St Pius X Catholic School (Melville) - 16/02/2018

School Context

St Pius X Catholic School is located in the suburb of Melville, Hamilton. It is a full primary, integrated school providing education for students in Years 1 to 8 from a culturally diverse community. The school’s roll has increased to 167 and includes 21 Māori and 53 Filipino students.

The school’s vision states that they aim “to learn love, to learn wisdom, the way we are.” There is a commitment to uphold the Catholic character of the school. The school’s charter includes a statement to create an environment where Māori students experience success as Māori.

Since the 2014 ERO report there have been upgrades to the administration block and students’ playgrounds. Trustees and staffing have remained consistent. The school has implemented a te reo Māori language programme. Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board about school-wide information on outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics

  • Reading Recovery

  • students with identified needs.

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?

The school is achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for many students. Achievement data from 2014 to 2016 shows the majority of students achieve at or above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students achieve as well, or better than their Pākehā peers in these areas. Other ethnic groups achieve at higher levels in reading and mathematics, and at similar levels in writing. The number of boys achieving at expected levels in reading and mathematics has increased in the past three years. There is no disparity with girls in these curriculum areas. Disparity is evident for boys in writing.

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

The school is yet to respond effectively to accelerating the achievement of all Māori and other at-risk students. Leaders are not yet able to show the numbers of at-risk students school wide whose learning has been accelerated.School data shows that many students with identified learning needs who participated in specialist programmes, made accelerated progress in literacy and mathematics.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Students have equitable opportunities to learn. There are positive, affirming relationships amongst students and teachers. Students learn in well-resourced and inclusive environments. Teachers identify students who require support in their learning and monitor their progress using appropriate assessment tools. Students with additional learning needs, including English language learners, are well supported by an appropriate variety of classroom programmes and specialist interventions.

The curriculum promotes students’ learning and wellbeing. It is well designed to be responsive to the special Catholic character of the community. There is an appropriate emphasis on the teaching of literacy and mathematics. Students have many opportunities to participate in school-wide events, celebrations and education outside the classroom.

Trustees and leaders demonstrate a strong commitment to upholding the Catholic character and the school’s vision. They have established and sustained a positive and safe environment for learning.

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

Leaders need to place priority on strengthening the use of student achievement information. School-wide student achievement information needs to be more consistently analysed to identify rates of acceleration, particularly for at-risk students. Charter targets need to specifically identify the number of student whose learning requires acceleration. Trustees need to be better informed about the progress and achievement of targeted student throughout the year. There needs to be a more consistent school-wide approach by teachers to the use of achievement information to specifically plan to accelerate achievement. Systems are yet to be implemented to support students and their families to be aware of their achievement and next steps for learning.

There is a need to improve internal evaluation systems and processes. Leaders should:

  • strengthen the performance management system for teachers

  • report regularly to the board on the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives designed to accelerate the progress and achievement of at risk learners

  • establish a strategic approach to policy review to ensure the school is meeting statutory requirements

  • undertake formal consultation with the community and report on outcomes to the board.

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.

Appraisal audit

To improve practice, leaders need to ensure the appraisal process meets the Education Council guidelines and there is sufficient evidence provided by teachers in relation to the standards.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school. The school has effective systems and processes in place to support the pastoral care of this student. The student is well integrated into the life of the school and experiences positive relationships with teachers and students.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to consultation with the community regarding implementing the health curriculum and updating the child protection policy.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. Comply with the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community. [Section 60B Education Act 1989]

  2. Update the child protection policy to align with the requirements of the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014. [Sections 18, 19 Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • develop and make known to the school’s community policies, plans and targets for improving the achievement of Māori students in consultation with the school’s Māori community.
    [National Administration Guideline 1(e)]

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a curriculum that responds to student’s identified learning needs

  • shared values and positive support for the school’s parent and parish community that underpin a positive and orderly environment for learning.

Next steps

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

  • leadership for learning to build teacher capability, including rigorous performance management for the principal and teachers

  • strengthening the use of student achievement information to support a strategically aligned approach to accelerating the achievement of at-risk students

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning
    [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]

  • internal evaluation processes and practices.
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

16 February 2018

About the school


Melville, Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 12%
South East Asian 32%
Indian 19%
Pacific Island 8%
Other Asian 4%
Other 5%

Provision of Māori medium education


International student(s)


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

16 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review August 2011 Education Review August 2009