Farm Cove Intermediate - 10/11/2017


Farm Cove Intermediate in Pakuranga has just over 600 Year 7 and 8 children on its roll. Currently, Māori children comprise 10 percent of the roll, and five percent have Pacific heritage. The community’s increasing cultural diversity is reflected in higher numbers of Chinese and Indian children and smaller numbers from other ethnic groups.

Since ERO’s 2014 review, new senior leaders have been appointed and there have been changes in teaching staff. The experienced principal and several long serving trustees provide capability and continuity in school leadership. Decisions valuing student diversity include the acceptance of international students and out of zone enrolments.

The school continues to provide an attractive and well resourced learning environment. The school’s emphasis on collaborative teaching and learning has been supported by the strategically planned development of innovative learning spaces. Specialist teaching areas also feature, including Te Whare Ako, an initiative to strengthen te reo me ōna tikanga Māori school wide.

School leaders responded positively to the recommendations in ERO’s 2014 report, particularly in strengthening opportunities for Māori students to succeed as Māori. Recent professional development has deepened teachers’understanding of learning through inquiry, and of assessment practices that enable children to understand their own learning progress and achievement.

Valued whole-school outcomes focus on relationships that support student and staff wellbeing.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Farm Cove Intermediate responds well to Māori and other children whose progress and achievement need acceleration. Inclusive practices contribute to a culture of success for all, the development of empathy and openness to diversity.

Most children achieve well in relation to the National Standards. Achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics have remained steady. School data show some disparity for Māori and Pacific learners. However, there is good evidence of considerably reduced disparity for many Māori and Pacific learners over their two years in the school.

The school is well placed to make ongoing improvements. Future priorities include strengthening internal evaluation and culturally responsive pedagogies.

Learners are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Farm Cove Intermediate responds very effectively to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Inclusive practices contribute to a culture of success for all. Achievement information shows that most children achieve very well in their two years at the school.

Deliberate and planned strategies are being enacted to enhance success for Māori learners. A next step is for leaders to develop deliberate, planned strategies that enhance Pacific children’s identity, language and culture.

The board sets targets to improve achievement in relation to the National Standards. Senior leaders are aware of any disparity within and between groups of children. The progress of target groups of children is carefully monitored by team leaders and teachers to ensure students make meaningful gains in their learning. Generous and targeted resourcing is tailored to support learners who are achieving below the National Standards.

Teaching and learning practices are continually evaluated in relation to the school’s valued outcomes. School systems are designed to achieve equity and excellence, enabling senior leaders to identify and address the needs of children whose progress and achievement need acceleration.

Teachers use a variety of useful assessment strategies to ensure the dependability of overall teacher judgements (OTJs) about children’s achievement.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school has very effective processes to enable the achievement of equity and excellence. Senior leaders and teachers value student wellbeing as a contributor to learning. Building wellbeing, self-management and resilience is paramount to Farm Cove learners’ success. In-depth knowledge of the learners and the importance of sound relationships are modelled well by the principal and teachers throughout the school.

All staff are involved in literacy and mathematics teaching. Classroom teachers, specialists and learning assistants work as teams to accelerate children’s achievement in these core learning areas. Learners benefit from the lower adult-to-student ratios and the mixed-ability approaches being implemented.

The school provides effective support for children with additional learning needs. Parents and whānau engage in learning partnerships with staff and school leaders. The inclusive practices and collaborative culture support all children to reach their potential.

Children lead their learning in collaboration with their teachers and peers. Collaborative assessment practices help their understanding of their progress and achievement. Children manage aspects of their own learning. They are highly engaged and talk knowledgeably about their learning. School leaders plan to refine assessment strategies so that they are embedded in everyday class practices across the curriculum.

Leaders and teachers support a responsive, authentic curriculum that promotes high levels of engagement and passion for learning through inquiry approaches. Teachers provide high quality learning opportunities and relevant contexts to make learning meaningful for children. Classrooms are positive learning environments where children and teachers share mutual respect.

Leadership is distributed and highly collaborative across the school, helping to build trust, teachers’ capability and collective responsibility. Team leaders participate in ongoing professional development that includes coaching, to extend the consistency of teacher practices so that school goals are realised.

Strategically aligned teacher development supports professional innovative practice. Leaders work closely with The University of Auckland in the placement, training and tutoring of new graduate teachers. The school shares valued contributions to research and development across the education sector.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

ERO identified and discussed with school leaders, the importance of sustaining the school wide culture of inquiry, internal evaluation and reporting, focusing on the impact of new initiatives designed to promote equity and excellence.

This focus will involve deepening the investigation and collaborative sense-making in the learner-focused evaluation processes and reasoning. It will also include further developing strategies that enhance Pacific children’s identity, language and culture in the school.

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

  • 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.

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 this review there were 16 international students attending the school.

The school provides very well for the pastoral care of its international students. Their wellbeing and progress is closely monitored. Very good help is offered to children whose first language is one other than English. International students are supported to integrate confidently into the community.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Learners are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

10 November 2017

About the school


Pakuranga, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Yr 7 and 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition








Middle Eastern


Sri Lankan

other European

other Asian

other Pacific














Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

10 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2014

September 2011

August 2008