Karetu School - 28/02/2018

School Context

Karetu School located close to the town of Kawakawa, Northland, caters for children from years 1 to 8 and has a roll of 70. Most children are Māori, who are mainly of the hapū, Ngāti Manu and iwi Ngāpuhi. Other children include Pākehā and children from Pacific heritage.

The school’s vision is about reaching up, (Aua Ake Ana) meeting the challenges in life. The school’s valued outcomes are for children to have pride in themselves, in their whānau and to become global learners and digital citizens. This vision is underpinned by Māori values of manaakitanga (respect and care), ūkaipo (nurturing), kotahitanga (united approach), kaitiakitanga (environmental responsibility), rangatiratanga (leadership), tohungatanga (building capability and expertise), and whanaungatanga, (kinship).

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

  • achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics
  • progress towards achieving school targets
  • outcomes related to children’s wellbeing for success
  • other valued outcomes in areas of the school curriculum

Karetu School is a part of the Peowhairangi Community of Learning / Kāhui Ako (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is making progress towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students. The majority of children are achieving well in reading, writing, and mathematics. Approximately 29 percent of children are not achieving to expectations, and most of these children are Māori. School literacy data shows some disparity between the achievement of boys and girls, which has persisted over the last three years.

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

The school has a number of effective strategies for responding to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The strategies include providing these learners with additional support through teacher aides and reading recovery programmes, along with targeted instruction used by teachers. Staff could be more deliberate in planning actions that move children beyond expected progress in reading, writing and mathematics to levels of accelerated progress within a specific time frame.

The school has been successful in working towards parity for Māori in mathematics. Overall school achievement in mathematics has been steadily lifting for all groups of students.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

The school’s curriculum reflects the local context and enables all children to experience authentic learning. Opportunities are plentiful for children to learn science through the school’s extensive, natural bush environment. Teachers design class programmes with a nature focus to integrate other learning areas, particularly literacy and mathematics.

Teachers at Karetu School are developing te reo me ōna tikanga for students and staff by sharing their leadership of these skills and knowledge. Key school values use Māori concepts such as rangatiratanga and ūkaipo to enrich children’s understandings of themselves and their school’s bicultural context.

The classrooms observed show high quality teaching practices to promote children’s engagement with the curriculum. Teachers have developed areas of interest within class programmes that are appealing for different groups of students. Students also have opportunities to decide what topics they would like to learn about and to lead their own learning.

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

Further developments that are likely to support the achievement of excellence and equity include:

  • leaders setting charter targets that focus on individuals and groups needing acceleration
  • leaders and teachers developing targeted action plans to guide and track when and how children’s accelerated progress occurs
  • teachers collaboratively sharing strategies that make a positive difference to student outcomes
  • leaders creating a data set that shows the extent and rate of acceleration schoolwide. 

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

Appraisal audit 

The principal needs to urgently implement an appraisal system that aligns to the Education Council’s regulations. An appropriate appraisal system will help inform the board, the principal and teachers about professional and curriculum development priorities and support positive achievement outcomes for learners.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to:

Appraisal processes

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. ensure that the appraisal of teachers is performed annually.
    [Practicing Teacher Criteria, Part 31, Education Act].

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure internal evaluation processes are robust and systematic across all school operations particularly with the health and safety policies, procedures and guidelines in alignment with the new Health and Safety Regulations Act 2015, and the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a localised curriculum that connects children to authentic learning
  • examples of high quality teaching that engages children in the learning process
  • the school’s enactment of a bicultural curriculum that supports children’s language, culture and identity.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, development priorities are to:

  • strengthen the focus on accelerating learning to support all learners to achieve equitable outcomes
  • target planning to accelerate children’s learning
  • develop internal evaluation processes and practices. ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and school leaders.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

28 February 2018

About the school 


Karetu, Kawakawa, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary Years 1 to 8

School roll


Gender composition

Boys      41
Girls       29

Ethnic composition

Cook Island Māori


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

28 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

February 2015
December 2011
February 2010