Kaikōura Suburban School

Kaikōura Suburban School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report  


This Profile Report was written within 10 months of the Education Review Office and ​Kaikōura Suburban 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 


Kaikōura Suburban School is a community based rural year 0 to 6 school. The school provides inquiry-based learning environment which aims to develop children with vision, a good work ethic and skills to further their achievements and ‘Learning for Life’. A new principal was appointed in Term 1 of 2023 and there have been other leadership changes. 

Kaikōura Suburban School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are: 

  • collaborative practice: share collective knowledge to support all learners and improve teaching practice 
  • wellbeing: strong relationships with students, teachers and whānau 
  • culturally responsive practice: creating a culturally responsive environment 
  • curriculum: ensuring an alive, lived curriculum. 

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively the school’s programmes are strengthening culturally responsive practices to enable equitable outcomes and success for all learners. 

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:   

  • to upskill teachers’ culturally responsive practices  
  • to evaluate how effectively culturally responsive practices are improving engagement, progress and achievement for all learners. 

The school expects to see: 

  • continued improvement in learner engagement, progress, achievement and equity 
  • a culturally responsive environment where learners’ languages, identities and cultures are recognised and integrated into learning across the curriculum. 


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to evaluate how effectively the school’s programmes are strengthening culturally responsive practices to enable equitable outcomes for all learners. 

  • Strategic goals that identify priorities for improvement and those students needing to make accelerated progress. 
  • Ongoing professional development for teachers in culturally responsive practices. 
  • Commitment to strengthening culturally responsive practices that enable all learners to experience success and become lifelong learners. 

Where to next 

Moving forward, the school will prioritise: 

  • continued professional learning and development to embed and sustain culturally responsive practice 
  • reviewing systems and processes of valid assessment information to inform next steps and decisions for teaching and learning 
  • evaluating the effectiveness of culturally responsive practices on learner engagement, progress, achievement and equity. 

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 ​ 

​​10 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 

Kaikōura Suburban School

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

As of March, 2024 the ​Kaikōura Suburban School​ Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements: 

Board Administration 




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare 


Personnel Management 






Further Information 

For further information please contact ​Kaikōura Suburban 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 ​ 

​​10 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 

Kaikoura Suburban School

School Context

Kaikōura Suburban School is located in semi-rural Kaikōura. It provides education for students from Years one to six. The school roll is 78 students.

The school’s vision is that learners will commit to climbing the mountain of learning for life. The ‘Fyffe FORCE’ values are fun, organised, respect, communication and excellence. The Māori values of kaitiakitanga, rangatiratanga, manaakitanga, kotahitanga and whanaungatanga sit alongside the FORCE values.

The school states that its current goals are:

  • the board having a focus on student learning, wellbeing, achievement and progress, shared understandings of their roles and responsibilities and effectively meeting statutory requirements
  • the leadership team working with students, teachers and parents to actively seek all perspectives in embedding a ‘very close home/school educational partnership’ to promote and support student wellbeing outcomes and engagement in learning
  • staff engaging with the wider school community using community resources to enrich teaching and learning experiences
  • teachers ensuring that all students participate and learn in a caring, collaborative, inclusive learning environment, exploring innovative practices using the NZ Curriculum
  • teachers working together to develop high and clear standards across all areas to improve teaching and learning practices
  • continuing to build relational trust with all schools within the Kaikōura Kāhui Ako to support collaboration, risk taking and openness to change and improvement in building innovation at Kaikōura Suburban School.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets.

Since the last ERO review, a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed.

The school is a part of the Kaikōura Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning. The principal of Kaikōura Suburban School is the lead principal in the Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

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 making very good progress towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. Most students are achieving at or above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Many students achieve above expectations. In 2017, almost a third of the girls were achieving above curriculum expectations. Māori students achieve at similar levels to that of other students in the school.

While the achievement of boys overall is not as high as that of girls, there has been a noticeable improvement over the past three years. The achievement of boys continues to be a target of the school and the Kāhui Ako.

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

The school is effectively accelerating the progress of students for those who need this. There are useful systems in place for identifying and monitoring students who need extra support.

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?

Parents and whānau are warmly welcomed and involved in school life as respected and valued partners in learning. School leaders regularly seek and use the views of whānau to help determine school priorities. A wide range of useful communication strategies are in place. Teachers work with parents to develop individualised learning strategies that can be used at home. These reciprocal learner-centred relationships effectively support children’s learning.

Students participate and learn in a caring, inclusive environment. Students lead their learning. They have many opportunities for choice and to develop their leadership skills. Teachers make use of the community to provide rich authentic learning experiences where children are ‘learning for life’. Transitions into and out of the school are well planned and based on the needs of individual students. Teachers develop and use specific strategies for individual students. They use action plans for individuals and groups of students to help them to make accelerated progress

The curriculum is highly responsive to the language and culture of students. Māori students are encouraged to succeed as Māori. All children have access to a bicultural curriculum that nurtures their sense of identity and belonging in Aotearoa.

Effective leadership builds relational trust and collaborative practice at every level of the school community. School leaders have established strong professional links with neighbouring schools and early childhood services through the Kāhui Ako. They use external expertise wisely. Teachers have spent time visiting a variety of other schools. They have used these experiences to develop a collaborative approach to learning and teaching. There is strong alignment through all school documentation, from strategic goals to annual actions, professional learning and development, and teachers’ appraisal goals.

Student learning and wellbeing are the core focus of the board. Trustees actively represent and serve the school. They bring a range of skills and experience to the board. Trustees are knowledgeable about all aspects of the school’s activities. They are strategic in their decision making, with the aim of doing the best they can to support the valued outcomes for students.

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

Leaders are building collective capability to use inquiry and reflective practice. The next step is to improve strategic internal evaluation through in-depth, longer term evaluations. These evaluations need to be based on:

  • establishing an evaluative question and success criteria
  • collecting information over time from a wide range of sources, including key stakeholders
  • making sense of the information and planning future action
  • monitoring and evaluating the impact on valued outcomes for children.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • strong reciprocal learning-based relationships with parents
  • an inclusive, caring culturally responsive student-led curriculum
  • effective leadership and stewardship.

Next step

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

  • strengthening strategic internal evaluation. 

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Alan Wynyard
Director Review & Improvement Services
Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

12 December 2018

About the school 

Ministry of Education profile number3392
School typeContributing (Year 1-6)
School roll78
Gender compositionBoys 42 ; Girls 36
Ethnic compositionMāori                    31%
Pākehā                 63%
Asian                     6%
Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)No
Provision of Māori medium educationNo
Review team on siteOctober 2018
Date of this report12 December 2018
Most recent ERO reportsEducation Review September 2014
Education Review October 2011
Education Review February 2009