St Theresa's School (Plimmerton) - 10/06/2019

School Context

St. Theresa’s School (Plimmerton) is a state integrated Catholic primary school catering for children in Years 1 to 6. Of the 184 learners enrolled, 16% identify as Māori and 8% as Samoan.

The Catholic special character of the school is supported by the school’s mission statement - ‘To live, learn and love with Jesus, being the best we can be’. The recently implemented SPARK values of Self-control, Positivity, Aroha, Respect and Kindness are underpinned by the school’s gospel values of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, respect, gratitude, courage & resilience and forgiveness & mercy.

The school’s strategic aim is focused on enabling all students to develop as autonomous learners within a holistic learning framework, which provides them with opportunities to experience success. Annual student achievement targets focus on improving the outcomes of learners deemed at risk of not achieving in reading, writing and mathematics.

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 and achievement in targeted programmes
  • wellbeing and attendance.

At the time of the June 2016 ERO review the principal had been recently appointed. Staffing has remained stable over this time.

The school is a member of the Northern Porirua Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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 achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

School data for 2016 and 2017 indicates that most students, including Māori and students of Pacific heritage, achieve at or above the school’s expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

In 2018, school achievement information shows that almost all students are working within or above their curriculum level in reading and mathematics. Most learners, including Māori, achieve within or above their curriculum level in writing. All Pacific heritage learners achieve within or above their level in mathematics.

Learners with additional and complex needs are identified and programmes of support put in place. Individual education plans are collaboratively developed with appropriate goals to support students to progress in their holistic learning. External expertise suitably supports this provision.

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

School data for 2018 shows that some students identified in the school’s achievement targets made accelerated progress and are now on track to meet school expectations.

Cohort data shows that in 2016 and 2017 all children achieved the school’s expectations in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of Year 6.

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?

The learning environment is highly responsive for promoting equity and excellence. The Catholic special character provides a strong foundation for building ongoing relationships and support within the school community. Classrooms practices, including prayer, appropriately promote the school wide valued outcomes. Parents and whānau are welcomed, involved in school activities and contribute to strategic planning. Collaborative, respectful and responsive relationships between staff and students enhance learning and wellbeing.

The school curriculum effectively supports students to become self-managing and owners of their learning. Student voice is used to inform and shape the curriculum, and many children are able to articulate their learning and next steps. Opportunities to connect with the local environment promote children’s sense of place and belonging. Teaching and learning is context related and is enriched by the use of hands on resources.

Collaborative and purposeful leadership supports teaching and learning. The principal engages with the school community to create a positive learning environment which is inclusive, values diversity, and promotes wellbeing. This is clearly aligned to the special character values.

A robust appraisal process, closely linked to the Standards for the Teaching Profession, builds teachers’ capability. Professional development is targeted to support specific areas for growth aligned to the school’s direction. Strategic planning and current professional learning are supporting teachers to investigate ways to integrate te reo Māori into the classroom.

The board actively represents and serves the school and community in its stewardship role. Trustees have a focus on sustainability. They demonstrate a strong commitment to the ongoing promotion of the school and the long term success of all learners.

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

Leaders and teachers engage with, learn through and use inquiry and evaluation to support decision making and improvement strategies. These are closely aligned to the school’s strategic plan. Collaborative review, including effective analysis of evidence, is regularly undertaken. Specifically identifying the impact of changes made on learner outcomes has been identified by the school as an important next step.

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 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of St Theresa’s School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

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:

  • collaborative, respectful and responsive relationships that enhance learning

  • a localised curriculum that effectively supports children to become self-managing and lead their learning

  • leadership that works collaboratively and purposefully to promote equity and excellence

  • a robust appraisal process which builds teachers’ capability

  • the board’s strong commitment to the school’s valued outcomes.

Next steps

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

  • using robust internal evaluation to clearly identify the impact of changes made on learner outcomes.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

10 June 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 16%

NZ European/Pākehā57%

Samoan 8%

Chinese 4%

Other ethnic groups 15%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

10 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2016

Education Review January 2013