Our Lady of the Assumption School (Chch) - 01/05/2020

School Context

Our Lady of the Assumption School is a full primary integrated Catholic school in Christchurch. The current roll is 301 students.

The school states that its vision and values are: ‘developing respectful, responsible lifelong learners who live their faith every day.’

Current priorities include developing students’ ability to be self-directed learners, embedding collaborative teaching practices and raising student achievement to ensure success.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets
  • outcomes for students with additional learning needs
  • engagement and wellbeing for success
  • religious education.

Whole school professional learning has included the concept based curriculum, religious education papers, digital technologies and assessment.

Leaders and staff are active participants in the Te Mara Akoranga Katorika Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning and the southwest cluster of schools.

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 successful in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for a large majority of students.

The school’s achievement information for 2018 shows that a large majority of students achieve at or above curriculum expectations in reading and writing. In mathematics, most students achieve at or above curriculum expectations.

Since 2016 there has been variability in the achievement of Māori and Pacific students. Achievement in 2016 in reading for these two groups of students was high, but has since declined. Achievement data for 2018 shows disparity in reading and mathematics outcomes for Māori and Pacific learners, and a small disparity for boys in writing. The school has implemented systems to ensure that tracking of progress and reporting of their achievement is more accurate and timely.

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

The school is successful in accelerating the learning of their targeted students in reading and mathematics. The school is not yet effectively accelerating learning for all Māori and Pacific students who need this.

School data for 2018 shows:

  • the majority of targeted students in reading and mathematics make accelerated progress
  • acceleration of learning for some Māori students who need this
  • more than half of Pacific students made accelerated progress in reading and writing.

Many of the students who were identified by the school as needing acceleration in their learning, have made sufficient or expected progress in this.

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, trustees and students demonstrate and promote the school values to foster an inclusive and welcoming culture. Teachers work collaboratively sharing responsibility for students’ learning and wellbeing. The relationships between staff and students are characterised by respectful and caring conversations. Students are supported to be self-directed and engaged learners. Leadership has a strong focus on student and staff wellbeing and learning. A considered, research-informed and well-paced approach to change focuses on improving student learning and wellbeing and building a cohesive team culture.

Students learn, progress and achieve within a broad local curriculum that fosters the school values and promotes depth in their learning. A wide range of opportunities allows students to develop skills in leadership. The local curriculum has a strong Catholic character and is based on students’ interests and needs. Teachers ensure that an appropriate range of student-centred teaching strategies are used. Effective curriculum guidelines, which include expectations for high quality teaching and learning, give clear guidance for teachers. The key competencies are well integrated across learning areas and aligned to the school values. The well-considered support of parents, whānau and the wider community is enhanced by regular and meaningful communication.

Leaders, teachers and trustees encourage ongoing learning and improvement to promote positive outcomes for students. Appraisal is supported by well targeted professional learning and development which promotes reflection, inquiry into practice and next steps for improvement. Systems and processes that support teaching and learning are well embedded. Comprehensive reporting to the board of trustees and scrutiny of this information ensures that resourcing decisions are well informed.

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

The school has a focus on improving culturally responsive practices. The next step is to ensure that te ao Māori is visible and sustained within the environment and teaching and learning programs. The school needs to work in partnership with whānau and iwi to continue to build teachers’ capability and capacity in the use of culturally responsive practices. This should include the use of te reo Māori in daily programmes in order to better promote successful outcomes for Māori and other students.

The analysis and reporting of schoolwide data needs to be strengthened. Data should be scrutinised to determine if students have made expected, sufficient or accelerated progress. This will assist the school to make more informed resourcing decisions to improve student outcomes.

The school should strengthen the use of internal evaluation through targeted professional development to determine which practices are most effective in accelerating learning. An evaluative framework should be used to ensure that evaluative thinking and analysis is used.

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 Our Lady of the Assumption (Chch)’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 and welcoming school culture which promotes the well embedded school vision and values
  • a broad local curriculum with a strong Catholic character that is based on students’ interests and needs.

Next steps

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

  • building teachers’ capability and capacity to use culturally responsive practices in the classroom, including increasing the use of te reo Māori
  • strengthening analysis and reporting of student progress and achievement to better identify schoolwide trends and patterns
  • strengthening the understanding and use of internal evaluation by using an evaluative framework to support review of innovations and initiatives.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

1 May 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 54% Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 6%

NZ European/Pākehā 80%

Filipino 3%

Pacific 6%

Other ethnicities 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

1 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2016

Education Review March 2013

Education Review May 2008