Glendowie School - 05/03/2014

1 Context

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

Glendowie School, located in attractive grounds close to the Tamaki estuary, in the east Auckland suburb of Glendowie, is a large primary school catering for students from Years 1 to 8.

Since the 2009 ERO review the school has undergone profound changes. An extensive fire destroyed most of the school’s buildings and resources early in 2011. School leaders, staff and community responded with resilience and rapidly established a place for children to learn. The final result is a modern, future-focused learning environment that is both reflective of, and responsive to, the school’s educational vision.

Provision is made for families to choose and apply for an alternative curriculum pathway in the school. A Montessori integrated unit is on-site as part of the primary campus.

ERO’s 2009 report identified strengths in school governance and leadership that supported high levels of student achievement and learning. These practices have been sustained and further developed.

The school’s culture is one in which children and teachers work and learn together collaboratively. Social responsibility is a key value actively promoted by all who participate in and contribute to the school’s success.

2 Learning

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

Glendowie School is very well placed to achieve Ministry of Education targets for 2017.

In-depth achievement information is tracked and analysed to record the learning progress of students at all levels in the school. Findings from inquiry into data are the basis for teachers’ programme design.

Students achieve at a high level in National Standards. Significant numbers of students achieve well above national standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori and Pacific students achieve at levels comparable to those of all other children in the school in relation to National Standards.

Students with special learning needs are promptly identified. Accelerating the progress of learners who need additional support is a priority focus for the board of trustees. Success in this area is driven by teaching teams inquiring into their practice to find strategies and programmes to improve children’s achievement. The school ethos, that ‘every child is a learner’, motivates teachers to be flexible and adaptive in their efforts to support children to make learning progress.

Student-led learning is an outstanding feature of the school’s educational success. Students manage much of their own progress and can articulate their learning journey in conferences with parents and teachers.

The majority of students entering Glendowie School at five years of age have experienced early childhood education. This background, together with the effective transition processes used by the school help children to benefit from the quality learning experiences offered at this early level.

3 Curriculum

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

Glendowie School’s curriculum is an effectively integrated model of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the Primary Years Programme (PYP), a structured inquiry approach to learning promoted by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. This combined curriculum framework is supporting and promoting student learning very effectively. The framework has been refined over several years.

Teaching teams are provided with high quality professional development programmes to support and enhance their delivery of the school’s curriculum.

The school curriculum emphasises key competencies such as thinking, participating and contributing. The school’s ‘I care’ curriculum values and promotes social connection as a positive basis for learning. A focus on processes that support learning, for example, critical thinking and problem solving, is also evident in classroom programmes. These approaches prepare children to be effective twenty-first century learners. The school focus on co-operative and collaborative learning promotes children’s well being.

Literacy and numeracy are appropriately prioritised in the curriculum as foundation learning areas. An extensive range of co-curricular activities, sports and cultural programmes, environmental experiences and education outside the classroom activities engage children in authentic and meaningful learning contexts.

The school’s e-learning vision is designed to further enhance the quality of the school’s digital learning processes.

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

Māori students make very good progress at Glendowie School and achieve well overall. They take leadership roles in school events and are involved in kapa haka performance and pōwhiri. Tuakana/teina relationships characterise the school value of caring for others.

A growth in understanding of te ao Māori is evident in the school’s curriculum and in teaching practices. As a result, Māori learners are affirmed and all children are developing a greater understanding of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. Year 3 children, for example, value their role as kaitiaki of the flax resources near the estuary.

An additional teacher of te reo Māori is employed by the board to give children the opportunity of learning te reo me ōna tikanga alongside the teaching staff. All teachers are expected to demonstrate cultural competencies in their teaching practice. Appraisal processes reflect this requirement.

The board of trustees and school leaders seek whānau views and perspectives and use these in strategic planning to further enhance educational outcomes for Māori learners.

School leaders are working on the development of a bicultural expression of the Glendowie School values. They also wish to further develop their partnerships with local iwi.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain the ongoing development and capability of staff and students. A culture of continuous improvement is evident at all levels of the school. The management of change and improvement is well paced and considered.

The principal, school leaders and teachers are a highly effective group of professionals. The principal and senior staff continue to be active contributors to the local, national and international education sector. They are highly focused on the provision of an innovative curriculum.

Thorough, purposeful self review has resulted in a high degree of coherence in school-wide processes and systems.

The board of trustees is capable, insightful and brings a variety of areas of expertise to the governance role. Board resourcing decisions are made strategically, based on student learning needs, best practice research and community consultation.

The community is rightfully proud of this school and the extensive educational opportunities it provides for children.

Provision for international students

At the time of this review Glendowie School had 17 international students. These students are well integrated into school life and benefit from high levels of social connectedness, which is the school’s basis for positive learning. The school provides high quality English language programmes.

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. The board receives regular information about the progress and achievement of international students. High quality pastoral care for international students is provided and monitored by the school.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review processes for international students are thorough.

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 four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

5 March 2014

About the School


Glendowie, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā






Other European











Special Features

Montessori State Integrated Unit Sommerville Special School - Satellite Class

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

5 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

May 2009
December 2005
July 2002