Bairds Mainfreight Primary School - 22/03/2017

1 Context

Bairds Mainfreight Primary School caters for an increasing number of children from a culturally diverse community of learners across a wide spread area. Māori children make up 22 percent of the roll with Cook Islands Māori children contributing 31 percent, and Samoan and Tongan children a further 43 percent. Many children have English as a Second Language (ESOL), and up to 40 percent are transient. The board of trustees is committed to providing an environment that promotes children's progress, achievement and wellbeing. The school benefits from a close partnership with Mainfreight New Zealand and with the involvement of a variety of external groups and agencies that provide additional learning opportunities for children.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are that they will have a fun, creative and safe environment where learning and cultures are celebrated. The charter states that the school will be a place where the very best learning opportunities are provided, to encourage children to reach their full potential and succeed in an ever-changing world. Through encouragement, modelling, and exploration children will learn to value excellence, innovation, diversity, equity, community participation, ecological sustainability, integrity and respect for themselves, others and human rights.

The school’s achievement information shows that overall, based on the Public Achievement Information (PAI), between 63 to 70 percent of children are achieving or exceeding the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Results over the previous three years show that achievement in writing and mathematics indicate a slight trend towards the government target of 85 percent of all children achieving or exceeding the National Standards.

PAI shows that there is disparity in boys' achievement in reading and writing that has persisted over three years and is widening in mathematics. There is also some ongoing disparity between the achievement of Māori and Pacific children.

Teachers use a variety of strategies to moderate children's progress and achievement results including comparisons within teaching teams and across teams.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has had an emphasis on raising student achievement through:


  • participating in whole staff professional development in writing
  • beginning a process for teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching on outcomes for children
  • creating systems to ensure the cohesiveness of teaching and learning across the school
  • developing students' skills in managing their own learning and progress. 

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is responding to Māori children whose learning and achievement need accelerating. Teachers continue to implement and monitor ways to accelerate the progress of individual Māori children who are at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes.

The school uses the same strategies, systems and processes for Māori children as described further on in this report for all children who are at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes. There is an emphasis on increasing all children's engagement with their learning and raising their awareness of and pride in their own cultural identity. The board and principal are considering appropriate ways for consulting Māori whānau to gather and progress their hopes for their tamariki.

The board and senior leaders also agree that to further accelerate outcomes for Māori children it would be beneficial for senior leaders to continue to:

  • strengthen teachers' professional inquiry to include evidence of accelerated learning in relation to Māori children
  • analyse and report on measurable school goals for all Māori children, particularly those whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

There could also be benefits in using Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori learners with the teacher appraisal process to support teacher reflection and inquiry.

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

The school is increasingly effective in its response to individual children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Teachers have successfully accelerated the achievement of some children. Information about the progress and attendance of individual children is closely monitored by classroom teachers and team leaders. School leaders recognise the importance of continuing to advocate and embed accelerated learning practices school-wide. Senior leaders should continue to develop their analysis and reporting on the accelerated progress overtime of school-wide groups of children differentiated by their ethnicity and gender.

Teachers use a variety of approaches to identify children's skills, knowledge and learning barriers, either prior to or on entering the school. This information is used to implement appropriate support systems both within the classroom and through specific interventions. Many children are English speakers of other languages (ESOL) and the school employs a teacher with ESOL teaching expertise to support the learning of these students. The board could consider supporting more staff to gain English language teaching skills to further enhance learning for these children.

The board has a long term goal to strengthen home/school partnerships. Senior leaders implement strategies to help children monitor their own progress and they continue to develop a more culturally responsive curriculum. These practices have increased children's engagement in learning.

The board and senior leaders discuss evidence of the effectiveness of teaching and learning practices that accelerate the progress of children. However trustees and senior leaders acknowledge that further developing the use of analysed evidence-based information would strengthen the board's decision-making about the best use of resources.

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 targets for equity and excellence?

The school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices are increasingly effective in developing and enacting the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence.

Children are very engaged in their learning and many can confidently work independently of the teacher. Senior leaders have implemented consistent teaching and learning approaches, including children having the same teacher for two years, that support children to build their confidence, knowledge and skills over their time at the school. The school has a strong emphasis on ensuring all children attend school regularly.

Children are proud of their languages and cultural backgrounds and appreciate the diversity and languages of their friends. They are passionate about kapa haka, waiata and participate enthusiastically in the schools practices for welcoming visitors. They are inclusive of others and advocate for each other. The school has a strong emphasis on offering children experiences in a wide variety of sporting codes. Children are physically active and with the support of parents, teachers and trustees, successfully compete in school competitions and weekend sports teams.

Trustees and senior leaders ensure that children receive good teaching and learning based on current educational research. They offer well designed and purposeful professional learning and development to teachers which is resulting in:

  • an increase in children's engagement and the development of a school-wide understanding about learning
  • guidelines for teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching and on their own professional practice
  • more reliable and robust teacher judgements about children’s progress and achievement.

The curriculum reflects the school's mission statement and The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). It is becoming more responsive to children's strengths, interests and needs. The curriculum is currently being reviewed to better reflect educational thinking and the principles of the NZC.

The learning pathways approach ensures that children are learning through the breadth and depth of the NZC with a strong emphasis on reading, writing and mathematics. The model offers relevant contexts for children to learn about the world around them. It is an inclusive, success focussed approach that meets children’s learning needs.

The board has a strategic focus on increasing partnerships with parents and the community. Parents report that they feel welcome in the school and are increasingly involved in school activities and forums. The success of the sports programme is well supported by the positive encouragement of parents. The community is very proud of the school and the well maintained and attractive environment.

Teachers expect all children to achieve and make accelerated progress. Senior leaders have developed useful systems to support children who are yet to achieve the National Standards. The special education needs coordinator (SENCO) has overall responsibility for identifying children's learning needs and makes good use of resources, programmes and external agencies.

Senior leaders provide opportunities for teachers to build their capability to be leaders. They lead areas of interest to promote and support the improvement of teaching and learning.

The board of trustees is growing in its capacity to represent the school community. Trustees do not formally determine how effective they are being and would profit from more regularly surveying their community. There is a range of capability, experience and diversity within the board membership. The board would benefit from developing a work plan for systematically receiving reports from senior leaders on the progress with school goals and evaluating the impact of their decisions on outcomes for children.

In order to sustain current good progress and direction, school leaders agree they could:

  • continue to grow leadership capability across the school
  • clearly document expectations for professional practice
  • complete the planned charter/vision and curriculum reviews
  • present well analysed and evaluated progress and achievement information regularly to the board
  • embed internal evaluation at all levels.

Trustees should continue to use external whole board training opportunities to:

  • support the development of a systematic reporting and evaluation plan
  • strengthen their processes for managing the principal's performance.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children

The board continues to promote strategies for children to be successful lifelong learners. School leaders are focused on increasing children's self-management and goal setting skills, and strengthening teachers' professional inquiry into the impact of their teaching practices on outcomes for children. The principal should continue to build leadership to sustain and deepen new initiatives, and provide well analysed and evaluated information to the board on the progress of the school's goals.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop more targeted planning to accelerate student achievement. Planning should show how processes and practices will respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s planning and the progress the school makes. ERO is likely to carry out the next full 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.

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to consultation with Māori community. In order to address this the board must:

In consultation with the school's Māori community, develop and make known to the school's community, policies, plans and targets to improve the achievement of Māori students, in line with Ka Hikitia, the Ministry of Education's strategy for Māori to succeed as Māori. National Administration Guidelines (NAG 1.5)

7 Recommendation

To further enhance positive educational outcomes for children, ERO recommends that trustees and school leaders strengthen internal evaluation processes at all levels. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

22 March 2017 

About the school 


Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition


Cook Islands Māori




other Pacific









Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

22 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2013

June 2009

March 2006