St Paul's School (Richmond) - 13/03/2018

School Context

St Paul’s School (Richmond) is a Years 1 to 8 state-integrated school with a roll of 237 children. In the last 18 months the school has appointed a new principal and a new board of trustees has been elected. In this time leaders, teachers and trustees, in consultation with the school community, have been creating a new vision for teaching and learning. This vision is based on developing self-directed, enthusiastic, life-long learners. The mission and values are in the process of being redefined and rewritten.

The school states that its existing vision is to provide: ‘quality spiritual, academic, social and physical education in a supportive community reflecting the teachings and values of Jesus Christ.’ This is underpinned by the values of, ‘together we achieve; have faith, believe; keep on, keeping on and dare to care’.

The school’s current aims are to:

  • continue to be a Christ-centred school
  • engage all students in deep learning experiences across the curriculum, ensuring progress and personal excellence
  • recognise and value Taha Māori and cultural diversity
  • continue to develop a safe and welcoming environment that enhances student learning.

The 2017 targets are to accelerate the progress in reading, writing and mathematics for targeted students at risk of underachievement.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress in relation to school targets.

The school is a member of the Waimea Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is effectively achieving positive outcomes for most learners.

Over the last three years most students have achieved well in reading and mathematics. In writing a large majority have achieved well. Almost all Pacific students achieve well in the core learning areas. In 2016, there was disparity of achievement for Māori students in reading and writing, and for boys in writing.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

This school is responding very effectively to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The majority of Māori learners needing to make accelerated in reading and writing did so in 2017. About half of other students targeted to make accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics in 2017 did so.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Teachers, leaders and trustees have a relentless focus on lifting achievement levels, especially for those students needing to accelerate their progress. Classroom programmes are clearly aligned to the strategic aim ‘of students making progress and achieving excellence’. Trustees have effectively reworded their charter targets to place more emphasis on identified priority learners. Teachers regularly work together to monitor progress, share ideas and reset their plans for these learners. Trained teacher aides and a range of learning support programmes help targeted students with identified core learning and social skill needs.

Students have effective and equitable opportunities to learn. They engage in purposeful learning that relates to authentic contexts, experiences and interests. Students often work in mixed-ability groups that provide them with challenge and opportunities for deep learning. Learning from different curriculum areas is meaningfully integrated. Teachers carefully include religious education in topics of study to inspire ‘faith in action’. Students are progressively developing understandings of themselves as learners.

Students participate and learn in settled, caring and collaborative learning environments. They show a strong sense of belonging/ukaipōtanga. Teachers actively encourage co-operative learning. Social and collaborative learning opportunities are well organised. The school values are effectively enacted by adults and students.

School leaders’ use effective processes to manage change. New developments are strongly research-based. Teachers are provided with professional learning opportunities that are responsive to identified needs and align with the school’s strategic direction. Teachers are well supported by a meaningful appraisal process. They work together to build collective capacity. Leaders systematically and regularly inquire into the effectiveness of new practice to identify what is going well, and what needs further improvement.

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

School leaders need to make more in-depth use of schoolwide learning information to know:

  • the impact of programmes and interventions throughout and at the end of the year on raising student achievement
  • if all students are making sufficient and sustained progress each year and over time
  • about the achievement of the school’s valued outcomes and strategic goals.

School leaders and teachers need to document the recently enhanced moderation processes to help ensure the consistency of practice and judgement in assessment over time and across the school.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • inquiring and reflecting on teacher practice that leads to improvement in curriculum and outcomes for students
  • the culture of collaboration among leaders, teachers, parents and students, that maintains high expectations for teaching and learning throughout the school.

Next steps

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

  • use of learning data to show impact of interventions and how well the school is achieving its valued outcomes. 

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Paterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

13 March 2018

About the school 

Location

Richmond, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

1627

School type

Catholic Integrated Full Primary
(Years 1 to 8)

School roll

237

Gender composition

Girls:      52%
Boys:     48%

Ethnic composition

Māori:                   8%
Pākehā:               80%
Pacific:                  3%
Asian:                    2%
European:           7%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

13 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2014
Education Review June 2011
Supplementary Review June 2008