ERO Reports

Westmount School Private School Education Review (download PDF)
1 Background 1
2 Criteria for Registration 2
3 Conclusion 5
About the School 6
On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Westmount
School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.
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1 Background
The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools
throughout New Zealand.
Section 35I of the Education Act 1989, requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review
fully registered private schools, and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each
school continues to meet the criteria for full registration.
This review report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the
Chief Review Officer.
The Auckland Campus of the Westmount School is one of 15 component parts of a school
established by the Westmount School National Trust to provide appropriate education for the
children of the Brethren community. Under the direction of the National Trust, the educational
content of teaching programmes is based on The New Zealand Curriculum.
The National Trust and local trusts govern all campuses. The National Trust sets direction and
writes policies and procedures for local trusts to follow. A national principal provides overall
educational leadership. Each campus has a chief executive officer, local trustees and a
campus coordinator (leader of teaching and learning). Heads of department work across the
campuses, as do teachers in charge of subjects. They communicate regularly, using video
conferencing facilities.
The roll of the Auckland campus was 124 in July, 2008. The roll is now 145 and there are
currently 14 teachers employed. A new Campus Coordinator is providing teachers with good
professional leadership.
Trustees have a clear understanding of their governance role and each has a portfolio of
responsibilities. The campus coordinator provides them with regular reports that outline
student achievement across the school. Trustees are positive about their staff and the quality
of teaching. They fully support the campus leadership team and share the team’s commitment
to providing high quality teaching.

2 Criteria for Registration
The Auckland campus of Westmount School continues to meet criteria for registration as a
private school.
Since the 2008 ERO review, significant developments have been achieved on the Auckland
campus. The building of a generously proportioned building to cater for the senior school, the
provision of a large gymnasium/hall, specialist teaching facilities and the extension of
recreational areas has created more opportunities for learning in and out of the classroom.
The new sense of space, and the provision of playing areas, including the sandpit, has led to
an increase in lunchtime activities and opportunities for students to develop their leadership
skills.
There has recently been a change in campus leadership. The new campus coordinator is an
experienced and skilled teacher. She is aware of the need for teachers to maintain a high
level of professional expertise and actively promotes good practice in teaching and learning.
Trustees and staff appreciate her leadership and the increased focus on developing students’
leadership and independence as learners.
Students continue to achieve well. Teachers are using a broad range of appropriate
assessment tools to make reliable and valid judgements on students’ achievement. They are
successfully implementing strategies such as three-way conferencing to report to parents in
plain language, and are confident about using National Standards to report student
achievement up to Year 8. Results for students from Years 3 to 8 from nationally normed tests
in reading, vocabulary, listening and mathematics, indicate that most students achieve above
expectations in these tests. Data are well used to identify students who need additional
support or extension work.
Students in Years 11, 12 and 13 achieve above average national levels in the National
Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Achievement results have been showing
significant improvement over time. Trustees and staff have set high expectations for
increased attainment at NCEA merit and excellence levels.
Overall student achievement information is used for decision making at class and school
level. Senior school teachers have been adjusting NCEA programmes and continue to
promote high levels of success in external qualifications. School-wide analysis of data is used
to determine patterns and trends in achievement, and to help identify the factors that
contribute to student success. Trustees receive good quality reports, particularly about
students’ achievement in NCEA. Qualification results are analysed by national school
personnel. The local campus coordinator, teachers and students use NCEA results to set
goals for ongoing learning.

Extensive work is going on in curriculum areas to make teaching more interactive, and to build
students’ skills as self-managing learners who are well equipped to be lifelong learners. The
growing emphasis on teaching as inquiry is part of a drive across the campus to ensure that
teachers develop and maintain a high level of professional skill. This focus is well supported
by the school’s appraisal system, which has been strengthened to meet more stringent
teacher registration requirements.
Attractive learning environments are a feature of the school. Students’ work is well displayed
in most classrooms to celebrate student achievement and to give students opportunities to
revisit their learning. These opportunities to review past work help students to make
considered judgements about their own levels of achievement.
Relationships between teachers and students are increasingly courteous as children move up
the school and take more responsibility for their learning. Students respond positively to
teachers’ high expectations and the standard of work presented is frequently high. Increased
information for students about how to improve their work would be a useful strategy for
teachers, particularly where the challenge is catering better for very able students.
Staff value the collegiality evident in the school and believe that the school is moving in a
positive direction. Teachers are all trained and qualified. There are currently three
provisionally registered teachers who are receiving appropriate advice and guidance.
Documentation of a staff handbook provides useful guidance about school operations. Further
documentation to outline expectations of good teaching practice in curriculum areas could
help to make it clear what good teaching looks like on this campus.
To ensure breadth in the senior school curriculum, the school makes good use of video
conferencing so that classes can be run nationally to cater for diverse curriculum areas. Staff
are working thoughtfully to provide good teaching through this medium and have identified the
need to provide appropriate mentoring to support students who are undertaking distance
learning.
Resources to support teaching have been increased and the students benefit from a greatly
increased provision of good quality texts to promote the love of reading. The junior and senior
libraries are well used and highly valued.
Trustees and staff are aware of the need to maintain a safe physical environment. Systems in
place are comprehensive and thorough. A fleet of minibuses to transport students to and from
school has improved student safety. Trustees should review their policy on police vetting to
ensure that all adults working by themselves with children in the school are police vetted if
necessary.

The increased emphasis in the school on achievement is reflected in the implementation of
awards for academic attainment and community service. Trustees, parents and staff are
united in their desire to build a school culture in which learning is valued and a culture of
continuous improvement is evident in all aspects of school operations.
The school’s managers have attested that they comply with the provision of section 35G in
respect to their being fit and proper persons to manage the school.

3 Conclusion
On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Westmount
School - Auckland Campus meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the
Education Act 1989.
Richard Thornton
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region
12 December 2011

About the School
Location Mangere Bridge, Auckland
Ministry of Education profile
number
472
School type Private School (Years 1 to 15)
Decile [1] 8
School roll 145
Gender composition Male 50%
Female 50%
Ethnic composition NZ European/ P?keh?
Indian
98%
2%
Review team on site August 2011
Date of this report 12 December 2011
Most recent ERO report(s) Private School Review
Private School Review
Private School Review
November 2008
August 2005
August 2002
[1]
School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low
socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their
students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state
and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A
school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.