Hauraki Plains College - 11/12/2014


Hauraki Plains College provides high-quality educational pathways for students from a wide geographical area. Students learn in a positive and caring school culture where they benefit from a rich and highly relevant curriculum. They achieve high levels of success and qualifications during their time at the school.

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

1 Context

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

Hauraki Plains College is located in Ngatea and caters for students in Years 9 to 13, who come from the local district and wider community. A Ministry of Education enrolment scheme specifies conditions for out of zone enrolments. At the time of this ERO review 656 students were enrolled, of whom 21 percent are of Māori descent. There were also six international students enrolled.

Since ERO’s 2010 review the school has continued to engage in rigorous self review of its strategic direction, resulting in significant school improvement and enhanced outcomes for students. In May 2013 a new board was elected and provides sound governance for the school. The principal continues to provide inspirational leadership for the school and community. She is engaged in high-quality professional learning and development, which includes critical self reflection that enhances her effectiveness as the school’s leader of teaching and learning. The strategic appointment of two new deputy principals in 2012 has made a positive contribution to school development.

Professional learning and development for teachers has focused on deepening their understanding and implementation of high-quality teaching and learning, including the use of student achievement information in the classroom. A significant focus for senior and middle leaders has been to grow the capabilities of teachers and students to understand the purpose and processes of learning.

The school benefits from significant partnerships with the farming and business communities, service organisations and local iwi. The Haurakian Trust, established by past pupils, generously resources a range of initiatives and facilities that enhance student outcomes.

The school’s positive culture for learning is underpinned by shared values and high expectations for all. These are expressed in the ‘Hauraki Way’ and school mission statement, ‘Excellence is our Tradition’.

2 Learning

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

The school has highly effective processes and practices for the management and use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. These are also used to inform school direction, strategic priorities and resourcing decisions.

Students experience high levels of academic and vocational success that greatly exceed national expectations. In 2013, nearly all students at Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) achieved these qualifications. Māori students achieve at comparable levels to their non-Māori peers and well above other students nationally.

The school is proud of the increasing levels of Māori student achievement over several years. In 2013, school leaver data shows that 83 percent of Māori students achieved a minimum of NCEA Level 2, close to the national target of 85 percent set for all students by 2017.

The school gathers a range of good quality student achievement and other information for students entering Year 9. This information is used to place students in appropriate programmes and inform planning for teaching and learning. The Junior Diploma of Learning focuses on key competencies and learning dispositions that build a strong foundation for further learning.

The school has highly effective systems for tracking and monitoring student presence, engagement, progress and achievement to inform interventions and extensions. This information is accessible to teachers, parents and students, resulting in shared responsibility for learning and progress. The school’s method of responding to pastoral care and learning needs is based on the approach of one student at a time. Further support for student learning and goal setting is provided by academic coaching and ‘river group’ guides in the learning career pathway programme. Student success is enjoyed and celebrated on many levels.

There is extensive use of data to identify priority learners and provide them with a personalised, wrap-around approach to support their learning and wellbeing. Students with identified specific learning needs are well catered for in learning support classes. Quality, responsive individual education plans are regularly updated in collaboration with students, parents and key personnel.

Senior and middle leaders have led professional development with teachers to extend their use of student achievement and assessment data to effectively inform planning. Continued development in this area is likely to ensure more finely differentiated programmes for individual learners.

3 Curriculum

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

The Hauraki Plains College curriculum is highly effective in promoting and supporting student learning. This rich, responsive and coherent curriculum, with strong academic and vocational pathways, is well designed and reflects the values, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum and local priorities. Significant features of the school’s curriculum include:

  • the strong focus on promoting literacy across the curriculum and establishing sound foundations in essential learning areas
  • the broad range of learning experiences that keep options open for students
  • diverse and authentic learning contexts within the school, local and wider community
  • opportunities that promote citizenship, service, social competence and confidence
  • employment skills in preparation for the world of work.

Students are active participants in extensive co-curricular and leadership development opportunities. They confidently initiate, plan and implement activities and events within the school, community and beyond.

A well-considered knowledge base, informed by current research and good practice in education, underpins the rationale and philosophy for teaching and learning in the school. There are well-documented expectations and guidelines for teachers. Respectful, caring and reciprocal learning-focused relationships are highly evident across the school. Examples of effective teaching practice observed by ERO include:

  • consistent approaches to lesson and unit planning that promote well-paced lessons and opportunities for students to make sense of and reflect on the learning
  • strategies that scaffold learning and questioning which provoke higher levels of thinking and risk taking
  • hands-on activities that reinforce learning.
  • the use of computer technology to promote student engagement and subject literacy.

The next step for Hauraki Plains College is for teachers to continue to develop learning partnerships, (Ako) which promote and advance student agency and leadership of learning.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The board, school leaders, staff and students increasingly promote Māori language, culture and identity as integral to the school’s bicultural development. ERO affirms the school’s strategic direction and commitment to promoting educational success for Māori as Māori. School-wide initiatives include:

  • Māori cultural studies at Years 11, 12 and 13 that promote tikanga Māori through waka ama, whakairo and encourage the use of te reo Māori.
  • opportunities to learn te reo Māori in Years 9 and 10
  • specific school waiata and haka
  • whole staff development through He Kakano and Mauri Ora
  • whānau path, facilitated locally to include aspirations of Māori parents to inform school developments in relation to the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • the commencement of a partnership with local iwi in a land development project.

Students who spoke with ERO appreciate the particular initiatives relating to Māori such as Te Mata Rangatira and Te Aitanga-a Rehia. These leadership initiatives are student driven and enable them to express what it is to succeed as Māori at Hauraki Plains College.

The school implements a Māori potential approach that actively supports Māori students’ to succeed as learners, and to make valuable social and cultural contributions to the school and wider community.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Hauraki Plains College is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Significant factors that contribute to sustainability and ongoing success for students are included in the following.

  • There is a well-embedded culture of comprehensive and rigorous self review that inquires deeply into all aspects of teaching, learning and school operations. Features of self review are the inclusion of multiple perspectives, current research, and close alignment to the school’s vision and strategic direction.
  • The knowledgeable and experienced principal is a highly respected educational leader for the school and community. She analyses and uses school-wide information from self review to strategically guide teaching and learning, and responsive curriculum innovation. This ensures that each student is well prepared for life-long learning and meaningful employment.
  • Trustees contribute a range of appropriate skills and experiences to their governance role. They are providing considerable support for the principal and staff and maintain a positive focus on enhancing outcomes for every student.
  • A high-quality and collegial team of staff are committed to ongoing professional learning and actively engage in reflection and review in relation to their practice.
  • The school has well-established and highly effective systems and practices to ensure that students receive comprehensive support for their learning and wellbeing.
  • The school continues to have close, collaborative and productive partnerships with parents, whānau and the wider community.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989.

At the time of this ERO review there were six international students attending the school. The school has highly effective and regularly reviewed systems in place to provide pastoral care and education for international students. Staff with responsibility for international students, in cooperation with classroom teachers, closely monitor student’s achievement and wellbeing and undertakes comprehensive induction for students. The school’s well-established practices for individual goal setting, academic coaching and monitoring wellbeing and progress, supports these students to engage in appropriate courses and areas of interest that promote their engagement and success.

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.


Hauraki Plains College provides high-quality educational pathways for students from a wide geographical area. Students learn in a positive and caring school culture where they benefit from a rich and highly relevant curriculum. They achieve high levels of success and qualifications during their time at the school.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

11 December 2014

About the School


Ngatea, Hauraki Plains

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Girls 52%

Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Other European



South East Asian

Other Ethnicity








Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

11 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2010

May 2007

September 2003