St Patrick's School (Kilbirnie) - 22/01/2015

Findings

Students achieve well in this caring, welcoming and supportive environment. Catholic values underpin the broad curriculum that reflects the many cultures in the school. English language learners are supported. Parents are actively involved. Next steps for the school include development of the Years 7 and 8 curriculum and further strengthening self review and teacher inquiry.

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 Patrick’s Primary School, Kilbirnie is an inclusive Catholic school with a roll of 91. It serves a diverse, multicultural community. Its philosophy of caring is evident in the strength of relationships with students, their families and the community. A high proportion of students are from non-English speaking backgrounds, requiring a school wide focus on English language learning. Class sizes are small.

A new principal was appointed at the start of 2013.

The school’s application for recapitation was approved in November 2013 and Year 7 students were enrolled in 2014.

2 Learning

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

School leaders and teachers use student achievement information well to inform planning.

A wide, appropriate range of nationally referenced assessment information on reading, writing and mathematics is collated and well analysed. School wide, 2013 end-of-year data shows that the majority of students achieved at or above, in relation to the National Standards, in reading and mathematics. Writing is a target area in 2014 and improved achievement is evident.

Student achievement information is used to identify students who need additional learning support. They are well supported in their learning with a number of suitable interventions. Progress of targeted students is very well monitored, including those who have in-class support. English language learners are appropriately tracked against the English Language Learning Progressions.

Robust in-school moderation processes assist teachers to make sound overall teacher judgments about student progress against the National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics.

Leaders use student information to set strategic and annual goals and targets. There is a school wide sense of shared responsibility for student success.

Parents are well informed about their children’s achievement. Leaders and teachers support families to be involved in their child’s learning, and to develop their understanding of how students learn. Parents receive tools and resources to extend learning in the home. The school also facilitates the use of information and communication technologies to promote the continuation of learning between school and home.

Students can talk about their learning. They know where they are at, and what they need to do next. Self and peer assessment is used, but should be developed further to promote learners' deeper understanding and increased independence in their learning.

Interactions between students and with teachers are caring and respectful.

3 Curriculum

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

The curriculum is broad and responsive, enriched by consideration of students’ diverse cultures and interests. There are opportunities for students to explore and celebrate their own cultural identities.

Students have opportunities for input into the curriculum. Whole-school planning around themes brings cohesiveness to the school learning environment and students' experiences. Curriculum principles and key competencies are integrated meaningfully in the student-inquiry process.

An appropriate focus on oral language development is supported by a range of effective teaching strategies. Literacy and mathematics are appropriately incorporated across all learning areas. Literacy in a child’s first language other than English is valued.

The curriculum is relevant and meaningful for students. A structured programme for the teaching of te reo Māori up to Year 6 shows a commitment to a building bicultural confidence. Good use is made of local resources. There are strong links into the community.

Guiding curriculum documents are continuously reviewed. Further planned development of curriculum statements should support teachers’ shared understandings and consistency of delivery.

The curriculum for Years 7 and 8 has just begun in response to recapitation at the end of 2013. The school is aware of the need to develop this curriculum further and include explicit statements about delivery of career education for this age group.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The teaching of te reo ma ngā tikanga Māori across all year levels values the place of Māori as tangata whenua. Aspects of te ao Māori are included in many areas of the curriculum.

The 2014 noho marae, attended by the whole school and their families, successfully contributed to students’ learning about te ao Māori and exploration of their own turangawaewae. Māori families took leadership roles and saw their culture and heritage valued.

Pacific success

The Pacific group, comprising Samoan and Tongan children, is the largest in the school. The school recognises that this group is not achieving as well as other groups in the school. A number of interventions are implemented to accelerate progress for these students. Selected students are taking part in the Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL) programme.

Other strategies implemented to promote a sense of belonging in the school for Pacific students and their families, include:

  • increasing the involvement and participation of parents in the learning process
  • Pacific representation on the board
  • celebrating Pacific cultures and using Pacific languages in the curriculum
  • translating for families, to aid understanding, if necessary.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Reciprocal relationships with families, whānau and the wider community are a strength and reflect the special character of the school.

The relatively new board is kept well informed about student achievement and school events. There is improved reporting and meeting structure. Policies and procedures are in the process of being reviewed. Some trustees have undertaken training.

Diverse representation of trustees helps the board to understand and support various groups within the school. There is a good working relationship between the board and the teaching staff. Members support school activities.

Leaders and teachers are highly reflective about their practice. Teacher inquiry is newly introduced and follows a sound process, well led by the principal. This is an area for ongoing development. The appraisal process is evolving alongside this. Professional development is targeted, according to school and individual teacher need.

Self review is a developing process. Leaders show understanding of the purpose of review to develop practice and improve school performance. A next step is to better analyse and evaluate the impact of their decisions and various initiatives undertaken.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (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 was one international student attending the school.

The student is well integrated into the life of the school.

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.

Conclusion

Students achieve well in this caring, welcoming and supportive environment. Catholic values underpin the broad curriculum that reflects the many cultures in the school. English language learners are supported. Parents are actively involved. Next steps for the school include development of the Years 7 and 8 curriculum and further strengthening self review and teacher inquiry.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Central Region

22 January 2015

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

3019

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

91

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Male 47

Female 44

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Indian

Middle Eastern

African

Other ethnic groups

6

11

24

17

11

8

14

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

22 January 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

September 2009

September 2006