Marist College - 30/08/2019

School Context

Marist College is a well-established, integrated Catholic school for girls from Years 7 to 13. Located in the Auckland suburb of Mt Albert, the college is closely connected with its local parish, and is an active member of the Auckland Central Catholic Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

The college’s mission statement refers to the school community as being “committed to excellence in education founded on the Catholic faith, lived through the spirit of Mary”. The school’s vision centres on “empowering young women to make a difference in the world”.

Recent school development has focused through the kāhui ako, on strengthening culturally responsive teaching practices. The appointments in 2019 of a new principal and deputy principal have been well managed by the school board.

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

  • departmental reports and Analyses of Variance (AoV) relating to the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA)
  • student and parent surveys about curriculum choice, and student wellbeing
  • outcomes related to pastoral care services and learning support systems.

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?

Student achievement overall has been consistently high over the past five years. Over 90 percent of students achieve NCEA at Levels 1, 2 and 3, and of those, over 70 percent achieve with an excellence or merit endorsement. Māori students achieve as well as all others, and are consistently above trends for Māori nationally and in similar schools.

Pacific students also achieve well overall compared with patterns of Pacific student achievement nationally. However, they do not attain the same level of endorsed NCEA certificates as other groups in the school. A greater level of disparity is evident at University Entrance, achieved in 2018 by 72 percent, and 88 percent, of Māori and Pākehā students respectively, but by less than 36 percent of Pacific students.

Senior leaders have recognised these persistent trends, and are taking steps to target improved outcomes for Pacific learners at all levels of NCEA, University Entrance and University Scholarship examinations. Targets set in the 2019 annual plans inform department leaders of the need to address this ongoing discrepancy, and should subsequently provide important base-line data for internal evaluation.

Students are well engaged in learning. They actively contribute and participate in learning that is relevant and increasingly authentic. Their engagement is supported by positive and respectful relationships with teachers and an effective learner enhancement department that benefits students with additional learning needs.

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

The school can demonstrate accelerated learning for Māori and other learners, most notably students in Year 7 and 8, who are below expected curriculum levels. By Year 12 all students achieve the required Level 1 NCEA literacy and numeracy credits. For some students this represents a considerable rate of progress.

The school has good systems for identifying Māori students and others, who enter the school below expected levels of achievement. A variety of strategies, including mixed-ability classes, targeted mathematics groups, deans and whānau teacher tracking and monitoring, and in-class learning assistants, are enabling students to make accelerated progress.

The team of classroom teacher aides is well coordinated within the Enhance learning network. They have well-defined roles in supporting students to achieve their potential. Teacher aides’ support includes working with English language learners, and those with additional learning needs.

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?

School leaders, teachers and trustees have high expectations of learners’ success. These consistent standards are explicit in the student graduate profile, and complemented by the school’s special Catholic character values. Teachers work collegially to progress their understanding of effective teaching and learning. They are benefitting from whole school professional learning opportunities through their involvement in the kāhui ako.

Students’ holistic wellbeing is a priority for school leaders. Students and their families are well known, and their cultures and home languages are respected and valued. An extensive pastoral care network, and additional learning services, are special features of how school systems support all students, and encourages values of diversity and inclusion. Meaningful life skill programmes are integrated into religious and health education, and opportunities for servant leadership.

School leaders have revised plans for promoting success for Māori and Pacific learners. These plans acknowledge the significance of the school’s commitment to Treaty of Waitangi teacher education, and the need to achieve equitable learning outcomes for all students. Teachers and parents involved in implementing these plans are strengthening the inclusion of tikanga and te reo Māori, and building partnerships with Māori and Pacific whānau/families. Evaluating and reporting on these plans would raise the status and visibility of goals designed to support successful outcomes for Māori and Pacific learners.

The school’s board of trustees is committed to supporting and resourcing for high quality outcomes for students. Parent and proprietor representatives have a strong sense of stewardship. They work strategically and transparently, with shared goals focused on fostering students’ sense of self-worth and confidence. Trustees have developed comprehensive policies and systems to ensure governance effectiveness and sustainability. They agree that deeper analysis of student achievement data, and analysis of variance, would enable them to more clearly see significant trends and patterns.

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

The principal has included specific, relevant and measureable student achievement targets in the 2019 annual plan. The use of such targets, based on analysed base-line data, is enabling school leaders to evaluate progress towards achieving these targets. This internal evaluation information will prove useful to the board for its future role in decision making and priority setting.

The retirement of several long-serving school leaders, including the school’s principal, has resulted in changes in the leadership team. The new management team now has the opportunity to reflect on the coherence of schoolwide leadership roles and responsibilities in relation to excellence and equity goals.

School leaders recognise the need to respond to shifts in curriculum priorities. They are open to reviewing learning programmes to ensure students are challenged to think critically, and “look to the future by exploring such significant future-focused issues as sustainability, citizenship, enterprise, and globalisation” (New Zealand Curriculum). Exploring these principles would provide a meaningful focus for future internal evaluation of the school’s curriculum.

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 the review, there were nine long stay international students. These students make good progress through the curriculum and are well integrated into the life of the school and its community. School trips for international students are planned to extend their learning experiences in the New Zealand context.

The school has good systems and processes to provide pastoral care for international students. There is frequent consultation, meetings, and a questionnaire that asks students about their expectations and experiences.

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 Marist College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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:

  • comprehensive systems of individual tracking and mentoring that support students’ high levels of academic achievement and personal wellbeing
  • high standards of teaching and learning that encourage student participation and engagement in meaningful learning contexts
  • active involvement in the kāhui ako that is benefitting teaching practice through whole school professional learning.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to embed culturally responsive teaching practices that support curriculum learning to be authentic and relevant to all students
  • making greater use of specific and measurable schoolwide student achievement targets to strengthen data analysis, internal evaluation and reporting.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

30 August 2019

About the school

Location

Mt Albert, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

70

School type

State integrated secondary (Years 7 to 15)

School roll

760

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori 10%
NZ European/Pākehā 40%
Samoan 10%
Indian 10%
South East Asian 8%
Tongan 8%
Chinese 5%
other Pacific groups 5%
other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

Yes

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

30 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review April 2010
Education Review January 2007