Mt Roskill Primary School - 02/03/2017

1 Context

Mt Roskill Primary School has a history of positive ERO reports. A new principal (previously the principal of Mt Roskill Intermediate) was appointed at the end of 2013. For several years, the primary school and the adjacent Mt Roskill Intermediate and Mt Roskill Grammar have worked together as a campus. These closely connected campus schools have common goals and shared educational understandings. Together they are ensuring that learners experience a more seamless education as they transition through the campus.

The three schools are now also members of Mt Roskill (Puketapapa) Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL), along with three other primary schools. This initiative aims to raise achievement across the schools and supports positive transitions for children and their families between the schools. The Mt Roskill Primary principal has been appointed the lead principal of the CoL.

Mt Roskill Primary School's roll is diverse. The majority of children at the school speak languages other than English. Over 300 children are eligible for Ministry of Education funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESoL). The school's Endeavour centre serves children with high physical or learning needs who are funded through Ongoing Resourcing Support (ORS) as well as other children with special education needs.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are "respect, honesty, friendliness, curiosity, and excellence" so that children become "active, engaged and successful learners". The charter promotes the school as a community of learning where staff and children have equitable opportunities to be successful in an ever changing world.

The school’s achievement information shows that in recent years an increasing percentage of children achieve national standards as they move from Year 1 through to Year 6. The achievement of the school's Year 6 students has improved annually over the past three years. In 2015, 70 percent of all children reached or exceeded the National Standards in reading, 65 percent in writing, and 66 percent in maths. At Year 6, achievement across the standards was between 6 to 12 percent higher. There have also been very positive shifts in Māori achievement across all national standards.

Although Māori achievement is lower than that of other groups in the school, this disparity is significantly reducing. Pacific children's achievement has lifted well in reading. However, there has been variable success in sustaining improvements in writing and mathematics achievement for the Pacific cohort. Leaders and teachers have strong and increasingly successful strategies in place to address these disparities. The percentage of Māori and Pacific children achieving National Standards increases as they progress through to Year 6.

The school has very good processes to support teachers to make reliable judgements in relation to the National Standards. Teachers' moderation practices align well with their ongoing evaluative discussions about support for children at risk of not achieving. 

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has:

  • strengthened processes for planning for targeted children, and made these plans the focus of teachers' inquiry into practice
  • evaluated ESoL provision for children and developed ESoL strategies that teachers integrate into all teaching programmes
  • employed a kaiārahi to work with children, whānau and teachers to support children's progress
  • enhanced the strong links with the Pasifika Community including through employing a Pasifika liaison person to work across the campus
  • reviewed and streamlined systems for special needs provision
  • strengthened middle leadership across the school.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school shows a strong commitment to reducing disparities in achievement and accelerating the progress of Māori children at risk of not achieving. All Māori children at risk of not achieving are included in the charter's annual targets and in teachers' target groups.

Accelerated Learning Plans (ALPs) are rigorously used to guide teachers' work with individual Māori children. Teachers evaluate these plans regularly and specifically monitor children's engagement and progress. The school has good evidence of accelerated progress for Māori learners.

The school continues to work with the campus to improve Māori student engagement and educational success. A long established Māori Education Plan guides this work and is regularly reviewed and updated. The ultimate aim of the plan is to increase Māori student retention, enjoyment and success in educational qualifications at the senior grammar year levels. The three schools having common goals, and making concerted efforts to reduce disparity is positively impacting on Māori students' success.

The campus employs a kaiārahi who has worked with the three schools to build strong links with whānau and to improve teachers' knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori. At Mt Roskill Primary the kaiārahi mentors a group of Māori children who are not yet achieving the National Standards in writing. This strategy is helping to motivate children to engage and succeed in their writing.

Māori children also benefit from the very good practices that support other children to accelerate their progress and learning.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is highly responsive to all children who need to make accelerated progress. The school's systems for strategic, annual and teacher planning are coherent and clearly linked to accelerating the progress of children who are at risk of not achieving. There are effective and well documented monitoring systems that show evidence that children's learning progress is being sustained over time.

Children's interests, learning strengths and needs are known and followed by staff. Leaders and teachers share collective responsibility for all children's learning, and for accelerating learning. They regularly meet to discuss, and share strategies for promoting, children's progress.

Assessment data is analysed and used well to accelerate student progress. Teachers identify children's learning needs and provide programmes designed to address these needs. A noteworthy feature is how well teachers monitor the progress of target students in their classes. Leaders and teachers work collaboratively to evaluate the impact of teaching programmes on outcomes for children and adapt teaching in response to this evaluation.

The school's charter goal appropriately aims to have all children achieving National Standards by the time they leave Year 6. School data show good increases in the percentages of children achieving the standards as they progress through to Year 6. Annual targets focus on accelerating the progress of groups of children at risk of not achieving. Senior leaders and teachers have good evidence that accelerated progress is being made by many children in each year and over time.

The school provides inclusive and responsive approaches to support children with special educational needs. The school's Endeavour Centre caters very well for children with high physical or learning needs who are funded through Ongoing Resourcing Support, and other children with special learning needs. Children benefit from tailored support programmes targeted to progress their learning. Children also benefit from the opportunity to transition into similar centres in the intermediate and grammar schools on the campus.

English language programmes (ESoL) support students who speak languages other than English. Teachers' deliberate use of ESoL strategies across their programmes enables these students to confidently participate in, and contribute to the curriculum. This is helping to accelerate their learning.

Parents are well informed about their children’s achievement. School leaders and teachers encourage parents to partner with teachers and connect learning at home to learning at school. The kaiārahi and Pacific liaison staff play a key role in establishing teacher partnerships with whānau and Pacific families.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school sustains effective, relevant processes and practices to promote equity and excellence for all learners. The school charter, learning programmes and teacher appraisals have a clear, common focus on improving practices to ensure all children are successful learners. Trustees, leaders and teachers regularly evaluate progress towards the charter's strategic goals and targets.

The school’s curriculum aligns well to the values, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum. The vision and values of the charter are integrated in the school curriculum and practices and support children to participate, contribute and grow as learners. Students learn with their peers and teachers about the values which are reflected positively throughout the school.

The curriculum emphasizes literacy and mathematics as the foundations of learning. Children have many opportunities to apply literacy and mathematical skills and knowledge in meaningful contexts across the curriculum. Children are supported to learn how to learn, understand their achievement and how to build on this.

The school's inclusive culture is supporting children's wellbeing in ways that motivate them to learn. Diversity is a valued feature of the school. Children's languages and cultures are acknowledged and celebrated. Responsive programmes and practices are supporting children with additional physical and learning needs to learn and develop as individuals.

The kaiārahi works with staff to increase their knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori. This enables teachers to help children gain a greater knowledge of Māori language and culture. The kaiārahi has introduced a sequential programme at the Year 2 level. This will be extended progressively through the school and is designed to link with similar programmes at the intermediate and grammar schools.

School leadership is very effective. The principal’s strategic, judicious leadership guides school development. He promotes openness, leadership and collaboration encouraging innovation to achieve better outcomes for children. Senior leaders successfully sustain curriculum and teaching initiatives. Growing middle staff leadership has been a key focus in recent years. Teachers have good opportunities to use and grow their leadership through taking up roles and responsibilities in curriculum and teaching teams.

Coherent expectations about what constitutes successful learning is building teachers' capacity to improve children's learning. Internal and external expertise is used well for teachers’ professional learning and to guide curriculum developments. Evidence-based teacher appraisals, mentoring relationships and collaborative teamwork are resulting in teachers thinking more deeply about their teaching.

School stewardship is very effective and based on a foundation of professional trust between the board and leadership team. This enables trustees to effectively scrutinise the school's development and the effectiveness of initiatives designed to promote children's progress and engagement. Trustees work well as a team and understand their board responsibilities. They are keenly interested in reports about children's achievement and use this information to consider how the board can best support children to succeed. Trustees and senior leaders promote inclusive, responsive relationships amongst staff and the school's diverse community.

School development is well supported by deliberate, cyclic evaluation which sustains improvement and guides strategic planning. At all levels of the school staff are open to learning from evidence-based evaluation. Leaders and teachers are continually evaluate the effectiveness of practices and their impact on children's learning. As a result the school is well-organised and continually improving.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Mt Roskill Primary School is very well placed to sustain and continually refine practices to support the school's vision for children to be "active, engaged, successful learners".

Senior leaders have identified relevant priorities for development that include:

  • further developing the school curriculum in collaboration with the local community
  • extending children's capability to identify their next learning steps
  • deepening teachers' inquiry to identify successful acceleration strategies and implementing these, as appropriate, through the school
  • raising mathematics achievement by using the findings from a recent evaluation of mathematics teaching, and considering how to transfer successful literacy teaching practices to mathematics
  • using the Māori Education Plan as a model for formalising a plan to improve Pasifika academic achievement across the campus.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • provision for international students

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the board, leaders, teachers and staff continue to build on their reflection, inquiry and evidence-based evaluation practices to guide curriculum and other developments that will support children to be "active, engaged, successful learners".

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

2 March 2017

About the school 


Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition






Sri Lankan



Middle East

other Asian

other Pacific














Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

2 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2013

June 2010

February 2007