Mangawhai Beach School

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School Context

Mangawhai Beach School caters for students in Years 1 to 8. Māori students comprise 21 percent of the 525 students currently enrolled, and three percent have Pacific heritage.

The school’s mission statement is “Our children - Our future”. The key values of creativity, resilience, excellence and whakaute (respect), underpin a vision of developing engaged and diverse learners connected to the school’s community and values.

The board’s strategic goals include:

  • building effective leadership and teaching capability
  • enhancing school culture and climate
  • increasing stakeholder engagement
  • improving performance across the school.

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)
  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets for priority learners in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress towards the school’s strategic goals.

Since the 2015 ERO review, a new deputy principal has been appointed. The senior leadership team has increased. Schoolwide professional development has focused on building bicultural understanding and promoting Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L).

The school is part of the Twin Coasts Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL). It is committed to working with the CoL to lift writing achievement and improve staff and student wellbeing.

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 very effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its learners.

Schoolwide achievement data show consistently high achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics for all groups of students. Most students achieve at or above the expected New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels.

Data from 2018 indicate that most Māori students achieve at or above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. The school’s small number of Pacific learners also achieve well.

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

Leaders and teachers are very effective at responding to students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

School data show that strategies for accelerating learning have a positive impact for all learners, including Māori and Pacific. Māori student achievement has improved over time. Students with additional learning needs achieve well and make accelerated progress. The schoolwide focus on mathematics has contributed to gains in achievement for all students.

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?

School staff are highly committed to improving the extent to which te ao Māori is woven throughout the curriculum and reflected in the school environment. This focus has a positive effect on the engagement, development and wellbeing of learners.

Māori students benefit from the deliberate focus on increasing bicultural practices throughout the school. Trustees, staff and whānau provide opportunities for Māori learners to succeed as Māori, and for all students to learn about the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. There are increasingly strong connections with whānau and local iwi. This is supported by the board’s strategic employment of a whānau Māori representative to support tikanga Māori.

Strong learning-centred relationships have created a highly engaged school community. Effective reciprocal communication supports and strengthens these relationships. Parents and whānau have very good opportunities to contribute to their children’s learning, the curriculum and school direction. Student engagement is increased through these partnerships.

Students benefit from a rich and broad curriculum that is highly responsive to their individual strengths and interests. They learn and participate in caring, collaborative and inclusive learning communities that support them to excel academically. Pastoral care and learning support services are focused on student supporting engagement and reducing barriers to learning.

Students participate in authentic, relevant learning experiences. There is an increasing focus on promoting students’ critical thinking and social responsibility. This is evident in students’ projects within the wider community. These projects enrich engagement and increase opportunities for students to develop leadership, communication and collaboration skills.

School leadership is highly effective, strategic and focused on improvement. Leaders promote and lead a collaborative and respectful learning culture with very clear and equitable expectations for all. Leaders enact the school’s vision, values and priorities to support students’ learning progress and promote their wellbeing. They build and maintain strong professional and relational trust across the school community. These well-considered leadership approaches provide a cohesive foundation for continued school development and direction.

Leaders have a coherent approach to building staff professional capability and collective capacity. An ongoing professional development programme enables middle leaders to further develop their skills in senior management. Schoolwide professional learning has focused on building shared understandings of and coordinated approaches to lifting student achievement.

Teachers and leaders have good systems to track and monitor the progress and achievements of individual students who need additional support. These systems are supported by highly effective communication strategies for sharing knowledge around improvement.

The board provides sound governance. Trustees are collaborative and bring a range of skills to their role. They are improvement focused and have high expectations for students’ success. Trustees make strategic and considered decisions for ongoing improvement to support student learning.

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

Leaders, teachers and trustees plan to further deepen internal evaluation and inquiry-based research, particularly in relation to stewardship and curriculum initiatives, to sustain ongoing improvements. More in-depth evaluation could usefully focus on gauging the consistency of schoolwide practices, and using evidence and including the parent community’s contributions and perspectives to a greater extent. Deeper evaluation practice could also support the development of further opportunities for students to lead their own learning, increase their creativity, and think critically.

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 Mangawhai Beach School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

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:

  • leadership that actively supports equity and excellence for all learners
  • a culture of high expectations, positive relationships and shared values
  • educationally powerful connections with parents and whānau that foster increased student engagement in learning.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to build schoolwide capability for inquiry and in-depth internal evaluation that focuses on improving achievement outcomes for students.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

17 January 2020

About the school


Mangawhai, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary School (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 50% Boys 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori 17%

NZ European/Pākehā 77%

other ethnic groups 6%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

17 January 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015

Education Review March 2012

Education Review November 2008


At Mangawhai Beach School a culture of high expectations and continual improvement is supported by high quality leadership, teaching and learning. Students achieve well and receive good pastoral support. They experience wide educational opportunities in a positive, inclusive school environment. Strong partnerships with families support student learning and school decision making.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Mangawhai Beach School is a semi-rural school located in the coastal settlement of Mangawhai, Northland. The school is experiencing roll growth due to population growth in the area. The school provides education for students from Years 1 to 8. Māori students represent 15% of the school roll.

The board, leaders and teachers have a strong focus on supporting student learning and well being. Staff and students work collaboratively in settled classroom environments. Parents and whānau are welcomed in the school and have opportunities to contribute to school life in many ways. The school has developed partnerships with families centred on their children’s learning.

At the time of the 2011 ERO review the school had a new principal and a number of improvement initiatives were being developed, particularly in regard to teaching and learning. The school responded positively to recommendations made in the 2012 ERO report and has continued to implement significant changes. The principal and two deputy principals are experienced leaders and a well established team.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school uses achievement information very well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

The school is strategic and systematic in responding to student achievement information. School leaders use the information well to monitor the progress of learners, to identify students requiring additional learning support and to set appropriate achievement targets.

Teachers are very well supported in their use of achievement data by effective school-wide systems, collaborative professional practice, and strong leadership. They follow effective systems to track and monitor students’ progress. They use achievement information well to guide programme planning for individuals and groups of students. They are refining their use of achievement information to accelerate progress for students requiring additional learning support.

The school’s information shows that most students are achieving at or above the National Standards. The achievement of Māori and Pacific students reflects overall school trends. Clear information about student achievement in relation to the National Standards is reported to the board. Trustees use this information well to make decisions related to achievement goals and resourcing.

Well considered, targeted programmes are provided for students requiring additional learning support. The board generously funds resources for these programmes. The effectiveness of intervention programmes is analysed, documented and reported to the board.

Parents receive good information about their children’s progress and achievement through a range of formal and informal strategies. Teachers are continuing to increase student involvement in reporting on their learning.

Students are becoming increasingly involved in their own learning. Teachers support them well to understand their learning goals and to discuss their current learning, progress and achievement. School leaders and teachers are continuing to extend these good practices and to explore ways in which they can further develop students’ ownership of their learning.

Students are highly engaged in their learning. They are confident, capable and articulate learners, who participate enthusiastically in classroom activities and are able to work independently and co-operatively. They enjoy positive relationships with each other and their teachers.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s curriculum is effective in promoting and supporting student learning. Students experience a holistic curriculum, which strongly reflects The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

Sound literacy and mathematics programmes are evident. Students’ critical thinking, problem solving and creativity are promoted through the school’s inquiry learning model. Students experience a broad range of learning opportunities, including enrichment and extension activities. Many leadership opportunities are offered to senior students.

As next steps, teachers are continuing to explore ways in which they can:

  • embed and extend the use of the school’s framework to develop students’ thinking skills
  • increase the student-led aspect of inquiry based learning
  • further extend and enrich learning opportunities for Year 7 and 8 students.

The NZC’s key competencies are well integrated through the school’s ‘BEACH’ values (Balance, Excel, Active, Creative, Having Fun). These values are actively promoted and reinforced, contributing to an engaging learning environment.

Students use information and communication technologies (ICT) in many ways to support their learning. Digital learning environments have been recently introduced for Years 7 and 8 students. School leaders have a strategic approach to the ongoing development of ICT to further enhance teaching and learning. The board is committed to continuing to resource the provision of ICT and to develop learning spaces to support a modern learning environment for students.

Learning programmes show input from parents and whānau, and links to community resources and projects. Staff could now consider making stronger links to the Pacific Education Plan as part of their curriculum review and development.

School leaders work collaboratively with staff to promote teacher reflection and inquiry into practice, and shared understandings of effective teaching approaches. Well considered professional learning and robust appraisal processes align well with the school’s strategic direction and contribute to the achievement of school targets. School curriculum documents provide teachers with clear, comprehensive guidelines. These strategies support teachers' ongoing development and promote student learning.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school is very effectively promoting educational success for Māori as Māori. Māori students are well engaged in learning, in school activities and in leadership roles. Students have many opportunities to engage with Māori role models, who provide leadership in te reo me te ao Māori and are passionate advocates of inclusive Māori student success.

School leaders and the board have developed positive relationships with Māori parents and representatives from the wider community and local iwi. In consultation with kaumatua and Ngāti Whātua they have developed a school kaupapa to guide school practices. School leaders work inclusively and collaboratively with the Māori whānau group, reflecting bicultural partnership.

All students experience a curriculum that includes Māori history, language and local contexts. Staff and the school community value kawa such as powhiri, noho marae and kapa haka. These occasions offer Māori students leadership opportunities, and encourage all students to understand and value New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

School leaders are continuing to work with the whānau group to embed sustainable practices that promote Māori success, as Māori. School leaders agree that they could further use Ministry of Education resources as they work towards this.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is very well placed to sustain its current high quality practices and continue to improve its performance.

The principal and senior leaders provide strong professional leadership, and are managing change very effectively. They promote current best teaching and learning practice and are building leadership capacity across the school. Team leaders provide effective leadership, and staff expertise is well used and valued.

The school board has experienced and newer trustees with a range of skills to support their governance role. Trustees have participated in external training in specific governance aspects. The board is focused on improving student achievement and wellbeing, and enhancing partnerships with the school community. Trustees work collaboratively with school leaders to support the school’s future direction. They consult widely to guide strategic planning. The board is well informed about student achievement and school developments.

School leaders ensure that the school’s collaborative school culture is well supported by effective systems and clear documentation. Charter and strategic planning is comprehensive and clearly documented. Trustees review progress towards the school’s goals regularly. Policies and procedures provide good guidance for school operations and are regularly reviewed. Policy review could include assurance of alignment between policy, procedures and current practices.

A strong culture of reflective practice and review is evident at all levels of the school. Ongoing review of teaching and learning is evidence-based and includes teachers’ professional inquiry. A comprehensive cycle of review ensures appropriate coverage of school practices. The principal and board acknowledge that the school’s useful self review guidelines could be more consistently evident in practice. Ongoing review of board operations and strengthened trustee succession and indication are relevant next steps for the board.

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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


At Mangawhai Beach School a culture of high expectations and continual improvement is supported by high quality leadership, teaching and learning. Students achieve well and receive good pastoral support. They experience wide educational opportunities in a positive, inclusive school environment. Strong partnerships with families support student learning and school decision making.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Dale Bailey Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 June 2015

About the School


Mangawhai Beach, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52%

Girls 48%

Ethnic composition













Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

29 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2012

November 2008

November 2005