St Patrick's School (Napier) - 03/07/2013

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s Arotake Paetawhiti review?

St Patrick’s School Napier is a Catholic, state integrated, full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8.

The school motto of ‘care’ encourages students to display compassion, integrity, respect and to aim for excellence.

To address the concerns in the May 2011 ERO report, ERO and the board of trustees agreed on the following priorities:

  • to strengthen leadership and management of the school
  • to improve student learning, engagement, progress and achievement
  • to develop effective teaching practices
  • to further engage families, whānau in partnerships for learning.

School leaders and teachers, well supported by trustees, have systematically and collectively worked to address the priorities for review and development. A positive, respectful working tone exists among all involved with the process of improving outcomes for students.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Significant progress has been made in all agreed priority areas.

Students show a sense of purpose in their work. The setting and monitoring of meaningful learning goals focuses conversations between student and teacher. Goals also provide an opportunity for students to talk with their families about learning. Students respond positively to the high expectations for behaviour. They are motivated to learn in constructive, positive learning environments. Students have opportunities to learn about and through Māori culture and language. Many contexts for learning are based on Māori perspectives in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Teachers understand their part in the coordinated approach to improve education for students within the school. Systems and processes that support change are adapted and agreed upon. There is a culture of professional trust.

The principal, deputy principal and team leaders continually strive to improve student achievement. They support staff to collectively take responsibility for learners. There is a shared belief that every student can achieve, and that teachers have a significant role in improving engagement, progress and achievement.

Leaders expect teachers to participate in an ‘inquiry into their practice’ cycle that includes using reflective journals. Teachers use well analysed achievement information and their inquiry practice and journals to decide actions for learners and learning.

Staff appreciate ongoing feedback about their classroom practice and progress against inquiry actions and personal professional goals. Managers’ leadership is planned and focused on raising student achievement.

Leaders successfully manage change. Well planned, thoughtfully considered and appropriately paced professional development and learning contributes to improvement. Use of current research is part of teachers' learning. Teachers consciously think about the link between what they are teaching and how well students are learning, particularly those at risk of underachieving. Teachers have high regard for each other across syndicates. They seek advice and guidance from each other.

Teachers know students well. They know their academic and social strengths. Staff build partnerships with families. As a result they want to give greater consideration to Māori success as Māori and to Pacific learners’ success. ERO affirms this next step in schoolwide development.

School reported data indicates that many students achieve well in relation to National Standards. Improvement in achievement for most target groups from 2011 to 2012 is evident. However, assessment information clearly indicates those students whose progress needs to occur at a faster pace. These groups and year levels include Māori and Pacific learners.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

St Patrick’s School is well placed to sustain and continue to improve and review its performance. Self review is integral to school practice and contributes to improving student achievement.

Professional leadership throughout the school contributes to positive changes for learners. The principal and deputy principal have good knowledge of teachers' capability through frequent observations, focused professional conversations and learning alongside them to raise student achievement.

Trustees receive useful data to inform their decision making. They expect to be well informed about students' progress and achievement. They are aware of the need to set targets and to report on progress and achievement.

Expectations for teaching and learning are clearly understood by staff. Teachers know that evidence based, ongoing self review is essential to adapting teaching to individuals and groups of learners.

Implementation of the performance management system effectively promotes agreed priorities for learners and improves the quality of teaching through personal development goals, specifically linked to school strategic goals.

The senior leadership team, middle managers and staff recognise that the next step is more indepth evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching on students’ progress. ERO's evaluation affirms this as the next developmental step.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

3 July 2013

About the School

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2745

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

324

Gender composition

Female 57%, Male 43%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Other ethnic groups

68%

19%

9%

4%

Special Features

Catholic Integrated

Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

3 July 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

May 2011

June 2008

February 2006