St Joseph's School (Hastings)

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Education institution number:
2677
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
191
Telephone:
Address:

404 Eastbourne Street East, Akina, Hastings

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School Context

St Joseph’s School (Hastings) is an integrated Catholic primary school providing education for students from Years 1 to 8. At the time of this evaluation the growing roll has 184 students with 21% identifying as Māori and 13% of Pacific heritage.

The school’s mission is ‘that every child reaches their highest level of achievement in an inclusive, supportive and caring Catholic environment’.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • progress and achievement in relation to reading, writing, mathematics, religious education and integrated units

  • development and enactment of the special Catholic character.

There have been changes in board membership and staffing since the May 2015 ERO report. A new director of religious education was appointed in 2017.

Since the previous ERO report, leaders and teachers have participated in professional learning and development (PLD) in literacy, mathematics, religious education, play-based learning and sporting skills. In 2018, they are working on the play-based learning approach and whole school mathematics.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

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

Most students achieve at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Reported school wide achievement data indicates little disparity between groups of students.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

Accelerated progress is evident for some students including those with additional needs. Further refinement of processes to measure rates of acceleration is required.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

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

Leadership and trustees are committed to upholding the school’s special character, mission and the positive development of the whole child. The board is highly supportive of the principal, staff and school and resource a wide range of learning opportunities, especially sports. They regularly receive and discuss schoolwide achievement information with the principal and leaders. Good use is made of Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Boards of Trustees, to support their ongoing review.

All parents and the wider whānau are welcomed into the school. Parents’ and students’ views and comments are regularly sought by the board and leadership to inform current and future direction. The school enjoys strong community and parish support of school events and celebrations.

Classrooms are welcoming, settled environments and interactions are respectful. There is a clear focus on student wellbeing. Teachers care about and promote students’ success and participation in learning. They work together collaboratively. Syndicate teams take collective responsibility for tracking and monitoring target students. A distributed model of leadership is providing greater opportunities for teachers to take on new roles and responsibilities.

The school curriculum reflects a focus on the special Catholic character, literacy and mathematics. There is a strong emphasis on science, physical activities, coding and robotics. Ongoing development in mathematics contributes to richer learning tasks for children. A kaiako with expertise in te reo me tikanga Māori supports staff to grow their understanding and works with classes each week. A play based initiative has been recently introduced for junior students and teachers report improved levels of oral language development.

There are a wide range of strategies and resources used to support students with additional needs. Their progress is regularly monitored and reported. External support is effectively accessed and well utilised.

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

To enable a sharper focus on achieving valued outcomes for all students, trustees and leaders should deliberately align all school processes and systems such as strategic and annual goals, the curriculum, PLD, teaching as inquiry and appraisal.

A key next step is for trustees, leaders and teachers to deeply evaluate data and evidence to measure the impact of targeted teaching, programmes and initiatives on student outcomes. This should lead to more systematic evaluation aligned to school priorities, and assist the board to continue to make informed resourcing decisions. Strengthening writing assessment practice is also needed.

To further strengthen and provide a more coherent approach, the curriculum should include an overarching document that draws together the school’s mission, special character and unique place in the community. It should also provide explicit guidelines for: teaching and learning; ways to support children to lead and assess their learning; the further integration of te ao Māori; and provisions for Pacific, Indian and other learners.

Teachers have participated in an updated appraisal system based on the Standards for the Teaching Profession. To strengthen and promote professional growth, the school needs to further clarify this process by developing clear expectations of the leadership component, goal setting, observations and teaching as inquiry.

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:

  • update policies and procedures that relate to student safety and wellbeing to ensure they meet all current and relevant legislative requirements.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • shared direction and partnership of the board and leadership, informed by community consultation, that focuses on student achievement, wellbeing and community involvement
  • a wide range of strategies and resources used to support students with additional needs
  • positive learning relationships with parents, extended families and the wider community, that actively support student learning and wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • aligning all processes and systems so that there is a sharper focus on achieving valued outcomes
  • strengthening internal evaluation schoolwide, so that trustees, leadership and teachers evaluate student achievement information and the impact of teaching programmes to specifically target and resource student learning
  • reviewing the school curriculum so that it prioritises the school’s faith, culture and identity, clearly states expectations of teacher practice and guides schoolwide teaching and learning
  • targeted planning to accelerate learning.
    [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]

The school has requested and 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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

6 September 2018

About the school

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2677

School type

State Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 – 8)

School roll

184

Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 21%
Pākehā 36%
Asian 30%
Pacific 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

6 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015
Education Review February 2012
Education Review February 2011

Findings

Trustees, leaders and teachers take collective responsibility for improving all students’ learning, wellbeing and spiritual development. An inclusive environment is evident and students are enthusiastic learners. They experience positive outcomes through participation in the curriculum. All students make progress. The majority achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

1 Context

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

St Joseph’s School is a state integrated Catholic school in Hastings. The school provides a broad curriculum for Year 1 to 8 students from its ethnically diverse community.

Trustees, school staff, families, whānau and aiaga enjoy positive relationships. Interactions are respectful and focused on supporting student’s wellbeing, learning and holistic development. A culture of care and relationship-based teaching and learning underpins teaching practice.

The principal was newly appointed to the school at the time of ERO’s February 2012 review. Since that time a new appointment has been made to the deputy principal position. The leadership team plans and works collaboratively to achieve the school’s strategic vision.

Students learn in an attractive, child-focused environment. The positive and inclusive culture is supportive of learning.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers use analysed achievement information well. Trustees regularly receive reliable achievement data in particular curriculum areas. This is used to inform decision making. Annual planning, charter targets and actions focus on further improving teaching practice and accelerating all students’ learning.

Most learners, including Māori and Pacific, make steady progress with many achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Increasingly, teachers are using assessment to modify lessons and teaching strategies in response to students’ next steps for learning. Leaders and teachers continue to consider how effectively they make overall teacher judgements about individual students' progress toward the National Standards in writing, reading and mathematics.

Students identified with specific learning needs are well catered for through adapted in-class programmes and specialist interventions. Planned actions to support learners are closely monitored and contribute positively to these learners' progress.

Educational partnerships with students and their families are focused on supporting children’s holistic development. All students are well supported to recognise their strengths and learning needs. Strategies in place assist children to develop as self-regulating learners.

Families have many opportunities to be actively involved in and support their children’s learning. To further enhance the positive educational partnerships occurring, school leaders should review how effectively they report progress toward National Standards, especially in the mid-year written report.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s special character and Catholic faith are an integral part of the localised curriculum and learners’ daily experiences. Supporting students’ spiritual and academic development reflects parents’ aspirations for their children.

Strong links between the school’s curriculum and the principles and key competencies in The New Zealand Curriculum are evident. An integrated approach, through topics and related experiences, supports students’ learning about science, the social sciences, the arts and te reo Māori and tikanga Māori. Acknowledging and celebrating the cultures of all the children attending is woven through the curriculum.

Current curriculum review and development have an appropriate focus on further strengthening teaching and learning in literacy and mathematics. Planned actions focus on improving programmes. This has a positive impact on learners’ engagement and progress.

The incorporation of information and communication technologies as teaching and learning tools is progressing well. This is integral to the school’s curriculum and motivates students’ enthusiasm for and engagement in learning.

Students’ transition into the school, between classes and onto further education is well considered. ERO’s evaluation identified, and school leaders agree, it is timely to review how well the school’s curriculum meaningfully supports students to consider their future career options.

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

The school has a solid foundation of successful practice that impacts positively on the progress, achievement and engagement of Māori learners. Planning for this group is prioritised in the school’s charter. Further developing the plan would be beneficial to achieve the outcomes the school desires. It is timely to review and further develop the school’s curriculum with a more deliberate focus on promoting success for Māori, as Māori. School leaders and teachers should:

  • with whānau, develop and express relevant cultural competencies desired for Māori learners
  • take account of whānau, hapū, iwi and the nation’s aspirations to develop clear measurable outcomes for school actions and show how success will be reviewed
  • continue to build leaders' and teachers' knowledge of the successful practices that support Māori learners’ culture, language and identities and use this information to make relevant changes to the school’s curriculum and teaching expectations.

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. Staff and trustees work collaboratively to continually improve the quality of schooling and support all students’ wellbeing. Leaders and staff know the value of review, of looking at what is going well and using systematic critical inquiry to inform school development decisions.

Practices that build leaders’ and teachers’ curriculum knowledge and improve teaching practice contribute to improved outcomes for students. A focus through 2013, to increase teachers’ ability to include te ao Pacifica in programmes and school activities is promoting and celebrating the cultures of the Pacific learners who attend.

Leaders plan to review the school's appraisal system this year. Staff use professional inquiry well to consider the effectiveness of their leadership and teaching practice. The principal acknowledges exploring Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners would be a useful future inquiry to inform ongoing development of appraisal. More clearly identifying and articulating the expectations of culturally-responsive teaching should contribute positively to the schooling experience of Māori, and all, learners.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers take collective responsibility for improving all students’ learning, wellbeing and spiritual development. An inclusive environment is evident and students are enthusiastic learners. They experience positive outcomes through participation in the curriculum. All students make progress. The majority achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

12 May 2015

About the School

Location

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

2677

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

132

Gender composition

Female 51%

Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Samoan

Cook Island Māori

Other ethnic groups

22%

42%

19%

7%

3%

7%

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

12 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2012

February 2011

June 2007