South Hornby School - 08/05/2018

School Context

South Hornby School, Christchurch, provides education for 213 students from Years 1 to 6. The school community is becoming more diverse in its range of ethnicities. In October 2017 the school moved to a different site with new purpose-built learning spaces.

The school's vision is ‘Creating Pathways to Grow Heroes’ and values learning, collaboration and whānau. The school states that learners will display the four core values needed to achieve the shared vision: being there for each other; making others feel good; choosing an attitude, and enjoying learning through play.

The school’s strategic goals focus on continuous improvement that builds and sustains high quality performance in:

  • teaching and learning that engages and empowers students to achieve personal excellence
  • relationships with whānau and the community that ensure a positive, safe and respectful school culture
  • systems and resources for student learning.

Current student achievement targets are comprehensively focused on improving outcomes for groups of students whose learning most needs to be improved to achieve at or above school expectations.

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

  • student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • student wellbeing

  • progress, including accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics for those learners at risk of not achieving

  • progress in relation to school targets for groups of Māori, boys and different year levels

  • progress of students with additional learning needs.

The school has recently become involved in a Ministry of Education funded programme focused on positive behaviour. It is also involved in projects that actively engage parents of young children in regular activities to support their learning, and to scrutinise and use achievement data more effectively.

School leaders are active participants in Uru Manuka, the local cluster of schools and early learning services.

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?

For most students the school is achieving equity and excellence. A large majority of students are achieving at or above the school’s expectations. Achievement levels have generally been consistent over the last three years.

Māori students achieve at similar levels to others in the school. Girls achieve at higher levels than boys, especially in reading and writing. The school’s response to addressing this disparity is reflected in the greater focus on boys in the school's target groups.

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

The school has had some success in accelerating the learning of those who students who need it in reading and numeracy, and considerable success in writing. The progress of each individual is carefully monitored. Teaching strategies are targeted to where they are most effective to accelerate progress.

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?

Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative, inclusive learning communities. Leaders, teachers and other staff care about students' learning and wellbeing. They foster nurturing relationships with students. Teachers provide real-life learning experiences that build on and extend children's knowledge and understandings. Teaching is increasingly collaborative. The ‘learn, create, share’ philosophy is well embedded in school programmes. Students provide positive, helpful and thoughtful comments on each other's work. They know and demonstrate the school values.

Leaders and teachers relentlessly pursue goals and targets that relate to accelerating the learning of priority learners. They analyse and make good use of the many sources of data available to them. The progress of target groups is regularly monitored and reported to the board. Parents of younger children are frequently involved in discussions about their child’s progress, and are given resources to help support their child’s learning at home. There is a considered and collaborative approach to meeting the needs of individual learners. Teachers frequently discuss students’ progress. They change groupings and teaching strategies to best meet their needs.

Trustees and leaders collaboratively develop and implement the school’s vision and valued outcomes. Trustees have student engagement, progress and achievement at the centre of their decisions and actions. Leaders and trustees have gone through an extensive consultation process to develop a new vision, values, strategic goals and targets that reflect the new circumstances of the school. School leaders have been strategic and highly effective in managing change. There are positive, respectful relationships between trustees and school leaders based on open, honest communication.

Trustees and leaders have completed a comprehensive review of the school's vision, values, goals and curriculum. This has involved consultation with, and taken into account the views of students, staff, parents and whānau, and the local runanga.

Leaders, teachers and parents engage in reciprocal learning partnerships. Leaders and teachers use a range of effective communication strategies that build relationships between parents and teachers to support children’s learning. The school helps students to make effective transitions into and through the school, and on to high school. Parents are regularly involved and supported to help their children learn.

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

Internal evaluation needs to be strengthened so that it is more evaluative. The board’s recently developed draft guidelines provide a very useful tool for undertaking review. The guidelines cover most aspects of the evaluation process. They could be developed further to include a greater focus on evaluation. Similarly, the teachers’ inquiry processes could be improved by having a more evaluative focus. A greater depth of evaluative thinking is likely to further extend teachers’ understanding of what is working best in their practice, and the board’s confidence in making resourcing decisions.

ERO agrees with the school that a key next step is to continue the focus on raising achievement in literacy and mathematics, especially for those students below expected levels.

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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a culture of care and collaboration that nurtures children’s learning and wellbeing

  • achieving positive outcomes for children

  • clear direction setting by trustees and leaders that aligns the school‘s vision, values, goals and targets to improve outcomes for students

  • engaging parents in meaningful partnerships based on children’s learning needs.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the priority for further development is in:

  • improving internal evaluation so that teachers, leaders and trustees can be clearer about effective programmes and strategies

  • continuing to focus on and improve the progress of students whose learning needs to be accelerated.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

8 May 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing – Years 1 to 6

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 57%; Girls 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori 25%

Pākehā 56%

Pacific 8%

Other 11%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

8 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014

Education Review May 2012

Education Review January 2009