Hiwinui School

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

Watershed Road, Palmerston North

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School Context

Hiwinui School located near Palmerston North, is a growing full-primary school that draws its Year 1 to 8 students from the surrounding rural district and nearby urban area. At the time of this review the roll was 147 students, including eight who are Māori.

The school states that its desired values and outcomes are for learners to have skills and attitudes of an effective learner as well as attributes of respect and honesty for self, others and the environment.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • wellbeing and attendance.

Hiwinui School is a member of the Feilding 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?

Student achievement information for the end of 2018, shows most of students, including Māori achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. There has been a general trend upwards in literacy over time.

Māori and Pacific student achievement is suitably tracked and monitored showing positive achievement outcomes. There is some disparity with boys achieving slightly lower than girls in mathematics and reading.

All students who graduated at the end of Year 8 for 2018 achieved learning success at or above the expected curriculum levels.

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

There is deliberate responsiveness to those Māori learners and other students whose achievement needs acceleration. The school clearly identifies in teachers’ inquiries, planning and reflections the target students across the curriculum.

End-of-year 2018 data shows that some of these students have made accelerated progress to meet school curriculum levels.

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 learning environment promotes high levels of participation, engagement and student agency in learning. Classroom teaching fosters the positive participation of students through relevant authentic learning situations and experiences. Their individual learning is well supported through the sharing of relevant goals and use of the school-developed learning progressions.

The school provides a positive and inclusive culture to assist students’ involvement in the life of the school. This has been sustained over time and during roll growth. Parents and whānau are well informed in relation to the achievement of their child, including any involvement in additional learning programmes. There is appropriate use of external agencies and purposeful use of teacher aide input to support learners.

Partnerships for learning are effective in supporting positive student and parent engagement. Parent forums share curriculum initiatives and information to foster learning at home. Student transition in, through and out of school is well considered and flexible to meet the needs of children, families and whānau.

Well-developed educational partnerships between the school, parents, external specialists and the wider community provide opportunities to share and actively support delivery of the curriculum.

School leaders, trustees and teachers work cohesively to manage ongoing improvement. Leaders and teachers use well developed self-review frameworks to promote improvement and innovation for all students. Well-designed strategic and annual planning goals reflect ongoing school priorities. Professional capability and practice ensures a cohesive response promoting equity and excellence for learners.

Trustees receive relevant and timely information to support their decisions about providing additional resources. Governance is effectively supported by relevant training and resources to support trustee roles and strengthen their understanding of responsibilities.

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

Further development of some internal evaluation processes is necessary to support better understanding of the impact of practices and processes.

Review of assessment tools and development of guidelines are needed to further grow leaders and teachers collective knowledge and practices. This should contribute to a clearer picture of progress and achievement for learners.

Māori and Pacific students’ language, culture and identity are valued. Te ao Māori is visible in te reo me ngā tikanga protocols. The school identifies this as an area for ongoing development. ERO’s evaluation affirms the need for this further work.

Leaders and teachers should review and redevelop their curriculum statements. This should support a shared understanding between staff and provide expectations to support evaluation and the sustainability of practice.

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 Hiwinui 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:

  • strategic and annual planning that includes relevant priorities to guide ongoing development and sustain current practices.

  • school leadership that provides clear guidance and promotes positive learning and achievement outcomes for students

  • a culture of collaboration among leaders, teachers, parents and whānau that contributes to high expectations for teaching, learning and wellbeing across the school.

Next steps

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

  • improving systematic evaluation to better understand the impact of practices, processes and curriculum change

  • reviewing assessment tools and guidelines to progress teachers’ shared expectations, collective knowledge and practices to provide a clearer picture of progress and achievement.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

23 May 2019

About the school


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary School

School roll


Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 6%
NZ European/Pākehā 91%
Tongan 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

23 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2016
Education Review May 2013
Education Review March 2007

1 Context

Hiwinui School is a full primary school located in a growing rural community close to Palmerston North and Ashhurst. At the time of the review the roll was 112. Currently there are no students identifying as Māori.

Strong community involvement is a feature of the school.

Since the May 2013 ERO report, the school roll has increased considerably. Classrooms have been refurbished to provide more flexible learning areas. The purchase of additional land has improved opportunities for physical activity.

Good practices identified in the previous ERO report have been sustained.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision, and valued outcomes, defined by the school is for all children to 'reach their potential with confidence, positive relationships, active movement, and skills for lifelong learning'. The vision is underpinned by values of respect and honesty for self, others and the environment. The values are regularly reviewed in consultation with the students, parents and the community.

The school’s achievement information shows that more than 85% of students continue to achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. There is an ongoing school focus on accelerating the progress of those students who need their achievement raised.

Teachers use data to identify students who are at risk of not achieving. In 2016, reading and writing have been a priority with a focus on accelerating achievement in reading. There is a good range of interventions targeted to the needs of individual students.

Since the previous ERO evaluation, the school has appropriately addressed the areas of development identified that included: curriculum development; strengthening assessment for learning practices; and supporting parents as partners in their children's learning.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

School targets are clearly focused on promoting the achievement of those students needing acceleration.

Teachers know the students and their families well. They appropriately analyse achievement data to identify students for targeted intervention. Staff regularly discuss and share teaching strategies that impact on students' progress and achievement. Learning goals are developed in collaboration with parents and students. Individual action plans are developed to target areas of need, identify teaching strategies and interventions, and monitor the progress of students. These have been strengthened to increase teachers' inquiry into what is having the most impact on accelerating student achievement.

There are established practices for moderation of teachers' judgements about student achievement. Overall judgements of students achievement in writing is being strengthened by external moderation.

Teachers model strategies that support students to develop the skills required to take ownership of their learning. Students are responding well to this. They cooperate with each other and are self-managing.

Students with special education needs learn alongside their peers. Priority has been given to developing knowledge and understanding of effective teaching practices to support these students to fully engage in the curriculum.

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?

There is a strong focus on student wellbeing and engagement in learning.

Trustees and teachers use a range of appropriate and effective strategies to communicate with and engage parents in learning partnerships. The school and community work together to support students in making successful transitions to school and on to secondary school.

The principal is actively involved in the planning, coordination and review of curriculum, teaching and learning.

The recently developed curriculum is responsive to the local context and draws on the skills and expertise of the local community. It gives priority to literacy, mathematics and inquiry learning. Schoolwide professional learning and development is focused on integrating the key competencies across all learning areas. Promotion of student leadership is a key feature of the curriculum. Further review is required to better align the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Priority should now be given to further developing teachers' knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori and to meaningfully include this across the breadth of the curriculum.

Staff are highly collegial and work well as a team. The principal manages relationships and school operation successfully. The appraisal process effectively supports the professional development and growth of teachers.

Trustees are actively involved in the school. They bring a diverse range of knowledge, skills and experience to the governance role. They receive useful information about student achievement, curriculum developments and school operation that informs decision making in the interest of improving student outcomes. Planning is future focused to meet the needs of the rapidly growing school community.

5 Going forward

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

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.

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 Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendations

To improve learning outcomes and achievement trustees, the principal and teachers should continue to:

  • improve the reliability and validity of assessment data
  • further develop the school curriculum to more fully integrate te ao Māori and more clearly reflect the NZC principles
  • strengthen the use of internal evaluation to evaluate the impact of measures taken to raise the achievement of all students at risk of not achieving. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

17 May 2016

About the school


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 54%, Male 46%

Ethnic composition





Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

17 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

March 2010

March 2007