Port Ahuriri School - 28/05/2019

School Context

Port Ahuriri School is located in the port area of Napier and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Approximately 14 percent of the current roll of 265 students are Māori. The school vision - empowering learners in an inclusive, stimulating environment, is supported by the values of kindness, respect and learning (Kia Ngākau Mahaki, Kia Ngākau Whakaute, Kia Whai Kaha Ki Te Ako). Long-term priorities and goals are documented in the school charter and aligned to a focus on improving outcomes for all learners.

The school comprises three age-related learning hubs. The junior hub, Poipoi, where the focus is ‘to nurture’, the middle hub, Piki, where the focus is on ‘knowledge building and aiming high’, and Aoraki, where senior students are focused on ‘reaching for the peak in their learning’.

A Year 1 to 6 class provides learning based on a self-directed Montessori approach. In this class curriculum and assessment expectations are the same as for other classes, and these students are fully integrated into the wider school for general school activities and events. Since the previous ERO review in 2015, the experienced principal continues in his role, a new deputy principal has been appointed and there have been some other changes to the teaching team. A new chairperson is providing leadership for the board and some trustees are also new to their governance roles.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

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 making effective progress towards achieving equitable outcomes for all of its students.

School data for 2018 shows that most students achieved at expected curriculum levels in reading and writing, and almost all students in mathematics.

Data gathered over the last two years shows generally increasing levels of achievement across all core curriculum areas. The data also shows Māori students are achieving at similar levels to non-Māori in reading and writing. Although Māori achievement has increased in mathematics, non-Māori continue to achieve at higher levels.

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

The school is able to show effective acceleration for Māori and other students whose learning and achievement needs this. School data about rates of acceleration for at-risk learners shows that during 2018 rates of acceleration were generally higher for Māori than for other students in the school.

The school also has information that shows effective acceleration for boys in writing that has been sustained over time.

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?

Leadership is effective in enabling continual improvement, sustainability and the promotion of equity and excellence. A well-considered strategic approach to change management and high expectations for teachers and students are evident. Leaders have designed and implemented robust performance management systems and curriculum delivery processes that are focused on continual improvement in outcomes for learners. These systems and processes are resulting in clear direction for improved teaching and learning across the school. Senior leadership’s support for building leadership capability across the school is evidenced by an environment of empowerment and collaboration, capitalising on teachers’ strengths and interests. Leaders also play a key role in consulting widely with parents, whānau and the wider school community to establish school priorities and direction.

The school’s local curriculum is well developed, providing clear guidelines and expectations for teaching and learning. The curriculum includes coverage of all learning areas and continual review to support the needs of students and the school community, and reflect current best practice. There is a responsive and individualised approach to supporting students and whānau at key transition points in the school, when entering the school and when moving on to year seven. Well-developed, collaborative and inclusive practices and strategies are also in place to support parents, whānau and students with additional learning needs.

The management and use of achievement information is effective in accelerating progress and learning. Teachers and leaders closely monitor and track the progress of all students with a focus on those whose progress requires acceleration. Teachers’ use data as part of ongoing reflections about their teaching practice through professional inquiries. High levels of collaboration and continual reflection among teachers enable them to identify specific teaching strategies, interventions and programmes that are effective for target learners. This work is building teachers’ capability to personalise teaching for students requiring acceleration. Leaders use data to make decisions about schoolwide teacher professional learning priorities and determine overall programme effectiveness. Trustees scrutinise data reported to them to make resourcing decisions that support school initiatives to improve outcomes for learners. Data is also well used to keep parents informed about their child’s level of achievement, successes and challenges.

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

The school should continue to make use of current self-review information in the school to develop an increasingly fine grained approach to ongoing inquiry/internal evaluation.

The school has prioritised the development of the local place-based curriculum as part of ongoing curriculum review and development.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were two international students attending the school.

The school’s procedures for reviewing the Code are well developed. Systems to monitor the pastoral care of international students are thorough and the small number of students enrolled enjoy the same experiences as other students in the school. First language support is available where appropriate.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

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

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that is contributing to effective change management and ongoing improvement in outcomes for students
  • a responsive local curriculum that enables students to achieve their potential
  • use of assessment information that is improving outcomes for all learners.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to build on the teacher inquiry focus to support ongoing internal evaluation.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

28 May 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 51% Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 14%
NZ European/Pākehā 71%
Pacific 3% Asian 6%
Other ethnic groups 6%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

28 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2015
Education Review February 2012
Education Review March 2009