Elmgrove School - 30/08/2018

School Context

Elmgrove School is an urban school in Mosgiel. At the time of the review there were 313 Years 1 to 6 students at the school. The school’s vision is ‘Elmgrove learners will be resilient, caring and engaged. They will learn skills and attitudes that enable them to participate positively within their community’. The vision is underpinned by the school values of respect, caring, perseverance and responsibility.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets in reading, writing and mathematics, and intervention programmes.

Since the last ERO review in 2014 the school has appointed a new principal.

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 making good progress towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.All teachers and leaders strongly prioritise the provision of equitable opportunities for all children to achieve well.

Over the last three years, most students achieved at or above the school’s expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

Most boys achieve well in reading and mathematics. There is some disparity for boys in writing. Most girls achieve well in reading and writing, with some disparity for girls in mathematics.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported to achieve their learning goals by a system of regular, careful planning and school-wide monitoring of their progress.

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

The school is effective in accelerating the learning for many of those students who need to make this progress.All students who are at risk with their learning are very well supported. Leaders and teachers closely monitor individual engagement, progress and achievement within year groups.

In 2017 the majority of students needing to make accelerated progress did so.

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?

The school has a number of processes and practices that are highly effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence.

The board is very well informed about student learning and wellbeing and uses this information very effectively to ensure the focus remains on equity and excellence for all students. Trustees bring a valuable range of skills and experience to the governance of the school. The board is strongly focussed on serving the community and school in its role.

Leadership across the school is strong, professional and collaborative. Leaders continue to enhance the positive environment for teaching and learning by engaging in school-wide, purposeful professional development. The focus on evidence-based inquiries into teaching and learning practice has successfully supported decision making in a period of significant change. Teachers use a systematic and effective approach to gathering, tracking and sharing learning information about students.

Leaders have continuously focused on improving positive outcomes for all students by:

  • the strategic alignment of resourcing to support school priorities

  • increasing collaboration between teachers

  • building effective leadership and teaching practice

  • meaningful enactment of the school values

  • effective internal evaluation processes.

Students are at the centre of the learning community which is characterised by respect, relational trust, cooperation and team work. Students benefit from an inclusive, caring and collaborative culture where their abilities and interests are valued. They are actively engaged in authentic, well-planned learning programmes. Leaders and teachers have deliberate relationships with parents and whānau, with an increasing focus on learning. Students are effectively supported to take increasing responsibility for themselves and their learning. They can demonstrate an understanding of the incremental steps they need to take to make progress, and are aware of the relevance of their learning through mathematics and writing pathways.

A broad, coherent and responsive curriculum offers students rich opportunities for learning. New Zealand’s bicultural heritage is reflected throughout school practices and programmes. A range of well-tailored interventions support students who need extra support with their learning. Experienced and trained teacher aides are an integral and valued part of the collaborative teaching model.

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

School leaders and teachers now need to continue to use the learning information already in the school to more fully evaluate and record the:

  • sufficiency of progress for all students (whether acceleration being achieved is sufficient to reach school expectations)

  • impact of initiatives on outcomes, including evaluating the impact of strategies, programmes and interventions to improve learning and well-being outcomes for students.

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:

  • an inclusive culture that supports learning and wellbeing

  • the way in which teachers enable best outcomes for students

  • effective governance practices that are contributing to positive learning outcomes

  • learner-centred, improvement-focused teaching that contributes to improved learning outcomes

  • provision for children with additional needs that enables them to experience success.

Next steps

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

  • measuring the impact of strategies, programmes and interventions to improve learning and well-being outcomes

  • more fully evaluating and recording sufficiency of progress for all students.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

30 August 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls: 47%

Boys: 53%

Ethnic composition

Māori 12%

Pākehā 79%

Pacific 2%

Other ethnicities 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

30 August 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review: August 2014

Education Review: July 2011

Education Review: May 2008