Pirinoa School

Pirinoa School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report 


This Profile Report was written within 21 months of the Education Review Office and Pirinoa 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


Pirinoa School is a rural primary school in the Southern Wairarapa. It caters for students in years 1 to 8.

Pirinoa School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • to provide highly effective teachers who embed their teaching in sound pedagogy and reflective practices 
  • for all students to experience a deep, meaningful, and well-balanced curriculum that is goal driven and where learning is enhanced through the school values and the key competencies
  • to engage all stakeholders in the community and have them actively share in the life of the school.

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how well the implementation of the school’s new localised curriculum is supporting all students to be active participants in their learning, and the impact this has on learner outcomes.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is for trustees, leaders and teachers to know: 

  • the impact of the new localised curriculum on learner engagement, progress and achievement.

The school expects to see: 

  • consistent and effective teaching and assessment practices
  • confident students who can successfully articulate their learning and use their learning to make progress towards their goals 
  • culturally responsive teaching and learning practices that promote equity and excellence for all learners.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal for all students to be active participants in their learning through their localised curriculum:

  • collaborative and positive relationships across the school
  • existing positive connections with the community 
  • opportunities within the Kahui Ako to work collaboratively to support this goal.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise: 

  • ensuring documentation is in place to clearly articulate expectations for teaching and learning through a culturally responsive and localised curriculum
  • strengthening the use of engagement and achievement information to inform strategic focus and direction
  • ensuring robust assessment and moderation practices underpin shared and known achievement information
  • enhancing the use of the local environment to explicitly promote learning through a rich place-based curriculum. 

ERO has concerns about 

The urgent need to:

  • implement robust evidence-based systems and processes to enable the board and school leadership to effectively use, report and scrutinise wellbeing, progress and achievement information schoolwide 
  • ensure governance and leadership understand their legislative requirements, including the health and safety of students and staff.


ERO recommends that the school access the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) training for boards to provide support for understanding their roles and responsibilities and legislative requirements.

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

6 March 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

Pirinoa School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of September 2023, the Pirinoa School Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Actions for Compliance 

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

  • the school needs to provide career education and guidance for all students in Year 7 and above [Section 103, Education and Training Act 2020] 
  • the school needs to provide students opportunities for learning second or subsequent languages in Years 7 and 8 [New Zealand Curriculum] 
  • the school must adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once every two years, after consultation with the school community [Section 91, Education and Training Act 2020]
  • the school must ensure that physical restraint policies, procedures and guidelines are known and implemented [Section 99 – Section 101, Education and Training Act 2020; Education (Physical Restraint) Rules 2023, Ministry of Education]
  • the school must ensure that child protection policies, procedures and guidelines are known and implemented [Section 18 &19, Children’s Act 2014; Section 15 Oranga Tamariki Act 1989]
  • hazards and the response to these need to be recorded and reported to the Board monthly, and the board must be satisfied with compliance [Health and Safety at Work Act 2015]
  • regular emergency drills need to be undertaken, documented, and reported to the Board.

 [National Civil Defence Emergency Plan Order 2015; Fire Safety, Evacuation Procedures, and Evacuation Schemes Regulations 2018]

The board has taken steps to address the following areas of non-compliance identified:

  • the school must ensure Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) policies and procedures are consistently implemented and that risk management planning for any trips meets requirements [Health and Safety at Work Act 2015; Education Outside the Classroom Guidelines, Ministry of Education] 
  • the school must ensure that safety checking of children’s workers, and periodic rechecking of existing children’s workers which includes police vetting occurs [Children’s Act 2014, and regulations 5–8 of the Children’s (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015]
  • the school needs to check a primary identity document and a secondary identity document, required for safety checking of workforce [Children’s Act 2014].

Further Information

For further information please contact Pirinoa 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

6 March 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

Pirinoa School - 12/08/2019

School Context

Pirinoa is a Year 1 to 8 rural primary school in the Southern Wairarapa. Of the 50 children currently attending the school 27 identify as Māori.

The school enjoys strong support from its rural community. The mission statement identifies that they ‘come together, to create a variety of opportunities that help all students excel as learners and members of society’. The school’s vision is ‘Inspired, Confident, Proud Tamariki’.

The strategic goals focus on providing a meaningful and balanced curriculum with excellence in teaching and learning stated as priorities. Current targets focus on improving children’s achievement in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) levels for reading, writing and mathematics.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is undertaking shared professional development as part of the South Wairarapa Kāhui Ako I Community of Learning.

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?

School data for 2018 shows that most students achieve at or above curriculum expectations in reading and mathematics. Almost all achieving at curriculum expectations in writing. The number of Māori students achieving at or above in reading, writing and maths was lower than their non-Māori peers.

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

2018 achievement information showed that approximately half of target students, including Māori, made accelerated progress in reading and mathematics. Approximately two thirds made accelerated progress in writing.

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 broad curriculum offers students a wide range of opportunities to learn. Local contexts, relevant to students’ interests, are used to promote engagement and a variety of learning experiences. Environment and sustainability are a strong focus. Student leadership is promoted. Students enjoy a sense of belonging and connection with the school and its community. The school curriculum, linked to NZC, emphasises big ideas and inquiry learning.

The school is well resourced. Students are encouraged to be active learners and make choices about aspects of their learning.

The bicultural curriculum has been developed and strengthened. Staff are participating in professional development through the Kāhui Ako, that focuses on te ao and te reo Māori. A parent supports students and staff to increase their knowledge of te reo Māori and kapa haka. Learning contexts include emphasis on aspects of te ao Māori.

The principal has extended positive relationships with families and the community. Parents input is sought and valued, and contributes to the strategic direction of the school.

The school works with families, and external agencies where appropriate, for children with additional learning needs. A focus on inclusion has been strengthened to improve outcomes for those individuals who require additional support.

The improved appraisal process is clearly linked to the Standards for the Teaching Profession. The use of appropriate templates and regular feedback provide opportunities for ongoing development of teaching practice. Teachers have begun to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice. Good examples of this process include:

  • a clear focus on those students whose achievement is below expected curriculum levels
  • the introduction of new deliberate teaching strategies to best meet each child’s learning needs
  • evaluation of the effectiveness of the strategies in relation to each student’s progress.

The process of policy and procedure review has been strengthened and is an integral part of board meetings. Health curriculum consultation has been carried out in 2019.

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

Internal evaluation practice requires development. The principal and teachers are reflective and seek input from the community to consider future directions. It is timely to develop a shared understanding of evidence-based evaluation. Creating an appropriate evaluative framework should support the collation and analysis of information to determine the effectiveness of current practices and initiatives and their impact on student outcomes.

To better achieve equitable and excellent outcomes for those students who need it, increased consistency is needed in the following processes and practices:

  • analysing and making use of data to clearly identify each child’s achievement and learning needs
  • continuing to ensure that achievement data is dependable and teachers’ overall judgements are based on a variety of sources and moderated
  • making better use of newly implemented Learning Journals to further promote student ownership
  • analysing gathered information to inform next steps for teaching and learning
  • enacting the guidance provided for effective teaching in the school’s curriculum implementation plans and providing professional development where necessary
  • identifying all students achieving below expected levels as target students and prioritising the acceleration of their progress
  • evaluating the impact of teacher practice and schoolwide initiatives on the progress of students at risk of not achieving.

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.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Pirinoa 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:

  • community relationships that impact positively on outcomes for students
  • the broad curriculum that supports student engagement.

Next steps

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

  • internal evaluation at all levels to inform future decision making
  • making better use of achievement data to personalise learning and increase student progress.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

12 August 2019

About the school

Ministry of Education profile number2958
School typeFull Primary (Years 1 to 8)
School roll50
Gender compositionFemale 26, Male 24
Ethnic compositionMāori 27 
NZ European/Pākehā 22
Other ethnic groups 1
Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)Yes
Provision of Māori medium educationNo
Review team on siteJune 2019
Date of this report12 August 2019
Most recent ERO report(s)Education Review August 2016
Education Review September 2013