St Heliers School - 14/09/2017


St Heliers School is a full primary (Years 0 to 8) of 710 children. The school roll comprises 48 percent Pākehā, four percent Māori, two percent Pacific and the remainder is made up of children from a diverse range of ethnicities.

Since the 2014 ERO evaluation professional learning and development for team leaders has focused on establishing a coaching approach to support and continually build teachers’ practice. St Heliers School is a member of the Glendowie Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL).

The board, senior leadership team and teachers have been responsive to areas for development identified in the 2014 ERO report. As a result staff appraisal systems and the quality of internal evaluation have continued to improve.

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

St Heliers School is highly effective in achieving equitable outcomes for children.

The school responds well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. Many useful processes are in place to support children to achieve equity and excellence including effective pastoral care, leadership and governance.

Further developments to support the school’s ongoing improvement involve extending the use of innovative learning practices, refining strategic and annual planning, and strengthening bicultural practice.

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

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

Equity and excellence

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

St Heliers School responds well to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

The school’s 2016 student achievement data show that most children achieve very well in relation to National Standards. Over time achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics have continued to increase. Māori children achieve well above regional and national levels. Pacific children’s achievement is particularly high. The school leaders and teachers are aware of some disparity between Māori and non-Maori learners in writing and are focused on addressing this.

The inclusive culture of the school supports all children well to reach their potential. Children with additional learning needs are closely monitored. They benefit from interventions designed to meet their individual learning needs. Their progress is tracked to evaluate how effectively these interventions are accelerating their achievement.

Teachers use a variety of useful processes to ensure the dependability of overall teacher judgements (OTJs) about children’s achievement. Moderation within the CoL could further support the quality of OTJs.

Personal excellence, well rounded development and outstanding citizenship are identified as the school’s valued outcomes for children.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

St Heliers School has many useful processes in place to support children to achieve equity and excellence, including effective pastoral care, leadership and governance.

The school culture is very effective in supporting the wellbeing of children and their families. Senior leaders and teachers value the importance of knowing children and families very well. This in-depth knowledge and ethic of care is well modelled by the senior leadership team. Trustees and senior leaders attribute children’s success to the school’s ongoing connectedness with families, and the vision and values at the heart of the school.

The purposeful, settled, attractive learning environments promote positive outcomes for children effectively. Children are highly engaged in, and talk knowledgeably about, their learning. They have opportunities to learn individually and in groups through a variety of formal and informal settings.

The school is committed to adopting modern teaching practices while retaining the benefits of proven approaches. Children in the senior classes know about their achievement and progress, and manage aspects of their own learning. Senior leaders identify that extending this good practice to other class levels will be beneficial to children’s independence and learning.

Teachers provide high quality learning opportunities for children. They actively engage children in their own learning while adhering to the school’s expectations of structure and formality. Teachers use relevant contexts to make learning meaningful for children. Classrooms are positive and children and teachers share mutual respect. Children are well supported to become independent learners.

Leadership is distributed and highly visible across the school. Leaders practise improvement focused internal evaluation. They have developed systems and structures to promote teachers’ collective responsibility for those children most at risk of not achieving. Team leaders participate in ongoing professional development, which includes coaching, to extend the consistency of teacher practice and to realise school goals.

The school community has high expectations for all children with regards to their behaviour and effort to succeed. Positive relationships are a feature of the school. The school community has many formal and informal opportunities to have input into the direction of the school. Parents are involved in the life of the school.

Trustees are highly visible in their involvement around the school. They are proud of and committed to the school. Trustees bring expertise and skills to their roles and undertake relevant board training. They scrutinise the student achievement information they receive and focus on equity and excellence for all children.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school has many structures and processes in place to raise children’s achievement.The school is very well placed to continue making improvements that impact positively on children’s learning.

Agreed next steps include:

  • refine and align strategic and annual planning to clarify actions necessary to achieve desired outcomes

  • continue to develop and implement initiatives that promote Māori as tangata whenua and bicultural understandings for all

  • continue to extend the school wide pedagogy to promote innovative educational practices that extend student agency and the use of digital technologies.

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.

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 13 international students attending the school.

The school provides very well for the pastoral care of its International Students. Their well-being and progress are closely monitored. Very good help is offered to children whose first language is one other than English. Families of International students are supported to integrate comfortably into the community.

Going forward

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

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

14 September 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

other European
other Asian


Number of International Students


Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

14 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2014

February 2011

May 2007