St Patrick's School (Napier) - 20/08/2019

School Context

St Patrick's School, is a Catholic primary school in Napier, for students in Years 1 to 8. Of the 358 students, 22% identify as Māori and 6% of Pacific heritage.

The vision of the school is for all children is to achieve, Hauora through learning, love and laughter. The school mission emphasises, In a Catholic Way we learn today for tomorrow.

Trustees’ and leaders’ achievement targets in 2019 are to: accelerate Pacific students’ progress in mathematics and boys in writing; and to further develop opportunities where the school’s cultural diversity is acknowledged and celebrated.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • student wellbeing.

The school undertakes leadership roles as part of their involvement in the Mataruahou Napier City Kāhui Ako.

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?

Trends indicate that outcomes for students are moving noticeably over time towards being equitable. Achievement in 2017, 2018 and so far in 2019, reflect this trend.

Māori students achieve very well. The achievement of a small number of Pacific learners is slightly lower when compared to other groups. Girls achieve higher than boys in reading, writing and mathematics. Analysed 2019 midyear data, shows some Pacific students targeted in mathematics and boys in writing are accelerating their achievement and nearly all others are making expected progress. Most students achieve expected curriculum levels by the end of Year 8.

The school’s wellbeing information shows students feel cared for, safe and included at school.

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

The school responds well to those Māori and other students who require their learning and achievement to be accelerated. Most students targeted in 2018 showed progress, with some accelerating their achievement in mathematics and writing.

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?

Board of trustees’ resourcing is focused on gaining equity for identified groups and excellence for all students. The school has systems and processes that purposefully support students with identified additional and complex learning needs. Regular tracking, monitoring and collaborative review of students’ progress by teachers and leaders enables a timely response to those learners requiring accelerated progress. Literacy programmes, including provision for English language learners, supports the specific needs of students.

Inclusive school and classroom environments support positive student engagement. Shared values reflect the school’s special Catholic character. Living the St Pat’s Way identifies the values, attitudes and competencies desired for learners. Relationships between students and with staff promote a positive climate and tone. The languages, cultures and identities of Māori and Pacific students are valued through delivery of relevant and authentic learning contexts and experiences. Useful strategies to communicate with parents and whānau, encourage partnerships to support student learning. Transitions in, through and out of school are responsive. Students identify a strong sense of belonging. Gathered student wellbeing information is suitably used to guide future developments.

Curriculum development and delivery are well aligned to the school’s achievement priorities. Teachers use a range of well-considered teaching and learning strategies to support students’ active engagement in discussing and participating in their learning. Classroom conditions are conducive to promoting purposeful student engagement, learning and achievement. Students demonstrate high levels of self-management. Collaborative teacher inquiry has been introduced to support evaluation into the impact of changes to curriculum practice.

Professional practice of leaders, teachers and trustees demonstrates a cohesive response in addressing achievement priorities in writing and mathematics. Teachers are highly collaborative, fostering the collective development of practice. Professional learning and development (PLD) is well aligned to the school priorities. Leaders’ decision making and capable guidance, progresses the achievement of the school’s vision, valued outcomes and priorities. They contribute meaningfully with other education providers in sharing practice and leading collaborative development. The board’s strategic and annual goals guide school direction.

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

School leaders have identified that further curriculum development is needed, including embedding current learning from the mathematics PLD and introducing further strategies to promote boys’ writing. ERO’s external evaluation affirms these next steps. Aligned teacher inquiry and school evaluation should assist the staff and trustees to determine how well these changes impact on accelerating the progress of targeted students and contribute to achievement overall.

Leaders and teachers are aligning their connected-curriculum model with assessments to determine student progress overtime. Further development should extend the scope of assessment across the curriculum and complement the current use of literacy and mathematical progressions.

Senior leaders recognise revising current achievement targets to focus on those learners whose progress requires acceleration, would align team and classroom targets. Improved targets should assist in strengthening analysis and support improved evaluation of strategies and practices that are implemented to accelerate student achievement.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

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:

  • systems and processes that support students with identified additional and complex learning needs
  • teaching and learning strategies that actively engage students in learning
  • classroom conditions that foster an inclusive environment and encourage purposeful student engagement, learning and achievement
  • a cohesive school response that focuses on achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • embedding professional learning from the mathematics and writing initiatives, to further strengthen the school’s response in achieving equity and excellence for targeted learners
  • continuing to build assessment practice, to identify and develop the capabilities and competencies of students across the curriculum
  • revising school achievement targets to strengthen evaluation of actions undertaken in promoting equity for identified groups.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

20 August 2019

About the school

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

2745

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

358

Gender composition

Female 57%, Male 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori 22%
NZ European/Pākehā 61%
Pacific 6%
Indian 4%
Other ethnic groups 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

20 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2016
Education Review July 2013
Education Review May 2011