St Francis of Assisi Catholic School - 24/02/2020

School Context

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School is a state integrated full primary school in Christchurch catering for students in Years 1 to 8. It has a roll of 371 students. The school was newly created in 2016 as a result of the merger of two Catholic schools. A new principal and leadership team were appointed to lead the school. It is governed by a board of trustees and proprietor representatives.

The school’s vision states that the school is ‘Choosing to be an innovative Catholic Learning Community that inspires and empowers learners to succeed’. The school has values of respect, compassion, service and integrity.

To support the school’s vision and values, the current strategic goals focus on the community, the learners and stewardship. The school has set specific annual targets for 2019 in relation to literacy and mathematics.

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

  • achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • outcomes for students with additional learning needs
  • outcomes related to student wellbeing for success.

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?

The school is achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most of its students. Achievement information from 2016 to 2018 shows that most students, including Māori, achieved at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Almost all students achieved at or above curriculum expectations in reading in 2016 and 2017.

Wellbeing survey data from 2018 shows that most students believe that they and their families are welcome at the school and are respected by their teachers.

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

The school is effective in accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this.

Student progress information from 2017 and 2018 shows that learning was accelerated for almost half of the students who needed this in reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

Learners are at the centre of the school curriculum. Active engagement is encouraged, and they develop understandings of themselves as learners. Programmes are localised to reflect the special character of the school and the school values. A shared understanding of learning provides opportunity for innovation and connection. Curriculum design is flexible and increasingly informed by student voice and agency. This allows opportunity for students and teachers to be leaders of learning.

Leaders work strategically in all aspects of planning, coordination and evaluation of the school curriculum and teaching. There is a deliberate focus on using student achievement information to inform decision making about resourcing for school improvement. Leaders provide a foundation of research-based professional learning to support organisation structures and pathways of programme design. Leaders promote a strong sense of school identity and an ethos of inclusion and care that is shared by the wider school community.

Effective knowledge building practices and frameworks are implemented and refined by teachers to improve student outcomes. Learning environments are settled, respectful and promote student engagement in learning.

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 and the ERO evaluation confirms that the school needs to give prominence to culturally responsive practices. This includes valuing te ao Māori and knowing and using te reo Māori and tikanga Māori in everyday practice.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of St Francis of Assisi Catholic School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a school curriculum and culture that places children at the centre of thinking and action
  • a collaborative and future-focused teaching and leadership team that promotes systems, processes and research to support equitable outcomes for students
  • a positive and welcoming learning culture that provides students, staff, parents and community with a strong sense of belonging.

Next steps

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

  • giving prominence to all aspects of bicultural and culturally responsive practice.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

24 February 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 48 %, Girls 52%

Ethnic composition

Māori 5 %

NZ European/Pākehā 77 %

Other ethnicities 18 %

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

24 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

School Assurance Review April 2018