Awahono School - Grey Valley - 22/11/2017


Awahono School in the Grey Valley has a roll of 76 children.

Since the 2013 ERO report, there have been a number of significant changes and developments in the school. These include:

  • staffing changes

  • a complete change of board members, including a new board chair

  • participation in a Manaiakalani digital cluster

  • participation in the Mawhera Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL).

Achievement has remained static over the period 2014 to 2016. Approximately one third of children are not achieving National Standards expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There is a persisting disparity for boys in writing.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

Achievement for a significant number of children needs to be accelerated to ensure that they are making sufficient progress, over time, against the National Standards (NS).

The school has a number of processes in place which provide a basis for enabling achievement of excellence and equity. These processes need to be comprehensively evaluated to determine their impact on student progress and achievement. Children need to be provided with quality feedback about their progress and achievement, clear learning expectations and more opportunities around ‘what’ and ‘how’ they learn.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is responding effectively to some of the children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

In 2016, a small number of children made accelerated progress, and there is evidence of progress for some children whose achievement is at risk. Between 2014 and 2016 there has been little improvement in the number of children achieving at or above the expected NS.

NS achievement in reading is higher than mathematics and writing. There is a significant disparity in writing achievement for boys compared with girls, and this disparity has persisted over several years. Girls achieve significantly better in writing than boys, and slightly better in reading.

School targets clearly identify writing and mathematics as areas for improvement. Professional development and strategies for improving outcomes for children in these subjects are shared across the CoL.

Teachers collect data about, and monitor children’s learning. This includes those children who have been identified as at risk of not meeting NS expectations, or who are making insufficient progress in learning. Teacher inquiry and professional development are targeted to improve teacher capability in improving outcomes for learners in writing and mathematics.

The school has clear guidelines and practices to support moderation. This includes moderation events involving teachers and leaders within the school, as well as across the CoL.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

The school has a number of processes in place that provide a foundation for enabling the achievement of equity and excellence.

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Processes and practices that promote achievement of equity and excellence are identified as follows:

  • documentation and guidelines are clear and concise and provide comprehensive coverage of all school operations

  • there are clear processes for gathering data to inform teaching and learning

  • there is clear alignment between strategic goals, annual planning and teachers’ goals

  • teacher professional development, including that associated with the CoL, aims to support teachers in meeting the identified needs of children needing additional support with learning

  • tuakana teina, where older children support younger ones, features strongly in all aspects of school practice.

Leaders and teachers make good use of the rich local environment to extend curriculum learning opportunities for children.

The school’s values of respect, responsibility and resilience are embedded in school routines and promote a safe environment for children.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

The school has a number of processes and practices in place which are being implemented to foster equity and excellence. School leaders now need to effectively evaluate the impact of initiatives on teaching practice, and on learning outcomes for children.

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Several areas for development have been identified to continue to improve and sustain positive outcomes for children.

The school needs to improve its internal evaluation of processes to better determine the impact on children’s progress and achievement. This includes the curriculum and board operations.

Information about children’s progress and achievement needs to be comprehensively analysed to inform evaluation and provide clarity about achievement patterns and trends over time. Teachers also need to be very clear about learning expectations, and what sufficient progress means in regard to individual children and groups of children.

Aspects of the curriculum need to be strengthened. Students need access to the full depth and breadth of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) to enrich learning experiences. This includes the bicultural aspects of the NZC, as well as responsiveness to the needs and interests of learners. Consideration should also be given to ensuring an appropriate balance of formal and informal assessment.

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

  • 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all learners. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other learners remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the learners whose progress and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each learner

  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of learners’ progress and achievement

  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate progress for learners

  • monitor targeted planning, teaching practices, and learners’ progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will:

  • provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning

  • provide an internal workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all learners.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.


ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education, through a Student Achievement Facilitator (SAF), works with the school to lift student achievement and reduce disparity for boys, particularly for writing.

Jane Lee

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

22 November 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary 1-8

School roll


Gender composition

Females 40

Males 36

Ethnic composition

Māori 3

Pākehā 65

Pacific 3

Other ethnicity 5

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

22 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

October 2013

September 2010