Our Lady of Victories - 02/08/2016

1 Context

The current board was appointed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in early 2014 following two and a half years with commissioners. The board is currently operating under an alternative constitution put in place by the MOE to support the school to transition towards full self-governance. It is being led by an active and experienced board chair.

Until recent times there has been a very unsettled period regarding staff and leadership within the school. During 2014 and the start of 2015 the school had a number of acting principals and deputy principals. The current principal commenced his position in April 2015. This appointment and a number of recently appointed permanent staff has resulted in a more settled school environment.

There have been significant improvements in relationships within the school community. The roll is now growing. Most Year 7 boys are now remaining at the school and the cultural diversity of the school is increasing.

The school is actively involved in the Upper Riccarton Schools Cluster. Through this cluster they have participated in the Pasifika Language Nest, Pasifika Mentoring and, this year, in the Māori Success Cluster. The school is also in the Christchurch Catholic Schools Community of Learning (CoL). This CoL is in its implementation stage.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and values defined by the school for all children are directly related to its mission to nurture faith, to grow community and to achieve excellence.

Strong and effective relationships have been built between the parish, parents, staff and children.

In a very short time the principal has built an effective senior leadership team, developed strong collaboration amongst staff and a positive atmosphere within the school.

The school’s achievement information shows that Māori children achieve as well as their peers. Most children achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement is highest in reading.

Senior children have a wide range of leadership opportunities.

Digital technology is becoming increasingly available across the school. Children and teachers are using the devices in innovative ways to enhance learning.

An emphasis on children becoming self-managing learners is very evident across the school. Children are using a number of ways to take ownership of their learning. These include:

  • goal setting
  • 3-way-conferencing with their teacher and parent
  • self-assessment
  • reflecting on their learning, progress and achievement.

Children’s needs are well identified and catered for. They benefit from extension and enrichment opportunities that include music and dance, writing workshops, public speaking and languages.

Transition for children in and out of the school is well managed.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has made significant progress in addressing the areas for improvement identified in the 2014 ERO report. In particular the quality of teaching practices to improve student achievement is very evident.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

Student achievement information is well used to inform teaching programmes that support the individual learning needs of children. Teachers and school leaders know each child well as a learner and as an individual. Any child who is below the National Standards or not working at their full potential is quickly identified.

The reliability of student achievement information has greatly improved due to an increase in the consistency of teacher judgments. Valid assessment tools are used and teachers meet within syndicates and across the school to moderate their judgements of children’s achievement levels.

Children with specific learning needs are well included in classroom programmes with appropriate support and well targeted interventions. They are regularly monitored and programmes are adapted according to their needs.

The school is very inclusive of all cultures. Children are becoming confident and proud in their language and culture.

For Māori children, school leaders and teachers:

  • work to build rapport and their sense of pride in Māori culture
  • are deepening their own knowledge of Māori language and culture
  • encourage tuakana-teina and ako approaches to learning.

Recent targeted professional development for teachers about Pacific culture and language has resulted in improved engagement in learning for Pacific students.

A large number of children with English as a second language are given good quality support to become more confident in the English language. This is assisting them in learning and raising their achievement levels.

The school makes very good use of outside agencies to support children, teachers and parents when needs are identified.

Trustees critically review student achievement information presented to them by the principal to make informed resourcing decisions.

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 targets for equity and excellence?

The school’s curriculum and improved management and governance systems effectively support the school to enact its vision, values and goals for equity and excellence.

Māori students and their families are well supported by:

  • the newly initiated whānau hui that is establishing a closer connection with the Māori community
  • te reo and tikanga Māori being integrated into the class programmes and the school environment
  • all children in Years 4-8 participating in the kapa haka
  • cultural expertise and knowledge of an external Māori tutor
  • teachers using professional development opportunities to further their knowledge and confidence in te ao Māori.

Teachers have established good routines and calm learning environments to better meet the needs and interests of children. They provide a rich range of challenging learning opportunities, activities and topics. Teachers collect and use relevant student information to create well thought out teaching programmes and provide good guidance for parents and children for home learning.

Teachers are well supported by the senior leadership team. Together they have quality professional discussions, and on-going contact and communication with parents. A growing reflective culture amongst teachers is supporting the development of self-evaluation throughout the school.

The board has strengthened a number of key areas of school operation. These include:

  • improved financial security
  • a more robust appraisal system
  • a governance framework to guide trustees
  • reviewed and updated policies
  • clearer roles and responsibilities for all staff.

The board and senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that further development of the school’s curriculum is a priority and to ensure that biculturalism is fully integrated.

The next steps for the board and principal are to:

  • strengthen internal evaluation processes to include the impact of strategies, initiatives and interventions aimed at raising student achievement
  • review, refine and align the school’s strategic documents to show key priorities developing over time
  • develop specific annual achievement targets so progress over time can be measured and analysed to show what caused or didn’t cause an improvement in achievement.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

A high proportion of children are progressing and achieving well, particularly in reading. The small number of children not yet making accelerated progress are well supported to do so.

The board, principal and teachers work well together. They have sound, coherent systems for sustaining current good practices.

ERO is likely to carry out the next 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

  • the school’s policy and procedures in relation to the application of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • provision for international students.

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review. The school meets the requirements of the Code of Practice.

7 Recommendation

For the school to work towards full self-governance, ERO recommends that the MOE appointed board is now replaced by a fully elected board. (S94 Education Act 1989) 

Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

2 August 2016 

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 60%; Boys 40%

Ethnic composition




Other ethnicities





Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

2 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2012

August 2010

August 2007