Richmond Road School - 20/03/2013

1 Context

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

Richmond Road School in Grey Lynn, Auckland, provides an education that emphasises and values cultural diversity for students in Years 1 to 6. Trustees, staff and parents are strongly committed to bilingual education. Students are taught in language units, known as rōpū. The school’s curriculum is delivered in English in Kiwi Connection, the mainstream rōpū. In the other rōpū the curriculum is delivered bilingually through English and each heritage language: te reo Māori in Te Whānau Whāriki, the Samoan language in Mua i Malae, and French in L’Archipel.

An enrolment zone is in place to manage the school's roll growth. Many of the children enrolled in the bilingual rōpū live outside this zone.

The school leadership is characterised by open and transparent processes. School leaders value self and external review processes. The board and school leaders have responded positively to recommendations made in the 2009 ERO report.

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 promote student engagement, progress and achievement. Teachers use valid tools and assessment processes to determine students’ achievement.

Senior leaders monitor the analysis and interpretation of student achievement data. Teachers engage in professional conversations at rōpū and syndicate meetings about students who need to make accelerated progress. Teachers work effectively with these students by using programmes and strategies that will raise their achievement. Ongoing monitoring and tracking of student achievement by senior leaders, rōpū leaders and teachers maintains a close focus on students who need specific support to accelerate their progress.

Students who would benefit from extra learning support have programmes and personnel matched to meet their needs. There is an emphasis on supporting these students within their classrooms. Learning assistants who are native speakers of the heritage language also provide support for students.

Most students are aware of how well they are achieving and are involved in setting goals to improve their learning. Senior leaders have identified increased student ownership of learning as an ongoing focus for teacher practice. Sharing assessment data more explicitly with students, and developing next learning steps closely related to what needs to be learned, could help this process.

Teachers assess student achievement in relation to National Standards / Ngā Whanaketanga in both their heritage language and English. However, the school finds reporting this achievement challenging, particularly in the Samoan and French rōpū. National Standards are set for students who only receive instruction in one language (either English or te reo Māori). Students in bilingual rōpū receive instruction in two languages during their time at Richmond Road School.

Parents of students in bilingual units are aware of the slower rate of progress and achievement for most students learning bilingually in their first eight years of instruction, compared with their monolingual peers.

Parents have a variety of opportunities to be well informed about their children’s progress and achievement. The school reports to the parents four times a year in writing. Senior managers need to ensure the progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga respectively, is clearly evident in written reports to parents and students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school has developed a comprehensive curriculum from The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. The school curriculum promotes and supports student learning well.

Senior leaders complete an overview for the year and groups of teachers use clear guidelines and expectations to plan programmes. These strategies ensure coherence of the broad curriculum across the school. Teachers consult with students and include their learning interests and needs in class plans. An appropriate emphasis on literacy and numeracy is evident.

Senior leaders encourage the integration of information communication technologies (ICT) into teaching and learning programmes. Student access to ICT will be improved with the imminent upgrade of cabling. More devices will then be available to support students’ learning.

Each rōpū has a distinct interpretation of plans developed from the school curriculum. While this distinction enhances the cultural perspectives offered to children, rōpū leaders must continue to work with teachers to ensure the effective teaching practices of The New Zealand Curriculum are clearly evident. Cultural days are highly valued and celebration days provide opportunities for parents to view and discuss their child’s work.

Teachers formally reflect on their teaching practice during appraisal. Rōpū leaders observe teachers working with students and provide constructive feedback for development. Many opportunities are created for teachers to share their teaching practice and to learn from each other.

Senior leaders monitor teacher development and progress towards professional goals. They are taking steps to raise consistency of effective teaching practice across the school. ERO affirms and encourages the ongoing development of formative teaching practices, including teachers providing more feedback to students and increasing opportunities for them to reflect on their own learning.

Students are aware that recognition of the cultures and languages of the rōpū contributes to the special nature of the school. New Zealand’s bicultural heritage is highly valued. The use of te reo and tikanga Māori is both planned and incidental across the school. Plans to increase the use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the English language rōpū, Kiwi Connection, will further strengthen its use.

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

The school supports Māori students to have a strong sense of their language, culture and identity especially in Te Whānau Whāriki, the Māori rōpū.

Māori students have leadership opportunities supporting students in the other rōpū in their study of te reo Māori. Kapa haka is valued as an important opportunity to learn and practice te reo me ona tikanga Māori.

School leaders have a high regard for the Treaty of Waitangi principle of The New Zealand Curriculum. Māori culture is valued and visible throughout the school. Teachers have high expectations of Māori students and these are matched by students’ own aspirations for their future.

Whānau are well involved in the school. They have a strong voice in the community and representation on the board of trustees.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Trustees and senior leaders are well-placed to sustain and improve the school’s performance. Managing the perceptions of equity between rōpū, and the expectations of the various interest groups within the school, presents an ongoing challenge for school leaders.

Trustees are experienced and work well together. Board responsibilities are managed by committees that keep all trustees well informed. Trustees have undertaken training and are planning for succession. Representation of all rōpū on the board of trustees has ensured each has a voice.

Senior leaders provide comprehensive reports to the board. Wide stakeholder input contributes to ongoing, robust, self review. Trustees have responded to high levels of community involvement by initiating forums for parents and trustees to discuss school matters.

School leaders have established well documented frameworks to guide teachers. Syndicate meetings have contributed positively to collegiality and professional sharing between teachers. Rōpū and syndicate leaders are benefitting from professional development to build their leadership skills and capacity.

Trustees have identified the need to complete the review of all policies and to establish a cycle to manage the process in the future.

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.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

20 March 2013

About the School


Ponsonby, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā
Cook Island Māori
other European


Special Features

Te Whānau Whāriki, Māori bilingual unit Mua i Malae, Samoan bilingual unit L'Archipel, French bilingual unit

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

20 March 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

January 2010
March 2007
August 2003