Paroa School (Greymouth) - 20/02/2019

School Context

Paroa School (Greymouth) provides education for students from Years 1 to 8. At the time of the review, the roll was 152.

The school’s vision is to be:

  • welcoming and inclusive
  • community connected
  • progressive and purposeful.

The four Cs of caring, connected, confident and creative are an integral part of the school’s value system. These are regularly referred to by teachers and students, and prominent in the school’s logo.

The current strategic goals are:

  • for all students to enthusiastically access the New Zealand Curriculum as evidenced by their achievement in relation to national expectations
  • that new approaches are embraced for what will benefit the students
  • for students to achieve holistic progress – academically, socially and physically
  • to achieve Bronze Enviroschool status through connecting tamariki to their local environment and empowering them to take action for a more sustainable community.

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 progress of children with additional learning needs
  • the wellbeing of students.

Since the last review in October 2014, there have been several changes in the senior leadership and governance of the school. A new principal began at the school in Term 3 2018. 

Paroa School (Greymouth) is a member of the Māwhera Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

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 the achievement of equity and excellence for its students.

Most students have achieved well in reading over the past three years. The majority of students achieve at or above national expectations in mathematics and writing. Māori students achieve at similar levels to other students. Girls achieve at higher levels than boys. This is particularly evident in writing. Improving the achievement of boys in writing is a target for the school and the Kāhui Ako.

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

The school has yet to put in place school-wide systems to report on accelerated progress for groups of students who need it. While there are good systems for tracking the interventions and achievement of individual students, this needs to be analysed and reported over time so that the progress of this group can be clearly monitored.

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?

Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative, inclusive learning communities. All students value the opportunities older students have to support the learning of younger students at regular times. Teachers and students make good use of digital technologies to support learning, and share achievements with whānau. Older students appreciate and take advantage of the many leadership opportunities available to them. The Year 8 students are proud of their achievements in pursuit of a local challenge award that includes outdoor challenges, community service and a passion project.

Community collaborations enrich opportunities for students. Parents, whānau and teachers work together to support valued student outcomes. School leaders and teachers have close links, and participate in professional learning and development, with local schools. Teachers make good use of the local environment through Enviroschools and education outside the classroom activities.

Trustees and leaders provide a supportive environment that is conducive to student learning and wellbeing. They are building relationships based on trust and openness. A strong focus on wellbeing is supporting students and teachers. The views of students, parents and teachers are regularly sought and used. Trustees and leaders are improvement focused.

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

School leaders have identified the next steps for curriculum and evaluation to improve outcomes for students. ERO agrees that the following are the key priorities. 

The curriculum needs further development so that teachers and students are clear about what they are learning and why. There needs to be greater coherence in the way the curriculum is delivered across the school. The many curriculum initiatives under way need to be rationalised and developed to become a clearly defined local curriculum. School leaders know that more could be done to support staff new to the school to understand and implement the school’s curriculum.

The next step in the governance and leadership of the school is to develop collective capacity to implement internal evaluation. The curriculum is a useful starting point for an in-depth evaluation of what is working well and what needs to be improved. The tracking and reporting to the board of progress for groups of students, and in particular those who are at risk of not achieving, needs to be improved. This will assist the board to make well-informed decisions about what initiatives to resource.

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:

  • a caring inclusive learning environment
  • relationships and collaborations with other schools and community groups
  • a strong focus on student learning and wellbeing. 

Next steps

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

  • ensuring curriculum design is clearly defined and consistently delivered
  • using internal evaluation to inform strategic direction.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard
Director Review & Improvement Services

20 February 2019

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys: 60%

Girls: 40%

Ethnic composition

Māori:                         3%
Pākeha:                      95%
Other ethnicities            2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

20 February 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review:           October 2014
Education Review:           February 2010
Education Review:           February 2007