Mapua School - 10/09/2015


Students at Mapua School benefit from the very strong community links, wide range of stimulating learning programmes, and learning opportunities in the local environment. Achievement is high at the school and students are consistently encouraged to be all they can be. The board, leaders and staff actively promote inclusion and are very supportive of student wellbeing and progress. The school roll is continuing to grow.

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

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Mapua School has a long history in education and plays a central role in its local, semi-rural area. Strong and vibrant links with the community promote a wide variety of creative and rich learning opportunities for students. This includes the use of local expertise that enables extensive and meaningful involvement of students in the preservation of the local environment.

The school’s parent teacher association provides valued assistance for the school in the form of practical support and funding for resources.

Changes since the 2012 ERO review include the restructuring of a new senior leadership team and a number of building redevelopments. These include new classrooms that have a focus on modern learning practices. The board has been proactive in managing the school’s continuing roll growth since that time.

The school is involved in school clusters that are focused on continuous improvement in learning and achievement. Information gathered during this review shows that the school has responded well to the areas identified for improvement in the 2012 ERO report.

2. Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school is making very good progress in using achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Teachers and senior leaders use achievement information very effectively to make decisions about teaching practices and learning programmes. This is particularly evident in the way they use this information to:

  • identify and respond to students’ learning needs
  • closely monitor the progress of all students, especially those at risk of poor performance
  • provide targeted support for students with identified learning needs, including well-established enrichment programmes
  • provide the board with useful information for their decision making.

Achievement information for 2014 shows very good achievement against the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This data shows that achievement across the school is highest in reading. Teachers told ERO that the board’s deliberate decision to keep class numbers lower is contributing to positive learning outcomes for students.

Students are well engaged in their learning. They set goals for their learning and discuss their progress and achievement with their teachers and parents. Teachers are highly supportive of students’ learning needs and are flexible and respectful about ways of meeting these needs. They keep parents well informed about students’ progress, achievement and wellbeing.

The school celebrates student successes in many ways. This contributes to the development of confident and articulate students who are positive about learning and achievement.

Areas for review and development

School leaders agree that it is now timely to further refine targets to strengthen the specific focus on students at risk, and ensure that targets are appropriately challenging for all groups. They should also continue to extend assessment practices to further improve overall teacher judgement and moderation processes.

3. Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

Students have broad and stimulating learning experiences within and beyond the school. This promotes knowledge building, skill development and learning enjoyment in class programmes and school activities. The wider environment is used extensively to build students’ engagement and motivation to learn. Community members provide many interesting and creative learning opportunities for students.

Students benefit from programmes that are responsive to their interests and needs. A good example of this is the way teachers have had an integrated and interesting focus on the school’s history in preparation for centenary celebrations. In leadership and other roles, students contribute their ideas and suggestions for school improvement, and provide a range of service to the community.

The school promotes student wellbeing and sustains an environment where inclusion and school values are prioritised and encouraged. High expectations are maintained by leaders, staff and the community.

Transitions into and out of the school are well supported.

Area for review and development

A comprehensive review of the curriculum is underway and has involved useful levels of consultation and collaboration. School leaders are aware that their next step is to complete this review and ensure that they:

  • identify and document the uniqueness of the Mapua School curriculum
  • include definitions of a successful Mapua School learner in the 21st century
  • embed bicultural perspectives across the curriculum
  • include all strands of mathematics in the curriculum
  • ensure that there is a planned approach to careers education

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school is making noticeable progress with promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori. The Māori culture is valued, visible and actively promoted across the school. Māori students achieve at a level similar to their peers.

Students have ongoing opportunities to learn and hear te reo Māori and participate in cultural events. The highly creative school celebration of Matariki is growing in its importance for both school and community.

School leaders provide whānau hui for Māori parents to contribute their ideas and suggestions.

Area for review and development

A more planned approach to identifying priorities and goals for the development of success as Māori will strengthen the progress being made in this area. An annual review and report to the board about progress against these goals should further strengthen the progress being made.

4. Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The strongly-shared vision, high expectations, and commitment of the board, leaders, teachers and community make this school very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Students are consistently at the heart of decision-making, planning and review processes.

The board is well led and governance roles and responsibilities are clearly understood. Trustees bring a good range of expertise to their roles and understand well the differences between governance and management. The board’s positive relationships with senior leaders, staff and the community help to support positive outcomes for students and the school. Trustees are proactive about their planning for, and management of, future-focused developments that will benefit students and the community. Ongoing training is recommended so that trustees continue to develop their capacity and effectiveness in governing the school.

The school’s strong senior leadership team is ably led by the principal who is an active and effective role model for students and staff. The principal and senior leaders have a sustained focus on school-wide and learning improvement. One of the strengths of the senior leadership team is the way staff abilities are valued and used. Senior leaders encourage teachers and students to share their opinions and assume leadership roles. This is contributing to a positive, open and transparent school culture.

A range of consultation, including the use of external expertise, is used in the development of the school’s strategic planning and goal-setting processes. Teacher appraisal has been considerably strengthened since the 2012 ERO review. Well-considered and targeted professional learning programmes for staff are contributing to the very good teaching practice that is evident across the school.

The school has a reflective culture and leaders have undertaken useful internal evaluation since the 2012 ERO review. This is helping to identify effective practice as well as areas that need ongoing improvement. Pastoral care of student wellbeing includes a strongly-shared focus on supporting students, staff and parents. The board, senior leadership team, staff and students have a noticeable sense of pride in their school.

Areas for review and development

School leaders agree with ERO that it is now time to formalise self-review procedures and processes. This should include a more formal evaluation of the effectiveness of board performance in its stewardship role, and the effectiveness of senior leadership as a team.

Reporting to the board more fully about progress against the school’s strategic goals would increase effectiveness in this area. Senior leaders should consider ways of reporting more regularly to the board about progress and achievement in curriculum areas other than literacy and mathematics.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the code. ERO's investigations confirmed that the school's self-review process for international students meets requirements.

There were three international students attending the school at the time of the onsite stage of the review.

The school has met the annual review requirements. Staff keep very good documentation records of students’ progress and wellbeing over their time at the school.

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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


Students at Mapua School benefit from the very strong community links, wide range of stimulating learning programmes, and learning opportunities in the local environment. Achievement is high at the school and students are consistently encouraged to be all they can be. The board, leaders and staff actively promote inclusion and are very supportive of student wellbeing and progress. The school roll is continuing to grow.

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

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

10 September 2015

About the School


Mapua, Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Girls 49%;

Boys 51%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnicities




Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

10 September 2015

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2012

February 2009

July 2005