Nawton School - 23/01/2020

School Context

Nawton School is located in north Hamilton. It caters for students from Years 1 to 6 in English medium, (Auraki) and partial immersion, (Reo Rua) classes and in Years 1 to 8 in full immersion, (Rūmaki) classes. The current roll is 533 and 70% are Māori. Many of these students whakapapa to Waikato Tainui, the local iwi and Ngāti Māhanga, the local hapū.

The school continues to promote the PRIDE values of perseverance/kawea, respect/whai koha, integrity/ngākau tapatahi, detachment/wehenga kētanga and excellence/hiranga within an holistic and modern learning environment designed to empower all students to succeed.

The school is led by an experienced principal and board chair. The board has both experienced and new trustees. Recent teacher professional development focussed on writing in the English medium and Reo Rua classes, and in reo-ā-waha in Rūmaki classes.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board on schoolwide information about student outcome information in the following areas:

  • pānui pukapuka, tuhituhi, reo-ā-waha, pāngarau
  • reading, writing, mathematics.

The school is part of the He Waka Eke Noa (NW Hamilton) Kāhui Ako.

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?

Rūmaki Classes.

The school is working towards achieving equitable outcomes for all students in the Rūmaki classes.

Most students are achieving at or above curriculum expectations in pānui pukapuka, reo-ā-waha tuhituhi and pāngarau in 2019.

There was significant improvement in overall achievement in pāngarau and some improvement in reo-ā-waha between 2017 and 2019. Overall achievement in pānui pukapuka and tuhituhi have remained at similar levels over time.

There is a significant disparity for boys in pānui pukapuka and tuhituhi in 2019. This pattern of achievement has been consistent over time in these two areas.

Auraki and Reo Rua Classes.

The school is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students in Auraki and Reo Rua classes.

A large majority of students were achieving at or above expectations in reading and writing and most in mathematics in 2018. These patterns of overall achievement have remained unchanged over time in all areas. There was significant improvement in the achievement of Māori and Pacific students in writing between 2016 and 2018 and some improvement in mathematics. There was a decline in Pākehā achievement in reading, writing and mathematics between 2016 and 2018.

A significant disparity in achievement for boys in relation to girls in reading and writing is an ongoing challenge for the school. Some disparity for boys remains in mathematics.

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


The school is accelerating the progress of the majority of Māori and other students who need this in pānui pukapuka and pāngarau but only some in tuhituhi and reo-ā-waha.

Data provided by the school during this external evaluation shows that in 2018 about two thirds of students at risk of not achieving made accelerated progress in pānui pukapuka and pāngarau. About one quarter made accelerated progress in tuhituhi and reo-ā-waha.

Auraki/Reo Rua.

The school is accelerating progress for some Māori and other students who need this in literacy and mathematics.

Data provided by the school during this external evaluation shows that in 2018 a little over a third of those students at risk of underachieving made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. There was significant improvement in rates of acceleration in writing between 2017 and 2018.

Students with special needs are well supported and there is evidence of progress in their learning.

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?

Leaders collaboratively develop and pursue the school’s vision and goals for equity and excellence. They encourage and promote a collegial and cooperative approach, where teachers work across instruction mediums to enrich programmes for students. Middle leaders provide strong ongoing support to teachers through coaching and mentoring and collaborative planning, assessment and moderation. They promote schoolwide consistency through regular planning checks and appraisal observations. Leaders have established and documented clear and consistent expectations to support teaching, learning and wellbeing, and they are strong advocates for students with additional needs.

The school works actively with parents, whānau and the wider community to ensure equitable opportunities for all. Trustees have established positive partnerships with the local iwi. They have formally adopted the Waikato Tainui Education Plan in order to work in partnership with the iwi. There are a range of ways that parents engage as partners in their children’s learning. Leaders proactively develop networks with wider community groups and utilise parent and whānau skills and knowledge to provide enriched curriculum opportunities for students.

Students are active participants in an inclusive learning environment. Relationships between teachers and students support and affirm learning. Teachers share responsibility for each student’s wellbeing. They understand students’ family circumstances and pastoral needs and respond effectively to the impact this has on learning. Processes and systems to promote positive behaviour have been evaluated and strengthened. There are well articulated protocols that promote a strong sense of belonging including pōwhiri at the beginning of each term for new students, regular recitation of pepehā in classrooms and strong support for transition to school, between classes and out of school. Māori students’ language, culture and identity is strongly supported. Tikanga Māori are highly visible and normalised across the school and in many classrooms. Classroom programmes feature high levels of Māori context, content and perspective including Tiriti o Waitangi studies and local iwi history. The cultures of students of other ethnicities are also celebrated.

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

Strengthen the focus on accelerated progress at all class levels to improve equitable outcomes for at risk students by:

  • revising board targets to prioritise acceleration for all students at risk of underachieving
  • analysing and reporting on trends and patterns in rates of acceleration over time
  • reviewing how accelerated progress is measured, particularly when tracking progress over short time periods
  • strengthening the use of internal evaluation to more robustly identify and evaluate what is working and what needs improvement.

Develop the use of a common language of learning, for example, learning progressions, so that teachers, students and parents to can identify and respond to individual learning needs and take more responsibility for their own learning.

Further develop and document a cohesive local curriculum for the whole school that includes a sequential approach to local iwi history and traditions to ensure that the aspirations of all parts of the school community are reflected.

Urgently address the need for a sustainable approach to the teaching of English literacy to students in Rūmaki classes in order to properly prepare students for transition to secondary school and the world of work.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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 builds relational trust at every level to pursue the school’s vision of equity for all
  • partnerships with parents, whānau and the wider community that enrich classroom programmes
  • a settled and supportive school and classroom culture that promotes learning.

Next steps

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

  • systems and processes to support a more targeted approach to accelerating the progress of and outcomes for students at risk of not achieving
  • the use of progressions by teachers, students, parents and whānau to further empower students to take more responsibility for their own learning
  • the use of internal evaluation to identify and evaluate what is working and what needs improvement for students at risk of not achieving.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

23 January 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Rūmaki: Yrs 1 to 8, Reo Rua and Auraki: Yrs 1 to 6

School roll


Gender composition

Male 50%

Female 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 70%

NZ European/Pākehā 16%

Pacific 5%

Indian 3%

Other ethnic groups 6%

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 17 MME


Number of students in Level 3 MLE


Number of students in Level 5 MLE


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

23 January 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review March 2017

Education Review April 2012

Education Review February 2009