Patumahoe Primary School - 13/02/2018

School Context

Patumahoe Primary School is located in a small rural township near Pukekohe. The school provides education for 326 students in Years 1 to 6. Fifty eight of these students are of Māori descent.

The school’s vision for students is ‘to sustain enthusiasm for learning, appreciate our environment, our heritage and be well equipped to face the future with strength and integrity’. The school’s charter states that it aims to provide an inclusive culture for learning where students are well supported to achieve success and be motivated, independent, life-long learners.

In 2017 a plan to improve outcomes for Māori learners was developed. This plan documents expectations and the values underpinning these.

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

  • Reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the ERO review in 2014, the board appointed a principal who began his tenure at the start of the 2017 school year. The senior leadership personnel (deputy and assistant principals) remain unchanged. There have been changes to the make-up of the middle management (team leaders), and two of the schools experienced teachers have become in-school Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (COL) leaders. These leaders provide ongoing liaison, and will assist school leaders to align learning and teaching with the achievement plan for the COL.

There has been some change to board membership. An experienced trustee has been appointed to the chairperson role. Some new trustees have been elected and there is stronger Māori and Pacific representation on the board. The board continues to undertake stewardship training.

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 achieving excellent outcomes for most of its students, but disparity remains for Māori as a group, and boys. Achieving equity for these groups of student is an ongoing challenge for the school.

School-wide data over three years shows consistently high levels of overall achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, with most students, including Māori, and boys achieving at and above expected levels. However, there is continuing disparity in the proportion of Māori students and boys who achieve at and above expectation, in comparison with other groups. Current data is indicating a noticeable closing of this gap in reading, but not in writing. Boys are now achieving at comparable levels to girls in mathematics.

School leaders must now specifically target and deliberately plan to accelerate progress for these groups, sustain shifts, and address the recently emerging trend in writing, particularly for Māori and boys.

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 and boys who are underachieving.

Comprehensive analysis of school-wide data in 2017 shows that there has been accelerated progress made by some at-risk learners in reading and mathematics. This is most notable for Māori students in reading.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

The board is providing committed stewardship for the school. Trustees are diligent about policy review and implementation and work closely with the principal and school leaders to provide a well-resourced environment for learning and teaching. Trustees understand the overall picture of achievement in the school, and demonstrate a strong commitment to the provision of support for students who have additional learning needs.

Leadership for learning is well-informed and collaborative. A well-established leadership structure involves a wider team of leaders, and high levels of relational trust are evident across this team. Senior leaders liaise closely with team leaders to provide clear school-wide direction for teaching staff. Team leaders and the two in-school Kāhui Ako leaders work alongside teachers in their respective teams, to coach and give practical guidance that is informed by current educational research.

Teachers are reflective practitioners. They regularly inquire into their practice, through a well -defined process as ‘teaching as inquiry’. This process is consistently implemented across each team and provides a useful forum for team leaders to facilitate dialogue about the learning and progress of students in target groups. Teachers are able to share and discuss effective teaching strategies. This is leading to more deliberate teaching for students in these groups which link to teachers’ inquiries.

Teachers know the students well. They identify and closely track their progress. Students are able to engage purposefully in their learning, independently of the teacher, and most are successful self -managers. Collaborative learning relationships are modelled by teachers and evident in the way some students work together cooperatively in learning situations. These practice are enabling students to enjoy and succeed in their learning.

The curriculum is engaging and inclusive. Students experience a broad range of learning experiences in a rich and authentic curriculum. Teachers take a deliberate approach to the provision of contexts for learning that are meaningful for students and which reflect their interests and experiences. Digital technology to enhance learning and teaching is well used, and continuing to develop.

Values are integral to the environment for learning. The principal is leading a review of school values with a view to strengthening cultural responsiveness in the learning environment. The school’s whanaungatanga initiative is being enhanced, placing priority on wellbeing and belonging for Māori and Pacific students. Agreed values are modelled through practices such as tuakana-teina. Cooperation, collaboration and inclusiveness are integral to learning and teaching.

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

Targeted action to accelerate learning and progress needs to be strengthened. Leaders now need to set inclusive, measurable targets for identified groups of at-risk learners.

Internal evaluation needs to focus more consistently on outcomes for learners. Priority should be placed on:

  • scrutinising data to notice and track rates of progress over time for cohorts

  • identifying the most effective strategies – those most likely to accelerate the learning and progress of students working below the expected level

  • using achievement data to report on the effectiveness of additional learning support programmes/interventions.

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 highly-responsible approach to stewardship that is engendering a high level of support from parents and wider community, for the school

  • informed professional leadership that is continuing to build the capability of teachers to enable learners to achieve high levels of success

  • teaching practice that is informed by a robust inquiry process

  • a learner-centred curriculum that reflects the values and aspirations of the school and its parent community.

Next steps

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

  • establishing stronger alignment of achievement targets, through more inclusive and deliberate action planning (for Māori and boys in particular)

  • using achievement information consistently to inform internal evaluation processes.

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

13 February 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1–6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 18%
Pākehā 70%
Other 12%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

13 February 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review June 2014
Education Review June 2010