Kaiapoi High School - 16/11/2017


Kaiapoi High School has a roll of 783 students from Years 9 to 13, 17% of whom identify as Māori. The school has a small number of international fee-paying students, and has had strong roll growth since its last ERO review in 2014.

Most students come from Kaiapoi and surrounding areas to attend the school. Strong connections with the local community, including links with local iwi, continue to be a feature of the school.

The school is responsible for the Karanga Mai Young Parents’ College, an onsite teen parent unit. The unit provides a range of programmes and courses enabling teen parents to continue with their education. An attached early learning centre provides opportunity for parents to learn in close proximity to their children. ERO evaluated the Karanga Mai Young Parents’ College in early 2017. This separate evaluation report is available on the ERO website. Achievement data for the teen parent unit is included in Kaiapoi High School’s overall data.

The school is a member of the Kātote Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL).

For a number of years the school has been involved in Ministry of Education (MOE) programmes based on building a positive learning culture.

Since the 2014 ERO review, new middle leadership roles have been introduced and a rebuild of the school is underway. The school has successfully addressed most of the areas identified for development in the last review. These include strengthening the teacher appraisal process, developing a successful leavers’ profile, and strategic planning for Māori success as Māori.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

This school is responding well to Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.School leaders and teachers have a number of processes and practices in place that are effectively contributing towards achieving equity and excellence. Monitoring and tracking processes are more detailed and accessible, particularly in the senior school.

Leaders and teachers provide a varied curriculum that has multiple, flexible and authentic pathways for students, including those moving onto further education, work and industry. Since the 2014 ERO report, inclusive and culturally responsive practices have continued to increase. Teachers are exploring and introducing more student-centred approaches to raise learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • extend culturally responsive practices in and across faculties

  • strengthen assessment practices at Years 9 and 10

  • improve reporting to the board for specific groups of students

  • continue to build student engagement and ownership of their own learning.

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

Equity and excellence

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

This school responds increasingly well to those Māori students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Publically available achievement information shows an increasing proportion of Māori students achieving national qualifications at all levels over the last three years. In 2016 the proportion of Māori students achieving national qualifications was equitable with other groups of students.

The school also responds increasingly well to other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Systems for identifying and tracking the progress and achievement of senior students have improved. This is enabling the school to consistently intervene earlier, and to more effectively support students whose learning needs acceleration.

Public achievement information for all school leavers in the past three years shows stable levels of achievement, as follows:

  • a high proportion of students gain the National Certificate in Education Achievement (NCEA) Level 1

  • the majority of school leavers, approximately 75%, achieve NCEA Level 2

  • just over a third of school leavers achieve NCEA Level 3, and a similar proportion of Year 13 students gain University Entrance.

A smaller proportion of boys (than girls) achieve NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance. The school attributes this to boys being more likely to have transitioned to work and/or further vocational training. School information shows a number of students, boys and girls, are supported to achieve a range of industry-related qualifications.

Many students in Years 9 and 10 make good progress in preparation for achieving NCEA. Each faculty regularly reports student achievement information to the board. There is no comprehensive overview of Years 9 and 10 student achievement that shows progress and achievement across faculties.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school has a number of processes that are effectively contributing towards achieving equity and excellence.

The board has collaboratively developed a clear vision with strong strategic direction that guides school processes, practices and operations. These plans are regularly monitored and evaluated to ensure appropriate progress occurs. Trustees understand and respond effectively to the needs of the local community.

School leaders are highly committed to pursuing and achieving the school’s vision, goals and targets. They have high expectations for students’ learning and wellbeing. Positive relationships are a valued outcome for the school. Student surveys, and conversations with ERO, show that students feel that teachers care about them and their learning.

Senior leaders think critically and evaluatively in the way they use achievement information, and other evidence, to improve outcomes for learners. They keep the board well informed about students’ achievement and outcomes.

Māori students have many opportunities to succeed as Māori. Whānau, iwi, leaders and teachers work purposefully together to raise expectations and actively support student learning and wellbeing. Māori values, language, culture and identity are highly valued, strategically prioritised and progressively implemented. This is improving outcomes for Māori students.

Leaders and teachers provide a varied curriculum that has multiple, flexible pathways for students, including pathways to work and industry. Regular communication with parents supports students’ learning choices. Additional and optional learning sessions are provided for students. Well-considered transitions into the school and onto further education, work and industry further support students in their choices.

Teachers use learning information well to help build positive relationships with students and adapt learning programmes. Professional learning and development is supporting teachers’ use of specific teaching strategies across faculties. Collectively they are working towards more student-centred approaches by:

  • differentiating learning tasks to meet a range of learning needs

  • selecting more engaging contexts for learning

  • responding to students’ views and opinions.

The school provides inclusive and responsive practices to meet a wide range of students’ pastoral care needs. They have a number of comprehensive and appropriate programmes and strategies in place to support student wellbeing. Students with additional needs are well considered and supported through specific targeted learning plans that are regularly reviewed and adapted to reflect students’ progress, achievements and next steps.

The school has undertaken some significant and appropriate curriculum developments to enhance students’ learning experience. Some of these developments are at an early stage. Improved systems are effectively enabling quicker and more targeted responses by teachers in meeting students’ needs. This is particularly evident in Years 11-13. School leaders are looking to extend these processes for Years 9 – 10.

Leaders and teachers make good use of the community and external agencies to enhance opportunities for students to become confident and more engaged in their learning. Strategic community partnerships are making a positive difference and providing authentic learning contexts for learners.

Leaders actively support teachers to build their capacity. Teachers’ collective responsibility and accountability for students’ learning and wellbeing is consistently promoted through professional learning and development, useful appraisal processes and a deeper level of inquiry into teaching practices that make a difference to outcomes for students.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school has many useful processes in place that promote equity and excellence for students. Leaders implement strategies to enhance attendance, retention and achievement. ERO and the board have agreed on the following next steps.

Māori success as Māori could be further enhanced by building some teachers’ cultural capacity to enable them to better support and promote students’ learning within and across faculties.

Systems should be refined to enable earlier intervention to accelerate the progress of some Year 9 and 10 students so they are better placed to achieve success in national qualifications. This includes a greater emphasis on tracking and analysing Years 9 and 10 students’ rates of progress, cohort progress and achievement over time.

There is a need to extend the analysis of achievement data and reporting to the board for specific groups of students. This includes groups such as students with additional needs, international students and more specific analysis of data at Years 9 and 10. This will support the board in evaluating the effectiveness of the school’s provision for these students.

The school shows strong commitment to exploring and implementing approaches that build students’ engagement, understanding and ownership of their own learning. This is a useful and important priority for continued focus.

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

  • 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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 15 international students attending the school.

The school is effective in providing pastoral care and ensuring international students make progress and achieve in relation to their own learning goals. Students are well supported to integrate into the school and local community. The school should ensure progress and achievement information of international students is reported to the board of trustees. 

Going forward

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

Learners are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • extend cultural responsive practice in and across faculties

  • strengthen assessment practices at Years 9 and 10

  • improve reporting to the board for specific groups of students

  • continue to build student engagement and ownership of their own learning.

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

Jane Lee

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

16 November 2017

About the school


North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 15)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 49%

Girls 51%

Ethnic composition

Māori 17%

Pākehā 77%

Pacific 2%

Asian 3%

Other 1%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

16 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

13 June 2014

December 2009

November 2006