Special Character Report (External Review)

Kia ora

The following is a summary of the report just received following an external review of our school which was led by Mr Paul Ferris during the last week of Term One. A copy of the full report is also available here. Special Character Report 2015

“Sacred Heart School in North East Valley Dunedin remains an authentic Catholic Community with an energy for the Gospel and a willingness to review and refine practice which supports the mission of the Church. It is a small school with a small roll. Its roll has declined since the last review through natural attrition but it has a determination to meet this challenge through evangelization and being a beacon of faith for people in the North Dunedin Community.

The school has strong leadership from the Board of Trustees which has a good understanding of governance and Special Character. It has the leadership of an experienced Principal who has a strong personal commitment to the mission of the school. He has recently been joined by an Assistant Principal who has leadership and management in Special Character and who has an energy and enthusiasm for the school and its work. All staff are strong in their commitment to Special Character. Together the staff are the strongest agents for the school and the Proprietor.

Religious Education is well planned and taught. More importantly, it is integrated in many aspects of the school culture and across other curriculum levels. Faith and life are a synthesis in the school which give it an authenticity not always achieved in larger schools.

Sacred Heart school is active in its evangelization of students. It is an inclusive and welcoming community where pastoral care is part of a genuine appreciation of the individual. Behavioural management looks for restorative solutions although the school will use stronger sanctions if students are unable to respond to the care and support they receive, or if they pose a threat to the safety of others.

The school, through its Principal, has reviewed several aspects of Special Character. It has supported refinements to appraisal and formation in line with the Proprietor’s direction, and it has much to be proud of in the progress it has made in the last three years.

Sacred Heart school will continue to refine and review its teaching and pastoral care on a regular basis as a way of ensuring that it continues to support the mission of the Church.

Recommendations in the report encourage the school to continue its journey in refining and building the community of faith with a strong parish connection.”

Paul Ferris QSM