Hokitika School - 12/02/2014

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s Arotake Paetawhiti review?

ERO reviewed Hokitika School in May 2010 and again in July 2011. The 2011 ERO report found that there had been very good progress towards addressing the areas for review and development, but that there was still work to do including establishing a board, raising student achievement further and extending self review.

In September 2011, an alternative constitution for the board of trustees was approved. A new board, consisting of five elected parent representatives, the principal and a staff representative, two appointed members (from Te Rūnaka o Makaawhio incorporated and Ngāti Waewae incorporated) and up to two co-opted members was established.

A bicultural atmosphere is a feature of the school and is benefiting all students. Te reo and tikanga Māori are an integral part of life at the school. The values of respect, inclusiveness, success and enterprise (RISE) are evident across the school and throughout the curriculum. They contribute to the positive school culture.

A new principal began at the beginning of 2013. The school roll is growing.

ERO has been working with the board and both principals over a two-year period. This review is based on regular school contact and information gathered since the 2011 review, and a final on-site visit in October 2013.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Since the 2011 ERO review, the school has made good progress towards achieving its goals and priorities. The board and principal have useful plans that focus on improving outcomes for all students. More involvement from the local community has contributed to the positive school culture where students enjoy learning and participate in a range of in-class and out-of-class activities. Parent and student opinion is actively sought and included into board plans and the school's curriculum.

Priorities identified for review and development

These included:

  • improving student progress and achievement
  • planning, assessment and reporting in the bilingual unit
  • curriculum development
  • leadership and management.


Student progress and achievement

Overall, student achievement information shows that most students are achieving at or above expected national levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Those students at risk of not achieving have individual learning plans and targeted programmes focused on lifting their achievement. Teachers identified in 2013 the need to improve the achievement levels of writing for boys. Māori students are achieving as well as their peers.

Teachers use a wide range of student achievement information to target and modify learning programmes to meet the needs and interests of their students. Teachers have high expectations for learning and behaviour. The development of a graduate profile has given teachers clear expectations for student success as they transition to high school.

Teachers use self-reflection to focus on how they can target their teaching and learning programmes to better meet the learning needs of their students in literacy and numeracy. Teaching as inquiry is an integral part of this process to improve their practice.

The next step for the principal and teachers is to further analyse student achievement information to identify trends and patterns, and use this information to inform future teaching and learning programmes and school targets.

Planning, assessment and reporting in the bilingual unit

Significant progress has been made with learning and teaching in the bilingual class.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (the national curriculum for Māori medium settings) is currently used. Most students are improving their achievement in te reo Māori.

Whānau hui and consultation are widely used to gain parent opinion and aspirations for their children in the bilingual class. Whānau provide good support for teachers and students in the unit. Parents approached the board in December 2012 to consider starting another bi-lingual class. This resulted in a board-funded teacher being employed for the 2013 school year.

Individual student profiles track how students are progressing towards the school’s graduate profile. Significant progress has been made with assessment practices which continue to develop with the support of outside agencies. Ongoing support is needed to help teachers gather relevant assessment information and report against the Māori immersion achievement levels.

Trustees are seeking more guidance to support the teachers in the bilingual unit.

Curriculum development

The principal and teachers are currently reviewing the curriculum to further develop a local focus that will bring meaningful and relevant learning for all students. They have developed a sound review plan with clear timeframes and responsibilities. A next step could be to add success indicators to this plan to measure against the actions as they are completed.

Leadership and management

The school has moved from a commissioner-led school to a board in 2012. The board and principal work well together. The principal provides good leadership across the school and promotes a clear vision for learning and teaching. There is a strong focus on raising student achievement levels and providing rich learning experiences for students.

The board has set clear goals and a vision that will provide for continuity and sustainability of personnel, policies and procedures. Trustees regularly communicate and consult with the community.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The board is implementing good systems, policies and procedures to ensure it meets its obligations and responsibilities. Trustees are focused on raising the achievement of all students.

Self review is effectively used in board and school processes. Reviews have been completed on aspects of the curriculum, school values and principles. Other reviews are planned for 2014. The board has an annual review cycle in place. Trustees have had ongoing training in their governance roles and responsibilities.

The parent support group has been active in supporting the school in learning programmes and aspects of the indoor and outdoor environment.

The board, principal, teachers and external agencies have worked together to develop action plans that will help the board meet its goals and priorities. Implementation of these plans, due to their clear expectations, should lead to sustainable improvements across the school. The overarching focus in these plans is on improving outcomes for all students. The next step for the board would be to consolidate and prioritise these plans so they become more manageable and align directly with the school's charter goals.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

12 February 2014

About the School


Hokitika, West Coast

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 58%; Girls 42%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā






Special Features

Bilingual unit Host school for Cobden RTLB cluster Host school for Resource Teacher of Literacy

Review team on site

October 2013

Date of this report

12 February 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

July 2011

May 2010

June 2009