Riverina School - 31/05/2017


Riverina School in Pakuranga provides good quality education for its 145 children. Around a quarter of children are Māori and less than a quarter are Pākehā. Over a third of children are Pacific, with Samoan the largest group. Children from a variety of other ethnicities attend the school. Many speak languages other than English.

Since the 2014 ERO review, there has been a change in school leadership. The present principal joined the school in Term 4 2015. A number of new teachers have joined the team and are working alongside longer serving teachers, including both senior leaders. Most trustees on the board including the chairperson are also new. The new principal is working collaboratively with staff, trustees and the community to promote equity and excellence for all children.

Riverina School is a member of the Pakuranga West Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL). The CoL is in the early stages of establishing its achievement focus. Key aims are to improve student achievement and create effective transitions for children as they move from primary through to secondary school.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school achieves equitable outcomes for many children. The school’s National Standard achievement continues to be good overall, with around three quarters of all children achieving at and above the standard in literacy and mathematics.

The school’s writing results have varied over the past three years, with Māori and Pacific boys especially achieving less well than other groups of children. National Standards data for the school shows that Pākehā and Pacific children achieve better than other groups.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

The board, school leaders and ERO agree that key next steps include continuing to enhance the school’s curriculum, teaching and learning practices, partnerships with parents and internal evaluation.

In addition, the board agrees to resource opportunities for school leaders to work together during the school day. This approach would enable the principal and senior leaders to promote and evaluate improvements to the school’s curriculum.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is becoming more effective in responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Data show that some disparity exists between the achievement of Maori and all other groups of children in the school.

Between 2014 and 2016 the school has successfully sustained the achievement of Māori and other groups of children who stay at Riverina School for all their primary years. Data also shows that the school accelerates the achievement of some children who join the school at different times during their learning journey.

The school’s data shows that the achievement of Pacific children and girls is particularly good and has improved over time.

School leaders are looking forward to working with other schools in their CoL to externally moderate children’s assessment and further strengthen its reliability. They also identify that the new teaching team could benefit from working together to promote a shared understanding of strategies for accelerating learning progress.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school’s processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence for Māori, Pacific and all other learners. Leaders and teachers have a strong and strategic focus on promoting wellbeing for children, their whānau and school staff. Leaders understand that wellbeing underpins children’s positive learning outcomes and is the basis of achieving equity and excellence.

The school’s effective wellbeing and learning processes align with its vision of ‘every child, every opportunity’, and its values of courage, courtesy and kindness. As a result children and whānau experience a welcoming and culturally inclusive school environment. Culturally significant spaces in the school promote parent engagement and are strengthening parents’ role as partners in their children’s learning. Since ERO’s 2014 evaluation, the school has successfully strengthened links with children’s cultures in the curriculum.

Bicultural practices provide leadership opportunities for Māori children and enhance the pride they have in their language, culture and identity. Targeted professional learning is helping to strengthen teachers’ culturally responsive practices and learning of te reo Māori.

Teachers design learning programmes that are increasingly based on children’s individual interests, strengths and needs. They provide children with opportunities for choice, and to be independent, self-managing learners.

Leaders and teachers cater very well for children who require extra support to accelerate their learning, and for those with special learning needs. School leaders and teachers work alongside parents to establish goals and learning strategies for children identified as needing targeted learning support.

The school’s processes for ensuring overall teacher judgements for National Standards are increasingly effective. School leaders and teachers use achievement information well to identify children’s learning needs and monitor their progress and achievement. They meet regularly to share teaching strategies and approaches. The internal moderation of children’s assessment assures the board, leaders and teachers that achievement information is increasingly valid and reliable.

Children are confident and enthusiastic about their learning and are secure in their school environment. Tuakana/teina approaches foster the kindness and support that children show towards each other and adults in the school.

The principal provides strong professional leadership. She works collaboratively with senior leaders to lead and manage change throughout the school. As a team they provide support and challenge for teachers, model effective practice, and focus on promoting equity and excellence for children and families.

The board of trustees is well led. Trustees are consultative in their approach and align strategic goals and targets to improving outcomes, especially for children whose achievement needs accelerating. The school has a clear improvement and accountability focus, including a very good teacher appraisal system which encourages teacher reflection and critique. Internal evaluation throughout the school is based on evidence and used to further improve outcomes for children.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school has good quality processes to overcome barriers to achieving equity and excellence. The board and school leaders are looking forward to further enhancing the school’s curriculum design and teaching and learning practices, and strengthening their internal evaluation processes.

The board acknowledges that more opportunities for the principal and senior leaders to work together is essential in promoting and evaluating ongoing improvements.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board 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 and certification

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students

  • attendance

  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue designing and enacting a curriculum and learning environments that further support children to be leaders of their own learning

  • enhance teaching and learning practices, including strengthening learning partnerships with parents

The board and senior leaders agree that a further next step is to deepen the evaluation of programmes and initiatives, to show their effectiveness in promoting positive outcomes for children.

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

Steffan Brough

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

31 May 2017

About the school 


Pakuranga, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 57% Girls 43%

Ethnic composition





Cook Islands Māori





Middle Eastern

Sri Lankan














Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

31 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2014

August 2009

August 2006