Paerata School - 05/02/2018

School Context

Paerata School is located in a rural area approximately 4 kilometres north of Pukekohe. It provides education for students in Years 1 to 8 who come from local and surrounding areas. The current school roll of 138 includes 86 Māori and 24 Tongan students. In 2017, approximately half of the students were new to the school, enrolling throughout the year.

The school’s vision is to ‘support and prepare every child to be confident lifelong learners who will reach their full potential.’ The Paerata Learner profile documents the intent to recognise diversity and promote the values of responsibility, honesty, perseverance, respect and excellence.

The school charter documents the intent that ‘all students will make progress towards reaching the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics’.  

Since the previous ERO review in 2014 the chairperson has continued in the position. A new principal began at the beginning 2015 and there have been some changes to other staff.

Leaders and teachers report school-wide information to the board about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing, mathematics.

The school is a member of the Pukekohe Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako. 

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is yet to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

School achievement data shows the following picture of achievement and disparity:

  • Overall slightly over half of all students achieved at and above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.
  • Boys are achieving at a significantly lower level than girls in reading and writing and a similar level in mathematics. Overall disparity between girls and boys is increasing in reading and writing.
  • Māori and Pacific students achieve at similar levels in writing. Pacific students are out performing Māori in reading and achieving at significantly lower levels in mathematics. Overall disparity between Māori and Pacific students is increasing in reading and mathematics. 

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school needs to strengthen its response to Māori, Pacific and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Achievement data comparing 2016 and 2017 shows that overall there was a slight increase in the proportion of students achieving expected levels in reading, a slight fall in writing and some useful gains in mathematics.

Priority must now be placed on accelerating the progress of those students achieving below expected levels to address the picture of disparity in the school.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school’s curriculum is future focused and culturally responsive. Māori, Tongan and students from different cultures have a strong sense of their identity and belonging. Cultural activities are woven into the curriculum. Teachers value the diverse cultures of their students’ families and communities. Students learn in group-based activities and have many opportunities to develop confidence, express their ideas and share their learning.

Māori students’ confidence, identity and belonging are valued and celebrated. The ‘Cultural Diversity and Māori Dimension’ section of the charter provides useful direction and expectations for te reo and tikanga Māori. These include consultation with iwi and whānau, local iwi history, whakapapa, pōwhiri, kapahaka and waiata. A kaumatua and whānau provide weekly differentiated tuition for all students and teachers.

The school is forming positive partnerships with parents and the wider community. This is underpinned by a comprehensive whānau engagement plan. Parents, whānau and fono are well-informed about their children’s overall wellbeing and achievement through ongoing conferences, written reports and informal contact. Useful initiatives are in place to support parents to assist with learning in the home. Good use is made of community and parent expertise to increase learning opportunities for students.

Leadership for learning is well informed. Leaders have accessed appropriate professional development for teachers to improve their practice, focusing on raising achievement for at-risk students. Leaders have developed clear expectations for teacher practice and implement a useful performance management system.

Students with additional learning needs have access to a wide variety of support programmes and initiatives. External agencies are accessed appropriately to provide specialist support where necessary. These students are well supported and benefit from a wrap-around approach to their learning and wellbeing.

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

In order to address disparity leaders, trustees and teachers should give priority to strengthening the use of student achievement information including:

  • setting specific inclusive charter targets for identified groups of students whose learning requires acceleration
  • the ongoing reporting to trustees about how well the school is accelerating progress for these targeted students
  • the alignment of leaders’ and trustees’ planning and decision making with a focus on accelerating progress for at-risk students
  • increasing students’ knowledge of their progress and next learning steps

There is the need to strengthen internal evaluation capability across the school. This is necessary to better enable trustees, leaders and teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and initiative that are focused on accelerating achievement for at risk student.

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:

  • community and whānau engagement that enhances the curriculum and underpins learning partnerships for learning
  • leadership practices that focus on building teacher capability
  • a curriculum that prioritises Māori and Pacific culture and heritage.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening the use of student achievement information to provide an aligned and focused approach to accelerating achievement and reducing in-school disparity
  • internal evaluation processes and practices.

[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.

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

5 February 2018

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls                      55%
Boys                     45%

Ethnic composition

Māori                   62%          
Tongan                17%
Pākehā                 10%
Other Pacific         5%
Other                      6%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

5 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2014
Education Review July 2011
Education Review July 2008