Kai Iwi School - 07/02/2017

1 Context

Kai Iwi School is a full primary school located approximately 10 kilometres northwest of Whanganui in a small rural community. Staff changes since the April 2014 ERO review, include a relieving principal for a period of time. A permanent principal was appointed mid 2015. The school roll is 99, with twenty six students who identify as Māori.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are that, they contribute as a community of caring, enthusiastic discoverers and creators for today and tomorrow, to be the best they can be 'to develop as creative, critical, reflective thinkers and learners who are engaged in their learning'.

The values of resilience, respect and responsibility are actively promoted, taught, explored and modelled throughout the school. These underpin the school expectations and behaviour, underpinned by restorative practices.

School reported achievement information at the end of 2015 showed most students, including Māori, achieved National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Writing achievement is slightly better than that in the other two areas.

When compared to other groups, Māori learners’ achievement is slightly higher in mathematics and reading. Girls achieve at similar levels to boys in reading and mathematics. The gender disparity in writing is more significant for boys. The school recognises this challenge and continues to work to address this disparity.

Further work is necessary to improve the consistency and dependability of teachers' judgements about student achievement in relation to the National Standards. Teachers base these on observations of students' learning, and leaders and teachers analysis of assessment information, including standardised testing. Teacher judgements for writing are discussed within teaching teams and across the school as part of a moderation process.

Leaders agree it is timely to further develop assessment and moderation procedures to ensure all teachers have a shared understanding of and comprehensive expectations for this process. Developing clear guidelines should help:

  • define accelerated progress
  • articulate the expectations for the moderation process including use of assessment tools and their importance to making assessment judgements
  • clarify the place of stanine and curriculum levelling in teachers' decision making. 

Since the April 2013 ERO evaluation the school has worked collaboratively to:

  • further develop the curriculum to embrace and reflect Māori learners' culture, language and identities
  • include targeted children within teaching as inquiry and appraisal processes
  • research and discuss best practice as colleagues and with other professionals, and source and implement intervention programmes for identified learners
  • undertake professional learning
  • focus on effective teaching and learning strategies
  • increase the use of digital technologies as an integral part of the school's curriculum.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school has a range of effective strategies in place to respond to Māori students for whom the school needs to raise achievement. Leaders and teachers know who these students are.

At the end of 2015, most Māori students achieved at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The few experiencing achievement challenges made steady progress as they moved through the school. Teachers continue to consolidate practices that promote students' wellbeing, diminish achievement challenges and progress learning.

Strategic planning and ongoing curriculum development include a number of initiatives that embrace Māori learners' culture, language and identities. Whānau aspirations are sought and responded to, an example being the reintroduction of kapa haka. Te reo Māori and te ao Māori are an integral part of students' learning experience.

Some trustees have undertaken training with the New Zealand School Trustees Association to use: Hautū: the Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review Tool for Boards of Trustees. They intend to incorporate this approach to their ongoing work to build their understanding and capacity to set clear directions for Māori educational success in the school.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration are known by teaching staff. The school's response to analysed achievement information includes adapting teaching practice and providing additional support staffing. This occurs at the classroom level and through intervention programmes.

It is timely to review the inclusive practices that bring school, specialist staff, parents and whānau together to find solutions to address the unique needs identified for individual learners. Adapting school practice to focus more closely on all students whose learning progress needs monitoring or accelerating should strengthen the good practice already taking place.

Improved use of analysed achievement data to determine how effectively teaching, interventions and innovations improve student outcomes, should strengthen the school's internal evaluation and ongoing developments.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

Learners at Kai Iwi School access a rich curriculum that effectively encourages their engagement, progress and achievement. There is clear alignment to The New Zealand Curriculum and the school's vision and values. The school is in the early stages of partnering with Ngā Rauru to begin implementing aspects of the Ngā Rauru curriculum. Ongoing review of the school's curriculum should provide it with a comprehensive and coherent guiding document. School leaders recognise the next steps for this development are to:

  • continue to cover all curriculum areas, including the provision of careers education for learners in Years 7 and 8
  • bring staff together collaboratively to familiarise themselves with, endorse and take ownership of the guidelines and expectations.

Trustees and school staff provide a learning environment conducive to all students' wellbeing. Parents, whānau and the wider communities involvement in the school is encouraged and valued. A positive tone and inclusive practice prevail.

Trustees recognise that the school’s strategic and annual planning practices require strengthening to prioritise developments and focus more on those learners experiencing achievement challenges. Planning for this is in the early stages. Intended changes to annual planning for 2017 should include actions that guide leaders and teachers to monitor and progress the learning of those students at risk of poor achievement outcomes.

Leaders and teachers are reflective practitioners. There is collaboration at all levels of the school. The school agrees that leadership and teaching as inquiry could be used better to evaluate the impact of effective teaching strategies, interventions and innovations for target learners.

It is timely to review the practice of appraising leaders and teachers. This should result in ensuring the procedures and practices used for the endorsement and renewal of Teacher Practising Certificates meet the requirements of the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children. 

The school is in a good position to sharpen its focus on students whose achievement needs accelerating. ERO affirms the school's determination to reduce disparity through improved target setting and planning to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

Trustees and school leaders must ensure they:

  • provide appropriate career education and guidance for Years 7 and 8 students. [National Administration Guideline1 (f)]

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that trustees, leaders and teachers continue to build internal evaluation capability to support a cohesive and evidence-based approach to sustaining equitable and excellent outcomes for students. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

7 February 2017 

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Males 52, Females 47

Ethnic composition



Other ethnic groups




Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

7 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

April 2014

March 2011

November 2009