St Peter's College (Epsom) - 23/05/2016

Findings

St Peters College provides a broad and holistic curriculum for boys in an environment focussed on the values of Christian love and service. Boys achieve well, benefitting from good support systems and positive, respectful relationships with their teachers. The board's stewardship, together with effective leadership and thoughtful evaluation are contributing to ongoing improvements that are benefitting boys' learning and achievement.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

St Peter’s College is a Catholic school for boys in Years 7 to 13. The college draws boys from the wider Auckland region for education in the Christian Brothers tradition. The school roll continues to grow and of the 1314 boys on the school's roll, 10 percent identify as Māori and 17 percent as Pacifica. In addition, there are 41 International students. The school environment continues to be successfully developed, well managed and attractively maintained.

The school’s vision is to build outstanding men by educating the whole person in an environment of Christian love and service. Boys transition confidently into the brotherhood of the school and develop a strong sense of belonging. The induction of Year 7 boys and their family is particularly well managed. The school’s role models, mentors and peer support systems ensure that boys grow and develop leadership and a sense of responsibility through their time at the college.

Learning programmes are designed to be meaningful and authentic for boys. This contributes to them achieving well in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). The boys have comprehensive co-curricular opportunities for cultural, sporting, recreational, entrepreneurial and leadership education. The breadth of these choices gives young men valuable learning as they work towards finding pathways for their future.

Trustees work collegially and collaboratively. The board responded positively to the 2012 ERO report. Trustees reviewed the school’s strategic plan, and specific goals were included in relation to outcomes for Māori and Pacific boys.

2 Learning

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

The school uses reliable achievement information to make changes to boys' engagement, progress and achievement. Data is collated, analysed and evaluated by the senior leadership team, by departments and teachers. The school’s goal sets positive expectations for boys' academic achievement. Teachers work collaboratively to reflect on the teaching strategies that are most likely to have a positive impact on outcomes for boys.

At Years 7 to 10, teachers use a range of assessment tools as a basis for reporting boys’ progress and achievement to parents. Teachers are becoming more familiar with the appropriate expectations for student achievement at the different curriculum levels. They analyse student achievement information and specifically consider what this shows about students’ learning progress and acceleration. This is helping teachers to identify next steps for each boy’s learning.

Boys achieve very well in the senior secondary school. At Year 11, 12 and 13, boys choose to study NCEA or the CIE. Teachers use achievement data to track boys’ progress over time and provide extra support for those at risk of not achieving. The headmaster reports to the board and to the wider school community about student achievement. He highlights an ongoing upward trend in achievement in NCEA. In many instances, Māori and Pacific boys are achieving better than their peers.

Parents value the weekly report they receive about their son’s engagement in the classroom. The board notes the link between boys taking more responsibility for their learning and rises in achievement levels. Boys know how to use key competencies and values education to improve their achievement. There are consistently high expectations that boys will gain University Entrance.

3 Curriculum

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

St Peters College’s curriculum supports and enables boys to learn effectively. It is appropriately aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum, particularly the key competencies, values and principles. The curriculum has been adapted to the school’s context so that it reflects boys’ learning aspirations. There is a deliberate focus on boys seeing themselves as active members of the cultural, local, national and global community.

Boys get good opportunities to learn and generally enjoy their learning. Teachers use a range of strategies to scaffold boys’ learning and engage them in the classroom. Boys respond well to challenges and questioning that promotes deeper thinking. Teachers have good content knowledge and use information technologies as a tool to increase boys’ engagement.

Boys with specific learning needs get good support. A network of teachers and support staff plan specialised learning programmes for them. This provision continues throughout the boys’ time at St Peter’s.

Ongoing evaluation of curriculum delivery is effective. Leaders seek input from students and the community to ensure that plans are relevant for boys. Boys have many opportunities to explore their career aspirations and to be involved in co-curricular activities. Positive relationships with their peers and their teachers, strengthens boys' development.

There is comprehensive pastoral care and good support for student wellbeing. Strong tuakana/teina settings are an integral part of this and provide boys with the opportunity to take on leadership roles to promote brotherhood. A collaborative group of lead teachers work across different year levels to assist classroom teachers. This helps build and sustain consistent approaches to boys’ learning. The lead teachers regularly evaluate how effective they are in their roles through discussions and surveys.

The school's professional learning programmes for staff are managed well. Teachers are encouraged to be reflective and research best practice to improve their teaching. Leaders agree it is timely to update the appraisal policy and review the process to be assured that there is consistently high quality practice.

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

The school continues to improve its effectiveness in supporting educational success for Māori as Māori. Māori and Pacific students report feeling confident about, and proud of, being Māori or Pacific in this school. They are well supported in their cultural identities.

The school has developed a Māori Achievement Plan in consultation with Māori parents defining success for Māori as Māori. They have taken the same approach in developing a Pacific Achievement Plan. The college continues to partner with parents in promoting learning through hui and fono.

Te Reo Māori is compulsory in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9. It is available as a subject from Year 10 - 13. There is a strong focus on bicultural Aotearoa New Zealand and understanding tikanga Māori. The school kapa haka proudly participate in the annual Secondary Schools’ Festival. Te reo Māori is heard at morning gatherings, and cultural events occur regularly in the school calendar to support and strengthen Māori identity.

The college appropriately plans to continue developing teachers and students' understanding of, and responsibility for, the concepts within the school’s definition of success for Māori as Māori. The performance management resource Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, could assist leaders to strengthen this awareness.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

St Peter’s College is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The school ‘touchstones’ and values are evident throughout the daily life of the college. The high standards set sit well with the college's goal of supporting boys to develop a lifelong commitment to serving and contributing to the community.

The headmaster and senior managers lead the promotion of positive outcomes for all boys. They model high expectations. Their leadership focus is on creating the conditions in which all boys experience success. Leaders are deliberate in their ongoing development of teachers and their drive to improve teaching strategies. They effectively facilitate the participation and collaboration of the school community and are promoting shared and collective responsibility for realising the school community’s aspirations.

The board of trustees is effective and insightful. Trustees have developed a strategic plan to achieve the school community’s vision, values and goals. Board decision making and appointments are well considered and include the recent appointment of a new school leader. Trustees are focussed on improving outcomes for Māori and Pacific boys and promoting boys’ wellbeing. Internal evaluation is being used to sustain a continuous cycle of school development that improves student learning.

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 were 41 international students attending the school.

All aspects relating to the education, involvement and integration of international students in the school and community are monitored, evaluated and systematically improved. Good pastoral care, together with academic, vocational, arts and sporting programmes enable international students to experience success across a variety of learning areas. Staff responsible for the care of international students regularly review the quality and effectiveness of provision for these students. The board gets good information about international students' involvement, progress and achievement.

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

St Peters College provides a broad and holistic curriculum for boys in an environment focussed on the values of Christian love and service. Boys achieve well, benefitting from good support systems and positive, respectful relationships with their teachers. The board's stewardship, together with effective leadership and thoughtful evaluation are contributing to ongoing improvements that are benefitting boys' learning and achievement.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 May 2016

About the School

Location

Epsom, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

62

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

1314

Number of international students

41

Gender composition

Boys 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

other

10%

54%

17%

16%

3%

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

23 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2012

August 2009

May 2006