Gisborne Intermediate - 22/10/2013

1 Context

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

Gisborne Intermediate School caters for students in Years 7 and 8 from Gisborne and surrounding areas. Since the 2010 ERO review, leadership and governance have remained stable and the roll has grown. There are now 608 students attending the school, 48% of whom identify as Māori and 2% as Pacific.

The school’s vision, ‘Inspiring Young Achievers’, underpins all aspects of school life and the curriculum. There is a settled working atmosphere in the school. Class and playground routines are soundly established. Relationships between staff and students are positive and supportive. The school is well resourced and maintained.

There is a strong focus on raising literacy levels and developing a professional learning culture, where teachers share expertise and reflect on their practice.

2 Learning

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

The school uses an appropriate range of assessment tools to identify students’ progress and levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement information is used well to inform schoolwide decision making, monitor patterns and trends and identify students in need of additional help or extension. A range of systems and interventions supports students with special learning needs effectively.

School leaders use student achievement information to identify groups of priority learners and set general targets for improvement. Trustees are well informed about patterns of student achievement. Leaders and trustees use achievement information to guide decisions about school resourcing, professional learning priorities and teacher development.

Leaders are working to enhance the use of assessment information by classroom teachers in their daily planning to better target their teaching for diverse needs. They have introduced strategies to enable students to take more responsibility for their learning.

School leaders and ERO agree that further improving the use of assessment information is a key next step. This should include refining school targets, specifically related to the engagement and learning of Māori students and developing associated action plans. This should assist teaching and enable the school to evaluate the impact of initiatives and teaching programmes more effectively. The school has recently begun working with a Student Achievement Function Practitioner from the Ministry of Education for support to refine assessment practices.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s broad-based curriculum provides many opportunities and experiences that promote and support learning. There is a strong focus on literacy and numeracy. The ‘Focused Friday’ programme provides a cultural, music, science and sporting programme for all students. Information and communication technologies are effectively integrated in class programmes. Students are suitably engaged in a positive environment where affirming relationships encourage learning, progress and achievement.

The comprehensive curriculum integrates values, key competencies and learning areas. It includes clear expectations for planning, assessment and evaluation to promote students’ engagement in their learning. Teachers have clear guidance for planning for the varied needs of students. Teachers are reflective and participate in structured inquiry processes to strengthen practice.

School leaders recognise it is now appropriate to review and refine the curriculum to:

  • explicitly detail the importance and place of te ao Māori in planning and delivery
  • provide expectations for culturally responsive teaching practice.

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

The proportion of Māori students is steadily growing. School leaders and staff are focused on promoting wide success and a strong sense of belonging. Initiatives, using staff expertise, are resulting in positive changes to the schoolwide reflection of te ao Māori. There is a strong visual Māori representation in the school environment. School leaders report they have a strategic approach to increasing the number of Māori teachers in the school.

It is timely to formalise the strategic direction in a schoolwide, coherent plan that should enable the impact and effectiveness of these initiatives to be evaluated.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Features of the school that contribute to this sustainability are:

  • effective governance and strategic direction by the board of trustees
  • reflective leadership by the principal, well supported by an extended senior leadership team
  • a collegial staff and growing professional learning culture
  • a supportive environment and positive, respectful relationships
  • strong community support for school events and programmes
  • effective communication and consultation with parents and families.

There is an established reflective culture in the school. School leaders and ERO have identified it is now appropriate to refine and develop more evaluative self-review processes. This should help leaders to better measure the impact of programmes and inform strategic decision making. An important area for review is the performance management system for promoting greater consistency and continual improvement in teaching and learning.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Joyce Gebbie National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

22 October 2013

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Year 7 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 54%, Female 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā






Review team on site

August 2013

Date of this report

22 October 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2010

June 2007

June 2004