Kapiti School - 13/05/2020

School Context

Kāpiti School, located in Paraparaumu, is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. The increasing roll of 227 students, includes 35% Māori.

The school’s vision for students is for them to be ‘active learners who are always striving to excel and show tu tangata and manaakitanga’. The TEAM values include: Tu Tangata; Excel; Active Learners; and Manaakitanga and underpin teaching and learning.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing and pastoral care
  • attendance.

The school has participated in the Ministry of Education programme ‘Positive Behaviour for Learning’ (PB4L) since 2016. Leaders collaborate with a local cluster of schools.

The senior leadership team has changed since the 2016 ERO review, including the principal who was appointed at the end of 2018. Two classrooms with a focus on Montessori philosophy have also been established.

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 not sufficiently effective in achieving equity and excellence. Raising achievement for all students is an urgent priority.

Since the 2016 ERO review achievement levels reported by the school have been variable. The most recent data shared by the school in 2019 indicates that overall a small majority of students achieve at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

Māori students are achieving less well overall than their non-Māori peers. At times the difference is significant, with less than half achieving school expectations in writing, reading and mathematics.

There is a large difference in achievement for boys in writing, girls are achieving at a significantly higher level. In mathematics girls, particularly Māori girls, are achieving less well than boys.

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

Strengthening the school’s effectiveness in accelerating achievement and progress for those students who need this requires urgent attention.

Students who are at risk of underachievement are identified and targeted at class level. Data generated by teachers suggests that some of these students are making accelerated progress.

School leaders have identified that having a clearer picture of where and for whom accelerated achievement is occurring should better support analysis and evaluation of learning and progress.

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?

A useful framework is in place outlining the school values for monitoring and managing student behaviour. Leaders and teachers are beginning to respond to student learning and wellbeing information, which gives an indication about how well they are implementing the positive behaviour for learning principles and enacting its values.

Positive relationships and interactions are clearly evident in classrooms. Students are collaborative and support each other. They are encouraged to take a lead and make decisions about their learning. Teachers are focussed on increasing students’ understanding of their achievement and next steps for improvement. There were some examples of good engagement in learning.

Students with high and complex needs are well catered for. Teachers use a range of initiatives and strategies to successfully support their needs, appropriately accessing external agencies when needed.

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

Leaders, teachers and trustees need to take urgent action to raise achievement for all students, including addressing the disparity between Māori students and their non-Māori peers.

The school needs to establish accurate and dependable overall judgements about individual students’ achievement in relation to the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels. Strengthening the analysis and use of assessment data and learning information should support leaders and teachers to develop a clearer overall picture of student achievement, and progress for specific groups of students’ over time. This process must include increasing capability and strengthening assessment practices.

The school has begun to review and develop the content and delivery of its curriculum supported by external professional providers. School leaders should continue to review, develop and then implement a school curriculum that delivers the NZC through a localised context. This process should include:

  • strengthening the response to students’ culture, language and identity
  • determining how well it reflects local context, history and culture
  • defining how well it responds to the needs of students whose learning requires acceleration
  • establishing and clearly articulating a shared understanding of effective teacher practices, including in the Montessori classrooms.

Trustees need to ensure that an appropriate appraisal process that promotes the principal and teachers ongoing development, is consistently implemented. Currently the performance management system has several components of a suitable appraisal process but is yet to be completed.

Capability in internal evaluation requires strengthening. Leaders and teachers should develop a shared understanding of evidenced based internal evaluation to enable them to clearly show the impact of planned actions on improving outcomes for different groups of learners, with a focus on those at-risk. This process should also effectively inform next steps for improvement.

Teaching practices that respond to the individual learning needs of students are variable and at times not well developed. Some students who are underachieving do not receive sufficient targeted teaching that enables them to fully access the curriculum. Strengthened capability in evaluation should then be used to measure how well classroom organisation, in particular collaborative spaces and planning, are supporting priority students.

Current achievement targets are broad and general. Trustees should consider redefining annual targets to focus on increasing rates of progress and improving outcomes for those at risk of underachievement. Deepened analysis of the school’s data showing progress towards achieving these goals and therefore the measurement of the effectiveness of the school’s response to those children who need it the most, should be regularly reported to the board.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Kapiti School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • positive relationships that support learning
  • responsive provision for students with high and complex needs.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • raising achievement and improving outcomes for all children, and in particular Māori children
  • continuing to review, develop and implement a localised school curriculum to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning, particularly for priority students
  • strengthening the accuracy, analysis, reporting and use of learning information to better show student achievement and progress and effectiveness in achieving the schools’ annual goals and targets
  • fully implement an appropriate performance management system to better support teachers to improve their practice.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Tini Southern Region

13 May 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 35%
NZ European/Pākehā 47%
Asian 10%
Pacific 8%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

13 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2016
Education Review November 2013