Bankwood School - 18/12/2018

School Context

Bankwood School is located in the north east of Hamilton city and provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The current roll of 355 includes 165 Māori and a significant number of students from culturally diverse backgrounds, including 50 Pacific students. There is a significant number of English language learners. The school reports that the roll tends to fluctuate, with a high number of students enrolling and leaving throughout the year.

Since the 2015 ERO review the principal and deputy principals have remained the same and there have been some changes to the teaching team. There have been new trustees elected, including the board chairperson.

The school’s main vision statement is ‘Being the Best we can Be’ and aims to promote respect-whakanuia, responsibility-kawenga, creativity-auahatanga and learning-akonga. The school’s charter states its main focus for 2018 to 2020 is to strengthen and grow teacher and student capability and community engagement.

Teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in writing and restorative practice. The school is a member of the Te Pae Here Community of Learning|Kahui Ako.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics

  • student wellbeing.

Evaluation Findings

1 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 working towards achieving equitable outcomes for all students.

In 2017 the large majority of students achieved expected curriculum levels in reading and mathematics, and the majority in writing. This data also indicates that Māori and Pākehā now achieve at similar levels in reading and mathematics. Pākehā outperform Māori in writing. Pacific students achieve at higher levels than all other groups in reading, writing and mathematics. Girls and boys achieve at comparable levels in reading and writing. In mathematics girls and boys achieved at the same levels in 2015 to 2016. However, in 2017 boys achieved at significantly higher levels.

Information gathered for all students between 2015 to 2017 shows student achievement has declined in reading and writing, and to a lesser extent in mathematics. The school has information to show that an increasing number of students enter at five years of age with low levels of literacy.

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

Leaders collated additional information about accelerated learning during the ERO review. The school is effectively accelerating achievement for some Māori and other students who need this.

This data shows effective acceleration for at-risk learners, including Maori and Pacific in reading, mathematics and to a lesser extent in writing. This includes effective acceleration for a large group of students who have not yet reached expected levels but have made more than a year’s progress within a year. Students with additional learning needs are making good progress against their individual learning and behaviour goals. Leaders now need to further develop systems to report school-wide information that shows the rate and pace of acceleration for all at-risk students.

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?

Leaders have developed relational trust at all levels of the school community. They work collaboratively to maintain a caring and inclusive school culture. Leaders ensure students with additional learning needs are well supported. Systems and processes are clear for student identification, and effective input from external agencies is accessed where appropriate. There is a planned approach to building leadership and teacher capability through appropriate professional learning and development, and a continued focus on robust appraisal processes. Leaders are well supported by the board of trustees. They have strong professional networks within the local kāhui ako which is supporting equity and excellence for all students.

The school’s curriculum is broad and responsive to students’ interests. There are many opportunities for students to be engaged in authentic and interesting learning activities that reflect the breadth of The New Zealand Curriculum. Authentic learning experiences naturally integrate reading, writing and mathematics. There is a proactive approach to using external educational and community initiatives to enrich student learning. Relationships with whānau and the wider community support student engagement and creativity. Programmes are differentiated to meet learner needs and accelerate progress for students, including those who are at risk.

Teachers have respectful relationships with students. They use a range of positive and inclusive practices to support learner diversity. Teachers provide orderly and productive environments for students and they know their interests and learning needs well. They naturally integrate aspects of culturally responsive practice into the daily teaching and learning programmes. The well-embedded school values contribute to equitable outcomes for all students.

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

Leaders, trustees and teachers need to implement a more aligned approach to accelerating learning for all at risk-students.

This should include:

  • developing specific and measurable targets for all identified groups of at-risk learners and reporting regularly to the board and parents how effectively their progress is being accelerated

  • teachers more consistently using their knowledge of the learner to plan specifically to meet their needs

  • strengthening students’ understanding of their learning pathways, particularly their progress and next learning steps.

In addition, priority needs to be given to the school’s identified next step for implementation of a consistent school-wide approach to teaching te reo Māori that will strengthen language, culture and identity for all students.

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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that builds a positive, inclusive culture for teaching and learning

  • responsive learning environments that focus on student interests and learning needs.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • school-wide target setting and reporting that includes all at-risk learners

  • practices that enable students to monitor and make decisions about their learning progress

  • strengthening the school-wide approach to teaching te reo Māori.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

18 December 2018

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

Māori 47%
Pākehā 23%
Pacific 14%
Other 16%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

18 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2015
Education Review October 2011
Education Review October 2008