Blockhouse Bay School - 13/12/2019

School Context

Blockhouse Bay School caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The school has strong connections with its ethnically diverse community and local history. Almost one-third of students are Indian, and the next largest group is Chinese. The majority of learners attending the school speak other languages in addition to English.

The school’s vision is for students to seek knowledge, understanding and success, strive to be creative, resilient and respectful, and soar confidently into the world, strong in their unique identity. To achieve its vision the school’s strategic goals are to work together to improve learning, to be designers of learning, and to promote wellbeing.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for learners in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics achievement, particularly for Māori and Pacific learners
  • acceleration of progress for learners not achieving at expected levels
  • progress of students who have additional learning needs or are new English language learners
  • achievement and progress in relation to the school’s other valued outcomes
  • student health and wellbeing
  • priorities identified in the strategic and annual plan.

Since the 2016 ERO review, leaders have introduced a new leadership structure and extended leadership opportunities for teachers.

The school is a member of the Lynfield Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning.

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 achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most of its students.

School achievement information over the last three years shows sustained levels of achievement, with most students achieving at or above expected curriculum levels in literacy and mathematics. Achievement information also shows that most students have maintained sufficient rates of progress over time.

Most Māori students are achieving at or above curriculum levels in reading and writing, and a large majority in mathematics.

Over time, achievement for Pacific students has improved, with the majority achieving at or above curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. However, in-school disparity in achievement continues for this group of students. There is also disparity in achievement for boys in reading and writing.

Students achieve very well in relation to the school’s other valued outcomes. He Manu Rere, the school’s learner profile, places a strong emphasis on social dispositions and key competencies for children’s wellbeing. These are well understood and known by students and whānau and are integral to the school’s culture and functioning.

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

The school is making good progress in accelerating learning for those students who are at risk of not achieving. Systems to accelerate learning are operating well in most areas of the school.

Māori students have achieved accelerated rates of progress in reading and mathematics over the last three years. Some Pacific students made accelerated rates of progress in reading and mathematics in 2018.

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?

The focus on equity and excellence, and the acceleration of student learning is well led by the senior leaders, who have high expectations for teaching and learning. Senior leaders with responsibility for learners with additional needs and abilities have a very strong line of sight across all these groups to ensure sustained levels of wellbeing, progress and achievement.

Students’ learning benefits from a responsive curriculum. Biculturalism is increasingly a strength of the school. The school’s te ao Māori plan is meaningfully implemented across the school and highly evident in classrooms, resulting in a more culturally relevant curriculum for Māori students. Pacific culture is strongly evident in the Years 1 to 3 classrooms. In these classrooms it is highly valued and incorporated into the local curriculum.

Classrooms are inclusive. Students with additional needs or abilities participate in learning that provides appropriate support and challenge. Students who are not yet achieving at expected levels are identified early and receive well planned, targeted support. Systems, processes and teaching strategies to accelerate outcomes for learners are continually evaluated for effectiveness.

Robust partnerships between the school and homes support learners to progress and achieve well. Parents, whānau and the community engage in joint activities and interventions to improve outcomes for children. The wider community, parents, the board, leaders and teachers, articulate and embrace He Manu Rere. Students understand the values and vision for their learning. The school’s community has shared ownership of its goals and values.

The board’s high-quality stewardship actively represents the community and works to serve the school and education community. The board has a focus on staff and learner wellbeing. The school is very well resourced by locally raised funds, which benefit the school and local community.

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

To ensure that the quality of teaching and learning meets the same high standards across the school, the senior leadership team needs to ensure that expectations for programme delivery are consistently implemented.

Greater consistency in the implementation of schoolwide professional development strategies would help ensure that all learners have access to focused, carefully implemented and monitored teaching approaches that support greater acceleration of learning.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to theEducation (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 all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were four international students attending the school.

The school has well-established procedures for promoting the educational progress of its international students. Students benefit from the school’s pastoral care systems and its inclusive, positive environment. English language programmes support students to participate successfully across the curriculum and help them to integrate positively into all aspects of school life.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Blockhouse Bay School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the senior leadership team’s strategic focus on equity and excellence for all students

  • the school’s responsive and localised curriculum

  • the board’s support for staff and student wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • ensuring all middle leaders lead teachers’ learning and ensure that quality teaching is consistent
  • ensuring consistency of targeted teaching practice to achieve accelerated student learning and reduced disparity
  • continuing to strengthen home/school partnerships to positively impact students’ learning progress.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

13 December 2019

About the school


Blockhouse Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type


School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 6%
NZ European/Pākehā 17%
Indian 29%
Chinese 21%
Pacific 8%
Middle Eastern 6%
South East Asian 4%
other ethnic groups 9%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

13 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2016
Education Review May 2013
Education Review September 2010