Marist College - 18/06/2014

Findings

How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

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