Hedgehope School - 06/05/2019

School Context

Hedgehope School is a small rural primary for students in Years 1 to 8 located in Central Southland. It has a current roll of 27 students from a diverse range of ethnicities.

The school mission is to: inspire students to be curious, to discover, explore and actively engage in their dynamic learning community. The mission statement is underpinned by the REACH values for children to be: Respectful, Enduring, Adventurous, Compassionate and Happy.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics in relation to school expectations
  • wellbeing for success.

Since the 2015 ERO review, the school has a new principal and teaching staff. There is also a predominantly new board with a new board chair.

The school is an Enviro and Positive Behaviour for Learning school.

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 is effective in achieving positive outcomes for most students in reading, writing and mathematics.

Levels of student achievement have been trending upwards over the last three years. Almost all students in mathematics, and most students in writing and reading, have achieved above the school’s expectations in 2018. All Māori students achieve at or above school expectations in these learning areas. There is disparity for boys in all three learning areas.

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

The school’s information shows that it is highly responsive to Māori and other students whose learning needs acceleration. It is effective in accelerating the progress and achievement of students whose learning needs to be accelerated.

Students’ progress and achievement is closely monitored. Individual students for whom English is a second language are provided with programmes designed to support their particular needs.

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?

Strong relational trust is evident at all levels of the school community. The principal and teachers have created an environment that supports openness, collaboration and risk taking and receptiveness to change and improvement. They value parents, whānau and the wider community engagement and actively involve them in the work and life of the school.

The school curriculum is enriched by community and cultural resources. Reciprocal learning opportunities lead to increased participation, engagement and achievement.

The curriculum is highly responsive to students’ needs and interests and provides real life, authentic opportunities to learn. REACH values are a key driver for learning and wellbeing and are very evident in all aspects of school life. Learning is integrated and purposeful across the curriculum. Students whose first language differs from the language of instruction are well supported to access the curriculum.

Students have sufficient and equitable opportunities to learn. They have a voice in decision making about their learning, are developing student agency, and regularly plan, carry out and reflect on real life and authentic projects within and beyond the school.

Assessment activities are inclusive, authentic and fit for purpose. They provide meaningful evidence of achievement and progress and a basis for determining next steps. Students’ learning benefits from the supportive, caring relationships they have with their teachers and each other. Learners with additional needs experience a collaborative wrap-around approach to success schoolwide.

Teachers work in a collaborative environment. They use a range of strategies to motivate and challenge students’ understanding and thinking of the world around them. Teachers regularly reflect on and review their practice to support improvements for learner outcomes. They know their students well, cater for individual learning styles, and build on their prior knowledge, culture, language and identity.

The board is committed to equity for all students. They significantly resource programmes and staffing to support learning outcomes for all.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers need to:

  • build the rigour of internal evaluation by strengthening analysis of school-wide data

  • use analysed data to better know the impact of learning programmes and targeted actions to raise achievement.

To strengthen their capability, the board needs to access training to gain a clearer understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

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.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Hedgehope School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • supportive, caring relationships at all levels of the school that respond to students’ needs and promote their wellbeing and learning
  • a responsive, localised curriculum that identifies and reacts to the needs and interests of children
  • the board’s commitment to teaching and learning programmes that support equity for all students.

Next steps

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

  • build the rigour of internal evaluation by strengthening analysis of school-wide data
  • use analysed data to better know the impact of learning programmes and targeted actions to raise achievement
  • strengthen the capability of the board by accessing training to gain a clearer understanding of roles and responsibilities.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

6 May 2019

About the school


Central Southland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 14 Girls 13

Ethnic composition

Māori 6
NZ European/Pākehā 13
Filipino 4
Other ethnicities 4

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

6 May 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review October 2015
Education Review February 2011
Education Review February 2008