St Brigids School (Johnsonville) - 16/05/2018

School Context

St Brigids School is a state integrated Catholic school in Johnsonville, Wellington. At the time of this review, the roll of 297 Years 1 to 8 students includes 6% who are Māori and 6% of Samoan heritage. The roll includes children from many different ethnic backgrounds.

The Catholic character is promoted through the school’s core values. Trustees, leaders and teachers describe a St Brigids learner as someone who learns for life, seeks challenges, is prepared to lead, contributes willingly and is connected to their world. An overarching belief is that relationships are key to all teaching and learning experiences.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • outcomes related to engagement and wellbeing for success.

A new principal was appointed in Term 3, 2016. There have been few staffing changes since the January 2014 ERO report.

All leaders and teachers are involved in ongoing professional learning and development. Major areas of focus in 2017 and 2018 include: continued development in mathematics and connected learning; writing; science; and health and wellbeing. Curriculum review, including preparing to implement the digital curriculum is a new focus in 2018. All leaders and teachers are participating in religious education study.

The school is part of the Northern Suburbs Kāhui Ako. 

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

Overall student achievement at St Brigids School is high. This has been maintained between 2014 and 2017 for most groups of learners.

Most children are achieving at and above the school’s expectations in reading, writing, and mathematics. Girls achieve better than boys in writing. The school has identified that boys’ writing is a schoolwide focus for 2018.

Almost all Pacific students achieve at and above the school’s expectations in reading, writing, and mathematics.

Those students whose learning needs acceleration are identified and their needs known. There is a relentless focus on supporting all learners to achieve well and be successful.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

Most children who were below expectation at the beginning of 2017 made progress, with the small majority making accelerated progress.

Pacific students who were identified as needing additional support at the start of 2017, met school expectations.

At the end of 2017, most Māori students who were below school expectations at the start of the year, have made progress, with a small majority making accelerated progress.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school’s priority is students’ learning and wellbeing, underpinned by the Catholic character. The principal and other senior leaders ensure alignment of the school’s strategic goals and values with everyday practice.

Leaders work collaboratively, continuing to strengthen organisational structures, processes and practices. They promote and provide professional learning that is focused and sustained until gains in outcomes are achieved. Leaders and teachers engage in professional dialogue in a range of situations including learning groups. Teachers identify and reflect on their practice, set goals and develop evidence-based teaching strategies. Appraisal is a systematic, improvement-focused process that supports growth and promotes positive student outcomes.

Students with diverse learning needs are well supported to make progress in their learning. English language learners and students with additional learning needs are well known. Support is put in place to enable all students to access the curriculum successfully.

Teaching and learning experiences promote student participation, engagement and ownership of learning. Teachers provide opportunities for children to work collaboratively and make choices. They set high expectations and students are involved in decision-making about their learning. This includes choice of contexts, resources and the organisation of their work. Student leadership is promoted.

Culturally responsive practices and programmes value te ao Māori. Whānau Māori have shared their aspirations and these are included in school planning.

There is a strong focus on improving learning. School leaders and teachers regularly gather a range of useful formative and summative achievement information. This is well used to help determine schoolwide targets and provide assistance and resourcing.

Parents, whānau and the community are welcomed and their contributions are valued. Leaders value the diverse identities, languages and cultures of students and families and are focused on continuing to strengthen these connections. The school provides and promotes a variety of programmes and support to families. Leaders work actively to establish relationships and collaborate with the local parish, community and other schools.

Relationships with Pacific families have been strengthened through regular Pacific student fono, schoolwide celebrations and the sharing of cultural experiences. A Pacific Development Plan is well embedded in everyday practice.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school has identified that it is timely to review documentation of the curriculum. These revised documents are intended to clearly reflect the school vision and values and the St Brigids learner profile. ERO’s evaluation confirms this planned development.

Evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building are embedded in everyday practice to promote improvement and innovation. Further refinement of ongoing evaluation and inquiry should increase clarity of the impact of strategies on outcomes for students.

3 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
  • finance
  • 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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • achieving outcomes for students that show consistently high levels of achievement
  • leadership, systems and practices that ensure ongoing improvement in teaching and learning
  • pastoral care that fosters student wellbeing and supports their learning success.

Next step

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • revising the school curriculum to better reflect current teaching and learning practice
  • refining the school’s internal evaluation process to further determine the impact of initiatives on progressing children’s learning and achievement.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

16 May 2018

About the school 

Location

Johnsonville),

Ministry of Education profile number

3005

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

297

Gender composition

Girls 51%, Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                          6%
Pākehā                                      35%
Filipino                                      27%
Samoan                                      6%
Asian                                         12%
Other ethnic groups               14%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

16 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review                   January 2014
Education Review                   August 2009
Education Review                   June 2006