Marcellin College - 28/09/2017


Founded on the teachings of Saint Marcellin Champagnat and in the Marist tradition, Marcellin College has provided education for boys since 1958, and for girls and boys since 1983. Currently the college caters for around 500 students from Years 7 to 13. Most students and their families are of Pacific descent. The roll includes about 50 Māori students, and others from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Students transition into Marcellin College at either Year 7 or Year 9 from over 50 different primary schools, with most students travelling some distance to attend.

At the time of the 2014 ERO report a new principal had just been appointed. She had a clear mandate to promote change and improvement. Since that time, a number of long-serving staff have retired. New appointments have been made to the senior leadership team, to curriculum areas throughout the school, including a new leader for Years 7 and 8, and to the support staff. The chairperson and many trustees are also new to the school’s governance board.

The 2014 ERO report noted that positive relationships throughout the school were a significant feature. Areas for improvement including governance, leadership, curriculum design, teaching practice and the use of achievement information. Considerable progress has been made in all these areas.

Professional support has been accessed to promote teachers’ understanding and use of achievement information, the use of digital devices and effective literacy strategies. The school is also promoting positive behaviours for learning based on restorative practices.

The school is part of the Te Iti Kahurangi Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL) that involves seven other local schools.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school responds well to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Many school processes are effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence. The principal’s professional leadership has resulted in improvements, especially for Māori and Pacific learners.

The school’s special character enhances the inclusive and collaborative approaches being encouraged throughout the school. Staff and students embrace the school’s cultural diversity. Many teachers use students’ cultural backgrounds as the basis for designing learning programmes. Māori students appreciate the increasing, school-wide focus on biculturalism and on their identity as Māori. Most teachers are responding positively to increasingly high expectations to improve teaching and learning. Many teachers are dedicated to making the changes required to promote positive outcomes.

Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is effective in its response to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

School leaders and teachers know learners very well. This is a significant aspect of their response to promoting equity and excellence. They identify students’ learning strengths and needs, and apply targeted and individualised actions that promote success. Leaders closely monitor the support provided and regularly evaluate the progress that learners make.

Learners with special educational needs are very well supported and achieve success in national qualifications. The new leader of this area of the school works in partnership with whānau to plan for individual students’ needs and aspirations.

Teachers are beginning to understand how to use student achievement data to plan learning programmes and reflect on their practice. This information is now easily accessible to leaders and teachers throughout the school.

The school’s analysis and use of achievement information is improving with school leaders knowing how well different groups of students achieve, and especially those requiring accelerated support. However, the lack of valid data from Years 7 to 10 makes it difficult for school leaders to know how students’ progress has accelerated over time.

In National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA), most Māori students achieve Levels 1 and 2 qualifications, and many achieve Level 3 and University Entrance. In addition, the number of merit and excellence endorsements achieved by Māori students is better than for other groups in the school.

Pacific students also achieve very well in NCEA with results similar to or better than those for Māori students. Other groups of students such as Indian and Filipino achieve very well in NCEA.

The school has improved the validity of its National Standards achievement information for Years 7 and 8. The new leader of Year 7 and 8 is continuing to support teachers to make overall judgements about children’s achievement. This work could help to explain the variable achievement levels from 2014 to 2015.

The school’s 2016 information shows that nearly 70 percent of the Year 7 and 8 group achieved at or above the National Standard in reading and writing, and about 60 percent in mathematics. However, only 40 percent of Year 8 students achieved at or above the Standards. In-school disparity is evident between boys and girls. There is also disparity between achievement data for Māori and Pacific students and that of other ethnic groups.

Teachers’ moderation of NCEA internal assessment is robust. They are beginning to develop an understanding of assessing and moderating work for students from Years 7 to 10. School leaders plan to continue supporting all teachers to use achievement data to inquire into their practice and plan learning programmes. Other next steps include:

  • developing a consistent and meaningful assessment approach for students in Years 9 and 10 using curriculum levels
  • continuing to promote effective teaching practices for students in Years 7 to 10.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Many school processes are effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence.

The principal has led improvements in school-wide opportunities and outcomes for students and staff. Many leaders throughout the school are meeting increasingly high expectations to improve the quality of curriculum design, and teaching and learning. The principal and other school leaders lead and manage change effectively, recognise staff strengths and provide increasing levels of professional challenge.

Teachers have opportunities to access and share data, discuss teaching practices and contribute to the school’s strategic decision making. These practices are promoting a shared ownership of the school’s direction, and are building relational and professional trust. Improvements in the school’s curriculum include:

  • greater recognition of biculturalism, alongside the value shown for multiple ethnicities
  • increased use of digital technologies in learning programmes
  • shifts towards student-centred teaching and learning approaches
  • enhanced partnerships between the school, students and homes.

Students are settled and focused on learning. There are examples of teachers providing good opportunities for learners to collaborate, and to engage in creative and challenging learning experiences. Students’ engagement in and enjoyment of learning is enhanced by relevant educational trips and experiences outside of the classroom. Their wellbeing is very well supported by the school, and recognised as a precursor to their learning.

Senior students have access to a wide range of subjects that promote academic and vocational pathways. Many of the NCEA courses are designed appropriately to meet the learning needs of different groups of students and encourage their success. Some teachers personalise learning for individual students and many design programmes that are culturally responsive, and include relevant and meaningful concepts.

Senior students’ leadership of school events and of aspects of the curriculum provides a vehicle to showcase their skills and strengths. Leaders and teachers value their input and respond to their opinions and suggestions. This good practice enhances the special character values and family spirit that unite the school community.

Parents’ contributions and engagement are encouraged. They appreciate the principal’s vision and approach, and feel welcomed and included in their children’s learning journey. Parents and students engage enthusiastically in cultural and language days, and in the Auckland Schools’ Māori and Polynesian Festival. Parents are increasingly confident that their concerns are heard and managed well.

The board of trustees is well led and meets its governance responsibilities effectively. Trustees are very supportive of the principal. They are focused on making strategic improvements such as upgrading classrooms to facilitate more open and innovative learning programmes, especially for Years 7 and 8.

Internal evaluation is well understood by the principal and board as a lever for change and improvement. Trustees receive comprehensive information from the school that allows them to measure progress made towards reaching their strategic goals. The board has rewritten and rationalised its policies so that they reflect the school’s positive Marist Champagnat character, and meet legal requirements. Trustees are strengthening relationships with the proprietor’s board.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school has good processes in place to further promote equity and excellence for Māori, Pacific and all other students.

Senior leaders recognise the need to develop a shared understanding of the vision, leadership structure and teaching practices required for a seamless Year 7 to 13 curriculum. Facilitated support would also help the school promote consistent moderation and assessment practices for students in Years 9 and 10. The board and senior leaders agree that further developments also include:

  • making achievement targets more specifically focused on those students whose achievement needs acceleration

  • providing opportunities for students to access te reo Māori and Pacific languages

  • trustees developing a governance manual and using evaluation indicators to measure their effectiveness as a board.

School leaders are planning with other CoL schools to moderate their assessment practices and improve how they report to parents.

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

  • 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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were three international students attending the school.

The school continues to provide very well for its international students, ensuring that their wellbeing and learning needs are met. International students are highly involved in the life of the school. They feel supported and cared for by their teachers and are achieving well.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue developing a seamless Year 7 to 13 curriculum with a strong focus on promoting effective teaching practices in Years 7 and 8

  • develop a consistent and meaningful assessment approach for Year 9 and 10 students.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

28 September 2017

About the school


Royal Oak, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Catholic Integrated Years 7 to 13

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 57% Girls 43%

Ethnic composition

Cook Islands Māori


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

28 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

December 2014
September 2011
November 2008