Lynfield College

Education institution number:
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Not Applicable
Total roll:

White Swan Road, Mount Roskill, Auckland

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Lynfield College - 06/12/2018

School Context

Lynfield College is a large co-educational secondary school catering for students from Years 9 to 13. This includes international and adult ESOL students. Eight percent of the students are Māori and 13 percent have Pacific heritages. Indian students comprise 27 percent, and New Zealand/Pākehā make up a further 21 percent of the school roll.

The school’s mission is to inspire students to achieve educational excellence through a rich learning and social environment. Key values underpinning learning are wairua kaha, hinengaro wawata, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. These values were determined in consultation with students, staff and whānau through a review of the school’s Learning Charter in 2017.

The board’s strategic goals are to:

  • increase student agency
  • improve student achievement through effective teaching and learning
  • enhance students’ skill development and wellbeing.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in relation to New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZCA) framework
  • progress and achievement in literacy and mathematics in Years 9 and 10
  • student wellbeing for success
  • outcomes from teacher inquiries.

Since the 2014 ERO review, a new principal, four new deputy principals and a senior leader have been appointed to the senior leadership team.

The school is part of the Lynfield Community of Learning [Kāhui Ako] (CoL), comprising nine schools. The goals of the CoL are to:

  • encourage greater collaboration between schools
  • recognise, support and use professional expertise from across the education system where it is needed most
  • enhance opportunities for teacher-led innovation and inquiry into new and agreed best teaching practice.

Evaluation Findings

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 is co-ordinating a variety of strategies to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

The school’s overall achievement levels are comparable to those of other schools of a similar type. Most students gain National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) across Levels 1, 2 and 3. The number of merit and excellent endorsements gained are above national averages. The school is proud that students achieved 34 scholarships in 2017.

School data shows gender disparity in achievement in NCEA and University Entrance. However, there are positive trends emerging that indicate increasing parity for males, particularly at NCEA Levels 1 and 2 in 2017. NCEA data also shows ongoing disparity for Pacific learners across all three levels of achievement and for University Entrance (UE). The 2017 NCEA data shows that Māori students at Level 3 are gaining greater parity in achievement with other learners in the school.

Overall achievement levels for University Entrance have remained relatively stable over the past four years. This, to some extent, reflects the fact that senior students may be deciding on alternative pathways focused on achieving other tertiary education or vocational qualifications.

The reading and mathematical knowledge and skills of Year 9 students are tested on entry to the school. The majority of students make good accelerated progress by the end of Year 10. The data also shows that groups of Māori and Pacific students have improved their achievement over time.

Students are confident and thoughtful young people and have high levels of participation in co-curricular activities. They benefit from opportunities to realise their potential and develop new interests through experiences in varied sporting events, the performing arts, debating and cultural performances. Student voice increasingly contributes to school decision making. Students’ sense of compassion is reflected in the way in which many are involved in service to the school and to the wider community. Student leaders also support their peers through a wide variety of different initiatives.

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

Teachers work purposefully to improve parity for the groups identified as needing this. The school can demonstrate evidence of successful acceleration for some groups of learners. For example, the school has achievement data that shows a group of Māori and Pacific students, who were achieving below their expected curriculum levels in 2014, going on to achieve NCEA Level 2 in 2017.

The school is actively working to improve parity for specific groups of students. Teachers use collaborative cross-curricular inquiry to focus on strategies and initiatives to address disparity in relation to a range of student outcomes. Students are being positioned to achieve well in national qualifications. This is particularly evident in Years 11 to 13 where there is a range of evidence of students experiencing accelerated success.

Learning support for students with additional needs is well coordinated. A multi-layered approach is used to ensure students access personalised programmes and have some flexible learning opportunities. This gives students the opportunity to plan their learning pathway and goals in collaboration with their parents and whānau. Students, teachers, deans and outside agencies provide programmes and resources for students. An evaluation of the outcomes and effectiveness of learning support programmes, that includes student feedback, would help to guide curriculum improvements in these areas.

Learning programmes, including those for English language learning (ESOL), ensure good levels of progress and achievement. Many of these ESOL students achieve well in their studies for NCEA and participate widely across all aspects of school life.

School leaders are planning a more consistent school-wide assessment approach for the Year 9 and Year 10 curriculum. They are also working to develop a shared understanding of acceleration in the school community.

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 have begun to align the school’s strategic goals to enable the achievement of equity and excellence.

The newly established leadership team have an extensive range of complementary skills. They are building trusting relationships and collaboration across the school community. Their professional leadership supports a well-considered process of change management. Leaders are focused on promoting student agency, effective teaching practices to improve student achievement, and establishing a culture of collaborative inquiry.

The long-established, highly supportive board of trustees is proud of the school. Trustees are committed to their community and bring professional expertise and knowledge to their stewardship role. They are actively involved in the life of the school. Their responsive, strategic thinking and resourcing supports leaders and staff in their work to improve outcomes for students.

The school’s settled and inclusive environment creates a good foundation for students’ learning. Respectful relationships between staff and students underpin the culture of the school. This promotes positive, purposeful expectations for teaching and learning. Students have opportunities in their learning to make links and connections to authentic and real world contexts.

Comprehensive pastoral care systems and collaborative work among students and staff provides students with high levels of support. This helps to reduce barriers to students’ learning and promotes their wellbeing. Well established relationships with agencies, networks and community groups enhance opportunities for students to access meaningful learning pathways within and beyond the school.

Teachers’ ongoing professional learning opportunities are aligned with the school’s strategic direction. Increasingly, teachers are using inquiry processes to help them share effective strategies and innovative ways to raise achievement and improve outcomes for students.

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

The school has the capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners.

Developments to build and sustain equity and excellence for all learners agreed by ERO and the leadership team include continuing to:

  • improve the quality of processes and practices that support the acceleration of learners’ progress and achievement in Years 9 and 10
  • strengthen initiatives designed to promote greater parity for all students in relation to NCEA achievement
  • deepen evaluation practices to sustain school improvement and achieve valued student outcomes.

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

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with the Code.

At the time of the review there were 87 international students attending the school.

Lynfield College has very good systems to maintain the quality of both education and pastoral care for its international students. Students integrate well into the school’s community and cultural experiences. Learning programmes, including those for English language learning, are tailored for their individual needs. Reports to the board specify how well international students are progressing and achieving as well as their participation in school life.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the capability of its leadership to support a well-considered process of change management
  • respectful relationships between staff and students that underpin the culture of the school and promote positive, purposeful expectations for learning
  • a comprehensive system of pastoral care and support that responds to students’ needs, promotes their wellbeing and supports their learning.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school’s priorities for further development are in:

  • enhancing systems and processes to strengthen teachers’ use of data, student achievement tracking and academic mentoring
  • strengthening learning partnerships between students, family/whānau and teachers to ensure common understandings about how the qualification system is structured and used to create successful achievement pathways
  • designing and implementing a responsive and challenging curriculum for all students that reflects NZC principles and promotes equity of outcomes, particularly for students who are at risk of not achieving.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education works with school leaders to find a prompt solution to the building issues that are currently impacting negatively on staff and student wellbeing and school decision making.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson
Director Review and Improvement Services
Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

6 December 2018

About the school 


Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys      52%
Girls       48%

Ethnic composition

Māori                               8%
Pākehā                           21%
Indian                            27%
Pacific Nations                 13%
Chinese                          12%
Southeast Asian               4%
other Asian                      6%
other ethnic groups          9%

Other Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

6 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review            May 2014
Education Review            August 2009
Education Review            September 2006

Lynfield College - 23/05/2014

1 Context

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

Lynfield College is a large Auckland secondary school that has strong links with its local community. The student roll reflects the cultural diversity of the community. Currently, Māori students make up eight percent of the roll and thirteen percent have Pacific heritage. At the time of this review 82 international students were enrolled at the school.

Students at Lynfield College are confident, friendly and proud of their school. They benefit from a caring and inclusive school culture. Students' wellbeing is given very high priority. Tikanga Māori provides a framework for the school’s approach to wellbeing and is a feature of school protocols, special events and welcomes for visitors. Māori and Pacific students’ identity and sense of belonging is enhanced through the opportunity to be part of the Pounamu or Pasifika whānau-based vertical form classes.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history. Previous reports have commended the school’s robust self-review processes. These underpin the board’s vision of the school as a community of learners. Previous ERO reports also noted the high quality, collaborative leadership of teaching and learning. These positive features of the school have been sustained.

A shared commitment to ongoing improvement is evident across the school. Trustees ensure that students are at the centre of the school’s strategic thinking and planning. Trustees bring a variety of professional backgrounds and experiences to their role. The principal is well supported by an experienced senior leadership team with complementary leadership skills. A continual focus on wellbeing on the part of leaders supports and promotes student leadership.

2 Learning

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

The school makes very effective use of achievement information to make positive changes for learners, particularly in Years 11 to 13.

Students are actively engaged in their learning and are motivated to achieve success across a wide variety of school activities. These include kapa haka, sporting, cultural and student leadership opportunities.

National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results across the school at Levels 1, 2 and 3 continue to be high. Students gained increasing numbers of merit and excellence endorsements, scholarships and outstanding scholarships in 2013. Senior leaders consistently set targets higher than national expectations.

Achievement rates for Māori and Pacific students, while still lower than those of their peers, also show consistent improvement over time. Senior leaders acknowledge that raising Māori and Pacific student achievement continues to be an area of focus. School leaders and teachers prioritise strategies that support Māori and Pacific learners to make accelerated progress and be successful.

Achievement information is well used to identify students who require support. Learning assistance is well-coordinated. Personalised programmes, often using digital support, assist students to make progress towards their learning goals. Regular monitoring and review provides students and their families with ongoing information about their learning.

School leaders continue to make positive changes to learning outcomes for students who are not achieving to expectations. This is particularly notable in the senior school. Leaders agree that it is timely to adopt a more strategic emphasis on achievement at Years 9 and 10. The strategies that have proved effective at the senior school level provide a very useful model.

Senior leaders and teachers use student achievement information to set achievement targets, develop school goals and to plan and adapt teaching programmes. Teachers’ focus on teaching strategies that support students to be successful is reflected in the significant improvement in NCEA Level 2 results in 2013.

Trustees make good use of analysed achievement information to make strategic decisions. Charter targets are focused on raising the achievement of all students and accelerating the progress of those students not meeting NCEA or curriculum level expectations. Trustees make resourcing decisions based on this information. They review and evaluate programmes designed to improve outcomes for students.

School leaders agree that faculty reports to the board should now focus more closely on evaluating the effectiveness of initiatives aimed at accelerating the progress and achievement of students in Year 9 and 10, particularly those who are identified as needing extra assistance.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting student learning.

A clear sense of shared purpose and direction is evident through the Lynfield College Learning Charter. This was developed collaboratively with students, staff and the community. The charter is at the heart of the school’s curriculum, which is very well aligned with the principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Curriculum development is on-going. School leaders agree that it is timely to review the school curriculum to identify areas of strength and areas for consolidation and further refinement.

A broad and differentiated curriculum provides a wide range of courses relevant to students’ personal interests and career pathways. It provides opportunities for students to continually experience success and to make smooth transitions to tertiary courses and the work force. Students who are experiencing difficulty with literacy and mathematics have access to a range of initiatives to accelerate their progress. Effective use of ICT across the school is encouraging students to access learning anywhere and at any time.

High quality teaching practice is evident. Teaching is informed by teachers’ in-depth knowledge of students and their use of effective practices to support student learning. All teachers are involved in a systematic process of inquiry aimed at continuously improving teaching and learning programmes. Agreed goals and criteria for measuring outcomes from these inquiries drive school improvement.

Senior leaders use the school performance management system effectively to promote ongoing teacher improvement and accountability for student progress and achievement. Well-considered professional learning programmes promote the sharing of effective teaching initiatives across the school.

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

The school is promoting Māori students’ success as Māori. Trustees, school leaders and key staff are committed to improving outcomes for Māori students. This is evident in the school’s annual goals and priorities. A range of strategies and initiatives to support cultural identity are in place. Self-review practices are focused on Māori student success. This focus is demonstrated by:

  • the strategic use of staff skills and expertise to enhance Māori students’ wellbeing and cultural identity
  • a Māori Focus Group that coordinates and promotes Māori success initiatives across the school
  • staff learning about te reo and tikanga Māori
  • Māori students figuring prominently in leadership roles on the student executive
  • te reo Māori classes being offered at all year levels
  • recognising and celebrating achievement in tikanga Māori across the curriculum.

Trustees, school leaders and ERO agree that the next steps to further promote success for Māori, as Māori, are to:

  • incorporate cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners into the school’s performance management system
  • continue to strengthen engagement and partnership with whānau and iwi to support development of plans to lift Māori student success.

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

The school is effective in promoting educational success for Pacific students, as Pacific. The Pasifika Focus Group is well led and coordinates activities to promote and celebrate Pacific success across the school. Initiatives include:

  • mentoring and support for Pacific students
  • the Pacific Pride student leaders' group
  • strong support for Pacific performing arts and culture
  • strong partnerships with Pacific families, led by the Pacific liaison coordinator.
  • Pacific students benefit from the school’s high expectations for their involvement and achievement.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Lynfield College is very well placed to sustain its current good practices and continue to improve its performance. This is underpinned by:

  • the board’s vision of the school as a community of learners
  • effective governance practices, together with clear alignment between the strategic plan, annual plan, learning charter and programme implementation
  • board decision making that is strategic, evidence-based and aimed at sustaining improvement and promoting innovative practices across the school
  • strong professional leadership, which includes the principal building and providing leadership opportunities for staff across the school
  • senior leaders who are active and influential in local and regional educational community networks
  • robust self review that is embedded, well used and documented, and that effectively promotes and sustains development.

Progress against goals is closely monitored by the board. Input is sought from students, staff and the school community as part of the review process. ERO sees value in the board further increasing stakeholder input into the different stages of the review process.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 82 international students attending the school. The majority of these students come from China, Japan and Korea. Students experience a meaningful orientation programme upon arrival in New Zealand. They are placed into suitable programmes that are determined by their strengths and interests. International students’ progress and achievement in English and other pathways is well monitored. They are well integrated into school and community activities and have opportunities to take leadership roles in the school.

The International Department is well organised. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough. Effective monitoring systems help ensure an ongoing high level of care and provision for these students. Reports to the board, and management of international students’ achievement, could be enhanced by reflecting students’ goals and aspirations in the success measures used for reporting.

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

23 May 2014

About the School


Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā





South East Asian


other Asian

other Pacific












Special Features

Adult ESOL programme

Supported Learning Unit

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

23 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2009

September 2006

June 2003