Yendarra School - 15/05/2019

School Context

Yendarra School provides teaching and learning programmes for students from Years 1-6. The school is located in a residential area close to the Otara town centre. Its roll of approximately 300 students consists mainly of students from Māori and Pacific cultural backgrounds. Students from Samoan heritage are the largest group and make up approximately one third of the total student population. Tongan, Māori and Cook Island Māori are the next largest groups. There are small numbers of students with Niuean and South East Asian heritages.

The Yendarra School vision is “Kia pai taea tātou, Be the BEST we can”. School values include whanaungatanga - kinship of belonging; aroha - love and respect; manaakitanga - caring for all; piripono - respecting the mana of tamariki and whānau; and koha - the gifting of strengths and talents. The school’s charter prioritises excellent and equitable outcomes for Māori, Pacific and all students. Goals and targets focus on lifting achievement in literacy and numeracy and increasing student attendance. Delivery of a holistic curriculum that enhances student identity, language, culture and wellbeing is a key aim.

Yendarra School leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the curriculum levels of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
  • student outcomes related to hauora, wellbeing
  • student curriculum experiences
  • attendance information.

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?

Yendarra School leaders and teachers are effectively pursuing equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners.

Leaders and teachers demonstrate a sense of urgency to improve achievement and maximise student engagement and learning. Information over the past four years indicates significant increases in achievement in the core curriculum areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Recent assessment data in reading, writing and mathematics shows that almost 80 percent of students are achieving at curriculum level. Some students make accelerated progress.

Leaders and teachers use achievement data to identify trends and patterns over time. They separate data to show achievement for different groups of students. This has helped leaders to identify that there are some achievement disparities. Specific and clear next steps have been identified to address these.

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

Leaders and teachers are accelerating learning for Māori students effectively. There have been increases in the achievement of Māori students over the last three years. Recent data shows that around 80 percent of Māori students are achieving at their expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Students with Pacific heritage achieve at similar levels to Māori learners.

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?

School leaders work together in a coherent and co-ordinated way to establish school conditions that support students to achieve valued outcomes.

Leadership is contributing strongly to creating the conditions for lifting student achievement. Leaders collaboratively develop and pursue the school’s vision, goals and targets for accelerating students’ progress and promoting their wellbeing. Leadership ensures effective planning, management and delivery of a localised and culturally responsive curriculum. Curriculum evaluation is systematically carried out to ensure learners are continuously engaged in relevant and meaningful learning contexts.

Leaders build relational trust and effective collaboration at all levels of the school community including with whānau, teachers and trustees. They focus on continuously building teachers’ capabilities to adapt and respond to learners’ needs.

Students learn, achieve and progress in the breadth and depth of the NZC. Curriculum programmes build on students’ prior knowledge and develop their interests, creativity, knowledge, understandings and skills. The curriculum appropriately prioritises literacy and numeracy learning. Students experience authentic learning contexts and a wide range of specialist programmes. The school’s curriculum is responsive to parent and whānau aspirations. It emphasises wellbeing, sustainable practices that promote healthy choices, and consistency between school and home practices.

Students engage in learning in a school culture that is conducive to their learning and wellbeing. They have equitable opportunities to learn and benefit from tuakana/teina relationships. Teachers use effective and culturally responsive practices to support students’ learning.

Leaders and staff value evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building. They engage in collaborative inquiry which results in increasingly responsive teaching practices. Teachers are open to feedback from their peers, mentors, leaders and from students. Leaders and teachers also use the wider education community and professional education consultants to provide external perspectives to further develop their teaching capability. Organisational conditions promote evaluative thinking and processes, to inform strategies for further improvement and innovation.

The board actively represents and serves the school community in its stewardship role. Trustees access quality information to set the school’s strategic direction. They seek perspectives from students, parents and whānau, leaders and teachers. The board has a strong focus on student achievement, learning and wellbeing. The board uses achievement information to help gauge how effective the school is in achieving valued outcomes for students. The board resources strategically to provide attractive facilities and appropriate equipment to support student learning.

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

Continuing to strengthen teaching to promote students’ agency in leading their own learning is a priority for the school.

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 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that focuses on equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners
  • stewardship that is focused on student learning, achievement and wellbeing
  • a rich localised curriculum that enhances student identity, language and culture, promotes creativity and engages students in authentic learning contexts
  • teaching practices that are culturally responsive and promote improvement
  • educationally powerful connections with parents and whānau who are seen as ‘rangatira’ of their children’s learning.

Next steps

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

  • continue to develop student agency so learners confidently lead their own learning.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

15 May 2019

About the school


Otara, South Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 26%
Samoan 34%
Tongan 25%
Cook Island Māori 11%
other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

15 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014
Education Review May 2011
Education Review October 2007