Canvastown School - 27/09/2017


Canvastown School is a small rural school for children in Years 1 to 8. The school has a roll of 35 children. Of these children a small number identify as Māori. There has been an increase in the number of enrolments across the school over the last 12 months. These children make up nearly a third of the roll. The school effectively supports children transferring from other schools.

The school has continued to have stable leadership and staffing since the ERO review in 2014. The school’s board of trustees has an experienced trustee as chairperson. Newer trustees have undertaken external and internal training to build their capability.

Since the 2014 review, the school’s curriculum has been fully developed and provides a strong basis forteaching and learning programmes. Between 2014 and 2016, the school has maintained and improved the very good levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the National Standards.

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

The school is effectively responding to those Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

There are a number of well-established systems and processes that are effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence. Curriculum design, stewardship, leadership and internal evaluation are effective in improving outcomes for learners.

The school has continued to have very good levels of achievement for a high proportion of children. Most children are achieving at or above expected levels in writing, reading and mathematics. The school is working strategically to lift achievement levels of some children in mathematics.

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 all children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Most children, including Māori, achieve very well in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Since 2014 there has been an upward trend in school achievement information. Those children targeted for more support make accelerated progress.

Children with additional needs are well catered for and make good progress in relation to their individualised goals. Teachers know their children well and plan appropriately to meet individual needs. Children benefit from an inclusive environment and tailored support.

The school has well-established processes for ensuring the reliability and accuracy of teachers’ judgements about achievement.The school is part of a strong cluster of rural schools who participate in across-school moderation.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

There are well-embedded processes that are enabling the achievement of equity and excellence.

A strong culture of collective inquiry enables teachers to share the most effective strategies for accelerating children’s progress. Teachers are building children’s learning-to-learn capabilities. This is evident in the way children use digital devices and ICT resources.

Children’s learning benefits from a broad and localised curriculum, that takes into account their interests and life experiences. The school’s environment reflects the priority that sustainable environmental practices play in the curriculum and its enactment. This supports the provision for authentic contexts for learning, and results in high learner engagement.

The board’s core concern is children’s learning, wellbeing, achievement and progress.Progress of children with specific learning needs is closely tracked and monitored, using carefully considered assessment tasks. Tuakana-teina relationships, where older children support their younger peers with their learning, are a feature of the school’s programme.

Leadership is strongly focused on building relational trust and effective collaboration at every level of the school community. There are strong learner-focused relationships with other rural schools, the community, parents and whānau, which increase opportunities for learning and success.

The school has useful systems for internal evaluation. Through ongoing monitoring, the impact of the curriculum, school processes and practices are evaluated and continually improved over time.

Trustees are well informed about children’s progress and achievement. Systematic and informative reporting to the board allows trustees to make timely and responsive resourcing decisions that support equitable outcomes for children.

The school’s appraisal processes are robust and well aligned with the school’s strategic direction.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school needs to continue to develop culturally responsive approaches to teaching and learning. This includes increasing the visibility of biculturalism within the curriculum and wider school environment.

Further development is needed in setting strategic goals and targets that more accurately focus on those groups that need to accelerate their progress. The school could further refine the visibility and alignment of goals and targets with those actions already being effectively undertaken by leadership and teachers.

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.

During the onsite phase of the review ERO discussed the need to update the medications policy with school leaders. The changes were made immediately.

Going forward

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

Learners are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

27 September 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary ( Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls: 19

Boys: 16

Ethnic composition

Pākehā: 23

Other: 12

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

27 September 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review: June 2014
Education Review: May 2011