Hawera Primary School - 18/07/2018

School Context

Hawera Primary School has students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this review, the roll was 214 with 45% of students identifying as Māori and 2% of Pacific heritage.

The school’s valued outcomes are evident through the KAHA Way: kotahitanga - getting on together; ako - learning from each other; hauora - feeling positive; and awhi - helping and supporting.

In writing and mathematics, the school aims to raise achievement and accelerate progress for those students who need this.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading writing and mathematics

  • wellbeing.

There have been changes in board membership and staffing since the July 2015 ERO report. The leadership team is unchanged.

Extensive building redevelopment over the past three years includes two innovative learning spaces and refurbishment of the hall and administration block.

Since the previous ERO report, leaders and teachers have participated in professional learning and development (PLD) in literacy, mathematics and the Seven Principles of Learning. In 2018 play-based learning is being introduced. The board has participated in PLD using the New Zealand School Trustees’ tool: Hautū - Māori cultural responsiveness self review tool for Boards of Trustees.

The school is part of the South Taranaki Kāhui Ako. Culture counts – raising achievement through effective relationships, is a learning initiative of this Kāhui Ako.

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?

Most students achieve at or above school expectations in reading. The majority are at and above expectations in writing and mathematics.

The majority of Māori students are achieving at and above in literacy and mathematics. School leaders are aware of the disparity between Māori and Pākehā and are focusing on closing the achievement gap.

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

The school has evidence of very good acceleration in mathematics and reading in 2017. Each teacher has targeted learner plans aimed at accelerating the progress of specific students. Analysed data shows that targeted learners, including Māori, are responding well to school initiatives.

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?

Board and leadership share a vision of enabling equitable opportunities for all children to learn and to attain their personal best. Trustees work strategically and collaboratively with the principal and leadership team. They have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and maintain a focus on school priorities and targets.

Trustees receive detailed achievement information from the leadership team that is used to inform decision making, resource learning initiatives and PLD opportunities. They are aware of the need to consolidate and sustain improvements. Members uphold and value the KAHA Way and recognise the importance of listening to and learning from their community to build genuine partnerships with families and whānau.

Leaders have a considered approach to school development. They model good practice and provide clear, consistent guidelines and expectations to build teacher capability in inquiry, data analysis, cultural responsiveness and evaluation. School leaders set and relentlessly pursue goals and targets that relate to accelerating the learning of students who are at risk of underachievement. They are looking deeper into the data to provide a clear schoolwide picture of acceleration and achievement. Leaders align student learning needs, teacher professional learning goals and processes for teacher appraisal and inquiry to improve student outcomes.

Teachers work collaboratively and share planning. They, with support staff, know students well. Staff use consistent language and share agreed expectations. Interactions are positive and respectful. Classrooms are highly inclusive. Children are settled, active learners, engaged and knowledgeable about school values and expectations. Strategically and thoughtfully considered environments enable them to make choices about their learning.

A range of strategies and resources is used to support students with additional educational needs. External support is effectively accessed and well used. Their progress is regularly monitored and reported.

Transition-to-school processes are well considered and effectively implemented. All families are welcomed into the school and a range of effective strategies are used to engage and communicate with them. Learning partnerships are encouraged along with parent involvement and feedback. Staff promptly identify the needs of children new to the school.

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

An ongoing focus is required to lift student achievement, especially in writing and to sustain and embed the gains made in reading and mathematics. Leaders undertake in-depth scrutiny of student achievement information. Extending their evaluative interpretation should help clarify understandings and next steps at both teacher and leadership levels.

The school has identified that the curriculum needs refreshing and has begun the process of review, and now have a draft learner profile. Extensive guidelines for literacy and mathematics guide practice and it is timely to develop these for other essential learning areas.

Further developing teachers’ shared understanding, capability and implementation of inquiring into their practice are recognised next steps.

The current professional learning focus on ‘culture counts’ should further contribute to strengthening reciprocal learning partnerships.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • go in-committee during meetings where there is good reason to exclude the public from any part of the proceedings.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that is highly strategic and focused on improving student outcomes

  • well-considered school systems that strategically build on prior successes

  • pastoral care that promotes and supports the wellbeing of all students.

Next steps

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

  • providing guidelines across all curriculum areas to continue to engage children through authentic contexts

  • extending leaders’ evaluative practices to identify and decide on the school’s next steps

  • continuing the strategic provision of PLD to strengthen teacher understanding, capability and practice

  • building on and extending effective pastoral systems to introduce: Culture counts – raising achievement through effective relationships.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

18 July 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 45%
Pākehā 44%
Pacific 2%
Other ethnic groups 9%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

18 July 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2015
Education Review August 2012
Education Review June 2009