Kihikihi School - 29/06/2018

School Context

The school is located in the historic village of Kihikihi, just south of Te Awamutu. It provides education in both English and Māori medium for a current total of 145 students in Years 1 to 8. The roll includes 92 students who identify as Māori, many of whom identify with Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Raukawa.

‘He tangata ako, he whānau ako – learners today, leaders tomorrow’, is the school’s guiding whakataukī. Through ngā whenu o te reo, uhumanea, whanaungatanga, oranga and wairuatanga the school’s mission is to enable learners:

  • to kōrero i te reo Māori in line with whānau aspirations
  • to experience high-quality education in an effective learning environment
  • opportunities to learn immersed in te reo Māori me ōna tikanga
  • to be competent and confident in an increasingly digital environment.

Since the 2014 ERO review the school has appointed two deputy principals to the leadership team. In 2016 there were significant changes to membership of the board of trustees. The chairperson has remained in the role.

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

  • student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • ko te eke a te ākonga i te roto i te tuhituhi, pāngarau, pānui me te kōrero
  • behaviour.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO.

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?

This school is not achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students, particularly in the auraki classes.

Significant improvements in the rumaki classes are resulting in equitable and excellent outcomes. However, raising achievement and improving equitable outcomes for all learners in the auraki classes remains a priority.

In the rumaki classes most students achieve well in kōrero, pānui and pāngarau and the majority of students in tuhituhi. Disparity of achievement between boys and girls in tuhituhi and pānui has reduced significantly. Overall achievement levels have improved significantly overtime. Across all four areas boys and girls now achieve at comparable levels.

In the auraki classes the majority of students achieve well in reading and mathematics. Less than half of students achieve well in writing. Achievement levels have declined over time for learners in all three areas. Māori learners achieve at lower levels than non-Māori in reading and writing. Boys achieve lower than girls in reading and writing.

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

The school has been successful in accelerating learning for some of the targeted groups of learners. Analysing the available in-school data more effectively to inform strategies, interventions and to identify rates and patterns of acceleration is a key next step for the school.

In 2017, the majority of targeted students in the rumaki class made accelerated progress and achieved at the appropriate level in pānui. Approximately half of the targeted boys and selected students form Years 5 and 7 made accelerated achievement in writing. In mathematics, a large majority of targeted at-risk students made accelerated 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?

Tikanga Māori is highly evident throughout the school. Many school-wide practices are culturally responsive. Teachers are proactive in learning and extending their use of te reo Māori. A strong sense of belonging is fostered for all students.

Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative and inclusive classrooms. Their individual social and pastoral needs are recognised and responded to well to support engagement and motivation in learning. Respectful interactions between teachers and students are highly evident. Students are supported to be curious and inquisitive in their learning.

A good range of strategies in the classroom promotes equity of learning, especially in the rumaki. The learning environment is managed well to promote engagement and risk taking. Classrooms are inviting spaces and provide a supportive environment that is conducive to learning and wellbeing.

Learners with additional needs experience a collaborative wrap-around approach that supports progress and well-being. Strong connections with external agencies are evident. Individual learning programmes identify goals and next steps in each student’s learning journey and their progress is regularly monitored.

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

Strengthening the board of trustees’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities for effective governance is a priority. This should include:

  • regular self review of policies and procedures to ensure they reflect the current practice of the school and legislation changes
  • robust monitoring and recording of progress in relation to the strategic aims, targets for improving equity and excellence, and acceleration of learners
  • ensuring governance accountabilities and assurances are well understood and implemented.

Extending leaders’ and teachers’ understanding of the effective use of achievement information to accelerate learners’ progress is needed. This is necessary to better support leaders and teachers to identify and evaluate interventions, initiatives and strategies that best meet the needs of learners.

Continuing to build and document Te Marau-ā-kura o Te Kura o Kihikihi is a priority. This needs to include developing a sequential approach to te reo and local iwi history across the school. The collaborative development of the local curriculum for learning at Kihikihi School should be in consultation with whānau to ensure their perspectives and aspirations are woven throughout. Deepening the learning-focused partnerships with parents is a key next step.

Establishing school-wide understanding of evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building is also needed to support sustainability and inform ongoing improvement and innovation.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to career education and police vetting.

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

  1.  provide appropriate career education and guidance for all students in Year 7 and above [NAG 1(f)]
  2.  implement procedures for police vetting of employees. [s 77a State Sector Act 1988]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • develop procedures to guide practice in relation to physical restraint of children and the search, surrender and retention of student property by staff
  • regularly review policies and procedures to ensure they reflect the current practice of the school and legislation changes.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the school’s kaupapa that enables students to participate and learn in caring, collaborative and inclusive classrooms
  • the increasing presence and use of te reo and tikanga Māori that is supporting students’ language, culture and identity.

Next steps

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

  • developing trustees’ understanding of effective stewardship to support sustainability, ongoing improvement and innovation

  • extending leaders’ and teachers’ understanding of the effective use of achievement information to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement
  • establishing school-wide understanding of evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building.
  • targeted planning to accelerate learning [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school.]
  • internal evaluation processes and practices.

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO recommends that the school seek support from New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) in order to bring about improvements in:

  • governance roles and responsibilities.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

29 June 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 56% Girls 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori 63%

Pākehā 31%

Other ethnic groups 6%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2015
Education Review December 2011
Education Review November 2008