St Teresa's School (Karori) - 15/12/2015

Findings

St Teresa’s is a culturally diverse, family-oriented school. It provides good quality, holistic education underpinned by its Catholic character. Interesting programmes engage respectful and motivated learners. Most students achieve the National Standards. Writing has been identified as an area for further strengthening. The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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

1 Context

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

St Teresa’s School (Karori) is an integrated Years 1 to 8 Catholic primary school in Karori, Wellington. It has a roll of 179 students from many cultural backgrounds. Diversity is celebrated.

The school’s special Catholic character is reflected in the positive relationships. The values of respect, justice, hospitality, compassion and concern are evident in interactions and school events. There are close links with the parish and parishioners actively support school activities.

Since the January 2013 ERO report, a new principal and two deputy principals have been appointed.

The board and senior leaders responded positively to the previous ERO report.

The school has a good reporting history with ERO.

2 Learning

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

Teachers use a range of student achievement information appropriately to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Most students achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Findings from the 2014 achievement data indicated that writing, particularly for boys needed to be a focus for improvement. Professional learning, undertaken by teachers, has had a positive impact on writing achievement.

The board prioritises students at risk of not meeting the National Standards by setting specific targets for improvement. The principal has noted accelerated gains for many of these students in her regular reports to the board.

Pacific students who do not have English as their first language are being supported by the well-considered English Language Learners programme. They benefit from the schoolwide focus on culturally responsive practices.

Improved teacher planning, monitoring, moderation and school reporting are evident. The staff, led by senior leaders closely track students' progress. They recognise the need to continue to review and document assessment practices to improve consistency and rigour.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum promotes and supports student learning. It fosters students’ self confidence and sense of social responsibility. The staff, led by senior leaders, have undertaken a well-considered initial review of the school curriculum, with vision and key competencies a focus. Continuing the curriculum review to establish clear schoolwide expectations for effective planning, teaching and learning and to enable student-led learning is now a priority.

Learners at risk of not achieving benefit from programmes specifically designed to meet their needs, abilities and interests. They are well monitored and show increased levels of engagement, progress and achievement. Teachers discuss achievement information and strategies with parents to facilitate consistent practice.

The principal and teachers have taken part in professional learning provided by external facilitators to support curriculum development. This has a very positive impact on students’ achievement. Teacher aides are suitably trained and support students’ learning programmes.

Planned curriculum self review, including parent consultation, has resulted in a focus on science teaching and the increasingly varied use of digital technologies as a tool for learning. Students are actively engaged in meaningful learning tasks with an emphasis on inquiry, care for the environment, positive relationships and self management. Learners are encouraged to reflect on their achievements and take responsibility for their learning.

Parents have a variety of opportunities to discuss their children’s learning and achievement. Teachers provide them with useful and timely information about their children’s progress. Strong home-school partnerships are evident.

There has been a major focus on developing teachers’ culturally responsive practices. Opportunities to share unique aspects of culture are taken. Each student’s culture is celebrated and valued.

Students are on task and engaged in learning activities. They are caring and respectful. Relationships are positive.

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

A small number of Māori students attend St Teresa’s School. Most achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards and better than their non-Māori peers. Overall these students achieve very well. Whānau views have been sought and responded to. Members of this group are leading a programme to embed the school's Māori action plan strategies into the curriculum. Local identity and connections are developing.

Teachers are becoming more aware of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. They engage in professional learning to continue to develop culturally responsive practices in teaching, assessment, communication, and relationships, guided by learning about te ao Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The board has a clear understanding of sound governance. The charter and annual plan are well considered. The principal regularly reports on progress towards meeting the strategic aims. Trustees receive regular reports on schoolwide achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, including the progress of students who have learning support.

Well-established processes guide the review of policies and strategic direction. This information is used to inform planning and resourcing.

Good progress has been made in developing a robust self-review process. This now needs to be embedded to enable consistent practice in evaluating the outcomes of strategies and the impact of practices.

There is a strong sense of the school working as a community of learners. Responsibility for holistic student learning is shared. High levels of parent partnership and community involvement and support are evident.

The professional leaders provide a clear sense of direction. They work collaboratively and make available leadership opportunities for staff to grow their capabilities.

Senior leaders and staff contribute to the provision of a caring, supportive and orderly environment.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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 Teresa’s is a culturally diverse, family-oriented school. It provides good quality, holistic education underpinned by its Catholic character. Interesting programmes engage respectful and motivated learners. Most students achieve the National Standards. Writing has been identified as an area for further strengthening. The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

15 December 2015

School Statistics

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

3024

School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll

179

Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Filipino

Samoan

Māori

Other ethnic groups

60%

14%

7%

3%

16%

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

15 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2013

November 2009

October 2006