St Peter Chanel School (Motueka) - 12/05/2015

Findings

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

St Peter Chanel is a small, Catholic school for Year 1-8 students. It is situated in Motueka in attractive and well-maintained grounds. The Catholic faith and values are important to the school community. There are very close links between the school and parish.

Students learn in a positive and supportive environment. Caring for school pets and the garden provide students with additional practical learning opportunities.

Over time, the roll has decreased. Recent trends show that an increasing number of students arrive from, or move to other primary schools.

There have been three changes of principal in the last two years. As a result, self review and further development of the curriculum, identified in the 2011 ERO report, still need to be addressed. A new principal was appointed in 2014 and a new board chairperson was recently elected.

2. Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school makes very good use of achievement information to identify and respond appropriately to students’ needs. The school’s data indicate that most students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Students are well supported by their peers and teachers. They work well together and learn from each other. Additional support is available for students when needed.

Students have good support to set their goals and next steps in learning. Teachers are reflective and continue to seek the most effective ways to help students reach the school’s annual targets. Specific indicators of what the school has defined as an excellent reader, writer or mathematician, provide good information about what students are expected to achieve. Students, teachers and parents refer to these indicators often as a way of tracking progress.

Students use a good range of technologies to extend their learning. Older students have dedicated times with technology equipment in preparation for high school.

School leaders and teachers have a well-developed assessment overview that supports and guides practices across the school. Teachers effectively use students' assessment information to inform them of their next teaching steps.

Area for review and development

Parents are well informed about their children's achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. School leaders and teachers now need to report to parents and students in all areas of the curriculum.

3. Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s curriculum clearly reflects the community’s values, vision and special character.

Curriculum guidelines give suitable emphasis to clarifying expectations for teaching and learning. There is a strong focus on literacy and mathematics. Teachers appropriately sought students’ views in the development of the curriculum. As a result, students' interests are well catered for through the well-planned programmes.

Senior students have increasing choices over the direction of their learning and leadership opportunities. These factors contribute to high levels of student engagement and involvement in the school’s wider curricular programmes.

Attractive, purposeful classroom environments reflect the school’s key areas of learning.

Areas for development and review

The school leaders and teachers now need to:

  • complete the curriculum statements for all learning areas
  • work more with other schools to share effective assessment practices
  • report students’ progress and achievement in all curriculum areas to the board.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

Māori students are well supported to experience success as Māori. Most Māori achieve at similar rates to their peers.

Some effective initiatives have been put in place for promoting Māori students’ success as Māori. These include:

  • a whānau environment that is inclusive, positive and caring
  • a learning environment where students have some good opportunities to use te reo and tikanga Māori
  • opportunities to be involved in cultural activities such as kapa haka, waiata, himene and karakia.

The school responds and values ideas and suggestions presented by parents and whānau. Staff and students are well supported by community experts in learning te reo and tikanga Māori.

Area for development and review

Teachers could further strengthen their programmes by increasing opportunities for all students to develop a greater awareness of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

4. Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

A knowledgeable and well-informed board maintains a focus on student achievement, wellbeing, and on the school’s progress towards meeting its goals. Trustees are developing effective systems to assist with their governance roles. These include:

  • undertaking regular policy reviews
  • developing clear roles and responsibilities
  • undertaking training
  • establishing good communication links between the board, parent community and parish
  • planning for prospective parents to seek election as board members.

The school leaders effectively promote a collaborative, positive school culture that is clearly improvement-focused.

Areas for development and review

ERO has identified that improvements in the following areas are needed to further increase the board’s capacity to govern the school. This includes:

  • developing self-review practices and procedures that support the school’s focus on ongoing improvement
  • planning for regular curriculum and strategic self review
  • refining the school targets to clearly show the expected progress over time of a specific group of students
  • strengthening the strategic plan to indicate the board’s priorities over a 2-3 year period of time.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees 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:

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

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

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

Conclusion

St Peter Chanel in Motueka is a small, Catholic school for Years 1-8 students.

The Catholic faith and values are important to the learning community. The school’s information shows most students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. A new principal and board chair are establishing a collaborative, supportive school culture that is clearly improvement-focused.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

12 May 2015

About the School

Location

Motueka

Ministry of Education profile number

3222

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

57

Gender composition

Girls; 30 Boys; 27

Ethnic composition

NZ European

Māori

Pacific

Other Ethnicities

35

17

3

2

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

12 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

2011

2008

2005