Malfroy School - 29/08/2011

1. Context

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

Malfroy School serves a multicultural community and is located in suburban Rotorua. Diverse ethnic groups contribute to the school’s roll of 356 students in Years 1 to 6, 64% of whom are Māori. The school is characterised by its wide range of educational opportunities, including mainstream, rumaki, bilingual and Montessori classes, and an attached special needs unit as options for students and their families. The school also offers after-school care and pre-school transition programmes.

An inclusive learning environment sets a foundation for success, and fosters life-long learning skills and competencies for students, as expressed through its mission statement and cornerstone values.

Since the previous ERO report the school has reviewed assessment and reporting practices in relation to the National Standards. Initiatives such as e-learning, restorative practice, skills for life and professional learning groups have been introduced to enhance student learning.

The school has a positive reporting history and, in response to findings of the previous review, teachers have continued to improve formative practice.

2. Learning

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

The school uses a range of appropriate assessment tools to gather student achievement information in reading, writing and mathematics.

The 2010 school entry information indicates that most 5 year-old students are entering school with lower than expected oral language development. The school’s reading achievement information shows that by the end of Year 3 most students have progressed, and are performing at or above the National Standards. For students in Years 4 to 6, data shows that this trend is sustained.

Using the national exemplars the writing information gathered in 2010 shows that the majority of students in Years 1 to 6 are achieving at or above national expectations. Mathematics information for the same year indicates that a significant majority of the students are meeting the National Standards.

The school has 26 Pacific students. While many learners in this group are achieving at slightly lower levels in mathematics, their reading achievement compares favourably with other well-performing students.

Students with identified learning needs are provided with a wide range of targeted learning opportunities. Valued support staff make significant contributions to the success of these learning assistance initiatives. Programme effectiveness is monitored and reported to parents and trustees.

The school provides a broad range of sporting, cultural and leadership experiences where many students enjoy high levels of engagement and notable success.

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

Māori students are enjoying considerable success in reading, writing and numeracy where the majority are achieving at or above the National Standards across most year levels.

Strategies, programmes and initiatives in place to support Māori students to progress and achieve include:

  • high expectations for success
  • warm, caring relationships among teachers and students
  • positive Māori role models among the school community
  • cultural activities that promote leadership, pride and belonging

Ngāti Whakaue sponsored literacy and numeracy programmes

  • celebration of manaakitanga through whānau gatherings
  • the Kia Maia programme for Māori boys to develop leadership and self esteem.

3. Curriculum

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

The Malfroy School curriculum is responsive to the diverse needs of students, their families and community. There is provision for families who wish their children to receive an education that is underpinned by the Montessori philosophy.

The curriculum has been designed around the school’s vision of the 21st century learner and is based on the principles, values and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum. Student learning and success within the school curriculum are enriched by an extensive range of effective teaching and learning opportunities.

Cornerstone values positively influence students’ expectations for success, their well-being, and engagement in the learning process. Settled learning climates, high levels of student confidence, and relevant programmes contribute to student progress and achievement.

The school’s comprehensive professional development programme is well led by a wide range of professional learning groups. This collaborative approach involves teachers reflecting on and sharing ideas about good practice. School leaders are conscious of the need to manage the pace of change to ensure these initiatives become embedded in practice.

There are models of high quality teaching practice across the school. These teachers effectively promote student engagement through:

  • the use of assessment information to inform learning programmes for individuals and groups
  • provide students with real life learning experiences
  • the use of information and communication technologies as a tool for teaching and learning
  • open-ended questions to challenge students’ thinking and reasoning skills
  • the inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori.

The next step is to implement the school’s self-review findings about formative assessment practices. A more consistent approach to the use of learning intentions, success criteria and teacher feedback and feed-forward information is likely to provide further opportunities for students to take increased responsibility for their learning.

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. Regular self review is a feature of school operations with a priority focus on improving learning outcomes for students.

A highly competent and knowledgeable chairperson ably leads the board in providing decisive governance for ongoing school development. The board, principal and staff are engaging the community in the life of the school.

The principal is a highly reflective professional. Together with senior leaders, he shares a clear vision for providing an inclusive learning environment that builds confident, self-directed, life-long learners. The senior leadership team uses a collaborative approach to decision making and effectively delegates aspects of school operations to teams of teachers across the school.

Senior managers should now focus on embedding new ideas and practices to bring about greater consistency of professional practice across all school levels.

Provision for international students

There are no international students enrolled at Malfroy School.

Provision for students in the school hostel

Malfroy School does not have a school hostel.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. 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 students' 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 three years.


Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

29 August 2011


About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 50%

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ Māori

NZ European

Other European

Cook Island Māori






Other Pacific

















Special Features

Montessori Classes 2 Bilingual Unit 1 Immersion Class 1 Attached Teachers RT:LB 2

Review team on site

June 2011

Date of this report

29 August 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2008

August 2005

June 2002