St Annes School (Newtown) - 26/02/2014

Findings

A strong focus on pastoral care underpins the school culture. Staff know the students well and make good use of achievement information to inform their teaching. Students are purposefully engaged in their learning. Alignment of school processes with new strategic goals will better guide future direction and support ongoing improvement.

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?

St Annes School in Newtown, Wellington, is a state integrated, multicultural school for students in Years 1 to 8. Of the current roll of 139 students, 43% are Samoan and 9% are Māori. Ninety five percent of students have English as a second or third language. The diversity of ethnic groups of students has increased since the August 2011 ERO review.

The Catholic character is strongly evident, including close links with St Anne’s Parish. A clear focus on pastoral care underpins the school culture.

Teachers are participating in long-term professional development. Literacy is an ongoing development focus and this is the third year of the school’s involvement in the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) initiative.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to inform teaching and learning.

Schoolwide targets are appropriately based on the previous year’s National Standard data. Specific groups of underachievers are identified and plans for increasing their progress are documented. The school’s 2013 end of year achievement data showed that approximately three quarters of students were achieving at or above the reading, writing and mathematics National Standards. Overall, Pacific students’ achievement was higher than that of all students. Most Māori students were achieving at or above the National Standards.

Teachers make sound use of assessment data to identify individual students’ learning needs. They know the students who are underachieving and what they need to learn. These students are identified as target students and a school system of tracking the progress of each student enables close monitoring of individual progress.

Teachers differentiate their planning to meet specific learning needs in reading and mathematics. Increasing the consistency of teacher use of specific planning and deliberate teaching strategies is the next step.

3 Curriculum

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

Through the curriculum, a caring school culture and support for student learning in literacy and numeracy are promoted.

The curriculum is based on the school values which focus on care, compassion and respecting the rights of all. These values have been developed in line with those of the Sisters of Mercy. The key competencies from The New Zealand Curriculum are well integrated throughout the curriculum.

Curriculum documents clearly outline expectations for teaching reading, writing and mathematics. These include schoolwide requirements for planning and assessment in literacy and numeracy.

Teachers ensure that students know the purpose of lessons and provide examples of good quality work as models for students. Classroom routines are well established.

Students are purposefully engaged in their learning. They talk confidently about their work and, in some classrooms, students self assess their work against set criteria. Teachers should continue to strengthen ways that students can take an increased lead in their learning.

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

Staff know the students and their families well. The principal leads this emphasis on building positive relationships with families and whānau. Prayers and hymns in classrooms and at church are often in te reo Māori. Senior students have stayed overnight at a local marae. Teachers should continue to develop the ways they promote success for Māori students, as Māori.

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

The caring school culture is demonstrated by staff valuing the involvement of parents of Pacific students. Senior students have several leadership roles and they carry out their duties with pride. Leaders have identified that the transition to school process for those students who have been attending a Samoan early childhood centre should be strengthened. ERO’s evaluation supports this direction.

While staff acknowledge and value the culture, language and identity of Pacific students, teachers should further increase opportunities for Pacific students, and other ethnic groups, to celebrate their culture at school. Continuing to build on relationships with parents to increase opportunities for them to contribute to the curriculum and school organisation is also a next step.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Shared values and systems are in place to sustain the school’s performance. However, further development is needed to better support ongoing improvement.

The principal has a strong focus on pastoral care and supporting all students to be able to access all learning experiences. Continuity of leadership and staffing has contributed to the development of shared understandings from ongoing professional development.

Self review is used to reflect on what is happening and it is beginning to be used to plan for the future with an emphasis on outcomes for students. Teachers inquire into their teaching through the appraisal process and trustees regularly review school policies. Increasing the focus on evaluation against clear criteria is likely to strengthen self-review processes.

Increasing the clarity of planning for the future will better support ongoing improvement. It is timely for trustees and staff to revisit the strategic plan. When new goals are developed, other school processes should be aligned, including reports to the board of trustees and appraisal goals.

Other priorities necessary to support ongoing improvement include continued development of:

  • board members’ shared understanding of governance
  • recording the outcomes of consultation and discussion, so that they can be used more effectively to inform review and development decisions
  • the appraisal process, to ensure that feedback to staff is documented and improvementfocused.

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

A strong focus on pastoral care underpins the school culture. Staff know the students well and make good use of achievement information to inform their teaching. Students are purposefully engaged in their learning. Alignment of school processes with new strategic goals will better guide future direction and support ongoing improvement.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

26 August 2014

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2997

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

139

Gender composition

Female 53%,

Male 47%

Ethnic composition

Samoan

African

Indian

Filipino

Māori

Tongan

Middle Eastern

Other South East Asian

Other ethnic groups

43%

13%

10%

10%

9%

4%

4%

4%

3%

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

26 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2011

August 2008

November 2005