St Peter Chanel School (Green Island)

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1 Context

St Peter Chanel School (Green Island) is a Years 1 to 6 school. Students from the greater Green Island area and diverse cultural backgrounds attend the school. There are four classrooms. Students learn in multilevel classes apart from Years 1 and 2. The special Catholic character of the school is evident in the positive and accepting relationships amongst adults and between children. Family groups, led by senior students, are a good example of the nurturing environment. Since the 2013 ERO review, a new board chair, four new trustees and two new teachers have been appointed.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision defined by the school is ‘To open doors for children to be confident, active, successful learners with inquiring minds who are followers of Jesus.’

The school's 2014 to 2015 achievement information shows that most children, including Māori children, are achieving well against the National Standards (NS). In 2015, about 80% of children were achieving at or above the NS in mathematics and writing. The percentage for reading was slightly higher.

Since the 2013 ERO review, the school has made good progress in addressing ERO’s recommendations. This includes:

participating in teacher professional development about assessment practices, with a particular emphasis on developing consistency of teacher judgements about progress and achievement in relation to the NS

making very good use of an assessment programme to support teachers to make reliable and consistent decisions about student progress and achievement in relation to the NS

strengthening self-review practices to evaluate the impact of teacher professional development and support programmes on student learning.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

This school responds effectively to Māori and all other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Since 2014, more than half of the children whose progress required acceleration have made accelerated progress in reading and writing in relation to the NS. A smaller proportion have done so in mathematics. The school has responded to this by implementing an additional individual mathematics support programme during 2015. Early indications are that this is making a difference for children whose progress in mathematics needs to be accelerated.

Teachers quickly identify children who need extra support with their learning. Plans are developed to raise achievement for individuals and groups of children. These plans form the basis of in-class and out-of-classroom support programmes. Teachers and the principal closely monitor children’s progress within these programmes. Children who no longer need intensive support continue to be monitored closely to ensure any gains they have made through support are sustained.

The principal and teachers communicate well with parents/whānau about children’s progress with their learning. Written reports about individual children provide useful information for how parents/whānau can help with children’s learning at home.

A next step for the board, principal and teachers is to ensure that the school’s charter targets accurately reflect the strong focus and support provided to accelerate children’s progress.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum and other organisational processes and practices effectively develop and enact the vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence.

The trustees, principal and teachers are focused on improving and striving for the best outcomes for children. The principal is highly committed to this. She and the teachers reflect on how effectively they are raising student achievement and ensure that appropriate support is provided where needed.

The principal promotes and participates in professional learning and development (PLD) alongside the teachers. She is empowering teachers to grow as leaders. The processes teachers use to examine their effectiveness are systematic and coherent. For example, school targets, PLD, appraisal and the teachers' inquiry are all linked to the school priority of raising student achievement in writing.

The board is well informed about school operations, student achievement and aspects of progress. A next step is for information about the sufficiency of progress to be analysed and provided to the board, particularly for those children receiving extra support. Trustees make good use of resources and external agencies to evaluate how well they are governing the school and supporting the special character.

Tuakana-teina relationships help younger children to feel secure and have a sense of belonging, and older children to develop leadership skills. Professional learning is highly valued by the board, well-resourced and effectively used. Leaders access relevant expertise to build staff capacity in responding to identified needs. The newly graduated teacher is very well supported by the principal and other teachers to succeed in her teaching.

Teachers know the students and their learning needs well. Classes are settled and strongly focused on learning. Teachers use some innovative practices to engage children. Children ERO spoke with said that learning was fun and they enjoy the many opportunities beyond the school to extend their learning. ICT is well integrated across the curriculum to enhance children's engagement and learning. Elements of Māori and Pacific cultures are included in topic studies and all children take part in kapa haka. Māori and Pacific values and protocols are evident in the daily life of the school. Experienced teacher aides are effectively used to support children who need extra help to succeed.

Next steps are for the principal and teachers to:

  • document learning expectations in such a way that children can understand and know how well they are achieving, what they need to aim for and how to get there (next learning steps)
  • continue to strengthen processes for inquiring into and evaluating their teaching practice
  • develop a formalised evaluation process and use it to support robust internal evaluation.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Teachers are very well supported by each other, the principal and the board to meet the learning needs of children in their classes. Professional development to raise student achievement in writing has been a particular focus. Assessment information shows that, where teachers have focused on a specific skill, student achievement has significantly improved.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the next steps included in the report be addressed in a strategic and systematic way.

Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

12 September 2016

About the school

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3834

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

75

Gender composition

Boys: 38

Girls: 37

Ethnic composition

NZ Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Fijian

Cambodian

English

54

14

4

1

1

1

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

12 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2013

February 2010

November 2006

 

1 Context

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

St Peter Chanel School provides a faith-based education for its students. Students learn and play in a welcoming, supportive and caring environment. Teachers and trustees spoke positively about the family atmosphere within the school. There are close and helpful connections between the parish, school and students’ families.

Students enjoy the caring and respectful relationships they have with each other and their teachers. They told ERO that their teachers care about them and their learning. ERO observed students learning in classrooms that were settled, well-managed and purposeful.

A special feature of the school is how teachers and support staff show a shared knowledge and responsibility for all students’ development and learning. Small class sizes enable individual student attention, especially in the junior classes.

There is a strong culture of ongoing improvement. Since the last ERO review in 2010, the school has made significant improvements to its self-review processes and practices. The principal and trustees make purposeful use of self-review findings to improve teaching and learning programmes. Students benefit from the teachers’ professional learning and reflection on their practice.

The school takes all reasonable steps to provide a safe and inclusive environment.

2 Learning

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

The school makes effective use of achievement information to make positive changes to students’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Areas of Strength

Students effectively use learning information to:

  • set relevant learning goals for reading, writing and mathematics
  • celebrate their progress and achievement with parents

Teachers use learning information effectively to:

  • identify students who are underachieving
  • monitor the progress and achievement of all students
  • identify students’ next learning steps and to inform future planning
  • review the effectiveness of their teaching practice.

The principal successfully uses learning information to identify:

  • aspects for development in each curriculum learning area
  • school-wide goals for priority learners, professional learning and development, and annual targets.

Learning information is well analysed, recorded and reported to the board. The principal and teachers have in-depth discussions when analysing school-wide progress and achievement information.

Trustees use learning information to:

  • gain a thorough knowledge of how well all students are progressing and achieving, including in relation to National Standards
  • inform the community of the overall achievement at a school-wide level
  • make informed resourcing decisions and to guide the future direction of the school.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

Areas of Strength

The design of the school’s curriculum:

  • is strongly centred around the special character of the school
  • recognises the individuality of students’ learning needs, abilities and interests
  • provides clear direction to the teachers for curriculum implementation
  • includes learning programmes that link well over year levels for writing and mathematics.

The school’s vision and motto guides the implementation of the curriculum with all staff promoting and modelling the school’s values. The curriculum in practice closely reflects the written curriculum Classroom planning shows how teachers effectively cater for the diverse needs of students within their classes. Knowledgeable and skilful teacher aides ably support students requiring learning assistance. Students’ learning is enhanced by the variety of interesting and relevant learning experiences. Teachers believe that all students will succeed in their learning.

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

The principal and teachers are in the early stages of developing their knowledge and confidence, and the school’s curriculum to better promote educational success for Māori, as Māori.

Teachers are committed to raising their awareness of te Ao Māori. External tutors provide regular support for students and teachers, including for te reo and tikanga Māori, and kapa haka. The special character and religious education programmes provide students with valuable opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori, and learn about tikanga Māori.

The principal and trustees are currently strengthening their processes for gathering the views and wishes of the whānau of Māori students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

Areas of Strength

The effective leadership in governance and management is a key factor contributing to the performance of the school. The principal demonstrates well-considered professional leadership of learning and teaching. Her extensive teaching and curriculum knowledge enables her to successfully build on the skills and understandings of teachers to meet the needs of students. Trustees are very knowledgeable about their roles and responsibilities. They are highly interested in raising the levels of progress and achievement.

There are very collaborative relationships between the principal and board, principal and teaching staff, and between trustees.

The school’s self review and planning is focused on improving teaching and learning programmes, and raising student achievement. The board and principal establish clear and appropriate annual goals. School-wide and class plans and programmes are well linked to these goals. The useful review systems are well understood by the principal and trustees. The review findings and recommendations are an integral part of the school’s ongoing planning and improvement.

Area for review and development

The school agrees with ERO that aspects of the school’s self review need to be strengthened. This includes reviewing:

  • the effectiveness of learning support programmes
  • the impact of teachers' professional development on students' learning
  • against the annual goals to show how well they have been achieved.

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 three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

6 June 2013

About the School

Location

Green Island, Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

3834

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

60

Gender composition

Boys: 33 Girls: 27

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

49

9

2

Special Features

Special Character School

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

6 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2010

November 2006

August 2003