St Teresa's School (Featherston) - 28/08/2019

School Context

St Teresa's School is a small, integrated, Catholic school located in Featherston. The roll of 98 students from years 1-8 includes 35 Māori students.

The school’s mission is to empower children within a Catholic environment to be ‘On – TRACK’ to reach their highest levels of achievement. The school vision is to develop confident lifelong learners within the Catholic faith. This includes values of faith, justice, love and humility.

In 2018, the school was involved in mathematics and theology professional learning.

The school is an active member of the South Wairarapa Kāhui Ako I Community of Learning.

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

  • progress in relation to strategic achievement priorities
  • curriculum enrichment events
  • attendance.

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?

The school is continuing to make progress towards its targets for equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

A large majority of students achieve at school curriculum expectations in reading and writing with most achieving at or above in mathematics.

Progress for Māori and boys is sustained over time and has improved since the 2016 review. The disparity for boys in writing is less than in previous years. Most Māori and boys achieve at curriculum expectations in reading and mathematics with a large majority in writing.

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

The school effectively responds to those students whose learning and achievement need accelerating.

There is evidence of many students, including target students, being accelerated across reading, writing and mathematics. In 2018, of the target students who remained for the full year, the majority achieved in reading and writing with most making accelerated progress in mathematics. It is timely for the school to refine practices to report on the progress of target students and the impact of interventions in place to support these students.

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?

A comprehensive curriculum guides school operations and expectations for teachers, students, whānau and community. The Catholic character is consistently evident in the school’s environment, values and strength of relationships and care. All whānau are respected and encouraged to be active participants in learning.

Rich and authentic localised learning is responsive to learner interests. Children’s voice is valued and is reflected in decision making and resourcing. Learner independence and leadership is encouraged and supported in academic, sporting, cultural and service roles. Leaders and teachers integrate bicultural practice through events and school protocols. This includes use of te reo Māori in daily routines and aspects of Māori culture in the curriculum.

A well-considered approach to supporting students’ transition into, and through school includes the sharing of relevant information. Learner expectations align with the schools vision and values. A range of well-resourced learning environments support positive and encouraging learning opportunities for children to be extended. Students with more complex learning needs have appropriate support systems in place. External agencies are utilised as required.

Leaders and teachers value partnerships with the wider community. A range of opportunities for teachers, learners and whānau to engage in regular events that acknowledge student strengths, and new learning are valued by children, parents and whānau. The school uses a range of purposefully gathered information, including NZCER surveys, to guide development and support decision making and student wellbeing.

Clear expectations for leaders and teachers promote shared understandings and commitment to the development of teacher practice and leadership capability. Teachers are improvement focused and use inquiry to consider the impact of their practice on outcomes for students. Teacher professional development and practice are well supported through processes aligned to schoolwide priorities.

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

ERO affirms the school’s commitment to continue to engage in relevant professional learning to refine teacher practice, alongside the 2019 targets. Areas identified include a specific focus in reading and writing. Teachers and leaders should continue to refine practices to more clearly and regularly report on the progress of target students.

Strong relationships with whānau and families are evident. ERO’s evaluation affirms the schools direction to further engage with Māori learners and their whānau and Pacific community to better define educational success for their children.

Leaders and teachers are reflective and are developing a systematic approach to evaluation. They should continue to building a shared understanding and clear processes for internal evaluation to help monitor the impact of initiatives for ongoing improvement and outcomes for students.

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 Teresa's School (Featherston)’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 the:

  • positive learning environment that values students’ perspectives and promotes leadership and engagement in learning
  • strategic and coherent approach to building teacher capability, shared understanding and consistent practice
  • comprehensive curriculum that guides school operations and expectations for teachers, student’s whānau and community.

Next steps

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

  • prioritise identified learners and refine practices to improve analysis, reporting and better measure the progress and the impact of interventions in place to support these students
  • progress the plan to engage with whānau Māori to support decision making about Māori success as Māori
  • develop internal evaluation processes to more clearly identify the impact of actions in promoting valued student outcomes.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • improve the process for monitoring legislative requirements to ensure all policies and procedures are relevant, up to date and reflect the legislative requirements.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini
Southern Region
28 August 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 56, Female 42

Ethnic composition

Māori 35
NZ European/Pākehā 46
Asian 9
Pacific 4
Other Ethnicities 4

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

28 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2016
Education Review June 2013