St Brigids School (Johnsonville) - 23/01/2014

1 Context

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

St Brigid's School is a state integrated Catholic school in Johnsonville, Wellington. At the time of this review it had a roll of 317 Years 1 to 8 students, of whom 7% are Pacific and 6% Māori. Others from a range of cultural backgrounds include many English language learners (ELLs).

The special Catholic character is promoted through the values of love, courage, inclusiveness and faith. The school’s vision for the St Brigid’s learner is 'strength of character and gentleness of heart'. This vision and associated values underpin strategic direction, school systems and classroom programmes. There are high expectations for student engagement and learning.

School leaders responded positively to areas for review and development identified in ERO's 2009 report. Teachers are involved in planned, ongoing professional learning and development with a major emphasis on high quality teaching practice and a recent focus on writing.

The school continues to sustain its high performance to improve outcomes for students.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information is very well used by school leaders and staff to:

  • recognise and report on trends and patterns for groups and cohorts including priority students
  • inform schoolwide planning, target setting and resourcing
  • identify students in need of additional support or extension, decide appropriate responses and monitor progress
  • group students for instruction when appropriate
  • support the development and moderation of overall teacher judgements about students' achievement.

School leaders and teachers use an appropriate range of nationally referenced and school-based tools to establish baseline data, plan teaching programmes, monitor student progress and evaluate levels of achievement. Highly effective quality assurance systems ensure data is robust and reliable.

The school reports that the significant majority of students are achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Pacific students have their individual needs clearly identified and progress closely monitored.

Most Māori students are achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Those at risk of not achieving are clearly identified, interventions implemented with progress closely monitored.

Well-considered and thoughtfully developed systems and processes support students' transition into and from the school.

3 Curriculum

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

The school has a thoroughly documented curriculum based on The New Zealand Curriculum and unique aspects that reflect St Brigid’s special Catholic character, inclusive multicultural community and local contexts. The principal and senior leaders have effectively led teachers in the development and regular review of this curriculum. Schoolwide implementation plans especially in literacy and mathematics provide clear expectations for teachers and explicit indicators for student progress and development.

Students have extensive opportunities to participate and enjoy success in academic, sporting, cultural and leadership activities.

Students learn in rich stimulating environments that celebrate student work and provide multiple prompts to support learning. Students are well-engaged with supportive relationships among students and teachers. Students are able to explain what they are learning and their levels of achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics. In some classrooms students have explicit, realistic learning goals and know what they need to do to achieve them.

Teachers continue to work on strengthening and enhancing students’ ability to take increasing responsibility for their own learning.

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

A strategic commitment to improving outcomes for Māori students is evident. The Kia Mau initiative, begun as an extension opportunity for Māori students in te reo, tikanga and kapa haka, is now established to encourage, promote and engage Māori students. There are increasing leadership opportunities. Regular whānau hui encourage parent involvement in the school and their child’s learning.

School leaders have indentified that continuing to grow the understanding of te ao Māori and develop culturally responsive teaching practices are ongoing priorities.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Key aspects include:

  • effective governance from a well-informed board
  • a clear strategic vision and plan
  • high quality leadership from the principal, well supported by senior leaders
  • a strategic approach to growing leadership capability in teachers
  • collegial and supportive staff
  • a culture of rigorous, critical reflection and self-review leading to improvement
  • a supportive and involved community
  • strong respectful, trusting relationships at all levels.

The board has recognised the importance of continuing to explore and strengthen consultation and engagement with its diverse community, parents and whānau. School leaders have identified the development of a Pacific education plan as a priority.

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 four-to-five years.


Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

23 January 2014

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 52%

Male 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

South East Asian





Other Pacific

Other ethnic groups









Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

23 January 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2009

June 2006

August 2003