Pakowhai School - 07/02/2011

1. Context

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

Pakowhai School is a rural contributing primary school, located between Napier and Hastings. The roll of 39 includes 16 Māori students. The school values focus on respect, confidence, exploration and resilience. Students participate in a broad range of learning activities to develop and follow their interests inside and outside the classroom. Trustees and teachers have high expectations for student success across the school.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

School-reported achievement information shows that most students are working at or above school expectations in reading, writing and numeracy and many make good progress.

Individual learning journals contain a useful record of progress in literacy and numeracy. Students are setting learning goals to refine their next learning steps. Teachers plan to continue to strengthen students' understanding of how they can evaluate their own learning and record their next steps.

Students requiring special learning assistance or extension are well supported through a range of relevant initiatives and programmes. Teachers plan specifically for students’ needs and monitor progress clearly. The school reports that the junior room teacher participation in reading recovery contributes to higher rates of progress in the junior school.

Parents receive useful reports about their child’s progress and achievement. These reports show progress towards learning goals and achievement in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Reports contain next steps for students and useful advice for parents to help support their children’s learning at home. This information has not been collated, analysed and evaluated against National Standards to provide the board with a school-wide picture of performance patterns and trends. This is a next step in assessment practice for the school.

Implementation of National Standards is carefully considered and planned. Teachers have participated in suitable professional learning and development to support their understanding. Staff work collaboratively to moderate data and further explore the requirements of the National Standards. The principal and teachers recognise the need to continue to strengthen their implementation of National Standards, including external moderation processes and overall teacher judgements.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

Sixteen students identify as Māori. School-reported achievement information shows most Māori students achieve at or above expectations in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Students learn in an environment that supports and affirms them as individuals and as Māori. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are fostered. Māori students have good opportunities to participate in and enjoy cultural experiences such as kapa haka.

The school held a consultation evening with whānau around their aspirations for their children. Some whānau attended and the information gathered was reported to the board. Trustees and teachers have identified the need to continue to explore and provide opportunities to engage whānau in supporting Māori student success.

3. Curriculum

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

The Pakowhai School Curriculum is flexible and responsive to the strengths and learning needs of students. It builds on the rural setting, community resources, expertise and the interests of students. The curriculum is clearly linked to the vision, values, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum.

Clear guidelines for numeracy and literacy teaching usefully support classroom teachers’ practice. A range of activities fosters the holistic well-being of all students including education outside the classroom, sports and garden club. Through the discovery programme students demonstrate motivation and engagement in learning.

Teachers use a range of strategies to purposefully engage students in learning. They review their teaching to make positive differences for individuals and groups of students. Group teaching is focused and differentiated for individuals. Teaching as inquiry is developing and is at the early stages of implementation. Planned improvements to support teacher professional learning for 2012 are in place.

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 has a strong focus on growing teacher capability and extending student learning.

Trustees are committed to, and have a clear understanding of, their governance roles and responsibilities. They support student success and actively seek ways to improve parents' engagement in the school and their children’s learning. Trustees are about to develop their 2012 school charter. This should include an action plan for student achievement targets in reading, writing and mathematics. Trustees should continue to develop their expertise through participating in appropriate training.

Self-review processes focus on lifting student achievement in relation to school expectations in literacy and numeracy. Trustees and teachers should continue to develop self review in relation to the National Standards.

Parents are well informed through a number of communication channels, including newsletters and school events. Trustees and teachers are committed to continuing to strengthen the learning partnerships between home and school.

5. 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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

7 February 2012

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 22,

Female 17

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 23

Māori 16

Review team on site

November 2011

Date of this report

7 February 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2008

Education Review September 2005

Education Review March 2003