Chisnallwood Intermediate - 19/09/2012

1. Context

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

Students come from a wide range of backgrounds and schools. This contributes to the celebration of diversity and an inclusive school culture. The board and staff maintain a strong focus on providing a broad curriculum to meet students’ interests and needs, and to make ongoing improvement to school facilities and resources. There are good levels of stability and experience within the board and staff.

The earthquake has had significant impact for many students, their families and the staff. Challenges have been effectively managed and students well supported. The school is proactive in planning for its future in a changing environment.

2. Learning

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

Reviewers observed very good levels of student engagement within class programmes.

Students are well motivated to learn and achieve across a range of curriculum areas. The school’s analysed achievement information shows that overall, students achieve well, and some very well. Their achievement is highest in reading. The spread of student achievement is greatest in written language. Maori students achieve a little below that of others. Pacific students achieve at levels closer to their peers.

The principal and curriculum leader have identified the need to continue to improve teachers’ abilities to make reliable and consistent judgements about students’ achievement levels. Work is continuing through the Student Achievement Function (SAF) project.

Useful targets have been adopted and some suitable steps are being taken to raise achievement in written language and to promote the progress of both Maori and Pacific students. Students usually make good progress towards achieving the annual improvement targets set by school leaders.

A strong feature of achievement across the school is the high level of success of individuals, groups and teams in cultural and sporting events and competitions. Many students are benefiting from the opportunities they have to develop their leadership skills. All of these successes are well acknowledged and celebrated.

Teachers continue to improve the consistency with which they gather achievement information. They use data to:

  • identify students’ learning needs
  • group students within class programmes and provide additional specialist teaching for learning support, gifted and talented and particular learning interests
  • set achievement targets, including accelerated learning for students achieving below National Standards
  • monitor the progress of students
  • report progress and achievement to students, their parents and the board.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum provides students with a broad, balanced and varied range of learning experiences that help to promote students’ interests and engagement.

Features of the curriculum include:

  • an appropriate focus on literacy and mathematics
  • the wide range of opportunities for students to achieve academic, cultural and sporting success, within and beyond the school
  • the variety of programmes taught by specialist teachers and tutors.

Reviewers confirmed the judgements made by the principal and curriculum leader about the overall quality of teaching. Teachers use a very good range of teaching approaches to foster students’ learning. These include:

  • the fostering of respectful, affirming relationships between students and teachers and the creating of a positive and supporting learning environment
  • focussed and well paced lessons and questioning that extends students’ thinking
  • regular feedback to students about their learning and guidance in goal setting
  • creating good opportunities for cooperative learning
  • adapting class programmes in response to the range of students’ learning needs
  • providing additional learning support for both high and low achievers.

Students’ learning is well supported by good levels of resourcing for information and communication technologies (ICT).

Teachers and school leaders are continuing to develop the school’s curriculum. The usefulness of documented guidelines would be enhanced through better reflecting the uniqueness of the school, students and community. The curriculum could make more explicit reference to the particular needs, interests and circumstance of the school’s students and community and how teachers respond to these areas.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school acknowledges and celebrates the culture of Māori and Pacific students. The whare is well established and a focal point within the school. It provides an appropriate context for all students to learn about and appreciate aspects of tikanga Māori. There are cultural groups for Māori and Pacific students through which students celebrate their cultures. The school supports good role models for students within the school to help develop and support good relationships.

All students have opportunity to learn te reo Māori. Displays around the school help to acknowledge New Zealand’s bicultural heritage

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.

The board and principal work in partnership to develop and achieve common goals. The strategic plan has been revised and provides useful future direction for the school. Trustees strongly support curriculum initiatives and provide resources to support them.

The principal provides strong leadership and support for staff, students and the board. He works well with staff to set high expectations, encourage innovation and maintain a strong focus on students’ achievements and well-being.

School leaders work in ways that foster a culture of collaboration and on-going improvement. Appropriate management structures are in place to support the day to day operations of the school. Improvements are being fostered through professional development and reflective practices. Teachers indicated they feel well supported in their work with students.

ERO supports the principal’s plans to further develop several aspects of leadership and management. This includes exploring further ways of building leadership capacity among those holding positions of responsibility.

The school conducts a variety of self reviews. The value and use of these reviews could be enhanced by:

  • extending guidelines for undertaking reviews and the use of review findings at class, syndicate, leadership and board levels
  • increasing the provision for evaluating factors that contribute to student achievement and progress
  • extending opportunities for students and parents to contribute to self reviews
  • implementing plans to link reviews more to strategic goals.

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. 

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

19 September 2012

About the School


Avondale, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)



School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 50%

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā



Other Ethnicities





Review team on site

August 2012

Date of this report

19 September 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2008

October 2005

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.