Hawera Christian School - 29/06/2018

School Context

Hawera Christian School, a small state integrated school located near Hawera, has learners in Years 1 to 8. Of the 30 students enrolled, 47% identify as Māori.

The Hawera Christian Education Trust has responsibility for property and the school’s Christian character. The New Zealand Christian Proprietors’ Trust holds the integration agreement for the school and oversees the Christian character.

The school’s special character is espoused as: Where Christ is at the centre of everything we do. It aims to develop caring, connected and confident learners, with the mission to ensure children are ready with the skills, knowledge and attitudes they need for life.

The achievement focus for 2018 is to raise achievement in writing across the school.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing
  • additional learning support, including gifted and talented.

Since the June 2015 ERO report staffing has remained stable. The board consists of long serving and new members, and includes a proprietor from each of the trusts. The school employs a chaplain who is available to support students’ wellbeing and spiritual growth.

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’s achievement data, since 2015, indicates that almost all students, including Māori, achieve at or above expectations in reading. Most meet expectations in writing and mathematics.

Students with additional learning needs are identified and well supported with a range of resources and interventions appropriate to their individual needs.

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

Although it is clear the school is accelerating the progress of individual students, it is not clear how effectively it is accelerating all students at risk in their learning. Some children, including targeted students, show accelerated progress in specific literacy and mathematics tests.

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 special Christian character provides a strong foundation for building ongoing relationships and support within the school community. Parents and whānau are welcomed and involved in activities. Collegial relationships are evident across staff, children and whānau. Tuakana teina interactions promote learning and support for students. Transitions into, through and out of the school are well considered.

Trustees are collaborative and provide good support for the principal to promote the school’s valued outcomes. Strategic and considered use of resourcing within the classrooms enables teachers to effectively deliver the curriculum.

Leadership establishes clear and consistent expectations that effectively support teaching and learning. The principal works with the school’s community to create a positive environment that upholds Christian values, is inclusive, values diversity and promotes wellbeing and cultural understanding. Professional learning for all staff promotes a strong and systematic approach to change.

Classrooms practices appropriately uphold the school’s valued outcomes. The Christian curriculum, Interact, is linked to The New Zealand Curriculum and supported by the school’s guiding documents for teaching and learning. Staff and students have collaborative, respectful and responsive relationships. Te ao Māori is meaningfully incorporated and woven through the school’s Christian values and teachers have identified the need to further integrate te reo Māori in learning.

An appropriate appraisal process builds teachers’ learning and capability. Professional development is targeted to support their specific areas for growth and linked to schoolwide targets.

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

Some aspects of trustees’ stewardship practice needs further development and they acknowledge that it is timely for them to seek ongoing support and guidance to:

  • further clarify and understand their roles and responsibilities
  • establish relevant policies, procedures and practices that are regularly reviewed to meet legislative requirements.

There is a need to further develop shared understanding and use of internal evaluation to determine the impact of teaching practices, learning interventions and school operation on learner outcomes.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance inrelation to disability access and facilities andhazard and risk identification.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • provide access and facilities for persons with disabilities to and within the buildings [ss 117-120 and Schedule 2 of Building Act 2004]
  • regularly review and update hazards and risks, and record these on the hazard register.[Health and Safety At Work Act 2015]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure updated policies and procedures are signed so that their currency is clear and that these are easily accessible to parents and whānau.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • consistently good levels of achievement for students that are equitable for all groups
  • pastoral care that responds to students’ needs, promotes their wellbeing and supports their learning success
  • a culture of collaboration and respect that promotes successful teaching and learning.

Next steps

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

  • ensuring that trustees are appropriately trained to build their capability in stewardship
  • establishing effective internal evaluation that identifies the impact of initiatives and programmes on valued outcomes.

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the school seek support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association in order to bring about improvement in trustees’ understanding of their roles, responsibilities and expectations for meeting legislative requirements.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

29 June 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 16, Male 14

Ethnic composition

Māori 14

Pākehā 15

Filipino 1

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015

Education Review August 2012

Education Review June 2010