Lemonwood Grove School - 14/02/2020

School Context

Lemonwood Grove School |Te Uru Tarata is a newly established school in Rolleston, which opened in January 2017 with a starting roll of 59 students. It has a current roll of 347 Year 1 to 8 students. Further developments are planned to cater for the anticipated strong roll growth. 

The school’s vision is: ‘the best of you as you’.

The mission statement is: ‘to provide a landscape of possibilities where people connect and ideas flow in challenging, collaborative and creative ways’.

Both the vision and mission statement are underpinned by the school values: Grit (Niwha), Responsibility (Takohanga), Integrity (Ngākau taputahi), Thinking (Whaiwhakaaro).

Key strategic goals state that:

  • learners will be at the centre and encouraged to be the best they can be

  • learners will achieve at least one year’s worth of progress in reading, writing and mathematics

  • robust procedures and systems developed and implemented to ensure that all learners’ mental, social, physical and spiritual needs are being actioned.

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

  • achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • outcomes related to engagement/wellbeing.

The school is a member of the Nga peka o Tauwhare Kākaho Kāhui Ako | 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 effectively working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

Achievement information for the end of 2018 shows that most students are achieving at or above curriculum level expectations in reading and mathematics and a large majority in writing.

Mid-year achievement information in 2019 for reading and writing showed that most students are on track to be at or above curriculum level expectations.

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

As the school develops, it can show it is beginning to accelerate the progress of some students who need it.

The school has developed effective processes for identifying, supporting and monitoring the progress of all priority students.

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?

Students benefit from strong, supportive relationships at all levels of the school that promote a sense of belonging. They participate and learn in a caring, collaborative, inclusive environment. Teachers have created an environment and culture that supports students to learn. They provide a curriculum that engages students through their interests, needs and abilities. Students appreciate how teachers listen to them, reflect on and adapt programmes to meet their learning needs and interests. There is a strong focus on supporting student participation, engagement and agency in learning. The learning environment encourages students to be self-managing learners in ways that promote equitable opportunities for them to achieve success across all learning areas.

Leaders build high levels of trust and learner-focused relationships with families, whānau, and other education providers to increase learning opportunities for students. Effective communication strategies are used to engage parents, whānau and community. Leaders and teachers recognise the importance of parent and whānau feedback and use it to determine priorities for improvement. There has been a considered approach to building connections with whānau and iwi to support the development of te ao Māori within the curriculum.

There is strong professional leadership across the school. Leaders ensure school targets and goals are understood with appropriate practices and systems in place to support their achievement. Effective strategies are put in place to build the school’s leadership capacity and to support continuous upskilling of all teachers. Strategic recruitment and collaborative practices are used effectively to build professional capability and collective capacity of staff schoolwide.

Leaders and teachers are improvement focused and share high expectations for students and themselves. Students’ progress is regularly tracked and monitored. Groups who need additional support are identified and targeted, and appropriate interventions are put in place.

The board builds relational trust and develops culturally responsive relationships with the school community. Trustees are reflective and are focussed on student learning and well-being They access a range of quality student achievement and progress information to inform their decision making.

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

Leaders and teachers need to continue to develop and use effective internal evaluation processes across all aspects of school processes and practices. This should enable them to more effectively evaluate the impact of interventions, planned actions and practices on student learning outcomes.

To better recognise and respond to students’ language culture and identity leaders and teachers need to further embed and develop culturally responsive practices throughout the school.

Trustees and leaders should refine strategic planning to provide closer alignment between strategic and annual goals and prioritise a small number of achievable goals. This should help them to better track and monitor progress towards achieving these goals.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Lemonwood Grove School | Te Uru Tarata’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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:

  • a caring, inclusive, collaborative environment that promotes a sense of belonging
  • focus on supporting student participation, engagement and agency in learning that is contributing to positive outcomes for studentsa strong
  • strong professional leadership across all levels of the school that is building the capability of staff.

Next steps

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

  • further developing and using internal evaluation processes to more effectively evaluate the impact of interventions on student learning outcomes.
  • further embedding and developing culturally responsive practices throughout the school to better respond to students’ language, culture and identity
  • refining strategic planning to better track and monitor progress towards achieving the goals.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services 

Southern Region

14 February 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 52%

Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 5%

NZ European/Pākehā 80%

Other 15%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

14 February 2020

Most recent ERO reports

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz 

New School Assurance Review August 2018