Self-review tools learning module


New Zealand primary schools are utilising National Standards alongside the work they are doing on The New Zealand Curriculum.

To help you gauge the capabilities and needs of your school, the Ministry of Education has developed a suite of self-review tools. They will help you to review the implementation of the standards.

You will be able to use the continuum on the tools to work out where your school is at the moment, what you need to do to lift student achievement and how to get there. The tools provide a framework for developing a professional learning plan that will help you chart the way.

A team lead by Professor Helen Timperley from the University of Auckland developed the tools.

About the module

This learning module comprises a series of short videos that look at how Russley School in Christchurch has used the tools to focus on student achievement. Each video focuses on a different aspect of the tools. As part of using the self-review tools, leadership teams are invited to view these videos and consider the reflective questions that follow.

The questions provided by the tools helped Russley School's principal, syndicate leaders and teachers to have rich and focused conversations about the changes they needed to make to their professional practice so that all the students at the school showed progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards for reading, writing and maths.

Rema Leitch, a leadership and management adviser with UC Education Plus at the University of Canterbury worked alongside the principal and leadership team at Russley as they unpacked the tools.

Using the videos

You can watch the videos from this website, or download them and watch them in your own time.

1. Professor Helen Timperley talks about the tools

In this video Professor Helen Timperley talks about the knowledge and inquiry-building cycle and how this can be used to support the professional learning of leaders and classroom teachers.

2. Working with a facilitator

Leadership and Management adviser, Rema Leitch, meets Russley school principal Erika Ross and explains how she will work with the leadership team to unpack the self-review tools.

3. Russley School leaders are coached in ways to use the Tool for Teachers

After taking the Russley leadership team through the Tool for In-school Leaders, Rema focused her follow-up meeting on how the syndicate leaders in the team might use the Tool for Teachers with their syndicates.

4. Using the Tool for Teachers at Russley School

Junior syndicate leader, Lynley Lock, takes her teachers through the Tool for Teachers. She helps the teachers to focus on the kinds of evidence that they need to gather in order to determine which students might need more support to make progress.

5. Using the Tool for Reporting at Russley School

In this video the Russley leadership team consider how they currently report to parents, how they monitor progress and whether they need to modify their approaches to reporting.

6. Board Chair, Colin Gray, talks about using the Tool for Boards of Trustees

The Russley School board of trustees invited an external facilitator to take them through the board tool. Colin Gray describes what happened and explains how the board sees its role in the self-review process.

7. Reflective comments from principal, Erika Ross

Erika Ross looks back on the self-review tool meetings and also discusses why she thinks the self-review process is a critical part of school improvement.


The Ministry of Education wishes to thank Rema Leitch and the board, principal and staff of Russley School in Christchurch for their generosity and willingness to share the details of their meetings so that other school communities might learn from them.

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Related sabbatical reports

  • Jeremy Edwards, Northland School

    To investigate the use of school management systems to deliver national standards data to inform school self-review. (PDF 126kB)

  • Ian Poulter, Bluestone School

    To develop effective and rigorous school wide self review cycles that positively impact on school culture and student achievement. (PDF 266kB)

  • Jacqui Duncan, Cashmere Primary School

    Critical school-wide self review. (Note: there are two documents to download). Cashmere Primary School Review Plan (PDF 163 kB) (PDF 218kB)

  • Judith Nicoll, Makauri School

    Review and development of assessment practice towards reporting student achievement against the National Standards. (PDF 122kB)