Ohuka School - 31/08/2018

School Context

Ohuka School is 50 kilometres north-west of Wairoa. It caters for students from Years 1 to 8. Students come from families who are involved in the agricultural sector. Currently seven students from Years 5 to 8 are attending.

The school’s stated vision is to empower children to become active, positive, critical thinkers and effective communicators. Students are encouraged to value integrity, respect, equity, diversity and resilience.

The charter targets focus on improving achievement for all students in reading, writing and mathematics.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in reading, writing and mathematics.

There has been continuity of staffing since the 2015 report.

The school is part of the Mata Nui o Kahungunu 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 is achieving positive outcomes for all students. Students are achieving at or above curriculum level expectations in reading and writing, with almost all in mathematics.

Since the previous report, achievement information has shown an upward trend.

The 2018 mid-year achievement data indicates that this pattern of achievement in reading and writing is likely to be sustained, with all students on track to be achieving expectation in mathematics.

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

Teachers know the students well. Targeted teaching is responsive to their individual needs. There is clear evidence of students making accelerated progress as a result of this.

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?

The school continues to be the heart of the community. Collaboration and a strong sense of community is highly evident across all levels of the school. It is a valued resource and is well supported by the local farming district.

Students experience a broad curriculum with a strong focus on literacy, mathematics and science. They access a wide range of authentic learning opportunities responsive to their interests and needs, within the school and wider community. The school’s participation with the West Wairoa Cluster of rural schools, provides regular opportunities for students to engage in social and cultural activities and build relationships with others.

Students learn in a purposeful environment where interactions between adults and students are positive and respectful. Students are enthusiastic participants in learning, work well together and support each other. They use digital technology effectively and are encouraged to be confident, independent and self-managing learners.

There is a sustained focus on each student achieving well. Teachers have high expectations for them to make progress and consolidate their learning. Teachers inquire into and use achievement information appropriately to inform teaching decisions. They effectively use a range of strategies and differentiated tasks to engage students and promote learning that is relevant and purposeful.

Trustees actively represent and serve the school and community in its stewardship role. They are well informed and clearly focused on student learning and wellbeing. New board members are well supported by experienced trustees.

Coherent organisational structures and processes support decision making and promote positive outcomes for all students. The teaching principal manages her roles well. This ensures an orderly and supportive environment that is conducive to student learning and wellbeing. She actively seeks professional and collegial support through the West Wairoa rural school cluster group and Kāhui Ako.

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

The review of the documented curriculum is underway to ensure it reflects current practice and the intended outcomes for students. This review should include how, the principles, values and the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum are enacted within the context of Ohuka School. The significance of te ao Māori and place-based education should be integrated through the localised curriculum as part of this process.

While review and inquiry are regularly used to inform decisions for improvement, strengthening internal evaluation should enable trustees and teachers to better know the impact of programmes, initiatives and teaching practices on supporting successful outcomes for students.

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:

  • document the practices the school uses to support student wellbeing and prevention of bullying.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • coherent organisational structures and processes that support decision making and promote positive outcomes for all students
  • a broad curriculum that enables students to access a wide range of authentic learning opportunities responsive to their interests and needs
  • the high expectations teachers have for students that supports good levels of achievement.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening internal evaluation to better measure the impact of programmes, initiatives and teaching practices on positive outcomes for student learning.

The school has requested, and ERO will provide, an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and the principal.

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

31 August 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 4, Female 3

Ethnic composition

Māori 3
Pākehā 4

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

July 2018

Date of this report

31 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2015
Education Review November 2012
Education Review August 2009