Papatoetoe East School - 29/10/2012

1. Context

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

Papatoetoe East School is a multicultural school in south Auckland. It caters for students in Years 1 to 6, many of whom are Pacific or Asian and speak English as an additional language. A positive school culture supports and includes all students. Staff and students respect and value the school’s attractive learning environments and grounds.

School leaders and teachers have a deep knowledge of their students. They are aware of students’ backgrounds and work collaboratively to make school a positive experience for them. The school provides support for parents and children transitioning into the school. Children who do not regularly attend an early childhood education centre are the focus of this transition programme.

School leaders and teachers are long serving and feel a connection to the school. The stable local community has resulted in a decline in the school roll as students move into secondary education. The school now has the capacity for more students.

The 2009 ERO report recommended that teachers further strengthen teaching and learning practices to enable students to identify their strengths and own learning gaps. Good progress has been made in this area.

2. Learning

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

Students are generally well engaged in learning. Respectful relationships that support the learning of all students are evident. Teachers work together to ensure that good foundation learning is in place for students in their early years at school. Student progress information indicates that students are better placed to achieve closer to appropriate levels after three years at school.

Senior leaders have an overview of assessment and achievement. Student achievement data provided by the school indicate that the majority of students are achieving well in relation to National Standards in reading and mathematics. Pacific students achieve similarly to the rest of the school. Senior leaders are focusing on the teaching of writing to improve the achievement of students who are not achieving well in writing.

Senior leaders select assessment tools purposefully. These provide information that is useful for teachers to use in their planning and for making judgements about students’ achievement. Senior leaders use the data to monitor the progress and achievement of groups of students across the school. They also use data to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives. Responsibility for the interpretation and use of data, so that teaching approaches can be modified appropriately, is distributed to team leaders.

Teaching teams take collective responsibility for using student achievement data to inform planning and promote student achievement. Teachers share achievement information with students. Students are well supported to reflect on their achievement and progress, particularly in senior classes, and are able to talk about their achievement. Teachers celebrate student work and examples are used as models for other students.

School leaders and teachers prioritise student progress with a sense of urgency. Teachers commit time and effort to monitor and address the needs of learners. They could consider how they could better use relevant teaching strategies to promote learning for the many students for whom English is an additional language (ESOL).

Parents receive clear information about their children’s achievement in relation to the National Standards. School leaders agree that greater use of achievement data on the anniversary of students' arrival at school in Years 1 to 3 would be helpful for reporting to the board of trustees. Including all strands when making overall teacher judgements in mathematics would help strengthen the implementation of the National Standards.

Priority is given to providing well for Māori students and their achievement. The data are gathered separately and reported to the school whānau. School-provided student achievement data indicate that Māori students are achieving as well as all other students. Students support each other’s learning well through tuakana/teina relationships.

3. Curriculum

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

The school has developed a broad curriculum that promotes and supports student learning well. School leaders ensure the curriculum is carefully considered and paced to match the learning needs of the students. Students’ work in the arts is of high quality.

The key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum underpin the school’s curriculum. Students set goals in relation to their work habits and reflect regularly on progress towards achieving them. Thinking skills are integrated into the planning of programmes, form a foundation for learning strategies, and are developed sequentially school wide.

Classroom programmes are purposeful and learning time is mostly spent very well. Students benefit from structured programmes as a means of maximising learning opportunities for individuals and classes. Leaders could now consider how teachers could offer students greater choice within lessons.

Students have good access to information and communication technologies (ICT). Teachers make good use of interactive and web-based activities to support students’ learning and their practice in literacy and numeracy. A specialist teacher supports the development of ICT and inquiry skills learning for all classes. This programme is aligned to class inquiry themes.

Leaders see value in continuing to emphasise the teaching of writing. Professional learning and development could further enhance teachers’ ability to make judgements about the quality of students’ writing and to identify students’ next learning steps.

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

Māori students comprise 13% of the school’s roll. The board of trustees is keen to improve understanding of biculturalism in the school and has undertaken training in initiatives that support success for Māori. The challenge now for the school is to develop strategies to make improvements more widespread and sustainable.

Some initiatives to promote educational success for Māori students are in place. A specialist teacher has been employed for some time to support teachers to use te reo and tikanga Māori in classrooms. A group of Māori boys benefit from extra support in a writing group specifically targeted at improving their achievement. The school also provides academic support through an after-school study group for Māori students.

A kapa haka group represents the school at events and leads Māori protocols in the school. Teachers could now investigate ways to promote Māori students’ involvement in kapa haka and their involvement in leadership roles within the school.

Senior leaders listen to the views of school whānau. The school has not yet been able to identify and establish a relationship with a kaumatua to guide investigations into iwi and local history. It could be timely now to explore options for such a relationship within the local school cluster.

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. An experienced and capable board of trustees governs the school. The board is representative of cultures within the community. Effective relationships characterise the board’s function within the school. They have a strong focus on improving students’ achievement and a commitment to the wellbeing of the school and community.

Trustees have undertaken governance training as individuals. A mid-term election for half of the board ensures continuity of experience and knowledge. The board plans strategically and manages its finances well to meet school priorities.

The school is led by a senior management team that has a focus on improvement and works effectively together. Leaders’ skills and knowledge are used well to support the development of school programmes and systems. Staff use self review effectively to identify what is working well and what needs to be improved.

A strong cluster network of local schools supports school leaders. Principals discuss ways to monitor and lead curriculum development and practice. Ongoing professional development increases teachers’ understanding of agreed school priorities and supports practices for their implementation.

Teachers have many leadership opportunities and are supported by senior leaders. Leadership knowledge and practice would be strengthened through more external professional development. Teacher appraisal could help build professional practice through individual and school goal setting.

The board has traditionally appraised the principal. Some external appraisal for the principal could be helpful to support future development needs for both the principal and the senior management team, and to inform the continued growth of the school.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Violet Tu'uga

Stevenson National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

29 October 2012

About the School


Papatoetoe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

State Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 50%

Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā




Cook Island Māori














Special Features

Satellite Unit: Kelston Deaf Education Centre for hearing impaired students

Review team on site

September 2012

Date of this report

29 October 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2009

June 2006

January 2003