Selwyn College - 06/11/2019

School Context

Selwyn College, in Kohimarama, caters for students from Years 9 to 13. Of the 1031 students currently enrolled, a small number have Māori or Pacific heritage. The roll also includes smaller groups from a wide variety of other ethnicities.

The school’s Totara Learning Centre provides support for students with additional learning needs. The Refugee Education for Adults and Families centre, an on-site facility for new migrants, provides community education, literacy and numeracy support for parents and students, to ease their integration into New Zealand society.

The school’s mission statement is based on growing learners’ “agency, achievement and attributes in a respectful, vibrant, inclusive and purposeful learning community”. The school’s key values, kotahitanga, rangatiratanga and manaakitanga, underpin the school’s vision of developing students to be the best learners they can be.

The school sets high targets for achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and in NCEA merit and excellence endorsements for all students.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement and progress in NCEA

  • achievement and progress in Years 9 and 10

  • Māori and Pacific students’ achievement

  • school leaver qualifications and destinations

  • wellbeing for success

  • progress in relation to the school’s strategic goals.

Since the 2014 ERO review, two new senior leaders have been appointed. Schoolwide professional learning and development has focused on “the Selwyn Way”, the “Selwise” language of learning and the embedding of a schoolwide culture.

The school is part of the Te Roopu Pourewa Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is increasingly effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for students. High levels of retention through to the senior school supports students’ success in learning.

NCEA data show that most students achieve NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3, and University Entrance (UE). Merit and Excellence endorsements in NCEA Levels 1 and 2 have increased over the last five years. This trend demonstrates that some groups of students are making accelerated progress. Almost all students achieve NCEA Levels 1 to 3 in numeracy and literacy. These high levels of achievement have been sustained over time.

Leaders recognise that addressing in-school disparity for Māori students at NCEA Level 3 and UE is a priority. Pacific student achievement in Levels 1 and 3, and in UE, are trending upwards. Individual Māori and Pacific students’ progress and achievement is monitored closely. A collaborative inquiry process to support learners to further lift their achievement is well utilised.

School achievement information indicates that some groups of students enter the school below expected curriculum levels in literacy and numeracy. Students in Years 9 to 10 make good progress. The majority of these students achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in core learning areas.

Other valued outcomes are highly evident in the ways that students:

  • are inclusive, respectful, supportive and accepting of others

  • build sound learning relationships with each other and their teachers

  • follow meaningful pathways for the future

  • build resilience in their learning

  • take leadership roles and opportunities.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school responds effectively to those students whose learning needs acceleration.

Longitudinal tracking shows that the school is accelerating students’ learning progress and that outcomes are increasingly equitable for most students over their time at the school.

Targeted strategies to increase parity for Māori and Pacific students are improving learning outcomes. Positive and respectful relationships support student engagement, build connections to the school, and promote positive outcomes for Māori and Pacific students. Strategies include partnership with Ngāti Whātua, a Pacific homework club, student leadership initiatives and mentoring.

School information shows that most junior students whose learning needs acceleration make accelerated progress over a two-year period and go on to achieve NCEA qualifications at Level 2 or above.

There is a common understanding and language of learning at the school. Leaders, teachers, trustees and students have collective ownership of learning. Effective processes to track and monitor student achievement, and a collaborative inquiry process, support shared understandings about students’ learning needs and progress. Students are empowered to work with teachers in the design and delivery of individualised programmes, leading to meaningful pathways and successful transitions through the school.

Learning support for students with additional needs is well coordinated. There is effective liaison between classroom teachers, heads of house and specialist agencies. The school’s inclusive learning culture helps all students participate and succeed in a breadth of learning experiences.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school is committed to growing a shared understanding of biculturalism through Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the visibility of te ao Māori concepts and knowledge. This enables all students to have a greater understanding of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

School leaders are highly strategic and focused on future improvement. They promote a collaborative, respectful learning culture. Leaders build and maintain relational trust at every level of the school community. They develop and pursue the school’s vision, goals and targets to accelerate students’ progress and promote their wellbeing. Leaders across all levels are working to strengthen conditions that support equity and excellence, and positive outcomes for all students.

The leadership team’s coherent approach builds teachers’ individual capability and increases the school’s collective professional capacity. Leaders and teachers have shared understandings, high expectations, and a professional learning culture. Professional learning for staff is a priority and is centred on specific educational outcomes, including students knowing themselves as learners. This is supported by highly effective communication for the sharing and dissemination of all knowledge around improvement and innovation.

Students benefit from the school’s positive and inclusive culture. Respectful and affirming relationships between teachers and students are highly evident and create positive expectations for teaching and learning.Students regularly reflect on their learning and self-management.This culture forms a solid foundation that motivates learners to participate, contribute and progress. A variety of student-led initiatives develop students’ strong sense of agency in the school.

Students learn through a broad curriculum that is inclusive and responsive to their individual strengths and interests. Students co-construct and participate in increasingly authentic, relevant learning experiences. They are encouraged to take ownership of their learning. All learning pathways are valued equally. Senior students are very well supported to follow their personalised pathways and achieve quality NCEA credits.

The college has a well-developed culture of evaluation and professional inquiry that contributes to continual improvement. This is deeply embedded in everyday practice across all levels in the school. Leaders and trustees evaluate the school’s progress towards realising the vision, goals and targets. Ongoing curriculum review has enhanced students’ learning opportunities.

Learning-centred relationships engage and involve the school community. Reciprocal communication between the school and its community supports and strengthens these relationships. Learning focused partnerships enable parents and whānau to contribute to the curriculum and school direction. Students’ engagement is increased through these partnerships.

Effective pastoral care, and learning support systems and processes, help to nurture students’ wellbeing, increase their engagement and reduce barriers to learning. An extensive network of mentors, heads of houses, and counsellors provide comprehensive support for students.

The board of trustees is strategically focused on promoting equity and excellence. Trustees work collaboratively with school leaders. A well-designed strategic plan supports progress towards a shared vision. Trustees are well informed about student achievement and school priorities. This information supports the board’s decision-making about resourcing, personnel and professional development.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Leaders, teachers and trustees recognise the positive impact that integrating te reo me ngā tikanga Māori has on Māori students’ success. They are committed to improving the extent to which te ao Māori is woven throughout the curriculum and school environment. It is timely to continue building partnerships with whānau Māori and exploring ways to engage Māori students and whānau in decision-making about learning.

Leaders and teachers have identified continual development of the pathways (careers) hub as an ongoing focus. This will expand opportunities for students to access multiple and meaningful pathways while encouraging positive contributions to the local and global communities.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to theEducation (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016(the Code)established undersection 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were 112 international students attending the school.

Selwyn College has good systems for providing education and pastoral care for international students. Course selections are personalised, and progress and achievement are closely monitored. Students have many opportunities to participate in school activities, take leadership roles and integrate into the school community. The school has effective systems in place to monitor compliance with the Code.

4 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
  • finance
  • 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Selwyn College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leadership that promotes positive connections and relationships that actively support equity and excellence for all learners
  • a positive school culture that responds to students’ needs, promotes their wellbeing and supports their learning success
  • a broad and relevant curriculum that allows students to access meaningful pathways
  • the strategic focus on building professional capability and capacity that promotes collaboration across the curriculum to help raise achievement.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • continuing to develop schoolwide bicultural practices, including further developing connections and partnerships with whānau Māori
  • continuing to develop student pathways to provide greater opportunities for school leavers.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

6 November 2019

About the school


Kohimarama, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Year 9-15)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 13%
NZ European/Pākehā 46%
Pacific 9%
Asian 7%
other ethnic groups 25%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

6 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2014
Education Review November 2011
Education Review January 2010