Reignier Catholic School - 05/09/2013

1 Context

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

Reignier Catholic School is located in Taradale, Napier. It is an integrated primary school that caters for students from Years 1 to 6. The Catholic character, vision and values underpin all aspects of school life. School leaders promote respectful relationships with students. They encourage partnerships with parents and families to support children’s learning. At the time of this review, the school roll was 220, with 28 students who identify as Māori and four international students.

The school has good connections to the local parish. It is well supported by the board of trustees and a strong parent teacher association.

2 Learning

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

Teachers and leaders gather a range of valid and reliable student achievement information. Data is used efficiently in the classrooms to identify individual student needs and respond through differentiated group teaching. Students' progress and achievement, in particular for target groups of priority learners, is well tracked and monitored. Teachers successfully use their knowledge to make decisions about teaching programmes and strategies that will motivate and challenge students.

Teachers collaborate and share their good practice for priority learners through regular meetings. Promoting student progress and success is a responsibility shared by all staff. Moderation within the school and across school clusters has sharpened assessment practices. It has also provided good opportunities for teachers to improve their skills collegially.

The principal efficiently analyses whole-school achievement information. Data is separated for Māori, special needs and international students, and for boys and girls. The information is used to inform strategic decision making and to set annual targets. Goals are sufficiently challenging to support school charter priorities for accelerating the progress of the students most needing to improve.

Most students at Reignier Catholic School progress and achieve at expected levels in relation to National Standards. Some students make accelerated progress.

Students are highly engaged in their learning. Keen interest and motivation are evident across all groups of students. Goal setting is highly visible for individual, group and whole-class learning. Students are involved in setting their own goals. They understand their progress towards achieving these goals, and can articulate their next steps for learning.

Teachers are building their capacity to better use achievement information to promote improved outcomes for all students, in writing. ERO affirms the next steps identified by school leaders to extend the use the teaching as inquiry across other curriculum areas.

Families are well informed about their children's achievement and progress, both informally and through written reports. Learning partnerships are promoted between school and home through a wide range of effective strategies. Many parents participate with their children in morning prayers.

Trustees use analysed achievement information effectively to inform their decision making. Decisions are focused on improved outcomes for students. Trustees monitor progress towards achieving schoolwide goals.

3 Curriculum

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

The New Zealand Curriculum’s key competencies and principles underpin the Reignier Catholic School Curriculum. The school curriculum is highly effective in promoting student engagement, progress and achievement. It gives value to a range of learning areas and experiences.

The school's special character and community are reflected in the curriculum content and resources. A clear rationale is evident for the choices made in designing the curriculum and for selecting the learning areas that are emphasised. All students benefit from opportunities to engage with te ao Māori.

Teachers and leaders have high expectations for student learning. Teachers use deliberate acts of teaching and provide appropriate and effective opportunities for students to engage in purposeful learning.

Teachers respond well to students' needs. Guided group learning is reinforced through appropriate independent tasks. Children understand the purpose of their learning, with clear reference to prior and future learning.

Teachers continue to explore ways to increase student involvement in their learning. They give regular and constructive feedback that efficiently supports students' next learning steps. Questioning is well used to stimulate and extend children’s thinking. Carefully considered teacher prompts promote student engagement. Students are clear about the purposes of learning and how to be successful.

Teachers know their students well. They scaffold student learning. Exemplars and teacher modelling are used effectively to help students understand what good quality work looks like. The impact of teachers inquiring into their own effectiveness is evident when teachers modify and change their practice through shared understanding.

The school’s values are highly evident in interactions and relationships. Respect is clearly visible and enacted. This results in calm, purposeful learning environments. Teachers have high expectations that students will support each other in their learning. Students engage in sustained learning conversations with their peers.

Teacher and student capability with information and communication technologies is building as its use is integrated into the curriculum.

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

School leaders value the contribution of Māori students. Māori students have the opportunity to experience a range of cultural activities within the school context.

Teachers acknowledge the cultural background that Māori students bring to the school as Treaty of Waitangi partners. They read and discuss research about Māori student learning. They are building capacity among staff, through a range of initiatives, to better cater for the strengths, needs and aspirations of Māori students.

It is timely to evaluate the effectiveness of activities and their impact on the success of Māori students, aligned with the aspirations of whānau for their children.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Members of the board understand their roles and collaborate effectively as a team. Very good processes are in place for succession planning and induction of new trustees. The board has an ongoing cycle of self review. This identifies priorities for improvement and helps the board to reflect on its own performance.

Trustees and senior leaders' expectations for progress are clearly aligned. The expectations are evident in coherent links between the charter, curriculum, appraisal and outcomes for students.

Teachers are well supported to develop their capability through effective performance management. A well-considered, evidence-based appraisal process has been fully implemented. Digital portfolios have been successfully introduced for sharing good resources and practice. Detailed feedback and targeted professional development promote teaching that benefits students' learning.

Trustees, leaders and teachers are highly reflective. Senior leaders have established a collaborative professional learning culture focussed on improvement. Professional learning about teaching as inquiry has supported individual teachers' capacity to examine their own practice.

ERO identifies that school leaders need to strengthen the self-review process and build their evaluation capacity. This will enhance:

  • measuring the impact of initiatives and interventions
  • identification of the next steps for teaching and learning
  • school-wide decision making.

Through this, trustees, leaders and teachers will be better positioned to improve the learning, progress and achievement of all students.

Provision for international students

Reignier Catholic School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

The school is highly effective in providing pastoral care and ongoing support through the special education needs coordinator.

International students are achieving and progressing well. There is a clear focus on developing home school partnerships and successfully integrating families into the community.

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.

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Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

5 September 2013

About the School

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2663

School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

School roll

220

Number of international students

4

Gender composition

Male 50%

Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

13%

83%

4%

Special features

Catholic special character

Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

5 September 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2010

March 2008

May 2005