St Clair School

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

135 Richardson Street, St Clair, Dunedin

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St Clair School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within twenty months of the Education Review Office and St Clair 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.


St Clair School in Dunedin provides education for students from Years 1 to 6. The physical learning environment supports a collaborative approach to teaching and learning. Since the 2015 ERO review, the school has experienced significant changes in leadership including a change of principal.

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

  • provide all students with the opportunity to succeed to their highest potential

  • develop a learning partnership between whānau and the school to enhance the learning experiences of ākonga

  • involve all members of St Clair School’s staff and board in professional learning to further extend their capabilities in their various roles.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on St Clair School’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively the teaching and support programmes are accelerating the progress of students who need extra help to succeed in learning.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is the school:

  • wants all students to reach their highest potential

  • achievement data shows there are groups of students who would benefit from extra support to succeed

  • needs to know what practices and programmes are having the greatest impact on accelerating students’ learning.

The school expects teachers being able to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching practice and respond quickly and appropriately to meet the identified learning needs of individual students.


The school can draw from the following strengths to reach its goal to support students to succeed in their learning and be confident, capable, and creative contributors to the community:

  • a growing awareness, stronger understanding, and implementation of genuine bicultural practice amongst all staff to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi

  • high achievement in literacy and mathematics for most students in relation to the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) which enables them to access the wider curriculum

  • staff who are passionate about supporting students to see themselves as successful learners and to be excited about learning

  • students being able to talk and make decisions about their learning which enables them to take greater responsibility for their progress and achievement.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • continuing to develop knowledge and practice of te ao Māori across the school so that students’ learning is supported by culturally responsive practice

  • growing the partnership between the community and the school to further enhance the wellbeing and learning of students

  • building a consistent approach to evaluation so that practices and programmes which have the greatest impact on accelerating students’ learning are known and used.

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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

15 November 2022 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

St Clair School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of July 2022, the St Clair 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 St Clair 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

15 November 2022 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

St Clair School - 26/06/2015


ERO reviews continue to identify this as a high performing school. St Clair School is characterised by its culture of care and high quality learning. This is evident in the rich learning opportunities and innovative practices including digital and student-led learning approaches. All learners are important and valued. A strong sense of manaakitanga (wellbeing) is evident.

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?

St Clair School continues to be a high performing school. The school’s vision is to develop capable, caring and confident children who are willing and able to contribute to their community. Trustees, school leaders and teachers have high expectations for, and are committed to, all students achieving well.

At the time of the October 2010 ERO review, the board had undertaken a major building project. Further significant building development was undertaken in 2014. Leaders and trustees continue to successfully explore creative ways to make the best use of these new spaces to reflect the school’s vision and extend its innovative practices.

There are very supportive and positive relationships between adults, among students and between adults and students. These contribute to the students’ enthusiasm for and success in their learning.

2. Learning

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

The school is highly effective in using achievement information to make a positive difference to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

A significant strength is the way teachers use assessment information to support students’ learning. They ensure their deliberate teaching practices are consistent, transparent and well suited to each student’s learning needs and strengths. Teachers and leaders:

  • foster strong partnerships with parents and whānau to accelerate students’ learning
  • make decisions together based on their considerable knowledge of students
  • provide all students with rich opportunities to assess their own learning progress and take responsibility for their ongoing learning pathways.

Teachers carefully analyse achievement information to plan programmes, targeted workshops and activity stations for learners. Teachers help students understand their progress in meaningful ways. As a result, students have very good understandings about their own achievement and what they need to do to improve.

The board, principal, senior leaders and teachers have a shared understanding of student achievement. They use assessment information from a wide range of learning areas to inform self review. This shows their extensive understanding about the use of assessment and how it can be constructively used to make a difference for students’ learning and wellbeing.

Students who are at risk of not achieving are quickly identified. There is an extensive network of support in place to ensure they receive specific, personalised assistance to help them accelerate their progress. The board’s high level of commitment to ensuring students achieve could be better reflected in students’ annual achievement targets. Work on this has already begun.

3. Curriculum

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

The curriculum is innovative and highly effective in how it engages and enables students to be successful in their learning. The school has high levels of achievement against the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Writing is similar to regional and national trends.

The school has a very positive, caring and inclusive culture. There is a strong focus on children’s holistic wellbeing. Core Māori values, such as manaakitanga (kindness/caring) and whanaungatanga (family-like relationships) are strongly evident. Similarly, the school’s valued teaching approaches, such as children helping each other learn, are consistent with Māori concepts of ako and tuakana-teina.

The school’s priority is that students have the knowledge and skills to be successful and good citizens in the 21st century. Teachers see students as capable and confident learners. They support and enable students to take responsibility as to what and how they learn.

ERO found that students:

  • could talk confidently about how they learn and what best helps them with their learning
  • are highly motivated and act in ways to enhance their own learning; for example, by knowing what ‘must be done’ and what they can ‘choose to do’ to extend their learning
  • know how to work well independently and with their peers
  • see themselves as learners and teachers, and frequently share their expertise and ideas with each other.

Teachers take great care to ensure continuity in learning and resources for children as they move from early childhood to school. Curriculum strengths supporting learning for all students include:

  • the established use and modelling of KCM (Kindness Caring and Manners)
  • an integrated and inquiry-based approach to topic learning where students are encouraged to critically think and investigate areas that are relevant to their lives and interests
  • the wide range of cultural and sporting opportunities
  • the use of specialist teachers to bring increased depth to particular learning areas
  • the balance between ‘hands on’ and academic learning.

There is a genuine commitment to personalising learning for each child. This includes ensuring that able students are challenged. School leaders and teachers ensure that all students benefit from the natural integration of digital technology in their learning. This is contributing to:

  • closer school-family links with shared opportunities to contribute to students’ learning
  • a strong understanding of how technology can support individual and cooperative learning
  • students’ motivation for ‘anywhere, anytime learning’.

The school has identified and ERO agrees that the next step is to review the Māori language programme.

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

Māori students are very well supported in their learning. They achieve at a high level against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school regularly consults with parents of Māori children. School leaders keep parents well informed as to what the school is doing to support their children and are responsive to their suggestions. The school’s culture and approach to teaching and learning are consistent with core Māori values and concepts.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

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

There is strong professional leadership. The principal and senior leaders work respectfully and collaboratively together. They share a common vision that unites the school staff. They are forward thinking in their approach to improving outcomes for students. This is evident in the way they:

  • use sound research and theory to inform decision making
  • demonstrate a deep level of critical thinking
  • are open to trying innovative approaches and ideas
  • use high quality internal evaluation that contributes to ongoing improvement
  • carefully manage change.

The principal and senior leaders have established a comprehensive learning culture amongst the staff. They and trustees recognise the importance of ongoing learning. They provide generous support for staff to take part in high quality individual and school-wide professional learning and development. There are opportunities for staff to take on leadership roles that recognise and value their individual teaching strengths. A rigorous appraisal process provides useful feedback and direction for teacher growth.

Parents’ and students’ opinions on a range of topics are gathered and responded to. The board and principal have worked together to ensure the school has clear priorities and a strategic direction. They agree these priorities could be more evident in the school’s strategic plan.

Trustees have undertaken training to support them in their role. They receive high quality information that helps them make decisions. They carefully manage the school’s resources.

The school’s coherence gives ERO confidence in its ability to continue to move forward in improving outcomes for students.

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.


ERO reviews continue to identify this as a high performing school. St Clair School is characterised by its culture of care and high quality learning. This is evident in the rich learning opportunities and innovative practices including digital and student-led learning approaches. All learners are important and valued. A strong sense of manaakitanga (wellbeing) is evident.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

26 June 2015

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 54%;

Girls 46%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnicities





Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

26 June 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2010

July 2007

October 2004