Lyall Bay School

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

Freyberg Street, Lyall Bay, Wellington

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School Context

Lyall Bay School caters for students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this review, there were 362 students on the roll, of whom 22% are Māori and 7% Samoan.

The school’s stated vision is: Building the Best Learners, Waihangatia ngā Ākonga Tino Pai. The values that underpin all aspects of school life are: Respect, Integrity, Curiosity and Excellence; Manaaki, Whakapono, Pākiki and Hiranga.

Key strategic goals aim to grow students who areconnected to their community, celebrating the school’s cultural diversity and empowering teachers and leaders.

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

  • reading, writing, mathematics and other aspects of the curriculum

  • specific interventions

  • wellbeing.

The school is an active member of the Motu Kairangi 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 successfully promotes excellent outcomes for most students in reading, writing and mathematics. It continues to explore and address aspects of equity for some students.

Girls and boys achieve at similar levels in reading and mathematics. Boys do not achieve as well in writing. There is some disparity for Pacific students in mathematics and writing, and for Māori in mathematics. The data for 2018 shows improved levels of achievement for most students, including Māori. Leavers’ data shows that levels of disparity are reduced by the end of Year 6.

Students with additional learning needs are very well supported to participate, progress and achieve in relation to appropriately developed Individual Education Plans.

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

The school responds well to those Māori and other students whose learning needs acceleration.

Students at risk of not achieving in literacy and mathematics are identified throughout the year and a range of effective responses put in place. Most of these priority learners made accelerated progress in 2018.

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?

Students benefit from a purposeful, schoolwide learning environment. They are on task and engaged in their learning. Relationships among students and teachers are positive and respectful. The school is inclusive. Students’ cultures, languages and identities are recognised and valued and their wellbeing and sense of belonging strongly promoted. There are high expectations for each student’s participation and achievement and their voice and opinions are valued.

The curriculum provides extensive opportunities for students to engage in a wide range of cultural, sporting, artistic, academic and leadership activities. It is responsive to their interests and needs and uses local community themes and contexts. Ongoing review has developed explicit, high expectations for teaching practice, assessment and learning. A key goal is to empower students to take increasing responsibility for their learning.

Leaders and teachers use a range of nationally-referenced and school-developed assessment tools to gather sound baseline data. This is well used to inform resourcing and strategic decision making. Teachers use the information to recognise and respond to students’ interests and learning needs. Robust systems support effective measuring and monitoring of individual achievement. Sound moderation practice supports teachers to make dependable judgements about students’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

Leaders drive the school’s vision and direction effectively. There is a coherence of systems and processes from strategic planning, through professional development and curriculum, to classroom practices that are designed to improve student outcomes.  Professional development is focused on introducing new methodologies and growing teachers’ capability. Teachers have a collaborative approach to inquiring into their practice to assist them to more effectively respond to the needs of individuals and groups of students.

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

There is a clear drive to continue to improve methodology and practice. It is important as part of this ongoing process to ensure that all relevant material, including the expectations for bicultural practice, is drawn together. This should ensure that the enacted curriculum is clearly aligned and documented providing specific guidance for teaching and learning.

An established culture of reflection is evident. Leaders have adopted a standard format to guide evaluation and are working to have this consistently used schoolwide. Increasing the use of indicators of high quality intended outcomes, at the planning stage, should better enable staff to evaluate the impact on student learning of newly introduced approaches and initiatives. This should support leaders and trustees to more effectively inform decision making about planning and actions for ongoing improvement.

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 Lyall Bay 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.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the positive and respectful schoolwide learning environment that supports students’ engagement and learning

  • a collaborative approach and high expectations from leaders and teachers that promote improved outcomes for students

  • identifying, tracking, monitoring and responding to the needs of priority learners to improve their rates of progress.

Next steps

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

  • ensuring that all relevant material is drawn together and arranged so that the enacted and documented curriculum are aligned

  • enhancing internal evaluation processes and practices, to better determine the impact of initiatives, identify and embed effective practice, and inform ongoing improvement.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • continue reviewing and documenting governance roles and responsibilities.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

23 April 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 56%, Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori 22%
NZ European/Pākehā 40%
Samoan 7%
Other ethnic groups 31%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

23 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2016
Education Review April 2013
Education Review April 2010

1 Context

Lyall Bay School provides education for 398 students in Years 1 to 6. Currently, almost half of the roll comprises students who identify as Asian (19%), Māori (17%) or Pacific (11%). A new principal and deputy principal were appointed in 2015. The school overall has had low staff turnover over a lengthy period. Major construction work to upgrade learning spaces has been ongoing.

Leaders and teachers have undertaken a range of professional learning and development activities to support improved outcomes for students. Student leadership is a feature of the school.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes are defined by the school in the purpose statement: Building the Best Learners - Waihangatia ngā Ākonga Tino Pai. The values are Respect - Manaaki; Integrity - Whakapono; Curiosity - Pākiki; Excellence - Hiranga.

Following extensive consultation, the board developed a new charter and strategic plan in 2015. Among the aims and objectives is an explicit commitment to celebrating differences and openly accepting all cultures and beliefs, so that all students fully participate in and contribute to the school and its community. Strategic goals relate to raising achievement across the curriculum, with particular focus on literacy and numeracy. Priority is appropriately given to enhancing outcomes for Māori, Pacific, English language learners, and students with special needs. Suitable actions underpinning each goal are documented in each year's annual plan.

The school’s achievement information shows that overall, students achieve well in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. There was a slight dip in schoolwide levels in 2014. Writing achievement is lower than the other two learning areas, but consistently tracking above national data.

Most students make the accelerated progress needed to meet expectations by the end of Year 6. The school has a process in place to address disparity in the overall achievement of Māori, Pacific and Asian students and boys in writing.

In 2015, there was some reduction in the disparity between Māori and all students in relation to National Standards. Since 2013, a significant improvement in Māori reading levels is evident.

Since the April 2013 ERO evaluation, the school has accessed and built on a range of external support to promote effective teaching practices, aligned with the school's strategic and annual priorities. Teachers are well supported to integrate aspects of current best practice into their teaching. Focus areas for professional learning and development include increasing cultural knowledge and responsiveness, and embedding modern approaches to learning. There is an increased emphasis on purposefully helping students to be active, independent learners.

The school's Building the Best Learners plan is a key action leaders have taken to accelerate the progress of students at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes. The plan provides a useful framework for ongoing development, implementation and review of teaching and learning targeted to individual student needs.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school gathers and collates a suitable range of reliable information about students' achievement and progress. Assessment data is analysed in depth at schoolwide level, to establish trends and patterns and to identify students who need support to reach equitable outcomes. At teacher level, work is in progress to build the consistency and quality of analysis and use of assessment information. There is some evidence of effective acceleration of student progress.

The Building the Best Learners plan clearly shows what leaders and teachers do to accelerate the progress of students who are below or well below National Standards. Underpinning this plan are robust guiding documents and timelines that inform assessment practice and specific provision for diverse learners. Teachers collate assessment data from the current and previous year, to inform timely individualised planning for targeted students at the outset.

Identification of Māori, Pacific and other students in need of targeted responses is occurring. Leaders and teachers demonstrate a collaborative approach to developing strategies that address specific learning needs. Systematic monitoring and tracking processes are in place to ensure that responses are effectively bringing about the desired improvements.

School targets for accelerating students' achievement have become more clearly focused over time. In 2015, targets were set to accelerate learning in each syndicate. A target was set to raise the achievement of all Year 5 and 6 students, particularly Māori. A reading group established specifically for Māori learners at this level successfully increased their engagement and enthusiasm, and provided a firm platform for future improvement.

In 2015, Māori, Pacific and Asian learners were involved in initiatives to accelerate progress in literacy and mathematics. These closely-targeted programmes resulted in successful outcomes for most of the students. It is expected that the effective teaching strategies used for these groups will be implemented schoolwide to promote learning of all students whose achievement needs acceleration.

English language learners are well supported to improve their oral and written fluency and to improve their achievement.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

Conditions for supporting ongoing improvement in this school collectively provide a strong foundation for realising equity and excellence for all students. These are:

  • a well-embedded, inclusive school tone that is conducive to students' engagement, learning and wellbeing
  • warm, respectful relationships and interactions at all levels of the school
  • board members who are knowledgeable about student achievement and their stewardship responsibilities, and committed to continuous improvement in learner outcomes
  • a highly reflective senior management team who provide effective strategic and professional leadership
  • examples of sound evidence-based internal evaluation practice to build on
  • deliberate steps taken to strengthen leadership capability at senior and middle management levels
  • high expectations for teaching and learning, and improvement-focused appraisal processes
  • a systematic approach to curriculum review
  • openness to and support for increased cultural responsiveness, and integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori
  • settled, learning-focused classrooms
  • well-established practices for welcoming and encouraging parents, whānau, families and community members into the school to participate in activities and decision-making.

Leaders and trustees recognise that the next steps for ongoing improvement are to continue to:

  • enhance professional leadership skills
  • build staff capability and shared understandings in relation to acceleration of progress for Māori students and others at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes
  • strengthen teachers' cultural knowledge of te ao Māori and responsiveness to Māori students
  • increase the role of parents and whānau as partners in the learning of their children
  • improve the consistency and effectiveness of teachers' data-based inquiry into the impact of teaching strategies
  • use examples of good practice within the school to extend the use of well-analysed data to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives in raising student achievement.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The school's raising achievement plan - Building the Best Learners - provides a solid, sustainable framework for improving learning outcomes for all students. It is used in conjunction with action plans for targeted students that are developed by teachers in Term 1 each year. This approach has the clarity and rigour needed to make a difference for learners requiring support to make accelerated progress and reach expected levels of achievement.

Systems have been formally documented to closely monitor the effectiveness of the plans as they are progressively implemented. Some initiatives are in the early stages of implementation, and the school does not as yet have solid evidence of their impact. Senior leaders recognise that ongoing evaluation is an essential part of improvement processes. This should assist them to provide teachers with timely guidance and support to respond appropriately and successfully to individual student needs.

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

6 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 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.

  • Processes for appointing staff.

  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions.

  • Attendance.

  • Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

The board of trustees is currently reviewing all policies and procedures, starting with those related to health and safety.

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends the school reviews, further develops and implements their Building the Best Learners plan for equitable and excellent student outcomes. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

9 May 2016

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 51%, Girls 49%

Ethnic composition





Other ethnic groups






Review team on site

February 2016

Date of this report

9 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2013

April 2010

January 2007