Our Lady of Rosary School (Waiwhetu) - 25/06/2018

School Context

Our Lady of the Rosary School (Waiwhetu) is a state integrated Catholic school in Lower Hutt. The roll of 264 Years 1 to 8 students includes 23% who identify as Māori and 14% as Pacific.

The school vision is for students: To live, learn and love with Christ, Ka ora, ka ako, ka aroha me te Karaiti. The virtues are:whakapono, Tūmanako, Aroha and Manaakitanga/Faith, Hope, Love and Charity.

The current focus is on improving teaching and achievement in mathematics.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing for success
  • engagement.

The school has gone through change since the December 2014 ERO report. The principal took up the position at the beginning of 2015. There has been roll growth and an increase in teaching staff with three additional classes. Several initiatives include new teaching practices to enhance students’ ownership of their learning.

The school is part of the Hutt Faith Based Kāhui Ako.

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 is well placed to achieve equitable outcomes for all students. Analysed student achievement information shows that in 2017 most students achieved at expectations for their year in reading, writing and mathematics, with a significant number achieving above expectations.

Māori student achievement has improved over time, reducing disparity in reading, writing and mathematics, with more achieving above age expectations. The achievement of Pacific students is generally below that of other students. Girls’ achievement is higher than boys in reading and writing, while boys’ achievement is higher in mathematics

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

The school is effective in accelerating learning for many students whose learning requires acceleration. Teachers and leaders persistently seek ways to improve, share and implement effective practices and processes to address the equity of outcomes for all learners. Acceleration is evident for many students, including Māori and some Pacific students, in the 2017 data. This achievement trend is apparent for many students in the past three years.

Acceleration of achievement for Māori students is especially apparent in writing. Acceleration is evident for Māori and Pacific students in reading with almost half of Māori students now achieving above expectations in this area.

Although Māori and Pacific students are succeeding the school has recognised that there is a need to continue to focus on accelerating their achievement in 2018.

The school is currently focused on accelerating all students’ achievement to a level that is above age expectation.

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?

Trustees are strongly focused on student achievement and wellbeing and are responsive to both the needs of students, and the wishes of parents. This is evident through their deliberate actions and strategic goals that focus on ongoing improvement. They interrogate useful reports that are used to inform their decisions and are vigilant in seeking to understand how children will benefit from proposed changes.

Leaders have a strong and systematic approach to change. Robust processes to support the development of school priorities are evident to effect positive improvement. Sound systems and processes are clearly documented and effectively implemented. Additional resourcing to support students within the classrooms and assist teachers to deliver the curriculum, is strategically considered and used.

Evidence shows that teachers collectively take responsibility for students’ progress and achievement. Priority learners are well known, supported and have their progress monitored regularly. Clear actions are in place to support those students whose learning requires acceleration. Wellconsidered, useful tracking of student achievement is in place for both individuals and groups of students.

A strong and deliberate focus on building ongoing, relevant learning partnerships with parents, the wider community and the parish is apparent. Sound relationships exist between families, trustees and staff. Leaders work together with the school community to create a positive environment that is inclusive, values diversity and promotes wellbeing and cultural understanding.

Students experience a broad, progressive and coherent curriculum that builds skills and deepens understanding as they progress through the school. There is a clear focus on building positive relationships for learning and engagement, and enabling students to achieve and excel in a range of contexts.

Cultural responsiveness is actively promoted. Te ao Māori is meaningfully incorporated into a range of school contexts. Through the school pōwhiri, students are confident and involved, to welcome new comers to the wider school community. Strong, integrated, Catholic values, which incorporate aspect of te ao Māori are highly evident throughout school operations.

A range of strategies and plans is in place to extend engagement of and communication with the Māori and Pacific communities. The plans also identify deliberate actions to recognise, and further integrate, culturally responsive contexts and understandings throughout the curriculum.

Robust processes build teacher capability. Professional development, school targets, syndicate and teacher inquiries are well aligned. Very clear and useful guidelines and practices are in place to support provisionally certificated teachers to develop as teachers. A clear and comprehensive appraisal framework builds and supports professional practice.

A culture of inquiry and improvement is embedded in staff and board practice. Leaders participate in and lead purposeful evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building in a range of professional learning contexts and communities. Trustees regularly review policies and key guiding documents. Teachers inquire into and share effective practices and identified challenges. A shared understanding of the process for internal review is evident. This is regularly used to successfully review a range of key school functions and initiatives.

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

Leaders have identified student agency and cultural connectedness as keys to raising overall student achievement and ongoing improvements in teacher practice. They have set targets and identified actions to investigate this.

New approaches to learning and changes to delivery of the curriculum throughout the school are regularly implemented to improve student outcomes. Leaders consider it is now timely to evaluate the impact the recently introduced learning through the play approach, in Years 1 to 3, on student learning.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership and stewardship that focus on positive learning and wellbeing outcomes for all students

  • a broad and coherent curriculum that maximises student interests and opportunities for learning

  • partnerships with the local parish, community and families that support positive outcomes for students

  • well-established school values that underpin school expectations and operation

  • internal evaluation that identifies the impact of changes and improvements on student achievement.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to improve outcomes for students, to achieve equity for all groups in the school and raise levels of achievement, particularly for Pacific learners.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

25 June 2018

About the school

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2941

School type

Integrated Full Primary, Years 1-8

School roll

264

Gender composition

Girls 51%, boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 23%
Pacific 14%
Pākehā 42%
Other ethnic groups 21%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

25 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2014
Education Review April 2012
Education Review April 2010