Kaitieke School - 02/06/2016

1 Context

Kaitieke School is a rural, full primary school in the Kaitieke Valley approximately 30 minutes from Taumarunui. The roll has increased from 10 students in 2015 to 16 in 2016 and includes four new entrant children. Five students identify as Māori.

Strong family relationships and the community's commitment to providing high quality education contribute to a culture focused on success. Transition into and beyond the school is well considered and managed with care. New students and their families are welcomed and included.

The board of trustees funds an additional, part-time teacher in response to roll growth and to promote early success in literacy and numeracy for students in Years 1 and 2. Teachers and teacher aide are very familiar with each student's experiences, interests and strengths. The small numbers in each age group benefit from individualised, ability appropriate programmes.

Students learn from their immediate locality, into the world beyond. The environment is the key resource for promoting the values that support lifelong learning.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are expressed as living well in the immediate locality, readiness for the future, cultivating quality teaching and learning, preparing for citizenship, having sound relationships and being part of the global community.

Community consultation further highlighted additional priorities: fun, enjoyment and passion; responsibility for self and others, honesty and dependability; caring and compassion; respect for difference and self; and ambition through challenge, motivation, hard work and risk taking. Each of the values is lived through the curriculum, the board's stewardship, community actions, how students learn and teachers teach.

The school’s achievement information shows that over a four year period, all students achieved at or above National Standard expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There is no disparity in results for Māori, boys or girls with over 50% of students achieving above expectation. Students are motivated learners and make good gains in Years 1 to 3. Sound results in Years 4 to 8 are attributable to deliberate needs-based teaching, high expectations and encouraging a 'can do' attitude in students from the age of five.

Selected, multiple forms of assessment provide reliable information. Teachers focus on each student to ensure progress is sustained and that the learning environment is conducive to success. Specific interventions are thoroughly planned for individuals to achieve short-term goals. Good results against milestones, are evident throughout the year.

Since the June 2012 ERO evaluation the school has fully embedded teacher inquiry and student inquiry as the agreed approach to teaching and learning. A part-time teacher works with Years 1 and 2 students in the morning, promoting success in the early years in literacy and numeracy. Teachers have identified learning pathways for new students, set challenging achievement targets and planned strategies to close gaps in learning.

Development of an integrated curriculum has continued to further motivate and engage students by capturing their interests and strengths. There is increased use of digital technology as a learning and communication tool. Partnerships have been established with new families. The relationship with cluster schools has been enhanced to benefit students' academic, physical and social learning.

Teachers are deliberate in their strategies to raise the achievement of students who are at, to above National Standards' expectations. The goal is to increase rates of progress for individuals, including those who are high achievers, and to have each student demonstrate capability across the breadth of the curriculum. Teachers empower students to know how to learn and how to improve.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

There is sound evidence to show that students in Years 1 and 2 are confident and capable readers, writers and mathematicians by the end of their first term at school. Students believe that they can succeed, are willing to take risks and are enthusiastic sharers of learning.

Students who are new to the school have made good gains over a short period. The expectation that they should achieve the relevant National Standard by the end of 2016 is realistic. Deliberate teaching in small steps and the collective responsibility for each child by parents, teachers and the board is making a positive difference.

Students who are identified as meeting or exceeding National Standards are capably working on highly challenging tasks above expectation for their age. They are curious, active learners, thinkers and problem solvers. Collaborative learning and support for each other extends beyond the classroom to community events.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence?

The curriculum has breadth and depth and appropriately reflects the school's locality, history and long-standing interest in science. Core learning areas of literacy and mathematics are well integrated across aspects of the curriculum that are valued. This is a considered approach that recognises students learn best when following interests and passions.

Specialist community expertise strengthens students' and teachers' te reo me ngā tikanga Māori capability. Māori students are leaders in their language and culture. Digital technology adds flexibility as students communicate with the cluster schools as well as joining a larger group for sport and social contact.

The principal demonstrates highly capable and innovative leadership. Teacher and teacher aide practice focuses on students learning how to learn and being leaders of learning. Relationships are trusting and supportive while encouraging independence.

Looking ahead and planning improvement is what students and teachers do together. Teachers engage in well-planned professional development, decided from priorities and with students' learning in mind.

The board is experienced and takes its role seriously. Trustees know what contributes to students achieving a good education through effective governance. Partnerships with parents, families and community are nurtured as essential. The board acts on the principal's sound recommendations and reports about student outcomes. Decisions are carefully considered on the basis of evidence, expected benefits for learning and trustees' experience overtime.

Teachers, parents and trustees are evaluators, regularly measuring the success of teaching and learning, resourcing and school goals. The result is a forward looking school community with sustainable goals for the future.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Trustees and teachers are reviewing processes that support Māori students to succeed educationally. The review is based on the Hautū Māori cultural responsiveness self-review tool for boards of trustees. ERO recognises and supports the value of the emerging development plan. There is clear alignment in this process to the board's internal evaluation practice and focus on improvement.

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

6 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review the board of trustees 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

  • Processes for appointing staff

  • Stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • Attendance

  • Compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

7 Recommendations

Kaitieke School should continue its practice of well-considered evaluation to sustain the high quality education provided for students.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

2 June 2016

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 10, Female 6

Ethnic composition





Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

2 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

June 2012

June 2009

May 2006