Woodend School

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This school has a roll of 331 children, including 42 Māori children. The roll is steadily increasing and the school population is becoming more diverse.

Staffing has been stable since the 2013 ERO review. The school has become Katote Community of Learning, of which the school’s principal is the lead principal.

The school has made very good progress in meeting the recommendations outlined in the previous ERO report. Over the last three years, children’s achievement in reading, writing and mathematics against the National Standards has continued to be high, and parents are now well informed of their child’s progress. Progress and achievement information is better used to set more meaningful targets for priority learners.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

School leaders and teachers are very effectively achieving equitable outcomes for all children.

Processes and practices that are clearly enabling equity and excellence include:

  • collaborative team work to ensure children’s wellbeing and readiness to learn are effectively promoted
  • close monitoring of children whose learning and achievement need acceleration
  • strong focus on celebrating all children’s cultural backgrounds and building their sense of belonging
  • reflective teaching practice that identifies strategies and interventions that specifically support children’s learning and progress.

Equity and excellence

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

The school is very effectively responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

A strong partnership with local iwi has increased the school’s response to Māori children’s language, culture and heritage.

The school has useful strategies for identifying children who have specific learning needs in reading in the junior school. These children receive well-structured learning support. Teachers effectively monitor the usefulness of interventions in supporting children’s accelerated progress. High expectations for robust moderation practices result in reliable achievement information.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has many processes in place that are highly effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence.

The positive school environment strongly promotes children’s learning and wellbeing.

Practices that have made a positive impact on children’s learning include:

  • the school’s seven principles that place a greater focus on learning and the learner
  • collaboration and team work between teachers and between children that strongly reflect manaakitanga
  • curriculum design and planning that specifically responds to children’s interests and needs and whānau aspirations
  • the use of ICT devices for research and extension studies.

Leaders and teachers share high expectations for programmes and practices that promote equity and excellence. These include:

  • planning and resourcing a wide range of interventions with regular evaluation of the effectiveness of these interventions on outcomes for children
  • strong leadership that is clearly focused on ongoing improvement
  • effective internal evaluation including teacher’s critical reflection that leads to informed student-centred decision making
  • robust appraisal processes that promotes increased teacher effectiveness. 

The board is well informed of children’s progress and achievement. Trustees actively work with the school to develop and regularly refresh their strategic direction. They are clearly focused on equity and excellence for all children.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school has developed sound reporting processes to inform the board and staff about how effectively they are achieving equity and excellence for all children. Leaders and teachers have not yet reported on how well children are acquiring and using the skills and knowledge gained in curriculum areas beyond literacy and mathematics.

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
  • 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. The board and school performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

Agreed next step is to report to parents about children’s acquisition of knowledge and skills in curriculum areas beyond literacy and mathematics.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern/Te Waipounamu

19 May 2017

About the school 


North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 51%; Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā                 80%

Māori                   13%

Pacific                    2%

Other ethnicities  5%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

19 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review       September 2013

Education Review        May 2010

1 Context

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

Woodend School provides an inclusive and welcoming environment for students in Years 1 to 8. School values are evident in how students interact with each other in respectful and caring ways. Teachers also model these values in their relationships with students, each other and the parent community. The board, senior leaders and teachers are strongly focused on helping each student to enjoy their learning and experience success.

The board is committed to the ongoing development of the school and improving the achievement of all students. It maintains close links with the Parent Teacher Association who raise considerable funds for learning resources. Parent opinions are regularly sought and used to improve students’ learning opportunities.

The school has made good progress in implementing the recommendations in the 2010 ERO review report. Self review and the quality and usefulness of student assessment information have improved. The board, principal and staff are committed to promoting success for Māori. Good progress is being made in increasing te reo and tikanga Māori in the curriculum. The school agrees that this is an area for continuing development.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to promote engagement and positive learning outcomes for students. School-wide data at the end of 2012, showed that students achieve very well in reading and that many students are also achieving well in mathematics and writing. In 2011, the school identified writing as a focus for professional development. This has been continued to further improve student progress and achievement.

The board receives useful student information about student achievement. The senior leaders provide detailed, easily understood reports on student achievement. The trustees and the senior leaders work effectively together with this information to develop annual school-wide achievement targets and make decisions about learning and teaching.

Student achievement information is carefully monitored by the deputy principal and at several other levels to ensure that all students are supported to make progress. Teachers meet regularly in teams to discuss how they might best meet the needs of students, particularly those identified as needing extra support or extension.

Students at risk of not achieving and those whose needs cannot be met through classroom programmes are provided with good quality individual learning plans. This effective process is helping teachers to maintain a high focus on these students. This process also helps teachers to reflect on their practice and make useful changes to learning programmes.

The teacher responsible for students with special needs coordinates appropriate intervention programmes and works closely with outside agencies. She maintains a good overview of school- wide progress and achievement of students participating in programmes which provide extra support. Review reports presented to the board are comprehensive and clearly identify the progress these students are making and where further improvements can be made.

Many of the students spoken to by ERO were able to talk confidently about their learning goals. They had a clear understanding of their next learning steps and what they needed to do to achieve these. These students expressed their appreciation of the way teachers share the purpose of lessons with them, take time to make sure they understand what they need to do, and listen with care to their concerns.

Teachers make considerable effort to communicate students learning and progress at meeting and conferences with parents. Written reports containing easy to understand language include students’ reflections on their learning.

Areas for development and review

The next steps are for school leaders and teachers to:

  • review written reports to parents to ensure the information on student progress in reading against National Standards is clear and accurate
  • further clarify annual achievement targets so they better reflect the gains stated in school plans to raise student achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

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

The students have a good understanding of the school's values and expected behaviours. Teachers provide many opportunities for students to develop their thinking, creative and self-management skills. There is a strong focus on students supporting one another and becoming team players. Teachers actively model these behaviours and acknowledge them in others.

Parents are provided with a variety of ways to contribute to their children’s education and the life of the school. Recent surveys show that parents find teachers very approachable. The principal’s recent research into student’s transition into and out of school is leading to more efficient school practices and closer partnerships with local preschools and high schools.

The senior leaders and teachers maintain a good focus on reading, writing and mathematics. Students are offered a wide range of interesting learning opportunities designed to engage their interest and participation.

Teachers work well together to plan programmes. They share ideas, expertise and resources. The classroom environments reflect the school's values and vision. Displays celebrate students’ learning and successes. ERO observed some very good examples of teaching practice, including:

  • effective questioning to help students reflect on their learning
  • small group and individual teaching in specific areas of need
  • support for students to learn self-management skills and work independently, particularly in the middle and senior school.

The principal and deputy principal have identified, and ERO agrees, that the next step is to evaluate the impact of professional development on the quality of teaching.

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

The school is making good progress in promoting success for Māori as Māori.

A curriculum committee annually reviews ways to strengthen te reo, tikanga Māori and other aspects of Māori culture across the school. This committee reflects effective partnership between members including teachers, trustees and parents.

Māori culture and student achievement are celebrated at annual hui. The participation of parents and whānau in these hui has increased over time.

The board makes good provision for resourcing to support classroom programmes and opportunities for students to take part in kapa haka.

The school’s student achievement information against National Standards at the end of 2012 showed that Māori students are achieving slightly better in reading, at a similar level in mathematics and not as well in writing, as their school peers.

Students are provided with regular opportunities to learn about Māori culture through well-planned programmes. Teachers are supported with professional development each term to help them to implement these programmes.

The next steps for the school is to look at ways to further integrate te reo and tikanga Māori in classes and across the curriculum. Specific student achievement targets for Māori students should also be set.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

The board and principal work well together in planning for the future of the school. Trustees have a good understanding of their governance role and take a keen interest in all that happens in the school. They seek a wide range of information from parents, students and staff to help them in deciding on how to best meet their goals for ongoing student development and learning.

The board, principal and staff have consistently worked together to improve self review and its usefulness. They have developed an effective model of self review that is used across the school. Scheduled reviews received by trustees contain good analysis, clear direction and carefully considered recommendations. These generate good discussion and outcomes that are reflected in action plans for further improvements across the school.

Syndicate leaders receive good quality feedback on their leadership role. Teachers’ appraisals also provide useful next steps. Teachers have many opportunities to develop leadership and told ERO that they value this chance to develop their skills. Students in the senior school also learn about the responsibilities of leadership, and are able to apply this learning in a range of situations across the school.

Areas for development and review

The board, principal and ERO agree that the next steps are to streamline the workload of senior management and teachers by reviewing:

  • the school’s strategic goals over three years to clearly show annual priorities
  • the school management structure and curriculum committees to better support school-wide goals and annual priorities.

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 three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

5 September 2013

About the School


Woodend, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52%, Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā



Other ethnicities





Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

5 September 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

June 2010

May 2007

January 2004