Kaingaroa School (Chatham Islands) - 24/11/2016

1 Context

Te Kura o Kaingaroa is situated on the north east end of Rekohu/Wharekauri, the main island in the Chatham Islands. It currently has a roll of five children, four of whom are Māori. The school community has a special focus on promoting te ao Māori values and principles, including language, culture and identity.

The school has a relieving principal after the previous principal left in the middle of the year. She has had 20 years' experience as a relieving principal. The board members are all new to their role apart from one who was on the previous board. Trustees are actively seeking a new principal who will meet the requirements of teaching predominantly Māori children at multiple levels in a remote part of the world.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to be confident, self-motivated achieving learners. The school's values are compassion and peace, succeeding academically, socially, culturally and physically through a range of opportunities.

The school’s achievement information shows that children are generally achieving at the expected National Standards levels. Those children who were not achieving at expected levels have improved since the new principal began. There was no information about achievement available for the period prior to July 2016.

There is no indication that any moderation of assessment information with the two other schools on the Chatham Islands has occurred.

Since the 2013 ERO review, the school has made little progress in meeting the agreed next steps in the previous report. A charter had not been submitted to the Ministry of Education for some time. There were no specific targets for achievement of students, or reporting of achievement information to the board of trustees.

The relieving principal who began in Term 3, 2016, and new board have now submitted their charter. They are working together to put systems and processes in place to address these issues.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is now responding to children whose learning needs acceleration.

The principal has used a wide range of assessments to identify learning needs and accelerate children's progress. School assessments show good improvement in a short space of time, especially for the younger children who have moved from below to at national expectations with individual targeted teaching.

The small number of children means that the principal and a teacher aide can provide high quality one-to-one support for learning. This has included a range of contexts, such as boat building and tree planting, that have captured the children's interests and built on their life experiences.

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?

The school's curriculum, processes and practices are now providing the opportunity for its vision to be realised.

Children are becoming more independent in their learning, and are proud of their achievements. They are aware of their learning goals and are beginning to take responsibility for tracking progress towards their goals. The settled tone in the classroom results in children having positive attitudes to learning. The principal has identified that developing children’s inquiry learning skills is a future priority.

Parents are actively involved in the school through trusteeship, shared responsibility for learning, and generally lending a hand when things need to be done. The community, which was once very involved, is beginning to be better informed about what is happening at the school, and share in children's progress and successes.

The board has a strong focus on providing an environment where children’s identity and success as Māori are fostered. There is a need to review and improve te reo and tikanga Māori provision to fulfil the strengths and interests of individual students and whānau/community aspirations. This will help ensure the programme reflects the values identified in the charter for children to succeed culturally within a warm, supportive and encouraging whānau environment.

The board and principal could identify further ways to enrich learning opportunities and promote successful outcomes for tamariki Māori. Trustees could also explore wider collaboration/cooperation with local iwi, for example by co-opting a local Māori or Moriori community member onto the board.

The principal is working effectively with the board and whānau. She is establishing relationships and practices that provide a model for successful partnership and a sound basis for ongoing improvements in the school. She is supporting trustees to understand their roles and responsibilities, and take a greater role in decision making. Trustees need further support in this area to fully take on their stewardship responsibilities.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • have not yet adequately built their knowledge of the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • have not yet adequately established necessary conditions to effectively accelerate learning and achievement
  • are not well placed to achieve and sustain accelerated achievement for all children who need it.

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

While there has been significant progress in the past few months, there is still a need to embed the newly-established systems and processes, and determine how well they are working through an ongoing and robust programme of internal evaluation.

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

ERO found several areas of non-compliance.

  1. The board has not been receiving adequate information on student achievement. It has not received analysed information about how well all children are progressing towards the national standards.
    [NAG 2(b)]
  2. There is no careers education and guidance programme for students in Year 7 and 8.
    [NAG 1(f)]
  3. There has been no consultation with the school community on the health curriculum.
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989]

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that NZSTA provides training for the board in its roles and responsibilities, and to assist it with understanding its strategic role in promoting high standards for student achievement.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education provides support for the new principal, when in place, to ensure the learning needs of every child are effectively met, and that the day-to-day management and leadership of the school contributes to positive outcomes for each child. 

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Te Waipounamu Southern

24 November 2016

About the school


Chatham Islands

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 3; Girls 2

Ethnic composition





Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

24 November 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2013

May 2010

May 2008