Darfield Learning Community Cluster

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This learning community cluster includes seven state primary schools and one state secondary school and eight early childhood education providers.

Please note the Darfield Learning Community Cluster and Hororata Learning Community Cluster have recently combined at their request, and are called the Malvern Learning Community Cluster. The Shaping Education website will be updated shortly to reflect this change.



  1. Darfield School
  2. Glentunnel School
  3. Greendale School
  4. Kirwee Model School
  5. Sheffield Contributing School
  6. Springfield School
  7. West Melton School
  8. Darfield High School

Early childhood education (ECE)

There are 380 licence spaces across the early childhood providers in this cluster, including 74 spaces for children under two years of age.

At July 2011, 438 children enrolled at early childhood services in this cluster, 63 were under two. NOTE: Includes a recently opened service, Cat’s Pyjamas (West Melton). Of the 132 new entrant students who enrolled at a school in the Darfield Cluster in the year to March 2012, 130 (98%) had attended an ECE service. Of the 10 Māori new entrant students, 9 (90%) had attended an ECE service. The only Pasifika new entrant had not attended an ECE service.


  1. Darfield Playcentre
  2. West Melton Playcentre
  3. Annabel’s Educare
  4. Annabel’s Kindergarten – Darfield
  5. Annabel’s Private Kindergarten
  6. Darfield Preschool and Nursery
  7. The Cat’s Pyjamas Preschool and Nursery
  8. West Melton Kindergarten and Nursery

ECE services are independently owned and managed.

School governance

There are three types of schools: state, private (or registered or independent) and state integrated schools.

State integrated schools are former private schools which, while now “integrated” into the state system, also provide programmes around their particular religious or learning philosophy.

State and state integrated schools, while government funded, are managed by boards of trustees. Private schools receive only partial funding from the Government.

Day to day management of all schools is the responsibility of the principal.

The Crown is responsible for property provision for state and special character schools to ensure students have access to their closest school. The proprietors of state integrated and private schools are responsible for their own buildings.

The Darfield cluster does not include any state integrated schools. School boards are required to develop individual charters and annual plans and report their performance against these.  You will be able to access the school charter from your school or at Find a school.

Education Review Office (ERO) reports on school and early childhood performance are publicly available.

Darfield cluster ERO review cycle

Darfield School 3 years
Glentunnel School 3 years
Greendale School 3 years
Kirwee Model School 3 years
Sheffield Contributing School 3 years
Springfield School 3 years
West Melton School 3 years
Darfield High School 3 years

School roll changes

Image showing total Darfield cluster March roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Total cluster March roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

In March 2010, prior to the earthquakes, the primary schools in this cluster provided teaching and learning to 788 students. While individual rolls have fluctuated, the combined primary roll in this cluster has increased by 37 to 825 at March 2012.

Individual school March rolls, 2008, 2010, and 2012:

Note: only roll data for primary schools in this cluster is displayed.

Image showing Darfield cluster – Individual schools roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Darfield cluster – Individual schools roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

The following chart shows the ethnic composition of the combined cluster school rolls by percentage of total combined roll

Image showing ethnic composition of Darfield Cluster.

Darfield cluster: ethnic composition.

Education achievement

National Standards aim to lift achievement in literacy and numeracy (reading, writing, and mathematics) by being clear about what students should achieve and by when. Boards were required to report on learners’ achievement for 2011 in the 2012 Annual Report. You will be able to access National Standards data for your school from the Find a school section of the Education Counts website  as soon as this information is available.

Special Education

Special Education delivers specialist services and support to learners with special education needs across this cluster. This includes support to early childhood education, schools, teachers, parents, families and whānau.

Māori and Pasifika provision

Māori-medium education programmes involve students being taught either all or some curriculum subjects in the Māori language, either in immersion (Māori language only) or bilingual (Māori and English) programmes. There are no Māori or Pasifika bilingual units, or language programmes delivered by schools in this cluster.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision

ESOL provision for refugee and new migrant learners from non-english speaking backgrounds is not provided in this cluster.


Technology provision in this cluster is located at Darfield High School. 

Land – State schools only

School sites sit outside the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) land classification process and will not be given any Technical Category foundation rankings. Geotechnical assessments on the state school sites in this cluster indicate land issues will not compromise continued education provision.

Further Ministry commissioned assessments may be required at a later date, should any of these sites be further developed.

Buildings – State schools only

There are 44 teaching spaces included in the 5,342 square metres (net area, which is internal useable space) of teaching and learning and administration space across this cluster of schooling provision. The teaching, learning and administrative space is incorporated into 64 actual buildings. All of these buildings suffered damage during the earthquakes.  Repairs have been made to some of the building stock. Condition assessments confirm over time earthquake strengthening will be required across 15 of these buildings within the cluster.

Building condition information – State schools only

Number of buildings Number of buildings with EQ damage Number of buildings with strengthening required Number of buildings with weather tightness repairs required Number of buildings with both strengthening and weather tightness repairs
Darfield School 14 14 5 0 0
Glentunnel 7 7 2 0 0
Greendale 3 3 0 0 0
Kirwee Model School 11 11 3 0 0
Sheffield Contributing School 3 3 1 0 0
Springfield School 7 7 3 0 0
West Melton 19 19 1 0 0
Cluster 64 64 15 0 0

Based on March 2012 rolls – a minimum of 35 teaching spaces will be required for ongoing teaching and learning in this cluster, as below.

School rolls and classroom numbers – State schools only

March 2010 roll Classroom (no.) current (July 2012) March 2012 roll Estimated classrooms required at March 2012
Darfield School 244 12 203 8
Glentunnel 71 4 109 5
Greendale 24 2 24 1
Kirwee Model School 123 5 119 5
Sheffield Contributing School 51 4 71 3
Springfield School 34 2 30 2
West Melton 241 15 269 11
Cluster 788 44 825 35

The way forward

Extensive condition assessments and engineering investigations have confirmed all buildings in this cluster currently remain fit to occupy – unless already isolated. A number of the buildings across this cluster will, however, require remediation and strengthening over the longer-term. Six are not considered cost effective to repair. This includes 14 teaching spaces.

Future planning

The earthquakes provide an opportunity, as outlined in the Education Renewal Recovery Programme [PDF; 881kb], to consider options for revitalising the greater Christchurch education network that go beyond simply replacing what was there. Discussions with schools, communities and providers within this cluster will be key to informing decisions around the future shape of education for the Darfield education community. Ways to enhance infrastructure and address existing property issues, improve education outcomes, and consider future governance will form part of these discussions.

Community engagement

There will be conversations with boards of trustees to establish how schools in this cluster can not only restore services but also deliver improved outcomes for their education communities. In line with the support signalled in the Education Renewal Recovery Programme [PDF; 881kb] for improved collaboration, this will provide an opportunity to gain further suggestions around shared provision across schools and services within specific areas of interest and the wider community, as appropriate.

Check out the engagement schedule for further details.

Secondary Schools

Secondary, state integrated and independent schools located within these clusters will be involved in discussions around the future shape of provision within their education communities.

The Ministry has worked collaboratively with secondary schools on ideas for future secondary school education provision in greater Christchurch.  In October 2013, the Minister of Education announced decisions for the secondary school network.

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