One Tree Hill College - 05/06/2012

1 Context

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

The 2009 ERO review of One Tree Hill College identified that students were proud of their school, that they felt safe and had a strong sense of belonging. Students' positive attitudes remain very evident. They enjoy a student-focused and inclusive school culture. Relationships between students and their peers and with teachers are supportive and positive. Key features of the school's recent development include continued roll growth, increased community confidence and improved student achievement.

The new principal, appointed in 2010, is working well with a new leadership team to lead and manage the school. The board of trustees has successfully overseen the completion of a full property modernisation plan. Trustees plan strategically and provide students and teachers with high quality facilities for teaching and learning. Trustees bring varied and relevant professional backgrounds and experiences to school governance.

School leaders have responded positively to the recommendations in the 2009 ERO report. They have developed a culture of self review that is purposeful and contributes to positive change for students. The school's focus on personalised learning demonstrates the high value and priority that is given to student engagement, progress and achievement.

2 Learning

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

Students are highly engaged and making good progress with their learning. Trustees and staff demonstrate a purposeful and focused commitment to improving learning outcomes for students. Students in Years 9 and 10 make good progress in literacy and numeracy. National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results from 2010 to 2011 showed significant improvement, particularly in NCEA Level 1, and in merit endorsements.

The school's achievement information for students in Years 11 to 13 shows that, while there have been variations in achievement in NCEA Levels 1, 2 and university entrance in 2009 and 2010, there have also been some significant improvements. These include:

  • a significant increase in the number of students achieving NCEA Level 1 in 2011 and improved achievement from 2010 to 2011 in NCEA Level 2
  • an increase in the number of excellence endorsements at NCEA Level 2
  • high rates of achievement in literacy and numeracy at NCEA Level 1.

School leaders and teachers continue to strengthen the use of student achievement information. They use data to set appropriate achievement targets that are focused on increasing the quality of achievement in NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3. In addition to this, targets are also set to increase the percentages of Māori and Pacific students achieving NCEA Level 1.

Senior leaders and teachers have high expectations that students will reach their potential. A strong focus on relationships as a foundation for teaching and learning is evident. Students are involved in a variety of learning programmes and pathways that are designed to meet their specific learning needs and interests. The school's student leadership programmes are particularly effective. Students have many and varied opportunities to contribute, lead and experience success through music, sports, art, culture and pastoral care programmes. The Pacific Pride programme and the support provided for school prefects are noteworthy examples of the school's commitment to promoting student leadership.

Pacific students are highly engaged in learning. They appreciate the many learning opportunities provided and have very positive attitudes to learning and school. They value the high expectations teachers have for their achievement.

Strong pastoral support is provided by senior leaders, teachers and the whānau structure. Of particular note are the reading enrichment and careers pathways programmes that help students to access academic learning and pathways to further achievement.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

The school's Māori students engage in learning and progress well. Māori students express very positive attitudes to school and learning and are well represented in providing student leadership. Māori student achievement in NCEA compares favourably with the achievement of Māori students nationally. Māori student achievement is similar to, and in some cases better than, other groups of students in the school.

The participation of Māori parents and whānau at the regular whānau hui is high. Students have opportunities to be involved in kapa haka and powhiri, and celebrate their successes at the school's annual Māori Graduation Ceremony.

Teachers have made good use of professional learning and development based on "Ka Hikitia - Managing for Success: The Māori Education Strategy". Senior leaders and teachers have a sound foundation on which to continue strengthening their responsiveness to the needs of Māori learners.

3 Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum promotes and supports student learning. Significant efforts have been made to diversify and tailor student learning programmes at all year levels. A comprehensive review of the curriculum has helped strengthen the framework for effective teaching and learning. Senior leaders have developed a strategic and focused approach to teaching and learning through the improved use of student achievement data. This has resulted in a more responsive approach to meeting students' learning needs. Personalised learning strategies and a strong focus on successful engagement in learning are key components of this more responsive approach.

The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) is well implemented. The school's curriculum identifies and values the principles and key competencies of the NZC.

The quality of teaching is very good. Classroom environments are settled and purposeful. Teachers are well supported through both internal and external professional learning and development.

ERO recommends senior leaders and teachers consider:

  • further developing 'teaching as inquiry' practices
  • how to make the best possible use of the school's "effective teaching matrix" as a basis for ongoing reflection and self review across the school.

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.

The school's leadership is strategic, focused and responsive to student and staff needs. The leadership team is collaborative and collegial. School leaders demonstrate innovative and reflective practices and are appropriately focused on school improvement and effective learning. Distributed leadership is evident through all levels of the school. Students are at the centre of the school's decision making processes.

The 2009 ERO report commented on the significant progress, forward-thinking and determined leadership of the board, principal and key staff. Trustees, the new principal, curriculum leaders and key staff have effectively sustained this progress and continued to improve the school's performance.

The new leadership team is providing clear direction for on-going improvement. The leadership momentum gained over the last two years should result in further gains in student achievement.

A culture of self-review is now established in the school. Improved use of data and the development of conclusions and recommendations as a part of self-review practices are evident. Self-review processes are consultative and purposeful and contribute to positive change.

ERO notes that self-review could be further strengthened by:

  • focusing on some key goals for departments to include in their annual reports
  • reviewing curriculum learning areas
  • making further use of the work that staff have completed to do with the dimensions of an effective school.

Provision for international students

One Tree Hill College 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. At the time of this review there were 17 international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO's investigation confirmed that the school's self review process for international students is thorough. A systematic approach to managing international students is clearly evident. Students receive high quality pastoral care and support. Education programmes respond effectively to the aspirations, interests and needs of international students and their parents. Students achieve well and make good progress. They are well integrated into the school and local community.

To further improve provision for international students, teachers should evaluate, and report to the board of trustees annually, the achievement and progress of international students in relation to the strategic plan for the international programme.

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
  • 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.

Makere Smith,

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting),

5 June 2012

About the School


Penrose, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 60%, Girls 40%

Ethnic composition


NZ European





Cook Island
















Review team on site

March 2012

Date of this report

5 June 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

May 2009

November 2005

November 2004