Ohaeawai School - 25/09/2018

School Context

Ohaeawai School, situated east of Kaikohe, caters for 181 students in Years 1 to 6. Māori children make up 50 percent of the roll and a small number of children have Pacific heritage.

The school’s mission is for all students to become the best that they can be ‘Ko ahau anō te rangatira o tōku ao’. Local community members have carved seven Pou that represent the school values of respect, responsibility, reliability, caring, trustworthiness and honesty.

The board of trustees has high expectations for all students to become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners. They also set high targets for student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. They plan strategically to support students to become successful speakers, writers, and readers as well as competent users of mathematics in everyday life.

The school is a founding member of the Kaikohekohe Education Trust which comprises eight local schools whose purpose is to promote equity, raise achievement and offer opportunity for learners. The school is also a member of the Manaiakalani Outreach programme which has a strong focus on accelerating students’ academic achievement by applying the principles of “Learn, Create, Share”.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
  • accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics, particularly for priority students
  • participation, contribution and engagement across sporting, arts and cultural areas.

During January 2018 the school employed a new principal. She works collaboratively with the recently created senior leadership team. A new board chair leads a newly formed group of trustees.

Since the 2014 ERO report the board has created modern learning environments schoolwide. Chromebooks have been introduced to support learning for all Year 4 to Year 6 students. During 2016 Year 3 students were given the opportunity to begin using school funded Chromebooks. Year 1 and Year 2 students also have access to iPads.

The school has maintained the high quality of education provision, identified in the 2014 ERO report, by using very good teaching and learning practices within a positive school culture.

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 board of trustees and staff work collaboratively towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

School based and The Auckland University Woolf Fisher Research Centre (Woolf Fisher) information shows that there is parity in achievement in reading and mathematics between Māori and non-Māori, and between male and female students. However, there is a small but growing disparity in achievement outcomes evident between these groups, in writing. The board and principal are aware of the need to monitor this gap and continue to explore ways to close it.

Data for 2017 indicate that most students achieve at or above school expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. This indicates that the school is meeting the board’s strategic aims. Overall achievement results for reading, writing and mathematics have consistently remained at similar levels since 2014.

Māori students generally achieve at similar levels as all other students in most subjects. The very small number of Pacific students generally achieve as well as their non-Pacific peers.

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

The school defines acceleration in learning as students making more than one year’s progress over a year. There is clear evidence of priority students making accelerated gains.

Senior leaders and teachers are aware of the students who need to make accelerated progress. Teachers use appropriate school-based tests to identify target students and their learning needs. They closely monitor and track the progress of these students over the year and over their time at school.

Researchers at Woolf Fisher analyse nationally normed information for the school and it is differentiated by Year groups. This information contributes to the school’s knowledge of students’ progress and helps teachers to identify target groups.

Woolf Fisher information shows that groups of students, including target students, make accelerated progress over a year. It also demonstrates that the progress of cohorts of students is accelerated in the six years that they are at the school. Almost all students leave Ohaeawai School having reached levels of achievement appropriate for their age.

The board currently sets an overall target for the percentage of students they want to see achieving at or above expected levels. They should consider refining these targets to specify the shifts in achievement they wish to see for those groups of students who are achieving below expectations. The principal should then report to the board how well these priority groups of students are achieving in relation to these ‘shift’ targets.

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?

Teachers know students and whānau well. Positive community relationships and schoolwide strategies help to build students’ confidence and capability. The school’s emphasis on its values is evident in the environment and in the relationships within the school, and between the school, whānau and community. The board, teachers, parents and whānau work together well to support students to progress.

Teachers participate in professional learning and development (PLD) that is collaboratively identified within the school, and across the Kaikohekohe Education Trust. The PLD programme is strategic and enhances teachers’ shared understandings about current teaching and learning practices for the benefit of all students. The board’s performance management systems focus on enhancing teacher practice and student progress.

Teachers have an increasing focus on helping students to independently drive their own learning through the school’s localised and responsive curriculum. Teachers, students and parents all have opportunities to contribute to the curriculum. This is helping to ensure that programmes reflect students’ interests as well as local, current and global issues.

Māori students benefit from the deliberate focus on and commitment to developing bicultural practices at all levels of the school. Trustees and staff are committed to providing opportunities for Māori learners to succeed as Māori, and for all students to learn about the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Teachers ensure that the curriculum is accessible for all students and especially for those with additional learning needs. Students benefit from teacher aide support in their classrooms and teachers use external agency support when necessary.

The new leadership team is developing collaborative ways of working and is strategically focused on the future and student learning. They lead and monitor teachers’ practice to enhance outcomes for students.

New trustees make considered and measured decisions for ongoing school improvement. They are collaborative and seek trustee training. The board has implemented the strategic evaluation of school policies and supports teachers to inquire into the impact of their teaching practices. The board and teachers also informally review school initiatives. External consultants have evaluated and reported the impact of the school’s digital curriculum on students’ engagement and teacher practice.

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

The school has a variety of strategies to foster the achievement of equity and excellence and to accelerate students’ learning. More systematic evaluation of the effectiveness of these strategies in relation to improved outcomes for students is a next step for the school. It would be beneficial if leaders took the opportunity to develop their technical evaluation expertise.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • complete the two-yearly consultation on the health curriculum that has already begun

  • consolidate, sign and date school policies.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • collaborative and distributed leadership

  • the inclusive, future focused and accessible curriculum

  • schoolwide data analysis including information from Woolf Fisher tracking trends and patterns of acceleration over time

  • their relationships with local and wider educational communities.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in refining board achievement targets and building internal evaluation. While there is some internal evaluation at the management level, it is important for the board and senior managers to develop organisational capacity to systematically conduct and use internal evaluation for ongoing improvement and innovation.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

25 September 2018

About the school


Ohaeawai, Kaikohe

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

25 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2014
November 2009
November 2006