Kaikoura Suburban School - 11/10/2011

1. Context

What are the important features of this school’s context that have an impact on student learning?

Kaikoura Suburban School has experienced considerable roll growth since 2009 ERO review. Changes have been made to the organisation of classes to cater for students and their learning.

A feature of the school is the close relationships the board, principal and staff maintain with parents, whānau and the wider community. This is helping students and teachers to make effective use of community resources and personnel, particularly from the local Māori community, in school programmes. The school’s learning programmes strongly support students pursuing and extending their own interests, and applying the knowledge that they learn in the classroom in practical ways.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Overall, ERO observed good levels of student engagement in learning. A positive learning environment and supportive relationship among students and between students and teachers were evident. Senior students enjoy and are able to describe their learning. They have a wide range of leadership opportunities and provide good role models for younger students. Teachers are beginning to identify ways to improve their understanding and use of critical reflection. This should strengthen the use of high-quality teaching practices across the school.

Student achievement information reported to the board indicates that most students are achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Assessment information indicates that students generally progress well during their time at the school.

The summarised information that has been reported to the board identified that some particular students may not have been progressing as well as they could in aspects of reading, writing and numeracy. In 2011, the board set achievement targets in relation to National Standards to help improve student achievement for those students most at risk. More thorough analysis of student assessment information will assist the board and senior leaders in evaluating their progress in achieving goals and targets.

The school is making good progress in implementing National Standards. Teachers collect assessment information from a variety of sources and use it to make judgements about student progress against the National Standards. Parents are well-informed about their children’s progress in relation to National Standards.

How well are Māori students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

The achievement of Māori students compares well with other students at the school. Assessment information gathered by the school suggests that some Māori students are achieving below expected levels in reading, writing and numeracy. Analysis of Māori student achievement is provided to the board to support their resourcing decisions.

The board, principal and staff clearly value Māori tikanga. Teachers use te reo Māori and incorporate tikanga Māori into daily classroom routines.

3. Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

Considerable work has been done to develop the school’s curriculum. The curriculum suitably specifies the values that the community expects its students to aspire to and focuses on the local environment and history, including Māori history and tikanga. The principal and teachers are making good progress in revising curriculum areas to match their school curriculum values and goals for student learning and achievement.

Teachers make effective use of consistent and collaborative approaches for planning their programmes. Planning is most detailed for literacy and numeracy and school-wide topic studies. It clearly identifies the learning needs of students. Action plans for individual students are appropriately used to plan for learning and to monitor progress.

Teachers actively promote student self assessment across the school. As a result, students have a good understanding of their learning and what they need to do to improve.

The school has invested significantly in technology resources and increasing the number of teachers and teacher-aides in the school. ERO observed students making good use of technology resources to support their learning. While it is most likely that these initiatives are promoting student achievement, a more robust self-review process should identify how effective they have been in improving the learning outcomes for students.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The board is effectively led and trustees are continuing to develop their skills and knowledge of school governance.

The principal is enthusiastic and innovative. She has responded positively to increases in students and staff, and maintained a strong school culture that is focused on student and staff well-being and belonging. The staff commented that the principal provides good leadership and is supportive.

The school actively promotes itself in the community and is well supported by parents, whānau and the wider community.

The board, principal and ERO agree that the next steps in planning for school improvement is the consolidation of self review that identifies priorities to enhance the quality of education provided for students. This process includes implementing plans, monitoring progress and evaluating effectiveness in terms of outcomes for students.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. 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 students' achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • 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

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)



School roll


Gender composition

Girls 36

Boys 36

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā



Other ethnicities





Review team on site

August 2011

Date of this report

11 October 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2009

November 2005

June 2003

*School deciles range from 1 to 10. Decile 1 schools draw their students from low socio-economic communities and at the other end of the range, decile 10 schools draw their students from high socio-economic communities. Deciles are used to provide funding to state and state integrated schools. The lower the school’s decile the more funding it receives. A school’s decile is in no way linked to the quality of education it provides.