Elsthorpe School

Elsthorpe School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report 


This Profile Report was written within 17 months of the Education Review Office and ​Elsthorpe 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 


Elsthorpe School is a rural, full primary school in Central Hawke’s Bay, for students from Years 1 to 8. A new principal was appointed in Term 3 2022. 

​​Elsthorpe School​’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are: 

  • ākonga are connected, compassionate, caring and empowered to lead their own learning 
  • an integrated localised curriculum with strengthened language, culture and identity for all ākonga 
  • strong partnerships that support ākonga learning. 

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the extent to which learners experience a localised curriculum that responds to their culture, language and identity and supports equitable learning outcomes. Included in the evaluation focus is gauging the impact of further developments in the teaching of mathematics on learner progress and achievement. 

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:  

  • to promote and sustain equitable and excellent learning outcomes for all learners 
  • to develop a localised curriculum that reflects local contexts and integrates te ao Māori, te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and mātauranga Māori 
  • to further support reciprocal partnerships across the community and incorporate whānau, hapū and iwi aspirations in the curriculum. 

The school expects to see: 

  • further development in the teaching of mathematics for improved learner progress and achievement  
  • equity and excellence for all ākonga sustained over time with high levels of attendance and engagement 
  • a curriculum that reflects local contexts with relevant, authentic learning experiences that builds confidence for all ākonga in their identity, language and culture 
  • increasing integration of te ao Māori, tikanga Māori and mātauranga Māori learning opportunities throughout the curriculum. 


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal of a localised curriculum that responds to the learning needs and culture, language and identity of all learners: 

  • respectful relationships and a positive learning environment promote learners’ sense of belonging and connection to the school 
  • learner wellbeing is well supported; leadership is strengthening policies, programmes and practices to promote learners’ wellbeing through confidence in their identity, language and culture and engagement in learning 
  • capacity to effect curriculum improvement actions is evident through the commitment by teachers to continued growth in te Reo Māori, tikanga Māori and mātauranga Māori. 

Where to next? 

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:  

  • professional learning in: mathematics to further support equity of learner outcomes; how to integrate te reo Māori, te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori within the development of a localised curriculum 
  • strengthening connections with the community, whānau, hapū and iwi to build reciprocal relationships to support their aspirations for ākonga and inform curriculum design 
  • building evaluative capability through defining valued and measurable learner outcomes within the strategic planning cycle. 

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 

​​8 April 2024​

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 

Elsthorpe School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report ​2024​ to ​2027​

As of ​February 2024​, the ​Elsthorpe School​ Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements: 

Board Administration 




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare 


Personnel Management 






Actions for Compliance  

​The board has​ identified the following areas of non-compliance during the board assurance process: 

  • meaningfully incorporate te reo Māori and tikanga Māori
    [The Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities 2020] 
  • consultation with school’s Māori community
    [Section 127 (1)(d) of the Act: Objectives of boards in governing schools] 
    [Section 139 of the Act: Preparing Strategic Plan] 
    [The Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities 2020] 
  • safety checking of workforce: evidence of risk assessment. 
    [Children’s Act 2014] 

The board has since ​taken steps to address​ the safety checking of the workforce and is addressing the other areas of non-compliance identified. 

Further Information 

For further information please contact ​Elsthorpe 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​

​8 April 2024​

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

Elsthorpe School - 18/12/2019

School Context

Elsthorpe School, for Year 1 to 8 students is located in In Elsthorpe, Central Hawke’s Bay. The current roll of 54, includes 13 students who identify as Māori. The school values relate to ‘THRIVE, (trust, honesty, respect, inquiry, valour and endeavour)’.

Since the January 2017 ERO evaluation there have been significant changes in leadership. A new principal has recently been appointed and most trustees are new to their role. Trustees have undertaken training related to their roles. Professional learning and development for leaders and teachers has included teaching as inquiry, science, and writing. The school is participating in the Positive Behaviour for Learning initiative.

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

  • reading
  • writing
  • mathematics.

The school belongs to the Te Angi Angi 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?

The school is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students. Student achievement data for 2018 shows that the majority of students achieved at or above expected levels for writing, most for reading and almost all for mathematics.

Leaders and teachers monitor and track individual data to show rates of progress in reading, writing and mathematics. A collated, schoolwide picture of Māori and gender cohorts over time is needed. Students with additional needs are well supported by leadership, teachers and teacher aides in an inclusive and nurturing environment.

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

The 2019 mid-year data for those Māori and other students needing accelerated learning, indicates that most made accelerated progress in reading and some in writing and mathematics. All Māori students targeted for accelerated progress did so in reading. Many students are now on track to achieve at expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of the year.

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 cohesive teaching team works collaboratively and they effectively assist students to be actively engaged in their learning. The school provides a broad curriculum with an appropriate focus on reading, writing and mathematics. Students relate well to meaningful contexts and they are engaged in a variety of academic, cultural, and sporting learning experiences. They have a range of leadership opportunities across the school and tuakana teina relationships are evident in multi-level classes. Senior leaders and staff maintain a welcoming, family-like learning environment, where students feel well supported and confident.

Teachers know students and their families well and plan appropriate programmes to accelerate the learning of those students who need this. Teachers use assessment to identify, track and monitor target students. Staff are involved in ongoing reflections and professional discussions about effective teaching strategies for these children.

Teaching capability is deliberately built through appropriately targeted professional learning and development that supports staff to inquire and reflect on their practice. Useful systems and processes guide teaching practices and school operation. Trustees are well informed to make resourcing decisions. Leadership and the board work collaboratively to provide students with an environment that promotes their learning and wellbeing.

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

Leaders and teachers monitor and track individual data to show rates of progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Collating and analysing this data for trends and patterns in learning and the rates of acceleration is needed to help set meaningful achievement targets. Comparisons over time should assist in knowing how effective the teaching and learning is for boys, girls and Māori children.

ERO and the school agree that further priorities are to:

  • strengthen the integration of te ao Māori throughout the school
  • develop a localised curriculum with challenging and authentic learning opportunities
  • ensure annual targets focus on accelerating the achievement of all at-risk students in reading, writing and mathematics
  • continuing to build student capabilities to enable them to articulate their progress, celebrate achievement and identify next learning steps.

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 Elsthorpe School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

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 cohesive approach to teaching that assists students to be actively engaged in their learning
  • a curriculum that focuses on raising student achievement
  • leadership and trustees working together to provide an environment that promotes student learning and wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening te ao Māori to promote student’s language, culture and identity
  • designing a localised curriculum to challenge and further motivate students
  • developing annual targets that focus on accelerating the achievement of all at-risk students
  • continuing to develop and build students’ assessment and ‘learning to learn’ capabilities to foster independent learning.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the achievement of Māori students.

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

  • in consultation with the school’s Māori community, develop and make known to the school’s community policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students.
    [National Administration Guidelines 1(e)]

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

18 December 2019

About the school

Ministry of Education profile number2556
School typeFull primary (Years 1 to 8)
School roll54
Gender compositionFemale 35 Male 19
Ethnic compositionMāori 13 
NZ European/Pākehā 39
Other ethnic groups 2
Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)No
Provision of Māori medium educationNo
Review team on siteSeptember 2019
Date of this report18 December 2019
Most recent ERO report(s)Education Review January 2017 
Education Review June 2014 
Education Review February 2011