Kaeo School - 02/08/2018

School Context

Kaeo School in Northland caters for students from Years 1 to 6. The school continues to be well maintained and attractively presented. The roll is growing and currently there are 151 children attending, most of whom are Māori.

The school’s mission, which sits at the heart of all school operations, is ‘to aim high, stand tall – taraia nga taumata, e tu teitei’. The vision is that children will become confident and self-motivated learners who understand themselves, relate positively to others and contribute to making society a better place. This vision is underpinned by the school values of learn, love, contribute and grow.

Current strategic goals focus on attendance, engagement and achievement. The board sees these goals as the foundation for supporting children to develop the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes necessary to embrace life’s challenges.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing, mathematics, spelling, information literacy, Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and te reo Māori

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets

  • wellbeing for success and enjoyment of learning

  • the Strategy for Māori Achievement

  • data about the progress and development of learners who have attended the school for six years.

Since the 2015 ERO review, the board has appointed a new deputy principal. Teachers have participated in professional learning in science, visual arts and the ‘Incredible Years Programme’.

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 equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

School achievement information over the last three years shows that most children achieve at expected New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels in reading and writing, and the majority in mathematics. Over time, the school has successfully reduced in-school disparity for boys in reading and writing. Children with additional learning needs are identified early and their progress carefully monitored by staff.

Teachers collate longitudinal data about the progress of children who have been at school for six years. The data show that learning and achievement for this cohort of children has significantly improved over time.

Children achieve very well in relation to other valued student outcomes. Most children:

  • enjoy their learning
  • demonstrate confidence and pride in themselves as learners
  • can talk about and demonstrate the four school values in their everyday school life
  • show kindness and value tuakana/teina relationships with other students
  • have a strong sense of place and belonging.

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

The school is effectively accelerating the progress and lifting the achievement of those Māori and other students who require this.

The board’s strategic plan has a clear focus on improvement. The school’s Strategy for Māori Achievement sets goals for creating greater equity and achieving better wellbeing/hauora outcomes for Māori learners.

Teachers quickly and carefully identify children’s learning needs and closely monitor their progress. They build on children’s strengths and interests and set clear targets for learners to make accelerated progress. Teachers also work closely with parents to develop strategies that they can use at home to consolidate and enhance children’s learning progress. As a result, there is good evidence to show that Māori and other learners are making accelerated progress over time.

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 board actively represents and serves the school and community in its stewardship role. They are dedicated to student wellbeing, learning, achievement and progress. Trustees make well thought through resourcing decisions that help the school achieve valued outcomes for all learners. The board is managing the present roll growth strategically and well.

The principal, teachers and trustees have a deep commitment to supporting the wellbeing of students and whānau. The strongly child-centred school culture and school values are well endorsed by the school community. This provides a positive foundation for children’s learning.

There is a strong emphasis on building positive relationships with families, whānau and the community. Deep and intergenerational relationships throughout the school contribute to staff knowing children and their families very well. Good communication strategies help to ensure that parents and whānau are well informed about their children’s learning. Teachers help parents with strategies to support learning at home. Parents commented to ERO that they appreciated the school’s effective processes for transitioning children to local schools.

The school’s well documented and responsive curriculum supports learners to achieve across the breadth of the New Zealand Curriculum. The school values and cultural concepts of pumanawatanga, whanaungatanga, rangitiratanga, manaakitanga and kotahitanga are well enacted. Children have good opportunities to learn collaboratively, and participate in caring and inclusive learning communities. They have varied and interesting learning opportunities both within and outside of the school.

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

The principal, teachers and the board have identified that the school’s priorities for achieving equity and acceleration include leadership development, growing students’ critical thinking skills and ownership of their learning, and aligning aspects of teacher appraisal with Education Council requirements.

Developing leadership opportunities is a strategic focus to support the principal and board in ensuring improvement goals are met. Plans are already underway to build and make greater use of teachers’ internal expertise and leadership capability.

Teachers are beginning to explore innovative teaching and learning strategies that extend students’ critical thinking and problem solving. As part of this inquiry, they are engaging in New Zealand and overseas research to design their school process. Students will then have opportunities to participate in group-based learning activities where they draw on each other’s strengths to solve problems.

Students access an engaging curriculum where they participate in a variety of learning experiences. The principal acknowledges that growing and increasing students’ ownership of their learning is a next step.

The school’s performance management process is personalised and supports teacher development. The principal agrees that the evidence teachers collect needs to be more closely aligned to the Education Council’s Standards.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • stewardship practices that deliberately focus on improving outcomes for all learners

  • leadership that fosters equitable outcomes and nurtures a strong focus on promoting students’ sense of wellbeing and belonging

  • a curriculum that supports the needs of learners and provides a broad range of learning opportunities

  • learning-centred relationships with parents, whānau and community that positively impact on student outcomes.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, key next steps are to:

  • grow leadership opportunities to enhance internal expertise and support for the school’s vision and strategic goals

  • further develop opportunities to grow and increase students’ ownership of their learning.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

2 August 2018

About the school


Kaeo, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1-6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 80%
Pākehā 20%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

2 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2015
Education Review April 2012
Education Review January 2009