St Joseph's Maori Girls' College - 13/08/2014

Findings

St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College effectively promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori. Staff make very good use of student data to inform teaching and learning. Continuing to strengthen the Years 7 to 8 curriculum will support teachers’ knowledge of National Standards. The college is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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

1 Context

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

St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College is a state integrated Catholic school located in Greenmeadows, Napier. It caters for girls in Years 7 to 13. The college’s roll of 223 includes 150 boarders. The hostel is an important and integral part of the school. In 2013, Years 7 and 8 classes were established at the college.

The values of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga are strongly evident in practices and expectations across the school. Kaumatua, kuia and whānau are valued for their guidance and support of students and staff.

A strong focus on the achievement of girls, emphasises that all students will reach their individual potential and level of excellence as Māori. The Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions Catholic charism is central to the school’s special character. Student leadership is seen as pivotal to creating successful 21st century young women.

Trustees and senior leaders have responded to the areas for further development identified in the August 2011 ERO report. The college continues to have a positive reporting history with ERO.

2 Learning

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

The school makes very good use of student achievement data to inform teaching and learning. Teachers use this data to guide planning and to identify those who require extra support and extension. The school implements a wide range of appropriate interventions for both of these student groups. Their progress is well monitored.

Teachers gather data to show student progress throughout the year. They now need to strengthen the quality and depth of analysis of this data to better inform teaching and learning programmes, and curriculum and department review.

Kanohi ki te kanohi has been reviewed, strengthened and is an embedded practice. Teachers have one-to-one conversations with junior students and their whānau. Goals are set, informed by initial assessment data and information about student wellbeing. These goals are checked and re-set throughout the year. This is an effective way to track and monitor student progress and achievement.

Senior leaders and deans identify senior students at risk of not achieving. They use achievement information to track and monitor the progress of individuals and groups. This information enables teachers to make decisions about support that may be required.

Student achievement information shows that teaching has impacted positively on learning, with good progress being made in Years 7 to 10, particularly by lower achieving students. Data reported to the board of trustees in February 2014 shows many:

  • students achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics
  • Years 9 and 10 students make good progress in literacy and numeracy.

Since the previous ERO report, the school has maintained very high levels of achievement in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Levels 1 to 3 and University Entrance (UE). Achievement information shows an increase in the proportion of students gaining NCEA merit and excellence endorsements and New Zealand Scholarships.

Parents regularly receive reports that provide them with useful information about their daughter’s progress and achievement. Face-to-face meetings provide whānau with further information to support these reports. Senior leaders are continuing to review Years 7 and 8 reports to ensure parents build their understanding of achievement in relation to the National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. Students thrive in a culture of inclusiveness as Māori, with a strong focus on academic achievement.

The Years 7 and 8 classes provide early opportunities to build a foundation for girls to support them moving into secondary education. Learning programmes are well aligned to the Years 9 to 13 curriculum. Teachers work collaboratively and regularly discuss students’ strengths and needs. These discussions inform teaching and learning programmes. Senior leaders should continue to strengthen the Years 7 and 8 curriculum, and understanding of the National Standards by accessing external professional learning and development (PLD).

The school core values underpin all aspects of school life. Students at all levels have a range of opportunities to participate and celebrate success in academic, cultural, sporting and leadership activities. Students receive valuable guidance and support from the careers leader, deans, senior leaders and teachers when selecting subjects to study.

Teaching effectively promotes student engagement, progress and achievement. Students benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers. Students spoken with by ERO were able to talk about their learning and what they needed to do to improve. Continuing to strengthen this practice across the school will benefit teachers’ professional development through inquiring into their own practice.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Trustees and departments review against annual goals and targets to make decisions about programmes, staff PLD and resourcing.

The board is well informed about student achievement. Trustees are very committed to ensuring all students have positive outcomes based on their language, culture and identity. They have a good range of skills and connections with the local and New Zealand-wide communities they come from.

Teachers have opportunities to engage in PLD. Provisionally registered teachers have an appropriate support and guidance programme. Trustees and senior leaders should strengthen staff appraisal by:

  • setting goals based on school targets and the teaching practices they want to improve
  • implementing the Registered Teacher Criteria
  • developing a principal performance management agreement annually.

Senior leaders and staff have high expectations of students as achievers in and beyond the college. Leaders work collaboratively, with a strong focus on student achievement. They use their complementary skills and strengths to ensure decisions are focused on preparing students as lifelong learners in a bicultural world.

Whānau are valued as partners in their daughters’ education. A whānau-whanui support group provides an avenue for families to discuss events, issues and concerns.

The college has a positive and high profile, locally and nationally.

Provision for students in the school hostel

St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College hostel accommodates 150 students, 67% of the school roll. It is owned by The Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions. The St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College Trust Board acts as the proprietors on behalf of the owners. The Hostel Management Board, a committee of this trust board, is responsible for hostel organisation. The principal and the chairperson of the board of trustees are members of the Hostel Board. The hostel boards have responded positively to the areas for further development identified in the 2011 ERO report.

Key features of the hostel provision for students include:

  • effective processes to monitor and respond to all students' needs
  • positive relationships between students and hostel staff
  • clear routines and expectations for students and staff
  • strong links and ongoing communication amongst the hostel, whānau and college
  • a caring whānau environment for students and staff.

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.

In order to improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure:

  • procedures for regular police vetting of non-teaching employees are established and implemented
  • a principal performance management agreement is in place annually
  • teachers are being attested against the Registered Teacher Criteria.

In order to improve current practice, the hostel management board must ensure that procedures for regular police vetting of non-teaching employees and contractors are established and implemented.

Conclusion

St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College effectively promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori. Staff make very good use of student data to inform teaching and learning. Continuing to strengthen the Years 7 to 8 curriculum will support teachers’ knowledge of National Standards. The college is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

13 August 2014

About the School

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

222

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

223

Gender composition

Female 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori

100%

Special Features

School Hostel

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

13 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2011

June 2008

June 2005