Avalon School

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

10 Gordon Street, Avalon, Lower Hutt

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Avalon School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within two years of the Education Review Office and Avalon School working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website. www.ero.govt.nz


Avalon School serves a multicultural community in Hutt City. It delivers learning opportunities to children in years 1-6 in the conventional classes and to those children requiring specialist teaching within the special needs unit.

Avalon School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are to:

  • cultivate an environment where students flourish and are encouraged to explore their potential
  • create an environment where all whānau understand the importance of education and support their child’s progress and achievement
  • impact positively on the lives of learners through identifying and growing strategic partnerships
  • embrace Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the heart of our kura.

A copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan can be requested from Avalon School.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively the school's partnership with parents and the local community is enriching the wellbeing and achievement of all students. 

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is: 

  • an understanding of how a strong parent/school partnership can support student learning and wellbeing
  • a desire to build on the improved communication and engagement with families. 

The school expects to see, through increased engagement with whānau, improvement in the wellbeing, engagement and achievement of all students.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to build effective partnerships with parents and the local community to enrich the wellbeing, engagement and achievement of all students.

  • A strong focus on hauora and well considered strategies that build on the strengths and interests of students so that they are active and involved in their learning. 
  • Cultural inclusion and meaningful connections across the diverse range of students’ cultures that informs the local curriculum.
  • Caring staff who provide varied and responsive learning opportunities and experiences that fosters children’s sense of belonging.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise: 

  • strengthening connections with whānau and community to support student learning and engagement
  • gathering knowledge of the local communities and local stories to inform the further development of a local curriculum.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years. 

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

18 March 2024 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Avalon School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of May 2022, the Avalon School Board of Trustees has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Further Information

For further information please contact Avalon School Board of Trustees.

The next Board of Trustees assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

18 March 2024 

About the School 

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school's student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Avalon School - 02/03/2018

School Context

Avalon School in Lower Hutt has a roll of 235 Years 1 to 6 students from many ethnic backgrounds, including 41% Māori and 20% Samoan. The roll grown since the November 2014 ERO review. It includes students with highly complex learning needs and those who have English as their second language.

The school’s vision is for all children to ‘dare to dream’ of the possible opportunities for the future. The school emphasises turangawaewae - being a place where students and families feel they belong, can contribute and have their identity and individuality respected.

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

  • achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to year level curriculum expectations
  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets.

The principal and deputy principal are experienced in their professional leadership roles. There has been significant teacher turnover since the previous ERO review.

Whole school professional learning and development (PLD) is focused on building teacher knowledge and inclusion in the curriculum of te ao Māori that will contribute to greater success for Māori students; and supporting more effective learning links with Māori whānau and other groups in the community.

The school is part of the Naenae Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning. 

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence - valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

Raising achievement across the school remains a priority.

In 2016, the school reported that approximately half of the students achieved at or above the year level curriculum expectation in reading and mathematics. The percentage at this level in writing was lower. The number of students achieving at expectation has decreased since 2014.

Pacific students overall achieve at a higher level than Māori, but the gap between them has reduced in reading and writing. Boys and girls achieve at similar levels overall.

Goals linked to individual circumstances are set for students with additional learning needs. Many achieve the specific aims identified in their learning plans.

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

A range of school practices and processes support many Māori, Pacific and other students to make accelerated progress.

Information collected in 2017 indicates that approximately half of the students in Years 4 to 6, who were below curriculum expectation at the start of the year in reading and mathematics, made accelerated progress by the end of Term 3. One-third were making similar progress in writing. In the junior classes most who were below expectation in literacy made accelerated progress.

For most students the progress they make over a year is not sufficient to reach the expected level for their year group. Analysis completed by school to show progress over an extended period indicates the longer a student attends the school, the more likely they are to be achieving at expected levels.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

A range of school processes and practices contribute to improved outcomes for many students.

Positive, supportive and respectful relationships with students and their families are well established. Parent and whānau feedback identifies areas of strength. They are encouraged to take an active role in their children’s learning and are well informed about their progress. Children’s uniqueness is valued and celebrated. The school has identified the need to build on these relational links, through current PLD, to further develop learning partnerships.

Staff, leaders and trustees respond to the diverse school community by ensuring a culture of inclusion and care to support the wellbeing and learning of all students that is strongly evident throughout the school. 

Teachers are very aware of the needs of students and the next steps to support their progress. They develop action plans for meeting the needs of students in each class. A range of assessment tools are used to identify learning strengths and gaps, inform teaching and consider progress over time. Teachers use a range of strategies and differentiated programmes to respond to the requirements of learners. Teachers ask appropriate questions and provide relevant feedback that extends learning opportunities. In the classes observed by ERO, students were actively engaged in learning tasks for sustained periods.

Comprehensive programmes support students with additional learning needs. Leaders, teachers, education assistants and parents regularly share information about wellbeing and learning needs. Each child’s progress and achievement is tracked. Leaders and teachers have purposeful connections with external agencies to support individuals’ wellbeing and achievement. Students with high and very complex learning needs are well supported. Teachers and assistants demonstrate positive, purposeful relationships with these learners. They know the children well and engage them respectfully. Children regularly interact with other students in classrooms and the playground.

The principal provides to the board a comprehensive range of reports about the achievement of various groups of students. Board annual targets reflect the areas identified as requiring most improvement based on the previous year’s achievement information. The principal informs trustees of the progress of targeted students and factors that may be impacting on the extent of this. Trustees use the information to inform their decision making.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers are reflective and improvement focused. They should continue to strengthen systematic evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching and initiatives to support acceleration and improve student achievement.

To assist the school’s internal evaluation, reporting to the board should be strengthened by including consideration of the impact of actions and initiatives to support students with additional needs. It should also provide more information about the progress of all students below expectation, not just those who have been specifically targeted.

Teachers are developing shared understanding of classroom practices that will increase consistency of teaching to promote improved student outcomes. Well-considered, whole-school PLD about cultural responsiveness has led to a re-defining of expectations for teacher practice. Building consistent student understanding of the purpose of learning is a next step for teachers.

Teacher action plans that guide classroom learning are re-considered termly. Increasing the extent to which this review includes evaluation of the effectiveness of teacher responses to those learners requiring acceleration, should enable the plans to more successfully support progress.

The teacher appraisal process reflects Education Council expectations. To enable it to more effectively support teacher improvement and student outcomes leaders and teachers should: include individual development goals; continue to develop teaching as inquiry; and increase the extent to which teacher reflections on the Practising Teacher Criteria are linked to how well their practices are impacting on student progress.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to consulting with the community about delivery of the health curriculum.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community.
[Section 60B Education Act 1989]

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the depth of knowledge of individual student’s learning strengths and challenges that enables teachers to focus on specific needs likely to contribute to progress
  • establishing belonging through respectful and inclusive relationships for children, their families and whānau that provides a platform for learning
  • programmes and initiatives that support a diverse range of learners to experience success. 

Next steps

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

  • building a shared understanding of quality teaching practices to support further acceleration in progress for those students who are below expectation
  • continuing to build culturally responsive practices to improve valued outcomes for Māori and Pacific learners
  • reporting to the board to enable trustees to ensure resourcing for students with complex and additional needs is appropriately targeted
  • strengthening internal evaluation processes and practices
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in three years.

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

2 March 2018

About the school 


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                                     41%
Samoan                                                 20%
Asian                                                      12%
Other Pacific                                           9%
Pākehā                                                     9%
Other ethnic groups                              9%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

2 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, February 2015
Education Review, January 2012
Education Review, December 2009