St Teresa's School (Karori) - 30/10/2018

School Context

St Teresa’s School (Karori), is an integrated Catholic school in Karori, Wellington. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The culturally diverse roll of 149 includes 18 students of Pacific heritage.

The stated mission for students is “a Catholic school where each child is nurtured to grow as a happy, faith-filled learner who is inspired to achieve excellence”. The school’s values are hospitality, respect, social justice, excellence, service and compassion. These are enacted through the four school rules: be caring; be respectful; be safe; and be your best.

The expected outcomes for students are to be empowered by the Catholic faith, to embrace opportunities for learning and to learn from cultural diversity.

In 2018, the school’s achievement targets are focused on raising literacy skills of students in their first three years of school.

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

  • achievement in relation to the strands of the religious education curriculum

  • achievement in reading, writing and in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum

  • specific literacy and numeracy interventions

  • progress and achievement of English language learners.

Since the December 2015 ERO report, leaders and teachers have participated in professional learning and development (PLD) in mathematics, supporting learner agency, and students who are gifted and talented. In 2018, they are working on strategic planning and Accelerating Literacy Learning (ALL), a Ministry of Education initiative.

The school is part of the Wellington Catholic 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?

The school supports the achievement of equity and excellence for almost all students. Since the previous ERO report, achievement has remained high for almost all groups of learners.

Achievement information from 2017, showed that almost all students achieved at or above curriculum expectations in reading and mathematics, with most in writing.

Māori students are achieving better than their peers in writing and mathematics. Pacific students are achieving less well in literacy and mathematics.

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

The school successfully accelerates the learning of the majority of students who need this. The progress and achievement of English language learners is well tracked and monitored and there is evidence of acceleration for some students.

There is clear evidence of other targeted students accelerating their learning and sustaining this over time.

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?

Coherent organisational systems, processes and practices guide school operation and expectations for effective teaching, learning and assessment. These are kept current through review and regular consultation with the school’s community and the archdiocese.

Leadership ensures effective planning, coordination of the school’s curriculum and teaching. Documentation is regularly reviewed to reflect new learning and changing community aspirations. Key elements underpinning the curriculum are: gospel values; catholic character; key competencies from The New Zealand Curriculum; literacy; mathematics; and inquiry learning. The curriculum document provides clear expectations and guidelines for teachers. Long term planning is clearly linked to valued outcomes for students and contexts for learning that are responsive to their interests and needs.

The school has sound systems and processes to identify, track and monitor the progress and achievement of priority learners. A wide range of assessment information informs teachers’ decisions about students’ progress and achievement.

The curriculum is enhanced by students’ access to a broad range of authentic learning opportunities within the school and wider community. Volunteers from the community offer a wide range of knowledge and skills that are highly valued by teachers. This has resulted in reciprocal learning-centred relationships.

Students learn in a positive learning environment where interactions between adults and students are respectful. The use of digital technologies supports learning. Student leadership is actively fostered and promoted across all levels of the school. This enhances the range of opportunities for students to experience success. Cultural diversity of the school’s community is recognised, valued and celebrated.

Responsive systems and processes, and collaboration with external agencies, enables students with additional learning needs to learn alongside their peers. Those with high needs are well supported to participate and engage in learning through individual planning and appropriate use of resourcing.

The board actively represents and serves the school and education community in its stewardship role. The school’s charter clearly sets out long term goals that are prioritised in the annual plan. Trustees are regularly informed about actions to progress strategic goals and student progress and achievement.

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

Implementing learner agency approaches to enable students to lead their learning, has been a strategic priority. Professional learning and development to support the implementation of this approach is ongoing. Leaders acknowledge that this continues to be an area for further development.

Further developing a shared understanding and strengthening practices of internal evaluation and inquiry schoolwide is needed. This should enable trustees, leaders and teachers to better know the impact of newly implemented programmes, initiatives and teaching practices in supporting successful 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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to theEducation (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016(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 three international students attending the school.

Appropriate processes are used to monitor the provision of the wellbeing and learning programmes of international students.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that promotes coherent organisational systems, processes and practices that guide school operation and curriculum

  • sound systems and processes to identify, track and monitor the progress and achievement of priority learners

  • high expectations that promote good levels of achievement.

Next steps

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

  • developing a shared understanding and strengthening internal evaluation practices school wide.
    [The school has requested, and ERO will provide, an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

30 October 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

State Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 3%

Pākehā 62%

Pacific 12%

Asian 19%

Other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

30 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2015

Education Review January 2013

Education Review November 2009