Marist College

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Education institution number:
70
School type:
Secondary (Year 7-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
742
Telephone:
Address:

31 Alberton Avenue, Mount Albert, Auckland

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School Context

Marist College is a well-established, integrated Catholic school for girls from Years 7 to 13. Located in the Auckland suburb of Mt Albert, the college is closely connected with its local parish, and is an active member of the Auckland Central Catholic Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

The college’s mission statement refers to the school community as being “committed to excellence in education founded on the Catholic faith, lived through the spirit of Mary”. The school’s vision centres on “empowering young women to make a difference in the world”.

Recent school development has focused through the kāhui ako, on strengthening culturally responsive teaching practices. The appointments in 2019 of a new principal and deputy principal have been well managed by the school board.

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

  • departmental reports and Analyses of Variance (AoV) relating to the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA)
  • student and parent surveys about curriculum choice, and student wellbeing
  • outcomes related to pastoral care services and learning support systems.

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?

Student achievement overall has been consistently high over the past five years. Over 90 percent of students achieve NCEA at Levels 1, 2 and 3, and of those, over 70 percent achieve with an excellence or merit endorsement. Māori students achieve as well as all others, and are consistently above trends for Māori nationally and in similar schools.

Pacific students also achieve well overall compared with patterns of Pacific student achievement nationally. However, they do not attain the same level of endorsed NCEA certificates as other groups in the school. A greater level of disparity is evident at University Entrance, achieved in 2018 by 72 percent, and 88 percent, of Māori and Pākehā students respectively, but by less than 36 percent of Pacific students.

Senior leaders have recognised these persistent trends, and are taking steps to target improved outcomes for Pacific learners at all levels of NCEA, University Entrance and University Scholarship examinations. Targets set in the 2019 annual plans inform department leaders of the need to address this ongoing discrepancy, and should subsequently provide important base-line data for internal evaluation.

Students are well engaged in learning. They actively contribute and participate in learning that is relevant and increasingly authentic. Their engagement is supported by positive and respectful relationships with teachers and an effective learner enhancement department that benefits students with additional learning needs.

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

The school can demonstrate accelerated learning for Māori and other learners, most notably students in Year 7 and 8, who are below expected curriculum levels. By Year 12 all students achieve the required Level 1 NCEA literacy and numeracy credits. For some students this represents a considerable rate of progress.

The school has good systems for identifying Māori students and others, who enter the school below expected levels of achievement. A variety of strategies, including mixed-ability classes, targeted mathematics groups, deans and whānau teacher tracking and monitoring, and in-class learning assistants, are enabling students to make accelerated progress.

The team of classroom teacher aides is well coordinated within the Enhance learning network. They have well-defined roles in supporting students to achieve their potential. Teacher aides’ support includes working with English language learners, and those with additional learning needs.

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?

School leaders, teachers and trustees have high expectations of learners’ success. These consistent standards are explicit in the student graduate profile, and complemented by the school’s special Catholic character values. Teachers work collegially to progress their understanding of effective teaching and learning. They are benefitting from whole school professional learning opportunities through their involvement in the kāhui ako.

Students’ holistic wellbeing is a priority for school leaders. Students and their families are well known, and their cultures and home languages are respected and valued. An extensive pastoral care network, and additional learning services, are special features of how school systems support all students, and encourages values of diversity and inclusion. Meaningful life skill programmes are integrated into religious and health education, and opportunities for servant leadership.

School leaders have revised plans for promoting success for Māori and Pacific learners. These plans acknowledge the significance of the school’s commitment to Treaty of Waitangi teacher education, and the need to achieve equitable learning outcomes for all students. Teachers and parents involved in implementing these plans are strengthening the inclusion of tikanga and te reo Māori, and building partnerships with Māori and Pacific whānau/families. Evaluating and reporting on these plans would raise the status and visibility of goals designed to support successful outcomes for Māori and Pacific learners.

The school’s board of trustees is committed to supporting and resourcing for high quality outcomes for students. Parent and proprietor representatives have a strong sense of stewardship. They work strategically and transparently, with shared goals focused on fostering students’ sense of self-worth and confidence. Trustees have developed comprehensive policies and systems to ensure governance effectiveness and sustainability. They agree that deeper analysis of student achievement data, and analysis of variance, would enable them to more clearly see significant trends and patterns.

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

The principal has included specific, relevant and measureable student achievement targets in the 2019 annual plan. The use of such targets, based on analysed base-line data, is enabling school leaders to evaluate progress towards achieving these targets. This internal evaluation information will prove useful to the board for its future role in decision making and priority setting.

The retirement of several long-serving school leaders, including the school’s principal, has resulted in changes in the leadership team. The new management team now has the opportunity to reflect on the coherence of schoolwide leadership roles and responsibilities in relation to excellence and equity goals.

School leaders recognise the need to respond to shifts in curriculum priorities. They are open to reviewing learning programmes to ensure students are challenged to think critically, and “look to the future by exploring such significant future-focused issues as sustainability, citizenship, enterprise, and globalisation” (New Zealand Curriculum). Exploring these principles would provide a meaningful focus for future internal evaluation of the school’s curriculum.

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 the review, there were nine long stay international students. These students make good progress through the curriculum and are well integrated into the life of the school and its community. School trips for international students are planned to extend their learning experiences in the New Zealand context.

The school has good systems and processes to provide pastoral care for international students. There is frequent consultation, meetings, and a questionnaire that asks students about their expectations and experiences.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Marist 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.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • comprehensive systems of individual tracking and mentoring that support students’ high levels of academic achievement and personal wellbeing
  • high standards of teaching and learning that encourage student participation and engagement in meaningful learning contexts
  • active involvement in the kāhui ako that is benefitting teaching practice through whole school professional learning.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to embed culturally responsive teaching practices that support curriculum learning to be authentic and relevant to all students
  • making greater use of specific and measurable schoolwide student achievement targets to strengthen data analysis, internal evaluation and reporting.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

30 August 2019

About the school

Location

Mt Albert, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

70

School type

State integrated secondary (Years 7 to 15)

School roll

760

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori 10%
NZ European/Pākehā 40%
Samoan 10%
Indian 10%
South East Asian 8%
Tongan 8%
Chinese 5%
other Pacific groups 5%
other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

30 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review April 2010
Education Review January 2007

Findings

Marist College continues to be a high performing school, and provides high quality education for all students. The Marist Catholic character is central to the school’s success. Students experience highly effective teaching. They are supported to achieve personal excellence and to become capable, competent women. The school is very well led and governed.

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?

Marist College, in the inner city suburb of Mt Albert, Auckland, provides high quality education for girls from Year 7 to 13. The Marist Catholic character is central to the school’s success. Students experience gentle guidance that promotes and supports their wellbeing and learning. The school lives its mission to foster students’ personal excellence and to support girls to become capable, competent women. A mix of different cultures is represented in the school, including seven percent Māori and seventeen percent from different Pacific nationalities. Trustees, staff and students appreciate the richness this cultural diversity brings.

Many staff and school leaders are long-serving, and the school has a good balance of experienced and new teachers. Staff and leadership stability, ongoing family connections, and the presence of the Marist Sisters, promote pride in the school’s history. The school benefits from its strong links with parents and its local community. It provides an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, including those with special education needs. These good practices support the school’s family values, and promote students’ sense of belonging in the school.

The school has very good quality facilities, equipment and resources that promote students’ learning. Since the 2010 ERO review, the school has a new multipurpose auditorium/gym that seats the whole school. It also has new learning spaces and break-out hubs, including drama and dance rooms, and many other classrooms have been refurbished. The school makes good use of local community facilities for recreation and sport.

The principal and senior leaders value and are responsive to internal and external review. The school has a history of positive ERO reports. The 2010 ERO report identified many very good practices that have been further sustained and improved.

2 Learning

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

The school has an unrelenting focus on promoting student engagement and progress, and on raising student achievement. Teachers and senior leaders make very good use of student achievement information.

The school is justifiably proud of its students’ achievements. Levels of academic success in National Certificates of Educational Achievement at Levels 1, 2 and 3 are increasingly high, and high numbers of students gain merit and excellence endorsements. University Entrance results continue to improve and are better than those of other similar schools throughout the country. Scholarship results are also high and are spread across subject areas. Māori and Pacific students are amongst the highest achievers in the school. Their levels of achievement exceed results for Māori and Pacific students nationally.

Most students, including Māori and Pacific students in Years 7 and 8, achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school’s commitment to a seamless Year 7 to 13 curriculum means that all teachers teach Year 7 and/or Year 8 students. As a result, all teachers contribute to overall judgements about students’ achievement against the National Standard in reading and writing. Senior leaders manage this model effectively. They are continuing to review and refine aspects of assessment and reporting to parents in relation to the National Standards.

Students in Years 9 and 10 are very well supported to make good progress and achieve well. Their progress and achievement is moderated and monitored against The New Zealand Curriculum levels. Teachers and school leaders have robust processes that ensure students are well prepared to excel as they move into the senior school.

Since the 2010 ERO report, the school has further improved the way it collects and analyses data, employing a data analyst to provide analysed data for teachers. This initiative is supporting teachers to make better use of student achievement information to review and plan learning programmes. Teachers and school leaders have high expectations that all students will make progress and achieve well. They know students well, and plan programmes that are based on their individual strengths, interests and needs.

Students in the learner support area of the school are very well supported to make good progress and achieve well. Teachers support students to set and evaluate learning goals. They work with students and parents to identify useful next steps for learning.

Students at Marist College have significant success in wider curricular activities, including dramatic performance, sporting and cultural pursuits. They have extensive opportunities for leadership in different ways throughout the school. Students experience positive and respectful learning relationships with their teachers, staff and each other.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is a clear strength and promotes and supports student learning very effectively.

The Marist College curriculum is broad and varied. Senior leaders and teachers make the best use of staffing and resources to promote interesting and meaningful option choices for students in both the junior and senior levels of the school. The school’s expectation for all students to be personally known means that leaders and teachers make curriculum decisions based on students’ interests, talents, strengths and needs. Very good opportunities are provided for students to experience meaningful learning that links to their career choices and pathways.

This personalised approach promotes staff and students’ confidence and gives space for them to take risks and be innovative. The values, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum are clearly reflected in learning programmes.

Pacific students are very well supported in their learning. They experience high levels of achievement and success in academic areas and in cultural and leadership roles. There is significant staff and student involvement in role modelling for and mentoring of Pacific students. School leaders and the board of trustees are promoting a clear strategic focus for Pacific students’ success. They are using the Ministry of Education’s Pacific Education Plan to provide professional learning for staff and promote positive outcomes for students.

Students benefit from and appreciate the many highly skilled and committed teachers in all areas of the school. Teachers have high levels of subject expertise, are hard working and improvement focused. They benefit from clearly targeted and strategic professional learning programmes that provide opportunities for them to take leadership roles and share good practices across the curriculum. Teacher use digital devices to support student learning in meaningful ways. They provide students with high levels of challenge and opportunities for critical thinking.

At Marist College, the wellbeing of students and staff is a central focus that supports the school’s high levels of student progress and achievement. The pastoral care network is very well led, operates in all areas of the school, and is clearly aligned to the school’s goals for all students be self managing and to excel in their own way. Students’ wellbeing and learning is the shared responsibility of all staff.

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

There are sixty Māori students at Marist College and the school promotes their educational success effectively. Students are very well supported to achieve and excel, and are well represented in leadership roles.

The board, senior leaders and staff have a strong commitment to fostering Māori students’ pride in their language, culture and identity. This commitment includes generous resourcing for two effective teachers of te reo Māori. Te ao Māori is promoted meaningfully across the curriculum. Good whānau engagement and commitment to the school is evident.

The board, senior leaders and staff are now planning to further promote outcomes for Māori students by:

  • using the Ministry of Education resources, Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013-2017 to develop their strategic focus, and Tātaiako to incorporate cultural competencies into teacher appraisals
  • accessing culturally responsive professional learning programmes for teachers and leaders specifically to promote the success of Māori students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Marist College is very well placed to sustain and further improve its performance.

The school is very well led. The principal provides well considered, clearly focused leadership that aligns to the school’s strategic direction. She works in partnership with a very capable senior leadership team. Together they build leadership capability throughout the school, providing opportunities for teachers to lead in different ways and supporting them to gain leadership qualifications.

The senior leadership team works collaboratively with each other and with staff. Leaders have clearly defined areas of responsibility, and recognise and value each others’ strengths. They provide professional leadership for teachers, and model the high expectations they have for staff and students. Their consultative approach means that changes in the school are embraced and managed effectively.

The board is well led. Trustees plan effectively for succession so that newer and more experienced trustees work alongside each other. They bring professional expertise to their governance roles and make decisions that support the strategic direction of the school. Trustees value the principal, teachers and staff. They manage the school’s finances well, and provide generous resourcing for teaching and learning programmes. Of particular note are funds awarded to teachers to enable them to pursue further qualifications and experience learning in other countries. The board and principal ensure that school systems and processes are well aligned with the school’s vision and mission.

Self review is well understood and used as a tool for ongoing improvement, supporting staff, leaders and the board to identify areas for strategic development. Teachers’ performance management appraisal is a well managed, meaningful process that promotes teachers’ reflection and encourages them to continually improve their practice.

The principal, senior leaders and trustees identify that some reports to the board could be more evaluative. The board is also considering providing external appraisal opportunities for senior leaders.

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, 11 international students were attending the school, mostly from China, and with smaller numbers from Japan and Korea.

The school provides very good quality pastoral care and education for international students. They make good progress and achieve well in English language and other curriculum areas. International students are integrated into tutor classes and belong to one of four school houses. Year level deans support their achievement and wellbeing. This integrated approach to the care and education of international students means they are very well known by teachers, school leaders and students throughout the school.

Students are encouraged to participate in co-curricular activities and most involve themselves in the wider life of the school, including sport, music and cultural ventures. The principal keeps well informed about the achievement and pastoral care of international students and meets with them several times during the year to check on their progress and wellbeing.

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

Marist College continues to be a high performing school, and provides high quality education for all students. The Marist Catholic character is central to the school’s success. Students experience highly effective teaching. They are supported to achieve personal excellence and to become capable, competent women. The school is very well led and governed.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

18 June 2014

About the School

Location

Mt Albert, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

70

School type

Integrated Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

750

Number of international students

11

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Samoan

Filipino

Tongan

African

Chinese

other European

other Asian

other Pacific

other

8

45

12

10

6

5

2

2

3

2

2

3

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

18 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2010

January 2007

November 2003