St Joseph's School (Rangiora) - 12/07/2017

Summary

St Joseph’s School is a full primary Catholic school located in Rangiora, North Canterbury. It is a special character school with a roll of 157 children. A small number of children identify as Māori and Pacific.

There have been significant changes to the leadership and governance of the school since the previous 2013 ERO review. A new principal was appointed in mid-2015 and a deputy principal in early 2017. The board chairperson was elected in June 2016.

The school is actively involved in the Catholic Kāhui Ako (Community of Learning).

The school has made good progress in addressing the recommendations identified in the previous ERO report. This includes the development of an integrated curriculum, use of digital technologies, internal evaluation and inquiry processes.

Overall, student achievement against the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics shows a positive trend since 2014, apart from a significant drop in the achievement of boys in writing in 2016. Several interventions are in place to address this disparity.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is successfully responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The processes that are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence include:

  • the special character of the school helping to promote the positive and inclusive culture
  • leaders having a strategic and coherent approach to building professional capability
  • targeted professional development
  • use of a distributive leadership model
  • the purposeful use of digital technologies that creates an excitement for learning and focuses on accelerating children’s achievement.

The next steps for the school are to embed the many processes that have been developed to achieve equity and excellence. This includes:

  • the inquiry model for students and teachers
  • building teacher capacity in using data to identify students whose achievement needs acceleration and monitoring progress over time
  • moderation processes and the consistency of overall teacher judgements (OTJs) about children’s learning
  • the review of the integrated curriculum
  • collaborative practices and student agency.

At the time of this review children were achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is successfully responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. Many Māori children are achieving well.

In 2016 the data shows that most children achieved at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. However, there was significant disparity for boys in writing. The school has responded to this by being more targeted in monitoring and supporting these children to accelerate their achievement.

Leaders have developed more collaborative, robust processes to increase the accuracy of OTJs and moderation processes. Leaders need to embed the process for moderation.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has many effective processes that are enabling achievement of equity and excellence.

The special character of the school is highly evident in all aspects of the school’s operation. Close partnerships in learning are actively fostered between the school, parish and community. Trustees, leaders and staff collectively promote a bicultural learning environment that positively benefits all children.

Student learning, wellbeing and progress are the core concern and collective responsibility of the board, leaders and staff. This promotes a positive and inclusive school culture where children are valued for their uniqueness, interests and abilities.

Teachers know their children well and use this information to provide specific programmes and resources to engage children whose progress needs acceleration. All children have good opportunities to be involved in an interesting and broad curriculum.

The board makes good use of a range of information to develop comprehensive strategic and annual priorities to support equitable opportunities for all children. Trustees are kept well informed on progress towards meeting the strategic goals through the principal’s reports.

Leaders have a strategic and coherent approach to building professional capability. This includes a distributed leadership model and targeted professional development. The increasingly effective use of digital technologies promotes a culture of excitement about learning.

The board actively represents and serves the school well in its stewardship role. Trustees enable the achievement of equity and excellence by providing additional resourcing for programmes and initiatives that promote positive outcomes for children.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school is establishing many useful processes to achieve equity and excellence. A number of these processes are still being embedded. In order to support sustainable equity and excellence the school needs to continue to develop:

  • the inquiry model for students and teachers to build critical thinking and reflective practices
  • teacher capacity in using data to identify, support and monitor progress of students whose achievement needs acceleration
  • moderation processes to increase the consistency and rigour of decisions about learning progress and achievement levels
  • collaborative practices and student agency to further involve children in their learning
  • internal evaluation capability to show the impact of actions taken on outcomes for children.

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
  • 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer, Southern (Te Waipounamu)

12 July 2017 

About the school 

Location

Rangiora

Ministry of Education profile number

4132

School type

Full Primary

School roll

157

Gender composition

Female 49%

Male 51%

Ethnic composition

 

Māori 8%

NZ European 71%

Pacific 4%

Asian 4%

African 1%

Australian 2%

British / Irish 10%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

12 July 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2013

Education Review March 2010

Education Review March 2007