St Anne's School (Woolston) - 18/01/2016

Findings

The Catholic special character is well embedded in all aspects of school life. The friendly inclusive culture supports students’ sense of belonging and confidence. There is strong community support and high levels of pastoral care for students and families. Teaching practices support students’ learning and the curriculum provides students with interesting learning experiences. The school is effectively led and governed.

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?

The special character of St Anne’s School (Woolston) is well embedded in all aspects of student learning and school practices. The school’s diverse and multicultural roll, which includes a large number of students who have English as a second language, is widely celebrated and adds richness to learning and teaching.

The friendly, welcoming and inclusive culture supports students’ sense of belonging and confidence. The long-serving staff know students and their families well. There are positive relationships between students, teachers and the parish.

There is strong community and parish support with high levels of pastoral care for students and their families. Parents and parish members are actively involved in the life of the school, particularly in school events and some learning partnerships.

Since the 2012 ERO review teachers have developed assessment practices and updated aspects of the English and mathematics curriculum. A new principal was appointed in 2015.

At the time of this ERO review, the school was reviewing the charter, vision and values to align with the key priorities identified by the school’s community.

2 Learning

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

The school effectively uses achievement information to identify individual and groups of students most at risk of not achieving. The needs of identified students are well supported by a suitable range of interventions and programmes.

Teachers use a wide range of practices to support students’ engagement, progress and achievement. These include:

  • high teacher expectations for learning and achievement
  • specific strategies to support students to understand expectations and next steps for learning
  • valuing and actively responding to students’ ideas and opinions
  • useful planning to meet students’ specific needs, particularly in literacy and mathematics.
  • The principal and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, the next steps to further improve learning and achievement include:
  • strengthening targets with specific action plans linked to teaching as inquiry
  • extending the guidelines that outline how teachers form overall teacher judgements in literacy and mathematics against the National Standards
  • developing ways to strengthen student-led learning, self assessment and goal setting.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum provides students with an interesting range of authentic and rich learning experiences that support their learning.

Students have meaningful leadership responsibilities. An increasing number of opportunities enable older students to work with and support younger students to extend their interests. For example, students work together to improve the school’s gardens and environment, lead a students’ art club and operate a school radio station.

Teachers and students make very good use of digital technologies to reinforce, communicate and celebrate students’ learning. Students are able to easily access a wide range of technology, including school radio equipment.

The current curriculum is comprehensive and has extensive guidelines that support consistent teaching practices. Leaders and teachers have identified it is timely to review and refine the curriculum document to align with the review of the school’s charter. This includes:

  • a vision for learning and teaching and ways that the values, key competencies and thinking strategies can be better promoted
  • greater planned inclusion of te ao Māori and Pacific language and culture, including Māori values and local contexts
  • documenting how students with special abilities are provided for.

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

Most Māori students are achieving well, are engaged in the school and actively involved in the life of the school and parish. Teachers know Māori students as learners and individuals.

The school gives prominence to Māori culture. It is well led by the teacher with responsibility for Māori. She supports other teachers and Māori students and their whānau with language and culture.

All students have many opportunities to learn about te reo Māori and tikanga Māori and experience Māori culture. Many Māori students participate in the school kapa haka and have opportunities for leadership in cultural events. Whānau and past pupils actively assist cultural programmes.

The leaders and staff members know Māori students and their whānau well. The teacher with responsibility for Māori is providing good leadership and helping other teachers to extend their use of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori. She has identified that a graduated approach is more likely to enable all students to have consistent opportunities as they move through the school.

The school leaders are considering other ways to better gather and respond to the aspirations of parents.

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

Pacific students have a strong sense of belonging and inclusiveness that promotes their wellbeing and confidence as learners. For example the Samoan language is included and promoted at special occasions.

Pacific students have leadership opportunities at cultural events. These events have been well supported by their families and have enabled students and families to celebrate their culture within the school.

The school has been actively involved with a Ministry of Education Talanoa project. It has been well led within the school and local cluster. This has raised the profile of Samoan culture within the school. The next step is to ensure there is a Pacific focus integrated into the school’s curriculum.

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.

The transition from the former leadership structure has gone smoothly. The new principal’s consultative approach has been well received by the staff, students and school community.

There is a culture of high expectations for students and staff. Leaders and teachers are reflective, collaborative and effective in promoting outcomes for students.

The board is highly supportive and focused on improvement. Trustees are well informed, particularly about the special character, programmes and school events. School leaders now need to:

  • ensure that the board is regularly informed about the accelerated progress and achievement of the targeted students
  • strengthen the process for internal evaluation, so it is understood by everyone, and includes goals and targets with measurable outcomes.
  • ensure that the current appraisal process aligns with the annual plans, targets and the Education Council requirements for practicing teachers.

The board and staff have also identified that they would like to strengthen their connections with parents and whānau.

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

The Catholic special character is well embedded in all aspects of school life. The friendly inclusive culture supports students’ sense of belonging and confidence. There is strong community support and high levels of pastoral care for students and families. Teaching practices support students’ learning and the curriculum provides students with interesting learning experiences. The school is effectively led and governed.

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

18 January 2016

School Statistics

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

3520

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

113

Gender composition

Boys 58; Girls 55

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

Asian

Other ethnicities

38%

15%

30%

15%

2%

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

18 January 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2012

August 2008

September 2004