San Antonio School (Eastbourne) - 26/05/2015

Findings

Shared Catholic values and the small school size contribute to positive, caring relationships. Teachers know students well and develop programmes to suit individual wellbeing and learning needs. Focused leadership, trustees’ commitment and constructive partnerships with parents assist good school performance. This is likely to be sustained and improved through further development of self review.

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

1 Context

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

San Antonio is a small, integrated Catholic school in the Eastbourne area, that caters for students from Years 1 to 8. At the time of this ERO review, 32 students attended and were organised for learning in two classrooms.

The small size contributes to close, co-operative relationships across the age groups. Features of the school include its Catholic values, low teacher-student ratios and family atmosphere. Students participate in regular masses at the nearby parish to foster spiritual values and relationships with the community.

The board has a full complement of elected and appointed trustees who are actively involved in many activities to support the school.

The school places emphasis on knowing the whole child well, and developing individual learning pathways and steps suited to each student’s needs and abilities. An inclusive approach actively supports children's diverse needs.

The curriculum promotes learning about sustainability through environment-based studies, making use of the nearby beach and regional park, and taking stewardship of a school garden and nursery.

The recently appointed principal is completing the First Time Principals’ Programme. Since 2013, all teaching staff have been involved in a Ministry of Education professional learning and development (PLD) programme in teaching literacy, focused on improving teaching, learning and achievement in writing.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers use and analyse achievement information effectively to promote student progress and achievement. They set improvement targets for identified individuals and groups. Most students meet the National Standard in mathematics and achieve above in reading and writing.

Teachers have strengthened their use of data through PLD. They use a wide range of information effectively to respond to students’ needs and to support them to be independent, confident learners. This includes information from parents and families about learning and wellbeing needs. They have established an assessment framework for moderating, monitoring and tracking students’ progress and achievement. Closer monitoring and tracking of individual progress is likely to provide a stronger basis for evaluation of the impact of interventions and programmes.

Parents and trustees are well informed about development priorities and strategies to improve outcomes for students. Regular communications through information evenings, conferencing, reporting, newsletters and informal conversations between the school and parents foster strong learning partnerships.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively. Teachers know students well. They design programmes and strategies that are responsive to their interests and needs. Students are highly engaged in their learning.

Classroom programmes are highly responsive to the school community, context and special character. Topics, investigations and studies include reference to the local coastal setting, environmental themes, the knowledge and skills of parents and the wider community. Teachers promote and use learning resources and contexts that recognise the cultural backgrounds and identity of children in the school.

Teachers establish a positive tone by promoting, reinforcing and praising expected behaviours for learning. Students’ voices and contributions to the life of the school are promoted and respected.

Teachers’ recent involvement in a PLD programme for writing has led to improved knowledge and capability to teach and make judgements about students' learning, progress and achievement in this area. Literacy programmes are developed to respond to diverse learners’ needs and interests.

Close relationships with parents and nearby preschool providers and the use of effective transition programmes support students to make expected progress in their first year.

Leaders have appropriately identified the need to further develop and update the overarching school curriculum statement and learning area programmes. The development of a coherent curriculum framework that provides guidelines and expectations for teaching, learning, assessment and classroom programmes is an important next step.

Parent and community members are involved in supporting special interest classes, performances and sports coaching. Improved communication systems and procedures have strengthened connections and interactions between parents and the school.

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

Although there are no Māori students currently on the roll, teachers actively promote te reo me ngā tikanga Māori to enhance students’ awareness of bicultural perspectives. The principal has begun leading te reo Māori classes across the school.

All teachers and trustees should continue to develop their knowledge and confidence in this area to support future Māori learners’ success as Maori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Through focused professional leadership, trustees' commitment, and strengthened partnerships with parents, the school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Elected and appointed trustees bring diverse backgrounds, experience and expertise to their roles. They participate in a range of learning and development activities to build their knowledge and skills. They have overseen the recent development of the charter which reflects community consultation, input and aspirations. Strategic priorities promote the importance of Catholic values and inclusive practices in the special character of the school. Trustees are future focused and provide effective governance.

Parents and families are welcomed and are highly involved in school learning and social activities. Many participate in class programmes, performances, events and productions. They value the ease of access and interactions with their children and teachers at the school.

The principal’s appraisal appropriately includes goals related to promoting and raising student progress and achievement. Teachers are developing their understanding of teaching as inquiry to improve practice and to better evaluate the impact of their teaching on student outcomes. Further development of teacher appraisal processes, including setting goals more closely aligned to school priorities, is a next step.

Self review is developing across the school. Student achievement is used well by trustees and teachers as evidence for decision making and planning. Further development of a shared, coherent schoolwide self-review framework and process is a next step. This should assist the leaders, teachers and trustees to better evaluate the quality and effectiveness of strategies, programmes and resourcing decisions to improve outcomes for students and sustain school improvement.

The school has a friendly atmosphere and tone. Children demonstrate care for each other and focus on learning in an inclusive school environment.

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.

Conclusion

Shared Catholic values and the small school size contribute to positive, caring relationships. Teachers know students well and develop programmes to suit individual wellbeing and learning needs. Focused leadership, trustees’ commitment and constructive partnerships with parents assist good school performance. This is likely to be sustained and improved through further development of self review.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

26 May 2015

About the School

Location

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

2986

School type

Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

32

Gender composition

Girls 20, Boys 12

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

32

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

26 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2012

March 2010

March 2007