Woodleigh School - 29/09/2014


Students' learning and achievement are promoted by a strong emphasis on continual school improvement. Students’ culture, language and identity are valued and celebrated. Relationships with family and whānau are actively fostered. A set of agreed beliefs underpins the curriculum. Literacy and mathematics are emphasised in authentic learning contexts. Governance and leadership are effective.

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

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Woodleigh School caters for Years 1 to 6 students. It is set in established grounds in the Frankleigh Park suburb of New Plymouth.

The current roll of 409 includes 39 Māori, five Pacific and 43 students from a range of other ethnic groups. There has been considerable roll growth since ERO's 2011 review and an enrolment scheme is now in place.

The school is well resourced, with modern learning environments and grounds. An outdoor classroom native bush area provides a focal point for curriculum activities.

The school’s ethos of ‘Learning, Achieving and Caring - The Woodleigh Way’ is well established and is clearly articulated by students and staff. It contributes to a collaborative school culture. The school’s values of respect, reliability and responsibility are highly evident and actively promoted to foster an inclusive learning community.

The principal, teachers and trustees have continued to build on the high quality learning, student engagement and positive, purposeful culture noted in the July 2011 ERO report.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school effectively uses achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Trustees, leaders and teachers focus all decision-making on student learning and achievement. Students with identified learning needs are supported through a wide range of well-considered interventions. Teachers and leaders reflect on the progress and achievement of these students to evaluate the effectiveness of practice and programmes.

Students with special abilities are provided with realistic challenges in their learning. School leaders identify a next step is for teachers to evaluate how well programmes and strategies support these students.

Use of the National Standards is explicit in planning and assessment practices. The reliability and validity of teachers' overall judgements about students' achievement in relation to the Standards are supported by an increasing understanding of assessment tools, useful guidelines and sound moderation practices. This is particularly so in writing, and teachers are continuing to strengthen the quality of overall judgements in reading and mathematics.

Teachers know students well. They effectively use achievement information and their knowledge of students' interests, to make decisions about teaching content and strategies. These approaches motivate and challenge learners.

The school reports that the majority of students are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Progress and achievement are tracked by senior leaders. This indicates a general upward trend over time from when students begin school until they leave at the end of Year 6.

Continuing to improve the overall achievement of Māori students is an identified priority. Suitable targets are developed to raise the achievement of students identified as priority learners through closely analysed National Standards' data. Clear, explicit actions guide teachers and leaders in the provision of well-considered interventions for learners. An improvement in the achievement of boys is becoming evident.

Parents receive useful, comprehensive information about their children’s engagement, progress and achievement. A range of opportunities supports parents' knowledge and understanding of their children’s learning.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The schools' curriculum effectively promotes positive and improving outcomes for students. It is well designed and reflects the school's context. Clear links are evident between the school’s vision and beliefs, and the key competencies and values of The New Zealand Curriculum. A strong commitment to the use of te reo Māori is evident.

Useful, collaboratively-developed expectations guide high quality teaching across all learning areas. The curriculum is responsive to students’ and teachers’ interest and strengths. The use of interesting and relevant contexts enhances students' engagement and promotes positive learning outcomes.

Teachers use a wide range of strategies to actively engage students in their learning. They establish active, vibrant classroom environments that contribute to and reflect learning. High expectations are evident. There are positive, friendly and respectful interactions amongst students and adults.

Students are confident, capable self-managing learners. Teachers support and students accept the challenge to explore, take risks and experiment in their learning. Students have many opportunities to participate, lead and enjoy success in a wide range of activities within the broad curriculum.

Students' views are valued. Teachers assist students to know about their learning and next steps. A culture of inclusiveness supports the wellbeing and sense of belonging of all students.

Leaders and teachers reflect individually and collaboratively on the quality of teaching, student learning and school systems. Teachers inquiring into their practice supports responsiveness to the needs of priority learners.

Te reo Māori is evident within planning, programmes and the school environment. School leaders acknowledge a next step is to build on current practice and to more explicitly include contexts that reflect te ao Māori in teaching and learning programmes.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are used effectively by teachers and students to support teaching and promote learning. Through its e-learning strategy, the school has identified the need to increase resourcing and use of ICT to further enhance student learning.

Carefully considered systems are in place to assist the transition of students into and through the school, and on to their next stage of education. Processes are responsive to the needs of students and their families.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

Deliberate strategies and programmes support Māori students to experience their culture, language and identity. This is clearly affirmed and celebrated.

Parents and whānau have opportunities to express aspirations for Māori learners. They are wellinformed about student achievement and school programmes that support Māori learners. The views of Māori whānau inform strategic planning and decision making.

Kapa haka offers Māori students opportunities for leadership and success. The cultural knowledge and skills that Māori students bring to school are valued and used. Tuakana teina understanding is evident with students supporting each other and staff.

Teachers should continue to build on their knowledge and confidence in the teaching and learning of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. This should extend their capability to respond to students’ culture, language and identity.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance and continue to promote students' learning and achievement.

Trustees are well informed about learning, achievement and curriculum development through regular reporting by school and team leaders. The principal reports ongoing progress in relation to the goals outlined in the annual plan.

School leaders acknowledge a next step is to extend reporting to the board to comment more explicitly on the progress and achievement of the priority learners identified in the school’s achievement targets.

The board, school leaders and teachers work collaboratively. Trustees provide significant resourcing that supports staff to promote learning for all students. They seek parent views to inform their decision-making.

Senior leaders, actively led by the principal, effectively guide well-considered improvements for students. There is a strong emphasis on building the leadership capability of teachers and students. Teachers and leaders actively share good practice with other schools.

The process for appraisal of teachers is focused on improvement and promotes ongoing staff development. Development goals are aligned to school and teachers' personal priorities, and the relevant professional criteria.

Embedding consistent school wide practice is supported by well-considered professional learning and development. Well-informed, high expectations for effective teaching underpin growth in teacher practice.

A culture of review and reflection, firmly grounded in evidence, sustains good practice and promotes improvement at all levels of the school. Self-review processes are systematic, well developed and effective in informing change for improvement. The school should use its self-review practices to accelerate student learning and embed high achievement.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees 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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


Students' learning and achievement are promoted by a strong emphasis on continual school improvement. Students’ culture, language and identity are valued and celebrated. Relationships with family and whānau are actively fostered. A set of agreed beliefs underpins the curriculum. Literacy and mathematics are emphasised in authentic learning contexts. Governance and leadership are effective.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

29 September 2014

About the School


New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 54%,

Female 46%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnic groups





Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

29 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2011

April 2008

June 2005

Exemplar Review - Woodleigh School - Reading - April 2019

In April 2019 the Education Review Office published an Exemplar Review on Reading read it here