Kohimarama School - 08/11/2018

School Context

Kohimarama School in Auckland caters for children in Years 1 to 8. There are currently 510 children enrolled, with Māori making up two percent of the roll. A small number of children have Pacific heritage. The roll also includes five percent Chinese, five percent other European, four percent Australian and smaller groups from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds.

The school’s aim is ‘to produce empowered, connected learners committed to our future’ and this supports the school vision, mission, values and motto. In addition, the school wants to instil in learners a passion for life-long learning and contributing positively to society. The current strategic direction and priorities support the school to achieve these high quality outcomes for learners.

Leaders and teachers focus on building children’s ability to make choices in their learning and to be self-organising, proactive, self-reflective and assessment capable. The 2018 schoolwide focus has been on ‘student-led learning’ and a digital learning tool has been adopted to support this focus.

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

  • curriculum and extra curriculum areas that align to the school strategic goals

  • collated information about achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • achievement data that compares cohorts of learners

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets

  • wellbeing and success for learners

  • progress for learners with additional learning needs

  • teaching and learning strategies relating to professional learning and development (PLD).

Since the last 2014 ERO review, the board has successfully managed the appointment of a new principal and deputy principal. Staff have also participated in PLD that aligns to the school’s strategic direction.

The school is part of the Te Roopu Pourewa Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL) which is currently exploring ways to strengthen student-led learning and agency.

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 highly effective at achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all of its learners.

School data show that overall achievement has been persistently high since 2014. Almost all children achieve at the appropriate New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels in reading and mathematics. Māori and Pacific learners, and boys and girls, are achieving at similar levels in reading and mathematics.

Over the last four years most students have achieved at the expected NZC levels in writing. School leaders have effectively addressed some disparity in writing achievement evident between boys and girls in 2018.

Children achieve very well in relation to other valued outcomes. Most learners:

  • can demonstrate and talk about the school’s values and dispositions known as the ‘Kohimarama Way’
  • are independent and highly engaged
  • are confident to talk about their learning
  • are respectful of themselves and others
  • have a strong sense of pride in the school.

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

The school is extremely effective in accelerating learning for those learners who need this.

The board, leaders and teachers are highly responsive to learners who would benefit from having their progress accelerated. The board ensures that the resources are available, and leaders and teachers provide individualised strategies to support learner development.

Leaders and teachers very effectively monitor and track learner progress and use this information for decision making to support accelerated development. Children benefit from extensive interventions and programmes designed to help them access the curriculum and accelerate their progress. This includes support for those who are learning English as an additional language.

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?

The board positively contributes to creating school conditions to achieve equity and excellence. The board’s stewardship encompasses both accountability and improvement functions. Trustees work strategically and collaboratively with school leaders and together they use internal evaluation very well to support ongoing school improvement.

Effective school leadership purposefully aligns resourcing and strategies to achieve improvement goals. Leaders are systematic and coherent in their approaches to developing and pursuing school goals, vision and targets for equity and excellence. They lead a strong commitment to ongoing improvement through reflection and review.

Leaders and teachers access relevant internal and external expertise to build their capability for ongoing improvement and innovation. Teachers inquire into the effectiveness of their own practice, set high expectations for learners and use novel approaches to promote favourable learning outcomes for all students.

The school’s organisational culture promotes purposeful and focused inquiry, knowledge building and evaluation. Leaders and teachers value the voice and perspectives of children and the community, and incorporate these into school priorities for inquiry. Effective communication across the school supports the sharing of new knowledge in ways that promote improvement and innovation.

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

ERO affirms the school’s development priorities to promote equity and excellence by sustaining and building on existing good practices.

Leaders and teachers plan to further embed student-led learning across the curriculum. They are exploring innovative teaching and learning strategies designed to enhance children’s understanding about how they learn so that they can shape and develop their own programmes.

Leaders and teachers also plan to enhance the integration and linking of all curriculum areas schoolwide. This includes enhancing children’s access to an engaging curriculum that continues to extend and enrich their thinking and problem solving capabilities.

Leaders have identified the need to interweave deeper cultural understanding and engagement across the school community. This would complement school practices that are currently in place.

As part of promoting a culture of trust, creativity and innovation teachers are exploring ways to further embed innovative learning environments.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were no exchange students, but there were two international students attending the school.

International students experience an inclusive school culture and opportunities to participate in a broad school curriculum.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • high academic achievement in reading, writing and mathematics that is sustained over time

  • leadership that fosters and promotes a professional learning community

  • a school culture of collaboration and high expectations among leaders, teachers and parents/whānau that promotes challenge and innovation.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening and embedding bicultural practice to better acknowledge the dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand

  • continuing to build children’s understanding of their own learning to help them make decisions and plan for their next learning steps

  • continuing to use a variety of evaluation approaches that gather the diverse voices of the learning community and connect this to the school’s strategic direction.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 November 2018

About the school


Kohimarama, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 2%
Pākehā 70%
Chinese 5%
Australian 4%
other European 5%
other ethnic groups 14%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

8 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2014
Education Review May 2011
Education Review February 2008