Papatoetoe South School

Papatoetoe South School - 28/02/2019

School Context

Papatoetoe South School caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Approximately a quarter of the students are Māori, a similar proportion are Fijian Indian. Samoan students and those from other Pacific groups each comprise 14 percent of the roll. The school has two Māori bilingual classes in Te Puna Akona, and two classrooms for students with high additional learning needs in Le Va.

The school’s whakataukī/vision ‘Ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa, The child – the heart of the matter’ is integral to school operations. The whakataukī is promoted through the school values of ‘respect, integrity, inquiry and curiosity’. The code of conduct, known as the 3 Be’s, underpins the school culture of ‘be a learner/hei akonga, be responsible/kia takonganga and be respectful/kia whakakoha’.

The board’s charter identifies local goals that include celebrating the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand and the rich diversity of languages and cultures within the school community. Another goal includes encouraging students to question and understand the world around them. Current strategic goals emphasise hauora and improving the quality of teaching and learning.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • achievement, and strategies for promoting cultural identity and language, in Te Puna Akona

  • progress of students in Le Va

  • student engagement and wellbeing.

Since the 2014 ERO report, the school leadership has changed, and there have been changes to the board and teaching team. A new principal was appointed in May 2018. The school curriculum has continued to evolve. Leaders and teachers have participated in a range of professional learning to increase their capability to make positive changes for learners.

The school is a member of the West Papatoetoe Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL).

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 working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

School data for 2016 to 2017 show that overall achievement levels in reading and mathematics have been maintained, with a small majority of students achieving at or above expected New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels. A large majority of Year 6 students who left the school in 2017 achieved at or above expected curriculum levels in reading.

School data for writing show a decline in achievement, with less than half of students achieving at or above expected levels. Over the last three years school achievement data show that there is consistent disparity in achievement for boys in reading and writing.

Māori and Pacific learners achieve at similar levels in writing and mathematics. Achievement information from Te Puna Akona shows that less than half of the students achieve at or above expected NZC levels in literacy and mathematics.

Students in Le Va with high additional learning needs are very well supported to progress, participate and achieve their individual goals.

Students achieve very well in relation to other valued student outcomes. Most students:

  • have a strong sense of place and belonging, based on inclusive practices
  • can articulate and demonstrate the 3 Be’s in their everyday school life
  • show leadership through being role models and supporting their peers
  • are learning resilience and are supported well through restorative practices.

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

The school is beginning to accelerate learning for those Māori and other students who need this. Recent 2018 school data show that some students made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

School processes that support leaders and teachers to collate and analyse achievement information have been strengthened. Leaders and teachers are refocusing school practices on identifying, monitoring and responding appropriately to children’s specific learning needs.

There is an increasing emphasis on professional learning discussions among leaders and teachers about students who are most at risk of not achieving. Team meetings provide an opportunity for teachers to critically examine the effectiveness of their teaching practice and its impact on accelerating student progress.

Inclusive practices are well coordinated and embedded, particularly for students who have additional needs. There is effective communication and sharing of knowledge between leaders, teachers and specialists. Students’ learning needs are identified, parents are kept informed and targeted support provided.

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?

Mana enhancing practices are inherent in the school’s culture. Relationships are respectful and productive, and difference and diversity are valued. School culture groups including kapa haka, and events such as pōwhiri and language weeks, are promoted and celebrated. Hauora/pastoral care practices respond to students’ needs, promote their wellbeing and support learning success.

Leaders build relational trust, and engage in collaborative problem solving and robust discussions. They are highly reflective, and focused on making improvements to promote equity and excellence. ‘Leadership as inquiry’ processes enable leaders to integrate theory and practice to better inform the renewed direction for the school.

There is a strategic and coherent approach to building professional capability and collective capacity. Distributed leadership provides opportunities for teachers to be promoted and supported as leaders of learning and curriculum. School leaders and teachers engage with, and contribute to, the wider education community.

Trustees demonstrate capable stewardship, and receive good information that aligns with the board’s strategic goals. Consultation is well underway for a new strategic plan and a refreshed Māori Education Plan. Discussions have also begun to develop a Pacific Education Strategy.

The board and senior leaders are committed to enhancing school improvement processes. Consultation with whānau, staff and students, and access to relevant expertise, support ongoing improvement. Creating greater cohesion of organisational processes and practices is likely to promote greater equity and excellence for learners.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • mana enhancing practices inherent in the school’s culture and based on productive relationships

  • hauora/pastoral care practices that respond to students’ needs, and support their wellbeing and learning success

  • leadership that is collaborative, highly reflective and focused on making improvements to enhance learner equity and excellence

  • a strategic approach to building leadership, professional capability and collective capacity

  • internal evaluation for ongoing improvement that is based on consultation, research and inquiry.

Next steps

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

  • a schoolwide approach to evidence based, high quality teaching practices that accelerate the learning of students who are at risk of not achieving

  • creating opportunities in the curriculum to promote greater ownership by students of their own learning and achievement.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Papatoetoe South School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

28 February 2019

About the school


Papatoetoe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 24%
Pākehā 3%
Fijian Indian 28%
Samoan 14%
Indian 9%
Tongan 7%
Asian 5%
Cook Island Māori 5%
other ethnic groups 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)


Number of students in Level 1 MME


Number of students in Level 2 MME


Number of students in Level 3 MLE


Number of students in Level 4a MLE


Number of students in Level 4b MLE


Number of students in Level 5 MLE


Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

28 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review June 2011
Education Review June 2008

Papatoetoe South School - 03/06/2014

1 Context

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

Papatoetoe South School offers high quality education for students from Years 1 to 6. School leaders, trustees and teachers have high expectations that all students are welcomed and valued and develop as successful and independent learners. Meaningful relationships are at the heart of the school’s vision. Leaders and teachers support each other to ensure that positive relationships underpin teaching. Teachers focus on accelerating student achievement. A strong emphasis on promoting pastoral care and embracing the cultural heritage and background of all students is evident.

School leaders have developed valuable partnerships with the wider education network and are part of a strong professional learning community. Teachers reflect on their practice and work effectively with leaders to promote students’ education and wellbeing. Community advisers have supported the school’s initiatives to enable success for Māori students and for students with special learning needs.

Trustees and leaders have responded positively to ERO’s 2011 report. They have worked extensively to respond to Māori whānau aspirations. They continue to seek culturally appropriate ways to support the aspirations and values of Pacific and Indian parents. Significant initiatives are being planned to promote the languages and cultures of the school’s diverse communities.

2 Learning

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

The school makes effective use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ progress, engagement and achievement.

School leaders are focused on ensuring that students experience a successful transition across year levels. Leaders and teachers are developing their ability to improve their practice through regular self review. This includes gathering student and parent input to help ensure students’ wellbeing is reflected in the programmes provided. Teachers monitor assessment data well, and select priority students for specific interventions. Teachers use information about students’ progress to inform their practice. Students with special needs are well catered for in the school’s inclusive culture. All students benefit from teachers’ high expectations and strong emphasis on accelerating their progress and learning.

The school is focused on continuous improvement. The school’s 2013 achievement information shows accelerated gains in reading and mathematics. Many Māori and Pacific students have made marked progress in reading, writing and mathematics and many are now achieving above the National Standards.

The school’s focus on closing gaps in achievement shows gains made. Leaders track student progress and use the information to develop successful initiatives within the classroom. The school has engaged a Student Achievement Function facilitator from the Ministry of Education to trial initiatives that will help them monitor student achievement and progress.

Teachers’ inquiry into improving student achievement is dynamic. They use a wide range of information and act on their findings to improve learning for students. Teachers constantly challenge themselves through a variety of professional learning opportunities. Programmes are specifically designed to support and encourage students’ participation and academic learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

Leaders and teachers have developed a responsive curriculum that has a clear links to the school’s goals and The New Zealand Curriculum. Learning programmes and initiatives involve teachers in responding to achievement information to meet students’ learning needs and community aspirations. School leaders and teachers ensure that the curriculum is designed to reflect students’ interests and prior knowledge and incorporates the views of students, parents, and whānau.

Positive, trusting relationships enable students to develop a sense of connection and belonging in the school. A strong, appropriate emphasis on literacy and numeracy provides the foundation for academic success. Students are taught academic vocabulary and contribute enthusiastically to conversations about their learning. The programme aims to empower students and give parents the information they need to support their children’s learning at home.

School leaders and teachers make good use of external theories and research. Ongoing relationships with other professionals help teachers to ask challenging questions about how to improve their subject knowledge and teaching skills. They continually inquire about how to adapt their class programme to suit their diverse learners’ strengths and needs. Learning environments are well resourced and purposeful and foster students’ sense of belonging in the school.

Teachers are becoming more confident in ensuring the school’s bicultural focus is a priority in their classrooms. This focus has resulted in the development of Te Puna Akona, the school’s two Māori bilingual classes. Māori whānau are showing increasing interest in enrolling their children in these classes. Skilled Māori teachers work well together with other lead teachers to develop a relevant programme for students in the Akonga classes. Whānau Māori have become actively involved in their children’s learning and have responded positively to the school’s invitation to engage in partnership meetings.

The Le Va unit provides a supportive programme for students with special learning needs. Staff in the unit work closely with students to ensure they are progressing and learning and using the resources in the unit. This is a strong focus for the school, and keeping families informed is a priority. The school is now pursuing relevant ways to monitor the progress and achievement of students in Le Va unit.

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

The school promotes educational success for Māori so that they are confident and competent as Māori learners. Māori whānau are strongly supported to be involved in their children’s learning at the school. Whānau and teachers have provided opportunities for the wider whānau to participate to help teachers respond positively to the needs of Māori students. Leaders are actively involved in the wider educational network, gaining support and expertise to ensure their approach to bilingual education is effective and of high quality. The increased interest in, and roll growth of, Te Puna Akona has been resourced and promoted by school leaders and trustees.

The school seeks to ensure that te ao Māori protocols are promoted with respect and integrity. Whole school participation in pōwhiri and hakari enables all students to understand the significance of Māori as tangata whenua of Aotearoa. This support is likely to help ensure Māori students’ success.

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.

Trustees are very well connected to their local communities and are experienced in their roles. Trustees are highly engaged in the school’s vision and purpose, and seek to articulate and share these with their community.

The principal and the board have developed a well framed strategic approach and have documented evidence of their good governance processes. Well planned systems ensure that the board continues to develop its governance capacity. Trustees are planning effectively for future board membership.

Areas for future focus have been identified by school leaders and trustees. These include:

  • refining the school’s culture of robust self review so that self-review processes identify priorities for improvement
  • continuing to embed good practices informed by educational research so that they are used consistently across all year levels
  • better reflecting students’ cultural diversity in the school’s curriculum and classroom environments.

School leaders and trustees value self review and are responsive to external review. Self review is promoted at all levels of the school and is used to encourage ongoing improvements. A robust performance management system links well to the school’s strategic priorities. The school meets with parents in culturally appropriate forums. Hui and fono provide opportunities for Māori and Pacific parents to contribute to school decisions.

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

3 June 2014

About the School


Papatoetoe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 52%

Boys 48%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/ Pākeha

Fijian Indian




Cook Island Māori












Special Features

Bilingual Māori Classes; Special Education Unit

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

3 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

June 2008

April 2004