Marist College - 26/04/2010

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Marist College is a state integrated secondary school that caters for girls in Years 7 to 15. The special Catholic character of the college reflects Marist traditions and affirmation of Christian values underpins all aspects of the school. The multicultural nature of the school community is affirmed and celebrated.

The principal and senior management team lead the school well. They work collegially with staff to promote ongoing improvement in student outcomes. Pastoral care systems remain a core strength of the school, providing students with high quality support and guidance so that opportunities for learning and personal development are maximised.

Trustees work actively to ensure that educational programmes are well resourced and students are provided with a high quality learning environment. The recent addition of four new classrooms, and planned increases in teaching spaces and the gymnasium area, are indicative of the board’s forward planning and focus on students. Self-review processes are well established and findings are used to inform decision making at all levels of the school.

Student academic outcomes continue to reflect positively on the school. Achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) examinations for all groups of students, including Māori and Pacific, significantly exceeds national and decile averages. The college also achieves highly in New Zealand scholarship examinations and a variety of other national and regional academic, sporting and artistic competitions and events.

Emphasis is placed on providing students with an holistic education, meeting individual needs, and promoting personal excellence. Students appreciate the wide range of academic, spiritual, sporting, cultural and artistic options available. They respond well to leadership opportunities and their strong sense of social responsibility is evident as they continue the college’s well established tradition of service to others, within the school and the wider community.

ERO affirms the college’s continuing high standards of performance and recommends that time now be taken to consolidate and embed new teaching strategies. Recent processes for self review of the strategic plan have provided trustees with useful information about next steps to clarify and support their work in the governance of the school. Strengthening board systems for recording overall student progress and achievement, and progress against strategic and annual goals within this developmental work, could also be useful.

Future Action

The board of trustees has demonstrated that it is governing the school in the interest of the students and the Crown. The board, together with the principal and school leaders, continues to be highly effective in using self-review procedures to further promote student learning: engagement, progress and achievement. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four to five years.

2 Marist College’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Marist College promote student learning: engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas of strength

The college has continued to sustain and improve existing good practice in a number of areas.

Leadership. The principal and senior management team provide effective leadership and work in collaborative ways to achieve strategic goals and targets. They ensure that school developments are well grounded in educational theory and research, and model a process of systematic reflection and review to promote a responsive, improvement focused school culture.

School environment. The school’s Marist foundations, high quality pastoral care systems, and commitment to personalised learning, continue to foster an affirming and inclusive environment for students. Support and guidance provisions function effectively, creating a nurturing, respectful school culture that promotes students’ spiritual growth, self-management skills and academic progress. International students are well integrated into the school and participate actively in both curricular and co-curricular activities. Students take pride in their school and take an active role in promoting its Christian values.

Expectations for student engagement and learning. School leaders and teachers set high expectations for success and students are motivated to achieve. Classrooms are settled and productive work environments. The emphasis on catering for individual needs and encouraging personal excellence is clearly evident in systems for tracking the progress and achievement of individual students. Detailed records provide an overview of each student’s learning and development throughout their time at the school. Teacher responsiveness to these records can be seen in a range of learning support provisions that assist students with identified needs and abilities.

Support for student success. Since the 2007 ERO review, work on implementing TheNew Zealand Curriculum (NZC) has been a driving force for reflecting on teaching and learning. An updated vision of the attributes and abilities of the Marist student graduate has had a direct impact on teacher professional development programmes. Emphasis has been placed on exploring ways in which teaching practice can further support personalised learning and academic excellence. This focus is helping teachers to build on existing good teaching practices in ways that further enhance students’ capacity for life-long, independent learning.

Student achievement. The success of the school’s focus on individuals can be seen in its NCEA and scholarship results. Student performance in Level 1, 2 and 3 NCEA qualifications significantly exceeds national and decile averages. The proportion of merit and excellence endorsements gained in these qualifications also surpasses decile averages. A very large majority of students complete a Level 3 qualification and the school continues to achieve highly in New Zealand scholarship examinations.

Māori students. Māori students are amongst the school’s highest achievers and their overall success rates are in keeping with those of all students. Māori students affirm recent school developments to revive the kapa haka group and to strengthen opportunities for Māori and other interested students to study te reo me ōna tikanga Māori.

Pacific students. Success rates for Pacific students continue to increase over time, with overall achievement in NCEA exceeding national and decile averages for Pacific. Work continues, however, to bring Pacific student achievement in line with that of the total cohort. Since the 2007 ERO review, initiatives to establish a Pasifika mentoring programme and to develop an effective home-school partnership with Pacific parents, have made a positive impact on the engagement and achievement of Pacific students.

Reporting on achievement. The senior management team and teachers are now working to establish consistent ways of reporting on student achievement in Years 7 to 10. This work includes planned professional development on gathering nationally standardised information about student progress in reading, writing and mathematics in Years 7 and 8.

Working with families. The importance of working with families is central to the school’s Marist values. The board, principal and staff continue to work well with parents and whānau, providing many opportunities for the school community to come together to celebrate the Catholic faith, share social events and to affirm students’ achievement.

Self review. Self-review systems are well established, with findings of Catholic character, curriculum, pastoral care, property, finance and other planned reviews informing wider strategic decision making. This strongly embedded culture of consulting with families, and the systematic review of all aspects of school performance, results in sound direction setting for continuing improvement.

Areas for development and review

During the review, school leaders, trustees and ERO agreed that there is a need to further embed and consolidate practices that support the school’s commitment to personalised learning.

The board’s intended next steps for reviewing the governance role could include consideration of ways in which:

  • processes for gathering and reporting on student achievement information could be further developed to ensure that trustees have a clear, school-wide overview of trends and patterns in student achievement; and

  • board minutes could be further developed to ensure that they reflect discussion of progress against strategic and annual goals.

3 Agreed priorities

ERO and the board of trustees agree that:

3.1 the school’s commitment to personalised learning continues to be embedded and consolidated in practice in all classrooms; and

3.2 the board’s commitment to on-going self review of its governance role could include further developing reporting of school-wide trends in student achievement and ensuring that board reports provide more in-depth coverage of progress against strategic and annual goals.

4 Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Marist College completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

The college has a number of good systems for monitoring its health and safety provisions. It is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 23F of the Education Act 1989, and complies with all sections of the Code. During the course of the review, however, ERO identified one area of non-compliance. In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

ensure that information and invoices to parents about school fees and contributions clearly distinguish between payments that are enforceable and those which are voluntary,

[Education Act, 1989, s3, Ministry of Education Circular 1998/25].

5 Future Action

The board of trustees has demonstrated that it is governing the school in the interest of the students and the Crown. The board, together with the principal and school leaders, continues to be highly effective in using self review procedures to further promote student learning: engagement, progress and achievement. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four to five years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the School

School type

Integrated Secondary (Years 7-15)

School roll

762

Number of international students

10

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 49%,

Māori 7%,

Indian 12%,

Samoan 10%,

Tongan 5%,

Filipino 3%,

Chinese 2%,

other European 2%,

African 1%,

British/Irish 1%,

other 8%

Review team on site

February 2010

Date of this report

26 April 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, January 2007

Education Review, November 2003

Accountability Review, October 2000

26 April 2010

To the Parents and Community of Marist College

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Marist College.

Marist College is a state integrated secondary school that caters for girls in Years 7 to 15. The special Catholic character of the college reflects Marist traditions and affirmation of Christian values underpins all aspects of the school. The multicultural nature of the school community is affirmed and celebrated.

The principal and senior management team lead the school well. They work collegially with staff to promote ongoing improvement in student outcomes. Pastoral care systems remain a core strength of the school, providing students with high quality support and guidance so that opportunities for learning and personal development are maximised.

Trustees work actively to ensure that educational programmes are well resourced and students are provided with a high quality learning environment. The recent addition of four new classrooms, and planned increases in teaching spaces and the gymnasium area, are indicative of the board’s forward planning and focus on students. Self-review processes are well established and findings are used to inform decision making at all levels of the school.

Student academic outcomes continue to reflect positively on the school. Achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) examinations for all groups of students, including Māori and Pacific, significantly exceeds national and decile averages. The college also achieves highly in New Zealand scholarship examinations and a variety of other national and regional academic, sporting and artistic competitions and events.

Emphasis is placed on providing students with an holistic education, meeting individual needs, and promoting personal excellence. Students appreciate the wide range of academic, spiritual, sporting, cultural and artistic options available. They respond well to leadership opportunities and their strong sense of social responsibility is evident as they continue the college’s well established tradition of service to others, within the school and the wider community.

ERO affirms the college’s continuing high standards of performance and recommends that time now be taken to consolidate and embed new teaching strategies. Recent processes for self review of the strategic plan have provided trustees with useful information about next steps to clarify and support their work in the governance of the school. Strengthening board systems for recording overall student progress and achievement, and progress against strategic and annual goals within this developmental work, could also be useful.

Future Action

The board of trustees has demonstrated that it is governing the school in the interest of the students and the Crown. The board, together with the principal and school leaders, continues to be highly effective in using self-review procedures to further promote student learning: engagement, progress and achievement. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four to five years.

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning: engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on;

what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;

decisions made to improve student achievement using the information; and

teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO’s review is responsive to the school’s context. For example, when ERO reviews a school, it takes into account the characteristics of the community, from which it draws its students, its location, and the aspirations the community has for its young people, and relevant local factors.

ERO also builds on the school’s own self-review information. That is, ERO is interested in how a school monitors the progress of its students and aspects of school life and culture, and how it uses this information.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its reports on national education evaluation topics. Comments relevant to this school are included in the report. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve educational achievement in schools; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting integrates the following.

  • school curriculum;
  • national evaluation topics –contribute to the development of education policies and their effective implementation; and
  • Board Assurance Statement, including student and staff health and safety.

It also integrates external review with school self review by taking the most useful aspects from external and self review to build a picture of the school and its context.

This helps ERO to answer the major evaluation question for reviews:

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote student learning: engagement, progress and achievement?

Areas for Development and Review

ERO reports include areas for development and review to support on-going improvement by identifying priorities. Often the school will have identified these matters through its own self review and already plans further development in those areas.