Selwyn House School - 30/06/2016

1 Background

The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989, requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review fully registered private schools, and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for full registration.

This review report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

Selwyn House is a fully registered private school.

The school managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G of the Education Act 1989 in respect of their being fit and proper persons to manage the school.

2 Criteria for Registration

Since the 2012 ERO review, the school has had a change in leadership. A new experienced principal was appointed in 2014.

The new principal has developed a distributed approach to leadership at all levels. She has also strengthened the appraisal system. However, some refinements are still needed to meet the requirements of the Education Council.

The curriculum provides students with a future focus and modern technology with a background of tradition. Students have wide-ranging, rich and authentic opportunities to extend their interests, to question, create and take actions that make a positive contribution to their local and wider community. Student learning is globally focused and inquiry based. Student leadership is strongly promoted.

The school effectively integrates aspects of the New Zealand Curriculum, particularly in literacy and mathematics. Achievement information gathered by the school shows that the majority of students are achieving at or above, and many well above National Standards. The school has set an appropriate target to change students’ mind set in mathematics. Students with special abilities and learning needs are well supported in class programmes and through extra tuition.

There is a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including robotics. The use of a wide range of digital technologies is well embedded in teaching and learning. All students learn Spanish.

Teachers are beginning to include a bicultural component into inquiry learning units and school values. They plan collaboratively and place a strong focus on developing girls’ self-regulated learning. Leadership of the school’s curriculum, in particular, the Primary Years Programme has been developed and strengthened.

Students are actively engaged in learning. Small class sizes and low staff-to-student ratios help teachers to personalise students' learning pathways.

The school leaders and teachers value students’ ideas and views. Students, particularly in Year 8, have good opportunities to contribute to the teaching programmes, including gathering information to provide teachers with feedback on teachers’ practices. 

Knowledgeable, skilled staff are appointed, and supported by useful professional development, to effectively deliver the school’s curriculum. Teachers are provided with clear expectations and guidelines for teaching and learning. All staff members have high expectations for teaching and learning and have a shared understanding of the school’s vision and values.

Teachers are involved in highly reflective practices, including regular meetings to reflect on ways to support students' learning and achievement. Staff effectively model the school’s values which are prominently displayed in the environment.

Very effective pastoral care processes, including tuakana teina, older and younger students caring for one another, ensure students' wellbeing is closely monitored.

Classrooms are well presented in an environment which invites and supports learning to occur. A range of spaces are used flexibly to promote modern learning practices. Students are very well supported by an extensive range of resources and equipment and a range of specialised classrooms.

Parents are very well informed about their child’s progress and achievement and curriculum activities. Students are assessed with a suitable range of assessment tools across the curriculum. A well-planned programme supports preschool children and their families to transition to school. The preschool teachers attend professional learning at the school, preschool children use the school’s facilities and parents are welcomed to school gatherings.

3 Other Obligations

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its other statutory obligations are met.

4 Other Matters

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 has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review, there were five international students attending the school.

The school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

The pastoral care programme effectively monitors and responds to students' needs and wellbeing. The students are well supported by the English for Speakers of Other Languages teacher, and they are fully included and enjoy school and hostel activities.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Somers Cox, accommodates 15 students, 8% of the school roll. It is owned by the school’s trust board. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

The modern, spacious and home-like hostel is located centrally within the school grounds. A new director was appointed to manage the hostel in 2015. The hostel is welcoming and well managed. Effective procedures and systems, provide strong support for students’ welfare. Boarders have a variety of learning and fun experiences after school and in the weekends.

5 Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Selwyn House School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989. 

Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

30 June 2016

About the School 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Other ethnicities


Special Features

Boarding House

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

30 June 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Private School Review
Private School Review
Private School Review

June 2012
June 2008
May 2005