Edgecumbe School

Edgecumbe School - 28/03/2018

School Context

Edgecumbe School is located on the Rangitaiki Plains, Eastern Bay of Plenty and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 194 includes 133 of students who identify as Māori.

The school and community were significantly impacted both physically and emotionally by the 2017 Edgecumbe floods. Approximately 90% of families were displaced from their homes at the time. Since the floods there has been a significant focus on student and whānau wellbeing in collaboration with a wide range of external agencies. A well-considered, responsive approach to supporting learners’ holistic needs has seen progress, confidence and achievement maintained throughout the year. 

Through the values of caring - manaakitanga, achievement - whainga, responsibility - kawenga and effort – kaha (I CARE values) the school’s mission is to provide education with care. The intended outcome is that learners are caring, responsible, lifelong learners. The strategic aims of the school are to ensure:

  • overall achievement in reading, writing and mathematics improves
  • all students are able to access, progress and achieve in relation to the New Zealand Curriculum
  • Māori students are engaged in their learning and are achieving educational success, with pride in their unique identity, language and culture as Māori
  • teachers are supported to improve their practice
  • student, teacher and parental use of information and communication technology is developed to support teaching, learning and communication between home and school.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • pastoral care.

Ngati Awatanga and contributing iwi support is growing students’ knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori, local history, tikanga and areas of significance.

The school has been involved in a range of professional learning and development initiatives focussed on improving teaching and learning in mathematics and to support the formation of their Kāhui Ako achievement challenges.

Since the 2014 ERO review the school has appointed a new principal and had significant changes to membership of the board of trustees and teaching staff.

The school is a member of the Rangitaiki Kawerau Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

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 uses a wide range of strategies and interventions well to support improving outcomes for equity and excellence.

The majority of students achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement has improved over time for learners in mathematics and reading. In writing, achievement levels have remained relatively stable. Raising achievement in mathematics and writing is identified by the school as a priority.

Māori learners achieve at higher levels than non-Māori in mathematics and writing. Significant improvement in Māori learners’ achievement in reading is evident and attainment levels are now comparable with non-Māori. Boys achieve at significantly lower levels than girls in reading and writing. This disparity has widened over time.

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

Targeted responses to accelerate progress and achievement have been effective in reducing in-school disparity between some groups of learners.

Disparity of achievement for Māori and boys has reduced in reading and writing. The strategies used in reading were most successful for Māori learners’ achievement overall when compared to that of non-Māori. However, boys did not achieve as well as girls in the approaches used to accelerate progress in reading.   

Students’ progress in achievement is acknowledged and celebrated school-wide. Using the available in-school data more effectively to identify rates and patterns of acceleration has been identified as a next step by the school.   

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?

Highly effective pastoral care systems support and nurture positive outcomes for learners. There is a strong focus on the school’s community wellbeing. The I CARE whakaaro is embedded school wide. Manaakitanga, whakawhānautanga, kotahitanga and mahi tahi underpins a positive learning environment that supports and celebrates student’s success alongside their whānau. Students participate and learn in a caring, collaborative and inclusive environment focussed on equitable opportunities to learn.

Learning-focussed partnerships between teachers, children, parents and whānau empowers students in their abilities and potential. Respectful and responsive relationships extend students’ sense of belonging and connectedness to the school. Trustees, leaders and teachers value parent and whānau contributions and aspirations. Parents, whānau and the community are actively engaged in the life of the school. Students are supported well to know and understand their learning journey and how to improve.

Teachers work in a collaborative environment. They respond and engage students in meaningful and purposeful programmes for learning. Teachers use a wide range of strategies to motivate and challenge students’ understanding and thinking of the world around them. Teachers regularly reflect and review their practice to support improvements for learners’ outcomes. They know their students well, cater for individual learning styles, and build on prior knowledge, culture, language and identity of students.

Learners with additional needs experience a collaborative wrap-around approach to success school-wide. Strong connections with external agencies, targeted school programmes and intensive interventions that are focused on equity are highly evident.

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

In-school processes and practices need to be developed and further refined to improve equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners.

Strengthening the board’s understanding of roles and responsibilities for effective governance is a key next step. This should include:

  • developing an understanding of effective target setting to strengthen the line of sight to those children most at risk
  • self review of policies and procedures needs to ensure they reflect the current practice of the school and legislatve changes
  • robust reporting against strategic aims, expectations and targets for improving equity and excellence, and acceleration of learners.

Extending leaders and teachers understanding of the effective use of data to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement is needed. This should better support leaders and teachers to identify and evaluate interventions, initiatives and strategies that best meet the needs of learners.

Establishing school-wide understanding of evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building should support sustainability and inform ongoing improvement and innovation.

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. 

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review and personalise the purchased policies and procedures, with urgency
  • develop robust self review and reporting processes.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • Learning-focussed partnerships with trustees, leaders, teachers, parents, whānau and the community that recognise and enhance children’s equitable access to experiences and opportunities
  • the holistic approach to supporting student wellbeing through processes that actively respond to their needs, and which promote high expectations for all learners. 

Next steps

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

  • developing trustees’ understanding of effective stewardship to support sustainability, ongoing improvement and innovation
  • extending leaders’ and teachers’ understanding of the effective use of data to accelerate learners’ progress and achievement.
  • internal evaluation processes and practices
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO recommends that the school seeks support from New Zealand Schools Trustees Association (NZSTA) in order to bring about improvements in:

  • understanding governance roles and responsibilities.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson
Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

28 March 2018

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Year 1 - 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys                      58%
Girls                       42%

Ethnic composition

Māori                    69%
Pākehā                 30%
Other                      1%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

28 March 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2014
Education Review April 2011
Education Review April 2008


Edgecumbe School - 04/04/2014

1 Context

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

Edgecumbe School is a Years 1 to 8 school in the Bay of Plenty. At the time of this ERO review the school had a roll of 183 students, 133 of whom whakapapa to Ngāti Awa, Tūhoe, Whakatōhea and Ngāti Tūwharetoa iwi.

The school philosophy of ‘Whakaaro Pai Ki Te Tangata (I care)’ is well embedded within the school and its community. This holistic philosophy embraces the values of mannakitanga, whākapapa, and whānaungatanga. There are three strategic goals that guide, promote and support ‘Whakaaro Pai Ki Te Tangata’. These goals aim to:

  • provide a challenging learning environment and promote high achievement through brain compatible teaching and learning
  • maintain a safe, caring and understanding environment, which nurtures and supports the whole development of the child
  • strive for open and positive relationships that actively involve parents, teachers and the community in students’ learning.

The culture of the school is inclusive, encouraging and caring. Confident and warm interactions are evident among students, staff, trustees and whānau. A positive tone in the school supports the learning of all students. Trustees consistently consult and work with the school community to embed and review the school’s vision and values. They work well with school leaders, staff and whānau to raise student achievement.

Parents feel welcome in the school and are well informed about their children’s education and school events. They are provided with meaningful information and guidance about ways they can support their children’s learning. Parents have a voice and strongly identify with the school and its strategic direction. Since the 2011 ERO review the school has worked successfully to progress whānau communication and engagement.

2 Learning

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

The school makes good use of achievement information to review important aspects of student learning. This review is making positive changes to levels of students’ engagement, progress and achievement. Leaders have high expectations for teachers to effectively promote student learning and raise achievement. Leadership roles are appropriately delegated to achieve school goals. The school has clearly defined achievement targets for all students. The progress of Māori and students achieving below expected levels is closely monitored and specific targets are set for these students. School strategic targets are aligned to professional development and appraisal in working towards raising student achievement.

Students have a very good understanding of their learning, progress and achievement. They interact positively with teachers and enjoy being at a school where their successes are acknowledged and celebrated. There are robust systems to ensure that students’ educational needs are supported. Parents are encouraged to participate in their child’s development and learning.

Students enter the school with low levels of literacy and mathematics. During their first year at school most students make significant progress. Current school data shows that students who remain at the school more than three years make good progress in mathematics and literacy. There has been an increase in the number of students who are achieving at and above National Standards in reading and writing. The school has identified that the curriculum focus for 2014 is to raise student achievement in mathematics.

Leadership and teachers have identified and ERO agrees that:

  • teachers continue to reflect on their teaching practice
  • raising student achievement for all children, particularly Māori, will remain a priority.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. The curriculum is contextual and includes the use of local, national and global opportunities for students to experience learning in a wide range of different environments. Parents, whānau and community are involved in the curriculum and their contributions are highly valued by staff.

Teachers are approachable. They communicate clearly with whānau and are responsive to whānau aspirations for their children. Teachers and whānau share high expectations that students will experience success in their learning.

Teachers are committed to providing high-quality education for students and acknowledge students’ individual differences. They use a wide range of strategies to promote student engagement in the curriculum. These include:

  • students being informed about the purpose of the learning and making suitable decisions to direct their learning
  • the use of questioning techniques that challenge students thinking and learning
  • the provision of prior learning experiences that reflect their interests
  • teaching that is specific to the learning needs of students.

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

The school vision is inclusive of Māori success as Māori and is supported by a significant group of Māori role models. A recent school-wide review of te reo and tikanga Māori has resulted in the development of an action plan to raise Māori student achievement and promote success as Māori.

The school has links to Ngāti Awa and local marae. Whānau evenings provide opportunities for parents to share their aspirations with teachers and trustees.

Māori students have a strong sense of identity and are confident about who they are. The school celebrates Māori student achievements and successes.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The principal, as professional leader of the school, plays a key role in the development and sustainability of school culture. His approach to leadership motivates and develops the capability of staff and trustees. This contributes to a strong learning community, which has an active focus on raising student achievement. Leaders are well supported by trustees, staff and the community.

The board is well led by an enthusiastic, skilful chairperson who is committed to school improvement. Trustees are well informed about student progress and achievement and use this information to plan ongoing school strategic direction and set annual targets.

Robust school review helps trustees, leaders and teachers identify priorities for continued improvement within the school. Reviews identify important issues that affect the school and are part of an ongoing process to realise the school’s vision and strategic goals.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

4 April 2014

About the School


Bay of Plenty

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 54% Girls 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ Māori

NZ Pākehā/European



Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

4 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

April 2011

April 2008

May 2005