Colwill School Massey

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

School Context

Colwill School in Massey, is a Year 1 to 8 school with approximately 200 students. It serves an ethnically diverse local community. The school roll has steadily declined since 2008, while the percentage of children with Pacific and Māori heritage has continued to grow.

The school’s stated values are kindness and caring, within an ethos of inclusion and pastoral care. Many of the children and their families have home languages other than English. The board-run community Hub continues to be a meeting point for parents and whānau, providing useful school-based services and support.

A satellite class of Arohanui Special School operates on-site, as does a Samoan playgroup and a Maori pre-employment skills training provider. A social worker, contributes to the wellbeing of students and their families. With a significant number of children with additional needs, the school is deemed to be a “School of Interest” for the Ministry of Education (MOE).

A new team of school leaders, the result of a senior management restructure in 2016, is working collegially to review the school curriculum and implement student-led learning approaches. School and board leaders are committed to working collaboratively and sharing expertise with local schools through the Tiriwa/Massey Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

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

  • collated information about overall student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • trends identified in the overall achievement of students from year to year

  • patterns of achievement for Māori and Pacific children in each year level

  • analysis of targets set for children who are underachieving at different year levels

  • the success rate of the Reading Recovery programme.

The long serving principal and experienced BOT chairperson guide school developments. This includes negotiating an extensive property rebuild with the Ministry of Education. Progressing this matter is now a key priority as it is currently impacting somewhat adversely on the delivery of the curriculum and on the wellbeing of children and staff.

The principal and trustees developed an action plan to address matters arising from the 2014 ERO report. Improvements in teaching practice have been progressed with the support of external facilitators, providing appropriately targeted professional learning and development.

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 yet to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

Many students achieve below expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Prior to 2017, student achievement overall was declining in these learning areas. In 2017 there was a measurable improvement in literacy, and a small improvement in mathematics. School leaders are optimistic that this trend can be sustained by consolidating school-wide professional learning and development.

Pacific and Māori children overall continue to achieve less well than others in reading, writing and mathematics. Public achievement information identifies a pattern of persistent disparity for these children. A more deliberate emphasis on addressing these trends through the school’s strategic goals and annual achievement targets is recognised in the board’s 2018 planning priorities.

The school’s commitment to inclusion is evident in the high numbers of children with identified learning and behaviour needs. Some of these children have additional levels of funding and an individual education plan. Their progress is monitored closely by senior staff who liaise regularly with classroom teachers, external agencies and support networks.

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

The school is developing more specific targets and reporting expectations relating to those Māori and other students whose learning progress needs acceleration.

The analysis of student achievement information is becoming more accurate and useful. Senior teachers have identified lower rates of progress and achievement at certain year levels, and in recent years have set targets accordingly. The challenge now for school leaders is to strengthen capability to accelerate children’s progress at all year levels.

A strong emphasis on professional learning and development in recent years has increased teachers’ understanding of the need for some children to make accelerated progress. The focus has been on strengthening teachers’ use of achievement information. With several new teachers joining the staff it is important to consolidate these practices with more targeted planning.

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?

Improved data analysis is informing the decisions of the school leaders and trustees. The student achievement focus (SAF) team, closely analyses trends in student achievement information at each year level. The school’s new leadership team should continue to strengthen evidence-based practices relating to student progress and achievement.

The school’s continued focus on involving the parent community through the Hub, is evidence of how partnerships that support children’s learning are valued. The Hub provides useful educational services, and connects parents with the school. Holistic support is provided for families.

Curriculum leaders are making a concerted effort to strengthen culturally responsive practices across the school and within the school’s curriculum. Students are enthusiastic about the recently established performance group that promotes both Māori and Pacific cultures. They also value the opportunities for leadership as school counsellors and house leaders.

The school’s vision for Hauora, benefits children’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Children’s home languages, culture and identity are valued. The school’s curriculum promotes positive values and behaviours. Children’s wellbeing also benefits from the continued KidsCan, breakfast club, and milk and fruit in schools progammes.

Purposeful learning is evident in classrooms. Teachers and children relate positively within clear expectations for learning and behaviour. The roles of the new school leaders are designed to support teachers in the classroom. This is helping teachers to build on culturally responsive practices, and provide greater accountability through internal evaluation and reporting.

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

The emphasis on accelerated learner progress should be more clearly identified in teachers’ planning and practice. This would support an increased focus on lifting rates of progress for targeted groups and individual students across the school.

School-wide goals for those Māori and Pacific learners who are underachieving should also inform teachers’ professional inquiry into the effectiveness of their practice as part of the updated teacher appraisal process.

Children’s learning opportunities should include relevant inquiry processes. This would help strengthen children’s independent learning skills and competencies such as problem solving and creativity. School leaders should also strengthen transition to school practices that build on children’s dispositions and early learning experiences.

Strategic goals for digital learning should be developed by school leaders to support curriculum developments. This would help teachers to prepare for the introduction of the 2020 digital technology curriculum. Professional development should be planned to help teachers extend digital fluency in teaching and learning.

Opportunities for professional development for the new team leaders would further support them to develop a collaborative team culture focused on strengthening the use of data and internal evaluation.

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.

Appraisal audit

Procedures for the appraisal of teachers should be updated. The endorsement of some teachers’ practicing certificates has not been satisfactory in relation to the requirements of the Education Council.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

  • No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure that policies and procedures for the appraisal of teachers are documented more clearly in order to meet the requirement of the Education Council
  • together with the Ministry of Education, resolve as a matter of urgency, delays in property upgrading that are impacting on the delivery of the curriculum and the health and safety of staff and children.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the expertise of board leadership and improved school leadership systems that support internal evaluation and inquiry

  • the school’s stated values of inclusion and pastoral care practices that support student wellbeing and restorative approaches

  • the continued engagement of parents and whānau in partnerships that support children’s learning.

Next steps

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

  • reducing disparity for those Māori and Pacific learners across the school who are underachieving

  • curriculum planning that enhances, inquiry-based learning, cultural responsiveness and digital capability

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

3 May 2018

About the school

Location

Massey, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1254

School type

Full Primary Years 1 to 8

School roll

195

Gender composition

Boys      50%
Girls       50%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Cook Islands Māori
Fijian
Middle Eastern
Indian
other Pacific
other

 23%
 12%
 17%
   9%
   3%
   6%
   4%
 16%
 10%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

3 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

 August 2014
 May 2010
 June 2011

Findings

School leaders, staff and trustees are focused on raising student achievement. The wellbeing of students and positive partnerships with families and the wider community are recognised as key to learning. The school’s curriculum reflects this and promotes and supports student learning well. Integrating Māori and Pacific perspectives into programmes is helping to create meaningful contexts for student learning. Significant change in recent years has strengthened teaching, leadership and governance practices. The school's inclusive culture fosters strong community links.

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?

Colwill School, located in Massey, Auckland, provides education for students from Years 1 to 8. The school caters for a diverse community, with many students speaking English as a second language. The school’s Pacific roll has increased significantly in recent years. The school has developed strong links with its community to facilitate effective partnerships for learning. The well established community ‘Hub’ situated in the school grounds provides a wide range of services and support for students, families and the wider community.

Positive relationships and a strong focus on student well being contributes to students’ sense of belonging and engagement in learning. Students and families have been involved in many improvements to the physical environment, which reflects the cultures of the community. The well tended grounds are respected by students and provide attractive areas for learning, performance, and play.

At the time of the 2011 ERO review the newly elected school trustees were supported by a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) to assist them in establishing effective governance practices. The LSM role ended in December 2011. Since then the school has continued to strengthen its leadership and governance capability. Significant developments have been implemented in response to the changing school context and increased community involvement. The school has responded very positively to recommendations from the 2011 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

The school is using achievement information increasingly well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

The school promotes strong links between student well being and learning, and a continuing focus on pastoral care is evident. Student attendance levels have improved significantly in recent years and high levels of student engagement in learning are a notable feature of the school.

Students work in settled, learning-focused environments. They participate well in classroom activities, and are able to work independently and co-operatively. They enjoy positive relationships with their peers and teachers. Teachers use a variety of strategies to build students’ understanding and ownership of their learning. School leaders are now focusing on consolidating these good practices to further promote the consistency and quality of teaching practice across the school.

Well considered external professional development for teachers has improved the use of achievement information. This external support is now being reinforced by good school systems and ongoing review of assessment processes. Senior leaders are continuing to extend the analysis and use of achievement data. They set appropriate school targets for improvement. Public Achievement Information (PAI) about student achievement nationally, regionally and on a more local basis is used by senior leaders and the board to inform their analysis and decision making.

Teachers use a wide range of assessment tools to track and monitor student progress and achievement. They use this information to make overall judgements about student progress and achievement in relation to National Standards. They moderate their judgements within the school and with other schools to help ensure these judgements are reliable.

Teachers have also developed effective systems for using progress and achievement information to guide programme planning for individuals and groups of students. Good support is provided for students requiring additional learning support, and for students who are new learners of the English language. Specialist and support staff are provided with relevant training. Additional support from external agencies is accessed as appropriate. The school works closely with the families of students receiving additional support.

School leaders acknowledge a sense of urgency in raising student achievement in order to reach government targets of 85% of students achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics by 2017.

School achievement information currently indicates that over sixty percent of all students achieve at or above the National Standard in mathematics. Approximately fifty per cent achieve at or above the standard in reading and writing. The school has identified the need to improve the achievement of Pacific students, in particular. The progress and achievement of both Pacific and Māori students is well monitored, and teachers and leaders continue to consider ways to accelerate the progress of both groups.

The board receives regular, comprehensive information about student achievement in relation to the National Standards. Parents receive clear reports about their child’s progress in relation to the National Standards.

The school is now well positioned to extend the use of achievement information through more indepth analysis and evaluation. ERO and school leaders agree that next steps should include:

  • exploring ways to use assessment data for more evaluative analysis and reporting, including evaluation and reporting on the effectiveness of learning interventions on student progress
  • tracking and reporting on the long-term progress of specific groups of students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning well. It is closely aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). An emphasis on reading, writing and mathematics is evident and supports the school’s focus on raising student achievement in these areas.

School curriculum documents provide clear and comprehensive guidelines for teachers. They also reflect key aspects of the vision, values, principles and key competencies of the NZC. Teachers are increasingly using inquiry teaching and learning approaches and are integrating learning areas to develop meaningful contexts for learning.

Māori and Pacific perspectives are evident in curriculum programmes. Students have opportunities to take on leadership and responsibilities, and to pursue areas of interest. Teachers are continuing to strengthen student voice in learning programmes.

Good professional development and performance management processes help to guide curriculum and teacher development. School structures encourage teacher reflection and inquiry into practice. School leaders are continuing to formalise and extend these practices through further development of teacher appraisal processes.

The curriculum reflects the school’s strong partnerships with parents and the wider community. The importance of supporting students well as they transition into the school and when they move on to secondary school is well recognised. Staff are developing effective processes in this area. These include having a close liaison with the local Samoan preschool and continuing work to extend the ways in which senior students are supported to begin their secondary schooling.

Staff are beginning a review of the school’s curriculum programmes and documentation to better reflect recent developments. This review will include exploring ways to strengthen teachers’ understanding of integrated and inquiry learning strategies, and extending the use of Ministry of Education resources such as Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success for Māori Students and The Pacific Education Plan to inform curriculum development.

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

School leaders and the board have developed effective relationships and communication with Māori parents and community. They have consulted informally and formally to gain whānau voice and input into school policy and learning programmes, and to develop purposeful and reciprocal partnerships.

Teachers support students’ wellbeing and encourage them to be proud of their Māori language, culture and identity. There are opportunities for Māori students to take on leadership roles in kapa haka and other school activities.

Over the last three years Māori students have generally achieved below the National Standards in reading and writing. The school is aware of the need to accelerate and improve student achievement for Māori students. Although the numbers of suspensions, stand-downs and exclusions over the last three years are low, the board and senior leaders should continue to explore strategies to address the high proportion of Māori students represented in these statistics.

Staff are about to begin a long-term professional development programme to increase their confidence and capability in the use of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori. This professional development should strengthen the school’s capacity to support Māori students to achieve successfully and confidently.

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, principal and teachers are committed to improving outcomes for students, with a particular focus on ensuring student wellbeing and raising their achievement. The principal and board chair have a clear direction for the school and are managing change processes well. Senior leaders have a shared understanding of school vision and direction and are developing clarity and confidence in their leadership roles.

Since 2011 there have been some changes in the elected board members. Current trustees include Samoan and Māori representatives. New trustees are well supported through good induction processes and clear documentation. All trustees continue to access training and guidance about their governance role. Trustees’ increasing understanding of governance roles and practices means the board is now well placed to continue to grow its evaluative capacity.

Resources from the New Zealand School Trustees Association and the Ministry of Education provide a framework for governance. The school’s charter, strategic and annual plans are used to guide programmes and practices. The board is currently implementing a new model for policies and procedures. ERO endorses the board’s intention to continue to refine this model to reflect their processes for assurance and accountability.

The board and school leaders have strong links with their community and use a variety of strategies to gain insight into community perspectives. They have made good use of the Pacific Education Plan to inform school policy and practice, and now plan to use the Ministry of Education’s Māori strategy Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success in a similar way. They acknowledge the potential for further community input to support the school in this development.

Reflective practice is evident at all levels of the school. Effective self review is evident in a number of areas, including:

  • ongoing review of strategic and annual goals
  • planned and responsive policy review
  • board documentation to support a more systematic approach to all areas of governance.

The principal and board agree that they could continue to refine and strengthen review processes to support their commitment to ongoing improvement, through:

  • greater evaluative comment in reports to the board
  • more in-depth analysis of information to inform decision-making.

The principal and board chair have provided strong leadership and guidance throughout a period of significant change. External support has been used effectively to establish a good foundation and build capability in teaching, leadership and governance practices. ERO and the school agree that next steps to ensure sustainability and ongoing improvement are:

  • transitioning from external support to internal leadership
  • spreading leadership opportunities and responsibilities to enable succession planning for sustainability
  • continuing to embed good practices consistently across the school.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (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 was one international student attending the school.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for ensuring compliance with the Code is regular and is based on relevant guiding documents. The school’s inclusive approaches ensure good liaison with parents. Effective teaching programmes support English learning for international students.

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

School leaders, staff and trustees are focused on raising student achievement. The wellbeing of students and positive partnerships with families and the wider community are recognised as key to learning. The school’s curriculum reflects this and promotes and supports student learning well. Integrating Māori and Pacific perspectives into programmes is helping to create meaningful contexts for student learning. Significant change in recent years has strengthened teaching, leadership and governance practices. The school's inclusive culture fosters strong community links.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

1 August 2014

About the School

Location

Massey, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1254

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

229

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Boys 57% Girls 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Asian

Middle Eastern

Cook Island Māori

Niue

other Pacific

other

22%

20%

20%

6%

6%

3%

3%

13%

7%

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

1 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2011
May 2010
February 2009