Sherenden and Districts School - 28/02/2018

School Context

Sherenden and Districts School is a rural, full primary school located West of Hastings, for students in Years 1 to 8. The roll is largely drawn from the local nearby surrounding communities.

The school has a clear, shared vision that gives priority to promoting students’ educational growth within a rural environment.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board school wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading writing and mathematics

  • engagement and involvement in all activities

  • attendance.

A new principal was appointed in 2016. School leadership seeks and promotes the involvement of families and the community in student learning.

The school is a member of the Napier City Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school reports that over time, most students are achieving at or above in writing and mathematics. Māori learners are achieving as well as their non-Māori peers, with a slight disparity in reading evident. Boys and are not achieving as well as girls in writing and mathematics. A school wide focus, in 2017, on writing and mathematics will continue in 2018 to address this gender disparity.

Students who are identified with high needs are appropriately supported through individualised programmes and external agencies.

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

The school is responding to those Māori and other learners’ whose learning and achievement require acceleration. Sound systems and processes have been developed to identify, track and monitor children’s individual progress. Data is collated and analysis of rates of progress is being further developed by staff.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Responsive leadership and consistency of school operation and conditions to promote equity and excellence for all learners are evident. Trustees support the principal to pursue the school’s vision, strategic direction and implement agreed values. The principal actively seeks support and guidance as a first time principal and uses resources available through Kāhui Ako. A collaborative approach allows opportunities to build teacher capability through a range of initiatives that support student achievement.

Students experience a rich curriculum that includes academic, sporting and cultural events. Teachers engage students in a range of meaningful activities to motivate and extend their knowledge, strengths and interests. These opportunities are extended through participation in regional events that highlight and extend strengths in literacy and numeracy.

A well-considered approach to increasing students’ and teachers’ confidence in understanding and use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori has contributed to the development of the school’s culturally responsive curriculum.

There is an appropriate range of programmes and interventions in place to meet the identified needs of students. Teachers reflect on the effectiveness of these initiatives and resources. The board is informed about the impact these have on student learning and achievement. The review of assessment practices has strengthened teacher understanding and consistency of practice. This supports the reliability and dependability of assessment information.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence?

Further developing staff and trustees’ understanding and use of effective internal evaluation is a next step in promoting equity and excellence of student outcomes. Improved practice should enable the board to measure the impact of school operation. Refining school targets to focus on those groups of students most at risk of not achieving, should assist the school to evaluate its effectiveness in accelerating achievement. Further developments include strengthening teacher inquiry, with clear links to staff development needs through effective appraisal.

Collaboration with the community for review of the school’s vision, valued outcomes and aspirations is a sound foundation for further development of partnerships for learning and continued, valued contribution to the ongoing development of the curriculum.

3 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

  • finance

  • 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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • responsive leadership that promotes community involvement

  • building teachers’ capability to respond to learners’ needs

  • accessing relevant expertise that builds leadership capacity for ongoing improvement and innovation.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are in:

  • refining targets to include students whose achievement needs acceleration

  • building collective capacity to use evaluation, inquiry and knowledge to build, sustain and further improve outcomes for learners. [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

28 February 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 27, Male 33

Ethnic composition

Māori 9

Pākehā 51

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

28 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2014

Education Review December 2011

Education Review October 2008