Massey High School - 30/06/2014

1 Context

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

Massey High School in West Auckland is a large multicultural secondary school catering for students from Year 9 to 13. The school is viewed by New Zealand’s educational sector as a school with a national profile in research-based initiatives that make a difference for learners. Twenty-two percent of the school roll identify as Māori, with a large number having northern iwi affiliations.

The school aspires to be an educational hub for the community. Young people demonstrate a strong sense of belonging and pride in their school and report that the school is inclusive and supportive.

ERO’s review in 2009 identified a variety of successful educational opportunities for students that were underpinned by high quality pastoral care systems. These features were supported by capable leadership, a collegial and collaborative staff and a school culture focused on student wellbeing.

This review finds that trustees and senior leaders have sustained these features and continue to seek out further ways to develop and improve the school.

Massey High School’s positive school tone is strengthened through a curriculum that offers learning pathways into tertiary education and employment. This approach ensures that students work consistently and purposefully towards their learning and vocational goals. Close monitoring by teachers helps to support the achievement of students' goals and aspirations.

The school’s direction clearly aligns to the board’s strategic vision. Self review processes are evidence-based and an integral part of all school systems and operations.

2 Learning

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

School leaders use achievement information for Years 11, 12 and 13 very effectively to make positive changes to learners’ progress and achievement.

Ongoing tracking of student achievement information highlights groups of students who may be at risk of not achieving. Monitoring processes result in some positive shifts in student progress and achievement. The majority of students are achieving well in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). These results have been on an upward trend since the ERO review in 2009. The school’s academic counselling programme promotes student success.

Many students make good progress through Years 9 and 10 in order to transition into the curriculum at NCEA Level 1.

School leaders have identified that achievement information linked to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC),in conjunction with standardised assessment tools, should help teachers to accelerate Year 9 and 10 progress and achievement. Some departments are beginning to work on NZC level data to achieve this objective. Māori students in junior classes could benefit from these new processes being used school-wide in order to meet their learning needs at an earlier stage.

Māori and Pacific student achievement sits above the national averages for Māori and Pacific for NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 and University Entrance.

School leaders are aware that Māori students’ performance needs to trend upwards more consistently in order to achieve government targets of eighty-five percent for NCEA Level 2, in 2017. The activation of the Te Kotahitanga research and professional development programme, used by teachers to engage Māori students, has helped to accelerate the achievement of these students in NCEA in 2013. The group of Māori students who have been at Massey High School since Year 9 are tracking successfully through NCEA qualifications.

The board of trustees is well informed about student progress throughout the year.

3 Curriculum

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

Massey High School’s curriculum promotes student engagement and learning very effectively. The curriculum is increasingly responsive to students’ individualised pathways. The curriculum’s evolving design has good levels of coherence and integration that benefit students’ course selections and assessment opportunities.

Positive and affirming relationships for learning underpin interactions between students and teachers. These relationships nurture and support the school’s strategic commitment to students’ wellbeing.

Extensive academic counselling and mentoring and high quality careers education assist students as they transition into the school at Year 9, through school and when they leave. Teachers have a strong commitment to meeting student aspirations and responding to their goal setting. As a result a large majority senior students are leaving school to take up further study or enter into employment.

The school is initiating a focus on extending gifted and talented students with quality programmes that may lead to increased success in NCEA qualifications and scholarship. Faculties have recently expanded this high level learning to include English, arts, languages and literature, mathematics and sciences, sports and leadership.

Some teachers increasingly engage students in creative learning through contexts for studies that reflect students’ interests. The curriculum is increasingly responsive to students’ cultural backgrounds, particularly Māori and Pacific contexts.

School leaders maintain a school-wide curriculum focus on literacy. Teachers continue to develop ways to ensure that their teaching is relevant and authentic for students. Skills and competencies of the NZC are fostered through the school’s teaching and assessment approaches.

Eleven vocational academies in the school include pathways such as construction, business and computing, and engineering. They deliver real-world learning to maximise students’ access to tertiary qualifications while still at secondary school. The school works hard to establish purposeful connections between academies and tertiary or industry providers.

A well considered e-learning vision is being implemented in stages to make the best use of digital learning and teaching for twenty-first century education.

Massey High School offers students a wide range of broader curricular activities. There are many opportunities for students to experience success and build their leadership capability in a variety of sporting, cultural and academic events and competitions. Student success is publically acknowledged and celebrated.

To further enhance the school’s curriculum, school leaders could continue to develop:

  • an engaging, challenging and relevant curriculum that promotes more inclusion of student voice and student co-construction in learning programmes
  • more inquiry approaches towards learning that promote the higher order thinking skills required for success in scholarship and to obtain NCEA endorsements and excellence and merit grades.

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

The school is promoting educational success for Māori students. This emphasis is well aligned to the Ministry of Education resource Ka Hikitia. The school provides a bilingual learning programme in Years 9 to 11. Te reo Māori is available as an option for all students from Years 9 to 13.

The school’s commitment to Māori student success is strategically signalled in charter targets, and is evident in its substantial and ongoing commitment to Te Kotahitanga.

Māori leadership includes a deputy principal, key teachers and Māori student leaders who support the board and principal to meet strategic school goals for students to experience success as Māori.

Māori students’ identity and sense of belonging are promoted through initiatives in the curriculum. These initiatives include Te Tapere Toi o Tiriwa (Māori Performing Arts) and other programmes that promote the engagement of Māori students in learning and increase their mana within the school.

All new students and teachers are welcomed with pōwhiri at the start of the year. The school has a visible commitment to bicultural practice.

The board and school leaders continue to investigate effective ways to consult and engage with Māori whānau to strengthen participation and partnership in their children’s learning.

To further promote Māori student success school leaders report that they will continue to:

  • set increasingly challenging targets for Māori achievement and success from Years 9 to 13 over the next three years
  • identify more specifically through self review the factors contributing to the increase in Māori student progress and achievement in 2013.

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

The school is highly effective in promoting educational success for Pacific students.

Pacific student success and wellbeing benefit from the school’s culture of high expectations for everyone to participate and achieve. Staff use teaching strategies to motivate and support Pacific students for future success.

Pacific achievement goals are included in the school’s strategic plans and targets. The Pacific community has elected representation on the board of trustees, and a consultative parent committee is in the process of being formed to advise the board.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Self review at all levels is systematically making positive changes for learners.

The principal is an experienced and respected leader. He ensures that distributed leadership benefits the school. A diverse school leadership group thinks and works collaboratively to provide the best outcomes for students.

Trustees bring a range of skills to school governance. They enjoy a positive and effective working relationship with school leaders. Trustees are currently examining their self-review systems to better reflect on and evaluate their own performance in governing the school.

Teacher capacity and capability has continued to strengthen. Many teachers work hard to find new and innovative approaches to raise student achievement within each student’s chosen pathway.

Students are given many leadership opportunities where they can express their views of how the school can improve and continue to be a strong influence on young peoples’ lives.

The school is highly effective in engaging the community in partnerships for learning and in the life of the school.

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 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this report there were 23 international students attending the school.

International students receive very good levels of pastoral care and high quality education, including English and first language learning and support. They participate in a variety of school activities including music, drama, sports and cultural events. International students are well integrated into the life of the school.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self review processes are thorough.

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.


Massey High School provides high quality education for its student community. Students have many excellent opportunities to succeed through a responsive curriculum that prioritises and supports their achievement and success. Students are confident and well equipped to transition into the world of employment or tertiary study. High quality leadership is a key factor in the school’s continued success.

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

Dale Bailey
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region

About the School


Massey, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys      51% 
Girls       49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Cook Island Māori


Special Features

Bilingual unit, Trade Academies

Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

30 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2009
May 2006
November 2002