Kinohaku School - 13/01/2017

1 Context

Kinohaku School is located 11 km east of Tahaaroa at the southern end of Kawhia Harbour. It is a primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. Children are learning in two classrooms, one for students in Years 0 to 4 and the other for students Years 5 to 8. The current roll of 34 children includes 24 Māori. There is a newly appointed principal who has been in the school for ten weeks. There is a long-standing board chair and a team of experienced and knowledgeable trustees.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to be proud, responsible, respectful, confident and independent. The school's mission is 'together we will provide quality education that prepares our learners to succeed in life'.

The school’s achievement information shows that from 2013 to 2015 Māori student achievement has steadily increased in reading and writing. Achievement in mathematics is variable from year to year. In 2015 the proportion of students achieving National Standards was well above national comparisons. Almost all Māori students achieved in writing and mathematics.

Achievement information for all other children from 2013 to 2015 is tracking upwards and is above national comparisons in reading, writing and mathematics. The 2015 data shows all other children achieved National Standards in reading and mathematics, and almost all in writing.

Teachers work collaboratively using a range of information. They use their professional knowledge about each child's learning to make sound overall judgements about achievement levels in relation to the National Standards. The school has identified that the next step is to continue to strengthen the reliability of these judgements by focusing on moderation processes, including external moderation with other schools.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has taken the following actions to improve outcomes for children. The school has:

  • accessed professional development to build teacher capabilities to support students with high literacy and numeracy learning needs
  • undertaken extensive consultation with the community to review the charter and school curriculum
  • focused on data collation, analysis and reporting of students whose learning needs acceleration to the board of trustees
  • building teachers understanding and use of learning progressions. 

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school's response is effective and enabling almost all children at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes to make accelerated progress. Teachers are making effective use of assessment information to inform teaching and learning to raise student achievement. They effectively identify students requiring support and highlight their needs, strengths and interests. They respond by planning individual teaching programmes to address any gaps in the child's learning and use their strengths to support individual development. Teachers continue to build their knowledge and confidence to target teaching and learning. As a result, more students are making accelerated progress. Teachers know children well and have close relationships with their parents and whānau. Parents are well informed to support their child's learning at home.

Teachers and the teacher aide cater for diverse student learning needs, and they effectively support and accelerate the learning of children at risk of not achieving equitable outcomes in specified areas of the curriculum. This support is maximising children's learning experiences. The principal has recently developed and implemented systems to document the outcomes of interventions and support programmes for individual children. The next step is to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to accelerate student learning.

Teachers and the principal work collaboratively to track the ongoing progress of children whose learning needs acceleration. This information is reported regularly to trustees and used to inform decision making. The next step is to set specific charter targets that focus clearly on children whose learning needs acceleration. This should ensure that students at risk of underachieving are consistently prioritised.

In 2016, of the small number of children identified as at risk of underachieving all have made accelerated progress in reading, and almost all in writing. Mathematics continues to be an area for ongoing development.

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 curriculum is successfully enacting the school's vision, values and goals for equity and excellence. The curriculum has a clear focus on accelerating the progress of students who are achieving below expectations.

The board and school leaders undertook extensive consultation with children, parents, whānau, iwi and the wider community to review and develop the charter and school curriculum. They collated and analysed these perspectives to form the basis of the school's vision and values. These strongly reflect child and whānau aspirations for the future. In addition, leaders worked collaboratively with the Māori community to develop the 'Kinohaku Graduate Profile'. This document integrates the concepts and values of 'Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners'.

The school's identified next step is to develop and implement this curriculum outline. The curriculum should also be aligned to the Māori Action Plan and include a historical perspective, and sequential te reo and tikanga Māori programme. Embedding aspects of language, culture and identity promote Māori success, and reinforce the bicultural nature of Aotearoa for all children.

There is effective use of multi-level, and multi-group teaching and learning. Teachers provide opportunities for intensive focus work with individual children and in small groups. Effective teaching strategies ERO observed were:

  • rich oral language to increase children's vocabulary and grammatical knowledge
  • repetition to support memory and retention of learning
  • a strong focus on phonetics to increase reading fluency
  • specific praise and affirmation to build motivation, engagement and confidence
  • strategies that cater effectively to children's different learning styles.

Children are happy and settled, and have a wide range of opportunities to experience success.

There are good examples of evidence-based teacher reflection that effectively targets children who require additional support. This encourages teachers to inquire into their practice, evaluate the effectiveness of strategies used and modify their approach as required. The next step is to consistently implement this reflective and evaluative process.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Current strengths are:

  • trustees that are effectively focused on student learning, wellbeing, achievement and progress
  • leadership of learning that is successfully promoting equitable outcomes for all children
  • parents, whānau and the wider community who are actively involved in the curriculum, school activities and events.

The school recognises the need to better align school initiatives to focus more clearly on children at risk of underachieving. This includes aligning the teachers' inquiry and appraisal goals to clearly defined charter targets focused on children whose learning needs acceleration. The targets also need to be reflected in the Māori Action Plan to ensure continued success in achieving equitable outcomes for all children.

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

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

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the principal works with trustees, teachers and the school community to address the next steps identified by ERO. 

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

13 January 2017

About the school 


Kawhia Harbour

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

17 Boys 17 Girls

Ethnic composition





Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

13 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2013

July 2011

July 2009