ERO Report

School Context

Ōrākei School is a full primary school situated in Ōrākei and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The school has close historical and cultural links with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. Many Māori children whakapapa to the local iwi Ngāti Whātua. Māori students make up 30 percent of the roll, Pākehā students 41 percent, and other students have Pacific or multicultural heritages.

The school’s vision of ‘Nurturing Excellence’ in staff, students and the learning environment, is complemented by the school’s five core values of Whakaute - respect, Pākihi Hinengaro - inquiring minds, Tōku Whakapono - self-belief, Kairangi – excellence, and Auahatanga - creativity.

Since ERO’s 2016 review, the school has experienced significant staffing changes. The new principal was appointed in 2019, and two new deputy principals have been recently appointed. These were all internal appointments. Further changes have included the increase to three Māori medium classes in Te Ahureinga o Te Aroha (TAoTA) and the establishment of a Montessori class.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • student wellbeing and attendance information
  • programmes to accelerate students’ learning
  • progress of students with additional learning needs.

The school is a member of Te Roopu Pourewa 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 its students.

The school’s achievement information indicates that most students are achieving at expected national curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. By the end of Year 8, most students leave school well prepared for secondary education learning. Māori students achieve well in literacy and mathematics. Leaders are aware of the disparity for some groups of students.

Students in Te Ahureinga o Te Aroha learn through Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, the Māori Medium curriculum. Achievement information for these students is not reported separately from students working in English medium. School leaders agree that reporting the levels of achievement for students in TAoTA would provide a more accurate overall picture of achievement across the school. Assessment systems aligned to Te Marautanga o Aotearoa are at the development stage.

The cohort of Pacific students is too small to report overall achievement trends and patterns. The school monitors the achievement of these children individually.

Many students achieve well in relation to the school’s broader valued outcomes. Students demonstrate:

  • tuakana/teina practices

  • a strong sense of belonging and connection to the school and community

  • respectful and positive relationships with staff and each other.

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

The school has developed ways to accelerate student learning progress. Relevant systems are used to identify, track and regularly monitor the progress of children who need to make accelerated progress. Teachers have increased their understanding of accelerated progress required to achieve more equitable outcomes for all students. They are using useful strategies to increase students’ rates of progress in mathematics. School achievement data indicate that in 2018, students identified at risk of not achieving in literacy, made accelerated progress over that year.

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, leaders and teachers are committed to achieving equitable outcomes for all learners. The school has effective processes and practices to enable the achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning.

The school’s culturally responsive curriculum promotes mana whenua in the rohe of Ngāti Whātua and reflects the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. A specialist teacher provides meaningful opportunities for students and teachers to learn te reo Māori. This is helping to increase teachers’ confidence to use the language.

Ako is the school’s ‘signature practice’ model of teaching and learning. This approach is successfully improving teachers’ professional practice and building student agency. Teachers are promoting opportunities for students to use self and peer assessment strategies, so they can take a greater role in their learning. For many students these strategies are helping them to make accelerated progress.

Teachers are using achievement information well to respond to students’ learning strengths and needs. Students learn in flexible learning groups, and this approach is supporting them to make accelerated progress. Children with additional learning and behavioural needs feel accepted, enjoy positive relationships with their peers and teachers. They are active, visible members of the learning community. A broad range of professionals support the health, wellbeing and education of these students. Students develop oral language skills and build social and emotional competencies to help them to be successful learners.

Leaders have built strong relational trust with the school community. Teachers support parents and whānau by providing them with ways to help with their children’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?

The leadership team is committed to the school’s vision. Leaders are building relational trust and effective collaboration as a new team. They agree that further developments for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning include:

  • developing a strategic plan to guide Te Ahureinga o Te Aroha

  • developing a localised curriculum that reflects the voice and aspirations of the community aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

  • strengthening the assessment requirements for Te Matauranga o Aotearoa

  • continuing to grow the capacity of leaders to lead change

  • refining evaluation systems and practices for improvement and innovation.

3 Other Matters

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. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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 Ōrākei 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:

  • respectful and valued partnerships in learning with parents, whānau and the community
  • committed, collaborative leadership that establishes and demonstrates high expectations
  • a caring and inclusive learning environment that promotes equity and excellence.

Next steps

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

  • sustaining the growth in Te Ahureinga o Te Aroha
  • reflecting the voice and aspirations of the community in the school’s dual curriculums
  • building leadership capacity to lead change
  • strengthening internal evaluation to sustain improvement and innovation.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified an area of non-compliance in relation to the health curriculum.

In order to address this, the school must consult with the community on the delivery of the health curriculum at least once every two years.

[Education Act 1989, s60B.]

ERO recommends that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as Administrator of the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, follows up with the school on its implementation and review of policies and processes that give effect to the Code.  

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

4 December 2019

Ōrākei, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 30%
NZ European/Pākehā 41%
Middle Eastern 9%
Pacific 6%
Asian 5%
other ethnic groups 9%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

4 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2016
Education Review April 2013
Education Review August 2010