Naenae College - 16/11/2016


Naenae College makes a positive difference to students' achievement as they progress through the school. The curriculum reflects the needs, interests and aspirations of students and the community. The college is well led and soundly governed. Strengthening internal evaluation should further add to the college's knowledge about the effectiveness of its curriculum.

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

1 Context

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

Naenae College is a co-educational secondary school in Lower Hutt for students in Years 9 to 13. Of the 711 students enrolled, 31% are Māori and 24% Pacific. The college currently enrols 30 adult education students, 20 students in an alternative education programme and 20 in a service academy.

‘Big Picture Schooling’ is the overarching concept developed to articulate the college's curriculum. Three concepts underpin this vision linked to the head, heart and hands, encompassing achievement, shared values and contribution. The college demonstrates an inclusive and open environment underpinned by positive and reciprocal relationships.

The college is involved in a Ministry of Education initiative aimed at Māori enjoying and achieving success as Māori. Kia Eke Panuku is in its third year of implementation and is focused on building culturally responsive curriculum, leadership and teacher practice.

The final phase of Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) was concluded at the end of 2015. The principles of this initiative are demonstrated through the college's shared values.

Since the 2013 ERO review, there have been changes in staffing at senior leadership and governance level.

2 Learning

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

The achievement profile for students on entry at Year 9 shows many require their progress to be accelerated to meet curriculum level expectations. Data gathered overtime shows the school makes a positive contribution to students’ achievement.

Between 2012 and 2014 the proportion of students achieving National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), Level 2 reflected results for similar schools nationally. Qualifications gained by Pacific students have steadily increased at NCEA Levels 1 and 2. As a priority, leaders, teachers and trustees continue to focus on raising the retention rates and qualifications of Māori students.

NCEA achievement declined in 2015 compared to previous years. The college has investigated the reasons for this, especially at NCEA Level 1, and implemented mentoring strategies to strengthen the achievement of students in Year 12.

Schoolwide achievement targets align to the national education priority for students to attain a minimum of NCEA Level 2. Leaders intend to develop greater alignment between the college's strategic priorities, annual planning and achievement targets. Setting achievement targets in curriculum faculties is a useful consideration. This should provide a basis to target the achievement of priority learners and strengthen evaluation.

Learning Advisory Roopu classes are a feature of the school day. In these classes students receive mentoring and guidance, and the college values are promoted. Learning advisory teachers establish vital links with parents, families and whānau.

Leaders recognise the importance of the learning advisory role in promoting positive outcomes for students, parents, whānau and families. In 2016, they have identified the need to strengthen the consistency of the learning advisory programme. Evaluating the impact of this initiative to gain a greater understanding of effective practice should further enhance the learning advisory role of teachers.

Parents, families and whānau receive useful information to support their knowledge of their child’s achievement. Written reports, access to digital information and learning conferences are supporting a shared understanding of student achievement, progress and participation at school.

Trustees receive useful information throughout the year to support their understanding of the college's priorities. Achievement, attendance and operational information is reported to the board with commentary highlighting important features. Information is appropriate in establishing college priorities and reviewing progress toward identified goals.

3 Curriculum

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

The design of the Naenae College curriculum is well considered and reflects the diverse needs, interests and aspirations of students.

Students participate in a variety of academic, creative and practical subjects. The junior curriculum appropriately prioritises literacy and numeracy. A wide range of language options, including te reo Māori and Samoan is available to students from Year 9 to Year 13.

Project-based inquiry learning, introduced first at Year 9, has shown a positive impact on teaching and student engagement. Students investigate a learning area of interest to them for up to five weeks in one term during the year. The aim is to facilitate students' active involvement in learning. Information is gathered for leaders and teachers to reflect on outcomes and consider future design of the programme. Recognising the benefits to student learning, the project-based approach has been extended to Year 10 students in 2016.

Students receive appropriate access to health services, guidance and careers information. Useful links with community networks ensure a comprehensive response to addressing needs. Pastoral and guidance staff effectively monitor the needs of individuals. Career information is well aligned to students' pathways and aspirations.

Student leadership is valued and promoted. Individuals actively undertake leadership roles and are able to give their views about many aspects of school operation. Information from students shows they feel positive about their school.

Improving student attendance is an ongoing priority for the college. Attendance is appropriately tracked, monitored and reported. The link between attendance and achievement is reinforced. The design of the curriculum, extensive pastoral systems, and other initiatives promote positive relationships with parents, whānau and students to support regular attendance.

School leaders know teachers strengths and the areas of practice that require development. Staff have developed clear expectations for teaching and learning. Generally, teachers develop purposeful relationships with students, encouraging a positive tone in the classroom. In many classes, teachers use a range of considered strategies to promote students' engagement in learning. Developing consistency of practice is ongoing and priorities are well aligned to the focus of professional learning and development.

Expectations for teacher appraisal are comprehensive and clearly documented. Appropriate links are made to the Practising Teacher Criteria and teachers are encouraged to reflect on their practice. Aspects likely to strengthen the implementation of the appraisal process include:

  • continuing to develop the quality of engagement in professional learning conversations between teachers, linked to school expectations about effective practice
  • strengthening teachers’ goal setting, and linking student achievement targets to the strategies teachers will use to add value to student learning and engagement.

School leaders are seeking to build teacher’s capability to inquire effectively into their practice. Some teachers and faculties have begun exploring this process and will be useful models as this practice is strengthened across the school.

Pacific students’ cultures, languages and identities are valued, acknowledged and celebrated. Leaders reflect on the curriculum provision of Pacific learners and promote partnerships with Pacific families and communities.

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

Naenae College leaders, trustees and staff show a commitment to strengthening outcomes for Māori students and their whānau.

Shared values promote an inclusive environment and encourage a strong sense of belonging for Māori learners. Their achievement, effort and participation are acknowledged and shared.

Kia Eke Panuku is in the third year of implementation. Leadership of this initiative is inclusive of staff across the college. The college purposefully reviews outcomes from this initiative to determine improved practice and establish next steps for implementation.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Naenae College is well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance through its:

  • clear operational governance structure, representative of the school and wider community
  • inclusive leadership practice which is focused on achieving the college's and community’s collective vision for student success
  • reflective and collaborative teaching and support staff
  • responsive pastoral care and guidance systems which promote student wellbeing
  • collaborative partnerships with local schools and community networks, including participation in a recently developed Community of Learning
  • initiatives designed to increase the involvement of parents and whānau in their child’s learning.

Naenae College has developed comprehensive guidelines, establishing priorities and providing clear expectations to support curriculum delivery. Frameworks promoting review and evaluation at the classroom and faculty level are established. These foundations provide a good basis to collectively strengthen evaluation knowledge and capability across the college.

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.


Naenae College makes a positive difference to students' achievement as they progress through the school. The curriculum reflects the needs, interests and aspirations of students and the community. The college is well led and soundly governed. Strengthening internal evaluation should further add to the college's knowledge about the effectiveness of its curriculum.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

16 November 2016

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition





Other ethnic groups






Special features

Special Needs Unit Adult ESOL Service Academy Alternative Education Centre

Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

16 November 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2013

November 2010

September 2007