent. They have made good progress in using National Standards to identify students’ achievement levels.

School information shows that in 2012, 80% of students achieved at or above National Standards in mathematics, 79% in reading and 68% in writing. Senior leaders’ analysis of school-wide data identifies year levels where students are more likely to be at risk of not achieving, especially in writing. It also shows the need to raise the overall achievement levels of Māori students. Specific achievement targets have been identified for these groups of students who are at risk of not achieving.

Senior leaders regularly report well-analysed achievement information to the board. Trustees effectively use this information to make resourcing decisions, especially for students who are at risk of not meeting expectations.

Teachers use information to identify and monitor students who are at risk of not achieving. Those students who achieve below National Standards are very well catered for within class programmes. They also receive additional specialist teaching and individual support from teacher aides, where appropriate. Team leaders, curriculum leaders and senior leaders have specific responsibilities to monitor the progress of these students. There are effective systems to support this monitoring. The learning support programme is well managed.

Leaders and teachers are very aware that some students find learning difficult because of the disruption that is happening in their lives. The school has responded quickly and effectively to meet significant and ongoing wellbeing needs of students and their families as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes. Students and parents receive very good support through a range of initiatives that have been introduced by the school.

Leaders and teachers have developed strong relationships with parents and the wider school community that help to support students’ learning. Parents have many opportunities to be involved in their children’s learning in the classroom, at three-way conferencing and through goal setting, participating in school camps, and through a range of social events.

Leaders and teachers are aware that the next steps to support students’ learning include:

  • ongoing, focussed teaching and monitoring of learning for students identified as at risk of not meeting expectations
  • evaluating the effectiveness of learning support initiatives in lifting the achievement levels of students, and reporting the findings to the board.

3. Curriculum

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

The board and staff have worked collaboratively to develop a well designed local curriculum to meet the learning needs and interests of students and the expectation of parents. Teachers are provided with clear expectations for teaching and assessment of the curriculum. School values, and students’ understanding and use of inquiry and thinking strategies are central to learning and teaching. Literacy and mathematics programmes are given priority. Literacy is being increasingly integrated across other learning areas. The deputy principal has worked with teachers to identify steps for learning at each level, and ways teachers can provide feedback to students about how well they have learnt at each level. Students’ learning successes are appropriately celebrated.

Teachers are supported by a comprehensive professional development programme. Their appraisal process enables them to set goals for improvement and they receive feedback about their progress towards meeting them. This is helping teachers to maintain consistently high quality teaching practices across the school.

Senior leaders have identified further steps to improve the school’s curriculum and how it is taught. These include:

  • the need to review some aspects of the curriculum in the senior school to make sure that sufficient time is made available for more in-depth coverage of the literacy and mathematics programmes
  • making sure teachers have sufficient time and support to consolidate and embed their knowledge and improved practices gained through the professional development programme.

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

Initiatives by the board and staff have improved the ways Māori perspectives are included across the school’s curriculum, and in class programmes. These initiatives are well supported by a kaumatua, kaiāwhina and a Māori trustee on the board. Teachers are being helped to improve their understanding and use of te reo Māori. Senior leaders and some staff are increasing their competence in te reo Māori.

A whānau group is strengthening the school’s focus on culture and identity.

The school has recorded an increase in the number of Māori students enrolled at the school. Teachers have developed programmes to better support Māori students to achieve well against National Standards. Learning support is provided for those Māori students who are not meeting expectations in literacy and mathematics. The next step is to monitor the effectiveness of these learning support initiatives for Māori students.

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.

Trustees have a very good understanding of their roles and responsibilities and they bring a range of useful governance skills. They work collaboratively with the principal to establish clear strategic direction for the school. This is supported by manageable annual planning and review. Parents’ opinion is sought to inform planning and they are kept well informed of developments. Trustees effectively use achievement information in the principal’s reports to make decisions that will best support students and their learning.

The principal and senior leaders provide strong leadership, especially in the areas of curriculum development and delivery, and pastoral care. Team and curriculum leaders very effectively support teachers. This has direct benefits for students’ learning and wellbeing in the classroom. Teachers are given opportunities to share their particular interests and strengths, and to grow their leadership abilities.

Self review is a strength of the school’s operations. There are very specific guidelines for review and reporting by teachers, leaders and the board. The outcomes of review are regularly reported and the findings are well used to make changes and improvements that directly improve students’ learning and wellbeing.

The board and staff actively involve parents and whānau in many aspects of school operations and activities. Parents are very well supported through parent education and support programmes that aim to improve students’ learning at school and at home. Parents are made to feel welcome and they support the school in many ways.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

4 October 2013

About the School

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3534

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

491

Gender composition

Girls 51%; Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Pacific

Other ethnicities

80%

8%

3%

2%

7%

Review team on site

August 2013

Date of this report

4 October 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2010

April 2007

December 2003