Deanwell School - 21/05/2019

School Context

Deanwell School is a contributing primary school located in Hamilton, catering for students in Years 1 to 6. It has a diverse ethnic roll of 353 students, including 197 Māori and 24 from Pacific heritages.

The school’s whakatauki is ‘Mā tatou anō tō mātou korowai e whatu’ (We will weave our own korowai). The school values are:

  • Tū Pono - We stand tall and proud
  • Mahi Ngātahi - We work together
  • Manaakitanga - We care and show respect
  • Aumangea - We are brave and resilient.

Deanwell School’s strategic goals for 2019 are to:

  • inspire self-motivated learners
  • uplift the capability of teaching teams
  • honour the physical and emotional wellbeing of the adults and children in their school community
  • embed sound stewardship that meets legal responsibilities.

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
  • behaviour for learning trends and patterns.

Since the previous ERO report in 2015, there have been a number of personnel and organisational changes. A new principal began at the school in July 2017 and a review of the leadership structure has resulted in changes to the senior and middle leadership teams. Several new trustees have joined the board and the chair is new to the role. The school has adopted a whānau organisation of learning teams, and students are grouped into Ohu (learning groups) where they move from class to class within the same Ohu throughout their time at the school.

The school is a member of the Te Kaahui Ako o Mangakootukutuku| Community of Learning (CoL).

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 yet to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for students.

The school’s achievement data since 2016 shows a decrease in achievement levels over time in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement data for 2018 shows that half of all students are achieving at or above expected levels in reading and mathematics, and less than half of all students are achieving at or above expected levels in writing. Approximately one third of boys are achieving at or above expected levels in writing.

The school’s achievement data shows that there is significant disparity between boys and girls in reading and writing, where boys achieve less well than girls. There is also disparity in achievement between Māori and non-Māori students in reading and mathematics where Māori are achieving less well than their non-Māori peers. These patterns of disparity have continued over time.

The school’s data shows a significant decrease in the number of escalated behaviour incidents since the start of 2018. This has been attributed to the strategic priority that has been given to school-wide behaviour for learning.

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

The school is accelerating the progress of some students whose learning is at risk, including Māori students.

The school’s data shows that over the last three years, approximately one third of at-risk learners made accelerated progress in writing, and fewer at-risk students made accelerated progress in reading and mathematics.

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?

There is a strong, school-wide focus on inclusive practice. A clear strategic commitment to bi-culturalism is evident in the range of strategies being utilised by trustees, leaders and teachers to enable authentic integration of tikanga Māori in many aspects of school organisation and practice. The whānau grouping is providing for individual learning needs and strengthening relationships between teachers and students and their whānau. Parent and student views are collected and valued. Students whose first language is not English and students with additional learning and behaviour needs are supported appropriately.

Students learn in an orderly and positive environment. The school has implemented a culturally responsive approach to behaviour for learning which is integrated into the school’s localised curriculum. Explicit teaching draws on the key competencies to support the development of students’ social and self-management skills. Teachers use appropriate strategies to promote positive behaviour and respectful relationships are evident. Classes are well managed and students are settled. A range of teaching strategies are used to engage learning.

Leadership collaboratively develops a shared vision and direction for the school. There is a collective approach to building employee capability. The provision of a wide range of professional learning opportunities for teachers and other school employees is developing a consistent understanding of school priorities and practices. Consultation is wide ranging and regular, and includes gathering whānau aspirations to inform school direction. Trustees receive regular information on strategic goals.

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

There is a need to develop a more targeted approach to accelerating learning for all at-risk students.

Leaders need to:

  • extend targeted action to include reading and mathematics
  • evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives.

Teachers need to:

  • strengthen the use of assessment practices to respond effectively to students’ needs
  • develop explicit teaching strategies focused on accelerating learning.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • an inclusive culture that creates a sense of connectedness and belonging
  • an orderly and supportive environment that is conducive to student learning
  • collaborative leadership that develops and pursues a shared vision for the direction of the school.

Next steps

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

  • targeted action to accelerate the progress of all students whose learning is at risk
  • internal evaluation to inform strategic planning with a focus on equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners
  • building professional capability and collective capacity to respond effectively to the learning needs of all at-risk students.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

21 May 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing School (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 56%
Pākehā 24%
Indian 6%
Other 14%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

21 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2015
Education Review August 2012
Education Review August 2009