Panama Road School - 24/06/2016

1 Context

Panama Road School caters for children from Years 1 to 6. Most children are of Pacific and Māori descent with the largest group being Tongan at 39 percent, Māori at 19 percent, Samoan at 18 percent and Cook Island Māori at 11 percent. Most Māori children identify with Ngāpuhi and Waikato Tainui. The parent community is supportive of their school and participate in school events.

The board of trustees are considering which community of schools (CoL) would best support their needs in raising student achievement and improving other learning outcomes.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are promoted by children and adults through an approach the school calls Panama PRIDE. These values are linked to The New Zealand Curriculum and aligned to the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) approaches the school has been developing during the last three years. The vision of the school, "Learning together, success every day, is a message visible in every class. The vision, values and the positive learning and behaviour practices are helping to promote a learning community.

The school's achievement information overall shows a positive trend over time in reading, writing, and mathematics. However, around 50 percent of children are yet to achieve at National Standard expectations. Māori children are especially at risk of not achieving in reading, writing and mathematics. The board and senior leaders should urgently plan to accelerate the achievement of Māori children to help ensure they are well placed to achieve educational success as Māori. Planning should include setting specific achievement targets for Māori and other groups as risk of not achieving. Pacific children overall are achieving better than their peers.

School leaders identify that the high transient rate impacts negatively on the overall data. They agree that they need to improve their analysis of achievement data and identify how well children achieve when they stay at the school from Years 1 to 6. They could also use this achievement data to identify how well other groups of children are progressing and achieving.

The 2013 ERO report noted that senior managers had agreed that urgency was needed to improve the achievement and progress of all learners. Since then, the school has been involved in several initiatives to raise student achievement, including those to improve the school's curriculum, and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment practices. The school has participated in a strategy to improve student engagement, and has introduced professional learning groups and coaching approaches for teachers. In addition the school has improved the way teachers track student progress and plan for target students. These initiatives are promoting more effective and consistent teaching practices across the school.

Teachers continue to support children to know how well they are progressing in their learning. While some good progress has been made, this is an ongoing area for development, particularly for target learners. The school has participated in the Mutukaroa initiative to strengthen partnerships with whānau. The board and school leaders are exploring ways to continue with this initiative.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is developing its capacity to respond effectively to Māori children who need acceleration, particularly in reading and mathematics. Teachers know their children well and are identifying their strengths and needs. Their next step is to evaluate how well their teaching strategies are working and monitor more closely the progress each child is making.

During the last three years, there has been a gradual improvement in achievement for Māori children in relation to National Standards, particularly in writing. The school continues to work to decrease the disparity between the achievement of Māori children and their peers.

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

Senior leaders and teachers need to support target children better so that they can make the accelerated progress that they need to make. They agree that they need to be clearer about children's specific learning goals and set higher expectations for their rate of progress. Teachers need to ensure that feedback to these children is explicitly clear in guiding their progress to the next step in their learning. This needs to be in writing, reading and mathematics.

While there has been a gradual upward trend over the last three years in reading, writing, and mathematics, nearly half of the children are not yet achieving at the National Standard.

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 priorities for equity and excellence?

The curriculum supports the school's vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence and is aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. Through the leadership and assessment initiative, leaders have aligned professional development to support teaching and targeted student achievement. Although the school has worked hard to develop these processes, it is still only partially effective in providing the expected achievement outcomes for at least half its student roll.

The leadership team is consolidating new systems and processes to build consistency across the school. Leaders have become more evidence based in their decision making. They are a collaborative and cohesive team that has the ability to develop capability and capacity amongst staff. Leaders are focused on improving and developing good frameworks for planning, assessment and expectations for teaching practice. Staff have been involved in a leadership and assessment professional learning contract with a focus on literacy for the last two years. This professional learning has also supported teachers in developing their teaching as inquiry approach and building theirleadership capacity.

Children in all classes engage well in their learning, some more purposefully than others. Many children have opportunities for leadership in the school through various activities. The senior students take a lead in important events and are role models for their peers in the school. Children know the importance of the vision, values and setting goals to support their learning expectations.

School leaders could also further consider reviewing how well culture, language, and identity is reflected through the school's curriculum to ensure that all children and their whānau are evident in their learning journey.

School leaders are building relational trust with parents and the community and plan to further progress these connections and relationships. They recognise the need to work closely with the parents of those children whose achievement needs accelerating so that equitable achievement outcomes are achieved.

The board of trustees continues to develop its capacity in its stewardship role. Trustees reflect the cultural backgrounds of their community and understand it well. They have accessed professional development through the New Zealand School Trustees Association and have recently attended the Vulnerable Children's Act workshops.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • have not yet developed approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child
  • have not yet ensured the school is well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

School leaders are committed to making a difference for learners. They recognise that further progress is needed to ensure that the school is able to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes. The challenges the school faces include student transience and language diversity. Many children start school without a strong foundation of early learning. The professional leaders have tried a number of strategies and initiatives to raise student achievement during the last three years, and can demonstrate significant progress in some areas. However they are not yet getting sufficient traction in their teaching in making a difference for all their children.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should participate in an internal evaluation workshop. They should use this workshop, ERO exemplars of good practice and the School Evaluation Indicators to address the findings of this evaluation and develop a Raising Achievement Plan that includes a significant focus on building teacher capability to accelerate learning and achievement.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s Raising Achievement plan and the progress the school makes.

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

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.

During the review ERO identified areas for improvement. To improve its practice the school should:

  • improve its record keeping for complaints, stand-downs, suspensions and exclusions, and for police vetting of non-teaching staff
  • further consult with its Māori community to develop policies and plans to accelerate Māori student achievement, and to develop partnerships with whānau Māori to support learning.

6 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the board of trustees and senior leaders continue to progress internal evaluation to ensure that all children achieve excellent and equitable outcomes before they move to the next stage of their learning pathway.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

24 June 2016

About the school


Mount Wellington, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition





Cook Island Māori




other Asian

other Pacific











Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

24 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

May 2013


2009 June 2008