St Anthony's School (Seatoun) - 04/06/2014

1 Context

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

St Anthony’s School is a small state integrated primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8 from Seatoun and surrounding areas. The school reflects its Catholic character and maintains close connections with the local parish. Students come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, with 7% identifying as Māori and 6% as Pacific.

Since the 2011 ERO review, the board of trustees has appointed a new principal and deputy principal and the school has participated in Ministry of Education (MoE) contracts and workshops to develop:

  • positive behaviour for learning (PB4L)
  • teacher appraisal
  • understandings about the judgements teachers make against the National Standards
  • use of digital technologies to support teaching and learning
  • teachers’ knowledge about accelerating learning in mathematics.

Support for the use of digital technologies and accelerating learning in mathematics continues this year and key teachers are nominated to lead these developments.

There have also been changes in board membership with new trustees undertaking some training related to their governance role. The board’s vision is supported through values that encourage students to be ‘respectful, excelling, aware learners’ - REAL.

2 Learning

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

The majority of students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The achievement of Māori students is similar to that of their non Māori peers. The board uses achievement information to set annual targets to accelerate the progress of students below the Standards and extend other groups.

Teachers use a good range of assessments to gather information about student progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. This information is used to group students according to needs and inform teaching and learning. There are good examples where teachers look more closely at the data to develop specific, measurable teaching steps against which students’ progress is well monitored.

Useful achievement information is gathered when students enter school at five. This should provide a good baseline for monitoring the same groups of students over eight years of schooling to show progress and achievement over time. Senior leaders identify that the next step is to continue to develop understanding of how best to accelerate the progress of target students. The professional development in mathematics is likely to support this practice.

A good range of well-planned programmes supports students with special needs and abilities. Most focus on small-group teaching within the classroom, with some additional help from parent volunteers. Teachers and teacher aides work together and student progress is well monitored. Useful individual education plans are developed for students with specific needs who have support from outside agencies.

Parents and whānau receive useful information about their child’s progress and achievement against National Standards and other aspects of the curriculum. School leaders have sought and responded positively to feedback from parents about the school’s reporting and continue to review and improve the process in partnership with families.

3 Curriculum

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

Considerable thought has gone into designing the school’s curriculum. A culture of high expectations for learning is evident and student wellbeing is nurtured through REAL.

Students learn in a settled, inclusive and purposeful environment. They participate in a wide range of learning experiences with appropriate priority given to literacy, numeracy and religious education. Science, social sciences, health, technology and the arts are explored by students through inquiries. Students also enjoy:

  • activities outside the classroom, that includes making good use of the local beach to support water safety
  • the engagement they have with other students at schools in the area. Years 7 and 8 students go to technology classes in the city and often make the most of this location to learn more about their inquiry topic.

A range of effective teaching practices is evident.

Relationships among students and between students and adults are positive, supportive and mutually respectful. Teachers know students well and maintain a welcoming, happy atmosphere.

Students are actively engaged in their learning. Most can talk confidently about their learning and their next steps.

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

The school’s curriculum gives specific focus to aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Students have opportunities to participate in pōwhiri to welcome visitors to the school and join the kapa haka group.

As part of self review, consideration could be given to exploring how well students’ knowledge is being extended as they move through the school.

Māori students are achieving well. However, the board, school leaders and whānau should continue to develop shared understandings about success as Māori within the school’s context.

Increased knowledge of whānau values and aspirations, together with MoE publications Ka Hikitia Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners should support this development.

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 board has developed a clear vision, values and goals to guide future planning. The strong partnership with families supports student learning and wellbeing.

Trustees bring a wide range of expertise to the governance role and are improvement-focused. There is a good working relationship among the board, senior leaders, staff and the community.

Senior leaders and teachers are enthusiastic and committed to improving students’ learning and wellbeing. They regularly reflect on their practice and leaders have identified a range of next steps through ongoing review. ERO’s findings highlight:

  • continuing to strengthen the appraisal process
  • developing shared understandings about strategies to accelerate learning for priority students
  • strengthening the board’s annual planning
  • refining and strengthening processes for in-depth review of the school’s curriculum.

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.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

4 June 2014

About the School

Location

Seatoun, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

2999

School type

State Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

106

Gender composition

56% Female, 44% Male

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Pacific

British

Greek

Other ethnic groups

71%

7%

6%

5%

5%

6%

Special Features

Catholic character

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

4 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

April 2011

April 2009

February 2008