Hamilton Seventh-Day Adventist School - 19/12/2019

School Context

Hamilton Seventh-Day Adventist School is a state integrated semi-rural Christian school in Hamilton. It is a full primary school, located on the outskirts of Hamilton City providing education for students in Years 1 to 8.  The current roll of 62 includes nine students who identify as Maori and 13 Pacific students. The roll has increased slightly since the previous ERO review in 2016 and the principal remains in his position. The school’s vision prioritises the values of respect, responsibility and resilience. The current strategic goals are focused on student learning, engagement, progress and achievement within a culturally responsive environment.

Two new teachers were appointed to the staff in 2018. The experienced board chairperson continues in the role and several new trustees were elected in 2019.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

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 working towards achieving equity and excellence for all its students.

Schoolwide data for 2019 shows nearly all students are achieving at expected levels in reading and most students are achieving at expected levels in writing and mathematics. Data collected over a longer period shows these high levels of achievement have been sustained for many groups of students, including Māori and Pacific. There has been a significant lift in achievement in mathematics. This data also shows that over time girls outperform boys in reading and writing but achieve at comparable levels in mathematics. Achievement of Māori as a group has improved over three years and is comparable to their peers in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement of Pacific is comparable with other groups in reading and writing with some disparity in mathematics. Students with identified special needs are well supported to achieve their learning and developmental goals.

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

The school is yet to use achievement information to show rates of accelerated progress for all identified groups of at-risk learners, in particular Māori, Pacific boys, girls. Data gathered and analysed by the school is showing that teacher-targeted students are making progress, with some on track to make accelerated progress by the end of the current school year.

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 a strong reciprocal partnership with its parent community. The values of respect, resilience and relationships are clearly articulated in the school’s vision and are integral to the life of the school. Parents appreciate the many opportunities to be involved in the school community and feel well supported and informed. Relationships are underpinned by the shared Christian values. These factors contribute to an inclusive environment for learning and teaching that supports student wellbeing.

The school provides a supportive culture for students’ holistic learning and development. Leaders and teachers demonstrate the importance of relational trust. Diversity is valued and celebrated, and students are able to experience success. A culture of collaboration amongst leaders, students, teachers and parents is enabling students to reach their potential.

Teachers are providing meaningful learning opportunities for all students. Small class sizes and close liaison with families enable teachers to be responsive to the interests, needs and abilities of students. Teachers regularly assess student achievement and implement useful strategies including sharing learning intentions and success criteria with students. Senior students are well supported to take ownership of their own learning. These practices are contributing to high levels of achievement and engagement for most students.

The principal and board cooperatively plan school direction focused on student learning and wellbeing. Decision making about professional learning and development (PLD) for teaching staff is informed by the school wide achievement data. Writing PLD in 2019 has focused on building teacher knowledge about progressions and aligning of these with the localised curriculum. This work is contributing to improved learning outcomes for students in writing.

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

Curriculum review and development is an ongoing priority for school leaders. Leaders now need to:

  • provide opportunities for parents to share their aspirations for their children’s learning
  • develop an agreed teacher understanding about best practice for teaching and learning
  • document guidelines and expectations across all learning areas, replicating recent successes in writing.

The analysis and the use of achievement information needs to be refined so that:

  • achievement and progress data for all groups of learners is accessible and used to establish programme effectiveness for the various cohorts in the school
  • the board is able to identify and set targets in its annual plan, to accelerate progress for all students who are achieving below expected levels
  • leaders are able to more easily track and monitor rates of progress and acceleration for all identified at risk learners.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Hamilton Seventh-Day Adventist School Seventh-Day Adventist School performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • partnerships and connections that contribute to positive learning outcomes for students
  • a school culture that enables students to reach their potential
  • the localised curriculum and teaching practices that support students’ learning and achievement
  • leadership and governance that provide clear strategic direction.

Next steps

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

  • curriculum review and development to provide clarity and shared understandings across the school
  • the use of achievement information to inform internal review at all levels of the school with a specific focus on acceleration of students who need this.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance. In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • in consultation with the school’s Māori community develop and make known policies plans and target for improving progress and achievement of Māori students.
    [NAG 1] (e)]

In order to improve practice the board of trustees should now ensure the consistent implementation of the recently adopted:

  • New Zealand School’s Trustees Association policy framework

  • Ministry of Education guidelines for practices and procedures to be followed in relation to physical restraint by authorised staff

  • Practices and procedures for the surrender and retention of property and search of students by the principal, teachers and authorised staff.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

19 December 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 32 Male 30

Ethnic composition

Māori 9
NZ European/Pākehā 18
Pacific 13
Other ethnicities groups 19

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

19 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2016
Education Review June 2014
Education Review June 2011