Piopio Primary School - 19/02/2018

School Context

Piopio Primary School is located in northern King Country and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. The current roll of 158 includes 51 students who identify as Māori.

The school’s mission is “Aim High – Whakaara kia mataara” which drives the vision for students to become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners. They aspire for learners to be caring, respectful and tolerant, show integrity and honesty, do their best, be responsible and positive. The strategic aims of the school are to:

  • ensure all students are able to access The New Zealand Curriculum
  • improve outcomes for priority groups of students
  • develop and maintain effective, reliable Information Communication Technologies (ICT)
  • support teachers improving their teaching, learning and assessment practices for increased student progress and achievement
  • provide direction, through effective governance, to the operational leadership and management of the school.

Since the 2014 ERO evaluation a new principal has been appointed. There have been significant changes to membership of the board of trustees. The school roll has grown by 30%.

The school has been involved in a range of professional learning and development initiatives including Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L), eLearning, Incredible Years training and Te Whai Toi Tangata.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • PB4L.

The school is a member of the Waitomo Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

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?

Most students in reading and mathematics, and a large majority in writing, achieve at expected levels. Achievement across all three areas over time indicates an upward trend. 

Significant disparity of achievement for groups of learners has continued since the 2014 ERO evaluation. In 2016 achievement information shows Māori students compared to non-Māori students achieve less well in reading, writing and mathematics. Lower levels of achievement for boys, in comparison to girls, is an ongoing trend in reading and writing.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Targeted responses to accelerate progress and achievement have reduced disparity for some Māori students.

In 2017, school data shows that the intensified action to accelerate priority learners’ progress and achievement has had positive impacts, most significantly in reading. Disparity of achievement between all groups of students has significantly reduced 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 school has a coherent, outcomes-focused approach for school-wide improvement. The principal has introduced specific target setting, actions and processes for improving student outcomes.

Students with additional needs experience a collaborative wrap-around approach to success. Personalised plans are responsive to student needs and strengths. These are focused on successful progress in learning and skill development. The school works in partnership with families and external agencies to support improving outcomes for these students.

A purposeful and deliberate approach to improving Māori student engagement, and success as Māori is in place. Strengthened connection and collaboration with iwi is supporting the enhanced inclusion of Maniapoto tikanga and te reo Māori throughout the curriculum. 

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

Developing a shared understanding and agreement of high-quality teacher practice is a key next step. This should further support the building of teacher capability and confidence in improving outcomes for students.

Extending the effective analysis and use of data schoolwide is required. This should enable leaders and teachers to:

  • identify trends and patterns in achievement for groups of students  
  • respond to student needs with the appropriate interventions and strategies to effectively address in-school disparity.

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. 

Appraisal audit

The appraisal policy and procedures need to be reviewed and aligned to current practice ensuring they include the Education Council requirements for the endorsement of practising certificates. 

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review and rationalise the school’s policy and procedure framework. Of urgency are those relating to emergency procedures, staff performance management, behaviour management, complaints and cyber safety
  • develop a governance framework, including documentation for induction of new trustees, to guide practice and processes.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • planning for improvement
  • developing educationally powerful connections.

Next steps

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

  • building teacher capability and confidence to enhance learning programmes and initiatives
  • effectively using and analysing data to identify and respond to students whose learning and achievement need accelerating
  • internal evaluation processes and practices
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

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

19 February 2018

About the school 


Northern King Country

Ministry of Education profile number


School type


School roll


Gender composition

Boys                     60%
Girls                      40%

Ethnic composition

Māori                   32%
Pākehā                 60%
Other                      8%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

19 February 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review             June 2014
Education Review             July 2011
Education Review             July 2008