Puketapu School (Hawkes Bay)

Puketapu School (Hawkes Bay) - 28/05/2019

School Context

Puketapu School (Hawkes Bay) is situated in the rural community of Puketapu, near Napier. The school has students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this ERO external evaluation the school roll was 218, including 21% who identify as Māori. The number of Māori students enrolled has significantly increased since the June 2016 ERO evaluation. There are a small number of international students attending the school.

The school’s valued outcomes for students are that they are “connected, empathetic, confident, actively involved lifelong learners”.

In 2019, the school’s strategic priorities are: raising achievement for Māori students in mathematics and writing; improving pedagogical approaches through digital learning tools to be more culturally responsive to students; and increased understanding and awareness of whānau involvement in learning.

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 for learning
  • specific interventions for those children at risk of not achieving.

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 its students. School‑reported data shows that at the end of 2018 almost all students were achieving at and above expectations in reading. Most students were achieving at and above expectations in mathematics and writing. A high number of students achieve above expectations. Although overall high achievement has been sustained over time, disparity for Māori children and boys remains. The school has yet to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

Student physical and emotional wellbeing information shows that targeted strategies to address student wellbeing are having a positive impact on their learning and achievement.

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

The school has identified that it needs to focus on accelerating learning, particularly for those Māori children who need this and has developed useful systems to identify, respond and monitor progress and achievement of these students.

In 2018, of the students achieving below expectations, more students had accelerated learning in reading and mathematics than in writing. As a result, the school has used this information to inform 2019 targets and actions and strategies needed to accelerate those other students who need this.

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?

Students have access and opportunities to learn in the breadth and depth of the local curriculum that is well aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. The curriculum is student-focused with clear expectations for positive outcomes for them. Well considered implementation of curriculum initiatives and innovation supports their learning as they engage in a wide range of meaningful and authentic experiences within the school and wider community. The school vision, beliefs and values are inherent in the curriculum.

Learning environments and a range of teaching strategies support children to be well engaged in their learning. Teachers role model learning language and are activators of learning. Children understand and can articulate expectations for their learning. Teachers reflect and inquire into their practice. Children with additional needs benefit from well-planned programmes designed to address their learning priorities.

Trustees, leaders and teachers have strengthened their understanding of te reo Māori, culture and identity and aspirations Māori whānau have for their children. The development and implementation of the te reo Māori curriculum and Māori Education Plan 2019 has been a major focus. The school demonstrates a commitment to strengthening its cultural responsiveness.

School leaders and trustees work collaboratively with a clear focus on providing the best opportunities and outcomes for students. Teachers and students have many opportunities to take on leadership roles. Through leadership there is a clear sense of strategic priorities, goals and direction. Teacher appraisal goals are clearly linked to school priorities – mathematics, cultural responsiveness and digital technologies.

Internal evaluation and self review contribute to improved outcomes for students. Ongoing improvement to achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for students, particularly Māori students, is a major focus for the school. Initiatives and innovation are informed by research and good practice evidence. Parents, students and staff are regularly consulted through surveys. These guide leaders and trustees when considering how the school can continue to improve practice to have the greatest positive impact on students.

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

Trustees, leaders and teachers use data well to guide their decision making. Student achievement information informs teachers about the impact of their teaching on student outcomes. School leaders monitor and report trends and patterns to ascertain the merit of implemented strategies. For equity and excellence of outcome for all students, a key next step is to use these established practices to clearly determine the extent to which initiatives and innovations are accelerating the learning of those students who need this, for more focused decision making.

The school has developed a good teacher inquiry framework. Leaders and teachers continue to explore ways to maximise the impact of teacher inquiry on improving student outcomes.

Strengthening learning-focused partnerships with parents and whānau to support positive outcomes for students is a high priority for leaders, trustees and teachers. Leaders should continue to build links, particularly with Māori whānau, for consistent and sustainable practices across all aspects of school operation.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there are four international students from Japan attending the school.

Processes for induction and orientation to the school are well considered. Systems for identifying and responding to individual needs and interests are effective.

International students’ welfare needs are well supported, and they benefit from an inclusive environment. They participate in a range of cultural and sporting activities at the school and in the wider community. Students have opportunities to share their cultures with other students.

4 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.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Puketapu School (Hawkes Bay)’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a culture of collaboration among trustees, staff, parents and whānau, that maintains high expectations for teaching and learning throughout the school
  • deliberate programmes of action that are strongly improvement and future focused
  • internal evaluation processes and activities that inform decision making.

Next steps

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

  • address the disparity for equitable and excellent outcomes for Māori children and boys
  • strengthen and develop consistency of teacher inquiry across the school
  • use data from a range of sources, for internal evaluation that determines the impact of initiatives and innovations on student outcomes
  • develop and implement consistent and sustainable learning-focused partnerships with parents and whānau to support positive outcomes for students.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central Region

28 May 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Year 1 - 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 21%
NZ European/Pākehā 76%
Other ethnic groups 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2019

Date of this report

28 May 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2016
Education Review December 2011
Education Review March 2007

Puketapu School (Hawkes Bay) - 14/06/2016

1 Context

Puketapu School, 15 kilometres south of Napier caters for students from Years 1 to 8. The roll of 222 includes 22 Māori students.

School leaders have sustained their focus on promoting a positive learning environment. Provision of digital devices has occurred to support engagement and personalised learning. There have been a few staff changes over the past four years, with the appointment of an assistant principal and two classroom teachers. The school enjoys strong community support.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes for all learners in this school community are to develop them as confident, connected, actively involved lifelong learners. This was initiated in 2010 and reaffirmed through consultation with parent focus groups in 2012 and 2015.

The school’s achievement information shows sustained good performance in reading, writing and mathematics over five years, where many students are achieving at or above the National Standards. There has been an increase in the number of students achieving above. Girls achieve better than boys in all areas.

School systems to promote more equitable outcomes for Māori learners are showing signs of improvement and remain an identified focus for the school.

Annual achievement targets are set to raise the percentage of students achieving at or above the relevant National Standards. Raising achievement in writing was a priority for 2015. Mathematics is the school's 2016 focus.

Since the December 2011 ERO evaluation the school has had a continued focus on raising student achievement, particularly for learners most at risk of poor outcomes, and strengthening teaching and learning practices. The board provides additional teacher resource to support this. Students in their early school years are provided with good opportunities for one-on-one teacher support. Programmes and interventions appropriately cater for students with additional learning needs.

The board is funding an extra teacher in 2016 to provide out of class programmes for students with a range of identified learning needs and to build on teachers' strategies for effective literacy teaching. A next step is to develop expected outcomes and consideration of how successful strategies will be sustained across the school.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

Māori students are identified and included in the range of strategies for those at risk of poor outcomes. Teachers explore and share strategies to better meet the needs of these learners.

Action plans focused on catering to individual needs have been developed for reading, writing and mathematics where teachers keep a record of support, outcomes and next learning steps. Continuing to strengthen:

  • ways to better show accelerated progress and identify successful teaching
  • target setting to closely focus on those who need to accelerate their progress
  • are likely to assist the school to reduce disparity and achieve more excellent and equitable outcomes for learners.

A well-established whānau group continues to provide knowledge and guidance for the school. A Māori Education Plan was developed in 2015. Goals and actions were identified to promote Māori success and accelerate progress. As a result, connections have been made with the local marae and some te ao Māori is reflected in the curriculum to support the language, culture and identity of Māori learners. Māori students are leaders in their language and culture. The school should evaluate the impact of these actions on the progress and achievement of Māori learners.

Leaders recognise the importance of growing educationally powerful partnerships with whānau as a key step to support accelerated progress.

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

All students achieving below the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics, and students with special educational needs are identified. Appropriate and effective programmes and interventions are put in place.

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?

Teaching and learning programmes are underpinned and consistent with The New Zealand Curriculum principles, values and key competencies. Useful information guides curriculum review and practice. Students participate in a wide range of learning experiences in and outside of the classroom. A next step is to further use Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners to strengthen culturally responsive practices.

The appraisal process is well implemented. A range of opportunities is available for teachers to examine their practice. Professional discussions and ongoing reflection is linked to school priorities and professional learning and development (PLD). Leaders should continue to strengthen this process by ensuring:

  • teachers collect sufficient evidence against the Practising Teacher Criteria
  • there is alignment through meaningful goals and observations
  • that teachers' inquiry evaluates the progress of students to promote acceleration.

Leaders actively seek the perspectives and aspirations of students, parents, families and whānau as part of school development. Teachers input and ideas are valued in decision making processes. Leadership is encouraged and staff strengths are used to support and build teaching and learning practices.

The board of trustees works well with the school community to develop school strategic direction. Resourcing decisions are based on improving outcomes for students. It is timely with upcoming trustee elections and new members joining the board, for trustees to engage in PLD to strengthen their understanding of stewardship and their role in promoting equity. This should include using the New Zealand School Trustees Association, Hautū - Māori cultural responsiveness self review tool for boards of trustees.

Internal evaluation is improvement focused. Leaders gather a range of views to inform decision making. There is good use of evaluative questions and links to the impact on student outcomes. A next step is to develop indicators of success to better gauge the impact and effectiveness of school operations.

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 whose 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.

Trustees, leaders and teachers should:

  • strengthen target setting to accelerate achievement for all students who are at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • further develop a strategic approach to equity and excellence in student outcomes
  • continue to develop the school curriculum to reflect local histories and contexts and build teachers' cultural competencies
  • continue to refine teacher appraisal
  • strengthen school internal evaluation processes.

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

  • Provision for international students.

7 Recommendations

Trustees, leaders and teachers should further develop school systems and processes to better accelerate the progress of learners at risk of underachievement.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

14 June 2016

About the school


Hawkes Bay

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Male 55%, Female 45%

Ethnic composition



Other ethnic groups




Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

14 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2011

March 2007

June 2004