Rocket School - 20/12/2018


On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Rocket School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

1 Background

The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989, requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review private schools between 6 and 12 months after they have been provisionally registered, and to report to the Ministry of Education for the Secretary to consider full registration.

This ERO review follows the provisional registration of the school by the Ministry of Education in February 2018, and focuses on whether the school now meets the criteria for full registration as a private school.

Rocket School opened in February 2018 with provisional registration as a co-educational school for students in Years 1 to 10. The school is owned and operated by Rocket Mechanics Developments Limited (RMD Ltd).

2 Criteria for Registration

Rocket School was established to offer a curriculum with specialist intervention for students who have found it difficult to engage with mainstream education. Interactions, relationships and programmes are guided by an attachment-based developmental approach to education. This approach aims to support each student’s maturation development so they can engage successfully in the schooling system.

The school offers a suitable curriculum, which includes aspects of the New Zealand Curriculum. Staff provide programmes of learning that are adapted to meet students’ individual learning needs and readiness for learning. Multi-sensory literacy and mathematics programmes are systematically reviewed and developmentally sequenced so that students can progress at their own pace. Assessment and tracking of students’ progress is well recorded. Individual learning plans include students’ learning goals and these are evaluated each term. The evaluation summaries are shared with parents.

The wider curriculum areas are integrated in the daily project-based programmes. The projects are focused around meaningful, authentic contexts, and include practical and creative opportunities. In the afternoons staff arrange optional activities that are often based in the community.

There is a suitable standard of tuition and staff provide an inclusive, caring environment for students. They develop strong relationships that foster students’ confidence and motivation to engage and learn. Students benefit from teachers’ and teacher aides’ responsive and adaptive practices and programmes which are designed to be relevant to their personal contexts, abilities and interests.

The school has suitable staffing. Currently, there is a high ratio of teachers to students, which means there are many tutoring opportunities with individual students. Most of the staff have previously worked with students with additional learning needs. The school is led by the principal who has initiated the establishment of this school and its vision. She is developing operational policies and procedures relevant to the school’s context. The teacher appraisal process now includes the Education Council’s new Standards for the Teaching Profession.

The school provides suitable premises situated on a rural property on Windy Ridge Boys Farm. Under supervision, students can explore and learn from the surrounding natural environment which includes tracks though a bush clad valley. The two classrooms offer light, airy spaces for individual or group learning and activities. The school is sufficiently equipped to support the curriculum offered and the current student roll.

The school’s managers have attested that they comply with the provisions of section 35G of the Education Act 1989 in respect to being fit and proper persons to manage the school.

3 Other Obligations

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that the school’s other statutory obligations are met.

4 Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Rocket School meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

20 December 2018

About the School


Pohuehue, Warkworth

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Private School - provisionally registered Composite (Years 1 to 10)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 7 Girls 2

Ethnic composition

other ethnic groups


Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

20 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous reports