Christchurch South Intermediate - 09/02/2017


Christchurch South Intermediate caters for the specific learning needs of Years 7 and 8 students in a welcoming, inclusive environment. Positive, restorative practices support students’ sense of belonging and wellbeing. Students are provided with rich, broad learning experiences that help them achieve success. The school is well led and managed. Robust systems are in place to ensure legal requirements are met.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

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

Christchurch South Intermediate has a long-established history of catering for the educational and wellbeing needs of students in Years 7 and 8. The school provides a welcoming and inclusive environment. Specialist teaching provisions and spaces cater for the specific learning needs of students. A key feature of the school is the use of positive, restorative practices to support students’ sense of belonging.

School leaders, including the board, and teachers are actively involved in a learning cluster that is focused on continuing to improve teaching, learning and achievement across the school. They have also participated in a nation-wide project focused on raising understanding of Māori success as Māori.

Since the 2013 ERO review, there have been a small number of key staff changes. These have impacted on some areas of ongoing school development such as the work of engaging Pacific families. School leaders have used these changes to provide opportunities to increase leadership capacity and to progress positive changes.

The school has addressed the areas for improvement from the 2013 ERO review. These include broadening the school’s curriculum, increasing the ways students know about their own learning and increasing teachers’ understandings of ways to support Māori learners.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Leaders and teachers make very good use of high quality achievement information to inform decisions and make positive changes to students’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Teachers know students well and closely monitor their wellbeing, progress and achievement. They have high expectations for students’ success. Teachers use student achievement information effectively to plan specifically for the needs, interests and strengths of individuals and groups of students.

School achievement information shows that most students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Māori students’ achievement is similar to their peers, particularly in reading. School leaders have identified that they need to continue to target and strengthen the accelerated progress and achievement of Māori and Pacific students.

The school’s achievement targets clearly identify particular student groups who need additional support. Students most at risk of not achieving are provided with specific classroom interventions and a wide range of additional programmes and individualised external supports. Targeted initiatives are in place to promote students’ learning and engagement, particularly in writing.

Teachers use an appropriate range of assessment tools to plan for group and individual learning needs. Parents are provided with useful and easily understood information about their child’s learning and progress across all learning areas. School leaders have identified that their next step is to extend the internal moderation practices used for writing to other learning areas.

Leaders and teachers have very close links with local schools. This ensures purposeful links with contributing schools and helps students to make positive transitions into the school.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum provides rich, broad learning experiences that effectively promote and support student learning.

School leaders and teachers have undertaken an extensive review of the school’s curriculum that is well-considered and clearly based on research. A key part of this work has been to ensure Māori concepts of wellbeing underpin the curriculum.

Teachers support students to learn in a variety of ways. They specifically plan relevant and interesting co-curricular activities to extend and challenge students while meeting their learning needs and interests.

Students are provided with a wide range of diverse leadership opportunities. The school’s Aim High programme offers meaningful and achievable challenges for all students and promotes the school’s focus on independence and social justice.

Teachers work collaboratively and engage purposefully in reflective practices to enhance teaching and foster student learning. They are approachable and flexible in the ways they work and respond to students’ identified needs. Teachers use a variety of relevant strategies to engage students in learning.

Leaders and teachers have been involved in a number of targeted professional development initiatives. This has resulted in significant development in school-wide approaches to learning and teaching, including:

  • greater collaboration among teachers
  • increased use of flexible spaces to better suit the learning preferences of students.

Students have many opportunities to express their views and provide feedback about their learning and class programmes. Teachers and leaders value this feedback and consider it as part of their decision making.

Leaders and teachers actively communicate with parents and whānau in multiple ways to support students’ learning and achievement. There are many opportunities for parents to participate in a variety of educational workshops to further develop their knowledge and enhance communication with their children.

School leaders and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, that they need to continue to consolidate and implement the newly-designed curriculum and embed the well-researched competencies, teaching strategies and approaches into practice.

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

The school’s inclusive environment promotes a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing for Māori students and their whānau.

All students are able to regularly learn about and experience Māori language and culture. The development of an action plan ensures that aspects of tikanga Māori and bicultural concepts are incorporated purposefully across school practices and programmes.

Teachers are well supported by the lead teacher of Māori to extend their knowledge of Māori language and culture. Students have extended opportunities to increase their te reo and tikanga Māori knowledge through extension class provisions.

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

The school has a positive focus on promoting educational success for Pacific students. Senior leaders have appointed a lead teacher to foster awareness and support understanding of Pacific languages and cultures across the school. The development of an action plan details how aspects of Pacific cultures can be incorporated into school planning and programmes.

School leaders and the board recognise that there is a need to further engage with and build stronger connections with the school’s Pacific community.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The school’s vision, values and goals are clearly understood by the board and teaching staff and guide the school’s direction and identified priorities. There is close alignment between the school’s strategic direction, annual plans and other key documentation.

The school is strategically led and managed. Senior leaders are highly supportive and provide effective leadership and direction. They are strongly focused on improvement and ensuring a positive culture of collaboration and shared understandings.

Senior leaders have created a distributed leadership approach. They make very good use of individual teacher strengths and expertise to support school development. They value innovation and well-researched thinking. Senior leaders manage change in a deliberate, carefully-paced way.

School leaders build teacher capability by using a thorough appraisal process. They have identified that the appraisal process could be further strengthened by including a more formalised teaching observation process.

Trustees bring a range of expertise and experience to their governance role. They are highly supportive and strongly improvement focused. They make very good use of the range of information provided to them to inform their decision making.

The school’s internal evaluation is underpinned by its strategic priorities. This process is well-planned and focused on improving class programmes and school practices. Senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that internal evaluation could be further refined by aligning it more closely with other strategic documentation.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

The school has good systems in place to support the learning, pastoral care and wellbeing of international students.

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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


Christchurch South Intermediate caters for the specific learning needs of Years 7 and 8 students in a welcoming, inclusive environment. Positive, restorative practices support students’ sense of belonging and wellbeing. Students are provided with rich, broad learning experiences that help them achieve success. The school is well led and managed. Robust systems are in place to ensure legal requirements are met.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years. 

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Te Waipounamu/Southern

9 February 2017

About the School 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 55%; Girls 45%

Ethnic composition





Other ethnicities






Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

9 February 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

May 2013

December 2009

May 2007