Manurewa South School - 29/04/2013

1 Context

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

Manurewa South School provides a caring and welcoming culture for its predominantly Māori and Pacific students from Year 1 to 6. There is a strong sense of pride and belonging in the school that is shared and expressed by staff, students and the wider school community. Since ERO’s 2009 report the school roll has increased and many of the school’s students have home languages other than English.

The new principal, appointed at the beginning of 2012, works collaboratively with staff and trustees to set a new educational direction for the school. This new direction is being supported by significant professional development for staff that is targeted to improve outcomes for students.

Students benefit from a settled and positive school tone. They are keen and willing learners and enjoy positive relationships with each other as well as with the principal and staff.

The attractive school environment includes a native plant grove, fruit trees and a community garden. A special feature of the school setting is the Manurewa Parenting Hub which promotes, and has the potential to strengthen, the learning relationships between the community, the school, parents, whānau and children. These facilities are well used to enhance students’ learning and community participation in the school.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Students are well engaged in learning and are able to work independently and collaboratively. They can talk confidently about their achievement and are supported to set learning goals. Classroom environments are planned to support learning and value student work.

Currently teachers are overly reliant on test data to assess students’ learning and progress. School leaders and teachers are now developing the capacity to form overall teacher judgements about students’ progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards. This should help them to draw on a wider range of information to assess and monitor student learning across the curriculum and enable teachers to plan more effectively for students’ learning needs.

Reports to parents about how well students are progressing and achieving in relation to National Standards do not yet meet Ministry of Education requirements. School data continues to confirm that a large number of students, including those who are Māori or Pacific, achieve below expected levels, particularly in reading.

Leadership of the analysis of student achievement should be improved. School leaders acknowledge the urgent need to establish more effective and reliable assessment and reporting systems to better promote students’ progress and achievement. These new systems should improve the reporting of achievement information to the board. They should also help school leaders and trustees to set more relevant and meaningful targets that reflect the specific needs of groups and individual students who are at risk of not achieving.

ERO and the principal agree that strengthening teachers’ understanding about the impact of their teaching practice on students’ learning is a priority for teacher development. This could help teachers to evaluate their teaching and learning programmes and to modify and adapt their practice appropriately.

ERO affirms the school’s current development priorities which include:

  • improving the assessment and teaching of writing
  • rationalising the use of assessment tools
  • increasing students’ use and understanding of assessment information.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning well. School leaders are taking steps to improve the effectiveness of the school curriculum. Positive developments are underway to review the school’s curriculum against the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. ERO affirms the school’s intent to develop a curriculum that reflects the school community, deepens students’ and parents’ understanding and increases participation.

Students participate in a range of curriculum, leadership, cultural and sporting activities. Senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that increasing opportunities for students to take a greater lead in their learning is a next step. It could now be helpful to develop a set of agreed school-wide expectations for teaching practice that promotes self-managing learners.

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

Māori students comprise 57 percent of the school roll. Tīkanga Māori is well respected and has a place within the school. Students take pride in the recognition and acknowledgement of Māori values and tīkanga. A Māori enrichment class provides a cultural setting where students are immersed in tīkanga Māori. This class caters for 26 selected students from Years 4 to 6. School leaders, in consultation with the school’s Māori community, should now review the organisation and effectiveness of the enrichment class.

Each school term begins with a school pōwhiri. Māori students proudly participate with senior students leading karanga, whaikōrero, waiata and haka. The school has a well established kawa and the kapa haka group regularly performs at different school and community events.

Te reo Māori is taught weekly to all students. Evaluating the effectiveness of this programme could provide useful information to help senior leaders ensure that a sequential learning programme is provided and that students with high levels of competency in te reo Māori are extended.

The principal consults with Māori whānau and shares information about their children’s achievement. To further increase opportunities for Māori students to experience success, the board and staff should use the Ministry of Education’s Māori Education Strategy – Ka Hikitia: Managing for Success as a basis for evaluating how well the school policies and practices develop the potential of all Māori students.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school has sufficient capacity to implement the school’s vision for change and development. The new principal has a well considered and inclusive leadership approach. Recent professional learning and development initiatives have been aimed at building a more cohesive leadership team to work towards realising the school’s new educational direction.

Teachers are committed to strengthening their practice and are benefiting from well focused, school wide professional development. Team leaders work collaboratively to promote success for all learners and are helping to positively influence and motivate staff. Teachers are increasingly taking opportunities to share their knowledge and skills to enhance outcomes for students and improve teaching practice.

ERO affirms the school’s next steps which are to develop a more rigorous appraisal system and increase community involvement in the school. The principal is introducing new self-review practices. However, the principal and board acknowledge the need to develop and implement a robust process for self review to support ongoing improvement. A well planned review cycle could help to ensure that appropriate emphasis is given to reflecting on school direction and the effectiveness of improvements.

ERO and the board agree that trustees should seek training to improve the quality of governance systems. The board should review its operations and give higher priority to its role in setting, monitoring and evaluating strategic and annual goals. These should include goals related to accelerating the progress of students who are currently underachieving.

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. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

During the course of the review ERO identified areas of non compliance that require attention. To comply with regulations the board and school leaders must:

  • consult with the school’s community at least once every two years about the health programme that the school will implement in its curriculum and learning programme. [Section 60B Education Act 1989]
  • report to students and their parents in plain language, in writing, at least twice a year in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. [National Administration Guideline (NAG) 2A]
  • maintain an ongoing programme of self review relating to the board’s policies, plans and programmes. [National Administration Guideline 1993 (NAG) 2(b)].

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

29 April 2013

About the School


Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 152

Girls 145

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



Cook Island Māori


Other Pacific












Special Features

Māori Enrichment Class, the Parent Hub

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

29 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2009

August 2006

July 2003