St Joseph's School (Papanui) - 17/03/2020

School Context

St Joseph’s school (Papanui) is a Catholic School catering for Years 1 to 8. It has a roll of 443 students and is in Christchurch.

Its vision is to empower students to become confident, motivated learners, learning gospel values. The gospel values are in the Mercy tradition.

Strategic goals for 2019 focus on fostering:

  • faith that is integral to each member of the school community
  • respect for the high value placed on education
  • the social and emotional development of all members of the community
  • a faith community that actively contributes to the common good.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to school expectations
  • additional learning needs, including gifted and talented students
  • engagement and wellbeing for success
  • the special character of the school.

Since the November 2014 ERO review, a new principal has been appointed and there have been changes within the leadership team and the board of trustees.

The school is a member of the Christchurch Catholic Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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 continues to work towards achieving equitable outcomes for students in reading, writing and mathematics. Most students, including Māori students, achieve at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. However, over the last three years boys have not achieved as well as girls in writing.

Equitable outcomes are being achieved in the areas of student wellbeing for success and engagement for learning.

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

Learning information shows the school effectively accelerates the progress of some groups of students who need this. Processes to identify, track and support students at risk of not achieving are well embedded.

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?

Students participate and learn in a caring, collaborative and inclusive environment. Classrooms are settled and managed in ways that support their participation, engagement and agency. Teachers use a variety of effective teaching strategies to support students’ sustained engagement. Leadership ensures an orderly environment conducive to student learning and wellbeing is maintained.

Diversity is valued at all levels. Students from other cultures and for whom English is a second language are welcomed and well supported in their learning. Those with additional/complex needs or special abilities are offered learning opportunities that provide appropriate support and challenge.

Students have a growing understanding of themselves as learners. Teachers and students construct challenging but realistic learning goals together. Assessment information is used well to adjust teaching practice and respond to individual needs. Suitable tools are in place to support teachers to make overall judgements about student learning and progress and understanding progressions of learning in the core subjects. A useful appraisal process builds teacher capability leading to improved student outcomes.

The school has a rich and responsive curriculum that supports students’ interests and community aspirations. Students have opportunities to learn in a range of local, relevant contexts and have access to a broad range of activities in and out of school time. Detailed curriculum guidelines support consistency of teacher understanding of expectations and approach. Special character values are highly evident throughout the curriculum. Concepts of te ao Māori are interwoven in programme planning.

A strong sense of community is evident. Parents and whānau are welcomed and involved in school activities as respected and valued partners in learning. Leaders and teachers recognise the importance of student and community voice and use them as a key resource when deciding priorities for inquiry and improvement.

Trustees have a range of useful skills that support effective governance. They have a shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities and an appropriate focus on measuring the success of the school in terms of agreed values and student outcomes.

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

Charter targets should focus on accelerating the progress of all students who are below expectations. In addition, leaders need to show and report how successfully the school has accelerated the learning of these students.

Understanding and use of internal evaluation need further development. This should enable leaders and teachers to measure the impact of new learning initiatives on student outcomes.

The strategic plan requires further review and refinement so that it adequately reflects current priorities and identifies suitable direction for school development.

The board and leaders should continue to improve the way change is managed and focus on building relational trust and effective collaboration with staff.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

St Joseph’s School (Papanui) is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review, there were six international students attending the school.

Students receive a welcoming and personalised introduction to the school and the community. The international student department is well resourced. Staff ensure international students’ needs are met throughout their stay. Valued outcomes for students include academic and language learning, special character values, life skills and leadership opportunities.

4 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.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of St Joseph’s School (Papanui)’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

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.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • intentional well-established relationships with the community that promote positive learning and wellbeing for students
  • an inclusive environment where diversity is valued at all levels, and that is welcoming and supportive
  • an environment that is managed in ways that effectively support students’ participation, engagement and agency in learning.

Next steps

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

  • ensuring the school’s charter targets focus on accelerating the progress of all students who are below expectations
  • supporting understanding and use of internal evaluation to enable leaders and teachers to measure the impact of new learning initiatives on student achievement
  • refining the strategic plan so that it reflects current priorities and identifies the future direction of the school
  • improving the way change is managed to build relational trust and effective collaboration with staff.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

17 March 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 8%

NZ European/Pākehā 60%

Filipino 17%

Asian 5%

Pacific 3%

Other ethnic groups 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

17 March 2020

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review November 2014

Education Review June 2009