Halcombe Primary School - 29/06/2018

School Context

Halcombe Primary School near Feilding has students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this ERO evaluation, there were 183 students on the roll, including 13 identifying as Māori.

The valued outcome defined by the school for learners is to prepare children: Today for Tomorrow. Triple A values promote the importance of attitude, adventure and achievement in developing the confident, connected, actively involved and lifelong learners aspired to in the vision.

Strategic priorities, goals and targets focus on students reaching their potential academically within conditions for learning that support this.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress for students with additional learning needs
  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is part of the Feilding Kāhui Ako.

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’s data indicates that it effectively enables most students to achieve at or above curriculum expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement in all three areas has improved since 2015. Increasing percentages of children are achieving well above expectation in reading. A large majority of Year 8 learners leave the school at or above curriculum expectation.

Achievement has improved in the past three years for the small number of students who identify as Māori. In 2017, their overall achievement in reading, writing and mathematics was at a similar high level to non-Māori within the school.Females as a group perform better overall than males. This is most marked in literacy, although the gap has reduced in writing.

Students who have additional learning needs are effectively supported to progress their learning.

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

Many children achieving below curriculum expectation accelerate their learning. Some progress significantly and reach curriculum expectation by the end of a year. Others make progress that allows them greater opportunity to reach expectation in subsequent years.

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?

A positive organisational culture builds capacity to continually support school development, student wellbeing and learning. A relentless focus and deliberate actions promote equity and excellence. Comprehensive and well-understood processes successfully support acceleration of learning.

Collaborative practices build partnerships that contribute to conditions that foster student learning. Trustees, leaders and teachers display a collective responsibility for achieving the school’s vision of successful outcomes for learners.

Learning-centred relationships with parents and whānau are well established. Parents and whānau are well supported in transition to school and in knowing about each individual’s learning as children move through the school. A variety of communications support and strengthen reciprocal, relationships that contribute positively to wellbeing and learning.

The responsive curriculum and effective teaching provide meaningful opportunities to learn for all children. Collectively held high expectations and well-considered practices support teaching, learning and assessment. Children are highly engaged and enthusiastic about learning. Respectful relationships support wellbeing, belonging and learning. Well-developed student self-management skills support sustained engagement in learning activities.

Students who have additional learning needs are identified through the use of a range of assessment information. Partnerships with parents, targeted involvement of teacher aides and regular monitoring are key elements of the programmes in which these students participate.

Children are involved in authentic experiences across the breadth of The New Zealand Curriculum. They are successfully supported to develop valued and transferable skills and attitudes needed to live, learn, work and contribute as active members of communities. Children are supportive of each other’s learning. Classrooms have a positive, learning-focused tone.

Detailed reporting from leaders allows trustees to scrutinise the effectiveness of the school in achieving valued student outcomes. Leaders and trustees collaboratively develop and pursue the school’s vision, goals and targets for equity and excellence. Leaders’ and teachers’ reflection and inquiry routinely investigates the nature and impact of their practice. Organisational processes and practices support collaborative learning and decision making.

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

Since the previous ERO review, the school has built the extent that te ao Māori is reflected in the curriculum and is establishing positive partnerships with Māori whānau, hapū and iwi. The school has identified it will continue to promote these areas. Ongoing development should include collaboratively establishing a development plan for extending cultural responsiveness to Māori learners, linked to the school vision.

Trustees, leaders and teachers should continue to build knowledge and understanding of effective internal evaluation practices to better identify what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are necessary, especially for students requiring accelerated progress.

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:

  • an enacted curriculum that effectively supports students to learn and progress across the range of learning areas
  • comprehensive and well-understood processes that successfully support acceleration of learning for those who otherwise may achieve below curriculum expectation
  • well-established learning centred partnerships with children, parents and whānau that positively contribute to learner involvement and progress
  • professional capability of trustees, leaders and teachers that ensures processes and practices successfully promote student wellbeing and learning.

Next steps

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

  • extending cultural responsiveness to more effectively promote Māori language, culture and identity
  • systematic inquiry and evaluation to ensure successful learner outcomes.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

29 June 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 7%

Pākehā 89%

Other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015

Education Review July 2012

Education Review February 2009