Onekawa School - 27/02/2015


Trustees, leaders and teachers have high expectations for student learning and wellbeing. Most students meet National Standards and there is commitment to improved achievement for all. A positive school climate and collaborative approach to development is evident. Positive steps to strengthen learning partnerships with parents and whānau are being taken.

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

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Onekawa School is situated in an attractive, well-maintained setting in Napier. It caters for students from Years 1 to 6. An enrolment scheme was introduced in 2013 due to significant roll growth. Of the 423 students enrolled at the time of this ERO review, 45% are Māori. Students have access to good resources and use local facilities to enhance learning.

The November 2012 ERO report noted that the 'PRIDE' values of perseverance, responsibility, integrity, determination and enjoyment were well reflected in the learning environment. Students and teachers were friendly, respectful and the overall tone was positive. These aspects are still apparent.

Since that time, the board of trustees has set an aspirational goal for 85% of students to achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of 2015. The phrase ’85 by 015, step higher to achieve’ drives the board’s strong desire to see students succeed. Trustees and school leaders have identified five key steps to make this happen. These include:

  • providing the best possible learning opportunities
  • targeting students who achieve below in relation to the National Standards
  • supporting students with high and very high needs
  • providing high quality professional learning and development for staff
  • having all parents and whānau connected to their children's learning and wellbeing at school.

The school welcomed support from the Ministry of Education (the Ministry) to assist with target setting, community engagement and student ownership of their learning. Teachers have continued professional development in mathematics and writing. In 2015, Onekawa School will participate in Ministry contracts to accelerate learning for students below National Standards in literacy and mathematics.

A social worker at the school provides support for the wellbeing of students and families.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Achievement information is used effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. Leaders and teachers gather and analyse a suitable range of data in reading, writing and mathematics. They use it to inform the board’s targets and the associated action plans for improvement.

At the end of 2013, the majority of students achieved at or above in relation to the National Standards. However, the data showed that a lower percentage of students achieved in these categories for mathematics when compared to reading and writing. Although the achievement of Māori students is similar to others in the school, the achievement of some boys was of concern, especially in writing.

Leaders and teachers responded positively to the data and sought external advice and professional development. As a result, teachers are beginning to develop greater awareness about accelerating the progress of underachieving students. The 2014 end-of-year achievement information shows considerable improvement.

Parents and whānau receive useful reports about their child’s progress, engagement and achievement. Three-way conferences between children, parents and teachers provide a platform for children to proudly share their learning folders. They talk about their strengths, next steps and ways parents and whānau can help them at home.

The school is working in partnership with parents and whānau to successfully help accelerate their child’s progress in literacy and mathematics.

Inclusive classroom practice is a strong feature. Students with moderate needs are well supported and monitored through class programmes. Those with high learning needs have individual educational plans. Their families, personnel from other agencies, teachers and teacher aides actively support each child’s progress, engagement and achievement.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

Onekawa School's curriculum increasingly promotes and supports learning for students. It is clearly aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum, with priority given to building sound foundations in literacy and mathematics.

The school’s inquiry approach to learning enables students to explore topics in interesting ways. Theme-based studies that integrate science, social studies, health and technology encourage students to question, explore and problem solve. Students are proud of their work which is attractively displayed in classrooms.

The arts and physical education are actively promoted. A wide range of high quality artwork is displayed throughout the school and many students achieve well in sports. Students who are talented artists achieve to a high standard. Students enjoy participation in Kiwi Can, a programme that develops social skills, self esteem and life skills in sports.

Teachers know the students well. They use a range of effective practices, including using digital devices, to make learning meaningful. Students enjoy working independently, with a buddy and in groups. Most can talk confidently about their learning. Teachers identify the successful practices and strategies that accelerate student learning. It is now timely to share these across all year levels.

Leaders and teachers are aware of the need to respond to student diversity. Māori and the small number of Pacific students have opportunities to share aspects of their cultures through performances. The school has a strong kapa haka group and some te reo Māori is incorporated into class lessons. Exploring local Māori history and supporting teacher development in the use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori should further enhance the school’s curriculum.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The board and leaders are implementing a well-considered and planned approach to support success for Māori, as Māori at school. They are working to build learning partnerships with whānau. Many families were part of the school’s Matariki celebration.

School leaders are aware that teachers need further support to develop understanding about the cultural competencies required to continue promoting success for Māori, as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

Onekawa School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The board and leaders are committed to continuous improvement and determined to reach their aspirational goal. Key features include:

  • sound governance. Board members bring a good range of knowledge and skills to the role and work closely with leaders to enhance outcomes for students. They are well informed
  • strategic, considered and inclusive leadership. The principal is supported by a management team that capably promotes collaboration in schoolwide development
  • setting high expectations and encouraging the PRIDE values
  • making increasing use of achievement information to target and accelerate student progress
  • ongoing teacher reflection and review
  • a welcoming, inclusive culture and a positive school tone.

The principal acknowledges the need to inquire more deliberately into key aspects of the school’s curriculum to strengthen internal review. This should assist staff in working towards realising the board's goal of '85 by 015, step higher to achieve'.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees 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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


Trustees, leaders and teachers have high expectations for student learning and wellbeing. Most students meet National Standards and there is commitment to improved achievement for all. A positive school climate and collaborative approach to development is evident. Positive steps to strengthen learning partnerships with parents and whānau are being taken.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

27 February 2015

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 54%,

Male 46%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific Island

Other ethnic groups





Special Features

Host School for Resource Teachers: Literacy

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

27 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2012

March 2009

December 2005