Kapiti School

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

20 Iver Trask Place, Paraparaumu

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School Context

Kāpiti School, located in Paraparaumu, is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. The increasing roll of 227 students, includes 35% Māori.

The school’s vision for students is for them to be ‘active learners who are always striving to excel and show tu tangata and manaakitanga’. The TEAM values include: Tu Tangata; Excel; Active Learners; and Manaakitanga and underpin teaching and 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
  • wellbeing and pastoral care
  • attendance.

The school has participated in the Ministry of Education programme ‘Positive Behaviour for Learning’ (PB4L) since 2016. Leaders collaborate with a local cluster of schools.

The senior leadership team has changed since the 2016 ERO review, including the principal who was appointed at the end of 2018. Two classrooms with a focus on Montessori philosophy have also been established.

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 not sufficiently effective in achieving equity and excellence. Raising achievement for all students is an urgent priority.

Since the 2016 ERO review achievement levels reported by the school have been variable. The most recent data shared by the school in 2019 indicates that overall a small majority of students achieve at or above school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

Māori students are achieving less well overall than their non-Māori peers. At times the difference is significant, with less than half achieving school expectations in writing, reading and mathematics.

There is a large difference in achievement for boys in writing, girls are achieving at a significantly higher level. In mathematics girls, particularly Māori girls, are achieving less well than boys.

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

Strengthening the school’s effectiveness in accelerating achievement and progress for those students who need this requires urgent attention.

Students who are at risk of underachievement are identified and targeted at class level. Data generated by teachers suggests that some of these students are making accelerated progress.

School leaders have identified that having a clearer picture of where and for whom accelerated achievement is occurring should better support analysis and evaluation of learning and progress.

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 useful framework is in place outlining the school values for monitoring and managing student behaviour. Leaders and teachers are beginning to respond to student learning and wellbeing information, which gives an indication about how well they are implementing the positive behaviour for learning principles and enacting its values.

Positive relationships and interactions are clearly evident in classrooms. Students are collaborative and support each other. They are encouraged to take a lead and make decisions about their learning. Teachers are focussed on increasing students’ understanding of their achievement and next steps for improvement. There were some examples of good engagement in learning.

Students with high and complex needs are well catered for. Teachers use a range of initiatives and strategies to successfully support their needs, appropriately accessing external agencies when needed.

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

Leaders, teachers and trustees need to take urgent action to raise achievement for all students, including addressing the disparity between Māori students and their non-Māori peers.

The school needs to establish accurate and dependable overall judgements about individual students’ achievement in relation to the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels. Strengthening the analysis and use of assessment data and learning information should support leaders and teachers to develop a clearer overall picture of student achievement, and progress for specific groups of students’ over time. This process must include increasing capability and strengthening assessment practices.

The school has begun to review and develop the content and delivery of its curriculum supported by external professional providers. School leaders should continue to review, develop and then implement a school curriculum that delivers the NZC through a localised context. This process should include:

  • strengthening the response to students’ culture, language and identity
  • determining how well it reflects local context, history and culture
  • defining how well it responds to the needs of students whose learning requires acceleration
  • establishing and clearly articulating a shared understanding of effective teacher practices, including in the Montessori classrooms.

Trustees need to ensure that an appropriate appraisal process that promotes the principal and teachers ongoing development, is consistently implemented. Currently the performance management system has several components of a suitable appraisal process but is yet to be completed.

Capability in internal evaluation requires strengthening. Leaders and teachers should develop a shared understanding of evidenced based internal evaluation to enable them to clearly show the impact of planned actions on improving outcomes for different groups of learners, with a focus on those at-risk. This process should also effectively inform next steps for improvement.

Teaching practices that respond to the individual learning needs of students are variable and at times not well developed. Some students who are underachieving do not receive sufficient targeted teaching that enables them to fully access the curriculum. Strengthened capability in evaluation should then be used to measure how well classroom organisation, in particular collaborative spaces and planning, are supporting priority students.

Current achievement targets are broad and general. Trustees should consider redefining annual targets to focus on increasing rates of progress and improving outcomes for those at risk of underachievement. Deepened analysis of the school’s data showing progress towards achieving these goals and therefore the measurement of the effectiveness of the school’s response to those children who need it the most, should be regularly reported to the board.

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 Kapiti School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Needs development.

ERO will maintain an ongoing relationship with the school to build capacity and evaluate progress.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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:

  • positive relationships that support learning
  • responsive provision for students with high and complex needs.

Next steps

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

  • raising achievement and improving outcomes for all children, and in particular Māori children
  • continuing to review, develop and implement a localised school curriculum to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning, particularly for priority students
  • strengthening the accuracy, analysis, reporting and use of learning information to better show student achievement and progress and effectiveness in achieving the schools’ annual goals and targets
  • fully implement an appropriate performance management system to better support teachers to improve their practice.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Tini Southern Region

13 May 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 51%, Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 35%
NZ European/Pākehā 47%
Asian 10%
Pacific 8%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

13 May 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review October 2016
Education Review November 2013

1 Context

Kapiti Primary School is situated in the heart of the commercial zone of Paraparaumu. It caters for 173 students in Years 1 to 8, of whom 64 students identify as Māori. The school roll has become increasingly culturally diverse since the 2013 ERO review. The newly appointed principal is supported by experienced leadership and teaching teams.

The school is currently working with a Ministry of Education (ministry) Student Achievement Functioning (SAF) practitioner to raise student achievement through forming connections with whānau.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are TEAM: Tū Tangata, Excel, Active Learning and Manaakitanga. These underpin the teaching and learning practices across the school and embrace the importance of mauri (essence of the person) and mana (well-being of the person) in building the foundations for a lifetime of learning.

The school’s achievement information shows that for the past three years just over half of all students, including Māori have achieved at and above the National Standards in mathematics and writing. A greater percentage achieve at or above in reading. Since 2014 Māori students' achievement has improved in mathematics and writing.

Disparity of achievement is evident, between Māori, Pacific and Pākehā students. This is beginning to be addressed. School leaders and teachers have identified the need to accelerate the learning of students achieving below the standards in mathematics, reading and writing.

Leaders and teachers work collaboratively to moderate judgements about students' progress and achievement. A next step is for the school to develop a framework and guidelines that further enhance teacher capability in using moderation to ensure greater consistency across the school.

Since the previous ERO evaluation the school has:

  • continued to focus on building teachers' capability in mathematics and literacy through ongoing professional learning and development
  • implemented the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme across the school to embed a consistent approach to behaviour management across the school
  • worked with a SAF to develop plans focused on accelerating learning for students at risk of underachieving, or who are working below the expected levels
  • initiated a change team of staff, trustees, ministry personnel and professional development providers to track schoolwide achievement and monitor the effectiveness of responses
  • introduced multi-level classrooms in Years 5 to 8
  • focused on strengthening relationships with whānau and the wider community
  • implemented programmes promoting student and staff use of te reo and understanding of tikanga Māori.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

Leaders and teachers continue to build their capability to respond to Māori students whose learning and achievement need accelerating. They are working collaboratively using their strengths and knowledge of good practice to implement strategies in response to identified students' needs.

School leaders and teachers know the students whose learning needs accelerating. Teachers use Target Pupil Plans to:

  • prioritise needs
  • align teacher practice
  • track and monitor progress of individuals and groups
  • plan further responses
  • acknowledge and celebrate successes
  • share practice and problem-solve.

Teachers are focused on developing clarity and shared understanding about what teaching strategies work, for whom and why. These actions have resulted in accelerated progress for some Māori students.

The school is working to develop robust learning centred partnerships with parents and whānau. They have identified key liaison personnel within the community and pro-actively use school events as an opportunity to engage and consult with the school community about their priorities and aspirations for their children.

Continuing to build teachers' cultural responsiveness should further enhance their practice to accelerate student progress and learning.

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

The school uses Target Pupil Plans to respond to other students whose learning and achievement needs accelerating, with progress evident as a result of these actions.

Students identified with more complex needs receive additional support through a range of interventions, both in-school and externally, focused on promoting learning and wellbeing.

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 targets for equity and excellence?

The board is well informed about student achievement, teaching practice and operations. The principal reports regularly and systematically about target students' achievement and progress over time. This supports the boards' decision making about resourcing and strategic direction. Trustees are developing their understanding of data, accelerated progress and the conditions that support this through their participation in the change team.

The principal has built relational trust through effective collaboration with staff, students, parents, whānau and community. Through a clear focus on raising student achievement, a culture of learning and partnership with parents are being established.

School leaders are implementing practices to strengthen teaching. They work collaboratively to support teachers to reflect on and inquire into their own practice. The considered approach to the review of the appraisal system should help to ensure that it supports improved outcomes for students.

Suitable guidelines are in place to assist understanding of expectations for teaching and learning in the school. Teachers are encouraged to choose contexts for learning and instructional strategies that motivate and engage students, linked to their strengths and interests. The curriculum review being undertaken should contribute to teaching programmes that are suitably responsive to the needs of students, parents and whānau, by prioritising community consultation as part of the review process.

Respectful, reciprocal relationships are evident across all levels of the school community. These promote a positive learning culture that supports students' holistic development and wellbeing. Teachers know the learners, are aware of the specific needs of individuals and adjust their approach to raise the achievement of all students. In the classrooms ERO saw evidence of:

  • deliberate use of specific instructional strategies and teaching approaches
  • use of student achievement information to inform teaching and groupings during lessons
  • students being encouraged to self-manage, take risks and use errors as opportunities to learn
  • students being supported to set and reflect on learning and personal wellbeing goals.

Examples of good practice within the school should be used to establish benchmarks to improve teacher capability to accelerate progress of students.

Parents receive useful and detailed information about their children's progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards, broader curriculum and TEAM values. Students are supported to share their learning with their whānau at learning conferences.

Leaders are actively developing relationships with early childhood education providers to assist the transition of children and their families into the school. Well-considered processes support students' transition through the school and on to further education.

Leaders are reflective and strongly improvement focused. Systematic review of processes and systems that guide practice and operation informs some decision-making. To enhance internal evaluation there is a need to build collective capacity to:

  • clearly identify intended outcomes and targets in plans to improve practice
  • align actions to support progress and achievement in meeting goals
  • measure the impact and effectiveness of initiatives and interventions on student outcomes
  • make evidence-based decisions about next steps for improvement.

These actions should improve identification of priorities, and promote sustainability of positive student outcomes.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • need to systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • need to have a plan in place to build teacher capability to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

School leaders should continue their focus on raising student achievement by further developing internal evaluation capacity.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop more targeted planning to accelerate student achievement. Planning should show how processes and practices will respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s planning and the progress the school makes.

ERO is likely to carry out the next full 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 Recommendation

ERO recommends that leaders continue to build the collective capacity to do and use internal evaluation, at all levels of the school. This will assist the school to know about the impact of teaching practices, programmes and operation on outcomes for students, and prioritise actions for improvement. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

18 October 2016 

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 50%, Male 50%

Ethnic composition









Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

18 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2013

November 2010

October 2007