Henley School (Nelson) - 16/11/2012

1 Context

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

Henley School has a roll of about 550 students, with7% identifying as Māori. It is the largest primary school in Nelson. The school, along with Henley Kindergarten, Waimea Intermediate and Waimea College, are part of a campus sited on an extensive area of land. All educational institutions cooperate to share facilities. The spacious grounds and buildings are attractively presented and highly conducive to learning. Ongoing collaborative discussions among leaders from the schools and kindergarten enhance a smooth transition to school and on to the neighbouring intermediate. Many reciprocal visits are undertaken.

The school's values and welcoming culture provide a strong foundation for sustaining and enhancing student learning and development. The mission statement of ‘reach high, strive for knowledge and live with all your heart’ is highly evident and embraced.

Partnership with families is fostered and parents, whānau and aiga support and participate in a range of activities in and out of class.

Recent developments at the school include the establishment, on school grounds, of a special needs satellite class from Maitai School and a one-day school for gifted and talented students.

Students' learning and achievement in creative, cultural and sporting areas are valued and celebrated.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

High levels of student interest, engagement and motivation are evident. Clear expectations guide learning and behaviour. Interactions between teachers and students are respectful.

The collation, analysis and use of high quality schoolwide data are strengths. Considerable work has been undertaken since the August 2009 ERO report to introduce a student management system that managers and teachers use effectively to track student progress. Achievement information is used for multiple purposes. These include the development of:

  • schoolwide targets by syndicates well informed by assessment data
  • clear monitoring of student progress and achievement by year level, gender and ethnicity
  • detailed action plans for targeted students in writing.

The school reports that at the end of 2011, 88% of students were achieving at or above National Standards expectations in reading, 79% in mathematics and 70% in writing. The school also reports that most students, including Māori, are progressing very well. Māori student achievement data is reported widely within school and to the board in literacy and numeracy. In relation to National Standards, Māori students achieve well above in mathematics and above in reading, and writing. Overall, Māori student achievement is slightly below other students in the school.

School self review has identified that teachers’ assessment judgements about writing are being strengthened as a result of targeted professional development and ongoing moderation.

Well designed processes are used to identify students needing support, deliver specific programmes to meet their needs and monitor the progress of individuals. Students benefit from a schoolwide emphasis on improving achievement through a holistic approach to their learning, development and pastoral care. The deputy principal maintains comprehensive learning and social needs registers which provide effective records of assistance, actions taken and outcomes. Trained support staff ably assist students.

3 Curriculum

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

Henley School Curriculum, developed collaboratively with parents, reflects community and local priorities and is highly effective in promoting student learning. Teachers effectively use strategies to help share learning goals and indicators of success with students. Strong practice models are evident and students are challenged in their learning. Integrated studies promote authentic situations and are complemented by specialist programmes in music and te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Teachers actively build and maintain a positive and constructive learning environment. Practices that contribute to meaningful learning include:

  • matching students’ learning preferences to teaching approaches
  • using well analysed assessment data to group students and inform teaching
  • making clear links to prior learning
  • providing focused next learning steps to empower learners.

Extensive whole-school professional development is provided. This is based on data analysis and matched to individual and syndicate needs. Staff are encouraged to inquire into their teaching strategies and are given many opportunities to share and promote best practice.

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

The school has a clear vision articulated in its strategic plan and enacted by teachers 'to enable Māori students to make connections with their culture’. Since the previous review, senior managers have actively promoted a climate of valuing and celebrating te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in the school. The introduction of a schoolwide te reo Māori programme, ably led by a specialist classroom teacher, has promoted a more culturally responsive school community. Managers have identified there is a need to continue to support teachers to integrate te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in more meaningful contexts.

Some effective strategies have been implemented to promote educational success for Māori students. Considered approaches include staff professional learning and development, and the establishment of a Māori curriculum team to oversee further developments, including the analysis of parents’ aspirations for their children.

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. Trustees, the principal and senior leaders have effective working relationships. The charter and associated annual plan show very clear links and alignment. There is a focus on measurable outcomes and review to improve outcomes for students. The board responds strategically to information received from senior leaders about student achievement and progress. Resources are appropriately allocated.

The senior management team successfully models, promotes and develops schoolwide leadership. The team has a range of expertise and works purposefully and cohesively to enact the school's vision. A well considered approach to building the leadership potential and skills of teachers has created an environment that supports collaboration, innovation and ongoing improvements in capability. Teachers value the collegial and collaborative approach to school development.

Students have high quality teaching. A strong culture of critical reflection is evident. Teachers gather information from a wide range of sources to improve outcomes for students. There is an appropriate emphasis on staff reflecting on their teaching practices and effectiveness. The senior management team has identified teaching as inquiry as an area to keep developing.

From rigorous evaluation and evidence-based self review, managers and the board have identified further priorities that will contribute to school improvement. These are to continue:

  • targeted professional development in writing to raise student achievement
  • with consistent implementation of high quality action and review plans for targeted students.

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
  • 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.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

16 November 2012

index-html-m2a7690f7.gifAbout the School


Richmond, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnic groups




Special Features

Maitai Satellite Unit

Review team on site

September 2012

Date of this report

16 November 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2009

May 2006

April 2003