Nawton School - 06/03/2017

1 Context

Nawton School, located in Hamilton city, provides education for children in Years 1 to 6. The school's roll of 580, includes 432 Māori children. Many of these Māori children whakapapa to Tainui, the local iwi.

The school continues to provide education through the medium of te reo Māori in rūmaki classes, reo-rua classes that provide a te reo Māori enrichment programme and English medium classes. The rūmaki classes teach Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and children are assessed in relation to Ngā Whanaketanga. The reo-rua and English medium classes teach The New Zealand Curriculum and these children are assessed in relation to the National Standards.

In September 2016 the Ministry of Education approved the school's provision of rūmaki education for children in Years 7 and 8. At the time of this ERO review the school was operating one Year 7 rūmaki class.

Since the 2012 ERO review the school has experienced considerable roll growth. A feature of the school's roll is the significant number of children who attend the school for less than two years. A new deputy principal was appointed in 2013 and there have been minimal changes to the teaching team.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are:

  • to walk confidently in bicultural New Zealand
  • to have a strong sense of identity and knowledge of local history
  • to enjoy academic success
  • to seize all learning opportunities
  • to think critically, creatively and scientifically
  • to hold a growth mindset.

These valued outcomes are underpinned by the school's PRIDE values of perseverance, respect, integrity, detachment and excellence.

The school’s achievement information shows that over the previous three years approximately 60% of Māori children achieved at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Slightly lower results are evident in writing. This achievement information indicates that Pacific and Pākehā children achieved at similar levels to Māori children at the school in writing and mathematics, and at slightly higher levels in reading.

The school's Ngā Whanaketanga information indicates that a significant majority of children achieved at or above the standard in pānui, tuhituhi and kōrero, while much lower results were achieved in pāngarau.

Teachers use an appropriate range of assessment strategies to support them to make judgements in relation to the National Standards. School leaders are reviewing the assessment tools and strategies that teachers use to inform their Ngā Whanaketanga judgements.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has:

  • implemented a process of teaching as inquiry that supports teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching
  • accessed external professional learning and development for teachers in literacy and pāngarau
  • reviewed and strengthened processes to better respond to children with special learning needs
  • focused on providing a curriculum that supports educational success for Māori as Māori
  • implemented systems that support children to have an understanding of their achievement and next steps for learning.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school has effective monitoring systems to respond to those Māori children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Achievement information is used appropriately to identify the learning needs of Māori children. Many teachers are using achievement data well to provide programmes to accelerate Māori children's learning. Learning progressions are well used to support teachers and children to identify progress and next steps in learning. Teaching as inquiry provides a focus on targeted Māori children.

Achievement information is well used by school leaders to identify, monitor and track Māori children who require extra support. Leaders analyse data to inform their decision making and are beginning to use this information to identify trends and patterns in relation to the accelerated progress of Māori children.

Trustees receive regular reports on Māori children's achievement and use this information to inform strategic planning and decision making. The effective use of achievement data is contributing to a greater proportion of Māori children accelerating their learning.

The school's achievement information for 2016 indicates that of those Māori children who attend the school for two or more years a significant proportion (two thirds) make accelerated progress. These children are on a trajectory to achieve either the National Standards or Ngā Whanaketanga expectations by the end of Year 8.

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

The factors and effective practices that contribute to accelerating achievement for Māori are promoting success for other groups of children in the school. The school's achievement data shows similar levels of acceleration for other groups of students.

Teachers implement a planned response to accelerating the achievement of Pacific children. Pacific children's language, culture and identity is supported by opportunities to participate in regular programmes alongside aiga. Teachers incorporate aspects of Pacific culture in their classroom programmes.

A feature of the school is the comprehensive wrap-around support for children and their families. Trustees provide generous funding to ensure that all children can participate in the curriculum. This is resulting in a holistic approach that promotes equitable conditions for learning and participation, and enhances children's wellbeing.

The school has highly effective and wide-ranging systems to support children with special needs. School leaders work closely with specialist agencies to provide appropriate levels of support for children and families. Comprehensive individual education plans support teachers to respond to the needs of identified children. These plans strongly reflect whānau aspirations. There is a wide range of interventions provided to support children's literacy and mathematics learning. Those children who have English as their second language benefit from support provided by knowledgeable teacher aides. Children with learning and behaviour needs experience an inclusive and responsive curriculum.

The school has useful processes to support children who attend the school for shorter periods of time. These involve an immediate assessment to identify learning needs, close monitoring of achievement and establishing an early relationship with whānau to support a partnership for learning.

School leaders are continuing to develop and refine systems and practices that support teachers to make reliable National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga judgements. Many teachers are implementing a wide range of innovative practices to accelerate achievement. Their use of these strategies is promoting children's active engagement in learning by improving their understanding of their achievements, successes and next steps for learning.

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 targets for equity and excellence?

The school's rich and meaningful curriculum is promoted effectively to provide learning opportunities to achieve the school's targets for equity and excellence. Features of this curriculum include:

  • an appropriate focus on literacy, mathematics , pāngarau, and te reo matatini
  • specialist science teaching, including involvement in the Enviroschools project
  • leadership opportunities for children
  • inspirational role models from the wider community and past students.

Children's transitions into the school are well planned and include a 'readiness for school' programme attended by children with their whānau and aiga. There are many opportunities for children to experience success in sporting, cultural, and academic competitions and events.

As part of ongoing curriculum review leaders should give consideration to:

  • strengthening te reo pākehā programme in the rūmaki classes, in accordance with current theory and best practice
  • documenting and implementing systematic and sequential programmes for te reo Māori and Tainuitanga in the reo-rua and English medium classes.

Culturally responsive practices are strongly evident in many aspects of the life of the school. These effective practices incorporate:

  • Whanaungatanga and manaakitanga that underpin all aspects of the life of the school
  • Whare Tapawhā that provides an holistic framework and supports children who are ready to learn
  • Kotahitanga - sets high expectations for every child
  • Whakapapa - programmes and practices in the school contribute strongly to children’s identity, pride and success as Māori
  • School-wide opportunties for children to learn te reo Māori in response to whānau aspirations.

Teachers have positive and respectful relationships with children that contribute to calm and settled environments for learning. Classrooms are attractively presented and well resourced. Children's learning is fostered through tuakana-teina learning relationships where children support one another.

The principal, supported by school leaders, continues to provide highly effective leadership that promotes the school's vision and clearly articulates a commitment to equity and excellence. Leaders implement a strategic approach to building teacher capability that incorporates external expertise and current educational research.

There is a deliberate and intentional focus on self-determination for whānau and teachers. High value is placed on integrating parent voice and aspirations into school organisation and operations. The principal continues to make a significant contribution to the wider education and social community. Effective leadership is resulting in equitable pathways and excellence for all.

Strong and reciprocal relationships are highly evident. Parents, whānau and aiga have regular opportunities to share information about their children’s learning. They receive two comprehensive written reports each year that include appropriate information about how their children are achieving. A range of programmes are implemented to assist parents, whānau and aiga as teachers of their children. Culturally and socially reciprocal learning relationships with whānau are contributing to positive outcomes for children.

Trustees are providing effective school governance. They are strongly representative of the community. Trustees work in positive partnerships with the school and respond appropriately to the aspirations of the community. They should now consider setting more specific charter targets with a focus on the numbers of children whose learning requires acceleration. This is likely to strengthen the evidence-based nature of their resourcing decisions and maintain their focus on accelerating progress. Effective and consistent governance is contributing to ongoing school sustainability and improvement.

Reflective practice is evident at all levels of school organisation. The school has a useful system for implementing internal evaluation. Teaching as inquiry processes are supporting teachers to share their knowledge and best practice with their colleagues. More explicitly focusing on learning outcomes for children should strengthen internal evaluation. 

5 Going forward

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

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.

Significant factors that contribute to acceleration and achievement are:

  • effective governance
  • highly effective professional leadership based on well-researched education practice
  • a broad and rich curriculum that is responsive to parents, whānau and aiga aspirations
  • a strategic focus on whanaungatanga and manaaki that establishes the conditions for learning for children
  • an inclusive approach to supporting children with diverse learning needs
  • the use of innovative teaching strategies that support learning.

Leaders should now consider reviewing and refining existing practices to strengthen practice related to:

  • building the consistency of teaching practices based on a shared and well-understood approach to learning and teaching
  • the provision of te reo Māori and Tainuitanga in the reo-rua and English medium classes and te reo Pākehā in the rūmaki classes
  • aligning teacher appraisal processes to Education Council requirements
  • further developing internal evaluation to more closely link to outcomes for children.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three 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 Recommendation

ERO recommends that school leaders work with teachers to further develop, document and implement agreed school-wide expectations for effective teaching and learning practices at Nawton School. 

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato / Bay of Plenty

6 March 2017 

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 52% Boys 48%

Ethnic composition







Middle Eastern

Other Pacific











Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

6 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2012

February 2009

February 2006