Kaingaroa School (Kaitaia)

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Education institution number:
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Not Applicable
Total roll:

Highway 10, Kaingaroa, Kaitaia

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School Context

Kaingaroa School is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. Approximately half the school roll identify as Māori and just under half as Pākehā. A small number of children have Samoan or other ethnic heritage. The school has experienced roll growth over the last three years.

The school is a member of Te Kāhui Tai Kura o Te Hiku Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning which is focused on developing student agency through quality teaching and learning. The school is also a member of Te Hiku Manaiakalani Outreach, which is focused on promoting digital fluency, in readiness to implement the digital technology curriculum. The principal leads the Manaiakalani project in the school.

The experienced principal is supported by a deputy principal, who is also a leader in the kāhui ako, and a teaching assistant principal. Several teachers are new to the school since ERO’s 2017 review, and most staff have historical connections to the community.

The new board chairperson is an experienced trustee. Board members bring a range of professional skills and knowledge to their roles. The board has co-opted a trustee from the local Māori community.

The school’s vision is Whakatupu ana i te huarahi pai mō naianei me apopo - Growing success together: today for tomorrow. The school values are kia tika – respect, kia mahara – responsibility, kia manawanui – resilience, kia pono – equity, and kia ngāwari – kindness. The strategic goals are to:

  • grow student-centred leadership, where students are successful in driving their own learning
  • build identity through strengthening community and whānau partnerships
  • grow teacher and leadership capability.

The school’s 2020 targets are focused on supporting students who are working below curriculum expectations to achieve in reading, writing and mathematics. For the last three years, leaders and teachers have participated in the professional development course Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALiM), funded by the Ministry of Education.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
  • accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing for success
  • attendance
  • strategic goals.

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 successfully increasing equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

School achievement data show that most students achieve at expected national curriculum levels in reading and mathematics, and the majority of students in writing. This level of achievement has been sustained since 2016.

School achievement information for Māori students show that the majority achieve at expectation in mathematics and literacy. The number of Māori students enrolled at the school has fluctuated over the last four years.

The school has used comparative longitudinal data from the Manaiakalani Project to monitor the progress and achievement of individual students. Overall, these data show a positive upward trajectory in literacy and mathematics for Māori students, boys in Years 4 to 8, and girls in Years 5 to 8. These data also indicate that girls are achieving above expectation in writing. This information indicates that by Year 8 most students feel confident in the school’s graduate profile and other valued outcomes.

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

The school is successfully accelerating learning for students who needs this. Effective systems are in place to identify and support these students to make accelerated progress. A number of children who enrol throughout the year have patterns of transience and disrupted learning, and they require accelerated learning programmes.

Comparative longitudinal data indicate increasing parity in reading achievement and accelerated progress in writing for Māori students. The data also show accelerated progress in mathematics for Year 4 Māori students. The school’s 2019 data show accelerated progress for almost all Years 1 and 2 Māori students learning through targeted intervention programmes.

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?

Leaders are focused on promoting positive relationships and implementing effective strategies that support student equity and excellence. The board makes well-considered decisions to promote equitable opportunities for students. Parents and whānau who spoke with ERO feel respected as valued partners in their children’s learning.

Students learn in caring, inclusive learning environments that promote relational trust, cooperation and team work. Transient students experience positive transitions into the school. Students increasingly experience opportunities to take ownership of their learning.

The school curriculum is future-focused and connected to students’ lives. It reflects the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Teachers make good use of community and cultural resources to provide a local, bicultural curriculum. They use effective teaching practices that scaffold student learning.

Students with additional learning and behavioural needs feel accepted and enjoy positive relationships with their peers and teachers. They are active, visible members of the learning community. School leaders work alongside teachers, parents/whānau and external agencies to develop individualised plans for these students. They work collaboratively to support students’ health, wellbeing and education. Students build social and emotional competencies to help them to be successful learners.

The principal actively promotes a strategic, coherent and collaborative approach to building professional learning and practice. This personalised approach is increasing teachers’ data literacy capacity and the consistency of effective teaching practice across the school.

Leaders and teachers use relevant assessment systems and processes to track achievement and monitor students who need to make accelerated progress. Appropriate assessment tools provide reliable achievement data to inform deliberate teaching strategies for acceleration.

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

The leadership team and board are committed to the school’s vision. They agree that further developments for equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning include continuing to:

  • develop the Kaingaroa School expectations for teaching and learning to increase students’ assessment and learning to learn capabilities
  • build the capability of trustees and staff to do and use evidence-based evaluation and inquiry to guide and sustain ongoing school improvements, and to determine the impact of developments on student learning.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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:

  • the principal’s effective leadership and commitment to equity and excellence for all students
  • a meaningful, student-centred local curriculum
  • teachers’ focus on building their professional capability and collective capacity to improve outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • build staff and trustees’ collective internal evaluation capability for improvement and innovation
  • strengthen teaching strategies to ensure students have the opportunities and skills to know and lead their own learning.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

10 June 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

1 Context

Kaingaroa School, near the town of Kaitaia in the Far North, is a full primary school for Years 1 to 8 children. The school has been serving the coastal community in this area for 130 years. Approximately half the children are of Māori descent, the other half are New Zealand European/Pākehā.

Since the 2013 ERO review a new principal has been appointed. There have been many initiatives and changes in the school in the last two years. New leadership approaches are building teacher capability and confidence in helping children to succeed who were previously at risk of not achieving. The school is a member of the Far North Community of Learning alongside 21 other primary, intermediate and secondary schools. In 2015, Kaingaroa School joined 10 other schools in the Muriwhenua Learning Change Network cluster.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to become capable, confident and academically successful students who are connected with whānau, their culture and their environment. The school community has recently refreshed the school's vision and mission statements. The school values of equity (tautoko), respect (whakapono) and responsibility (manaakitanga), are currently under review.

The school’s achievement information shows that approximately 57 percent of children achieve the National Standards for mathematics, 52 percent for writing and 68 percent for reading. There is some disparity between the overall achievement of Māori children and that of others in the school.

With new leadership and revitalised learning approaches during 2015 and 2016 this disparity is decreasing. The school continues to focus on strategies to further reduce disparity in achievement across all of the National Standards. In 2016 the school has made improvement in writing a priority.

Very good processes are being followed to support teachers to make reliable judgements in relation to the National Standards. School leaders are making more use of evidence from across the curriculum as well as from summative testing, to guide teacher decisions. Moderation practices align well with ongoing evaluative discussions among staff to support children at risk of not achieving. The principal leads this approach through example, by working in classrooms with targeted children. Teachers and students also benefit from continuing external expertise in the school to support mathematics and literacy.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has:

  • created opportunities for all teachers to be involved collaboratively in leading changes in curriculum delivery and assessment practices
  • implemented a 'teaching as inquiry' process that focuses on targeted students in order to accelerate their progress
  • implemented specific term by term planning for acceleration with resulting evidence being documented.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The board, principal and teachers are focusing on a large number of children who need to make accelerated progress with their learning. There are clear links in school systems between strategic planning, annual planning and teacher planning to deliberately accelerate progress for groups of children who are at risk of not achieving.

All children are respected as capable learners who can make progress at their expected age level and can make decisions about their own learning preferences. Teachers give children useful feedback about how they can improve and use next steps themselves. Increasingly children are seeking more ways to be in control of and independent in their own learning. Overall most learners are engaging well in class programmes and look forward to their learning experiences and challenges.

Teachers are quickly identifying children's learning needs and implementing relevant strategies to address their individual requirements. School documentation shows effective monitoring and evidence of children's learning progress being sustained over time.

Teachers collectively share the responsibility for all children's learning and for accelerated learning. They regularly meet to discuss and inform each other about strategies that make a difference and evaluate interventions that are in place. The principal is very involved in modelling best practice to help teachers adjust, deepen and improve their understanding further to accelerate learning.

School leaders and teachers are offering whānau more opportunities to be involved in the school and participate meaningfully in their children's learning. ERO supports the board's and principal's intentions to further promote this initiative in the next phase of school development.

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?

Good processes and practices are used to promote equity and excellence in children's educational outcomes. The board, principal and teachers work with a strategic plan and direction that is focused clearly on progress and achievement expectations for all learners. High quality, evidence-based information about student progress and achievement assists the board to make good resourcing decisions, especially in relation to staffing.

The school has a deep commitment to bicultural practice. The current strategic plan supports Māori children's educational success and identity in the school. The principal and trustees are developing strong links with local iwi at a considered and appropriate pace. There is positive and effective Māori representation on the board and increasing connections are being made with three key marae. A school kaumatua is directly involved in school-wide learning to embed authentic tikanga appropriate for this iwi rohe. A kaiawhina tutor is also employed by the board to support te reo and tikanga in classroom programmes.

All children have growing opportunities to gain knowledge and confidence in te ao Māori. They especially enjoy and confidently lead kapa haka, waiata and whaikorero. A next step for teachers is to further develop their own cultural competencies and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, will have more focus and impact on appraisal requirements during 2017.

The school's curriculum is increasingly aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. Leaders plan to increase the levels of student and community agency to shape the development of the school's future curriculum framework. This will broaden children's local, national and global understandings through authentic and purposeful connections to learning. School leaders are developing digital learning to enhance classroom programmes and are encouraging the use of technology to assist parents to work with their children at home.

Students are benefitting from a strong focus on literacy and mathematics across all curriculum areas. This has been a long term strategic focus and positive gains and shifts are becoming evident, particularly through the second half of 2016. Regular evaluation at all levels of the school to consider the impact and effectiveness of teaching literacy and mathematics is proving to be very useful in guiding further development decisions.

The principal and teachers are working to increase the level of community involvement in the school, particularly in encouraging Māori parents to become participants in their children's learning pathway. Regular 'green' weeks are flagged in the school's calendar to foster connections with parents and whānau wherever possible.

The concept "that all teachers are leaders" is actively promoted in the school. Leadership roles are being changed regularly to extend teachers' capabilities. As this leadership model embeds in the school, more consistent approaches to teaching and learning will assist children to successfully transition through the different year levels.

Trustees have a professional approach to their stewardship responsibilities and use sound processes to ensure the board meets its statutory obligations. The board is diverse and brings expertise from varying backgrounds to the governance role. Trustees work well together to promote the growing interest from the community in the school's success.

Internal evaluation has been used purposefully to guide school development through a period of rapid change. Progress towards the Charter's strategic goals is regularly monitored and evaluated. Teachers feel well supported to deliver these strategic intentions. They have ample professional opportunities to reflect on how their teaching practice impacts on children's learning, particularly on those who have additional or special learning requirements.

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 effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Kaingaroa School is well placed to make ongoing improvement and build capability to impact positively on children's learning. The board, principal, teachers and community have a shared vision and commitment to the school's current direction that is focused on successful educational outcomes for all students.

During the review ERO and school leaders agreed that the following next steps that would benefit outcomes for learners include continuing to:

  • build the school's inquiry culture to consolidate many recent initiatives and changes
  • develop learning relationships between whānau, teachers and children
  • build a responsive curriculum where student agency is prioritised
  • build the school's evaluative culture to sustain high quality practice

ERO is likely to carry out the next 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 the board, principal, leaders and teachers continue to use internal evaluation to guide the development of strategies to further improve the outcomes for Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

18 January 2017

About the school 


Kaingaroa, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 62% Girls 38%

Ethnic composition







Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

18 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2013

April 2010

January 2007