Pakotai School - 19/12/2014


The children of Pakotai School experience positive relationships with teachers and each other. They respond positively to teachers’ high expectations that they will achieve well. Shared values underpin school operations. The board is continuing to strengthen its governance role and responsibilities.

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?

Pakotai School is a small rural primary school west of Whangarei, Northland, and caters for students up to Year 8. Most students are Māori and identify with local marae in the Mangakahia Valley. The school is viewed by parents and whānau as a hub for meeting others and networking. This aspect of the school contributes to a warm, learning focused environment.

Since the 2011 ERO report the well established board has appointed a new principal. Professional learning and development (PLD) has focussed on enhancing successful teaching practice in mathematics and literacy. Staff coordinate and deliver a successful social skills programme. Increasingly, teachers support student-led learning. The school makes good use of external expertise in sport, student wellbeing, and leadership and governance.

The principal and the board have continued to refine policies and procedures to strengthen school effectiveness. They support teachers in ensuring continuous school improvement.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information effectively to improve student learning.

Students are highly engaged in their learning. Teachers support students to be successful, capable learners. They have high expectations that all their students will progress and achieve well.

Teachers gather information from a variety of sources to show how well students achieve in relation to the National Standards. They plan programmes that respond to individual student’s learning requirements. Overall achievement information shows that students achieve well in reading and writing. As a result of recent professional discussions, the principal has refined the gathering and analysis of achievement information for mathematics. Mid-year mathematics achievement information for 2014 shows that students are now achieving at similar levels to their achievement in reading and writing. The school is well positioned for meeting the board’s targets for student progress and achievement against the National Standards.

The board receives comprehensive reports about how well students achieve and progress. Trustees identify that they could now document their discussions about trends and patterns in student achievement. This development will strengthen the school’s self-review processes that focus on improving outcomes for all students.

Parents appreciate the clear communications from teachers about how well their children are achieving and progressing in relation to the National Standards. They receive useful suggestions about ways they can support their children to improve their learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively.

Teachers actively promote the school’s values of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, aroha, and mana. This school-wide approach contributes to student wellbeing and positive learning interactions. Teachers know students and their families/whānau well and build on students’ capabilities. The school’s broad curriculum reflects the local area and engages students’ interests. Students feel confident and capable in contributing their knowledge and experiences to the curriculum.

Students have opportunities to be the “well rounded contributors to society” identified in the school’s charter. Digital learning and Education Outside the Classroom experiences provide students with a sense of connectedness to the wider world.

Teachers are open to new learning and seek feedback from their colleagues and the tamariki. Their next step is to support students to take a more active role in leading their own learning.

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

The school promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori effectively. It successfully promotes te Ao Māori reflecting the aspirations of parents, whānau and the community. Māori students enjoy frequent opportunities to use their language, culture and identity. Teachers actively promote tuakana/teina relationships to support Māori learners. This effective teaching and learning practice has benefits for all learners.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal successfully leads the school. She builds confidence in people encouraging them to contribute to a positive school direction. Teachers are well supported by their colleagues and the principal to develop their professional practice. Parents and whānau are increasingly valuing the good reporting practices that are part of the school’s deliberate strategy of building partnerships around children’s learning.

The board supports the principal and teachers to ensure that school goals are met. Trustees continue to provide appropriate, timely resourcing for school priorities. Self review is not well developed at board level. The board identifies that a useful next step for enhancing its effectiveness would be to review its governance role and responsibilities.

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.


The children of Pakotai School experience positive relationships with teachers and each other. They respond positively to teachers’ high expectations that they will achieve well. Shared values underpin school operations. The board is continuing to strengthen its governance role and responsibilities.

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

19 December 2014

About the School


Pakotai, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 15

Girls 11

Ethnic composition

Māori NZ




Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

19 December 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

October 2011

November 2008

August 2006