Edgewater College - 20/02/2020

School Context

Edgewater College in Pakuranga caters for students from Years 9 to 13. Students are from diverse cultures and those of Pacific descent make up almost half the roll. Māori students comprise over 20 percent of the roll.

The school’s educational vision is set by its charter statement, ‘to be a dynamic and exciting school that serves its students and community exceptionally well’, and its motto ‘Whaia te ara o Tainui (strive to follow the path of Tainui)’. The school’s valued outcomes for learners are to reach personal excellence and attain skills and dispositions for life-long learning. The desired skills and dispositions, outlined in a graduate profile based on the school’s values, are Care|Manaakitanga, Courage|Māia, and Curiosity|Manawa Reka.

Other features of the school are its close association with Te Tahawai Marae, a community governed marae sited on the schoolgrounds, and the inclusion on-site of satellite classes for Somerville Special School.

The board’s strategic plan has five key goals for school development over the next few years. These relate to shared leadership for equity and excellence, a high-quality teaching and learning community, safe and inclusive environments, effective stewardship, and systems to support innovation and change. The board’s goal is for students to be courageous, caring and curious learners in a safe, inclusive environment.

The board has set student achievement targets for National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) attainment based on yearly incremental increases of five percent at each NCEA level and for qualification endorsements levels. Specific targets for Māori and Pacific learners are the same as whole school targets for the NCEA certificate levels. The school also has student engagement targets.

Since the 2016 ERO review, changes include the appointment of a new principal, a new board chair and some restructuring of senior leadership roles.

The board is undertaking ongoing redevelopment of the school buildings to provide a modern learning environment. Schoolwide professional learning and development (PLD) is focused on teaching and learning approaches that increase student engagement and agency for their learning, including culturally responsive practices.

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

  • Years 11 to 13 student progress and achievement in NCEA qualifications
  • Years 9 and 10 student achievement
  • student ownership of learning
  • patterns and trends in areas related to student engagement and wellbeing
  • participation and success in co-curricular areas, including sport, culture and the arts.

The school is part of the Pakuranga West Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (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 successful in achieving increasingly excellent outcomes for students and is making good progress towards more equitable outcomes for students in Years 9 to 11. Achieving equitable outcomes for all groups of students is an ongoing priority for the college.

Student achievement in NCEA has generally increased since the 2016 ERO review, with the most significant increase at Level 3. Attainment of University Entrance (UE) has trended upward since 2016. The school is currently targeting improved gender parity at NCEA Levels 2 and 3, as well as in UE. While there has been some recent improvement for Māori in NCEA Level 3 and UE, parity at these levels also remains a target for the school.

Data show that most school leavers attain at least Levels 1 and 2 qualifications. Achievement at Level 2 is increasing. There is greater parity in achievement for ethnic groups at these levels. There are lower retention rates for boys, particularly Māori, and this may be a contributing factor in a continuing disparity in boys’ achievement.

The achievement of Pacific students in NCEA is generally at or above the overall school achievement levels.

School data show that students’ reading and mathematics achievement improves significantly through Years 9 and 10. In 2018, by the end of Year 10 almost all students were at or above expectations in reading, and most students were at or above in mathematics.

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

The school is successfully accelerating the learning of most students who need this. Most students who begin Year 9 below expected literacy and numeracy levels have attained at least the expected level by the end of Year 10. School information for 2018 shows accelerated progress in reading for Year 9 Māori learners.

Students with high learning needs are catered for through effective learning support programmes. Junior students in the learning support groups make accelerated progress, and longitudinal cohort tracking shows that most of these learners access meaningful qualification pathways and achieve at least Level 2 NCEA.

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?

A collaborative, improvement-focused partnership between the board and school leaders supports school development. Trustees receive useful information from leaders to inform their decision making. Board processes show a good balance between improvement and accountability functions. Internal evaluation at this level includes staff, student and community contributions, and informs plans to build collective capability.

School leaders have a strong focus on providing a learning environment that effectively engages students in learning. Students’ wellbeing and learning are supported by well-developed pastoral and learning support networks. The schoolwide focus on caring (manaakitanga) and relationships (whanaungatanga) engenders an inclusive, tolerant learning community.

Curriculum innovations and teaching and learning developments have resulted in an increasingly responsive curriculum. New curriculum approaches and ongoing course review and redesign are increasing students’ active engagement in learning. Student views on curriculum changes, collected through student voice surveys and student leadership forums, contribute to curriculum reviews and teacher inquiries. There is a high level of student engagement in classroom programmes.

Teachers’ PLD is well aligned with curriculum development priorities. They are involved collaboratively in the introduction of teaching and learning innovations. These developments are centred on integrated approaches that promote future-focused capabilities, such as collaboration and creative and critical thinking. PLD that focuses on culturally responsive and relational pedagogy is a key component of this work in the school’s culturally diverse setting.

Students and staff benefit from the school’s close association and effective partnership with Te Tahawai marae. The marae provides a learning environment where te reo and tikanga Māori affirm the language culture and identity of akonga Māori. It also contributes to schoolwide understandings of te ao Māori and the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

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

School internal evaluation is focused on raising student achievement. This evaluation could now have a greater focus on increasing equity for students.

Continuing to find ways to engage all parents and the community in learning partnerships is a key strategic target for the school. Building on current culturally responsive, inclusive practices across the school will help to continually strengthen learning relationships with the school’s culturally diverse students and families, particularly with whānau Māori.

Leaders also recognise that further planning and PLD with the Kāhui Ako will help teachers to implement strategies that increase student agency. This includes developing greater schoolwide consistency in the use of formative assessment practices and continuing the introduction of digital technologies that support learner agency.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (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 the review there were 28 international students attending the school.

There is appropriate pastoral care for international students and they are very well supported to achieve educational success. They are involved in a range of co-curricular activities and participate in the wider life of the school. Systems for monitoring compliance with the Code are effective.

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 Edgewater College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the collaborative improvement-focused work of the board and school leaders that supports school development
  • the strong leadership focus on providing a learning environment that engages students in learning
  • well-developed pastoral and learning support networks that support students’ wellbeing and learning
  • curriculum programmes and teaching that are increasingly responsive to diverse learner needs.

Next steps

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

  • including a stronger focus on equity of outcomes for learners in all school internal evaluation
  • continuing to develop and embed schoolwide cultural responsiveness
  • continuing to plan and implement strategies that increase student agency.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • include the required good employer assurance statement in the annual report.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

20 February 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9-15)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 24%
NZ European/Pākehā 7%
Samoan 17%
Asian 16%
Tongan 15%
Cook Island Māori 6%
Niuean 5%
other ethnic groups 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

20 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2016
Education Review December 2011
Education Review August 2008