Silverdale Normal School - 05/04/2012

1. Context

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

Silverdale Normal School is located in south east Hamilton, close to the University of Waikato. It caters for students in Years 1 to 6 and at the time of the review had a roll of 225, 56 of whom identify as Māori. The student body is culturally diverse. Thirty three percent of students are from non-English speaking backgrounds, mainly from families where the parents are scholarship students at the University of Waikato for periods of two to three years.

As this is a normal school, staff provide continual opportunities for teacher trainees from Waikato University Faculty of Education to develop teaching techniques, skills and strategies. The school has had a long period of stable staffing.

Board and school leaders responded positively to the recommendations of the 2009 ERO review with regard to strategic planning, community consultation and providing opportunities for student self assessment.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

The school reports that the majority of students are meeting the relevant National Standards, especially in reading and mathematics. Māori student achievement is slightly below that of other students in the school. However, school data shows that their rate of achievement improves over time. The school’s targets for 2012 are focused on raising Māori student achievement. School leaders, in consultation with staff, are continuing to develop and refine systems to support teachers in making overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards.

School leaders have selected and use an appropriate range of assessment tools to monitor student progress and achievement. The information gathered is used school wide to identify trends and patterns, and set achievement targets against National Standards in reading and mathematics. It is also used at classroom and syndicate level to identify individual student learning needs, inform programme planning, and monitor progress.

The school has a sizeable transient population with a significant number of students from non-English speaking backgrounds. Effective support programmes are in place to cater for these students, who have a wide range of diverse needs and abilities. School data shows the majority of these students make accelerated progress over time. The special education coordinator analyses assessment data to determine learning and teaching priorities, and effectively coordinates the allocation of targeted programmes and resources. 

Students have many opportunities to experience success in a wide range of sporting, cultural and artistic activities.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

The school responded positively to ERO’s recommendations about increasing consultation with Māori parents and whānau. A whānau support group has been established and regular hui held. This relationship has resulted in raising the profile of Māori students’ culture and values in the school. A large proportion of students participate in kapa haka and links are being established with local kura kaupapa Māori and the wider Māori community. The school is now well placed to expand the bicultiural perspectives, including the use of te reo Māori in class programmes.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively supports and promotes student learning, particularly in reading and mathematics. There is an increasing emphasis on the use of thinking strategies as tools for learning. The school has appropriately identified writing as its focus for staff professional development in 2012. The curriculum document has been consultatively developed and provides clear guidelines for teachers. Explicit articulation and consistent implementation of school expectations for teaching as inquiry, key competencies and principles as expressed in The New Zealand Curriculum would assist in continually improving teaching practice.

Staff have high expectations for learning and behaviour. Established routines and a personalised approach to planning, teaching and assessment have resulted in settled classes with most students actively engaged in their learning. Students would benefit from further opportunities to understand and use assessment information in setting and monitoring personal next steps for learning.

Classroom environments are in need of review, refreshing and improvement in order to provide students with continual stimulation, challenge and celebration of learning. In addition students and teachers would further benefit from a strategic approach to enhancing the provision of information and communication technologies as tools for teaching and learning.

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. Factors contributing to this include:

  • effective governance from trustees who are reflective of their community and bring a range of relevant and complementary skills to their roles
  • collaborative senior leaders who are focused on improving outcomes for students
  • extensive pastoral care systems that support the diverse needs of students and their families
  • strong and appreciative community support with well-developed communication systems.

Extensive self review, particularly of the core curriculum, would be strengthened and streamlined by the drawing together of next steps and action plans into one format, for ease of monitoring. In addition, there is need to strengthen the consistency of teacher appraisal to ensure the positive impact of professional development is sustained.

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. At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

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
  • 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.

Makere Smith National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

5 April 2012

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)



School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Girls 55.5% Boys 44.5%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

NZ Māori

SE Asian












Special Features

Resource Teacher: Literacy 2 Special Education Satellite Class 1 Montessori Class 1 Teacher Normal School Designation 1

Review team on site

February 2012

Date of this report

5 April 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2009

May 2006

October 2002

1 School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.