Silverdale Normal School - 02/11/2018

School Context

Silverdale Normal School is located in Hamilton and provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school’s current roll of 331 includes 33% Māori students and a large number of students from a range of diverse cultural backgrounds. Approximately one third of the school’s roll comprises students who are English language learners.

The school has a highly transient roll. Data from 2016 to 2018 shows approximately 50% of the roll changes each year. Of current students 19% have been at the school for three years or longer. There has been significant growth in the school roll over the past three years.

The school is affiliated to the Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato and provides in-school practicum for trainee teachers.

The school’s vision is ‘making a positive difference’ aims to inspire, ignite and influence students and their families to be life-long learners. It’s philosophy and values are based on ako, mahi tahi, kaupapa, whanaungatanga, whakapapa and wānanga.

The school’s strategic goals focus on improving student learning through a responsive curriculum and effective teaching. Goals prioritise developing positive relationships and connections with parents, families, whānau and community. Leadership aims to promote equity and excellence for students and work collaboratively with trustees to improve outcomes for all. A satellite class from Patricia Avenue Special School is also located on the school grounds.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the previous review in 2015, there have been significant changes to the teaching and leadership teams. A new principal was appointed for the beginning of 2018 and the rest of the senior leadership team are also new to their roles. Almost all of the teachers are new to the school. A new board of trustees was established at the end of 2015 after a commissioner had been in place.

The school is a member of the Hillcrest Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (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 working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all of its students.

The school’s data from 2017 shows a large majority of the students is achieving at or above expected levels in mathematics, the majority in reading and approximately half in writing. Boys and girls are achieving at comparable levels in reading and mathematics, however there is significant disparity in achievement in writing. There has been significant disparity for Māori and Pacific students in relation to their Pākehā peers in all areas. This pattern of disparity has remained consistent over the past three years. The school’s mid-year analysed data for 2018 shows the disparity gap has significantly reduced between Māori and Pākehā students in literacy and mathematics.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported and make appropriate progress in relation to their individual goals.

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

The school is effectively accelerating learning for Māori and other students at risk in Years 4 to 6. The school’s analysed data from mid 2017 to mid 2018 shows accelerated progress for approximately half of the targeted Māori students in reading. Approximately half of all other Year 4 to 6 at-risk students also made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Mid-year data in 2018 shows most students at-risk are tracking well towards acceleration by the end of the year, particularly in reading and mathematics. The school’s data for targeted interventions also shows high levels of accelerated progress for smaller numbers of Māori and other students, particularly Year 2 students in reading and writing.

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?

Leadership ensures a well-managed and supportive environment for learning. Useful frameworks guide aspects of professional practice including appraisal and teacher inquiry. Leaders have prioritised professional learning and development to support teachers’ assessment capability and improve the overall reliability of the data. A deliberate focus on school values and culturally responsive practices is supporting students’ wellbeing. Trustees and leaders have improved the profile of the school within the community. Positive relationships between leaders, teachers, board and parents contribute to a collaborative and cohesive team focused on achieving equity and excellence.

Teachers use deliberate strategies to enhance learning. Students at risk are clearly identified through a range of assessment information. Observation and analysis of learning needs informs ongoing planning. Teachers reflect on their practice to focus on accelerating progress and improving outcomes for students. Affirming relationships between teachers and students support calm and settled environments. Strong communication with parents and whānau enables positive partnerships for learning that supports students making accelerated progress.

The school has a highly-inclusive culture for learning. Students with additional learning needs are well catered for through a personalised approach to planning and monitoring. Effective liaison with outside agencies supports students’ learning and behavioural needs. Deliberate strategies enable positive transitions into and within the school for students and their families. Trustees make informed decisions about resourcing, and generously fund learning support programmes that contribute to equitable opportunities and outcomes for students.

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

The management and use of student achievement information requires strengthening in order to:

  • better inform targeted planning and resourcing for at-risk students

  • monitor the quality of interventions and report on outcomes

  • strategically respond to English language learners and the transient roll throughout the year.

Leaders and teachers should consider ways to:

  • develop shared and agreed expectations for planning and assessment

  • use progressions to identify and respond to students’ specific learning needs and strengthen effective feedback and feed forward to build student ownership of their learning

  • continue to broaden and enrich te reo and tikanga Māori and other cultures in classrooms and across the school.

Trustees should ensure that they maintain a regular policy review cycle and access ongoing training to support them in their governance roles.

3 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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (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 11 international students attending the school.

International students and their families are actively supported and participate in a wide range of opportunities and events. A well-considered and inclusive approach builds learners’ confidence and independence.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to curriculum.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. comply with the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989].

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review the school’s behaviour management programme to be consistent with Ministry of Educations guidelines for Bullying Prevention and Response: A Guide for Schools 2015.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership for learning that is focused on improving outcomes for students

  • effective relationships and partnerships that supports student learning

  • an inclusive culture for learning that addresses students’ holistic needs.

Next steps

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

  • internal evaluation to inform targeted action to address in school disparity

  • continue to build teacher capability to improve learning for Māori and Pasifika students to achieve equity

  • empowering students in learning pathways to accelerate achievement.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

2 November 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 33%
Pākehā 29%
Pacific 7%
Chinese 6%
Indian 6%
African 4%
Other 15%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

2 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015
Education Review April 2012