Bishop Edward Gaines Catholic School - 12/03/2013

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s Arotake Paetawhiti review?

Bishop Edward Gaines is a small Catholic integrated full primary school in Tokoroa catering for students in Years 1 to 8. It has a roll of 31 with most students being of Māori, European, and Pacific descent with a small number of Asian and Filipino students. A unique feature of the school is that governance is shared with another integrated school in Putaruru. The school’s Catholic character underpins all policies and practices in a family oriented environment. There is strong parish and parent support in the day to day life of the school.

In Term 4, 2011, ERO carried out an Education Review which identified some aspects of school performance and practices which needed to improve. Since that time a new principal has been appointed. ERO along with the Ministry of Education has continued to work in close liaison with the principal, board and staff to improve school performance. There has been a strong development focus on:

  • professional leadership and management
  • curriculum development and delivery
  • professional learning and development for teachers
  • use of student achievement information to improve student progress and achievement.

Significant progress has been made in all these areas and ERO is now confident that the school can continue to sustain and improve its performance.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?


Use of achievement information

The school has made significant progress in the gathering and use of student achievement information.

Strategic goals are set and monitored to raise student achievement. Board members receive high quality school-wide information on student achievement to inform their decision making. Annual targets are set for achievement based on year groups. An assessment schedule guides the collection of reliable data on student achievement.

A special needs register identifies and targets those students achieving below or well below expected levels and those students with special abilities. Individual education plans are in place for those students at below and well below achievement levels.

Successful professional development has resulted in improved teachers’ planning and assessment practices. Teachers know students well and are able to plan deliberate acts of teaching to support student learning.

Parents receive reports that are understandable and clearly show student progress and achievement over time.

Curriculum Development

The school has developed and documented a curriculum which is responsive to the needs and aspirations of the trustees, staff, students and community, and is closely aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. The curriculum reflects the school’s charter which is being updated to recognise cultural diversity and value the identity, culture and language of all students. A school community survey identified parent’ aspirations for student learning and areas considered important to families.

Staff, board and parents have an agreed and shared understanding of curriculum principles and values, and what underpins the school’s learning community. A ‘Bishop Kids Graduate’ profile has been developed which indicates clearly the outcomes expected for students at this school. Comprehensive implementation plans guide curriculum delivery in all essential learning areas. The school curriculum is providing more opportunities for students to take leadership roles in school activities.

Teachers are reflecting on their teaching practice to improve teaching and learning programmes. Increased emphasis is being given to students taking more responsibility for their own learning, knowing about their levels of achievement, and understanding their next learning steps. Teachers demonstrate effective teaching practices and students show high levels of engagement and enjoyment in classrooms.

Success for Māori and Pacific students

There has been significant development in school policies and practices to support Māori and Pacific students. The principal, staff and board have identified ideas and strategies from Ministry of Education publications such as Kahikitia, Tātaiako and the Pacific Education plan, and are implementing them in the school. Changes have been made to the school charter and strategic goals to support this development. Effective teaching and learning relationships are being developed, and students demonstrate active engagement and productive partnerships with whānau and aiga. Teachers engage with students and personalise learning experiences. The school values the language, identity and culture of all students, who enjoy educational success. .

Next priorities for Review and Development

The principal has identified and ERO agrees that the next steps for development are to:

  • focus on raising achievement in mathematics
  • continue to implement teaching as inquiry initiatives
  • continue to build learning relationships with Māori and Pacific students and families.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Bishop Edward Gaines is now very well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

The principal provides strong and enthusiastic professional leadership and management of the school. She has effectively managed change and built positive, open and constructive relationships with staff, students, parents and members of the community. She is very knowledgeable about teaching and learning and actively works to continually improve school performance and raise levels of student achievement. Self review informs the principal, staff and board about the effectiveness of school systems, practices and initiatives to accelerate student progress and achievement. Teaching staff demonstrate a willingness and commitment to continually develop their teaching practice.

The shared board is well led and uses the combined knowledge and expertise of trustees to govern the school effectively. Members are well informed by the principal and use this information to inform board decision making. The principal and board make good use of outside agencies and professional development providers to address identified areas for review and development.

The school provides a positive supportive and welcoming culture for staff, students and parents.

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.

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

The principal has identified and ERO agrees, that the next steps for development are to:

  • focus on raising achievement in mathematics
  • continue to implement teaching as inquiry initiatives
  • continue to build learning relationships with Māori and Pacific students and families.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

12 March 2013

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 18 Boys 13

Ethnic composition

NZ Māori


NZ European/Pākehā

South East Asian





Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

12 March 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

May 2008

June 2005