Yendarra School

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School Context

Yendarra School provides teaching and learning programmes for students from Years 1-6. The school is located in a residential area close to the Otara town centre. Its roll of approximately 300 students consists mainly of students from Māori and Pacific cultural backgrounds. Students from Samoan heritage are the largest group and make up approximately one third of the total student population. Tongan, Māori and Cook Island Māori are the next largest groups. There are small numbers of students with Niuean and South East Asian heritages.

The Yendarra School vision is “Kia pai taea tātou, Be the BEST we can”. School values include whanaungatanga - kinship of belonging; aroha - love and respect; manaakitanga - caring for all; piripono - respecting the mana of tamariki and whānau; and koha - the gifting of strengths and talents. The school’s charter prioritises excellent and equitable outcomes for Māori, Pacific and all students. Goals and targets focus on lifting achievement in literacy and numeracy and increasing student attendance. Delivery of a holistic curriculum that enhances student identity, language, culture and wellbeing is a key aim.

Yendarra School leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the curriculum levels of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
  • student outcomes related to hauora, wellbeing
  • student curriculum experiences
  • attendance information.

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?

Yendarra School leaders and teachers are effectively pursuing equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners.

Leaders and teachers demonstrate a sense of urgency to improve achievement and maximise student engagement and learning. Information over the past four years indicates significant increases in achievement in the core curriculum areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Recent assessment data in reading, writing and mathematics shows that almost 80 percent of students are achieving at curriculum level. Some students make accelerated progress.

Leaders and teachers use achievement data to identify trends and patterns over time. They separate data to show achievement for different groups of students. This has helped leaders to identify that there are some achievement disparities. Specific and clear next steps have been identified to address these.

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

Leaders and teachers are accelerating learning for Māori students effectively. There have been increases in the achievement of Māori students over the last three years. Recent data shows that around 80 percent of Māori students are achieving at their expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Students with Pacific heritage achieve at similar levels to Māori learners.

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?

School leaders work together in a coherent and co-ordinated way to establish school conditions that support students to achieve valued outcomes.

Leadership is contributing strongly to creating the conditions for lifting student achievement. Leaders collaboratively develop and pursue the school’s vision, goals and targets for accelerating students’ progress and promoting their wellbeing. Leadership ensures effective planning, management and delivery of a localised and culturally responsive curriculum. Curriculum evaluation is systematically carried out to ensure learners are continuously engaged in relevant and meaningful learning contexts.

Leaders build relational trust and effective collaboration at all levels of the school community including with whānau, teachers and trustees. They focus on continuously building teachers’ capabilities to adapt and respond to learners’ needs.

Students learn, achieve and progress in the breadth and depth of the NZC. Curriculum programmes build on students’ prior knowledge and develop their interests, creativity, knowledge, understandings and skills. The curriculum appropriately prioritises literacy and numeracy learning. Students experience authentic learning contexts and a wide range of specialist programmes. The school’s curriculum is responsive to parent and whānau aspirations. It emphasises wellbeing, sustainable practices that promote healthy choices, and consistency between school and home practices.

Students engage in learning in a school culture that is conducive to their learning and wellbeing. They have equitable opportunities to learn and benefit from tuakana/teina relationships. Teachers use effective and culturally responsive practices to support students’ learning.

Leaders and staff value evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building. They engage in collaborative inquiry which results in increasingly responsive teaching practices. Teachers are open to feedback from their peers, mentors, leaders and from students. Leaders and teachers also use the wider education community and professional education consultants to provide external perspectives to further develop their teaching capability. Organisational conditions promote evaluative thinking and processes, to inform strategies for further improvement and innovation.

The board actively represents and serves the school community in its stewardship role. Trustees access quality information to set the school’s strategic direction. They seek perspectives from students, parents and whānau, leaders and teachers. The board has a strong focus on student achievement, learning and wellbeing. The board uses achievement information to help gauge how effective the school is in achieving valued outcomes for students. The board resources strategically to provide attractive facilities and appropriate equipment to support student learning.

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

Continuing to strengthen teaching to promote students’ agency in leading their own learning is a priority for the school.

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 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that focuses on equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners
  • stewardship that is focused on student learning, achievement and wellbeing
  • a rich localised curriculum that enhances student identity, language and culture, promotes creativity and engages students in authentic learning contexts
  • teaching practices that are culturally responsive and promote improvement
  • educationally powerful connections with parents and whānau who are seen as ‘rangatira’ of their children’s learning.

Next steps

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

  • continue to develop student agency so learners confidently lead their own learning.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

15 May 2019

About the school

Location

Otara, South Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1580

School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll

296

Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 26%
Samoan 34%
Tongan 25%
Cook Island Māori 11%
other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

15 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review May 2011
Education Review October 2007

1 Context

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

Yendarra School, located in Otara, South Auckland provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. Most students have Pacific heritage. The school has responded well to the 2011 ERO report which recommended lifting the achievement of Māori students and developing strategies to facilitate more student-led learning.

The school vision to “be the best we can” is a touchstone for the board of trustees, staff, students and whānau. This vision underpins a holistic approach to student learning and pastoral care that values and respects the dignity of children and whānau.

Students benefit from the school’s proactive and supportive local community. A significant strength of the school is the use of student and whānau voice as part of decision making.

In a recent report by the Children’s Commissioner, on best practice for community involvement in healthy eating, the school’s approach to effecting positive change was recognised. This affirming case study and the work associated with it has contributed to a strong sense of belonging for students, whānau and staff.

The school provides a welcoming and inclusive environment where school values and principles are reflected in respectful relationships between adults, students and whānau. Diversity is celebrated and students display confidence in their individual identity.

It is noteworthy that the school has significantly improved student attendance over the past three years. Students, together with teachers and whānau, actively monitor and manage their own attendance at the school.

2 Learning

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

Senior leaders and teachers make very good use of achievement information to make positive changes to student learning.

Well-analysed achievement data are used to improve teaching and learning, to meet individual student learning needs and to set school priorities. Senior leaders and teachers closely monitor and work to accelerate progress for targeted classes and groups of students. Students have made good progress in reading and writing across the school. There is presently a focus on raising achievement in mathematics. Senior leaders and teachers have also identified the need to continue to strengthen Māori student achievement.

The school’s culture of reflection and continual improvement underpins teaching and learning practices. A recent initiative to structure teaching teams into whānau groupings is building teachers’ collective sense of responsibility for raising the achievement of all students. Professional development continues to raise teacher performance and student achievement. For example, teachers are currently exploring a range of assessment tools to help them better moderate student achievement against the National Standards.

Students are confident, engaged in their learning and display a sense of pride in their identity. They show pride in their heritage through pōwhiri, daily karakia and Fiafia day. Students have opportunities for leadership roles and to work with other children in their own and other classes. They are beginning to clearly articulate their learning goals, take steps to achieve them and are ready to take greater ownership of their learning.

High quality learning environments promote and support student learning. They reflect the cultural diversity of the community and contribute to students’ sense of wellbeing.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum very effectively promotes and supports student learning. It reflects the school’s vision to ‘be the best we can’. The Ministry of Education’s Strategies - Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success and the Pacific Education Plan are integrated throughout the curriculum. The school values and principles promote student wellbeing and contribute to positive learning outcomes.

Students are well supported in their learning. Teachers plan for specific target groups and individuals, provide enrichment classes and review the impact of their teaching regularly. They promote students’ critical thinking, encourage students to question, predict, solve problems and work independently. Students value these programmes that support their interests and capabilities.

Students make a significant contribution to the curriculum. Very good relationships exist between school, the various Pacific communities and the Māori community. Te reo and tikanga Māori are embedded within the curriculum and classroom practices.

The introduction of a transition to school programme and classroom for new entrants helps prepare students for learning. The school has established links with local early childhood services to support children’s transition to school. Teachers have identified the need to increase their understanding of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, in order to meet the needs of the students in the new entrant class.

Senior leaders have high expectations of teachers and students. They encourage teachers to continually reflect on their practice and collaborate to create high quality teaching programmes. This is helping to ensure the school’s curriculum is effective for all learners.

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

Senior leaders and teachers are committed to supporting and enhancing Māori students’ success as Māori. The school has 48 students who identify as Māori. The school principles of aroha, manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, piripono and manawanui are evident and contribute to Māori student success. Māori students have positive attitudes to school and learning.

The school’s wharenui is respected for its history and its significance in upholding the school’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi partnership. Students benefit from opportunities to experience marae visits and te reo and tikanga Māori.

Senior leaders and trustees acknowledge the Tangata Te Whenua of Taiuni and Māori whānau and students of other hapū and iwi. They have established respectful relationships with the Māori community. Māori whānau are consulted and their input is valued and reflected in school decision- making.

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

Students of Pacific heritage make up eighty-two percent of the school roll. Students identify their links to Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau. They have positive attitudes to school and learning. Pacific students benefit from the respectful relationships that underpin the school culture, and enjoy the opportunities they have to succeed as Pacific. There is clear alignment to the Ministry of Education’s Pacific Education Plan.

Community engagement is a feature of the school. Aiga are made welcome, are regularly consulted and are involved in their children’s learning. Significant and positive shifts have occurred in Pacific students reading and writing achievement as a result of improved attendance at school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Yendarra School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The board provides effective governance. Trustees have a good knowledge of school policies and procedures. There is a culture of continual improvement and a commitment to achieving their high expectations. A good working relationship exists between the board and management of the school. Trustees and managers have made a clear alignment between the strategic plan and programme implementation. The board consults widely and is responsive to student, whānau and staff perspectives. Trustees make good use of achievement and self-review information when making resourcing and other decisions.

The principal promotes a culture of shared and reflective leadership across the school. A cohesive leadership team encourages a collaborative approach to improving teaching and learning. Coaching partnerships between teachers encourage and support mutual professional learning.

The principal has established sound processes for implementing and documenting self review. Senior leaders demonstrate a commitment to continuing to strengthen the partnerships between school and parents/whānau.

ERO, the board and senior leaders agree that further progress can be made by:

  • personalising learning for students through giving them increasing opportunities to lead their own learning
  • developing initiatives for student and whānau wellbeing that positively influence the local community.

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

12 June 2014

About the School

Location

Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1580

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

273

Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

Niue

other

18%

37%

21%

20%

3%

1%

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

12 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2011

October 2007

May 2005