St Bernard's School (Brooklyn) - 13/12/2017

Summary

St Bernard’s School (Brooklyn) is a state integrated Catholic primary school situated in Wellington catering for students in Years 1 to 8. Its Catholic character is interwoven through all aspects of learning, family partnerships and pastoral care. Students enrol from across Wellington city and wider suburbs. Classes are small and made up of students from two or three year groups.

Since the September 2014 ERO review there have been changes of staff, including the principal in 2016, and several new trustees.

The school is a member of the Wellington Catholic Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

School-reported data shows that most students achieve at or above National Standards expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. The school continues to develop and strengthen its response to children whose learning and achievement requires improvement. Generally, girls achieve higher than boys across literacy and mathematics.

Staff demonstrate a willingness to improve their teaching practices and achieve equitable outcomes for all children. Teachers participated in Accelerated Learning in Literacy (ALL), Ministry of Education professional learning and development (PLD) in 2016. There has also been a PLD focus on science and accelerating student achievement in writing.

Trustees have undertaken training to strengthen their stewardship role in the school. They work positively to provide children with a range of learning experiences both within and outside the school. The board has identified successes and challenges for the school with a focus on achieving equitable outcomes for students.

The development of more in-depth understanding and use of internal evaluation at board, leadership and teacher levels is a key next step. This should support schoolwide decision making and determining the effectiveness of systems, processes and practices. The focus should be on how well decisions and actions improve and promote positive outcomes for children.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all children.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school continues to develop its approach to supporting children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

School-reported data shows that most students achieve at and above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. The trend over the last three years shows achievement has been reasonably constant with some minor variations. The school has yet to achieve equity for some boys in writing.

Teachers work positively to identify and plan for individual children’s learning needs. There are systems for monitoring and reviewing progress.

The school should continue to improve and develop assessment moderation practices to ensure that judgements made about student achievement are consistent and dependable. Some moderation occurs between teachers. However, working with teachers from other schools would broaden current practice.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school is developing systems and processes to enable achievement of equity and excellence.

Children are well supported to achieve, be confident learners and enjoy a sense of belonging. Opportunities for student leadership are provided across the school. The school has identified a desire to strengthen student understanding and ownership of their learning. Children engage in a wide range of experiences outside the classroom. They interact and learn alongside other children in nearby schools for some activities such as robotics.

The school has appropriate systems to identify and monitor children with additional learning needs.

Teachers work collaboratively to share information about teaching and learning. Staff involvement in school decision making is encouraged. Teachers are supported through professional learning and development to identify and support children’s learning. They are at an early stage of inquiring into their own practice, using student achievement data as evidence of effectiveness of their teaching strategies.

The curriculum prioritises Christian values and national priorities of reading, writing and mathematics. School leaders are strongly focused on developing a future-focused curriculum and culturally responsive practices. Significant progress has been made with the integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori into school life. The school’s values are seen as key to learning relationships and school operations. The impact is evidenced by children’s friendliness, respect for others and willingness to support their peers.

The growing use of digital technology supports children’s learning. The school provides devices for those children who do not have their own. Teachers are in the process of evaluating the impact of digital technology on student achievement.

Trustees are clear about their roles, responsibilities and ways of operating. They use their expertise and interests to share tasks. Their focus is on providing children with a wide range of experiences and opportunities to extend their learning. They scrutinise achievement information and use this to make decisions about ongoing support and resourcing. They value community input into the school’s strategic direction. Trustees are supportive of the principal and teachers.

Families are actively engaged in their children’s learning and the wider life of the school. They are well informed about their children’s progress through reporting and conferencing.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The board and leadership are positive about future developments to continue to improve stewardship, curriculum leadership and internal evaluation practices. The new teaching team is aware of the need to:

  • review the school curriculum, in partnership with the school community, to ensure it sets expectations for teaching and programmes, is culturally responsive and clearly links to the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum

  • continue to develop effective teaching practices that identify and accelerate children’s learning

  • develop clear expectations for assessment moderation, both internal and external, to ensure greater reliability of judgements made about children’s progress and achievement

  • continue to strengthen children’s understanding and knowledge about their own learning

  • strengthen teacher inquiry and the appraisal process by ensuring that teachers collect appropriate evidence to meet the Practising Teacher Criteria.

The development of more in-depth understanding and use of internal evaluation at board, leadership and teacher levels is a key next step. This should support schoolwide decision making and determine the effectiveness of schoolwide systems, processes, practices and resourcing. The focus should be on how well decisions and actions improve and promote positive outcomes for children.

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

  • 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each learner

  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of learners’ progress and achievement

  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all children.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

13 December 2017

About the school

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

3002

School type

Full Primary (Year 1-8)

School roll

47

Gender composition

Boys 27, Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori 4
Pākehā 32
Samoan 3
Asian 3
Other ethnic groups 5

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

13 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2014

Education Review July 2010

Education Review November 2007