Sunnynook School

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.

Education institution number:
1518
School type:
Contributing
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
436
Telephone:
Address:

Lyford Crescent, Takapuna North, Auckland

View on map

Summary

Sunnynook School is a contributing primary school located on Auckland’s North Shore and currently caters for 477 children from Years 1 to 6. The roll is very culturally diverse comprising of 13 percent Māori learners, nine percent with Pacific heritage and 32 percent Pākehā. There are children of many other ethnicities. The school caters very well for children who require additional learning support and for those who speak languages in addition to English (ESoL).

Since the 2013 ERO review, the board has managed the appointment of a new principal and a new senior leadership team. The board and senior leaders have responded very well to the findings of ERO’s 2013 review.

The school’s achievement information shows that children are achieving well. Overall student achievement in National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics has been successfully lifted. The school also promotes very good achievement and outcomes for both Māori and Pacific children.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The mission statement ‘Ako hoki i te heke mai angitu: learning for a successful future’ underpins school systems and processes, and contributes to achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for children. Board, staff and whānau use the whakatauki ‘Mā te huruhuru te manu karere, with feathers a bird flies’ as their touchstone. The valuing of everyone’s contribution is a significant feature and real strength of the school.

The school is effectively achieving equitable and excellent educational outcomes for Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration.Sound school leadership, a strengthening focus on bicultural practice and a responsive curriculum are the key factors contributing to the achievement of equity and excellence.

To enhance processes for achieving equity and excellence it will be beneficial to continue:

  • identifying strategies that accelerate boys’ progress in writing
  • implementing and refining school plans for monitoring target students whose progress needs acceleration.

Sunnynook School is confidently realising its mission and vision to equip students to be successful learners. The school’s strengths and ongoing and planned developments support its future direction.

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds very well to Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration.

The vision, principles and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are reflected in its mission statement. There is a strong emphasis on supporting children to achieve the valued outcomes identified by the school. School values of respect, responsibility, honesty, compassion, self-discipline, citizenship, perseverance and fairness are promoted through purposeful leadership and teaching.

The school’s achievement information shows that children are achieving well. Between 2015 and 2016 the school has successfully lifted overall student achievement in National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school is accelerating the progress of most children who are at risk of not achieving. While there is some achievement disparity for boys in literacy, this disparity has been progressively reduced over the last year.

The school promotes very good achievement for Māori children. Māori children are actively engaged in their learning. They respond well to the variety of opportunities available to support their learning progress and to help them to achieve well as Māori. There are also very good achievement outcomes for Pacific children.

Children who require learning support, and who speak languages in addition to English, receive very good learning opportunities that enable them to make good progress.

The school has robust internal processes for moderating assessment information that is used as a basis for teachers making overall judgements against the National Standards. Senior leaders agree that this could be further strengthened, and have already developed a plan to refine aspects of tracking and data analysis for individuals and groups of children.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school’s systems and processes are effective in helping to achieve equity and excellence for all learners. Since 2014 the board, senior leaders, teachers, parents and whānau have transformed systems and processes to align with the school’s ‘learner-focused’ culture. Most notably, developments in leadership, bicultural practice and the school’s responsive curriculum are key contributors to supporting equity and excellence.

Leadership is focused on building collective capability for both teachers and students. High levels of relational trust and collaboration are evident at every level of the school community. Senior leaders have introduced a number of new initiatives that have strengthened teaching and management processes. The implementation of these initiatives has been supported by ongoing professional development with guidance from an external facilitator.

Māori concepts of manaakitanga, ako, whānaungatanga and mahi tahi are enabling factors for equity and excellence in the school. They are helping to empower Māori students to realise their potential. Reciprocal learning-centred relationships are evident between the school and parents/whānau. Board, senior leaders and teachers actively seek to collaborate with the school’s diverse community to enhance learning outcomes for children. Senior leaders and teachers are ready to strengthen this relationship by including parents/whānau as active participants in curriculum design.

The school’s curriculum is responsive, integrated and holistic. Children benefit from the many opportunities to collaborate in a caring and inclusive learning community. Children’s ‘voice’ is valued and their thinking and interests are clearly visible in many classes. A culture of high expectations and success for all promotes children’s sense of leading their own learning. Teachers have introduced inquiry and active learning to support children’s understanding of how to learn and how to be successful learners.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Good quality processes allow the school to achieve equity and excellence. To further support sustainable development consideration could be given to: 

  • ways to assess and evaluate the broader valued outcomes of the curriculum as the school priorities continue to evolve
  • inviting whānau Māori to help give meaning to the school’s Māori concepts as valued learner outcomes
  • continuing to develop curriculum approaches and opportunities that extend and further support children to have agency in their learning and school decision-making. 

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

  • 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 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused and embedded processes and practices. The school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • consider how to assess and evaluate the school’s broader valued outcomes for learners

  • inviting whānau Maori to participate in formulating the significance of manaakitanga, ako, whānaungatanga and mahi tahi as valued learner outcomes

  • continuing to strengthen children’s contribution to school decision-making.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

3 May 2017

About the school 

Location

Sunnynook, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1518

School type

Contributing

School roll

477

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

South East Asian

Samoan

Indian

Middle Eastern

Niue

other Asian

other European

other Pacific

other

13%

32%

17%

6%

3%

2%

2%

2%

9%

4%

4%

6%

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

3 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2013

November 2009

September 2006

1 Context

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

Sunnynook School is a well-resourced, multicultural Year 1 to 6 school situated on Auckland’s North Shore. The school has a history of positive ERO reports. These reports consistently note the school’s effective leadership, positive, respectful relationships, the settled, stimulating class environments and the good systems for knowing about and reporting student achievement information. The school continues to provide high quality education for students.

Since the 2009 ERO review, a new senior leadership team has been established and staff leadership opportunities have increased. Teachers have engaged in professional learning and development, embracing the strengths of colleagues and external expertise. School leaders have continued to reflect on ways to further refine school practices to improve outcomes for all students.

The principal has led the school for a number of years and is well regarded by the community and staff. Together with the new senior leadership team, the principal is leading and managing school improvements in a strategic manner.

2 Learning

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

The school has a clear emphasis on collecting and analysing student achievement data and using it effectively to make positive changes to students’ engagement, progress and achievement.

The senior leadership team analyse achievement data very thoroughly across different year groups, ethnicities and curriculum areas. They identify the number of students achieving at nationally expected levels as well as the number of students making progress and accelerated progress. This information shows that most students across the school achieve at or above the National Standards.

Good processes are in place to assist teachers to collate the useful and reliable student achievement data. Achievement information is used by teachers to plan for groups of students, to identify target students and to share students learning with parents. Detailed school data, collected over time, allows for continuity of support for students and enables teachers to better know and provide for the individual needs of their students.

A number of programmes are in place to provide extra support for students who are not making expected progress. Very good provision is made to assist the many students who have English as their second language and to monitor their progress. Senior leaders and teachers are engaging in ongoing discussions about ways to increase the use of achievement information to improve teaching and learning.

Students who have high learning needs are very well supported to achieve to the best of their abilities. These students are settled, well engaged in their learning and integrated into all class programmes.

The implementation of the recent ‘Stepping Stones’ initiative should further support teachers to strengthen students understanding and ownership of learning. As a result, students should be more consistently able to use achievement information to identify their strengths, monitor their progress and set their own next learning goals.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s rich curriculum supports and promotes student learning effectively. School leaders maintain a strong focus on literacy and mathematics while continuing to review and refine the school’s curriculum over time. They have sought input from the community and staff and used current research to inform curriculum review and development.

Classrooms are calm, attractive learning environments that showcase students’ writing and artwork. They provide learning prompts and some show curriculum expectations to support teaching and students’ independent learning. Very good relationships are evident between students and between students and teachers.

Teaching teams have well developed curriculum plans that outline how they will give effect to The New Zealand Curriculum. Team leaders are well supported by the senior leadership team to mentor and encourage teachers to continue to grow their professional practice and to increase the consistency of good teaching practices. The school’s ‘visible learner process’ has resulted in classroom coaching walk-through’s and contributes to the robust appraisal system. These processes are encouraging teachers to use students’ achievement information to reflect on their teaching and learning programmes. Teachers could now consider further ways to more regularly reflect on the impact of their teaching on outcomes for students.

School leaders and teachers model themselves as learners for students. They are open to new ideas and engage in regular professional discussions within teams, across teams and with schools in the local cluster. As part of the school’s focus on personalising learning for students, teachers could focus on encouraging students to contribute more to the direction of curriculum topics.

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

Māori students achieve very well with most achieving at or above National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics.

Māori students are well integrated into the life of the school. Positive relationships are evident between students and teachers. Māori students and their families demonstrate a strong sense of belonging to the school. Students are proud to be Māori and believe that teachers have high expectations that they will achieve and make good progress.

The board has appointed a te reo tutor to work regularly in classrooms across the school. The school’s expectations for developing teacher and student understanding and use of te reo and tikanga Māori are documented.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

ERO is confident that the school is well placed to sustain high quality education and to continue to make ongoing improvements.

There is a strong focus on ongoing school improvement. The management structure of the school has changed as a result of self-review and a strategy for growing leadership across the school. The introduction of two deputy principals, one for curriculum and assessment, and one for pastoral care, emphasises the importance the school places on these roles.

The leadership team and trustees use student achievement information as a focus to develop their school charter and annual plan, and to make decisions about school operations. Analysed achievement data has been used to set relevant school targets, and inform resourcing and school programmes that continue to promote students’ increased engagement, progress and achievement.

There are both long-standing and new members on the board of trustees. Trustees are committed to the school and are kept well informed about student achievement and school activities. Board members have attended professional training to increase their understanding of governance. While there are good self-review processes in place, trustees agree they could also review the effectiveness of the board’s performance and operations.

Effective professional learning and development is focused on increasing student engagement and learning, and is linked to teacher appraisal. It is carefully selected, well implemented and systematically embedded into teacher practice.

A culture of respect and inclusion has been strategically developed and is now well embedded in the school. Decision making is collaborative, transparent and evidence based. As a result:

  • parents feel welcome, they share opinions and are involved in school activities
  • staff engage in learning conversations with each other, and there is a sense of openness and sharing
  • children with special needs are valued and well supported to access the curriculum.

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. At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is 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

21 January 2013

About the School

Location

Sunnynook, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1518

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

458

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

other Asian

Pacific

South East Asian

other European

other

Indian

42%

11%

11%

9%

8%

6%

5%

5%

3%

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

21 January 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2009

September 2006

October 2002