Glendowie School

Glendowie School - 20/12/2018

School Context

Glendowie School is located close to the Tamaki estuary in East Auckland. It provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. The school roll includes six percent Māori students and one percent Pacific. Chinese students comprise 11 percent of the roll and 59 percent are Pākehā.

The school is guided by its vision ‘I care’, which prioritises the provision of high quality teaching and learning programmes. The school’s expectations are that students will become confident, compassionate lifelong learners, be encouraged to achieve their full potential, and actively participate in our country and as citizens of the world. The school’s values include the attitudes and attributes of the Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate (PYP). These values are lifelong learning, excellence, community Involvement, and local and global citizenship.

The school sets high achievement targets in reading, writing and mathematics. The board’s strategic goals for improving students’ learning outcomes are to:

  • encourage students to achieve personal excellence, and confidence to adapt to change and accept challenges

  • ensure assessment and reporting processes use evidence based practices

  • provide a curriculum that promotes the attributes of local and global citizens with a shared sense of humanity and care.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, and progress and achievement in relation to school targets

  • English language, students with additional learning needs, gifted and talented and international students

  • wellbeing and attendance.

The school hosts a Montessori integrated unit and a satellite class from Sommerville Special School.

The school is part of the Glendowie Kāhui Ako. The purpose of the kāhui ako is to build long-term sustainability and capability of teachers, and effective systems within and across the schools to achieve the best outcomes for students.

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?

Students are well supported to achieve excellent educational outcomes. Achievement information shows sustained high levels of student success in reading, writing and mathematics for all groups of students, including Māori and Pacific learners.

Longitudinal data from 2014 to 2017 show that almost all students are achieving to the expectations of the New Zealand Curriculum in mathematics and reading. Most students are achieving expectations in writing. This achievement has been consistent over time.

Students achieve very well in relation to the school’s broader valued outcomes. Almost all students:

  • are active, competent and curious inquirers

  • are collaborative problem solvers

  • show empathy and respect themselves and others

  • have a strong sense of social responsibility.

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

Glendowie School is highly effective in responding to those students whose learning progress needs acceleration.

Leaders and teachers share a collective responsibility for students’ progress and achievement. Achievement data are very well collated and analysed to identify students who would benefit from support to accelerate their learning. Interventions and programmes for individual students are monitored by school managers. Students’ progress is carefully assessed, tracked and monitored. Data show these students make accelerated progress and achieve success over their time at the school.

Teachers collaboratively refine and adapt teaching programmes to ensure students have maximum opportunity to progress and achieve. They also use inquiries and evaluation to consider new approaches, and to sustain strategies that impact positively on student progress.

The current focus on writing encourages children’s motivation and active engagement in their learning. Teachers integrate writing with inquiry learning and provide students with meaningful real-life learning opportunities, choice and collaboration. As a result, 2018 achievement data show improved writing outcomes in students’ progress and achievement.

New learners of English benefit from highly effective support that enables them to make progress in their learning. They are carefully monitored to ensure they are well integrated into their classroom programmes and learning experiences across the school. Many of these students build their confidence and learning capabilities to make accelerated progress.

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 school’s vision and values, and the board’s strategic intent and high expectations for every student, provide a sound platform for continuously enhancing equity and excellence. School governance practices enact the vision, and promote coherent and successful school approaches to improving outcomes for all learners.

School leadership is highly effective. Leaders ensure efficient and equitable systems are maintained. Relationships are collegial, and learning and improvement focused. Teachers have leadership opportunities across the school and the kāhui ako. Leaders are focused on promoting 21st Century learning, student agency, digital literacies, and a culture of professional inquiry. Student leadership opportunities are developing students’ sense of efficacy and agency in relation to their learning and wellbeing.

Relevant professional learning and robust appraisal processes play an integral part in supporting the school’s strategic direction. Teachers benefit from leaders’ strategic approach to building their capability to deliver the curriculum. Coherent performance management systems support teacher improvement. The school’s professional community is focused on collaboration and inquiry to support responsive and adaptive teaching practices. New teachers to the school experience comprehensive induction and mentoring.

Students experience a rich and broad curriculum that enables them to excel academically and develop the skills of lifelong learners. Student inquiries promote learning through authentic and meaningful links across the curriculum and in the child-centred and interactive environment. Collaborative teaching practices and well-resourced, flexible learning spaces promote students’ independence and awareness of themselves as learners.

Children benefit from the in-depth knowledge that their teachers have of them as learners. Student voice and feedback help teachers understand children’s learning needs at a deeper level. The school’s vision and values are well known and help students to self-manage, reflect and influence curriculum change. Students value the opportunities to be diverse thinkers, collaboratively learn new knowledge and skills and consider other points of view. They self-monitor, identify their own learning needs and reflect on their own and others’ work.

Parents and whānau are valued partners in their roles as school mentors, experts and coaches to enrich children’s learning opportunities. Community participation enhances the curriculum and supports students to develop competencies, lifelong skills and a shared sense of humanity and care for the world they live in.

Internal evaluation is used very well to improve outcomes for students. Robust quality assurance and monitoring processes are maintained to ensure school expectations are met. Evaluation and inquiry are used to promote improvement, and sustain processes that support student equity and excellence. Leaders and teachers make very good use of data, and engage in thoughtful interpretation and evidenced, informed conversations to guide practice.

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

School leaders and the board of trustees acknowledge the importance of te ao Māori in the school’s curriculum and teaching practices. They could evaluate how well the integration of bicultural practices and Treaty of Waitangi principles are reflected in the school’s curriculum and learner profile. An enhanced lens on biculturalism could promote deeper understanding for everyone in the school community.

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 the Education (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 the review there were 40 international students attending the school.

ERO confirms that the school’s internal evaluation process for international students is thorough. The school has highly effective systems and practices to ensure the quality of education and pastoral care of international students. Students’ progress and achievement is well monitored, and students integrate well into the school’s education community. The board receives regular information about the progress and achievement 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:

  • a vision for education that prioritises high quality teaching and learning for each student to learn and achieve personal excellence

  • school leadership, at all levels of the school, that actively supports equity and excellence

  • systems and strategies that develop confident, professional teachers and responsive and adaptive teaching practice

  • internal evaluation practices that support ongoing improvement.

Next steps

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

  • evaluating the integration and sustainability of bicultural practices and Treaty of Waitangi principles

  • developing a learner profile that reflects both biculturalism and internationalism.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

20 December 2018

About the school


Glendowie, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 6%
Pākehā 59%
Chinese 11%
other Asian 8%
other European 5%
other ethnic groups 11%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

20 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review March 2014
Education Review May 2009
Education review December 2005

Glendowie School - 05/03/2014

1 Context

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

Glendowie School, located in attractive grounds close to the Tamaki estuary, in the east Auckland suburb of Glendowie, is a large primary school catering for students from Years 1 to 8.

Since the 2009 ERO review the school has undergone profound changes. An extensive fire destroyed most of the school’s buildings and resources early in 2011. School leaders, staff and community responded with resilience and rapidly established a place for children to learn. The final result is a modern, future-focused learning environment that is both reflective of, and responsive to, the school’s educational vision.

Provision is made for families to choose and apply for an alternative curriculum pathway in the school. A Montessori integrated unit is on-site as part of the primary campus.

ERO’s 2009 report identified strengths in school governance and leadership that supported high levels of student achievement and learning. These practices have been sustained and further developed.

The school’s culture is one in which children and teachers work and learn together collaboratively. Social responsibility is a key value actively promoted by all who participate in and contribute to the school’s success.

2 Learning

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

Glendowie School is very well placed to achieve Ministry of Education targets for 2017.

In-depth achievement information is tracked and analysed to record the learning progress of students at all levels in the school. Findings from inquiry into data are the basis for teachers’ programme design.

Students achieve at a high level in National Standards. Significant numbers of students achieve well above national standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori and Pacific students achieve at levels comparable to those of all other children in the school in relation to National Standards.

Students with special learning needs are promptly identified. Accelerating the progress of learners who need additional support is a priority focus for the board of trustees. Success in this area is driven by teaching teams inquiring into their practice to find strategies and programmes to improve children’s achievement. The school ethos, that ‘every child is a learner’, motivates teachers to be flexible and adaptive in their efforts to support children to make learning progress.

Student-led learning is an outstanding feature of the school’s educational success. Students manage much of their own progress and can articulate their learning journey in conferences with parents and teachers.

The majority of students entering Glendowie School at five years of age have experienced early childhood education. This background, together with the effective transition processes used by the school help children to benefit from the quality learning experiences offered at this early level.

3 Curriculum

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

Glendowie School’s curriculum is an effectively integrated model of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the Primary Years Programme (PYP), a structured inquiry approach to learning promoted by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. This combined curriculum framework is supporting and promoting student learning very effectively. The framework has been refined over several years.

Teaching teams are provided with high quality professional development programmes to support and enhance their delivery of the school’s curriculum.

The school curriculum emphasises key competencies such as thinking, participating and contributing. The school’s ‘I care’ curriculum values and promotes social connection as a positive basis for learning. A focus on processes that support learning, for example, critical thinking and problem solving, is also evident in classroom programmes. These approaches prepare children to be effective twenty-first century learners. The school focus on co-operative and collaborative learning promotes children’s well being.

Literacy and numeracy are appropriately prioritised in the curriculum as foundation learning areas. An extensive range of co-curricular activities, sports and cultural programmes, environmental experiences and education outside the classroom activities engage children in authentic and meaningful learning contexts.

The school’s e-learning vision is designed to further enhance the quality of the school’s digital learning processes.

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

Māori students make very good progress at Glendowie School and achieve well overall. They take leadership roles in school events and are involved in kapa haka performance and pōwhiri. Tuakana/teina relationships characterise the school value of caring for others.

A growth in understanding of te ao Māori is evident in the school’s curriculum and in teaching practices. As a result, Māori learners are affirmed and all children are developing a greater understanding of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. Year 3 children, for example, value their role as kaitiaki of the flax resources near the estuary.

An additional teacher of te reo Māori is employed by the board to give children the opportunity of learning te reo me ōna tikanga alongside the teaching staff. All teachers are expected to demonstrate cultural competencies in their teaching practice. Appraisal processes reflect this requirement.

The board of trustees and school leaders seek whānau views and perspectives and use these in strategic planning to further enhance educational outcomes for Māori learners.

School leaders are working on the development of a bicultural expression of the Glendowie School values. They also wish to further develop their partnerships with local iwi.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain the ongoing development and capability of staff and students. A culture of continuous improvement is evident at all levels of the school. The management of change and improvement is well paced and considered.

The principal, school leaders and teachers are a highly effective group of professionals. The principal and senior staff continue to be active contributors to the local, national and international education sector. They are highly focused on the provision of an innovative curriculum.

Thorough, purposeful self review has resulted in a high degree of coherence in school-wide processes and systems.

The board of trustees is capable, insightful and brings a variety of areas of expertise to the governance role. Board resourcing decisions are made strategically, based on student learning needs, best practice research and community consultation.

The community is rightfully proud of this school and the extensive educational opportunities it provides for children.

Provision for international students

At the time of this review Glendowie School had 17 international students. These students are well integrated into school life and benefit from high levels of social connectedness, which is the school’s basis for positive learning. The school provides high quality English language programmes.

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. The board receives regular information about the progress and achievement of international students. High quality pastoral care for international students is provided and monitored by the school.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review processes for international students are thorough.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

5 March 2014

About the School


Glendowie, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā






Other European











Special Features

Montessori State Integrated Unit Sommerville Special School - Satellite Class

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

5 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2009
December 2005
July 2002