Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School - 08/05/2020

School Context

Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School is a state integrated school opened in February 2017 in Takanini, Auckland. The school caters for children from Years 1 to 8. The school roll continues to grow, and at the time of this review the roll was 226. The school has students from many ethnic backgrounds. There are a large number of students for whom English is not their home language.

A significant feature has been the establishment of a new community, with the school as the community hub. Since the school opened there have been changes in staffing, including the appointment of a new deputy principal.

The school’s vision is for students to ‘Learn - Ka Ako, Love - Ka Aroha, and Serve - Ka Manaaki in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.’ The vision is underpinned by the school and Catholic values of Unity - Kotahitanga, Integrity - Ngākau Pono, Respect - Manaakitia, Compassion - Arohanui, Resilience - Ngāwari, and Excellence - Hiranga.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress and achievement of target students
  • learning support programmes for students with additional learning needs
  • health and wellbeing
  • attendance.

Students’ education is provided in purpose-built learning environments that are innovative and well designed. The school is a member of the South Auckland Catholic Schools Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (COL).

This is the school’s first full Education Review Report.

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 school is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

School achievement data for 2018 and 2019 show that most students achieve at or above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. It is timely for leaders to develop systems that monitor and track trends and patterns for groups of students over time.

Māori students have made good progress in reading and writing with the majority achieving at the expected curriculum levels. Achievement information shows most Māori students achieve the expected curriculum levels in mathematics and the majority in writing.

Achievement for Pacific students shows most achieving at expected curriculum levels in writing, and the majority achieving in reading and mathematics.

Students achieve well in relation to other school-valued outcomes. They talk about what helps them to learn, have a strong sense of belonging, and demonstrate the school values.

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

Schoolwide processes are becoming more effective in identifying and accelerating the learning for those Māori and other students who need this. School data demonstrates that some students have made accelerated progress.

Teachers have good systems in place to identify children who need targeted support. Teachers, learning assistants and leaders know students well. They use this knowledge to provide targeted support for individuals and are responsive to developing the whole child.

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 board of trustees ensures good stewardship in leading the school forward to enable equity and excellence for its students. Strong relationships between trustees and school leaders are based on trust, integrity and openness. The board’s practices help ensure there is coherence between the school's charter and annual plans, and that these are an integral part of all processes within the school.

Partnerships with whānau are strongly promoted and highly evident. They have a positive influence on children’s learning and wellbeing at all levels. The perspectives of students, whānau and staff are valued and contribute to internal evaluation processes focusing on improving outcomes for students. This involvement helps to build a sense of ownership about school practices and procedures.

Catholic and school values are an integral part of children’s lives. Children benefit from the calm and positive communities that promote and support their learning.

The principal builds strong relational trust and highly effective participation at every level of the school. Her leadership promotes a coherent approach to professional learning that builds staff capability through a collaborative inquiry approach. Effective induction processes support new staff to the school.

Teachers and leaders meet regularly to discuss the progress of target students and to share effective practices. Individual Education Plans (IEPs) reflect shared goals formed collaboratively by parents, teachers and children. The support provided for these children is personalised, catering for children’s learning and wellbeing. Children who have English as an additional language are well supported. An experienced learning assistant works with these children in class or in small groups to support their English skill development.

External professional development in literacy, with a focus on oral language, is positively influencing teaching practice. Responding to disparity in writing for some groups of students and boys through differentiated writing workshops is supporting teachers to focus on the specific needs of these students.

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

Students can make choices in some of their learning. To increase learner agency, leaders and teachers plan to facilitate opportunities for students to lead their learning.

Learning maps are used schoolwide and provide useful information on the ways individual students learn. To deepen children’s learning and build a common language of learning across the school, teachers could extend the use of children’s individual learning maps.

It is timely to increase the tracking of schoolwide trends and patterns for accelerating the progress of groups of children. Leaders now need to systematically target these groups and evaluate regularly to promote accelerated shifts in progress.

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 Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

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:

  • an inclusive learning environment that promotes students’ strong sense of belonging
  • effective leadership that builds collective responsibility through collaboratively enacting the school’s vision and values
  • trustees who actively represent and serve the school
  • educationally powerful connections with whānau that engage them in reciprocal learning-centred relationships to promote success for their children.

Next steps

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

  • increasing opportunities for students to lead their learning
  • extending the use of children’s learning maps to deepen individualised learning, achievement and progress
  • leaders collating and analysing achievement information to provide greater clarity around patterns and trends for groups of students whose learning needs accelerating.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

8 May 2020

About the school

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