St John Bosco School (New Plymouth) - 26/04/2019

School Context

St John Bosco School is an integrated Catholic school in New Plymouth. The roll of 251 students includes 19% who identify as Māori. The roll has continued to grow, in particular the numbers of Māori and Asian students. The ongoing renovation of learning spaces is now in the final planning stages.

The school’s vision is focused on foundations and faith for the future. This is promoted through the provision of a caring Catholic environment, where children’s rights and needs are considered, independence and confidence is fostered and children are challenged.

Within the school’s special character valued outcomes are for students to be: ‘independent; creative thinkers; active in their learning; collaborators and confident communicators’.

The aspirational aim is for all students to be working within or above school expectations. Targets for improvement are for all priority students to make accelerated progress.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • ongoing progress and achievement of priority learners
  • engagement and wellbeing for success
  • trends and patterns of achievement over time for specific groups
  • effectiveness of interventions in promoting acceleration in reading, writing and mathematics.

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, the school has reduced disparity and Māori students are achieving as well as other students in the school.

Schoolwide end-of-year achievement information for 2018, indicates that most students, including Māori and Pacific, achieved at or above expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. Data over time shows an increase in Māori and Pacific students achieving at or above in reading, writing and mathematics. Disparity in writing for boys continues. By the end of Year 6 almost all students reach expectation in reading.

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

Those students who are at risk of not achieving expected levels are identified, monitored and well known to school leaders and teaching teams. The school continues to make good progress in accelerating the learning of those Māori and others who need this. During 2018, just over half of students identified in the achievement targets made progress and many accelerated their learning in reading and writing and some in mathematics.

Students with diverse learning needs are well supported through a range of initiatives and interventions, including the use of appropriate teacher external agencies and specialists. Clear plans are developed that promote and monitor progress and learning of these students.

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?

Te ao Māori is authentically woven through the school’s vision, curriculum and ways of leading, teaching and learning. Partnership with iwi and kaumatua guide the provision of a culturally responsive curriculum that promotes the bicultural heritage of Taranaki and Aotearoa. Leaders and teachers continue to build their collective capacity in culturally responsive practice by extending their confidence and competence in te ao Māori. The learning environment reflects the school’s special character and priority of cultural responsiveness. Well-developed practices and resources provide opportunities for Māori to be successful as Māori. Culture, language and identity is modelled, valued and celebrated.

School leaders are knowledgeable, inclusive and provide effective leadership for learning. A strong collaborative culture and high expectations support leaders’ and teachers’ ongoing learning, knowledge building and innovation. Comprehensive guidelines and processes for appraisal of staff promotes inquiry and fosters collaboration and sharing of evidence of good practice. Teachers’ professional learning and development and inquiry are closely aligned with the school’s goals and priorities. There is a strong focus on building leadership capability across the school. Leaders and teachers actively participate and contribute to local, regional and national learning networks and initiatives.

Clear systems and processes support teaching teams to identify, respond to and track progress and achievement of priority learners. Collaborative practices within teams are focused on proactively responding to meeting student needs. Staff know students well and are collectively responsible for all learners. This promotes positive, inclusive learning environments and supports students to actively engage in their learning. School-developed processes assist students to have ownership of, and responsibility for, their own learning. Students confidently share and articulate their learning.

A well-planned approach to the introduction and use of digital technologies supports teaching and enhances learning. Students are supported to use digital devices that promote creative, purposeful thinking and shared learning.

The board is well informed about student achievement, curriculum developments and school priorities. They use this to inform decision making and resourcing. Trustees are using Hautū - Maori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review Tool to build their knowledge and understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Strong and effective relationships with parents and whānau supports the sharing of information about student wellbeing and learning. Transitions to, through and beyond the school are wellconsidered and responsive to children and their families.

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

Reflection, review and inquiry are regularly used to inform decisions for improvement. This is supported by a wide range of useful information about learning, progress and achievement. A next step is to strengthen internal evaluation, extending established processes to evaluate how well innovations and practice are effective in promoting and accelerating learning, particularly for priority 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 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO‘s overall evaluation judgement St John Bosco School performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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:

  • clear alignment from the strategic and annual goals and plans to collaborative enactment of the curriculum in practice
  • achieving outcomes for students, that are equitable and show consistently good levels of achievement
  • comprehensive systems, processes and practices that effectively respond to targeted learners and students with additional and complex needs
  • a culture of collaboration among trustees leaders, teachers, parents and whānau, that maintains high expectations for teaching and learning throughout the school.

Next steps

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

  • extending internal evaluation to more clearly know of what is working well for students learning and where improvements are needed.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

26 April 2019

About the school


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 58% Male 42%

Ethnic composition

Māori 19%
Pākehā 64%
Pacific 4%
Other ethnic groups 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

26 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2016
Education Review March 2012
Education Review August 2008