Peria School - 29/11/2018

School Context

Peria School caters for students from Years 1 to 8. Half of the school’s 44 students are Māori. The semi-rural school sits within the rohe and acknowledges the tikanga of Ngāti Kahu.

The school’s vision, “each child working in harmony to learn, create and grow”, aims to promote an environment where inclusiveness and celebration of diversity of learners is woven through the school culture. The school values of “I care - Kaitiakitanga, I have courage - Whakamanawanui, We work together - Manaakitanga/Ako”, underpin the school’s vision and mission.

Since ERO’s 2015 evaluation the board and staff have successfully managed the school through a period of change. There has been change in personnel, including new leadership, teaching staff, trustees and a new board chairperson. The new principal was permanently appointed in Term 3, 2018 after being in an acting role during Terms 1 and 2.

ERO’s 2015 evaluation identified that there were significant school-wide improvements necessary. These included establishing more effective and reliable assurance systems for student achievement, improving teacher capability, and developing a more responsive curriculum. All of these continue to be areas for improvement.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to curriculum levels

  • progress, trends and patterns over time including ethnicity and gender data

  • curriculum development that aligns to the school’s strategic plan

  • student engagement, attendance and wellbeing.

Peria School is part of Te Kāhui Tai Kura o Te Hiku |Community of Learning (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 academic outcomes for its students. The school’s achievement information shows the majority of students achieve at or above the expected levels of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) in reading, writing and mathematics. Almost all students achieve at the expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics by the time they leave Year 8.

There is a variable picture of achievement over the past three years for some groups of students. The principal has established school-wide plans and clear expectations to increase the reliability of achievement data. In response to the school’s analysis of achievement, 2018 data show improved parity in mathematics for Māori boys.

Students achieve well in relation to other valued outcomes. Students:

  • show a strong sense of belonging
  • demonstrate school values that support positive interactions and respect for others
  • are learners, leaders and helpers within the school community.

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

The school is developing good processes and greater urgency in relation to accelerating learning in reading, writing and mathematics for many of its students. The principal has established new frameworks to support targeted planning and actions to support these students.

Teachers and whānau work collaboratively to design individual student plans to support progress and achievement. These plans continue to be strengthened through more reliable data and increasingly evaluative use of information.

Since the last ERO evaluation, the school has engaged in Ministry of Education professional development initiatives. These have supported some changes in teaching practices and improved outcomes for some learners in literacy and mathematics. New processes, systems and practices continue to be developed, refined and embedded to ensure effective initiatives are sustained.

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?

There is now a strong focus on the school values. These are evident in the everyday life of the school and are celebrated in respectful ways. The values are supporting an improved school culture and a more positive environment for learning. Learners are motivated to engage with and contribute to their learning.

The board, principal and staff continue to strengthen connections and relationships with the local and wider community. These connections are enriching the school curriculum and ensuring the community’s ‘voice’ is part of ongoing school development.

Students learn about the history of Peria School, and the people of the area. Relationships with local Māori and Te Kauhanga Marae enable Māori learners to develop a stronger sense of identity as Māori. These experiences also provide opportunities for all students to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

Students have access to a range of learning opportunities that recognise their strengths and interests, including music, kapa haka, environmental projects and leadership activities. Students are developing an increased sense of pride in themselves and their learning.

The principal’s leadership is focused on enhancing the potential of each learner. She is establishing high expectations, supported by more robust performance management systems and opportunities for teachers to reflect on their practice. This is continuing to build teacher capability to support students’ learning, progress and achievement.

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

The board receives good information about student achievement. Teachers could make better use of student achievement information to inform their teaching practices.

Teachers could also continue to build students’ knowledge of themselves as learners so they can take greater ownership of their learning. Teachers could further promote students’ development as self-directed, creative and collaborative learners. The school curriculum document is beginning to reflect these approaches.

To support the school’s new strategic direction, the board, principal and staff should prioritise and strategically plan for internal evaluation. Establishing clear guidelines and processes for internal evaluation should help teachers and learners monitor the impact of teaching practices and professional development initiatives on improved outcomes for all learners.

Trustees agree that engaging with the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) to increase their understanding of governance roles and responsibilities would help them to meet their obligations and legislative requirements.

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:

  • strategic leadership that has a clear purpose, high expectations and future focused direction

  • a positive school culture that is being created through deliberate enactment of the school values, vision and mission

  • strengthened connections and relationships with parents, whānau and the wider community

  • increasing partnerships with the Māori community and local marae.

Next steps

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

  • developing teacher capability to improve student achievement and accelerate learning

  • developing robust internal evaluation processes at all levels of the school

  • accessing training to improve the board’s capability in its stewardship role.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

29 November 2018

About the school


Kaitaia, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 26 Boys 18

Ethnic composition

Māori 21
Pākehā 23

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

29 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2015
Education Review February 2012
Education Review August 2008