Pigeon Mountain School - 14/06/2013

1 Context

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

Pigeon Mountain School in Bucklands Beach, Auckland, is a Years 1 to 6 school with a strong tradition of effective teaching and positive ERO reports.

The 2010 ERO report noted that students were motivated learners and that the school had a culture of robust self review. These good practices continue to be highly evident. Good progress has been made in implementing ERO’s recommendations to further develop students’ evaluation of their learning and teachers’ evaluation of their professional practices.

The staff reflect the ethnically diverse school community. The pastoral care programme, ‘Care and Respect for Everyone’ promotes an inclusive and responsive school culture. Students gain a sense of identity and confidence that promotes high levels of engagement in learning.

The school is well resourced. Variable space classrooms offer multi-purpose teaching and learning areas. The school’s computer network has recently been upgraded, offering greater teacher and student access to digital learning and communication.

2 Learning

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

Teachers, leaders and trustees make good use of achievement information to engage students and to support them to be successful learners. This information indicates that most students achieve well in mathematics, reading and writing in relation to the National Standards.

Analysis of assessment data has continued to develop at class, team and school levels. A particular feature is the close monitoring of progress of groups of students. The school’s charter targets aim to accelerate the progress of all students who are yet to achieve National Standards. Senior leaders and teachers have good evidence of accelerated progress made by these students. The leadership team could consider tracking students’ progress in specific aspects of literacy or mathematics that assessment data indicate need further attention.

Leaders and teachers share a collective responsibility for promoting successful learning. In-school and external moderation of assessment is helping teachers to make reliable judgements about students’ achievements. Teaching teams regularly plan together to support students with special learning needs and to accelerate the progress of those students not yet achieving National Standards. These students also benefit from tailored support programmes targeted to complement classroom programmes and to address students’ specific learning needs.

Parents are well informed about their children’s achievement through written reports and conferences with their children and their teachers. Written reports clearly state to what extent students are achieving in relation to each National Standard and identify meaningful ways in which parents can support their children’s learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is closely aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and is effective in motivating students to engage and succeed in their learning.

Students are encouraged from their early years at school to become reflective and inquiring learners. They have many opportunities to apply their literacy and mathematics skills and knowledge in relevant contexts across the curriculum. An emphasis on values and the key competencies of the NZC is reflected in the positive ways in which students learn interactively with their peers.

The board continues to extend the school’s provision of information and communication technologies (ICT). Senior leaders have a continuing commitment to extending opportunities for students to learn through e-learning.

Students are respected as capable learners and their perspectives are valued and included in school review and curriculum programmes. They are confident communicators and active participants in learning.

A major focus on language acquisition throughout curriculum programmes supports the many students who do not have English as their first language.

Senior leaders acknowledge that the school’s curriculum statements could be reviewed and simplified so that they more clearly reflect the particular qualities of the school’s curriculum in action.

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

Māori students benefit from effective teaching and learning and, as a result, most Māori students achieve well in relation to the National Standards.

An enrichment programme for all Māori students was introduced in 2012 in response to whānau requests. This opportunity was appreciated by the students and their whānau and a similar programme is planned for 2013.

A curriculum leader, supported by other staff, assists teachers to offer opportunities for students to acquire a knowledge of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga. Each inquiry programme includes key Māori vocabulary and phrases so students can learn the language in a meaningful context. Senior leaders are committed to developing teachers’ ability to use te reo and are leading by example by learning te reo Māori out of school hours. All Year 6 students participate in the school’s kapa haka group and have opportunities to perform and to welcome new students to the school.

Senior leaders acknowledge the value of further promoting New Zealand’s bicultural heritage by gaining a greater awareness of the history of the local area.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Pigeon Mountain School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance through self review. Trustees, leaders and teachers have a commitment to continually developing and reviewing practices that are aimed primarily at improving student learning. Evidence is systematically gathered and analysed to inform school planning and development. This self knowledge promotes a smooth running, well organised school.

Senior leaders promote inclusive, responsive relationships amongst staff, board and the school community. They value and seek perspectives from teachers, students and parents, including those from different ethnic groups. The leadership team is considering ways to better focus self review by differentiating between evaluation, reflection and assessment.

Senior leaders successfully sustain teaching initiatives and manage the pace of change of further teaching developments. Growing staff leadership has been a key focus over recent years. Teachers are offered good opportunities to take leading roles and responsibilities in curriculum and teaching teams. External professional learning has enabled team leaders and coaches to take the initiative in developments to support teaching and learning.

Coherent processes help to build teaching capacity to improve student learning. Multiple forums are offered for teachers to reflect on professional learning and on the impact of their practice on student learning. Teacher appraisal and coaching processes encourage teachers to reflect on their professional practice.

The school’s charter is relevant to the context of the school and aligns well with the school's management programme and classroom practices. The school’s three year self-review plan could now be used as a coherent document to guide self review, planning, and reporting to the board of trustees.

Provision for international students

Pigeon Mountain School provides an inclusive culture, responsive pastoral care and effective education for international students. The school 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 four international students were attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is 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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

14 June 2013

About the School


Bucklands Beach, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 51%

Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā








Sri Lankan

Other Asian













Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

14 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2010

April 2007

August 2003