Pompallier Catholic School - 18/12/2013

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Pompallier Catholic School is an integrated state school that caters for students in Years 1 to 8 from the Kaitaia township and surrounding area. The school has well established links with the parish of Saint Joseph’s Church and with the local community. Bishops’ representatives support the Board to ensure that students receive appropriate faith education and to manage the school property.

The school roll has remained stable, while the number of Māori students attending has continued to increase. There are now similar numbers of students from Māori and non-Māori families. The number of students from other ethnicities, including Indian and Fijian children, has also increased.

There have been several changes to teaching staff in the last three years. The current principal took up the leadership position very recently after holding the deputy principal position for several years. She knows the school and the community well.

Teacher professional development is currently focused on the teaching of writing. This professional development promotes teaching practices that support students to take greater ownership for their learning. Teachers are also being helped to identify gifted students and to develop relevant learning opportunities for them.

The school climate and culture provide a supportive environment for children to learn. The school hosts a local social worker in schools (SWIS) and has assistance from a resource teacher of learning and behaviour (RTLB).

The school has been very responsive to the 2010 ERO report. The board and school leaders have made very good progress in addressing the areas for review and development identified in that report, including matters relating to the use of data, the quality of teaching practices and to promote success for Māori students.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Achievement information is increasingly being used to make positive changes to students’ learning. The analysis of assessment data has improved and the board receives useful reports on how year level, gender and ethnically based groups are achieving in literacy and mathematics. The board uses this information to set appropriate targets and to allocate resources to support learning.

Teachers share information with students about their achievement levels. They are successfully using achievement information to identify students who could benefit from additional learning support and to monitor the progress of all students.

Teachers make judgements about student achievement in relation to National Standards by considering a wide range of achievement information. They are establishing ways to check the reliability of these judgements by talking with each other and with teachers from other schools.

The school holds hui with parents of Māori students to discuss achievement results as a group. At these hui the school consults with the whānau about ways to support students to learn and to succeed as Māori. School information indicates that Māori students achieve well in literacy and mathematics.

Parents receive very full reports on how well their children are achieving in literacy and mathematics. The reports make suggestions about how parents can support their children’s learning at home. As a result of feedback from parents, senior leaders are currently considering how they can further improve this reporting. They are reviewing reports to ensure that parents understand how their children are achieving in relation to National Standards and have a clear indication of the progress their child is making.

During the review ERO and school leaders determined that student learning would be better supported by:

  • finding ways to assess and report in more depth about learning in other areas of the curriculum, including the key competencies and inquiry learning
  • developing a greater understanding of student engagement and developing ways to assess and discuss this with students
  • teachers having a greater focus on using achievement information to monitor progress towards specific goals and targets and to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives in supporting students’ learning.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school curriculum supports student learning effectively. Students participate in learning experiences that align with The New Zealand Curriculum and the faith teachings of the Catholic Church. Teachers plan integrated programmes to ensure the intentions of both of these are met. They also focus on making learning experiences relevant to the lives and interests of the students.

Senior students value the variety of learning experiences and the opportunities they have to be leaders. They report that teachers use effective techniques to help them learn. All teachers are making good progress in using teaching strategies that help students to know about their learning levels and how to make progress.

Classroom environments provide students with helpful learning prompts, resources and direction. Student work is displayed to celebrate success and so that they can learn from each other. Teachers and students make good use of the available information and communication technologies, and the internet is being used as a way of publishing written work and getting feedback from other students and teachers.

Older students often help younger students and learn from each other. Parents report that this tuakana/teina relationship continues as students transition to college.

The positive relationships that are evident among teachers and students, and the emphasis on the school’s values of mercy, integrity, love and truth, provide a school culture that supports student wellbeing and learning.

The curriculum supports learning for students with special needs. Teacher aides, the SWIS and RTLB work closely with teachers to support these students. School leaders work to ensure that children from low income families are able to access all educational opportunities.

Teachers are encouraged to be innovative and to share their ideas and practices. School leaders are currently reviewing the school curriculum to ensure that it is consistent with the principles ofThe New Zealand Curriculum and that it remains relevant for learners.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The curriculum supports students to develop understandings of Māori culture and language. Students are introduced to concepts such as whanaungatanga and manaakitanga and what these might mean in their lives.

Students experience noho marae and welcome visitors with pōwhiri. A tutor comes to the school regularly to support student learning in tikanga and te reo through kapa haka, poi and rākau. Teachers support children to develop and use te reo Māori. The school successfully promotes Māori students’ pride in their heritage.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. School leaders use self review to identify the school’s strengths and areas for development. The principal and board use information from reviews to plan for improvement.

The principal provides strong professional leadership. She has a good knowledge of effective practice in education and has introduced relevant and sustained professional development to help ensure continuing improvements in teaching and learning. Teachers are applying their new learning about teaching writing and are using formative teaching practices.

An effective appraisal system is being used to set individual and school-wide professional goals. Teachers support each other to meet expected performance criteria developed from a range of sources. The principal has included criteria from Tātaiako, Cultural competencies for teachers of Māori Learners, to help teachers focus on supporting Māori students to succeed as Māori.

The board is made up of experienced and newer trustees and three Bishop’s representatives. Trustees bring a valuable range of skills and knowledge and participate in board training, as appropriate. They have developed long and short-term strategic plans based on consultation with parents, staff and student achievement information.

The school engages successfully with its Catholic community and the broader Kaitaia community. School leaders are involved in local networks with other educational institutions, including early childhood centres and the local secondary school. This networking is helping teachers to share ideas and strategies that will benefit all students.

To support ongoing improvement and sustain good practice the board could now strengthen strategic planning and self review by:

  • developing guidelines for self review
  • stating goals in ways that enable school leaders to monitor progress towards achieving them.

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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

18 December 2013

About the School

Location

Kaitaia, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

1082

School type

Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

166

Gender composition

Boys 60%

Girls 40%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Other

51%

45%

3%

1%

Review team on site

October 2013

Date of this report

18 December 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2010

September 2007

June 2002