Kopuarahi School

Kopuarahi School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within five months of the Education Review Office and Kopuarahi School 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. www.ero.govt.nz


Kopuarahi School is located 14 kilometres west of Thames on State Highway 25 near Pipiroa and provides education for students in years 0 to 8. The school is focused on ‘pointing kids in the right direction’ by fostering BEST learning, BEST service, and BEST self.

Kopuarahi School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are to:

  • provide an environment where every learner feels safe, appreciated and included

  • provide rich, child-centred learning opportunities through a curriculum built on empowering students

  • grow effective and strategic governance and management.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Kopuarahi School’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the extent to which individual learning and wellbeing plans and programmes are supporting progress towards excellent and equitable outcomes.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • the small number of learners enrolled in the school

  • the significant difference it will make to those learners with additional learning and wellbeing needs.

The school expects to see equitable and excellent outcomes resulting from:

  • a range of tools being used to identify the learning and wellbeing needs of each student accurately

  • the wellbeing and learning needs of each student being deliberately targeted with responsive, tailored programmes

  • learning-focused partnerships with whānau and outside agencies supporting student success.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to meet the needs of every child:

  • a localised, hands-on curriculum that promotes engagement

  • positive and caring relationships that support connection and responsiveness

  • experienced leadership committed to meeting the needs of individual learners.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise continuing to:

  • gather accurate information to support a clear understanding of each student’s learning and well-being needs

  • develop individualised wellbeing and learning programmes to target student need and monitor progress

  • foster meaningful educational connections with whānau and outside agencies to support students to succeed.

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

15 September 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Kopuarahi School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of July 2023, the Kopuarahi School 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 Kopuarahi School, 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

15 September 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Kopuarahi School - 24/06/2019

School Context

Kopuarahi School is situated on the Hauraki Plains between Thames and Ngātea. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of the review the school roll was 18, including 11 Māori students.

In 2018, in response to student and community voice, the school reviewed and refreshed their vision and values. ‘Pointing kids in the right direction’ is the guiding mission of the school. The intent is that ‘through a supportive learning environment, and by encouraging reflective thought and action’ learners will develop their BEST (behaviour, excellence, strength, truth) learning – Taumata Ako, BEST Service – Taumata Whai Koha, and BEST Self (Taumata Mana).

The school’s key strategic aims are that through a rich and engaging curriculum leaders’ and teachers will accelerate learning for all children across the school. These aims includes ensuring effective school leadership and governance to improve outcomes for students and to actively take part in the Hauraki Kāhui Ako.

Trustees, leaders and teachers have participated in the following internal and external professional learning and development initiatives: personalised training with New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA), developing the key dispositions of a Kopuarahi learner, understanding and implementing rich tasks, strengthening the local curriculum, and digital technologies.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the 2016 ERO review a new principal has been appointed. There has been several changes to members on the board of trustees and to staffing.

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?

Kopuarahi School is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners.

The majority of learners achieves well in relation to curriculum expectations for reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement information shows that there has been improvement over time for all groups of learners in mathematics, for boys and Māori in writing, and for girls and Māori in reading.

Most Māori learners achieve well in mathematics and the majority in reading and writing. Māori learners achieve at higher rates than non-Māori in reading, writing and mathematics.

Girls achieve significantly higher than boys in mathematics, reading and writing. This achievement gap has narrowed in writing. However, it has widened in mathematics and reading.

Students with identified learning needs are well monitored and are making progress against their individual learning goals.

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

Kopuarahi School is effectively accelerating learning for Māori and other learners who need this.

In 2018, the strategies, interventions and initiatives used to accelerate learning were effective in reading, writing and mathematics overall. As a result of this acceleration, the achievement gaps are closing for boys in writing.

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?

Trustees, leaders and teachers have a common vision for improvement. A well-considered and reflective approach to implementing school-wide change is evident. Trustees have undertaken professional learning and development to further their understanding of their stewardship roles and responsibilities. A cohesive strategic plan and appropriate supporting systems effectively guide practice schoolwide. Trustees and the wider community are well informed about school operation, events and successes.

Authentic experiences across the curriculum are being introduced that promote participation and extending students’ confidence in learning. A wide range of strategies is used to motivate and build students’ understanding and thinking about the world around them. Community views are actively sought to inform change in relation to students’ ongoing learning. Dependable achievement information for every learner is now gathered, tracked and monitored. This information is being better used to identify strategies and plan programmes focused on accelerating progress for at-risk learners in reading, writing and mathematics.

Leaders and teachers know their students well and nurture learning relationships to deepen students’ sense of belonging and connectedness to the school. Students demonstrate a growing confidence to share their individual learning journey with teachers and parents. Learners with additional needs experience a proactive collaborative approach that supports their progress, achievement and wellbeing. Professional development is contributing to improved outcomes for students and engagement across the wider community.

Leaders and teachers are undertaking effective internal evaluation that is building teacher capability to accelerate progress and achievement. Leadership has established an effective culture, through empowering teachers, to robustly reflect and inquire into their practice to best meet the needs of all learners.  Leadership communicates clear expectations for teacher practice. This supports the solid foundation that has been established for building consistency of practice school wide. Student’s contributions to learning are acknowledged and celebrated schoolwide.

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

For ongoing improvement in achieving equity, excellence and acceleration of student learning outcomes, leaders and teachers should continue to:

  • consolidate and embed the recent advancements to schoolwide practices
  • evaluate and extend learning opportunities to strengthen the visibility of children’s languages, cultures and identities in guiding the emerging bicultural curriculum.

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 Kopuarahi School’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:

  • highly effective leadership that builds capability and empowers teachers
  • effective stewardship that is successfully focused on equity and excellence
  • clear frameworks that have been developed for high quality teaching practice.

Next steps

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

  • consolidating and embedding the changes throughout school operation
  • enhancing te ao Māori throughout the school’s curriculum.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

24 June 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary School (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 12 Female 6

Ethnic composition

Māori 11
NZ European/Pākehā 7

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

24 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2016
Education Review April 2013
Education Review May 2010