Cardinal McKeefry School (Wilton) - 10/06/2014

1 Context

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

Cardinal McKeefry School (Wilton) is a Catholic integrated school that caters for students in Years 1 to 8. It is located in Wilton, Wellington. Student wellbeing is strongly supported by the school's special character. Students feel a sense of belonging and believe they are respected and valued members of the school community. The majority of staff have been associated with the school for some time.

Students are sharing the campus with six classes of students from another Wellington school undergoing refurbishment during terms one and two.

2 Learning

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

Teachers use a range of standardised assessment tools to identify students' learning needs. The progress of students requiring additional support to meet expected levels of achievement is closely monitored within classrooms and by syndicate leaders. There is an expectation that teachers will adjust teaching programmes to meet students’ individual needs. This practice is variable. Other strategies to support students' learning include the use of teacher aides and reading recovery programmes.

Standardised test data is used to make overall teacher judgements about achievement in relation to National Standards. This is reported annually to the board. Schoolwide data for 2013 showed that the majority of students achieved at or above in relation to National Standards. Patterns of performance noticed have been used to set targets for students in Years 2 to 4 to make measurable gains in reading and writing in 2014.

However, not all trends are well analysed. An ongoing pattern of lower performance of boys, especially in writing, needs greater recognition and response. Expectations for accelerating the progress of students not yet achieving at the Standard should be clearly stated.

Students' reports contain useful information about next learning steps and how parents can help. They are discussed with the parent, student and teacher with reference to portfolios of student work. End of year written reports need to be more explicit about where a student is at, in relation to the Standards.

Students with special needs are well identified. Appropriate individual education plans are written in consultation with families and external agencies where necessary. Progress towards goals is closely monitored. The roll includes an increasing number of learners with English as a second language. A charter goal has been set to meet their needs. An action plan to support this goal has been written in response to ERO's findings during the review process.

3 Curriculum

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

A curriculum focus on reinforcing school values and developing students’ key competencies is highly evident. Physical activity and fitness are valued and regularly timetabled. Students appreciate the wide choice of sports options available and most participate in inter-school events. Teachers make good use of local community facilities and resources in programme planning.

Small group tuition is pitched appropriately. Teachers use good questioning to build students' knowledge and understanding. They help students to make connections with:

  • prior learning
  • experiences across the essential learning areas
  • personal experiences, identity and interests
  • local and community contexts.

Teaching teams meet regularly to plan programmes, discuss target students and share ideas and strategies. Teachers of junior classes are beginning to reflect on what has been effective for promoting student learning and progress. This practice needs to be increased and extended to all teachers.

Students are well engaged in settled classrooms, where they take responsibility for themselves and others. Some progress has been made to empower students to know their next steps and set learning goals.

A strong pastoral care system assists students to feel cared for. The principal is reflective about students’ wellbeing and responsive to parents’ aspirations and emerging issues. Teachers provide good support for students’ transition to school. Parents are partners in the process. Little review of curriculum has occurred since The November 2010 report. Provision of balance, coherence and student progression over time has not been sufficiently monitored. Review and development should involve consultation with the community and consider how well curriculum experiences reflect the languages, identities and cultures of Māori and Pacific learners.

Teachers need improved written guidance for:

  • giving effect to the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • effective teaching practices, including assessment processes
  • fully implementing the National Standards and using this information to inform decision-making.

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

Developing teacher understanding of success for Māori as Māori, and the capability for fostering this, needs to be planned. This should be in partnership with whānau and local iwi and with reference to Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013-2017. Use of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners should support the development of teachers’ culturally responsive practice.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is currently not well placed to sustain and improve its performance. There have been challenges to maintaining an improvement momentum. Many areas for development and review signalled at the time of the November 2010 ERO review still require development.

Self review is not regular, evidence driven or sufficiently evaluative. Over the past two years, the board and teachers have reflected on progress against strategic goals, to identify future priorities. However, the board receives limited information about student achievement and progress for informing decisions.

Plans, systems and processes for monitoring and evaluating progress toward goals should be better aligned. A cohesive team approach to working toward these priorities is needed. The principal has introduced a revised teacher appraisal process. This has yet to be fully implemented.

Key next steps are to:

  • review and further develop documentation for managing curriculum
  • develop processes for monitoring and self review
  • improve use of student achievement information for planning and reporting
  • implement the revised appraisal process
  • develop collaborative practices for working toward school goals.

Sound processes are in place to support and mentor provisionally registered teachers. Teaching practices discussed at mentor sessions are beginning to contribute to positive changes across the junior syndicate.

The good relationships between the board and staff and their commitment to improvement are positive factors for supporting future direction.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO intends to carry out another review over the course of one-to-two years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

10 June 2014

About the School


Wilton, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 55, Male 44

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups




Special Features

Catholic, Integrated

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

10 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2010

August 2007

November 2004