Ponsonby Primary School - 19/06/2015


Students benefit from high quality learning environments that reflect the school’s culture of high expectations. Affirming relationships and positive values provide sound foundations for learning. The school’s responsive curriculum supports students’ strengths and needs. Students achieve at high levels. Effective governance, leadership and teaching help to ensure these positive features are sustained.

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

1. Context

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

Ponsonby Primary School is a high performing school and continues to provide students from Year 1 to Year 6 with a variety of rich learning opportunities. The school’s active promotion and support for the wellbeing of all students impacts positively on their engagement and learning. The school tone is vibrant and staff, students and families are very proud of their school.

Students are confident, friendly and respectful. They learn in highly attractive, well-resourced environments. Trustees, school leaders and staff continue to have high expectations for all students to experience and celebrate success.

On-going school development is aimed at achieving high standards in all aspects of school operations. Significant property developments, such as the junior classroom building and playground, have been completed.

ERO’s 2012 report noted very good overall standards of achievement, effective governance and the collegial, professional approach of leaders and teachers. These positive features and practices have been sustained and further developed.

2. Learning

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

Student achievement information is used well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Trustees and school leaders closely monitor school-wide achievement and progress. They ensure that resources are focused on the areas of greatest learning need.

Student-led learning is a significant feature of the school’s educational success. Students are active participants in decision-making about learning programmes and can confidently talk about their achievement, progress and next learning steps. Focused class environments, effective teaching strategies and meaningful learning opportunities encourage students to build on their strengths and follow their interests.

Students with high and special learning needs are very well supported. Student wellbeing is a priority and their sense of belonging is promoted through carefully considered and individualised approaches.

School achievement information shows positive trends over time. Students achieve to a high level in National Standards. Māori and Pacific students achieve at a comparable level or better than other groups of students. Parents receive very good information about their children’s progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school’s well-analysed assessment information gives trustees, senior leaders, teachers and parents a very good understanding of whole school and individual student’s learning strengths and needs. Good work has been done with local schools to develop useful moderation processes to enhance the reliability of the school’s achievement information.

3. Curriculum

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

The school’s broad-based curriculum is highly effective in promoting and supporting student learning. It aligns closely with The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and the school vision ‘Kia U, Kia Pono – Steadfast and True’. Learning environments celebrate students’ achievements and successes and encourage self-managing learners.

Curriculum design is underpinned by current educational research and best practice. An extensive range of co-curricular activities, sports, cultural programmes, environmental experiences and education outside the classroom activities engage students in real and meaningful learning contexts. Students in enrichment programmes value opportunities to make choices responsible about what and how they learn, and to explore their cultures, languages and identities.

Learning programmes are relevant and flexible with a natural integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance students’ learning. School leaders are focused on extending e-learning and maximising curriculum learning locally, nationally and globally.

Curriculum leadership and teacher expertise continue to be strengths of the school. Coherent and documented processes are promoting high quality teaching practice. Well-considered professional development, using internal and external expertise, is enhancing student learning. New teachers participate in effective induction and mentoring programmes.

Students learn about the Māori dimension of New Zealand’s cultural heritage. As part of this learning, they engage enthusiastically in te reo Māori programme, kapa haka and marae visits.

The board and school leaders recognise that next steps for curriculum development include extending:

  • the dimension of te ao Māori in programme planning
  • evaluative information in reports to the board about the effectiveness of curriculum initiatives.

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

Ponsonby Primary School is effective in promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori. The principal and key teachers play active, leading roles in this promotion. The school’s commitment to biculturalism is strategic, well managed and meaningful to whānau, staff and students.

Māori students take pride in the recognition and acknowledgement of Māori values and tīkanga. They value the opportunities to learn te reo Māori, participate in pōwhiri and lead waiata and haka. The strong focus on successful kapa haka encourages Māori students to celebrate and enhance their language, culture and identity.

Trustees agree that consolidating the school’s bicultural vision for the school’s unique context is a next step for promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori. Further evaluation of the current Māori education plan could enhance this development.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

School leadership continues to be a feature of the school. The principal provides highly effective professional leadership. She promotes a culture of professional inquiry to promote improvement and innovation. Together with a very capable senior leadership team, she has extended staff capability and capacity.

Staff expertise is well used and valued. Team leaders provide effective professional leadership for teaching teams. Teacher professional learning and development is well aligned to the school’s vision and strategic plan. Strategic staff appointments are helping to sustain and enhance school improvements.

The board is well led. Trustees maintain high quality environments for staff, families and students. They bring professional expertise to their governance roles and make decisions that support and lift the strategic direction of the school.

Purposeful self review underpins school improvements. School leaders and trustees are committed to promoting meaningful partnerships with the school community. Consultation is used well in the school’s self review and to inform the school’s direction.

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

At the time of the review there were four international students attending the school. These four students receive a high standard of education. They are successfully transitioned into the school and well supported to succeed in their studies. International students receive effective care and support, and are well integrated into school life and its extra-curricular activities. Provisions for international students are reviewed and reported upon to the board of trustees. To improve existing practice, the board could develop systems to further enhance the inclusive environment provided for international students and their families.

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.


Students benefit from high quality learning environments that reflect the school’s culture of high expectations. Affirming relationships and positive values provide sound foundations for learning. The school’s responsive curriculum supports students’ strengths and needs. Students achieve at high levels. Effective governance, leadership and teaching help to ensure these positive features are sustained.

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 June 2015

About the School


Ponsonby, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Girls 206

Boys 188

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





other European

other ethnicities









Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

19 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2012

December 2008

April 2006