Carew Peel Forest School - 27/03/2018

School Context

Carew Peel Forest School is a small, rural primary school providing education for children in Years 1-6.  The school has a roll of 77 children. 

The school states its vision is to provide a welcoming, caring and inclusive environment. Leaders and teachers will promote high achievement, and collaborative, creative and adaptive ways of working. Children will learn to sustain and value the natural environment and be strongly connected to the community. The school’s key strategic goals are to:  

  • provide a responsive curriculum and flexible learning practices to meet the needs, abilities and interests of learners
  • be recognised as a Kohanga (nest) for learners who think and act sustainably
  • be an active participant in the local learning community to benefit all children.

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

  • student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • student achievement in other curriculum areas
  • aspects of student wellbeing and values.

Carew Peel Forest School is governed by a combined board of trustees that administers this school and Geraldine High School.

Carew Peel Forest School is a member of Ka Awa Whiria/Geraldine Kāhui Ako |Community of Learning (CoL). 

Evaluation Findings

Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

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

The school is effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most of its students.

School information for the previous three years shows that most children are achieving at or above their year level expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. More than one third of children achieve above expectations in reading and mathematics.

A 2017 student survey reported on the school’s valued outcomes for inclusiveness. The survey identified that almost all children reported a sense of inclusiveness and belonging at the school.

The school identifies early when learning is at risk, and takes appropriate steps to address learners’ needs.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school responds very well to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The majority of children who need their learning accelerated have made accelerated progress over time.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

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

The school has very strong, well established and sustained processes and practices for equity and excellence and accelerating children’s learning and progress.

The curriculum is highly responsive to children, their interests, learning and wellbeing. The school’s vision and values are very evident in all aspects of school life. The curriculum links closely to children’s lives, their place in the school, the local environment and wider community. Teachers make meaningful links across the curriculum. Māori perspectives are becoming well integrated. Leaders and teachers are increasingly focusing on children becoming self-managing learners. Children are engaged and take pride in their learning and school.

Approaches to teaching and learning are well considered and based on the interests and needs of children and current research. Teachers use learning information very well to know children as individuals and learners, and to identify learning needs. They continually adapt their teaching practices to better engage children and to accelerate their learning. They reflect deeply, individually and collectively on what works for accelerating children’s learning.  Teachers make effective use of this information to make further changes to teaching programmes, as needed. They are increasingly sharing learning information with children to help them know about their progress and next learning steps. Children find learning interesting, relevant and challenging.

Leaders collaboratively develop and pursue the school’s vision, goals and targets for equity and excellence. They effectively build teachers’ capacity through purposeful professional development and appraisal processes. They lead and model effective evaluation and inquiry practices. Leaders and teachers build and value strong learning partnerships with families and whānau. School processes, practices and new developments are strongly aligned with school targets, vision and values for children. Children are at the centre of all decision making.

Organisational structures, processes and practices successfully enable and sustain collaborative learning and decision making. School plans are well linked to the school vision, values for children, their learning and place in the community. The annual plan is clearly aligned to the strategic plan and how the goals will be achieved. Reports to the board on student achievement and implementation of the school curriculum are evaluative and outcome focused. The board receives high quality information for making decisions about children’s learning.

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

The school has high quality and effective systems and processes for achieving equity and excellence and acceleration of learning. These further developments should help to ensure these systems and practices continue to be sustained and improved.

The board needs to make aspects of their scrutiny of school performance and of their own performance more explicit. This will contribute to making the rationale for strategic and procedural changes clearer.

Trustees and leaders should strengthen reporting on how well children are achieving in the valued outcomes identified in its vision and values. This will help to ensure that children’s wellbeing continues to be a strong focus in the school.

Leaders and teachers should embed school-wide practices for supporting children to know about their progress, achievement and next learning steps. This is likely to further strengthen children’s ownership of their learning.

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:

  • school systems, processes and practices that are strongly focused on achieving equity and excellence, and accelerating children’s progress
  • a well- developed and responsive school curriculum that effectively uses children’s interests, teachers’ skills and knowledge, the environment and wider community to make learning engaging and relevant.
  • effective processes and practices for internal evaluation that promote high quality learning and teaching.

Next steps

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

  • making board internal evaluation and scrutiny of school performance more explicit to show how well the school is achieving its valued outcomes for learners
  • continuing to embed all aspects of student agency to increase student ownership of their learning, progress and achievement. 

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

27 March 2018

About the school 


South Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys  43    Girls 34

Ethnic composition

Māori  4 

Pākehā 62

Other ethnicities 11

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

27 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review      May 2015

Education Review     January 2012

Education Review  December 2008