Porritt School - 10/02/2017

1 Context

Porritt School, in the Napier suburb of Tamatea, provides education for 326 students from Years 1 to 6, with 44% identifying as Māori.

Since the March 2014 ERO report the school has experienced significant roll growth and some changes in personnel. A new principal was appointed in 2014 and a deputy principal joined the leadership team in 2016. The school employs a pastoral care facilitator to support the wellbeing of students and their families.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to be positive, show respect, act with integrity, be diligent and achieve excellence in all they do. This is reflected in Porritt PRIDE. These values were recently reviewed and updated in consultation with the school community.

Trustees, leaders and teachers are focused on developing students' self-esteem, resilience and pride. This contributes to increased participation and engagement in learning. Students demonstrate a strong sense of belonging and identity.

The school’s achievement information shows that girls achieve significantly better than boys in reading and writing, and similarly in mathematics. The school has identified disparity in achievement for Māori students and boys, especially in reading and writing. Future planning is occurring to support accelerated progress for these learners.

Increased moderation and analysis of assessment data contributes to improved consistency and dependability of achievement information. Strengthening moderation practices is a next step.

Since the previous ERO evaluation, the school has prioritised improving achievement in literacy and mathematics, increasing student engagement in learning through modern learning practices, student wellbeing and te reo Māori provisions. Leaders and teachers have participated in ongoing professional learning and development (PLD) programmes. These include:

  • Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L)
  • Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL)
  • Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALiM)
  • Incredible Years Programme
  • building capability in the teaching and use of te reo Māori.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school continues to strengthen its response to Māori students whose achievement needs acceleration. A range of targeted interventions and strategies have been implemented to support improvement.

In 2015, the school developed a junior literacy programme in conjunction with the Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB). Māori learners were a core group targeted in this initiative. School reported data shows all students improved and some made accelerated progress.

To strengthen the school's targeted response, leaders and trustees should develop specific targets and actions. Increasing the frequency of reporting to trustees should strengthen their knowledge of how effectively planned actions are accelerating Māori student achievement.

Māori students have an opportunity to be part of a school whānau group. This group meets weekly to learn within a te ao Māori context. Students are able to grow their knowledge and understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. They are leaders and are able to share their expertise with teachers and fellow learners. Tuakana teina relationships are promoted and students develop a sense of identity within a supportive and meaningful environment.

Leaders and teachers demonstrate a commitment to promoting culturally responsive practice, reflective of Māori students' culture, language and identity, and achieving equity and excellence. The school is currently developing a strategic plan, Te Aho Matua, as an approach to improving outcomes for Māori students and their whānau.

Leaders should explore how best to evaluate the success of their planned actions, especially for those learners who need to make accelerated progress.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Trustees, leaders and teachers acknowledge the urgency of accelerating the achievement of students not meeting the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

In 2016, accelerating achievement plans were developed to implement targeted support to raise achievement. These plans help identify, track and monitor students requiring additional support to achieve equity and excellence.

In regular discussions, teaching teams purposefully consider learners individual needs. In 2016, the introduction of data boards in writing and reading has provided teachers with a visual reference in tracking student progress.

Students with diverse needs are well identified and assisted through a range of interventions and programmes. Learning plans and goals are developed to support individual's progress and achievement. Next steps are to report to trustees about students' progress against their goals and evaluate the impact of interventions and learning support programmes.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school recently reviewed and developed its curriculum. There are useful expectations and guidelines to support the teaching of reading, writing, mathematics and inquiry learning. The school has identified a next step to strengthen its reflection of Māori and Pacific contexts within the curriculum. Ongoing development should also include a stronger link to The New Zealand Curriculum principles and key competencies.

The provision of flexible learning environments increases students' active involvement in their learning. More opportunities for students to have a voice and make choices about their learning have led to greater enjoyment and engagement in learning and increasing self-management. Students are growing their knowledge of their learning and next steps.

There are high expectations for students to learn and succeed. They are enthusiastic learners and benefit from relationships that are respectful and productive. Leaders and teachers focus on providing a supportive environment for students' wellbeing and learning.

Trustees and the principal work collaboratively to support the schools' vision, values and strategic goals. Succession is well-considered with experienced trustees supporting the transition of new board members.

The board values the importance of participating in training to build their knowledge and understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Trustees should increase their internal evaluation capacity by strengthening the alignment between strategic goals, annual planning and expected student outcomes.

Opportunities for internal and external PLD are provided to staff to promote leadership, collective capacity building and inquiry. The appraisal process is meaningful and celebrates good practice. Teacher's set goals and inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching. Strengthening these processes should lead to greater consistency of good practice to accelerate student progress.

Leaders appropriately identify that developing a shared understanding of effective internal evaluation to improve learner outcomes is a next step.

Strategies are in place to successfully involve parents and whānau in school activities and events. Parents are well informed about their child's progress and achievement. The school continues to seek ways to develop purposeful educational partnerships.

Useful connections are established between early childhood services and other schools. Being part of the Ahuriri Community of Learning (CoL) provides the opportunity to develop shared expectations and practices.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • need to systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • need to have a plan in place to build teacher capability to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

The school continues to promote practices aligned to their school vision and values. Leaders and teachers are highly reflective, and beginning to consider the impact of changes on student learning, engagement and achievement. ERO identifies, and leaders agree, it is timely to develop a greater knowledge and application of effective internal evaluation to support improvement.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop more targeted planning to accelerate student achievement. Planning should show how processes and practices will respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s planning and the progress the school makes.

ERO is likely to carry out the next full review in three years.

6 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review the board of trustees 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

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that trustees, leaders and teachers continue to strengthen school systems and processes. This includes provisions to accelerate learning for those students who need this support, raise teacher capability and improve internal evaluation, to build and sustain ongoing improvement.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

10 February 2017

About the school


Tamatea, Napier

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition









Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

10 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2014

December 2010

October 2007