Harrisville School - 28/05/2019

School Context

Harrisville School is located on the outskirts of Tuakau in North Waikato and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The current roll of 194 includes 54 students who identify as Māori. The school values of respect, responsibility and resilience are designed to build student confidence and to work in cooperative, collaborative situations. Strategic goals are to:

  • provide high-quality teaching and learning programmes

  • create a safe, supportive, happy learning environment

  • increase the level of collaboration with parents, iwi, other schools and community.

Since the 2015 ERO review a new principal has been appointed and several new staff were employed in 2017. The board chairperson and some trustees are new to their governance roles. Recent teacher professional development has focused on culturally responsive pedagogy and continuing to embed best practice in mathematics teaching.

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

  • reading, writing, mathematics,
  • outcomes for special needs students
  • attendance.

Harrisville school is part of the Kāhui Ako o te Puuaha o Waikato Community of Learning.

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 achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most of its students.

School data for 2018 shows that:

  • most students are achieving within or beyond expected curriculum levels for their age in reading, writing and mathematics

  • Māori students are achieving slightly better than their peers in mathematics and below in reading and writing

  • boys and girls are achieving at similar levels in mathematics however, girls are outperforming boys in reading and writing.

Student achievement information over the last three years show that there is significant improvement in reading and writing and consistent levels of achievement in mathematics. Information about outcomes for students with additional learning needs shows that these students make good progress within individualised programmes.

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

The school is effectively accelerating the learning for those Māori and other students who need this. Student achievement information for 2018 shows that most of these students made accelerated progress in mathematics and a majority of students made accelerated progress in reading and writing. The information also shows effective accelerated progress for most Māori students in reading, writing and mathematics. One of the reasons these rates are comparatively high is that there has been a strategically aligned process to closely focus on acceleration for at-risk learners.

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 board of trustees provides effective governance. Trustees are well informed about student achievement, progress and acceleration for at-risk learners. They use this information to make well informed decisions about school priorities, special programme provision and overall strategic direction. Board leadership is experienced and appropriate training about school governance has been accessed. Internal review systems have an appropriate focus on communication, consultation and continual school improvement.

Leadership has successfully created an environment that is inclusive, promotes student wellbeing and is focused on improving student achievement. There is a collaborative approach to identifying, monitoring and reflecting on the progress of students whose progress needs accelerating. Leaders ensure a consistent approach to building teacher capability through teacher professional learning aligned with school-wide strategic developments and ongoing curriculum review. Leaders continually seek multiple perspectives including parent aspirations and student voice. This approach contributes to effective day-to-day school management and positive relationships across the school community.

The Harrisville School curriculum effectively promotes high, clear and equitable expectations for student learning, achievement, progress and wellbeing. The values that underpin the school curriculum are evident in classrooms and the playground. There are multiple initiatives to promote Māori success and a sense of belonging. The school curriculum makes connections to prior understandings, out-of-school experiences and real-world contexts.

Teachers make good use of achievement information to plan programmes that are responsive to students’ learning needs. They closely monitor individual student’s progress with a focus on acceleration. There is a thorough and well managed approach to learning support for students with special needs. This approach is enabling these students to access the curriculum at an appropriate level and make good progress with their learning.

A range of appropriate and effective strategies is used to communicate with and engage parents, whānau and community. School and community are engaged in reciprocal, learning-centred relationships. Parents have many opportunities to be well informed about their child’s achievement, progress and well-being. They feel welcome in the school and involved in their child’s education.

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

ERO and the school agree on the following priorities for ongoing development:

  • a consistent approach to the natural integration of te reo and tikanga Māori in classroom programmes

  • embedding teacher and student use of leaning progressions to support student’s knowledge and understanding of their own learning and progress

  • ensuring annual targets in school charter are more sharply focused on the number of students whose progress needs acceleration.

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 Harrisville School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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:

  • governance that is providing clarity of direction and ongoing school improvement
  • leadership that is inclusive, promotes student wellbeing and is focused on improving student achievement
  • the local curriculum that is designed to enable all students to experience success
  • a school community that is engaged in reciprocal, learning-centred relationships.

Next steps

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

  • culturally responsive pedagogy to further improve outcomes for Māori learners
  • strengthening student agency to improve student knowledge of their own learning
  • annual targets to focus more specifically on acceleration for at risk learners.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

28 May 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 53% Female 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 28%
NZ European/Pākehā 52%
Indian 7%
Other 13%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

28 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2015
Education Review October 2012
Education Review September 2009