Spring Creek School - 14/07/2017


Spring Creek School has a roll of 44 children, including 16 Māori children.

Since the 2013 ERO report there have been a number of changes in the school including the appointment of a new principal. The school has joined the Piritahi Kāhui Ako/Community of Learning.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is responding effectively to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need accelerating. The school has a number of good quality practices in place that support equity and excellence. There are some processes requiring further development.

At the time of this review the school’s participation in a Community of Learning was providing useful professional learning opportunities that aligned well with the school’s strategic goals of raising children’s achievement.

Children were achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is responding effectively to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need accelerating.

Information provided to ERO shows that the school does not have adequate processes in place to ensure reliability of assessment decisions. Teacher overall judgements about achievement against the National Standards are not consistent between teachers. A key priority for the school is to develop clear guidelines and expectations that promote robust assessment and moderation practices.

The school’s achievement information shows that, overall, Māori children are achieving very well in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The pattern of achievement for other children over the last three years shows consistently high achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

There is ongoing disparity in achievement for boys, particularly in writing, which the school is working to address.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

The school has a number of good quality processes that are effective in achieving equity and excellence.

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

School values are well embedded and actively used by leaders, teachers and students to develop positive behaviours and an equitable learning environment. The enacted values, in combination with a school focus on key competencies, are supporting children to be effective lifelong learners.

Children have many opportunities for learning that are purposeful and engaging. In particular, children have time to practise and revisit learning, learning is differentiated according to need, and technology is used effectively to enable better access to the curriculum. Students are also encouraged to take responsibility for their learning through meaningful goal setting and decision-making about their learning.

Parents, family and whānau are actively welcomed and involved in the school. Leaders and teachers have established a strong culture of respect, which is further enhanced by effective communication between home and school. Timely communication between school and home supports reciprocal, learning-centred relationships.

Leaders and teachers trial innovative teaching and learning strategies to support priority learners. There is a culture of challenge and strong support for learning. Professional learning opportunities are aligned with strategic planning and student achievement goals. Teachers are encouraged to reflect on effective teaching practices through a well-understood process of inquiry.

There is an understanding among leaders and teachers of Māori values. This contributes to teaching practices that are culturally and pedagogically responsive. Tuakana teina relationships between students support learning and wellbeing. Aspects of te ao Māori are incorporated in learning programmes with the aim of celebrating and promoting Māori language, identity and culture.

Some aspects of internal evaluation are well used to support improvement in teaching and learning. The teacher appraisal system is very useful and well aligned with school priorities. The introduction of a 'spiral of inquiry' approach to developing teacher practice is generating some good examples of innovative and responsive practice to promote equity and excellence and reduce disparity.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

The school has some effective processes for supporting equity and excellence. There are a number of areas that require further development and improvement.

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Moderation processes to support consistency and reliability of overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards must be put in place. Some aspects of the curriculum (reading and writing) need to be aligned with NZ Curriculum expectations. The principal has identified these areas as priorities for improvement in order to determine if students are progressing adequately and to inform the board and community accurately.

Planning to support children who need to make accelerated progress should be more detailed and better evaluated to determine the impact of actions on children's learning.

Some aspects of internal evaluation need to be further developed. This includes analysis and evaluation of:

  • achievement information to show sufficiency of progress and to inform board decision-making
  • the board's annual plan to show how effectively they are meeting their goals.

The principal's appraisal needs to be more robust and meet the requirements of the Education Council.

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
  • 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

Actions required

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the principal's appraisal.

In order to address this the board must ensure that the principal is appraised against the Education Council expectations. [NAG 3; s 77A State Sector Act]

Going forward

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

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • improve the consistency and reliability of teacher overall judgements in relation to National Standards
  • plan more specifically to support children requiring additional support with learning and regularly evaluate progress to determine if it is sufficient
  • develop a more robust system of internal evaluation specifically to determine effectiveness of support for children's progress and achievement
  • ensure that the principal's appraisal is compliant and of sufficient quality.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Southern (Te Waipounamu)

14 July 2017 

About the school 


Spring Creek

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Primary 1-6

School roll


Gender composition

Male 22

Female 22

Ethnic composition

Māori 16

European 24

Dutch 3

African 1

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May, 2017

Date of this report

14 July 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May, 2013

Education Review April, 2010