Hawera Primary School

Hawera Primary School - 18/07/2018

School Context

Hawera Primary School has students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this review, the roll was 214 with 45% of students identifying as Māori and 2% of Pacific heritage.

The school’s valued outcomes are evident through the KAHA Way: kotahitanga - getting on together; ako - learning from each other; hauora - feeling positive; and awhi - helping and supporting.

In writing and mathematics, the school aims to raise achievement and accelerate progress for those students who need this.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading writing and mathematics

  • wellbeing.

There have been changes in board membership and staffing since the July 2015 ERO report. The leadership team is unchanged.

Extensive building redevelopment over the past three years includes two innovative learning spaces and refurbishment of the hall and administration block.

Since the previous ERO report, leaders and teachers have participated in professional learning and development (PLD) in literacy, mathematics and the Seven Principles of Learning. In 2018 play-based learning is being introduced. The board has participated in PLD using the New Zealand School Trustees’ tool: Hautū - Māori cultural responsiveness self review tool for Boards of Trustees.

The school is part of the South Taranaki Kāhui Ako. Culture counts – raising achievement through effective relationships, is a learning initiative of this Kāhui Ako.

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?

Most students achieve at or above school expectations in reading. The majority are at and above expectations in writing and mathematics.

The majority of Māori students are achieving at and above in literacy and mathematics. School leaders are aware of the disparity between Māori and Pākehā and are focusing on closing the achievement gap.

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

The school has evidence of very good acceleration in mathematics and reading in 2017. Each teacher has targeted learner plans aimed at accelerating the progress of specific students. Analysed data shows that targeted learners, including Māori, are responding well to school initiatives.

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?

Board and leadership share a vision of enabling equitable opportunities for all children to learn and to attain their personal best. Trustees work strategically and collaboratively with the principal and leadership team. They have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and maintain a focus on school priorities and targets.

Trustees receive detailed achievement information from the leadership team that is used to inform decision making, resource learning initiatives and PLD opportunities. They are aware of the need to consolidate and sustain improvements. Members uphold and value the KAHA Way and recognise the importance of listening to and learning from their community to build genuine partnerships with families and whānau.

Leaders have a considered approach to school development. They model good practice and provide clear, consistent guidelines and expectations to build teacher capability in inquiry, data analysis, cultural responsiveness and evaluation. School leaders set and relentlessly pursue goals and targets that relate to accelerating the learning of students who are at risk of underachievement. They are looking deeper into the data to provide a clear schoolwide picture of acceleration and achievement. Leaders align student learning needs, teacher professional learning goals and processes for teacher appraisal and inquiry to improve student outcomes.

Teachers work collaboratively and share planning. They, with support staff, know students well. Staff use consistent language and share agreed expectations. Interactions are positive and respectful. Classrooms are highly inclusive. Children are settled, active learners, engaged and knowledgeable about school values and expectations. Strategically and thoughtfully considered environments enable them to make choices about their learning.

A range of strategies and resources is used to support students with additional educational needs. External support is effectively accessed and well used. Their progress is regularly monitored and reported.

Transition-to-school processes are well considered and effectively implemented. All families are welcomed into the school and a range of effective strategies are used to engage and communicate with them. Learning partnerships are encouraged along with parent involvement and feedback. Staff promptly identify the needs of children new to the school.

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

An ongoing focus is required to lift student achievement, especially in writing and to sustain and embed the gains made in reading and mathematics. Leaders undertake in-depth scrutiny of student achievement information. Extending their evaluative interpretation should help clarify understandings and next steps at both teacher and leadership levels.

The school has identified that the curriculum needs refreshing and has begun the process of review, and now have a draft learner profile. Extensive guidelines for literacy and mathematics guide practice and it is timely to develop these for other essential learning areas.

Further developing teachers’ shared understanding, capability and implementation of inquiring into their practice are recognised next steps.

The current professional learning focus on ‘culture counts’ should further contribute to strengthening reciprocal learning partnerships.

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:

  • go in-committee during meetings where there is good reason to exclude the public from any part of the proceedings.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that is highly strategic and focused on improving student outcomes

  • well-considered school systems that strategically build on prior successes

  • pastoral care that promotes and supports the wellbeing of all students.

Next steps

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

  • providing guidelines across all curriculum areas to continue to engage children through authentic contexts

  • extending leaders’ evaluative practices to identify and decide on the school’s next steps

  • continuing the strategic provision of PLD to strengthen teacher understanding, capability and practice

  • building on and extending effective pastoral systems to introduce: Culture counts – raising achievement through effective relationships.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

18 July 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 45%
Pākehā 44%
Pacific 2%
Other ethnic groups 9%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

18 July 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2015
Education Review August 2012
Education Review June 2009

Hawera Primary School - 07/07/2015

1 Context

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

Hawera Primary School caters for students in Years 1 to 6. Since the August 2012 ERO report, the roll has grown to 220. Forty-six percent of students identify as Māori.

A new leadership structure includes two deputy principals and two syndicate leaders. There have been recent significant changes in staffing.

The school is in the third year of the Ministry of Education’s Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) initiative. Several teachers are involved in the Incredible Years professional learning programme to promote children’s social, emotional and academic competence.

Involvement in Enviro-schools supports students to plan, design and implement sustainability actions. As a Health Promoting School, there is a focus on improved whānau wellbeing and educational outcomes.

The board is funding development of eLearning through digital technologies aimed at enhancing students’ learning in the classroom. Development of the outdoor environment includes new playground equipment. There are plans to rebuild the senior block as part of upgrading the buildings.

2 Learning

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

Teachers gather a range of useful and reliable assessment information in literacy and mathematics. Data is used to identify students who are at risk of underachieving and teachers implement strategies to support improvement. Interventions and programmes are targeted to meet the needs of students whose rates of progress need to increase significantly.

Data for 2014 shows that overall, two-thirds of students achieved at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, and just over half in writing and mathematics. Assessment results show that some students who are not yet meeting the Standards are making good gains.

Many Māori students are successful learners and some are making better than normal progress. However, programmes have not yet had the desired impact on raising the achievement of Māori as a group to match that of their peers overall in the school. Teachers, leaders and trustees have identified that a priority is to improve achievement for all students, particularly Māori students, so that they meet national expectations by the time they leave Year 6.

School leaders' planning, decision-making and reflection prioritise students who require higher rates of progress. Annual targets link to school strategic aims, with emphasis on improving achievement in writing and mathematics. Teachers and senior leaders effectively track and monitor progress. The information is used to inquire into the effectiveness of teaching. However, there is variability in how well this is evaluated and to what extent the inquiry process is implemented.

There are clear guidelines for teachers to make overall judgements about students' achievement in relation to National Standards. Comprehensive moderation processes support valid and reliable assessment decisions.

A wide range of programmes and support address the more complex educational and social needs of students. Specific requirements are identified and responded to appropriately. This promotes the inclusion and achievement of children with high needs.

Reports to parents are clear about students' achievement in relation to National Standards. Next steps for learning are included and parents are provided with suggestions to support their child’s learning at home. Teachers comment on how well students are achieving school goals and aspirations.

Teachers should continue to strengthen their use of data to reflect on how effectively their practice raises achievement and accelerates progress, particularly for targeted students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum is based on The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). The NZC key competencies are integrated and adapted to the school context. There is a strong emphasis on literacy and mathematics.

Promoting students' wellbeing and inclusion is a priority. A sense of connection and belonging is evident. The school goals and aspirations for learners – to be connected, confident, creative, curious and caring - are emphasised in teachers’ practice and the school environment. Classroom displays recognise and celebrate student achievement.

The curriculum includes a focus on building social skills and developing positive relationships for learning. Many strategies that successfully support student wellbeing and engagement have resulted from the KAHA WAY initiative about kotahitanga, ako, hauora, and awhi. The PB4L emphasis on engagement in classrooms has had a positive impact on school culture. Relationships with students are affirming and respectful. Students say their school is a safe place for them.

Comprehensive curriculum documents outline expectations for effective teaching in literacy and mathematics. Building a shared understanding and consistent implementation of these expectations is improving teaching and learning.

As part of ongoing curriculum review, senior leaders should consider how well other learning areas contribute to successfully achieving the school's long-term goals for improving student outcomes.

Teachers are involved in a range of professional development to improve teaching and learning. The recent whole-school focus has been on numeracy. Teachers are collaborative and have opportunities to share good practice.

Good systems are in place to continue to strengthen teacher effectiveness for those who require mentoring and additional support. This facilitates appropriate professional dialogue and opportunities for reflection.

Classrooms observed by ERO are calm, positive and learning focused. Student engagement and learning are promoted by a range of strategies. Activities are differentiated to respond to students’ abilities and strengths. Opportunities are provided for students to take increased ownership of their learning. The well-planned and coordinated teacher aide programme supports teachers to meet the needs of specific learners.

Smooth transition into the school is supported by development of respectful and reciprocal relationships with children and their families. A sense of connection is quickly established.

Parents support the curriculum through cultural activities and sports, and opportunities to increase their understanding of their child’s learning. There is good communication with parents. Senior leaders and teachers should continue to develop these partnerships to support learning, particularly for target students.

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

The bicultural dimension of the school’s curriculum is present in core subjects, inquiry units and classroom environments. Māori contexts are evident throughout the school. A high number of students are involved in kapa haka. All staff and students take part in a noho marae.

Strengthening the cultural competency of teachers of Māori learners has been part of professional learning. Consideration should be given to fully implementing a progressive programme for systematic teaching and learning of te reo Māori. School leaders identify that continuing to build and extend partnerships with whānau, hapū and iwi is a next step.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Senior leaders are experienced and reflective, and have high expectations for student success. They effectively monitor and support teachers to consistently meet the school's expectations for teaching, learning and assessment. Best practice and research guides teaching and learning. There is a deliberate strategy to build leadership capability across the school.

Self review focuses on improving student achievement, systems and practices. Strengthening evaluation should enable the school to better measure how effectively its curriculum and teaching accelerate students' progress.

Teachers’ performance management process is improvement focused. Teachers set goals, have opportunities for reflection, and collect evidence to meet teacher registration requirements. School leaders agree that appraisal should include closer links to student progress and aim to increase teachers' responsiveness to students' identity, language and culture.

The strategic plan provides direction for the school and focuses on improving outcomes for students. Trustees are well informed about curriculum and achievement. Consultation with the community contributes to decision making. Most board members are involved in training to increase their understanding of roles and responsibilities. There is some review around how effectively the board performs its responsibilities.

Trustees receive regular information about student achievement. More frequent reporting of progress data should better monitor the performance of the groups of students included in charter targets. This should assist trustees' evaluation of what makes the biggest difference to students' learning and progress.

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.

All staff have previously been police vetted. However, some police vets have not been renewed as required. To improve practice the board of trustees should revise the current policy and procedure so that it ensures renewal of police vets every three years.


Hawera Primary School is committed to promoting students' wellbeing and inclusion. There are high expectations and aspirations for student success. Classrooms are calm, positive and focused on learning. Strengthening curriculum review and continuing to build teachers’ capacity should ensure improved progress and achievement for all students.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

7 July 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

August 2012
June 2009
May 2006