Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi School - 01/04/2019

School Context

Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi School is a rural contributing primary school (Years 1-6) near Hokitika in Westland. It has a roll of 41 students.

The school’s mission statement, ‘Intelligence plus Character’, is the essence of the school’s ‘Learn, Create, Share’ teaching and learning philosophy. The mission aspires to a quality, future-focused education in a caring rural environment, with an emphasis on literacy, numeracy and digital technologies immersion.

The school’s vision is to facilitate continuous improvement in skills and the environment. The vision aligns with quality learning to meet the unique needs of each child. The foundations for achieving the vision are the school values: Respect (Mana), Reciprocity (Ako), Resilience (Manawaroa), Resourcefulness (Ahuatanga), and Reflectiveness (Whaiwhakaaro).

Valued outcomes are for learners to ‘build learning power’ to progress and achieve, in a way that challenges them to become aware of learning behaviours, build learning habits and develop a powerful learning character.

Current strategic priorities are informed by the unique needs and identities of learners. The priorities are achievement, learning and character development, enhancing the future-focused curriculum and building effective, positive home-school relationships.

The school has made good progress in areas identified for improvement in the 2015 ERO report, including teacher appraisal, curriculum review, development of a Māori responsiveness plan and reporting student achievement.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • special/additional learning needs in relation to school targets
  • progress/accelerated progress in mathematics.

The school is committed to the Schooling Strategy goal of all students achieving their potential through the Manaiakalani Outreach programme, a 1:1 technology and digital immersion learning environment. It has also adopted the whole school initiative, Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L), to further support and manage learner behaviour.

The school is part of the Westland Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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 effectively supporting the majority of students to achieve the school’s valued equity and excellence outcomes.

School achievement information for the last two years shows that:

  • the majority of students achieve at or above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics
  • most students achieve at or above expected levels in reading, in 2017
  • there is disparity between boys’ and girls’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, with girls achieving higher in reading and writing in 2018.

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

The school has strengthened systems and processes to respond well to those students whose learning needs acceleration in literacy. Students with additional learning needs are identified, monitored and supported to make progress.

School achievement information for 2018 shows that the school has accelerated the progress of many Māori and priority groups of students whose learning is below expectations:

  • the majority made accelerated progress in writing
  • the majority made accelerated progress in reading.

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?

Capable, future-focused leaders and trustees work collaboratively to communicate and enact the vision, goals and valued outcomes for equity and excellence. Leaders are focused on a clear strategic vision for school improvement. This includes the alignment of teaching and learning philosophies with programmes of learning that are designed to meet the unique learning and wellbeing needs of all students.

Leaders regularly consult and communicate with the school community. They are very responsive to a range of formal and informal feedback to enhance equity and excellence. Greater emphasis is being placed on developing home-based learning support and learning-centred relationships with families/whānau. Links with the wider educational community are proactive and strong. Significant partnerships, expertise and resourcing are contributing to the ongoing achievement of the school’s valued outcomes.

Leaders and trustees identify, support and resource professional learning and development that is aligned with the school’s strategic goals and priorities. Strengthened teacher appraisal systems and processes, linked to teacher professional learning inquiries, are building the capability of teachers to support students’ progress and achievement. Professional leadership opportunities equip teachers with the skills to meet learning and wellbeing outcomes.

Improvement-focused practices are driving significant school initiatives for equity and excellence. The school utilises educational research to determine effective teaching and learning strategies to meet the learning and wellbeing needs of students. The implementation of specialist learning and wellbeing programmes is explicitly aligned to the school’s values, valued outcomes and strategic priorities.

The school has prioritised the development of a responsive and future-focused curriculum to meet all learner needs. Progress is supported by the school’s involvement in outreach and regional cluster initiatives. Curriculum integration and an emphasis on digital immersion technology learning strategies are encouraging students to personalise their learning and to collaborate and share with others. The wider curriculum is being strengthened by the school’s focus on cultural responsiveness, reflective practices and wellbeing programmes.

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

School leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that the school needs to continue to:

  • develop culturally responsive practices that support and enhance Māori students’ achievement and wellbeing
  • develop and enhance bicultural understandings and practices, as an ongoing commitment to te ao Māori
  • consolidate and embed all recent school improvement initiatives, including future-focused strategies, and use evaluative processes to achieve equity and excellence.

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.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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:

  • leadership that is collaborative and strategically focused to enact the school’s vision, values and valued outcomes
  • consultation and communication that is promoting learning-centred relationships with families/whānau, and prioritising strategies and resources to achieve equity and excellence
  • an integrated, future-focused curriculum that is designed to meet the unique learning and wellbeing needs of all children.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening culturally responsive practices that support Māori students’ achievement and wellbeing, including those students whose learning needs acceleration
  • enhancing bicultural understandings and practices, as an ongoing commitment to te ao Māori
  • consolidating, embedding and evaluating current improvement initiatives for equity and excellence.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Southern Region

1 April 2019

About the school


Hokitika, Westland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 27 ; Girls 14

Ethnic composition

Māori 6

Pākehā 27

Other ethnicities 8

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Review team on site

January 2019

Date of this report

1 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2015

Education Review May 2011

Education Review May 2008