Burnham School - 16/01/2018

School Context

Burnham School is a full primary (Years 1 to 8) school. It is located in the Selwyn District of Canterbury. It has a growing roll (currently 164 students), 34% of whom identify as Māori.

The school is on the same site as the Burnham Military Camp. It has a strong relationship with and is well supported by the military. Defence force families constitute about 50% of the school’s roll. Other local children make up the rest of the school population. The nature of military family deployments has a significant effect on enrolment fluctuations. There have been recent changes to staffing, the leadership team and board personnel. A second bilingual class was established in 2017.

The school’s overarching vision is ‘Stand tall, aim high’. This challenges learners to know and feel good about themselves and to try their best. A key part of this vision is a focus on literacy and numeracy. The school aims to have learners who will graduate as self-directed, collaborative and connected young people, able to find their place in the world. The school’s learning goals are to provide the best quality education for learners within a fun, safe and friendly learning environment. It also aims to provide opportunities for learners to be challenged to reach their potential. School values are visible, well explained and reflect some of the military values within the school community.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the National Standards

  • outcomes for children with additional learning needs

  • progress and accelerated progress

  • progress and achievement in relation to school and national targets

  • outcomes related to engagement and wellbeing for success

  • outcomes related to identity, culture and language.

The school is a member of the Ngā Peka o Tauwharekākaho Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The 2017 achievement information shows that the school is effectively working to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

School information shows that 77% of children are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics, and 72% in writing. The school data shows boys and Māori children are over represented in the ‘below’ levels for achievement.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is responding well to those Māori and other students whose learning needs to accelerate.

Strategies employed by teachers over 2017 have effectively raised levels of achievement and reduced the levels of disparity in reading and writing. However, disparity still exists for Māori boys in mathematics.

The school is able to show the levels of progress and acceleration over the year for individual students. This data shows that approximately one third of students’ learning has been accelerated in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school has made a strategic decision to raise the profile of Māori in the school as a response to the need to accelerate the learning of some Māori students. The place of Māori culture, identity and language is highly valued. Māori students have the choice of learning in bilingual or English medium classes. Their progress and achievement is closely monitored and individual students are provided with programmes and ways of learning that best suit their particular needs.

Students with special learning needs are well supported to progress. The inclusive culture within the school helps children to know they belong and are valued.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The principal is providing strong ongoing professional leadership that ensures a focus on key goals and targets to improve outcomes for students. The school is highly responsive to the needs of students and their families. Students benefit from a school-wide culture that values and supports them as individuals and which is focused on each child achieving success. School leadership ensures professional development and appraisal are carefully targeted to build capability around school initiatives and support teachers to meet students’ needs. The principal is well supported by a committed, well-informed board that has a clear understanding of its roles and responsibilities, particularly in achieving equity and excellence for all students.

Leaders and teachers use a range of effective ways to ensure strong, respectful relationships within the school and beyond. Teachers work collaboratively to share information and practices and to develop strategies to improve students’ learning and wellbeing. A new digital learning and communication system is facilitating reciprocal school - home relationships by enabling children to share their learning with their parents.

Community and learner opinions are actively sought and well used to inform decisions at all levels of school organisation. Leaders and teachers are responsive to the special circumstances of many of the children and their families. A pastoral care network effectively meets the needs of their families.

A broad, culturally responsive curriculum offers students rich opportunities for learning. Individual students who need extra support are clearly identified, closely monitored and planned for. Teachers adapt programmes to engage learners and involve learners in goal setting and making decisions about their learning. Bicultural understandings are reflected throughout school practices and programmes. The school benefits from very useful connections with and support from organisations such as the army, local businesses and other agencies. These relationships support a wide range of resourcing and activities for students’ learning and wellbeing.

The school has successfully addressed next steps actions in its previous Education Review Report in 2014.

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

In order to ensure sustainability of leadership, processes and the strategic direction, the school needs to continue to build the leadership capacity of its junior and senior school leaders.

Teachers are beginning to reflect on their practice through the appraisal system and through teaching as inquiry. The school needs to continue to support teachers to develop a more consistent and evaluative approach to their professional reflection and inquiry. It also needs to ensure that the positive outcomes of inquiry projects are used to effect sustained improvements for students.

The school needs to track and make known to staff and board throughout the year, the levels of progress and acceleration of students at risk of poor outcomes. This should help the school better monitor the progress of those who need extra support to succeed.

To further recognise the gifts and talents that studentshave, the school could expand its definition of gifted and talented to include Māori concepts of giftedness.

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:

  • professional leadership that supports teachers to grow in their professional capacity

  • the high importance placed on te ao Māori to ensure Māori students are given the best opportunities to succeed as Māori

  • the strong, caring relationships particularly for families who have a parent in active service.

Next steps

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

  • building amongst staff and the board a shared understanding of robust internal evaluation

  • developing a useful framework to support and implement robust internal evaluation, that covers all aspects of school life over time

  • tracking and making known to staff and board throughout the year, the levels of progress and acceleration of students at risk of poor outcomes.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

16 January 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls: 50% Boys: 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori: 35%
Pākehā: 57%
Pacific: 6%
Other: 2%

Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)

Number of students in Level 1 MME

Number of students in Level 2 MME


Number of students in Level 3 MLE

Number of students in Level 4a MLE

Number of students in Level 4b MLE

Number of students in Level 5 MLE


Review team on site

October/November 2017

Date of this report

16 January 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review: July 2014
Education Review: August 2011
Supplementary Review: June 2008