St Anne's School (Wanganui) - 10/06/2019

School Context

St Anne’s School is a state integrated school in Whanganui catering for students in Years 1 to 8. Of the 264 students enrolled, 6% identify as Māori. The Catholic special character is an integral part of students' life and their daily learning. Students with high, complex needs are supported in the special needs class, Takiwatenga.

The school values of ‘excellence, courage, service and aroha’ that underpin expectations. Valued outcomes for students are aligned with the school’s special Catholic character.

The schools aspirational aims and purpose, ‘spirit, value and excellence’, outline the priorities of the school’s three strategic goals: priority in supporting the school’s special Catholic character; excellence and resilience in each student and a nurturing, inclusive and innovative learning environment.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress and achievement of target learners
  • attendance in relation to the school target
  • wellbeing.

An interim principal was appointed at the beginning of the year to lead the school until the appointment of a permanent principal in Term 3, 2019. While the administration building is being rebuilt staff are housed in the parish church.

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 achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for most students. Most students, including Māori, achieve at or above expectation in reading, writing and mathematics.

An increasing percentage of students achieve at or above curriculum expectation over time in literacy and mathematics.

Disparity for boys in writing is reducing over time. Almost all students at end of Year 8 achieve at or above expectation in reading.

Students with complex learning and wellbeing needs participate in learning opportunities with relevant support and challenge. They make appropriate progress in relation to their individual goals.

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

The school continues to respond effectively to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. All students identified in the 2018 writing target, including Māori, have accelerated their progress to now be achieving at expectation.

The majority of Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) students identified in school targets have accelerated their learning in relation to their individual goals.

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?

Leaders, staff and trustees have the professional capacity and capability to promote equity and excellence for all learners. School leaders work collaboratively to develop and pursue the school’s vision, goals and targets. Staff know students well and have high expectations for teaching in promoting learner success. Processes are in place that support and strengthen teacher practice to meet the needs of all learners.

Trustees undertake their roles and responsibilities suitably to promote effective governance. They are well informed about student achievement, curriculum developments and school priorities. Well-considered decision making ensures that resourcing benefits student learning and wellbeing.

Teachers promote achievement and wellbeing for all learners, by making the purpose of learning explicit for students and using a wide range of effective strategies aligned to the school’s priorities. They are reflective practitioners. Students are well supported to engage in a wide range of learning opportunities through the provision of caring, collaborative, inclusive environments that reflect the school’s values. Learning is extended through proactive involvement in the parish and wider community. Respectful, reciprocal relationships across the school promote a sense of belonging and wellbeing.

A well-considered and responsive approach effectively supports students with complex learning and wellbeing needs. Staff skilfully use effective strategies to support the range of challenges of these students. The environment is managed suitably to support them to participate, be engaged and have choices in their learning. Useful processes and systems have been developed to track and monitor student progress and achievement against curriculum levels and their individual goals. Parents and whānau are valued partners in children's learning. They receive comprehensive information through a range of communication strategies. Teachers and parents share useful knowledge about children’s learning and wellbeing.

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

In response to achievement information, the school has recently begun professional learning and development in writing to support consistency of teacher practice and raise student achievement. Development of the plan to guide the strategic implementation of this initiative should include: leadership responsibilities in leading learning; what practices will be implemented and how these build on curriculum expectations; alignment to appraisal and inquiry; and the progress indicators that highlight improvements for learners. This comprehensive planning should assist trustees, leaders and teachers to systematically evaluate and understand the impact of changed practice and outcomes for students.

The school has identified that the curriculum needs refreshing. It requires further development and alignment to reflect the special, unique character and context of this school and include expectations and guidance for teaching and learning. It should provide a basis for evaluation of what is effective in promoting learning for those students most at risk of underachievement.

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 St Anne’s School (Wanganui) 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:

  • outcomes that show good levels of achievement for students
  • provision of an inclusive and caring environment that reflects the Catholic character and effectively responds to and promotes students’ learning, wellbeing and sense of belonging
  • knowing each student well and using achievement information so that the needs of all, and those with additional and complex learning and wellbeing needs, are promoted.

Next steps

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

  • reviewing, documenting and implementing a coherent, culturally responsive schoolwide curriculum
  • evaluating the effectiveness of initiatives that are being implemented and embedded, to identify what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

10 June 2019

About the school

Location

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

2447

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 - 8)

School roll

264

Gender composition

Female 52%, Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 6%
NZ European/Pākehā 89%
Other ethnic groups 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

10 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review January 2016
Education Review November 2012
Education Review October 2009