Glenorchy School - 23/07/2019

School Context

Glenorchy School is a Year 1 to 8 school in Glenorchy, Central Otago. The current roll is 32 students. Teaching and learning take place in two multi-level classrooms: one for Year 1-4 students and the other for Year 5-8 students. A new principal and two new classroom teachers have been appointed since the 2016 ERO report.

The school’s location at the head of Lake Wakatipu and at the start of the Routeburn Track underpins the school’s vision, ‘The Gateway to learning Waharoa ki te akoranga’, and commitment to learning in and through nature/science.

The school’s mission is to ‘foster lifelong learning through stimulating fun experiences, delivered through quality teaching, while engaging the community and acknowledging our environment.’ The school’s values are honesty, respect, responsibility, resilience and kindness.

The school is staffed by a first-time principal and two beginning teachers.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing, mathematics and science in relation to curriculum expectations
  • achievement in learning areas across the New Zealand Curriculum
  • outcomes related to engagement and wellbeing for success
  • student attendance.

The school is an active member of the Kāhui Ako o Wakatipu|Community of Learning.

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 working well towards achieving equitable outcomes for most of its students. The principal and teachers are effectively supporting students to achieve the school’s valued outcomes, including student wellbeing and engagement. Over the last three years most students have achieved at or above the school’s expectations for reading, mathematics and science.

The previous two years show a slight decline in achievement in literacy and mathematics. The majority of students have achieved at or above the school’s expectations for writing. There is disparity for boys in literacy and for girls in mathematics. There is parity of outcomes in science for boys and girls.

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

The school is effective in accelerating learning for most students who need this. All students who need to make accelerated progress are identified and benefit from differentiated programmes designed to meet their specific needs. Learning information shows that most of these students make accelerated progress.

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 positive school culture supports a caring, collaborative and inclusive learning environment for students.

The new principal and board are building learning-centred relationships with parents/whānau. Consultation with the community is valued and informs priorities, strategic direction and the enactment of the curriculum. The principal and board proactively identify and draw on community resources and expertise to increase learning opportunities to enhance student achievement and wellbeing.

Strong pedagogical leadership is providing well-planned, focused professional development. This ongoing learning is building the quality of teaching and learning across the school. Evidence of student progress and achievement is used to inform planned actions that are improvement focused. Collaborative planning ensures that children benefit from learning environments that meet individual and group needs.

The school’s curriculum effectively enables learning and is responsive to students’ strengths, needs, and interests. Students benefit from a broad, rich, localised curriculum. They have many authentic opportunities to learn out and beyond the school. These meaningful contexts support their engagement in learning.

The primary focus of the board and school leadership is the learning, wellbeing and engagement of students. They use external expertise to help strengthen their organisational capacity and effectiveness. Trustees actively serve and effectively represent the school community building relational trust and collaboration at many levels of the community.

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

Some school processes and practices need strengthening for the achievement of equity and excellence;

  • school leaders need to strengthen the systems and processes that guide expectations for effective teaching and learning

  • trustees, leaders and teachers then need to evaluate how well these approaches are working through robust analysis of student rates of progress and achievement information in order to know if enough progress is being made

  • trustees and leaders need to further develop the evaluation process so that the impact of strategic initiatives on valued student outcomes is more evident.

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 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Glenorchy School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • the strong pedagogical leadership that is building the professional capability of teachers
  • its positive and collaborative school culture that provides for the wellbeing, engagement and learning of students and their whānau.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening systems and processes that guide effective teaching and learning
  • increasing the understanding and knowledge of sufficiency of progress of targeted groups of students to achieve equity within the school
  • further developing internal-evaluation practices and processes to know what is working well or not and why.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

23 July 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 16, Boys 16

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 32

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

23 July 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review January 2016

Education Review December 2012