Paparoa School - 31/05/2018

School Context

Paparoa School is a small rural school in Northland for students from Year 1 to 6. The school currently has three multi-levelled classes. Most students are Pākehā. Māori students make up 22 percent of the school roll.

The school has expansive school grounds, a swimming pool, a large field and paddock that provide scope for students to experience many learning related opportunities. The school is an Enviroschool, and a Duffy Books in Homes member.

In recent years there have been challenges in school culture, community engagement and leadership. Since the 2015 ERO review there have been two changes in leadership. The board of trustees is in the process of appointing a new principal. Trustees are working with an external adviser to support its engagement with the community and the appointment of the new principal. In Term 4, 2017, an interim principal was appointed by the Ministry of Education.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

The interim principal regularly reports to the board about outcomes for children with additional learning and behavioural needs and outcomes related to student wellbeing.

The school is a member of the Twin Coast Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL)

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 towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

Approximately half of all students achieve curriculum expectations in reading, and writing. This is a good foundation for building further improvement. The majority of students are achieving curriculum expectations in mathematics.

The school is working to increase the parity of achievement for Māori students, particularly in reading and writing. Some gender disparity has been identified in mathematics.

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

The school is developing ways of responding to those Māori and other children who need to make accelerated progress, but it is too early to evaluate the outcomes of these approaches.

The interim principal has introduced new systems and processes to identify and better respond to students’ learning needs. Newly introduced individual learning plans should support students to attain or achieve at expected curriculum levels in the future.

The recent establishment of a reading recovery programme has led to accelerated progress in reading for some students. The interim principal and staff are proactively working with external agencies to support student engagement and learning.

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?

The interim principal has positively influenced the culture and climate of the school. A clear sense of direction and greater collective responsibility for student achievement is now evident. Together with teachers, she is working to establish clear and consistent teaching expectations to support students’ learning and achievement.

New school values of Resilience, Respect and Responsibility have been introduced. These values along with the deliberate promotion of student leadership and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) strategies are helping build a more positive culture in the school.

Some effective teaching practices are evident. Staff are now working collaboratively to ensure that student achievement and wellbeing are better supported. Teachers and teacher aides work together to cater for students with additional learning needs. Teachers now have opportunities to participate in professional learning that is focused on improving outcomes for students.

The board is committed to the ongoing improvement of learning outcomes for equity and excellence. Trustees respond positively to, and provide resourcing for individual students who need additional support. They have increased their communication with the school community, and keep them updated with significant developments. The board is proactive in seeking support and advice from external agencies, including the New Zealand School Trustees’ Association (NZSTA). The board has plans for NZSTA training for the board after the current election of new trustees.

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

The school is developing its capacity to sustain and improve its performance.

The interim principal is establishing good relationships with staff, the board and local community. Parents and teachers who spoke with ERO respect her professional knowledge, her commitment to raising student achievement and her positive influence on school culture. The challenges for the school will be embedding and sustaining new initiatives and the appointment of a permanent principal.

The interim principal and trustees agree that ongoing support will be needed to consolidate initiatives, strengthen school leadership and raise student achievement.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • undertake a comprehensive review of policies and procedures to ensure that all policies are updated and meet current legislative requirements

  • make the process for managing complaints available for all parents.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • effective teaching practices, that respond to students’ learning needs

  • the new foundations initiated by the interim principal, to support improvement and a positive school culture.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are to continue building:

  • school leadership to improve outcomes for student learning and wellbeing

  • a school culture that reflects and celebrates the key school values

  • students’ understanding and use of their own achievement information

  • teachers’ understanding and use of strategies to accelerate learning

  • community engagement and confidence in the school

  • internal evaluation and inquiry that better identifies what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that MOE consider providing support:

  • by appointing a Student Achievement Function (SAF) for the school in order to support the school in raising student achievement and accelerating progress for students at risk of not achieving well

  • to improve capability in leadership, building positive organisational culture and educationally powerful connections.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing external evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

31 May 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing Primary

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 24 Boys 22

Ethnic composition



Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

31 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

April 2015
May 2012
March 2010