St Patrick's School (Panmure) - 19/02/2018

School Context

St Patrick’s School in Panmure, Auckland is a Catholic, state-integrated, full primary (Year 1-8). The roll of approximately 100 students comprises students from within, and outside of the local area. There are high numbers of Pacific and Filipino children and a small number of Māori. Over a third of students speak English as an additional language. The school is one of New Zealand’s oldest and it has strong historic links with the community. Long-serving staff and intergenerational links with families are features of the school.

The school’s mission is to provide Catholic education that enables all children to develop to their full potential. This mission encompasses the school’s special character, and its desire to promote thinkers and learners who are active participants in their own learning.

The school is a member of the Manaiakalani Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL) that has a strong focus on accelerating children’s academic achievement. The school’s current goals are to increase children’s understanding and ownership of their learning, and to accelerate their progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Recent professional learning for teachers has focussed on promoting children’s use of key learning competencies and updating some teaching and learning approaches.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for children in the following areas:

  • levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • learning progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress made against school targets set for student achievement.

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?

Leaders and teachers continue to effectively maintain and improve overall achievement results. They have a continuing focus on providing equitable and excellent outcomes for all children. Data from 2014 to 2016 shows improvement in mathematics and writing achievement across the school. However, there has been a small drop in reading achievement over this time.

School-wide achievement data from 2016 shows that between 55-68 percent of children achieve at the expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. There is evidence that disparity is being reduced for Pacific children in reading and mathematics and there are indications that many are making some accelerated progress. However, Pacific learners aren’t achieving as well as their peers in writing and boys’ achievement overall is below that of girls.

The school has well documented descriptions of other valued outcomes for learners. Staff are in the process of designing ways to determine how well children are achieving in relation to these valued outcomes.

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

The school responds well to learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration. School data shows children making good progress and there is evidence of accelerated progress for some.

The school has in-depth knowledge of the progress and achievement of all children individually, including its very small number of Māori learners. Teachers use this information to identify children who need additional support. There is good planning to support these children. Leaders and teachers have established well defined systems for ensuring that parents are actively involved in these planning processes.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

The school’s systems for curriculum management, and leadership are helping to enable the achievement of equity and excellence.

Children and whānau’s diverse values, cultures and heritage languages are valued. School practices reflect and incorporate te ao Māori, and there is a clear sense of biculturalism.

Children benefit from a warm and nurturing school environment. They relate well to their teachers and are supportive of each other. Teachers are responsive to children’s individual backgrounds and circumstances. As a result, classrooms are settled and productive.

The principal has developed systems for curriculum management based on current research and theory about teaching and learning. These systems are very well documented and readily accessible for staff. Leaders and teachers are currently extending the depth and breadth of the curriculum. The aim is to better reflect the overarching principles of the New Zealand Curriculum. Children are also benefiting from better opportunities to use digital technologies as part of their learning. All of these developments are likely to help enrich the curriculum and improve children’s learning.

The CoL/Kahui Ako in-school leader is very active in her role. She promotes updated teaching approaches and models how teachers could inquire into the effectiveness of their own practices. In this role she is responsible for providing teachers with support and guidance to help them meet the school’s goals.

Children have increased opportunities to know about and understand their own learning. Student led conferences provide rich opportunities for them to plan, share and lead their learning. Through discussions with their teachers and parents, they are now more regularly involved in setting and reflecting on their own learning goals.

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

Greater consistency in teachers’ implementation of new teaching practices is necessary to continue ensuring all children benefit equitably from key developments. School leaders and teachers need to clarify their expectations for teaching and learning, including timeframes, and document shared understandings about the changes required to meet these expectations. Ongoing support for teachers to make changes could be linked to the school’s quality assurance and improvement monitoring processes.

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

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure that the appraisal processes for teachers and the principal are suitably robust and meet the requirements of the Education Council.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the inclusive practices used to support all students to feel secure and have a strong sense of belonging
  • monitoring student progress and achievement in ways that help teachers to focus on the impact of their teaching, and helping children to understand and own their learning
  • home/school partnerships that focus on involving family and whānau in supporting children’s learning and raising student achievement
  • an increasingly responsive curriculum with well managed curriculum systems to guide teachers.

Next step

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

  • establishing consistency in teachers’ implementation of improved and updated teaching practices, to help ensure that all children have access to high quality programmes across the school.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

19 February 2018

About the school 

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1507

School type

Full Primary (Year 1-8)

School roll

105

Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Tongan
Filipino
Samoan
other

   4%
 40%
 28%
 22%
   6%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

19 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

 December 2011
 October 2008
 November 2005