Woodlands Park 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.

Findings

Woodlands Park School has continued to use self review to ensure that the school promotes student learning and well-being. The school is capably led and governed. The school works in partnership with parents and whānau to provide students with a broad and relevant curriculum that promotes learning in all aspects of the New Zealand Curriculum.

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

1. Context

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

Woodlands Park School is located in the Waitakere Ranges in Auckland, approximately three kilometres south west of Titirangi Village. New classrooms are being built to cater for the increase in the number of students now attending the school. The board and staff are determined to maintain the culture of a small rural school as the school roll grows.

The school values which include excellence, respect, responsibility and honesty are reflected in the relationships within the school community. School leaders promote partnership with children’s families. The school is very inclusive of students with special needs and recognises the strengths they bring.

Woodlands Park School promotes ecological sustainability and has achieved Green Gold status as part of the Enviro-School programme.

The many strengths of the school identified in the 2011 ERO report continue to support positive educational outcomes for students. Priorities agreed in the previous ERO report have been strategically developed.

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 effectively to support learning. School leaders have a broad definition of achievement that includes all aspects of learning. Staff are developing ways of knowing how well students are learning across the curriculum including the key competencies identified in the New Zealand Curriculum.

Senior leaders have developed effective systems for analysing literacy and numeracy achievement information. Teachers use this information to plan learning programmes that reflect the knowledge and skills of individuals and groups of students. They identify students needing additional support and monitor their progress closely.

Teachers assess what students learn through the school’s inquiry learning approach. They are currently exploring how to engage children in making more explicit links between science and their everyday lives. Teachers are developing a greater understanding of the levels at which students engage in their learning. This information will enable the school to know about trends and patterns of student engagement.

Students are achieving very well in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The achievement of Māori students is similar to that of other students in reading. Teachers encourage students to assess their own work and to get feedback from other students.

The school has high expectations of all students to achieve well. Achievement targets are set to improve learning across the school as well as for groups and individuals. Recent targets have not only set an expectation that more students will achieve at the National Standards but that more students will achieve above the National Standards. Trustees receive regular reports on student achievement and use this information to ensure that resources are used appropriately.

School leaders are currently reviewing how student achievement and progress is reported to parents. Reporting could include sharing information with parents about the level at which students engage in their learning.

School leaders could now strengthen the planning and reporting on groups of students that have been identified as at risk or needing additional support or a different teaching approach, to assure trustees that they are receiving appropriate support.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is broad and very effectively promotes and supports student learning. Students are able to participate in many learning opportunities in all areas of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Students and their families are consulted about the curriculum so that areas of study are relevant to the interests and cultural identities of the students. Specific strengths, interests and needs of students are considered when their learning programmes are developed.

The physical and cultural contexts of the school are important factors that influence the design of the curriculum. Sometimes parents’ knowledge and skills contribute to the curriculum. The environmental sustainability focus of the curriculum is well understood by students.

Since ERO’s 2011 review much has been done to strengthen bicultural aspects of the curriculum. All students and teachers take part in te reo Māori lessons each week, with the expectation that teachers will reinforce the learning. Students learn tikanga Māori and kapa haka in order to help students build their understanding of bicultural New Zealand.

Positive and supportive relationships among teachers and students are based on mutual respect, and on teachers knowing students and their families well. Learning environments are well resourced and well organised. Teachers make good use of wall displays to support and celebrate student learning.

Teachers use a wide range of effective teaching strategies including practices that encourage students to learn with and from each other. They encourage students to take responsibility for their learning by supporting them to set goals and compare their work to specific and relevant criteria.

Teachers cater well for individual students. They ensure that relevant programmes are planned for those at risk of not achieving, those that have special needs, and those identified as gifted and talented. Teachers group students in response to their specific next learning steps.

Many aspects of the programme effectively support Māori students to succeed as Māori and prepare all students to live in bicultural New Zealand. Inquiry topics and the environmental sustainability programme are linked to te ao Māori.

Prior to the ERO review school leaders had identified the following aspects of the curriculum for further development. Progress is being made to:

  • create modern learning environments and develop relevant ways of teaching and learning
  • integrate information and communication technologies into teaching and learning
  • review science teaching
  • work in partnership with Pacific families.
How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

In addition to the aspects of the programme mentioned in the previous section to support Māori students to succeed, a group called Te Whānau Tiaki has been established to support Māori students to learn more about Māori language, identity and culture.

School leaders plan to continue to strengthen the inclusion of aspects of te ao Māori in the school curriculum and to build the school’s partnership with whānau. They are making good use of the Ministry of Education publication, Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, to build teacher capacity to teach Māori students.

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 because constant self review ensures that school operations are supporting student learning. Student achievement information is used by all school personnel to monitor the effectiveness of the curriculum and its delivery.

School leaders plan strategically for improvement. The principal keeps the board well informed about progress towards school goals and targets. Trustees govern the school well and are clear about their roles and responsibilities. They are focused on student learning and take a keen interest in student achievement trends and patterns.

The school and the community have a positive relationship. Parents are kept well informed about what is happening at school and are regularly consulted to ensure they have a voice in the direction of the school.

Teachers are well supported to stay current with developments in education and to improve their teaching practice. Performance management systems encourage teachers to be reflective. Appraisal is linked to student achievement.

Professional development is linked to the school’s plans and goals and is often aimed towards meeting achievement targets. Skilled teacher aides sometimes take part in professional development that helps them to work successfully with the students they support.

ERO and school leaders agreed that it would useful to develop a self-review framework and document the processes used when conducting self reviews.

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

Woodlands Park School has continued to use self review to ensure that the school promotes student learning and well-being. The school is capably led and governed. The school works in partnership with parents and whānau to provide students with a broad and relevant curriculum that promotes learning in all aspects of the New Zealand Curriculum.

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

Dale Bailey Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

15 May 2015

About the School

Location

Titirangi, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1578

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

385

Gender composition

Girls 51%

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

British/Irish

Pacific

other ethnicities

5%

78%

3%

1%

13%

Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

15 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

January 2011

December 2007

June 2004

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Woodlands Park School is located in the Waitakere ranges of West Auckland. It provides a very good standard of education for students in Years 1 to 6. A culture of high expectations is evident at all levels of the school. Since the 2007 ERO review, the school has experienced significant growth and now has a roll of 316 students. The board of trustees has continued to extend school facilities to manage this growth effectively and to support continuous improvement in the operation of the school.

The community, board of trustees, staff and students can be justifiably proud of their school. A clear vision is well articulated by school leaders, who maintain a focus on school policy and decision making that is responsive to the needs of students. Effective consultation with the community informs the development of a shared and inclusive direction for the school. Strategic planning, informed by critical reflection and high quality self review, sustains ongoing improvements in the engagement, progress and achievement of all students.

Students are highly motivated and are actively engaged in learning. Student achievement information shows very high levels of achievement in reading and increasingly high levels of achievement in mathematics. Māori students achieve well and have opportunities to succeed as Māori. An innovative and responsive school curriculum responds to the interests and needs of students through an inquiry-based, investigative model that reflects the principles, values and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum.

An inclusive, caring culture is central to the operations of the school. Students and teachers learn and relate in respectful, collaborative partnerships. People are valued and teachers are committed to developing a high level of social and environmental awareness in students. Students are encouraged to be thinkers who are confident, competent initiators of learning.

Teaching is highly effective. Teachers are well prepared and have a very good knowledge of their students. They are responsive to their diverse needs and use student achievement information to plan effective programmes to meet specific needs. School systems of ongoing self review support ongoing improvements in the quality of teaching and learning.

Future Action

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

2. Woodlands Park School’s Curriculum

How effectively does the curriculum of Woodlands Park School promote student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?

School context and self review

The school’ s 2007 ERO report acknowledged the high expectations of the board of trustees, principal and staff for the achievement and all-round development of students; the important role of parents in school activities; and the quality of professional learning for teachers. ERO recommended that the board strengthen its review of strategic goals and priorities so that it could more clearly identify areas for subsequent school development. The board and principal have responded well to the findings of the 2007 ERO report.

Rapid roll growth has been managed by the establishment of a school zone so that local children can attend the school. Since 2007, to meet the demands of significant roll growth, the board has provided a hall carpark, two new classrooms, a new library and has made substantial modifications to the school to improve physical access for all learners. The board has planned for and managed change effectively.

Student achievement information is collated using a variety of valid tools. In reading, 92% of students achieve at or above nationally expected levels for their age. Māori and Pacific students achieve at levels that are similar to those of other students in the school. Senior managers continue to set high targets to improve student achievement.

A school-wide professional development focus on formative assessment and writing has improved teacher practice and student learning. A collaborative, data-rich, reflective staff culture has resulted in the use of improved teaching strategies to achieve improved student outcomes in mathematics and writing. Teachers have engaged with families to share information about student progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards.

Areas of strength

School culture and caring learning environments. The school has an inclusive culture of care through its promotion of values and its environmental and community partnerships.

  • Positive, affirming relationships foster student risk taking, trust and respect. Well developed pastoral care systems help students to feel safe and connected to their school.
  • Students value their many opportunities for leadership and for interaction with students in other year levels.
  • The school’s commitment to education for sustainability and to bush regeneration projects has given students high levels of social and environmental awareness.
  • Effective processes to support students when they first enter the school help students and their families feel to welcome in their new environment. Care and consideration is taken with class placements to support students’ learning and well-being.
  • High needs students are well supported to participate in the life of the school alongside their peers.
  • Modern, stimulating classroom environments are well resourced to support learning and celebrate achievement.

High expectations and student achievement. The board, principal and staff believe that each student can achieve.

  • Students are engaged in their learning. They see the purpose of their learning and are involved in monitoring their own progress. Students appreciate opportunities for multiple and varied ways to learn and activities that challenge and extend them.
  • Staff make good use of achievement data to group students and to target their teaching. Data are used to review student progress and to revise teaching and learning programmes.
  • Most students achieve at or above national expectations for their age in reading.
  • In most year levels, the majority of students achieve at or above national expectations for their age in mathematics and writing.
  • Māori students achieve well and have opportunities to succeed as Māori.
  • Student progress is monitored closely and resources are aligned with specific areas of need. Support programmes assist targeted children to develop their self confidence and improve their achievement.
  • Students have a wide variety of opportunities to succeed across the academic, social, cultural and sporting dimensions of the school curriculum.

Curriculum review and design. Since 2007, the school has made very good progress in designing an innovative and inclusive school curriculum.

  • The school curriculum responds effectively to the interests and needs of students through an inquiry-based, investigative model that is based on the principles, values and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum.
  • Staff collaborate effectively to design meaningful opportunities that challenge and extend learners.
  • Student capability, knowledge and expertise are valued through opportunities to initiate inquiry projects within the school and the community using authentic contexts and local expertise.
  • Different approaches to thinking are explored as students share ideas using open-ended questioning. Students evaluate their learning and determine their next steps.
  • Māori contexts are explored within the curriculum in an inclusive, thoughtful way. The important place of Māori in Aotearoa/New Zealand is understood, recognised and integrated into the curriculum.
  • Ako and tuakana-teina practices are reflected in the collaborative learning approaches evident between students and between students and their teachers.
  • Internal and external expertise is used successfully to develop the professional learning of staff and to improve student achievement.
  • Reporting on student progress and achievement across the curriculum is detailed and shows evidence of effective critical reflection.
  • The balanced curriculum is supported by ongoing self review.

Effective school leadership and governance. The board and principal have a strong self-review focus that supports school improvement.

  • The board and senior managers work in consultation with the community to manage change. They are well informed about student engagement, progress and achievement across the curriculum.
  • Strategic goals, annual plans and specific targets are monitored through regular, detailed reports to the board.
  • Strategic resourcing decisions are clearly based on the needs of the students.
  • Capable trustees, some new to their roles, are actively involved in developing their skills in governance. They are well supported by an experienced board chair. There is a clear allocation of roles and responsibilities.
  • The board of trustees and principal have a sound programme of self review.
  • The drive of the senior leadership team is a significant factor in progressing school development to benefit student learning and achievement. The focus on building the leadership capacity of the teaching staff is indicative of the team’s supportive leadership, trust and professionalism.
  • School leaders are active and involved in supporting effective classroom teaching to promote student learning.
  • Specific, measurable targets align with teachers’ performance management goals and are focused on improved outcomes for students.

Community partnerships. Student learning and achievement are supported by people-focused leadership that encourages open relationships between the home and school.

  • Families and whānau are made to feel welcome and are valued as part of the school community. They share their expertise with students and teachers to make meaningful connections with classroom programmes and to support student achievement.
  • Parents report that they are well informed about student learning through regular school events, student portfolios, and reporting processes. They have expressed a desire for further information about the tools used to assess their children’s learning.
  • The board, through the principal, actively seeks, and makes effective use of, input from the community as part of school self review.

3. Agreed Priorities

The board of trustees, principal and ERO have agreed that the following priorities should be included in the next stages of school development:

  • using Ministry of Education resources for reviewing the success of Māori students and further developing the school’s te reo Māori programme.
  • achieving greater consistency in the evaluation of student achievement by using data analysed by gender, ethnicity and cohort to monitor progress over time;
  • embedding the use of successful teaching strategies in writing and mathematics in school-wide practices to raise the achievement levels of identified groups of students whose achievement is not meeting expectations; and
  • special programmes and interventions.reporting to the board on improvements in student outcomes that are the result of

4. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of Woodlands Park School completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO looked at the school’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records. ERO sampled recent use of procedures and checked elements of the following five areas that have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

5. Future Action

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

21 January 2011

About The School

School type

Contributing Primary Years 1-6

School roll

316

Gender composition

Boys 54%,

Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 77%,

Māori 6%,

Pacific 1%,

other 16%

Review team on site

November, 2010

Date of this report

21 January 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, December 2007

Education Review, June 2004

Accountability, October 2000

To the Parents and Community of Woodlands Park School

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Woodlands Park School.

Woodlands Park School is located in the Waitakere ranges of West Auckland. It provides a very good standard of education for students in Years 1 to 6. A culture of high expectations is evident at all levels of the school. Since the 2007 ERO review, the school has experienced significant growth and now has a roll of 316 students. The board of trustees has continued to extend school facilities to manage this growth effectively and to support continuous improvement in the operation of the school.

The community, board of trustees, staff and students can be justifiably proud of their school. A clear vision is well articulated by school leaders, who maintain a focus on school policy and decision making that is responsive to the needs of students. Effective consultation with the community informs the development of a shared and inclusive direction for the school. Strategic planning, informed by critical reflection and high quality self review, sustains ongoing improvements in the engagement, progress and achievement of all students.

Students are highly motivated and are actively engaged in learning. Student achievement information shows very high levels of achievement in reading and increasingly high levels of achievement in mathematics. Māori students achieve well and have opportunities to succeed as Māori. An innovative and responsive school curriculum responds to the interests and needs of students through an inquiry-based, investigative model that reflects the principles, values and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum.

An inclusive, caring culture is central to the operations of the school. Students and teachers learn and relate in respectful, collaborative partnerships. People are valued and teachers are committed to developing a high level of social and environmental awareness in students. Students are encouraged to be thinkers who are confident, competent initiators of learning.

Teaching is highly effective. Teachers are well prepared and have a very good knowledge of their students. They are responsive to their diverse needs and use student achievement information to plan effective programmes to meet specific needs. School systems of ongoing self review support ongoing improvements in the quality of teaching and learning.

Future Action

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

Review Coverage

This report provides an evaluation of how effectively the school’s curriculum promotes student learning - engagement, progress and achievement. ERO’s evaluation takes account of the school’s previous reporting history and is based on:

  • what is known about student achievement information, including the achievement of Māori and Pacific students;
  • decisions made to improve student achievement using assessment and selfreview information; and
  • teaching strategies and programmes implemented to give effect to the school’s curriculum.

ERO also gathers information during the review to contribute to its national reports. The national reports are published on ERO’s website.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region