Torbay School - 15/07/2019

School Context

Torbay School on Auckland’s North Shore caters for children in Years 1 to 6. The school values its connections with the outdoor environment and waterways of the Waitemata Harbour. The school has strong intergenerational connections and significant links with the community. The school community has recently become more culturally diverse, with many children and families who now speak more than one language.

The school motto, ‘Endeavour with Honour’, underpins the school vision of ‘Flying High – Learning for Success’. Key strategic goals include: learners achieving to their full potential, safe and supportive environments, and effective community relationships.

Torbay School’s ‘Care Values’ focus on social dispositions and key competencies for children’s wellbeing. These include commitment, aroha, respect, responsibility and excellence.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • achievement in relation to school targets

  • additional learning support

  • attendance information

  • participation in outdoor education programmes.

Since the 2014 ERO evaluation the school has appointed a new principal, introduced a new leadership structure and begun a comprehensive review of curriculum.

Torbay School is a member of the Oneroa Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

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 children. The school’s achievement information over the last four years shows most children are achieving expected national curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori and Pacific learners are achieving at similar good levels to overall school achievement.

Leaders and teachers identify achievement disparity for specific groups of children, who achieved less well in 2018. A variety of initiatives have been implemented to specifically lift the achievement of these groups. These initiatives are well monitored to track ongoing progress.

Children achieve very well in relation to other valued outcomes. The school has developed a framework of learning and social dispositions, key competencies and school values to grow children as lifelong learners. Children know these as ‘Learner Powers’. As learners, children aspire to be resilient, reflective, innovative, curious and collaborative.

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

The school responds very well to all children whose learning needs accelerating. The school’s 2018 achievement data show that some targeted individual children and groups make accelerated progress.

The school has very good systems for identifying children who need additional support. Children who are at risk of not achieving in literacy and mathematics are identified early and effective strategies are implemented to support their learning. Good schoolwide processes are in place to monitor children’s progress. Learning support strategies are specific and targeted, and include class-based and additional learning support programmes.

Leaders and teachers place a high priority on responding to the learning needs of all children who need to make accelerated progress. They work alongside children in inclusive classroom environments. Teacher aides are well used to support children with additional learning needs. Children and whānau contribute to developing strategies for their next steps in learning.

Children are well supported to experience success across all areas of the curriculum.

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 board represents and serves the school and its community well. Trustees are very supportive of the new principal in his leadership of the school vision, values and strategic direction. The board has a focus on staff wellbeing, and resources a range of professional development opportunities for staff to build their professional capacity.

The principal is very effectively leading a process of change across the school. A restructured leadership team has been introduced to support ongoing school improvement and innovation. Emerging leaders are being identified, and empowered in their professional leadership. This distributed leadership model is building leadership capacity and capability across the school.

Leaders and teachers have high expectations for teaching and learning. They provide an orderly and supportive learning environment that is conducive to children’s learning and wellbeing. The ‘Learner Powers’ and ‘Care Values’ are highly evident in the curriculum and visible throughout the school environment.

The school’s ‘Te ao Māori’ plan is being coordinated by a new leader. Its aim is to consolidate teachers’ and children’s knowledge of te reo, tikanga and te ao Māori.

A play-based learning curriculum, Wā Kitea, works very well to support children’s transition into school from early learning services and to scaffold their early school learning.

The school’s curriculum enables the development of:

  • programmes that build children’s oral language, vocabulary, reading, mathematics, and science problem-solving skills

  • inclusive and differentiated learning programmes that cater for children’s needs, strengths, and abilities

  • opportunities for physical education and education outside the classroom.

Children learn in creative, focused learning environments. Classrooms are inclusive, and students with additional needs or abilities participate in learning that provides appropriate support or challenge. Digital tools are highly evident and well used. Students use digital tools to regularly share their learning and create learning partnerships with their whānau/parents.

Senior leaders are currently undertaking a schoolwide review of the school’s curriculum and assessment. They plan to promote greater coherence in curriculum design and delivery within year levels and across the school.

Self review is widely used to support decision making. Leaders have appropriately identified that self review could now be strengthened by using an evaluative model of internal evaluation to guide improvement and innovation.

Parents, whānau and the community engage in joint activities and interventions to improve outcomes for children, and to ensure positive transitions from early childhood and through the school system. The kāhui ako is building connections and support for learners, teachers and leaders. This strengthens learning pathways for students and whānau within the local area.

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

School leaders’ have planned development priorities that include:

  • deepening leaders’ and teachers’ understanding of te ao Māori to positively impact the wellbeing and learning outcomes for Māori learners
  • ensuring meaningful connection and consultation with Māori whānau is established and embedded as part of the school’s culture
  • increasing the alignment of key aspects of the curriculum, such as assessment, planning and evaluation
  • developing the school’s leadership structure to support teaching and learning across the school.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to theEducation (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016(the Code)established undersection 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 seven international students attending the school.

The school has well-established procedures for promoting educational progress of its international students. Students benefit from the school’s pastoral care systems and its inclusive, positive environment. English language programmes support the students to participate successfully across the curriculum, and help them to integrate positively into all aspects of school life.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Torbay School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the new principal‘s leadership that builds, supports and models high expectations, and promotes a collaborative culture of ongoing improvement and learning
  • caring and inclusive learning environments that are responsive to children’s wellbeing and learning needs.

Next steps

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

  • deepen leaders’ and teachers’ understanding of te ao Māori to positively impact wellbeing and learning outcomes for Māori learners, through connection and consultation with Māori whānau
  • develop a child-centred integrated curriculum that promotes alignment across the school
  • strengthen internal evaluation to ensure rigour and depth in all aspects of the school (board, leadership, staff) to support ongoing improvement and innovation.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

15 July 2019

About the school


Torbay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing Years 1-6

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 3%
NZ European/Pākehā 82%
Asian 11%
other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

15 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2014
Education Review August 2009
Education Review April 2003