Christ the King Catholic School (Owairaka) - 25/06/2020

School Context

Christ The King Catholic School (Owairaka) is a small, inner-city school catering for approximately 102 students from different cultures. Six percent of students identify as Māori and 52 percent have Pacific heritage. Sixty percent of students have English as an additional language.

The school’s mission is to foster excellence and build community within a Catholic environment. The vision is to grow a community of compassionate, confident and connected learners. Stated values are respect, love and service, justice, peace and joy.

At the beginning of 2020 the school employed a new principal, a deputy principal, established a new leadership team and employed new staff. There is also a newly formed board of trustees.

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

  • mid-year and end of year results for target students in reading
  • end of year achievement information in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is part of the Ako Hiko outreach of the Manaiakalani Trust and is a member of the Auckland Central Catholic Community of Schools | Kāhui Ako.

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?

The new board and senior leaders are working towards achieving equity and excellence for all students.

Reported school information for 2019 states that overall, most students are achieving at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

Māori, Pacific and Asian students achieve similar results in reading and writing. Reading and mathematics achievement data for early 2020 indicate gender parity in mathematics. However, there is wide disparity for Māori students and non-Māori students in mathematics and reading. There is also significant gender disparity in reading.

Leaders and teachers should continue to identify and report to the board on achievement disparity with a focus on increasing equity for all students.

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

The school’s 2019 achievement information indicates that some targeted and priority students are making accelerated progress. However, this information does not clearly identify or report on rates of accelerated student progress for individuals or groups of students. It would be useful for teachers to develop a shared understanding of what acceleration looks like at this school and use this information to continue to monitor individual student progress.

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?

The school has a positive culture sustained by the school’s inclusive environment and the focus on Catholic values and beliefs. Community relationships are strong, and teachers know their students and families very well. Senior leaders are implementing ways to enhance learning-focused partnerships with parents.

Senior leaders and the board are implementing strategies to increase student equity and excellence. These include:

  • the employment of a Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

  • tracking individual students whose progress needs acceleration to move towards achievement parity

  • reported achievement information that is differentiated by year level, gender and ethnicity

  • targeted teacher professional development.

The senior leadership team is considering further ways to enhance the school’s localised and responsive curriculum. Current learning programmes are related to students’ real-world experiences, their language, culture and identity. Teachers are implementing ways to increase students’ understanding of their progress and next steps for ongoing improvement.

There is an emphasis on enhancing students’ digital fluency in Years 4 to 8 focused on current issues through research and presentation. Students are confident and positively engage in their learning.

The newly established leadership team has complementary skills and a positive vision for ongoing learning and curriculum direction.

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

Senior leaders agree that next steps include:

  • continuing to identify and target students who need to make accelerated progress
  • building teacher capability to use student achievement information
  • implementing teachers’ inquiries into the impact of their teaching practices to accelerate progress and achievement
  • continuing to track and report on the progress of groups of students over time
  • using evidence-based internal evaluation to identify the effectiveness of strategies to promote accelerated progress.

In order to improve stewardship practices, the board should:

  • continue to build trustees’ knowledge and understanding of their stewardship roles and responsibilities through governance training
  • scrutinise achievement information to increase achievement parity
  • implement internal evaluation processes to evaluate the effectiveness of board practices on meeting their strategic goals.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Christ The King Catholic School (Owairaka)’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • positive school culture that supports students’ wellbeing and learning
  • progressively responsive curriculum that increasingly aligns to students’ individual interests
  • variety of positive strategies being implemented to increase equity and excellence.

Next steps

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

  • collaboratively building coherent organisational systems and processes, including internal evaluation of the impact of strategies on student outcomes
  • building trustees’ understanding of their stewardship roles and responsibilities.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance in relation to providing the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), implementing current employment and personnel legislation, and providing a safe physical and emotional environment.

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

  • develop and make known to the school’s Māori community; policies, plans, targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students
    National Administrative Guidelines 1(e)
  • provide appropriate career education and guidance for all students in Years 7 and above National Administrative Guidelines 1(f)
  • comply in full with any legislation currently in force or that may be developed to ensure the safety of students and employees, especially the Children’s Act 2014
    National Administrative Guidelines 5(c)
  • ensure the documents relating to the use of physical restraint include the names and positions of authorised staff.
    Education Act 1989 (s139AC to s139AE).

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure all board policies are signed, dated and regularly reviewed
  • update and implement current procedures related to crisis and emergency preparedness and prevention
  • develop and make known to the school’s community a policy on making a complaint
  • ensure the appointment process meets current employment requirements in relation to the Children’s Act 2014.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association consider providing support for the school in order to bring about improvement in stewardship to build trustees’ understanding of their roles and statutory responsibilities.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

25 June 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.