Clarkville School - 24/01/2019

School Context

Clarkville School is a full primary, Years 1- 8 school with a roll of 216 children. It is located in a semi-rural location near Christchurch. The students learn in multilevel classrooms.

Since the 2014 ERO review there have been changes to the leadership of the school. A new principal was appointed in 2017 and a new board chair in 2018. The board, principal and senior leaders have responded effectively to the areas identified for improvement in the ERO report. This included strengthening bicultural practices, evaluation and reporting processes.

The school has been part of several Ministry of Education and local professional learning and development (PLD) initiatives since the last review. This has included sustained PLD to strengthen literacy and mathematics teaching and learning.

The school vision is ‘choose to be more’. The school values of: ‘Boldly Me; Positive Relationships; Agents of Change; and Experts at Discovery’ have recently been developed by the school community. These values underpin school priorities and strategic direction.

The 2018 key strategic goals are stated as:

  • no limits to learning possibilities
  • preparing our learners for the future
  • effective learning is influenced by environment
  • we all belong here.

The school is part of the Katote Kāhui Ako l Community of Learning that aims to support the learning of all students within the local area.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • how well children with additional needs are learning and progressing

  • student engagement and wellbeing for success

  • whole-school improvement, or other trends and patterns.

Evaluation Findings

1 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 very effectively achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most children in literacy, mathematics and the New Zealand Curriculum key competencies.

The school’s data shows that there is a consistently positive progression in children’s reading and writing achievement over the course of their time at the school. There are high levels of achievement in mathematics. Māori students achieve at similar or better levels than their peers. There is no significant difference in achievement levels between girls and boys.

Student surveys indicate children feel well supported in their learning and wellbeing.

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

The school is highly effective in its response to those Māori and most other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

In 2017 most Māori students needing to make accelerated progress in writing did so. The majority of other targeted students made accelerated progress in writing and mathematics.

Students make significant progress in their achievement as they move through the school, with almost all students achieving at or above expected levels by the time they reach the senior school.

Students with additional needs participate in learning opportunities that provide appropriate support and challenge. They are very well supported through a culture of strong pastoral care that includes parents, whānau and internal and external expertise.

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?

Clarkville School continues to be a high performing school. Students learn in a highly collaborative, inclusive and caring learning environment. Leaders build relational trust and effective collaboration at every level of the school to enable equity, excellence and acceleration of student learning.

Strong professional leadership is effectively building collective capacity for inquiry, evaluation and innovation. Leaders have developed effective systems, processes and practices that encourage collective responsibility for student learning and a relentless focus on continuous improvement.

The board provides strong governance for the school. Trustees work effectively with leaders and teachers to develop the school’s well-considered vision, values, strategic direction and equity and excellence goals and targets. These are clearly aligned to high quality professional learning, school priorities and appraisal processes. Prioritising student progress, achievement and wellbeing is the board’s core concern.

There is a school-wide commitment to valuing Aotearoa/New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. Leaders and teachers are strategic and intentional about building culturally responsive practices and promoting te ao Māori in learning. Māori students experience success as Māori and achieve well. Core Māori concepts of tuakana-teina and ako are strongly evident.

Teachers provide a broad, future-focused curriculum that offers students rich and authentic learning experiences within and beyond the school. Teachers know students well as learners and individuals. Students’ views and ideas are highly valued and used to inform curriculum and school developments. Specific approaches to teaching and learning, and the explicit development of student leadership, promote effective student agency and confident, life-long learners.

Sound, inclusive assessment practices ensure students have a very good understanding of their learning and progress. Innovative use of digital technologies provides effective communication and reporting to parents and whānau as partners in students’ learning.

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

The board, school leaders and ERO have identified that the key next steps are to continue to:

  • embed and refine recent initiatives and developments to sustain the high level of school performance

  • fully implement the strategic action plan for Māori and formalise a strategic action plan for Pacific heritage students

  • strengthen the depth and robustness of internal evaluation processes in identified areas, such as the effectiveness of programmes at Year 1 and 2.

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:

  • strong reflective, professional governance and leadership that continues to build collective capacity for inquiry, evaluation and innovation

  • a broad, future-focused curriculum that offers students rich, authentic learning experiences within and beyond the school

  • specific approaches to teaching and learning, and the explicit development of student leadership, promote effective student agency and confident life-long learners.

Next steps

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

  • embedding and evaluating recent initiatives and developments

  • further strengthening culturally responsive practices

  • continuing to extend the depth and robustness of internal evaluation processes.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

24 January 2019

About the school


Kaiapoi, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 50% ; Boys 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori     15%

Pākehā   80%

Pacific       2%

Asian         3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

24 January 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review October 2014

Education Review September 2009