St John's School (Mairangi Bay) - 05/12/2017

School Context

St John’s School (Mairangi Bay) is an integrated Catholic school, on Auckland’s North Shore. It caters for students from Years 1 to 6. The roll of approximately 330 students includes 5 percent Māori, 10 percent Middle Eastern and a variety of other ethnicities.

The school community embraces its special character with the charism of the Sisters of St Joseph. The school’s mission is to provide a faith-enriched Catholic education that promotes and celebrates excellence and lifelong learning. The mission is underpinned by the school values of respect, excellence, community and faith. These values reflect four special characteristics of St Mary of the Cross Mackillop who founded the Sisters of St Joseph, and the school vision of “together we excel, we celebrate, we live our faith in Christ”.

The board has experienced and new trustees, and includes a new chair person. Following the retirement of the previous, long-standing principal, a new principal was appointed in 2016.

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 in relation to the school targets

  • progress, trends and patterns over time for priority students

  • learning progress for children with additional learning needs

  • accelerated learning for children at risk of not achieving

  • engagement, attendance and wellbeing.

St John’s School is a member of the North Shore Catholic Schools Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning(CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

St John’s School is achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its children.

School information shows very high levels of student achievement. Almost all children, including Māori and Pacific children, achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics. There is parity between male and female students. This achievement pattern has been consistent over the past four years.

Children with additional needs are very well supported in their learning. Parents/whānau of children with additional needs value their partnerships with the school, which focus on improved learning and wellbeing outcomes for their children.

All children have opportunities to learn and apply literacy and mathematical skills and understandings in different learning areas, within the school’s broad curriculum.

Students achieve very well in relation to other school valued outcomes that include:

  • confidence in their identity, language and culture in the school

  • a strong sense of belonging and connection to the school and the community

  • being inclusive and accepting of others, and promoting fairness and social justice

  • confidence in themselves as learners.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

St John’s School is highly effective in responding to those Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration.

Children at risk of not achieving are closely monitored by senior teachers and leaders. Teachers plan and implement relevant strategies to accelerate their progress. Leaders and teachers work collaboratively with parents, teacher aides and external agencies, to cater very effectively for children’s learning needs.

School leaders have promoted culturally responsive school practices that have had a positive impact on Māori and Pacific children. Teachers’ knowledge of learners and their whānau is having a positive impact on all children including those at risk of not achieving. Children from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and children with additional learning needs, benefit from the inclusive and responsive approaches that support them to succeed.

Well-considered programmes and appropriate interventions support those Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration. Staff schedule focused and ongoing evaluation of programmes, practices and processes so they can be adapted to suit individual learners.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

An effective board succession process has ensured continuity of good stewardship. School leaders and board members have a shared vision for the school’s renewed direction. They model openness and collaborative practice with a strong focus on what is best for children.

Partnerships with whānau are strongly promoted. These connections among families, school and the parish, have a positive influence on children’s learning and wellbeing. Catholic and school values are an integral part of children’s lives and their learning.

Warm relationships provide children and adults with a sense of being valued, and their contributions are well received. Classroom tone and environments promote and support learning. Children are confident, and proud of their learning and achievements.

The school curriculum is clearly focused on effective teaching. Children engage in a wide range of learning experiences within and beyond school. School leaders and staff provide increasing opportunities for children to resource and take ownership of their learning.

The school's internal moderation processes are effective. Teaching staff work collaboratively to ensure their overall judgements about achievement are reliable. Their evaluation of key learning areas has had a positive impact on school practices that are enabling children’s equity and excellence. The perspectives of students, families and teachers have contributed to these evaluations, and are building a sense of shared ownership and understanding about school practices.

Since the 2014 ERO report, positive practices have been sustained and further developed. Recent initiatives that are contributing to greater equity and excellence for children include:

  • high expectations for teaching and learning to support children to achieve success

  • further promoting learning-focused partnerships between the school, parents/whānau, the parish and wider community

  • providing a collaborative, responsive culture for all that includes strengthening te reo and tikanga Māori in the school

  • re-energising the integrated school curriculum.

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

School processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence are effective.

School leaders agree that deepening internal evaluation to guide the school’s strategic direction, would enhance current practices. This would support the development of the school’s responsive curriculum to enhance student agency in learning.

Involvement in the CoL and wider networks will contribute to building evaluation capability across all levels of the school.

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:

  • a school culture of parent and school partnerships with a shared vision of positive outcomes for children

  • leaders fostering an environment that embraces change to promote equity and excellence for all children

  • the shared commitment of all staff to support each child’s learning and wellbeing.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are to continue to:

  • build collective evaluation capability

  • enhance schoolwide practices that support students to co-construct their own learning goals and experiences through the new curriculum.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

5 December 2017

About the school

Location

Mairangi Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1492

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

330

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Middle Eastern

British/Irish

African

Southeast Asian

Chinese

Korean

Australian

Dutch

Filipino

Indian

Latin American

other European

other

5%

37%

10%

8%

5%

5%

4%

4%

3%

3%

3%

2%

2%

4%

5%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

5 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2014
June 2010
June 2007