Hato Paora College - 01/12/2015

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Hato Pāora College is a state integrated Catholic, Māori Boys’ boarding school, located rurally on the outskirts of Feilding.

Almost all of the Years 9 to 13 students board in the school hostel. The roll has stabilised since the previous November 2012 ERO review and is currently 78 students. Nearly all students are Māori. An inclusive culture is promoted and boys from other cultures are well supported.

The college promotes a vision for the development of young men of faith, who will be good citizens who know to 'whaia te tika' (do what is right). They will be proud of their identity and have the knowledge appropriate to uphold te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

The college is governed by a board of trustees and a proprietors' trust board. Each board has specific functions but work together closely to support student success and wellbeing. Trustees have adopted a strategic aim to increase the college roll.

Stable leadership and governance have contributed to sustaining and improving the positive features outlined in the previous ERO report.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The college has high expectations for learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Achievement information is successfully used to increase achievement overtime. The majority of students achieve success in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) Levels 1, 2 and 3. Percentages of students gaining NCEAs and University Entrance exceed national figures.

High numbers of students proceed to tertiary education and the school supports and monitors school leavers. The numbers of students retained to 17 years is high. A strategic aim to increase the percentage of NCEAs endorsed for merit and excellence has been met. The college has increased the number of external achievement standards being achieved by students.

A strong focus on student wellbeing and creating a sense of belonging provides the foundation for achievement and success. Alongside aspirations for academic success is a clearly articulated vision to grow good boys into great young men and Māori leaders.

Strategic aims include students excelling and realising cultural distinctiveness and potential. Many boys represent and achieve in national events and competitions related to te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. These outcomes are reported to the board. Students’ leadership skills are purposefully developed through Marist leadership programmes and opportunities to lead within chapel, the boarding hostel and in school rituals.

Clear expectations for assessment and the use of student achievement information guide teachers’ practice. Detailed records are kept of individuals’ achievement and progress over time. The board of trustees receives regular information about student achievement and progress towards strategic goals.

Targets include Years 9 and 10 students’ achievement in literacy and mathematics. The next step is to more clearly articulate the expectation that students at risk of not achieving will increase their rate of progress over Years 9 and 10.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The curriculum reflects the dual special character of the college as Māori and Catholic. It promotes whānau aspirations for their boys and effectively supports student learning and the holistic development of young Māori men.

Students experience a curriculum that gives priority to Māori world views, values, beliefs and practices. They participate in many experiences that allow them to learn through their culture and strengthen their identity. Teachers increasingly integrate and reflect te ao Māori within classroom programmes.

The 5 R’s are embedded attitudes. Students express that showing Respect and taking Responsibility for their learning leads to positive Results, gaining Reward for their endeavours and developing Resilience over their time at college.

The college leaders and teachers make careful decisions about the range of learning programmes offered within the curriculum. This is clearly influenced by the small numbers of enrolled students. Te reo Māori and religious education are core and compulsory. Students’ daily programmes are supplemented with additional learning experiences in after-school time.

The college is responsive to individual students’ interests and goals and supports these through distance learning when appropriate.

Career guidance and mentoring is individually undertaken and students are well supported to consider future direction from Year 9. The key competencies, ethics and skills required for future career and learning success are emphasised in the curriculum. School leaders are beginning to use vocational pathways to examine a fuller range of possible future directions for students.

Students’ transition into Year 9 and on to tertiary education or the workplace is well managed. A special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) maintains oversight of those students needing additional support for their learning.

Relationship-based teaching and learning is a strong feature of the school. Students’ strengths, interests and learning needs are well known. Staff have a collective responsibility to respond to students' needs. They are developing a schoolwide approach to strengthening foundational literacy and numeracy skills for junior students. The intention is to ensure that all students will be capable of accessing the curriculum in Years 11 to 13.

An area for development is to consider and articulate the full range of learner outcomes that the community aspires to for its school leavers. In particular, deciding the expectations for students as global citizens, for developing digital literacy, for being self-directed learners and for student agency. This should support richer implementation and evaluation of curriculum success.

Guidance for teaching practice that responds to Māori learners is in place. There is opportunity to consider and more clearly document what the expected, effective teaching practices are that promote accelerated progress for students at risk of not achieving.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The college is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The trust board, board of trustees and school leaders work in partnership to achieve the college community’s vision and values. They have a very good understanding of their roles and responsibilities and bring rich, varied knowledge and skills to their positions. Agreed ways of working promote collaboration between the boards and with the principal. The principal and boards build relational trust and develop culturally responsive relationships to encourage active participation of parents and whānau.

Organisational structures, processes and practices successfully promote ongoing improvement and sustainability. The principal leads and manages change in ways that foster staff and community enthusiasm and participation. Her leadership skills and clear sense of strategic direction are acknowledged and valued at all levels of the college community. High expectations are made clear.

Leadership is ably supported by the director of living, with strong communication between the school and hostel a key feature. The pending appointment of a new director of learning should support the principal’s leadership of curriculum initiatives.

Processes to build inquiry and evaluation have developed since the previous ERO review. Heads of department report quarterly to the principal and board about actions taken to support wellbeing and student achievement. Useful templates pose evaluative questions and encourage teachers to reflect on the impacts of their teaching actions in relation to strategic goals. A yearly review of subject area achievement is also undertaken. Next steps are to:

lift the quality of evaluative comment in self review, to focus on impacts and outcomes rather than descriptions of actions taken

strengthen the alignment of school goals, individual teachers’ inquiry and appraisal and deepen the developmental focus for teachers.

Parents, family and whānau have a direct and ongoing influence on curriculum development and student learning and wellbeing. Trustees and leaders play a significant part in engaging and involving parents, family and whānau in learning and college activities. They are involved in decision-making in productive ways. Strong lines of communication support and strengthen reciprocal, learning-centred relationships.

Connections to the faith community are strong and mutually supportive. Links to the local Feilding community are being strengthened. The principal and staff seek opportunities to network with other education professionals. The use of external expertise and ideas is valued and recognised as important for innovation and knowledge building.

Provision for students in the school hostel

ERO evaluated the extent to which the college boarding house provides a safe physical and emotional environment that supports learning for students.

School boarding houses/hostels are required to be licensed by the Ministry of Education and comply with minimum standards specified in regulations.

The college boarding house, Te Whare Manaaki o Hato Pāora, accommodates 72 of the 78 students on the roll. It is owned by the Palmerston North Diocese and governed by the Hato Pāora Trust Board. The Trust Board has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

Students experience living and learning environments that are seamless in their care, nurture and high expectations. Systems are well established to ensure that values and codes of conduct are consistent between the school and hostel. Strong leadership reinforces values of manaakitanga, wairuatanga, whanaungatanga, rangatiratanga and kotahitanga. These are well enacted. High levels of whānau support enable rich experiences for students.

The next step is to develop a stronger framework for evaluating the outcomes of hostel living.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees 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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


Students attending Hato Pāora College engage in a curriculum that effectively supports their faithbased, academic, cultural and sporting success as young Māori leaders. Seamless processes between hostel living and college learning promote wellbeing and achievement. Māori language, culture and identity are strengthened and celebrated.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

1 December 2015

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 100%

Ethnic composition





Special features

Special character: Catholic, Māori, Boarding Hostel

Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

1 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

November 2012

March 2009

December 2005