Henderson High School - 22/09/2017


Henderson High School is a co-educational school, catering for students from Years 9 to 15. Twenty-four percent of learners are Māori, seventeen percent are Pacific and forty-seven percent are Pākehā.

Since ERO’s 2014 evaluation, the school has continued lifting student achievement and has responded very effectively to students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. The school has a highly focused and coordinated approach to raising student achievement and developing lifelong learners. This approach is well planned and is supported by the board, school leaders, staff and the community.

The board and school leaders are justifiably proud of the ongoing substantial gains made in the school’s overall National Certificates of Education Achievement (NCEA) achievement levels. The school’s overall NCEA achievement exceeds national and regional levels of achievement. This success is shared by all groups of students, including Māori and Pacific who achieved higher than any other group for NCEA levels 2 and 3.

Henderson High School is a proactive member of the Henderson Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL) which includes one intermediate and other contributing schools from the local area. The CoL has set achievement challenges for future improvement and expert teachers and leaders have been selected to work across the CoL schools. A long-term programme of professional learning is planned for teachers to work as a collective group in the interests of students.

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

The school responds very effectively to Māori, Pacific and other learners whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

The school’s processes and actions are highly effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence. Features that have a significant impact on enabling equity and excellence include the school’s:

  • responsive curriculum

  • leadership for equity and excellence

  • capacity and capability building

  • developing powerful connections and relationships

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.

An agreed next step is to:

  • continue to strengthen the school’s evaluation processes to drive future improvement.

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?

The school responds very effectively to Maori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Achievement information shows high levels of student success in the National Certificates of Education Achievement (NCEA) at Levels 1, 2 and 3 with a very positive upward trend inclusive of Māori and Pacific since 2012. Level 1, 2 and 3 results show that achievement is above the national average and well above percentages for other similar schools.

Māori and Pacific students enjoy the same levels of academic success as others in the school. In 2016 they achieved at a higher levels in NCEA Level 2 and 3 than other cohorts. There is some gender disparity at Level 3 with girls achieving higher than males. An increase in the number of endorsements at Level 2 is significant as well as an emerging picture of success in Scholarship.

The opportunity for students to follow diverse pathways with plans for relevant, purposeful and meaningful opportunities is motivating them to lift their achievement.

There is a school-wide focus on individual and personalised approaches for ‘knowing the learner.’ This is contributing to responsive and positive learning relationships that support students and their engagement in learning. The principal initiates positive relationships at enrolment with each student and their family. The collation of end of Year 8 transition information, school testing and the identification of each student’s strengths, capabilities and identified needs, helps support teachers to develop relevant class programmes.

School targets focus on the continuous improvement of student success rates in NCEA and UE and the achievement of quality credits in Merit and Excellence. Year 9 and 10 literacy and numeracy targets aim to ensure students reach curriculum level 5 by Year 11. Academic conferencing and pathways counselling support teachers to have a clear understanding of the academic progress of every student and to encourage students’ commitment to their future aspirations.

Student achievement is carefully tracked, monitored and mapped by teachers and Deans. They maintain an up-to-date knowledge of individual student’s achievement progress, engagement and attendance. This information is promptly reported back to students and parents. An improved analysis of Year 9 and 10 achievement and the introduction of predictive grades continues to help improve student performance. The longitudinal achievement information from 2012 shows a group of students who were achieving below their expected curriculum levels went on to accelerate their learning and achieve NCEA Level 3 in 2016.

Highly effective learning support provides a multi layered approach for students to access a range of personalised and flexible learning opportunities that support their learning pathway. The Special Education Needs Co-ordinator works with teachers across departments and with outside agencies to respond more effectively to students whose learning and achievement needs accelerating. Teachers and learning assistants share a commitment to, and responsibility for students’ learning and progress.

School leaders continue to carefully moderate assessment practices to ensure the school’s publicly reported data is dependable.

The school’s culture promotes student qualities of self-belief, respect and trustworthiness through having a sense of being valued, cared about and recognised as individuals. These values and qualities are reflected in students’ sporting capabilities, community participation and consideration for others.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school’s processes are highly effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence.

This is most attributable to the school’s:

  • responsive curriculum

  • leadership for equity and excellence

  • capacity and capability building

  • educationally powerful connections and relationships.

Students are highly connected and engaged in their learning within an inclusive school culture. A holistic, wrap-around approach to pastoral care and the use of restorative practices sets the conditions for student wellbeing and achievement. A range of authentic and relevant learning contexts in and outside the school community allows students to engage in many different opportunities to support their future learning pathways.

The provision of digital technology is extending opportunities for students to experience the breadth of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and to enhance their levels of literacy and numeracy. The integrated curriculum focus of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is promoting collaborative learning for some students through problem solving and critical thinking opportunities in real world contexts.

School leadership has a deliberate focus on equity and excellence through its strategic approach and alignment with school goals. Leadership is very effective at building relational trust and collaboration at every level of the school community to support the achievement of these goals. A relentless focus on achievement outcomes is evident and positively influencing students’ progress towards achievement. Explicitly sharing data-based evidence with parents and students supports the motivation of students to learn and attend. Strategic recruitment of new leaders and growing expert leaders within the school is supporting improvements in teaching and learning that promote equity and excellence.

All teachers participate in the school’s professional development groups to build their professional capacity. They focus on implementing school improvement initiatives which align with the school’s strategic goals. Individual departments promote collaborative inquiry processes to improve outcomes for students. Teachers are increasingly successful in finding new and innovative ways to raise student achievement. Their use of digital technologies is steadily enhancing students’ digital literacy. Teachers are valued for their energy, active participation, curriculum knowledge and their ability to lift student achievement.

Henderson High School’s learning culture is underpinned by positive relationships. The school has many effective ways of communicating, consulting and building partnerships with its community. Family and whānau are becoming increasingly involved in student learning through digital and social platforms.

The school benefits from the considerable support and involvement of community groups, business and tertiary partners. Initiatives from these partnerships target student care and emotional needs, curriculum opportunities and support a range of student learning pathways. The co-option of a Māori trustee is helping develop positive relationships with the Māori community.

The Henderson CoL is working towards strengthening its relationship with local iwi to support community and school initiatives.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school has highly effective processes in place to promote equity and excellence for Maori, Pacific and other learners.

Continuing to extend the school’s evaluation practices will help to further drive future improvement. For example, it would be worthwhile to evaluate the range of learning pathways and students’ curriculum and pathway preferences. This could provide information that helps teachers to ensure that the curriculum continues to make deeper and more deliberate connections to learners’ lives, out of school experiences, and changing real-world contexts. In addition, an evaluation of the school’s pedagogy could also help teachers to increase collaborative learning practices planned for the new open learning spaces and grow more inclusive learning communities.

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 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 it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of the review there were ten international students attending the school.

Henderson High School has good systems to maintain the quality of both education and pastoral care for international students. Progress towards achievement is well monitored and student course selections continue to be considered and personalised. Students are well integrated into the school’s educational community and cultural experiences. Self-review processes are in place to ensure systems continue to develop and improve.

Going forward

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

The school has highly effective processes in place to promote equity and excellence for Māori, Pacific and other learners.

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.

An agreed next step is to continue extending the scope of the school’s evaluation processes to drive future improvement.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

22 September 2017

About the school


Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition



Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

22 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2014
October 2011
August 2008