Havelock North High School - 10/04/2017


Positive learning environments and a well-considered curriculum, support high levels of achievement for the majority of students. The school has successfully improved qualification outcomes for learners over time. Achieving equity for Māori learners remains a key priority. The school is well placed to sustain and further improve its performance.

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

1 Context

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

Havelock North High School is a co-educational Years 9 to 13 secondary school, centrally located in the Hawke's Bay township of Havelock North. Māori students, mainly of Ngāti Kahungunu descent, comprise sixteen percent of the school roll.

Since the May 2014 ERO report, the school has made a number of positive changes to support its vision that students will be given every opportunity to 'be the best they can be'. Developments include making sound progress to address the issues identified in the 2014 ERO report.

The senior leadership structure and personnel have changed since the previous ERO review. They continue to support all staff in their varying roles in the school.

Students make good progress and many achieve very highly in National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and in scholarship examinations.

The school is a Havelock North Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako member. 

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information is well used to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Since the previous ERO review, improved academic monitoring and more discussion of progress with students is evident.

Most students enter the school at Year 9 achieving at or above in relation to National Standards for reading, writing and mathematics. The assessment information is initially used for class placing. Those identified at risk of not achieving Level 1 NCEA are well supported by a pro-active pastoral group. The board receives useful information to make resourcing decisions. The school should refine the scope of reporting to enable better understanding of the progress of Years 9 and 10 students and the impact of programmes in these two years.

Schoolwide academic results, in Years 11 to 13, have improved over time and there is a stronger focus on Māori student achievement. Overall, NCEA participation-based results are very good and many students achieve endorsed certificates. Students achieve scholarships in a range of subject areas and in 2016, three outstanding scholarships were achieved.

Māori student achievement is not at the same level as non-Māori, but it is improving over time. Those who enter NCEA qualifications achieve well. The next step is for senior leaders to analyse roll-based data and use this to inquire into the disparity evident for Māori learners.

Most students stay at school until the age of 17 or 18 years. Retention for Māori learners improved from 2015 into 2016. However, achieving equity with European student retention should remain a priority.

Parents receive useful and ongoing information about their child’s progress through the school’s electronic portal, school reports and portfolios. Increasing use of emailing and texting enhances communication about student achievement.

3 Curriculum

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

Students participate in a well-considered curriculum that is responsive to individual needs, provides a wide range of options, choices for multi-level study and social, cultural and sporting opportunities. The vertical form structure, the continuing emphasis on developing core skills and appropriate pathways, support students' engagement and success.

Teachers and students increasingly use digital technology to support the curriculum. This has been a carefully implemented strategic focus since the previous ERO review. Senior leaders believe the use of digital technology is having a positive effect on engagement and learning. Internal review should now be supplemented with further monitoring and evaluation of how embedded teacher practice is becoming and the impacts on student achievement. 

Many students have opportunity to provide feedback about their wellbeing and satisfaction with school provisions. In 2015, the school participated in an external health survey. This will be followed by regular wellbeing surveys from 2018. An annual Year 13 leavers’ survey and the interview of all student leavers by their form teacher, also provide an opportunity to use student feedback more fully in evaluation of school programmes and practices.

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

The school is becoming increasingly effective in promoting success for Māori students as Māori. Te Waka Awhina is a group of leaders and teachers committed to the ongoing development of culturally responsive strategies at the school. A plan has been developed, with some guidelines of success, for Māori students and for all staff.

Continued work is needed to increase the retention and achievement of all Māori students. Formal mentoring is happening for some Māori learners. The board is using Hautū - Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review Tool for Boards of Trustees. Findings from this review should be used to consider charter targets and the alignment of the Te Waka Awhina plan, department goal setting and teacher appraisal and inquiry. Continuing to build staff capability to be culturally responsive should support Māori students' learning and further affirm that their culture, language and identities are valued.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The board and senior leaders have sound structures in place to meet charter and strategic plan expectations. Although targets are student centred, there should be more emphasis on achieving equity for Māori learners, in the key strategic goals. Framing targets for groups of learners at risk of not achieving qualifications should support greater clarity in inquiry, evaluation and reporting about how successful programmes are for these students.

Senior leaders work collaboratively and have a clear vision for raising teachers' and middle leaders' capability in inquiry and evaluation. Heads of departments are using an improved structure in 2017, for annually evaluating and reporting outcomes as a key part of their departmental performance. Teacher appraisal is becoming increasingly robust. Appraisers are receiving professional development to apply the reviewed process more consistently schoolwide and to better meet the Education Council expectations.

The senior leaders and teachers are reflective and have introduced a range of strategies to further improve student achievement and engagement. The next step, at a range of levels, is for the school to strengthen internal evaluation processes to formally assess the impact of these innovations.

Provision for international students

Havelock North High 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.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 45 international students attending the school. This is almost twice the number at the time of the previous ERO review. Approximately half of the students stay for less than a year, with the others staying for up to two or three years.

The school continues to provide good services for international students, including programmes for English Language Learners. The quality of accommodation is well monitored.

The director regularly liaises with key people to support international students. Appropriate contact is maintained with agencies and families. The school’s board is kept informed about student engagement and achievement. As a result, the board considers suggestions for further resourcing, particularly for English Language Learners, as the number of international students increase.

ERO’s evaluation confirmed that the school’s quality assurance checks are adequate to ensure the school keeps up-to-date with new Code requirements. Improving the quality of the school’s internal evaluation process and using success indicators, should help school leaders and the board gain more useful information about the overall effectiveness of provision for international students.

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. 


Positive learning environments and a well-considered curriculum, support high levels of achievement for the majority of students. The school has successfully improved qualification outcomes for learners over time. Achieving equity for Māori learners remains a key priority. The school is well placed to sustain and further improve its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

10 April 2017

About the School


Havelock North

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Female 52%, Male 48%

Ethnic composition




Other ethnic groups





Special Features

Special Needs Unit

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

10 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2014

November 2010

November 2007