Sutton Park School - 26/06/2018

School Context

Sutton Park School caters for learners from Years 1 to 8 and is located in Mangere East, Auckland. The school roll of approximately 520 students draws from the wider Auckland area. Families choose to travel so that their children have opportunities to learn through the different languages that the school offers.

The number of bilingual units has increased significantly over time. Sia Ua, the Tongan bilingual unit has eight classrooms. Masina Va’aia, the Samoan bilingual unit, has four classrooms. Whaia te Matauranga, the Māori immersion unit, has two classrooms. English medium is the language of learning in 13 classrooms.

The school’s vision is “cast the net wide, set it deep to nourish learners for life.” Valued outcomes for students are for them to achieve at and above levels outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), to be fluent speakers of at least two languages, and take pride in their identity and culture. Students are expected to demonstrate the school’s values of perseverance, respect, identity, diversity and excellence (PRIDE).

The school’s strategic goals are to:

  • improve student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • support Māori learners to be successful as Māori
  • assist teachers to be reflective, adaptable, culturally responsive and to enable students as independent learners

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • those children learning in the Samoan and Tongan bilingual units

  • progress and achievement of students with additional learning needs

  • analysed information gathered from consultation with parents, students and staff.

Since the 2015 ERO review trustees have participated in training to support them in their stewardship role. Two deputy principals have been appointed. New appointments have been made to middle leadership and teaching teams. Teachers have undertaken professional learning and development (PLD) in leadership and teaching practices to lift and sustain effective practices. The school has joined the Whakatipu Akoranga 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 pursues excellence to achieve equitable outcomes for all its students. Overall in the last three years student achievement data indicates that a large majority of learners achieve at expected curriculum levels in mathematics, reading and writing. Parity of achievement has been addressed for Māori and Pacific students in mathematics and reading. Recent school information shows that achievement in writing for Pacific learners has lifted.

Students’ bilingual capabilities are enhanced and developed. They are assessed in their heritage languages as well as in English.

Achievement data for boys and girls achievement is similar in mathematics. Data indicates a significant disparity for boys in reading and writing.

The progress of those children with additional learning needs is carefully monitored.

Students achieve very well in relation to other valued outcomes including:

  • having a strong sense of belonging

  • honouring the cultural knowledge and skills they bring to their learning

  • benefiting from whakawhanaungatanga in their interactions with each other

  • having confidence and a connection to their learning.

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

The school has developed good systems and teaching practices to accelerate learning for Māori, and other students who need this.

Trustees, leaders and teachers prioritise the achievement of Māori succeeding as Māori. They have appropriate strategic and annual targets to lift achievement.

There is good provision made for children with additional learning needs. Systems and processes ensure that their identified learning needs are met. Effective working relationships with external agencies, parents and whānau help support children with additional learning needs to have equitable access to learning.

Leaders and teachers use achievement data appropriately for a range of purposes such as improving teaching and learning, curriculum design and strategic planning. Those students at risk of not achieving are quickly identified so that appropriate and tailored support is provided. Useful processes are in place for close monitoring and tracking of student progress and achievement.

Teachers have improved the reliability of achievement data so that it is more trustworthy. Teachers and leaders engage in collaborative discussions and share teaching strategies to help accelerate students’ 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?

The school’s very strong culture is underpinned by the enactment of its values of PRIDE. Students, teachers, leaders and trustees demonstrate these values with particular emphasis on identity, language and culture. High visibility, shared understandings and frequent sharing of these values promotes the school’s expected behaviours and outcomes. Key competencies as outlined in the New Zealand curriculum are well integrated in the school curriculum and culture.

Leaders have a deliberate and unique focus on equity and excellence through learning languages and enhancing student identity and culture. The provision of bilingual and total immersion opportunities to learning using evidence based methodologies is contributing to students gaining greater ownership of their learning.

School leadership is characterised by coherence of decision making, collaboration and exemplifies a high trust model. As a result, systems and processes are established that focus on improving teaching practices to accelerate student achievement. A cultural shift has been achieved that is now focused on learning and developing the whole child.

The school’s curriculum promotes a wide variety of learning opportunities for students to be independent and connected, inquiry learners. The curriculum celebrates students’ diversity and enhances pride in who they are and supports the development of their interests and talents. Senior students have good opportunities for leadership. The NZC’s key competencies are well integrated and reflected in programmes and authentic learning contexts. A graduate profile has been developed to guide teaching and learning programmes and practices that have students’ successful learning and wellbeing centremost.

Teachers are becoming increasingly reflective about their teaching practice. Culturally responsive professional learning and development supports teachers and responds to their learning needs. Teachers and leaders engage in talanoa that promotes respectful, warm and honest critique focused on growing teachers as adaptive practitioners to continuously meet the learning needs of students.

Reciprocal and educationally powerful connections with family and whanau are very evident. Parent and whānau have various opportunities to participate in their children’s learning. Their aspirations are sought and contribute to curriculum design through such events as whānau hui and fono. Parents are able to learn about the curriculum the school delivers so that they can support their child’s learning at home.

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

Leaders and kaiako identify the need to develop a curriculum design based on Te Marautanga o Aotearoa for the tamariki in Whaia te Matauranga. Kaiako recognise that professional learning and development would help them increase their knowledge about aromatawai, assessment in te reo Māori, assessment processes and use of achievement information that support tamariki Māori learning through Te Marautanga.

Leaders identify further analysis of achievement data is required to show accelerated progress and trends and patterns over time. Looking at data to show what is happening for different groups of students such as boys, girls and the achievement of students in the bilingual units in comparison with students in English medium settings, will help leaders and teachers have a deeper understanding of trends and patterns. Reporting this information to the board will allow trustees to scrutinise data to continue to help them with resourcing decisions.

The school are developing good internal evaluation processes. They consult whānau as part of this process and use information for direction setting. Leaders acknowledge that extending internal evaluation to more regularly evaluate learning support programmes will provide the board with useful information about the effectiveness of these initiatives.

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:

  • leadership that enables leaders, teachers, students and whanau to engage in responsive learning partnerships

  • unique focus on diversity and learning through languages that promotes in students a strong sense of identity and culture and values what they bring to their learning

  • coherent and collaborative approaches to accelerating student achievement through building teacher capability and responsive curriculum design.

Next steps

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

  • improving the evaluation and analysis of achievement data to show what is happening for different groups of students in the school in order to reduce disparity particularly for boys.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

26 June 2018

About the school


Mangere East, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 54% Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Cook Islands Māori


Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)


Number of students in Level 1 MME


Special Features

8 Tongan bilingual classes 4 Samoan bilingual classes

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

26 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2015
March 2012
September 2008