Torbay School

Education institution number:
School type:
School gender:
Not Applicable
Total roll:

Deep Creek Road, Torbay, Auckland

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Torbay School - 15/07/2019

School Context

Torbay School on Auckland’s North Shore caters for children in Years 1 to 6. The school values its connections with the outdoor environment and waterways of the Waitemata Harbour. The school has strong intergenerational connections and significant links with the community. The school community has recently become more culturally diverse, with many children and families who now speak more than one language.

The school motto, ‘Endeavour with Honour’, underpins the school vision of ‘Flying High – Learning for Success’. Key strategic goals include: learners achieving to their full potential, safe and supportive environments, and effective community relationships.

Torbay School’s ‘Care Values’ focus on social dispositions and key competencies for children’s wellbeing. These include commitment, aroha, respect, responsibility and excellence.

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 in relation to school targets

  • additional learning support

  • attendance information

  • participation in outdoor education programmes.

Since the 2014 ERO evaluation the school has appointed a new principal, introduced a new leadership structure and begun a comprehensive review of curriculum.

Torbay School is a member of the Oneroa Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

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 children. The school’s achievement information over the last four years shows most children are achieving expected national curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori and Pacific learners are achieving at similar good levels to overall school achievement.

Leaders and teachers identify achievement disparity for specific groups of children, who achieved less well in 2018. A variety of initiatives have been implemented to specifically lift the achievement of these groups. These initiatives are well monitored to track ongoing progress.

Children achieve very well in relation to other valued outcomes. The school has developed a framework of learning and social dispositions, key competencies and school values to grow children as lifelong learners. Children know these as ‘Learner Powers’. As learners, children aspire to be resilient, reflective, innovative, curious and collaborative.

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

The school responds very well to all children whose learning needs accelerating. The school’s 2018 achievement data show that some targeted individual children and groups make accelerated progress.

The school has very good systems for identifying children who need additional support. Children who are at risk of not achieving in literacy and mathematics are identified early and effective strategies are implemented to support their learning. Good schoolwide processes are in place to monitor children’s progress. Learning support strategies are specific and targeted, and include class-based and additional learning support programmes.

Leaders and teachers place a high priority on responding to the learning needs of all children who need to make accelerated progress. They work alongside children in inclusive classroom environments. Teacher aides are well used to support children with additional learning needs. Children and whānau contribute to developing strategies for their next steps in learning.

Children are well supported to experience success across all areas of the curriculum.

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 board represents and serves the school and its community well. Trustees are very supportive of the new principal in his leadership of the school vision, values and strategic direction. The board has a focus on staff wellbeing, and resources a range of professional development opportunities for staff to build their professional capacity.

The principal is very effectively leading a process of change across the school. A restructured leadership team has been introduced to support ongoing school improvement and innovation. Emerging leaders are being identified, and empowered in their professional leadership. This distributed leadership model is building leadership capacity and capability across the school.

Leaders and teachers have high expectations for teaching and learning. They provide an orderly and supportive learning environment that is conducive to children’s learning and wellbeing. The ‘Learner Powers’ and ‘Care Values’ are highly evident in the curriculum and visible throughout the school environment.

The school’s ‘Te ao Māori’ plan is being coordinated by a new leader. Its aim is to consolidate teachers’ and children’s knowledge of te reo, tikanga and te ao Māori.

A play-based learning curriculum, Wā Kitea, works very well to support children’s transition into school from early learning services and to scaffold their early school learning.

The school’s curriculum enables the development of:

  • programmes that build children’s oral language, vocabulary, reading, mathematics, and science problem-solving skills

  • inclusive and differentiated learning programmes that cater for children’s needs, strengths, and abilities

  • opportunities for physical education and education outside the classroom.

Children learn in creative, focused learning environments. Classrooms are inclusive, and students with additional needs or abilities participate in learning that provides appropriate support or challenge. Digital tools are highly evident and well used. Students use digital tools to regularly share their learning and create learning partnerships with their whānau/parents.

Senior leaders are currently undertaking a schoolwide review of the school’s curriculum and assessment. They plan to promote greater coherence in curriculum design and delivery within year levels and across the school.

Self review is widely used to support decision making. Leaders have appropriately identified that self review could now be strengthened by using an evaluative model of internal evaluation to guide improvement and innovation.

Parents, whānau and the community engage in joint activities and interventions to improve outcomes for children, and to ensure positive transitions from early childhood and through the school system. The kāhui ako is building connections and support for learners, teachers and leaders. This strengthens learning pathways for students and whānau within the local area.

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

School leaders’ have planned development priorities that include:

  • deepening leaders’ and teachers’ understanding of te ao Māori to positively impact the wellbeing and learning outcomes for Māori learners
  • ensuring meaningful connection and consultation with Māori whānau is established and embedded as part of the school’s culture
  • increasing the alignment of key aspects of the curriculum, such as assessment, planning and evaluation
  • developing the school’s leadership structure to support teaching and learning across the school.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to theEducation (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016(the Code)established undersection 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 were seven international students attending the school.

The school has well-established procedures for promoting educational progress of its international students. Students benefit from the school’s pastoral care systems and its inclusive, positive environment. English language programmes support the students to participate successfully across the curriculum, and help them to integrate positively into all aspects of school life.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the new principal‘s leadership that builds, supports and models high expectations, and promotes a collaborative culture of ongoing improvement and learning
  • caring and inclusive learning environments that are responsive to children’s wellbeing and learning needs.

Next steps

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

  • deepen leaders’ and teachers’ understanding of te ao Māori to positively impact wellbeing and learning outcomes for Māori learners, through connection and consultation with Māori whānau
  • develop a child-centred integrated curriculum that promotes alignment across the school
  • strengthen internal evaluation to ensure rigour and depth in all aspects of the school (board, leadership, staff) to support ongoing improvement and innovation.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

15 July 2019

About the school


Torbay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing Years 1-6

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 3%
NZ European/Pākehā 82%
Asian 11%
other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

15 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2014
Education Review August 2009
Education Review April 2003

Torbay School - 30/05/2014

1 Context

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

Torbay School, on the North Shore of Auckland city caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The board and school leaders show commitment to high quality practices, ongoing improvement and innovation. Leaders and teachers have responded positively to the recommendations, and have extended the good practices, noted in the 2009 ERO report.

The principal and senior leaders have formed a stable and experienced leadership team. They promote current educational research and best practice. The school has many experienced and long standing staff members. Leaders and teachers have created a collaborative and critically reflective teaching and learning culture. Change is well managed and responsive to learners. Decision-making that is student-centred is evident at all levels of the school.

Teachers foster students’ sense of belonging and their engagement in learning through positive relationships and a focus on student well being. There is an holistic approach to learning that promotes students’ participation in a rich variety of learning opportunities. Leaders and teachers have high expectations for students’ learning and achievement.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information very well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Students are highly engaged in their learning. They are active participants in decision-making about learning programmes. Students set and monitor their own learning goals. Teachers encourage all students to see themselves as confident and capable learners. Students benefit from focused learning environments, effective teaching strategies and opportunities to follow their interests. Teachers actively promote and support students’ wellbeing and this is impacting positively on student engagement and learning.

Senior leaders use the school’s achievement information and Public Achievement Information (PAI) very well to make strategic decisions. This includes using it to set school goals and make decisions about teachers’ professional learning. Leaders also use achievement information to:

  • identify and monitor the progress and achievement of priority groups of learners
  • accelerate the progress of students’ not achieving at the National Standards
  • support all children to reach their potential.

Teachers have worked together within the school and with local school clusters to develop processes to moderate assessment data. This has helped enhance the reliability of the school’s achievement information.

Teachers use student achievement information to plan programmes and teaching strategies that are responsive to students’ learning needs and interests. Programmes designed for students requiring additional learning support are well monitored and evaluated. Targeted programmes to raise the achievement of Māori students have proved successful. Leaders and teachers effectively track student progress and achievement. They reflect deeply on their teaching practice in order to make changes that will improve learning.

The school’s student achievement data indicates that students achieve very well in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the National Standards. The school continues to set appropriate goals to further raise student achievement. Currently, there is an emphasis on professional development in mathematics to further enhance achievement in this learning area.

An important strength of the school is the way that teachers are forging learning-focused partnerships. This is evident in their use of a range of strategies to report progress and achievement to parents. It includes giving students a significant role in sharing information about their learning and achievement. Parents are well informed about their children’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. There are effective transition processes for students entering the school and going on to intermediate schools. This fosters uninterrupted student learning and helps build productive learning partnerships. Senior leaders continue to explore different ways to report National Standards information and to extend studentled ‘learning conversations’ with the aim of further enhancing learning partnerships with parents.

3 Curriculum

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

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

Students’ interests and capabilities are well supported through a student-focused curriculum that encourages them to reach their individual potential. They have varied opportunities to participate and experience success in different learning activities, and to develop social and leadership skills.

Leaders ensure that curriculum design is informed by current educational research and best practice, and clear links to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). The school’s values and the NZC key competencies underpin learning programmes and interactions, support student wellbeing, and form a foundation for successful learning.

Teachers provide good quality teaching in literacy and mathematics. Teachers make overall teacher judgements about students’ achievement in literacy and numeracy from a range of contexts across the curriculum. The school’s integrated inquiry approach provides meaningful learning in contexts that reflect the local environment and community, as well as global themes.

E-learning is a key feature of the school’s approach to teaching and learning. Development in this area has been well planned and managed over a number of years, with good resourcing and strategic direction from the board. Students use information and communication technologies (ICT) well and are developing as capable and responsible digital learners. The current initiative to use mobile learning devices to improve learning is opening up further possibilities to enhance the school’s strong focus on a 21st century curriculum.

The school has a culture of professional inquiry into practice. Leaders provide very good support, guidance and systems to promote teacher dialogue and reflection. This is fostering shared understandings and consistency in practice. Curriculum documentation provides clear direction for teachers. Well considered professional learning and development, induction programmes and robust performance management processes enhance teaching practice.

Curriculum design is responsive to the needs of students. It includes plans for promoting success for Māori and Pacific students. Assessment information, student views and parent input are used for ongoing curriculum review and development. Strong relationships and connections with the community support students with their learning.

School leaders see their next step as continuing to extend e-learning in order to maximise the opportunities that it provides. This form of networking will further promote strong collaborative learning partnerships that are focused on learning.

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

The school effectively promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori.

Māori students are well engaged in learning and school activities. Effective teaching strategies and intervention programmes support their progress, achievement and wellbeing. The school’s kapa haka group, powhiri and mārae visits provide leadership opportunities for Māori students and encourage all students to understand and value New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

School leaders and staff value relationships with parents and whānau of Māori students. The board’s Māori representative provides a Māori perspective on governance. Trustees and leaders listen and respond to parents’ views. Senior leaders and trustees are exploring ways to further promote reciprocal relationships with parents and whānau of Māori students.

Teachers use Ministry of Education (MoE) resources and collaborative approaches to support their inclusion of bicultural perspectives in teaching and learning programmes. School leaders and trustees are considering how they can build on this good foundation of culturally responsive practices to further promote the language, culture and identity of Māori students. They have identified goals which include continuing to:

  • increase the Māori perspective in classroom programmes
  • develop teacher and learner knowledge of te reo mē ōna tikanga Māori, including the implementation of a progressive programme of te reo Māori across year levels.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal provides highly effective professional leadership. She works collaboratively with the capable senior leadership team. Together they have built leadership capacity throughout the school. Team leaders provide effective leadership and staff expertise is well used and valued. Senior leaders promote a culture of improvement and innovation, and manage change effectively.

Leaders implement clear, coherent systems and documentation that supports consistency in school operations and implementation of the teaching philosophy. Professional development and performance management processes are tailored to meet identified staff needs and clearly aligned with the school strategic goals.

Trustees bring a variety of expertise to their role. They have a good understanding of the board’s governance role and there are planned induction and succession strategies. Effective reporting practices ensure the board is well informed. The school's long-term strategic planning, annual plans and more specific action/development plans are clearly aligned. Trustees access external training and support, and review and improve their own performance. The board plan to continue to make use of MoE and other resources available to support this reflective practice and their governance capability.

The school continues to use high quality self review to support continual improvement. Trustees and school leaders value and are responsive to external review. Senior leaders actively seek opportunities to be involved in the wider education community. They are committed to challenging and developing their leadership thinking and practice.

School leaders and trustees have a strong focus on promoting meaningful partnerships with different groups within the school community. They use information from parents, whānau, staff and students very effectively to inform strategic decisions. Trustees continue to consider ways in which they can further improve communication and enhance their high quality self review. ERO affirms the board's commitment to the ongoing review and refinement of policies and procedures.

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 were two international students 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 ensuring compliance with the Code is thorough.

Torbay School provides its international students with a good educational programme that builds on the students’ language, culture and identity. Students are well integrated into the life of the school, with many opportunities to participate in school activities and to take on leadership roles. Information and relevant guiding documents relating to international students are well organised and up to date.

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

30 May 2014

About the School


Torbay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākeha



South African










Special Features

Host school for Northern Bays Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB)

Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

30 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2009

July 2006

April 2003