Pirinoa School - 12/08/2019

School Context

Pirinoa is a Year 1 to 8 rural primary school in the Southern Wairarapa. Of the 50 children currently attending the school 27 identify as Māori.

The school enjoys strong support from its rural community. The mission statement identifies that they ‘come together, to create a variety of opportunities that help all students excel as learners and members of society’. The school’s vision is ‘Inspired, Confident, Proud Tamariki’.

The strategic goals focus on providing a meaningful and balanced curriculum with excellence in teaching and learning stated as priorities. Current targets focus on improving children’s achievement in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels for reading, writing and mathematics.

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 school is undertaking shared professional development as part of the South Wairarapa Kāhui Ako I Community of Learning.

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?

School data for 2018 shows that most students achieve at or above curriculum expectations in reading and mathematics. Almost all achieving at curriculum expectations in writing. The number of Māori students achieving at or above in reading, writing and maths was lower than their non-Māori peers.

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

2018 achievement information showed that approximately half of target students, including Māori, made accelerated progress in reading and mathematics. Approximately two thirds made accelerated progress in writing.

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?

A broad curriculum offers students a wide range of opportunities to learn. Local contexts, relevant to students’ interests, are used to promote engagement and a variety of learning experiences. Environment and sustainability are a strong focus. Student leadership is promoted. Students enjoy a sense of belonging and connection with the school and its community. The school curriculum, linked to NZC, emphasises big ideas and inquiry learning.

The school is well resourced. Students are encouraged to be active learners and make choices about aspects of their learning.

The bicultural curriculum has been developed and strengthened. Staff are participating in professional development through the Kāhui Ako, that focuses on te ao and te reo Māori. A parent supports students and staff to increase their knowledge of te reo Māori and kapa haka. Learning contexts include emphasis on aspects of te ao Māori.

The principal has extended positive relationships with families and the community. Parents input is sought and valued, and contributes to the strategic direction of the school.

The school works with families, and external agencies where appropriate, for children with additional learning needs. A focus on inclusion has been strengthened to improve outcomes for those individuals who require additional support.

The improved appraisal process is clearly linked to the Standards for the Teaching Profession. The use of appropriate templates and regular feedback provide opportunities for ongoing development of teaching practice. Teachers have begun to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice. Good examples of this process include:

  • a clear focus on those students whose achievement is below expected curriculum levels
  • the introduction of new deliberate teaching strategies to best meet each child’s learning needs
  • evaluation of the effectiveness of the strategies in relation to each student’s progress.

The process of policy and procedure review has been strengthened and is an integral part of board meetings. Health curriculum consultation has been carried out in 2019.

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

Internal evaluation practice requires development. The principal and teachers are reflective and seek input from the community to consider future directions. It is timely to develop a shared understanding of evidence-based evaluation. Creating an appropriate evaluative framework should support the collation and analysis of information to determine the effectiveness of current practices and initiatives and their impact on student outcomes.

To better achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for those students who need it, increased consistency is needed in the following processes and practices:

  • analysing and making use of data to clearly identify each child’s achievement and learning needs
  • continuing to ensure that achievement data is dependable and teachers’ overall judgements are based on a variety of sources and moderated
  • making better use of newly implemented Learning Journals to further promote student ownership
  • analysing gathered information to inform next steps for teaching and learning
  • enacting the guidance provided for effective teaching in the school’s curriculum implementation plans and providing professional development where necessary
  • identifying all students achieving below expected levels as target students and prioritising the acceleration of their progress
  • evaluating the impact of teacher practice and schoolwide initiatives on the progress of students at risk of not achieving.

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 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Pirinoa School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • community relationships that impact positively on outcomes for students
  • the broad curriculum that supports student engagement.

Next steps

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

  • internal evaluation at all levels to inform future decision making
  • making better use of achievement data to personalise learning and increase student progress.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

12 August 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 26, Male 24

Ethnic composition

Māori 27
NZ European/Pākehā 22
Other ethnic groups 1

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

12 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2016
Education Review September 2013