Sacred Heart School (Petone) - 19/06/2018

School Context

Sacred Heart School (Petone) is an integrated Catholic primary school providing education for students from Years 1 to 8. At the time of the review there were 151 students on the roll. Over half of the roll is made up of students who identify as Māori, Tokelauan, Samoan and Asian.

The school’s vision is to provide ‘education within the Catholic faith’. RISE values of ‘respect, integrity, sense of community and excellence’ are valued outcomes. The school’s special Catholic character highlights positive, inclusive relationships between students, staff, parents and the wider community.

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

  • schoolwide progress and achievement in relation to the school’s annual targets in literacy and numeracy

  • wellbeing, language, culture and identity

  • learners with additional needs

  • the development and enactment of special Catholic character.

Board membership and staffing is stable with few changes since the December 2014 ERO report. A new deputy principal was appointed in 2015.

The Pasifika Proud Study Centre, an initiative of the Pasifika Parents Group, provides learning through activities after school for students of pacific heritage. When space allows other students are welcome to attend.

Extensive professional learning and development (PLD) during 2016 and 2017 for teachers in literacy, mathematics, digital learning and physical literacy reflects the school’s focus on continuous improvement. In 2018 teachers are focusing on embedding stronger transition-to-school practices, the ‘learning through play’ approach and whole school numeracy.

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?

Most students achieve at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There has been a similar overall pattern of achievement since 2015.

Achievement in reading improved for all groups in 2017. Māori and Pacific achievement in writing and mathematics is below that of other students.

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 for some Māori and other students whose achievement requires acceleration, including for a number of students with additional learning and teaching needs.

Improvement for many students, including Pacific and Māori, is evident in reading, writing and mathematics in 2017.

There is a range of strategies in place to support those students whose achievement requires acceleration.

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?

The board is highly committed and diligent in upholding the school’s special character, mission and values. They support an inclusive, holistic curriculum. Trustees regularly receive and discuss schoolwide achievement information with the principal and leadership. They make resourcing decisions to support and target student learning and achievement.

Parent and students’ views and comments are regularly sought and acted on by the board and leadership. Pacific aiga and Māori whānau are consulted and their feedback and expertise is valued. Every three years the board and leadership lead extensive community consultation to formulate the school’s strategic plan.

All parents and the wider whānau are welcomed into the school. A range of communication strategies are used to engage and involve them in school activities as valued partners in learning. Aiga and whānau groups actively work with leadership, teachers and students to support and contribute to teaching and learning programmes, teacher professional development and pastoral care.

Students are actively involved in their learning. Their strengths, interests and needs are well known and responded to by classroom teachers. They are supported to reflect and act on positive and constructive feedback. Digital tools are employed where appropriate. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are enacted through school learning programmes, children’s liturgies and celebrations. Classrooms are welcoming, settled environments and interactions are respectful. There is a clear focus on student wellbeing.

A wide range of strategies and resources is used to support students with additional needs. Their progress is regularly monitored and reported. External support is effectively accessed and well used.

Strong relationship-based leadership has established high, consistent expectations of good practice that guide and support teaching and learning. Teachers show care about, and promote students’ success and meaningful participation in learning. They are highly reflective and collaborative. Leaders and teachers take collective responsibility for meeting the needs of diverse learners. Appropriate PLD and appraisal systems promote the professional growth of teachers.

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

School leaders and teachers are using inquiry to reflect on practices and systems. The next step is for the board, leadership and teachers to deeply analyse and evaluate all information and evidence gathered to ascertain the impact of strategies on student outcomes, ask what is making the most difference, and decide on next steps. To strengthen inquiry and practice, teachers should evaluate the effectiveness of classroom strategies and interventions on student outcomes.

Continuing to build leadership capacity to effectively evaluate the impact of strategies and initiatives on student outcomes is an agreed next step. This should lead to more effective systematic and manageable evaluation aligned to school priorities.

Further refining of systems for evaluating the acceleration of learners at risk is required. Continued development of this process to measure and determine the effectiveness of teaching strategies on acceleration should support this improvement.

The curriculum is a useful, working document that weaves together key expectations and guidance for teaching and learning. It requires further development to reflect the special, unique character, vision and context of the school, acknowledging the community’s languages, cultures and identity.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • strategic direction setting by the board and leadership, well informed by consultation and extensive information, that establishes targets for student achievement, wellbeing and community involvement

  • positive learning partnerships with parents, extended families and the wider community, that actively support student learning and wellbeing

  • whānau and Pacific parent groups that uphold and value the children’s languages, culture and identity, and supporting the school through the Pasifika Proud Study centre, schoolwide pastoral care and PLD.

Next steps

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

  • internal evaluation processes and practices, so that trustees, leadership and teachers inquire, deeply analyse and evaluate student achievement information and the impact of teaching programmes to specifically target and resource student learning
  • strengthening school tracking and monitoring systems so that the leadership and teachers gain in-depth information about progress and improved student outcomes, what works and why
  • building on the school curriculum so that it prioritises the school’s faith, culture and identity.

The school has requested that ERO provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

19 June 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

State Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 – 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 10%
Pākehā 43%
Pacific 34%
Other ethnic groups 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

19 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, December 2014
Education Review, November 2011
Education Review, October 2008