Onekawa School - 25/06/2018

School Context

Onekawa School is located in central Napier. The school caters for 351 students in Years 1 to 6, 38% who identify as Māori.

The school’s goals are focused on improving learning for students through an “exceptional board, staff, and relationships”. The stated vision for students is to “develop positive relationships, respecting each other and our environment” and to be “confident, creative and flexible learners who actively enquire and apply knowledge in an ever-changing world”.

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 school expectations

  • outcomes of the Reading Recovery intervention

  • achievement of students after one year at school.

A new principal was appointed at the beginning of 2018. A new senior leadership team has been established.

Over the past three years the school has taken part in the Ministry of Education initiatives: Accelerating Literacy Learning (ALL); and Accelerating Learning in Mathematics (ALIM).

The school is part of the Ahuriri 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 working to develop consistent practices and processes to effectively address equity of outcomes for all students.

Since the February 2015 ERO report, rates of achievement have been variable showing an overall decline in literacy and mathematics for almost all groups of learners.

School wide 2017 achievement data indicates that the majority of students achieved at or above expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students and boys continue to achieve less well than their peers. Girls achieve significantly better than boys in writing.

The school recognises the need to further accelerate progress for approximately a third of students in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

School leaders recognise the need to strengthen their response to Māori and other students whose learning needs acceleration.

Some targeted groups have had their achievement accelerated in literacy and mathematics in 2017.

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?

Students learn in a positive environment where there is a strong focus on building connections and relationships. The school values are clearly evident and known by the students. This promotes their wellbeing, sense of belonging, and engagement in learning.

Teachers are collaborative and very reflective. They engage in individual and cooperative inquiries focused on improving practice and learning outcomes for priority learners. Collaboration is extended across other schools within the Kāhui Ako.

Clear curriculum expectations and guidelines supports consistency of implementation across the school.

A wide range of strategies are used to communicate and engage with parents and whānau. This strengthens partnerships in learning. Increasing use of student voice contributes to decision making.

A strong commitment to strengthen the school’s cultural responsiveness is evident through strategic priorities, leadership resourcing and deliberate classroom initiatives that promote learning about students’ culture, language and identity.

Responsive systems and processes to identify, support and plan for students with additional learning needs promotes their participation and engagement in learning.

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

School leaders are developing a clearer picture of acceleration over time for Māori and other students who need it. They have identified disparity for Māori and boys and are working on addressing this.

Defining what constitutes an “exceptional board, staff, and relationships”, should enable trustees, leaders and teachers to measure and evaluate the impact of systems, processes and the curriculum on outcomes for students. This should include:

  • refining charter targets to better identify and focus on all students whose learning requires acceleration

  • strengthening processes to better monitor and measure rates of progress and acceleration across the school

  • regularly informing the board about progress towards achieving the strategic priorities

  • reporting the progress and achievement of students with additional learning needs to assist trustees’ decision making.

Leaders should review and develop the appraisal policy and procedures to ensure more consistency and quality in the processes used for teachers’ appraisal. This should better assist teachers to build on their strengths and identify areas for development.

Review and inquiry are regularly used to inform decisions and improvement. Further developing a shared understanding of internal evaluation school wide is needed. This should assist trustees, leaders and teachers to better know the effectiveness of initiatives, programmes and interventions on promoting equity and excellence and acceleration of learning.

Trustees are generally well informed and have confidence in the new principal to further pursue the school’s vision. ERO affirms the board’s intentions of further developing their roles and responsibilities to effectively meet their stewardship and statutory responsibilities.

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.

Actions for compliance

School processes have not been well established to ensure policies and procedures are regularly reviewed and up to date to meet statutoryrequirements. Prior to the review, the board of trustees identified this and have already put in place actions to address these. They have prioritised meeting requirements linked to health and safety and personnel.

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to some key policies and procedures.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. comply in full with any legislation currently in force or that may be developed to ensure the safety of students and employees
    [National Administration Guideline 5]

  2. develop and implement personnel and industrial policies, within policy and procedural frameworks set by the Government from time to time, which promote high levels of staff performance, use educational resources effectively and recognise the needs of students.
    [National Administration Guideline 3]

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a positive and respectful learning environment that supports students’ engagement, learning and wellbeing

  • a culture of inquiry and collaboration that improves practice and learning outcomes for priority learners

  • the strategic commitment to strengthening culturally responsive practices that foster students’ language, culture and identities.

Next steps

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

  • more coherent systems and processes to effectively support those students whose learning and achievement require acceleration

  • processes to meet statutory requirements in relation to health and safety and personnel

  • internal evaluation to better know the effectiveness of systems, processes and the curriculum on promoting equity and excellence and acceleration of learning.
    [The school has requested, and 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.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

25 June 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 - 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 38%
Pākehā 51%
Other ethnic groups 11%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

25 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2015
Education Review April 2012
Education Review March 2009