Glenfield College - 31/08/2017


The significant shift in Glenfield College NCEA achievement in 2016 is an indication of the effectiveness of leaders’ and teachers’ personalised and relational initiatives. Considerable efforts are made so students can access a curriculum that is responsive to their individualised learning needs and pathways.  

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

1 Context

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

Glenfield College on Auckland’s North Shore is a multicultural secondary school catering for students from Years 9 to 13. The school values are ‘With Pride and Respect – Mā maru wehi, Kā rāhiri’. The college values the inclusion of students with high learning needs from Wilson School and Wairau Valley Special School. These classes are adjacent to and network with the college’s learning support department.

Staffing changes have enabled the appointment of leaders and teachers who bring fresh perspectives and innovation to the professional learning culture of the school. A new principal began his tenure Term 2 in 2016, and has had a significant influence on practices to effect positive outcomes for learners.

The college is a member of the Kaipatiki Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL), which includes local kindergartens and primary and intermediate schools from Glenfield.

ERO’s 2014 report noted that students benefitted from the college’s positive learning environment based on restorative practices, inclusion, respect and an appreciation of diversity. This review finds that trustees, leaders and staff have sustained this accepting and supportive culture, and they continue to seek further ways to enhance students’ learning opportunities.

ERO’s 2014 report also identified development priorities that have been more particularly addressed during the past year. These priorities included making more effective use of achievement data to accelerate priority learners' progress, developing more coherent learning pathways for students, reviewing leadership effectiveness, and strengthening teachers’ reflection on the effectiveness of teaching practices. 

2 Learning

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

School leaders and staff have increased the effectiveness of their use of achievement information to make positive changes in learners’ progress and achievement. Achievement information is now more deliberately analysed and used by:

  • heads of departments, in newly formatted curriculum reports to the board
  • teachers, in their inquiries into the effectiveness of their teaching practice
  • leaders and staff, to openly and collaboratively forecast and monitor NCEA credit progress.

In 2016, the college’s results in National Certificates of Achievement (NCEA) showed significant, positive shifts. In particular there was an overall 16 percent rise in achievement at Level 2. The biggest shift was seen in Māori achievement at the University Entrance Level with an increase of 22 percent. Māori achievement also rose 11 percent on average, in Levels 1, 2 and 3. Overall achievement at the college is now tracking close to national achievement levels using roll-based data, and Māori achievement is now higher than national Māori achievement. There was also an increase in the number of merit and excellence endorsements in 2016, particularly in Level 1.

These positive shifts can be attributed to the more personalised approaches introduced in 2016 to promote priority learners’ success and self efficacy. These initiatives include:

  • well considered, aspirational targets, backed by deliberate teaching and system actions to achieve these targets
  • collective staff knowledge of, and responsibility for, priority learners’ NCEA progress
  • offering additional opportunities for students to work individually with teachers
  • raising expectations, and restructuring systems for academic mentoring to closely support students in their individual learning pathways
  • developing active partnerships with parents/whānau to support their children’s learning.

These 2016 initiatives are helping leaders and teachers to work towards reducing the disparity in NCEA achievement between Māori and Pacific students and other groups.

In 2017, leaders and teachers are focusing more on raising literacy and numeracy achievement in Years 9 and 10 so that students are ready to be successful in NCEA at Year 11. Together with staff, leaders are developing relevant assessment practices and frameworks for tracking progress in Years 9 and 10. These frameworks are well aligned with the levels of the New Zealand Curriculum.

The college is working with CoL contributing schools to share achievement information, and to determine common approaches to assessment. Senior leaders are considering ways to transfer the successful 2016 initiatives to benefit learners in Years 9 and 10.

Leaders and teachers have also improved the ways they use achievement information to engage parents in conversations about learning. Parents have easier access to relevant data, particularly through online sharing of real-time achievement information. They also have increased opportunities to discuss their children’s progress in depth. This is helping parents to participate in decision making at important transition points on their children’s educational journey. 

3 Curriculum

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

The Glenfield College curriculum is supporting students well to engage and succeed in their learning. It is future focused, and is accepting and supportive of students’ diverse learning needs and aspirations.

Teachers and leaders follow holistic approaches to enable students to know themselves as learners. They make considerable efforts so students can access a curriculum that is responsive to their individualised learning needs and pathways, and supports their success in meaningful qualifications.

Students are proud of their school. They are supported well to develop confidence and a sense of belief in themselves as learners. They have multiple forums to voice their perspectives regarding the curriculum and school life, and they are confident that their voice is heard and responded to by teachers and leaders.

The college provides extensive and responsive provision for students’ pastoral care. Restorative and pastoral practices are interwoven in the curriculum to support students’ wellbeing, welfare, and readiness for learning. Mentoring across the school is advancing students’ personal growth and educational success. During the first two terms of 2017 there has been a significant increase in student attendance, punctuality to school and student engagement.

The curriculum reflects the intentions and key competencies of The New Zealand curriculum (NZC). The school manages the constraints of its small size well to provide a broad and meaningful curriculum for students. Vocational Pathways, the use of digital technologies, and distance learning help the school to provide a broad programme. A range of Education outside the Classroom (EOTC), sports and cultural activities enrich the curriculum offered. The college’s science department has supported student representatives to win the national robotics competition for the past two years.

The school’s vocational pathways programme enables students to gain relevant qualifications, and make them informed about future employment opportunities. Subject departments are adapting learning opportunities, and using external expertise, to accommodate learners’ vocational pathways and support the school’s academic focus. Many students follow combined vocational and academic programmes of learning, including those linked to the Service Academy.

Senior leaders have identified relevant priorities that include continuing to develop:

  • students’ self efficacy and ownership of their learning pathways
  • a strong foundation of learning through the Year 9 to 10 curriculum
  • teaching practices and programmes that support students’ e-learning skills and knowledge.

Further curriculum development priorities include considering ways to include a health programme for Years 11 to 13.

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

The college values and affirms Māori students’ identity, language and culture. Bicultural practices are becoming increasingly integrated in the curriculum and reflected in school life.

The significant shift in Māori NCEA achievement in 2016 is an indication of the effectiveness of leaders’ and teachers’ personalised and relational initiatives. Students are well supported to grow in confidence as Māori in the school. The school’s 2017 data indicate that Māori students are more engaged in school, and are continuing their learning longer through to Year 13.

This year, teachers’ appraisals include a more specific focus on building culturally responsive teaching practice to engage Māori students in learning. The aim is for Māori students to have a greater sense of succeeding as Māori in the school, and to achieve greater achievement parity with their peers. There is a similar focus on supporting Pacific student engagement and achievement parity.

Senior leaders and trustees recognise the value of developing a strategic plan for Māori success, in collaboration with whānau Māori. Māori leadership of such a plan could be useful to coordinate the work of the multiple efforts made to promote Māori student success, as Māori, in the college.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Glenfield College is well placed to sustain the momentum of 2016’s initiatives and achievement success, and to continue adapting and refining practices for student equity and excellence. Trustees, leaders and teachers demonstrate a commitment to ongoing improvement. Evaluation for improvement is motivated by the need to make changes that have a positive impact on student learning and wellbeing.

College leaders promote a sense of optimism, and confidence in the school vision, which inspires young people to be future focused, and well prepared to follow their pathways. Learners are at the centre of decision making, planning and practice at all levels of the college. The college has a clear sense of direction and strategic leadership. The board’s vision is purposefully aligned to management planning, school improvement goals, and targets for raising achievement.

The board of trustees provides sound stewardship of the school. Trustees work collaboratively with the principal and school leaders to develop strategic and annual planning. This planning, and the achievement of annual goals are informed by ongoing evaluation that includes student, whānau and staff perspectives.

Highly effective leadership has driven positive changes over the past 18 months, resulting in greater student engagement in learning and achievement success. Coherent strategies and school systems are guiding school-wide consistency and improvement. These include raised expectations, curriculum planning and evaluation, as well as improvement-focused teacher appraisal.

Professional learning and the new appraisal process are relevant, and aligned to school priorities. In recent years there has been a deliberate focus on building teacher capability in analysis and use of achievement data. Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) has been successfully embedded and evaluated to fit the school’s context.

ERO recommends that trustees, leaders and teachers continue to embed the 2016 initiatives, and to adapt the curriculum and teaching practice through evaluative inquiry and evidence-based decision making. 

Provision for international students

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. At the time of this review there were 46 international students attending the school. Students contribute well to the college’s inclusive and cultural environment.

The college provides inclusive and relevant programmes for international students. An experienced coordinator provides evaluative reports for parents and the board on student learning, achievement and their participation in school life and the community.

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.


The significant shift in Glenfield College NCEA achievement in 2016 is an indication of the effectiveness of leaders’ and teachers’ personalised and relational initiatives. Considerable efforts are made so students can access a curriculum that is responsive to their individualised learning needs and pathways.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

31 August 2017

About the School 


Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 58%, Girls 42%

Ethnic composition

South East Asian
Middle Eastern
other Pacific


Special Features

2 classes from Wairau Valley Special School

2 classes from Wilson School

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

31 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Supplementary Review

June 2014
August 2010
May 2007