Christ the King Catholic School (Owairaka) - 29/06/2016

1 Context

Christ the King Catholic School (Owairaka) is a state integrated school that caters for children from Years 1 to 6 and also for girls through to Year 8. The school is part of the wider parish family and enjoys close relationships and connections with members of the church. The school roll reflects the ethnically diverse community that the school and the local Catholic parish serve. Four percent of children have Māori heritage and 60 percent are from Pacific nations. A recent significant roll growth of African immigrants with English as a second language adds further diversity.

Since ERO's 2013 review a new principal has been appointed bringing with her a refocus on the needs of the modern learner. There have also been other staff changes, including recent appointments to the senior management team.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school are for all children to grow in a community of compassionate, confident and connected learners valuing Catholic education that is inclusive, responsive and holistic. These outcomes stem from the school's mission of being a school committed to fostering excellence and building community within a Catholic environment.

The school's achievement information shows that two thirds of learners achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The data shows Māori and some Pacific groups achieve at good levels in these curriculum areas. It also shows that there are some children whose achievement needs to be accelerated.

The arrival of immigrant children with English as a second language in recent years has contributed to some decreases in overall student achievement levels. School data shows that most children who have been in this school throughout their schooling achieve at or above National Standards levels.

Since the 2013 ERO review the school has continued to refine its assessment practices. Targeted professional development has supported teachers to reflect on their practice. Teachers have also been involved in school-wide professional learning about mathematics teaching and how to set and support behavioural conditions for students as learners. This professional development has lifted achievement in mathematics and strengthened student engagement in their learning.

Teachers and leaders know and care for their children and families/whānau. They set up learners to progress and succeed. Appropriate levels of intervention and individual support are provided for each learner.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is improving its response to children whose achievement needs accelerating.

The school has good systems to help identify children who are at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes. Teachers regularly monitor the progress of their target children and reflect on the effectiveness of teaching practices to lift achievement. Leaders and teachers trial different strategies and interventions with their target children to accelerate their progress.

School leaders have identified where they need to re-strategise ways to accelerate progress for identified groups of children within the Pacific cohort and within the newer migrant cohort whose achievement needs to be accelerated. They are refining ways to document children's progress to assist with the evaluation of the effectiveness of these new approaches.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The school is increasing its effectiveness to enact its vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence.

Catholic beliefs and values and the diverse languages, cultures and identities of children, staff and the wider community are celebrated in the school's curriculum. Children have opportunities to learn through their culture. Emphasis is placed on acquiring the English language, literacy and mathematics. The school is looking at ways the curriculum can support deeper learning behaviours.

Leaders and teachers are beginning to focus on strengthening student ownership of their learning. They are looking at ways to further deepen children's engagement with learning through extending and challenging learning opportunities. The use of digital devices is being developed as a key tool to support student engagement in Years four to eight.

The board of trustees have consulted with the school community and completed an extensive school charter review. This work has helped them set the school's strategic direction. Trustees fully support the leadership and the new direction of the school. They are proactive in accessing external advice to be confident in their governance role.

Leaders and teachers are developing a school culture of collaboration, where they work alongside each other focusing on meeting the needs of all students. The school identifies and draws on community resources and expertise to increase teacher capacity to improve student achievement and wellbeing.

Children with special needs participate in learning opportunities that provide appropriate challenge and support. Assessment activities are inclusive, authentic and fit for purpose, providing relevant and meaningful evidence to assess children's achievement and progress and to identify next steps.

The new leadership team is developing a coherent performance management process to build teachers' practice. Alignment is evident between children's learning needs, teacher professional learning goals, and processes for teacher appraisal. The school culture is conducive to reflective practice by teachers. A strategic approach is being implemented to grow professional capability and collective capacity across the school.

Leaders and teachers are implementing new teaching practices as they move together through this time of change. They are developing systems and processes to promote inquiry, knowledge building and evaluation. Leaders and teachers gather and analyse information to prioritise and to make decisions about appropriate school goals and targets. They use external expertise and networks to grow their evaluation and inquiry.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers: 

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • do not always or systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • have a plan in place but have not yet built teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children. 

Christ the King Catholic School is refocusing on the needs of the modern learner. The focus is on the individual child and an emphasis on adults knowing the learner well. It is a time of change for students, teachers, leaders and trustees.

ERO and school leaders agree the following priorities for ongoing school improvement include: 

  • making decisions and being explicit about the cornerstones for the refocused curriculum
  • continuing to clarify and promote consistently effective teaching practice that supports the school's new direction
  • refining ways to use achievement information at management and board level to support decision making and to monitor the effect of initiatives on children's progress and achievement
  • building on parent engagement by strengthening the learning partnership. 

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop a Raising Achievement Plan to further develop processes and practices that respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s Raising Achievement plan and the progress the school makes.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the school continues to develop and embed practices and systems to promote effective teaching and assessment school-wide that support equity and excellence in outcomes for children. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 June 2016

About the school

Location

Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1245

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

147

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

African

Filipino

Cook Island Māori

Indian

Chinese

Fijian

Sri Lankan

4%

5%

41%

14%

12%

12%

4%

4%

2%

1%

1%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

29 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2013

June 2010

June 2007