Ngaruawahia School - 11/12/2017

School Context

Ngāruawāhia School provides education for children in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 135 includes 128 Māori children, the majority of whom whakapapa to Tainui. The school is a provider of Year 7 and 8 technology programmes for students from surrounding contributing schools. Since the 2014 ERO review there have been changes to board membership, the leadership team and teaching staff. The recruitment of suitable teachers for this school’s context is an ongoing challenge for the board and leaders. The school continues to experience a high rate of transience and there has been some roll decline.

Teachers have participated in professional development focused on literacy and student assessment practice with external providers. The board is also undertaking training in governance.

The school’s child-centred vision is to work in partnership with whānau to promote learner success. This is underpinned by the whakatauki:

Kotahi to kohao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro ma, te miro pango, te miro whero. A muri I au kia mau ki te ture, ki te whakapono, ki te aroha.’

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

  • reading

  • writing

  • mathematics.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

Raising overall levels of achievement must be an ongoing focus for the board and school leaders.

The overall pattern of achievement from 2014 to 2016 has remained constant. Approximately half of all children are achieving at or above the national curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school’s 2016 data shows some gender disparity. While girls and boys achieve at similar levels in mathematics, boys are achieving at lower levels in reading and writing.

Students experience success in relation to the school’s valued outcomes in a range of sporting, cultural and leadership opportunities.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school’s response to accelerating the achievement of at-risk Māori and other learners needs strengthening.

Mid-year data (2017) indicates that in reading, approximately half of Māori and other students achieving below expected levels, made accelerated progress. The proportion of students making accelerated progress in writing and mathematics was slightly lower.

The development of more specific and measureable targets would enable leaders to more effectively monitor and report the rates of progress for at-risk learners.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The principal provides well-informed professional leadership. Clear expectations guide the work of teachers in planning and assessment. The principal has introduced a useful process that supports teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of their practice in accelerating the progress of at-risk students.

The curriculum is culturally responsive. It supports the unique place of Kingitanga and Turangawaewae in children’s lives and learning. Children demonstrate pride in their identity and confidence to participate in the life of the school.

The school makes good provision for students with special needs. Teachers access specialist services for children with learning and behavioural needs. Parents and whānau are involved in the development and implementation of individual education plans (IEPs). There is ongoing monitoring of children’s progress in relation to IEPs. This responsive and well planned approach is contributing to the confidence of these children and their ability to access the curriculum.

The board is committed to improving educational outcomes for all children. The principal keeps trustees well informed about levels of achievement. Trustees are becoming increasingly confident to question and understand school data. They engage in ongoing professional learning and development to strengthen their understanding of governance responsibilities.

The school has made good progress in responding to areas for development in the 2014 ERO report.

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

Establishing stability within the teaching team remains a priority for the board and principal. The current staffing situation is impacting on the time available for the principal to lead learning across the school.

Consolidating and embedding effective teaching practice in literacy and mathematics is essential, particularly as new teachers are brought into the team. Careful consideration must now be given to:

  • the use of assessment information to more specifically guide planning and teaching

  • embedding the newly implemented appraisal process to enable teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice

  • strengthening the role of parents in supporting their children’s learning.

Targeted action to raise achievement requires further development. Trustees need to set specific and measureable targets for the number of students whose learning requires acceleration.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • professional leadership that provides clear direction for learning and teaching

  • culturally responsive curriculum that values Māori students language, culture and identity.

Next steps

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

  • school-wide professional learning and development to build teacher capability

  • growing leadership for learning to enable all teaching staff to teach effectively in this school’s context

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]

  • internal evaluation processes and practices

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

11 December 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 93%
Pākehā 6%
Pacific 1%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

11 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2014
Education Review October 2011
Education Review October 2008