Nelson Christian Academy

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

100 Marsden Valley Road, Stoke, Nelson

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Nelson Christian Academy

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 14 months of the Education Review Office and Nelson Christian Academy working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website.


Nelson Christian Academy is a special character school whose mission is to provide a biblically based, Christ-centred education equipping students in Years 1 to 8 for effective service and leadership. The school is located in the Marsden Valley, near Nelson, and is a member of Stoke Tāhunanui Kāhui Ako.

Nelson Christian Academy’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • raising student achievement through targeted and deliberate teaching practice

  • celebrating and nurturing cultures, languages, identities and wellbeing

  • developing a responsive curriculum that will connect to students’ lives, community and environment.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Nelson Christian Academy’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate growth of professional capability and collective capacity that fosters the framework for a Christian-character and localised curriculum, with culturally responsive teaching and learning.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • achievement data shows scope to accelerate progress for more students in the core learning areas, and to ensure that by Year 8, the majority are secure in their knowledge

  • the school is growing shared planning, teaching and assessment practices and guidelines to support staff capability and consistency, guided by a School Achievement Function Practitioner (SAF) for mathematics

  • leaders are keen to collaborate with staff to create a graduate profile document with clarity about the learning pathway across the school at each stage from Years 1 to 8, guiding teaching and learning

  • strategic planning prioritises equity and excellence for Māori students, and staff are involved in professional development to grow culturally responsive pedagogy to enhance teaching approaches.

The school expects to see engaged and motivated learners, who feel listened to and valued. Improved learner progress and achievement will be evident. A professional growth cycle will be embedded, fostering reflective and collaborative teaching practice. Feedforward and feedback will be evident across curriculum, teaching and learning. A co-constructed localised curriculum will promote common understandings of quality practices, and power-sharing. Effective communication with the school’s diverse communities will promote engagement and a strong sense of belonging and connection.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to grow professional capability and collective capacity that fosters the framework for a Christian-character and localised curriculum, with culturally responsive teaching and learning:

  • a community that builds a strong sense of belonging, united in faith, core beliefs and values that align Nelson Christian Academy’s Christ-centred character

  • an embedded inquiry approach that will support teachers to become reflective, evidence-based practitioners

  • senior leaders have worked with the SAF to create a comprehensive plan to enact its strategic goals.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • embedding and developing staff’s implementation of culturally responsive practices

  • reviewing and developing assessment practices to inform differentiated planning and practice

  • building staff expertise to remove barriers to learning and support English Language Learners to access the curriculum successfully.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

7 August 2023 

About the School

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

Nelson Christian Academy

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of November 2022, the Nelson Christian Academy Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Further Information

For further information please contact Nelson Christian Academy, School Board.

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

7 August 2023 

About the School

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

Nelson Christian Academy - 12/06/2019

School Context

Nelson Christian Academy is a state integrated school located in Stoke, Nelson. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review, the roll was 205 students, with 16% identifying as Māori.

The overarching vision is to teach students Christian character, positive values and encourage academic excellence. This is underpinned by the FAVOUR values of: faith, aroha, valuing others, open to God’s word, understanding and respect.

In its charter, the school focuses on building leadership and teacher capability, promoting community involvement and fostering special character and student wellbeing. Annual Plan targets focus on raising achievement in writing.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • achievement for gifted and talented students
  • attendance.

Since the December 2014 ERO report, there have been a substantial number of leadership and staff changes.

The school is a member of the Te Kāhui ako o Omaio ki Tahunanui Community of Learning.

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?

Achievement data for 2018 shows that most students achieve school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. By the end of Year 8 this is particularly evident where almost all students achieve in these subjects.

Māori student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, over time, is below that of their peers, though the level of disparity reduced in 2018. Māori achieved higher in reading than their peers in 2018.

Addressing the significant disparity for boys in writing is an ongoing priority.

Pacific student numbers are very small, and overall their achievement in literacy and mathematics is similar to their peers in the school.

Students with additional learning needs are very well supported to participate, progress and achieve in relation to appropriately developed individual education plans.

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

School data for 2018 shows that many students, including Māori, identified as priority learners make accelerated progress in reading, writing or mathematics.

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?

A responsive, localised curriculum underpinned by the school’s special Christian character effectively promotes students’ engagement in learning. A purposeful, positive and respectful environment promotes their wellbeing, sense of identity, belonging and engagement in their learning. There are many opportunities for students to participate and celebrate success in academic, sporting, artistic, cultural and leadership activities. Student voice is valued. Continuing to increase individual responsibility and choice in their learning is an identified key goal.

Leaders and teachers are well supported to grow their expertise and leadership ability through extensive professional learning and development opportunities. The newly refined teacher appraisal process is improvement-focused with individual goals aligned to school targets. It has the potential to promote teacher capability and lead to improved outcomes for students.

Sound assessment processes and practices effectively support leaders and teachers to gather robust achievement information. This informs resourcing and strategic decision making. Teachers use assessment information to recognise and respond to students’ interests and learning needs. Students at risk of not achieving are effectively identified. Newly introduced moderation practices support teachers to make dependable judgements about achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

There is a well-established culture of reflection throughout the school. It is timely to develop a shared, schoolwide approach to internal evaluation that is evidence based and uses agreed indicators of success. This should enable trustees, leaders and teachers to evaluate the impact of initiatives, programmes and interventions on student progress and achievement and better inform planning for continuous improvement.

The school is going through a time of significant change. It is important to carefully manage the pace of this change and evaluate the impact of new systems, processes and methodology, in order to identify and embed effective practices.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

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

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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:

  • a school curriculum that fosters students’ engagement in learning
  • systems and processes that focus on responding to individual learning and needs.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to reduce disparity for Māori students and boys in writing

  • internal evaluation to better measure impact on student outcomes and better inform planning for continuous improvement.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the appraisal of all teaching staff.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. ensure that all teachers are fully appraised annually.
    [77C State Sector Act 1988; NZ Gazette and relevant Collective Employment Agreement].

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure records for stand downs, suspension and exclusions, and emergency drills are complete and appropriately stored.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

12 June 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

State Integrated Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 52%, Boys 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 16%

NZ European/Pākehā 61%

Asian 17%

Other ethnic groups 6%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

12 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2014

Education Review November 2011