Ngunguru School - 07/09/2017


Ngunguru School is situated on the Tutukaka Coast. The school has a roll of 268 students, mainly Pākehā, with 47 of these learners identifying as Māori. Significant roll growth has occurred since the 2014 ERO review resulting in a planned new building project.

School leaders have focused on high quality teaching and learning practice that makes a difference for children who are at risk of not achieving National Standards. Positive learning outcomes have been fostered by initiatives such as targeted strategic planning, learning partnerships with local iwi, effective professional development for teachers to embed acceleration approaches and the increasingly open inclusion of parents and whānau in children’s learning.

The previous 2014 ERO report identified that children’s ownership and responsibility for their learning required further development. Subsequently school leaders have continued to focus on embedding and sustaining meaningful student agency around learning. This has seen the development of effective collaborative approaches to learning where children learn effectively with their peers.

The school is a member of Ngā Kura Mo Te Ako o Whangarei|Kāhui Ako (CoL), one of eight schools across the Whangarei area. The CoL is at the very early stage of forming its ideas as a group.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is effectively achieving equitable outcomes for Māori, Pacific and other children. All students are experiencing the opportunities offered in the school’s localised curriculum for authentic and purposeful learning. By Year 6 the majority of children, including Māori learners, achieve at or above National Standards.

The board of trustees, principal and staff prioritise and resource individual learners who may be at risk of not achieving and view them as priority learners. The school has developed the capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children.

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school responds effectively for Māori and other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. Well-tailored and targeted professional learning for staff has supported teaching approaches that are making a significant difference for those children at risk of not achieving.

National Standards outcomes have been improving for priority learners over the past three years. Approximately 80 percent of all students achieve at or above the standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Parity for Māori learners’ achievement has been increasing rapidly and there is a sustained upward trajectory evident.

Teachers place value on knowing their learners, their families and whānau. This has led to responsive and positive learning relationships to support children and their engagement with learning.

Staff are increasingly skilful in sharing and refining acceleration strategies and approaches that make a difference for children’s individual learning success. Target students and groups are identified quickly both at the beginning of and throughout the year.

School leaders and teachers analyse and evaluate progress and achievement data which focuses on pockets of disparity across the different year groups. Teachers go on to evaluate their planning and outcomes around these priority learners through their own teaching as inquiry focus.

Assessment and moderation processes are sound. Systems have been refined frequently through good evaluation practice both at teacher level and from school leaders.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school’s processes that enable achievement of equity and excellence are highly effective.

Learners are connected to the curriculum programmes that are inclusive and designed to enable all children to participate and contribute. Focus on individual children’s strengths and needs deepens the learning further. Learning activities are often “outside the four walls” of the classroom and at risk learners frequently engage more positively in these experiences in meaningful ways. All learners experience the curriculum through collaborative inquiry learning that is inclusive and challenging.

The Ngunguru school curriculum is highly aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum document. The foundation of the curriculum is literacy and mathematics that is increasingly integrated with the other learning areas.

The school’s curriculum is localised within the coastal environment and effectively connected to Ngati Wai perspectives in te ao Māori. Specialist bicultural teaching blends environmental science and te reo me ōna tikanga. Children’s learning moves from this local context to regional, national and global understandings. There are many specialist government, industry and local business partners involved in the curriculum who work with children in authentic contexts such as mapping the depletion of shellfish beds.

School leadership is distributed across the school where all teachers are viewed as leaders. This is promoting the continuing development of a collaborative teaching culture that is future-focused. The digital environment in the school supports and enhances engagement with learning for all students. Parents are becoming increasingly involved in learning through digital platforms that give them access to their children’s learning in real time.

The board of trustees is focused on rigorous evaluation of their stewardship processes and the strengthening of school systems to bring about parity for all learners. The school has a commitment to bicultural learning and Te Tiriti ō Waitangi`.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

There is evidence in the school of evaluative practice at all levels that has a relentless focus on the reduction of disparity. As a result school processes are modified, changed or put in place to overcome barriers to achieving equity and excellence for all learners.

ERO and school leaders agree that the growing open, collaborative learning environment has improved and encouraged higher levels of community confidence in the school.

The embedding of environmental and bicultural knowledge into the practice of all teachers, as well as specialist staff, is a priority for the school.

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

  • 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

7 September 2017

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 50%, Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā 64%

Māori 17%

Pasifika 4%

other European 9%

others 6%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

7 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2014

Education Review June 2012

Education Review June 2010