Norfolk School - 22/08/2018

School Context

Norfolk School near Inglewood provides education within a rural environment for children in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this ERO review, there were 154 on the roll, 36 of whom identified as Māori.

The vision defined by the school is that: Together we achieve our potential. School values to support the vision are: respect, compassion, honesty, pride, responsibility and integrity.

Current priorities for student outcomes include: accelerating learning in numeracy and literacy; and fostering children’s wellbeing.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for children in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of the New Zealand Curriculum

  • progress in reading, writing and mathematics for those children below curriculum expectation.

Since the March 2014 ERO report, a new principal and some members of the senior leadership team have been appointed. Whole staff professional learning is concentrated on writing, mathematics and developing a broad-based curriculum that effectively supports learners.

The school is part of the Kāhui Ako o te Kohanga Moa (Inglewood 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?

The school’s achievement information shows that most children achieve at or above curriculum expectation. Achievement is higher in reading than in writing and mathematics. Overall reading outcomes have remained stable over the past three years. Writing and mathematics have decreased.

As a group, Māori generally achieve at least as well as their non-Māori peers. Female and male achievement overall is usually similar. A decline in mathematics data for girls in 2017 has created disparity compared to boys.

Year 8 literacy achievement is consistently high. The decline in mathematics at this year level since 2016 needs to be addressed.

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

The school’s achievement information from 2017 indicates the majority of students below curriculum expectation accelerated their progress by more than one year. A higher proportion of children made accelerated progress in reading and writing than in mathematics. This includes Māori learners.

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?

Well-developed school processes work together in a coherent way to effectively support positive wellbeing and achievement outcomes for children.

A collaborative approach to supporting wellbeing and learning of children is promoted by leaders. Teaching and learning is characterised by respect and teamwork that promotes enthusiastic involvement of learners. Children are aware of their own learning needs, establish goals to support these and track their progress towards achieving them.

The broad curriculum provides authentic contexts that develop skills, knowledge and dispositions that prepare children for future learning. The growing focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) provides additional opportunities for child-centred inquiry. High interest activities include regular reference to the natural environment, local area and sustainability.

Teaching effectively promotes learning. Children who require acceleration are identified from reference to a range of achievement information. Well-considered strategies focus on the specific needs of individual learners. Teachers regularly reflect on children’s progress and the impact of the strategies they use. Regular use of digital learning promotes learner choice and selfmanagement, and links learning to outside the school.

The bi-cultural curriculum has been strengthened. Increased opportunities support Māori students to develop their culture, language and identity. Te ao Māori and the local area are integral parts of the curriculum and physical surroundings. Tikanga is incorporated into routines and occasions. Regular sharing of information and consultation with whānau is promoted and contributes to broadening learning opportunities.

Connections involving the school and wider community extend and enrich student learning. Children share their learning through conferences and digitally with parents and whānau. Building partnerships with local early learning services and schools as part of the Kāhui Ako effectively supports whānau, students and teachers in the process of transition.

Additional needs of children are identified and responded to through relevant interventions and a range of internal and external supports. Priority students in reading, writing and mathematics are clearly identified in teachers’ planning, assessment and monitoring. Specific plans are developed for children with more complex needs, within an inclusive and supportive environment. Goals are linked to social, behavioural and learning needs. Children’s progress is regularly monitored.

A strong focus by leaders on increasing teacher capability through collaboration, inquiry and professional learning supports curriculum development and improving learner outcomes. Knowledge building, improvement and innovation that align to schoolwide priorities are promoted. High quality coaching conversations about teaching practice are a feature of the appropriate appraisal process.

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

Systematic inquiry into the effectiveness of actions and interventions to improve achievement and progress in mathematics for individuals and specific groups below expectation, is necessary to identify priorities for improvement. This should enable the planned teacher professional learning in mathematics to be more focused on the specific needs of those learners requiring acceleration.

The curriculum delivery plan that supports classroom teaching and learning is being updated. It needs to provide clarity for across-school practices and support sustainability. Leaders and teachers should continue to review and revise the plan to ensure the expectations and guidelines for teaching, learning and assessment include documentation of:

  • the future-focused curriculum being developed and implemented
  • the range of good classroom practices currently supporting learner engagement, achievement and progress
  • guidelines for making dependable judgements about achievement, progress and acceleration, particularly in literacy and mathematics
  • best practice from professional learning and the various collaborations with other education providers.

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:

  • collaboration at all levels of the school that ensures a shared responsibility for promoting positive wellbeing and successful outcomes for children
  • the espoused curriculum and teaching that effectively promotes children’s involvement, authentic learning and progress
  • well-considered support for individual children with additional and complex needs that allows greater opportunity for all learners to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes
  • a shared commitment by teachers to extending their capability to enable better support for children’s learning and wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • revising the curriculum delivery plan to ensure consistent implementation of high quality practices
  • inquiry into mathematics teaching and learning to ensure greater acceleration of progress for some children
  • understanding of measures for progress and acceleration to assist evaluation of the impact of teaching and interventions for children achieving below curriculum expectation.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Central

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

22 August 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full (Years 1 to 8)Primary

School roll


Gender composition

Male 58%, Female 42%

Ethnic composition

Māori 23%
Pākehā 73%
Other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

22 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review March 2014
Education Review June 2009
Education Review May 2006