St Francis De Sales School (Is.Bay) - 15/12/2017


St Francis De Sales School is for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of the review there were 305 children on the roll, with 11% identifying as Māori, 8% as Pacific and 11% as Asian. The school’s valued outcomes reflect the special character of the school and its vision that ‘the measure of love is to love without measure’.

Since the October 2014 ERO report, a new board chair and some new trustees have been elected. There have been significant staff changes. A new principal was appointed in Term 4, 2016 and a new leadership team was established in 2017.

Extensive professional learning and development (PLD) for teachers in literacy, in 2015 and 2016, reflects the school’s focus on continuous improvement. In 2017, teachers are strengthening their use of the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) and extending their understanding of culturally responsive practices.

The key areas of evaluative inquiry and consultation with Māori whānau, identified in the 2014 ERO review, remain a focus for the school.

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

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

At the time of this review, most students were achieving at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori and Pacific students achieve at similar levels to their peers. In 2016, a noticeable number of boys achieved below the National Standards in writing. A similar achievement trend has been evident over the past three years.

The leadership team promotes a collaborative culture that deepens teachers’ knowledge of and responsiveness to learners. Trustees are clearly focused on progressing the school’s vision and priorities.

The leadership team has identified that theirnext step is to strengthen internal processes, systems and practices for more equitable outcomes and to improve the achievement of students, particularly those whose learning needs acceleration.

Next steps are to develop more monitor; and discuss the school’s progress with ERO.targeted planning for those learners whose progress needs to accelerate;this targeted planning, improved teaching and learners’ progress

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 is developing its effectiveness in responding to all students, including Māori, whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Schoolwide achievement information indicates that the majority of students achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. There is evidence to show that some students make accelerated progress. Data shows that there is minimal disparity between Māori students’ achievement and that of their peers. Pacific students are achieving as well or better than other groups of learners.

Since the previous ERO review, the number of students achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics has been maintained. Data for 2016 indicates no upward trajectory in boys’ achievement and little change in the percentage of students achieving above the National Standards. The board and leadership have identified these as key areas for attention and acceleration.

A wide range of strategies and resources support children with additional learning needs. The school works alongside parents with appropriate agencies to provide support for children. The board funds a high number of teacher aides and programmes in response to student need.

The school is continuing to strengthen internal evaluation practice to ascertain the effectiveness of interventions and progress in accelerating and raising student achievement.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?Appropriate processes and systems have been established by the board and new leadership team to provide a sound foundation for the school’s ongoing development. The board is strategic, responsive and well informed. Trustees are committed to improvement and professional learning. They are consultative and proactively seek input from the community

Students interact respectfully with their peers and adults. They engage fully in learning tasks and respond well to constructive feedback from their teachers. Students are regularly assessed using appropriate informal and standardised tools. Students at risk of not achieving in relation to the National Standards are clearly identified. Their strengths, interests and needs are well known by classroom teachers. Programmes to support these students are regularly reviewed by teachers and the leadership team. Routines are clear and well understood.

Students of all ages are given many opportunities for leadership. They are able to talk knowledgably about their learning and know what they need to learn next. Students are beginning to make decisions about, and take more responsibility for their learning. Digital tools are employed where appropriate.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are throughout school learning programmes, children’s liturgies and celebrations. Students confidently present their pepeha. Tuakana teina relationships between older and younger students are evident and supported by deliberate teacher guidance in peer reading and writing programmes.

The newly appointed leadership team is collegial and promotes a culture of continuous improvement. The principal has a clear vision for the school based on current pedagogy and best practice.

Teachers moderate writing schoolwide and in their teams, employing a wide range of evidence to make dependable overall teacher judgements about student achievement. PaCT is supporting this dependability of teacher judgements. Data from assessments is used to track achievement, rates of acceleration and inform teaching. Achievement information is reported to families and to the board.

The leadership team has developed a suitable appraisal system to support teachers’ ongoing PLD. Student writing was identified in the 2017 annual plan as an area for improvement. Trustees and leaders have responded with a range of PLD to strengthen teacher capability and improve student achievement.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

School leaders use internal evaluation to inquire into practices and systems. A next step is strengthening and embedding the way trustees, leadership and teachers inquire, deeply analyse and evaluate student information and the impact of PLD and teaching programmes. This should assist the board to target and resource student learning and guide leadership and teachers to further develop strategies that support accelerated progress.

The perspectives of Māori learners and their whānau are sought. Māori students have been surveyed this year. Information gained is to be used by teachers to strengthen their practice and better cater for these learners. A whānau hui has been held this year. Establishing regular hui should support stronger partnerships with Māori whānau.

The curriculum is under review with a focus on developing a useful, working document that weaves together key expectations and guidance for teaching and learning and prioritises the school’s faith, culture and identity. This review provides the leadership team and staff with the opportunity to: draw together key drivers for teaching, learning and student achievement; express the school’s shared expectations and understandings of good practice; and how culture and identity will be recognised.

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.

An improved appraisal system is in place. The board should ensure that documented procedures for appraisal are consistently followed to embed this process.

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 children. They know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated.

Leaders and teachers will:

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

  • further the work on school conditions that support acceleration of learners’ progress and achievement

  • continue the support provided for building teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners who need this

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

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

The board has indicated that participation in an internal evaluation workshop would be a useful next step.

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

15 December 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

State Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 – 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 54%, Female 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 11%
Pākehā 70%
Pacific 8%
Asian 11%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

15 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2014
Education Review September 2010
Education Review September 2007