Moerewa School - 30/08/2018

School Context

Moerewa School caters for 148 learners in Years 1 to 10, 98% of whom are Māori. The school has two te reo Māori immersion classes in Whānau Kōpūnui, and six mainstream classes.

The school’s vision and whakataukī describe a supportive and responsive community where students, staff and parents work together. The vision is to develop lifelong learners who will strive for excellence and to encourage students’ individuality and creativity. It is underpinned by school values, which include respect, responsibility, integrity and curiosity. The school’s key aims include honouring the status of Māori as tangata whenua and acknowledging Ngāti Hinetanga. Te reo me onā tikanga Māori are protected in school policies.

The principal regularly reports schoolwide achievement information about outcomes for students in reading, writing and mathematics, to the board. A 2018 target is to accelerate achievement in writing for all students.

Since ERO’s 2015 evaluation leaders and teachers have participated in professional learning and development in leadership and assessment. There have been changes in teachers and whānau leaders. The board has not been successful in appointing a deputy principal. The school manages a high level of student transience.

The school is part of the Pewhairangi Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL).

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 has significant work to do to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

Achievement information over a few years, shows that slightly less than half of the students achieve at expected curriculum levels in reading and mathematics. Achievement results in writing are lower than in reading and mathematics. These results have been generally consistent over time.

School achievement information between 2015 and 2016 shows good increases in writing and mathematics with a significant shift in reading. However, in 2017 these achievement gains were not maintained or improved on. 2017 information shows that a few students achieve at expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics.

Whānau Kōpūnui use Māori assessment tools, which show that a large majority of learners achieve at expected levels in pānui and about half of students in tuhituhi and pangarau. Achievement information over time in this area is similar to that of the rest of the school.

At the time of this evaluation there was an absence of well-developed processes for tracking and monitoring of student achievement. The board should give closer scrutiny to the achievement and outcomes for learners in Years 9 and 10.

The school’s and board’s commitment to supporting a large number of students with additional learning needs is an ongoing focus. Some students from this group receive additional funding and individual education plans are developed with whānau to support them as learners.

Students achieve well in relation to other school valued outcomes. Most students:

  • demonstrate concepts of aroha, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga with each other

  • have a strong sense of their cultural identity and enjoy learning te reo Māori

  • value the leadership opportunities that help them to succeed as Māori

  • have a strong sense of belonging at school.

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

The school is beginning to build its capability and capacity to accelerate learning for Māori and other students who need this.

Whānau Kōpūnui provides very good opportunities for students to learn through te ao Māori, as Māori. Students benefit from hearing high levels of spoken te reo Māori. Many students within this learning environment demonstrate competence and confidence as speakers of te reo.

The principal and staff work collaboratively with whānau and a range of external agencies to provide appropriate support for the various learning needs of these children. School documentation such as the Unrealised Potential Students (UPS) register provides a plan to monitor learner progress and wellbeing.

Specific initiatives that focus on the acceleration of learning include:

  • the board generously resourcing classrooms with pouwhirinaki (teacher aides) who work alongside students with additional needs
  • a targeted learning support programme in reading
  • re-establishing the previously successful experiential classroom to support children’s social and developmental skills.

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 school is in the early stages of developing effective processes and practices.

The principal and staff are focusing on strengthening programmes that support students to succeed as Māori. Students have good leadership roles as participants in school taumata practices. Students are proud of these roles and comment that they enjoy learning te reo Māori. Some students are able to successfully retell the stories of Ngāti Hine.

The board promotes a safe and inclusive learning environment. Positive behaviour and learning methods have strengthened over time. Cultural concepts such as whanaungatanga are reinforced at whole school assemblies and the daily classroom practice of taumata. These approaches contribute to settled classrooms and a positive school culture.

The board, school leaders and staff are successfully building strong relationships and connections with their community, including the local marae, parents and whānau. Seeking community input is a priority for the board. School events, such as whānau hui, proactively draw whānau into the school. The school and wider community are proud of the community gardens at the front of the school. This was a highly positive initiative.

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

The board actively represents and serves the school community. Trustees bring a range of professional and life experience to their roles. They have adopted a ten year strategic plan that they should now review and re-work into a more manageable plan. Seeking specific professional support to design a meaningful plan is critical to enacting the board’s goals and targets, and the aspirations of the school and wider community.

School information shows limited success in meeting the board’s achievement targets for reading, writing and mathematics. More clearly measurable targets are needed, as well as the planned actions required for those groups of students at risk of not achieving. Evaluating the outcome of these actions would help the board with further resourcing decisions.

Developing the roles and responsibilities of school leaders is a priority for moving the school forward. Leaders have individual plans to guide them in this process. They should establish and make known to teachers, clear and consistent expectations to support and improve teaching and learning.

The school does not have a coherent documented curriculum that aligns to The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. Such a curriculum should set clear expectations of teachers to develop learning programmes and effective assessment processes. In this way, these guidelines would help teachers to better respond to students’ individual interests, needs and strengths.

The board, leaders and teachers have yet to formalise internal evaluation and professional inquiry processes. It would be useful to explore current educational research and implement practices that will improve inquiry and evaluation, and strengthen the appraisal process. These practices should enhance understandings about what works and makes the most difference for learners.

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.

Appraisal audit

Current appraisal processes do not meet the expectations of the Education Council. School leaders should seek professional support to review and improve performance appraisal procedures and practices.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to:

  • student access to a curriculum that provides breadth and depth of learning related to the needs, abilities and interests of students in Years 1 to 10 and the scope of The National Curriculum
    The New Zealand CurriculumandTe Marautanga o Aotearoa
    National AdministrationGuideline 1: 2, 9, 10, 11
  • adopting a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community
    Education Act 1989, s60B
  • ensuring good quality assessment information that identifies and monitors students and groups of students who are not achieving or at risk of not achieving and those learners who have specific educational needs
    National Administration Guideline 1: 3, 4, 5
  • school appraisal processes meeting the Education Council legal requirements in accordance with current school policies and procedures
    State Sector Act 1988, s77C.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the board’s, leaders’ and teachers’ promotion of a safe and inclusive learning environment

  • a strong school identity that promotes various opportunities for students to enjoy success as Māori

  • successfully building strong relationships and connections with parents, whānau and the wider community.

Next steps

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

  • plans that will provide clear guidance for the board, leaders and teachers to move the school forward

  • evaluation and inquiry processes that will help the board, leaders and teachers to scrutinise the impact of what makes the most difference for learners.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the school seek support from the Ministry of Education in order to bring about improvements in:

  • developing and implementing a change and improvement plan to bring about accelerated learning for students at risk of not achieving

  • documenting a school curriculum for English medium and Māori medium classrooms

  • building school capability to enable significant change, through internal evaluation processes and practices that will be sustainable over time.

ERO recommends that the New Zealand School Trustees Association considers providing support for the board of trustees in order to bring about improvements in:

  • strategic and annual planning
  • reviewing the school’s policies and procedures.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing external evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

30 August 2018

About the school


Moerewa, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Composite (Years 1 to 10)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition



Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)


Number of students in Level 1 MME


Number of students in Level 2 MME


Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

30 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2015
February 2013
December 2009