Pakiri School

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

Bathgate Road, Pakiri, Wellsford

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School Context

Pakiri School is a small rural school catering for 28 children in Years 1 to 8. It offers two mixed-age learning pathways, mainstream and Montessori.

The school’s shared vision is represented in its whakataukī Kotahi te Hikoi Whakamua, Forward Together. The board’s valued outcomes for students are maia (courage), whakaute (respect), kotahitanga (unity), and hiranga (excellence).

In Term 3, 2019 a Montessori class and teacher joined the school which led to significant roll growth. The school is now staffed with two teachers and two learning support assistants.

Since the 2016 ERO review, a new teaching principal was appointed. The principal reports to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement information in reading, writing and mathematics
  • attendance and engagement
  • variance in achievement against the school’s annual targets.

A new board was elected in 2019 with representatives from the Montessori class and local iwi. The 2020 strategic goals set by the board include achievement targets for literacy and Māori learners.

The board requested assistance from the Ministry of Education (MOE) and subsequently a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) was appointed to support the board to improve personnel management and communication practices. Since the onsite stage of this review the principal has resigned.

The school is a member of the Mahurangi Kāhui Ako/Community of Learning (CoL).

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 achieves equitable and excellent outcomes for most of its students. The school’s 2019 achievement information indicate that nearly all students achieve at or above New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) expectations in writing and mathematics, and most children achieve at or above in reading. Māori students achieve at or above in literacy and mathematics.

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

The school is accelerating the learning for those Māori and other students who need this. Teachers and trustees support equity and excellence through a considered approach and careful alignment with strategic goals. School information show students’ learning needs are identified promptly and for some, their progress is accelerated.

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?

The school’s vision and whakataukī, Kotahi te hikoi whakamua, Moving Forward, guides the focus of kotahitanga, the one school approach to learning. In 2020 the school, in consultation with their community, developed a localised curriculum to enable all students to have input into their learning. The outdoor environment and local history contexts are used well. There is an increased focus on te reo Māori me ōna Tikanga and a strong sense of kaitiakitanga within the school and community.

Students learn in caring and inclusive settings. They have many tuakana/teina and across-school opportunities to engage in learning. The priority placed on students’ wellbeing is contributing to high levels of student engagement and a strong sense of belonging. School values are highly evident in the classrooms and playground.

The teachers ERO observed provided high quality learning opportunities for their children. They collaborate and are developing their capability to further provide equity and excellence for all students. Teachers analyse and assess achievement data together. They moderate their shared expectations and respond to students’ learning needs with appropriate interventions.

Parents and whānau are fully involved in the school. The board and teachers are building strong connections with parents to support student wellbeing and broaden opportunities for learning.

The board of trustees work collaboratively and have undertaken training to improve aspects of their governance role. They make strategic decisions aimed at promoting better outcomes for students.

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

Trustees recognise the positive impact that the inclusion of the Montessori class has had on the school. It is important for them to further consult the community as they consider the continuance of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Montessori Trust.

Teachers should continue to reflect, embed and document outcomes for students to guide effective practice. Teachers agree that they could now investigate a wider range of strategies to accelerate student progress.

At the time of this review there were significant relationship issues that were impacting negatively on the operation of the school. Trustees are working with the LSM in areas of governance concerning personnel management, complaints and communication.

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 Pakiri School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

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 vision of one school based on shared values and promoting equity and excellence
  • relevant, place-based curriculum aimed at promoting high levels of achievement
  • teachers’ collaborative planning for learner success and enhanced wellbeing.

Actions for compliance

ERO noted the following areas of non-compliance:

  • the principal was not adequately appraised against the professional standards. The board mustannually assess the principal against all the professional standards for principals.
    [NZ Ed Gazette: and relevant employment agreement.]

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are for the Board of Trustees to develop manageable processes for evaluating:

  • the impact of the MoU with the Montessori Trust on outcomes for students
  • the effectiveness of school governance.

Trustees and ERO agree that trustees continue to work with the LSM on issues identified at the time of the review.

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider continuing the intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about improvement in personnel management and communication.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)

Northern Region - Te Tai Raki

14 October 2020

About the school

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

1 Context

Pakiri is a well established, small school in the Rodney District. It is the centre of the rural Pakiri coastal community and provides for thirteen children in Years 1 to 8. Most children are of Māori descent and are affiliated to Ngati Wai and Ngati Manuhiri.

Children are friendly, confident and respectful. They benefit from a settled and positive school tone. Special features of the school setting include the original school building, which is now the library, and the attractive gardens and grounds. School trustees, staff and the community are proud of their school and the opportunities that it provides for children. There is a strong sense of belonging in the school that is shared and expressed by staff, children and the wider school community.

The experienced and knowledgeable teaching principal was appointed in 2015. Her leadership with the board of trustees continues to centre on promoting good quality teaching and learning. The focus for teacher professional development has been science and learning with digital technologies, and promoting a modern learning environment.

The school has a positive reporting history of ERO reviews.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children focus on preparing a community of confident, respectful and adaptable life-long learners. This is articulated well in the school whakatauaki 'Kotahi te hīkoi whakamua-United as one, moving ahead together.' The resulting statements in the school charter place emphasis on children becoming successful life-long learners.

The principles of equity and excellence are evident in the leadership and governance of the school. The board and teaching principal work collaboratively to provide good learning opportunities and outcomes for all children. Building positive relationships with children and their families and whānau is regarded by the school as essential to meaningful learning.

The school’s achievement information shows that Māori children, who comprise most of the school's roll, achieve at or above the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Of the small number of students achieving below National Standards, the school has very good knowledge of what is required to accelerate their success.

Since the 2013 ERO evaluation, a more flexible approach has been developed to personalise teaching to children's different learning requirements, and a common language of learning is increasingly being used among adults and children.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school responds well to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Teachers have high expectations for learning and a strong focus on developing children's potential. Children are provided with a meaningful, localised curriculum. They see the relevance of their learning and are motivated to learn. This impacts positively on their progress and achievement.

Teachers support children's progress by providing them with their own achievement information to help them to recognise the progress they have made and identify their next learning steps.

The few children who are not achieving at National Standards are making sound progress. Their progress is very closely monitored and teaching programmes are adapted to suit their preferences and learning requirements. The introduction of more personalised teaching and learning approaches and individual modelling books are part of this well considered strategy.

Decision making based on the principles of equity and excellence provides opportunities for all learners to succeed. The school accesses resources and agencies to further help children with specific learning needs.

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 priorities for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum and other organisational processes and practices effectively promote equity and excellence for all students.

The school is well resourced and provides a quality learning environment for children. They have the opportunity to engage with an unhurried, broad curriculum. Theme-based approaches allow them to bring their own experiences and knowledge to their learning. Teachers encourage children to share their interests and learning with each other.

The principal places strong emphasis on children being treated as capable and competent learners. A climate of trust between teachers and children and the promotion of tuakana-teina relationships within the school are having a positive impact on learning. Flexible teaching approaches are responsive to individual needs. Opportunities to reflect on ways to improve their learning enable children to develop good foundational skills for life-long learning. An emphasis on science and digital technology within the curriculum is also seen as beneficial by the principal in helping to promote ongoing improvement in children's progress and achievement.

The principal responds respectfully to whānau and uses her knowledge of families to help guide curriculum directions and design. This relationship with families helps develop partnerships that are focused on working together to support children's learning.

The principal participates in various networks to maintain professional dialogue and keep up with current developments in educational theory and practice. This knowledge and practice is shared with the other teacher in the school and helps to ensure children benefit from consistent and high quality learning experiences.

Māori students benefit from a sense of connection to each other, classmates and teachers. Increasingly children's language, culture and identity are being considered in the curriculum. Each day begins with karakia and children participate in kapa haka taught by an external tutor. Work on developing a Māori language programme is underway, supported by Ministry of Education resources.

The board represents the interests of its community well and exercises capable stewardship. Trustees make sound decisions focused on building and sustaining school capability. They are well informed about how well students are achieving and progressing.

Trustees continue to explore different ways of setting realistic and meaningful targets to raise student achievement. This process informs strategic resourcing to improve and support student learning.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all students?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children who need their 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.

The principal and board have also identified relevant priorities for further development. These include:

  • increasing students' and whānau perspectives in school and curriculum reviews
  • further integrating science and digital technology into the school's curriculum.

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 Students Act 2014.

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the school continues to promote equity and excellence through progressing its self-identified priorities for further development and continuing to develop and sustain productive partnerships with whānau that are focused on working together to support children's learning. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

24 June 2016 

About the school


Pakiri, Wellsford

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 10, Boys 3

Ethnic composition





Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

24 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

April 2010

June 2007