Hillside Primary School

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

24 McCaughan Street, Browns

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Hillside Primary School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within six months of the Education Review Office and Hillside Primary 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


Hillside Primary School is a small, rural school providing education for students from Years 1 to 8. Students learn in two multilevel classes. The school is going through a major upgrade of buildings.

Hillside Primary School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • to ensure the school’s vision, values, and goals for equity and excellence are continually being developed and sustained through effective planning and self-review

  • to provide an environment which is well resourced to promote learning that is personalised, student centred, engaging, and connected to the real world

  • for students to succeed academically and socially in a way that supports their self-esteem and wellbeing.

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

ERO and the school are working together to build consistency in the use of effective evaluation with mathematics as a context.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • that mathematics may be delivered differently, and the school needs to know what is working well and what is not in an ongoing way

  • the school is currently involved in a one-year professional learning and development contract in mathematics.

The school expects to see a process of evaluation that determines how effective teaching strategies are supporting students’ learning in mathematics.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support it in its goal to build consistency in the use of effective evaluation with mathematics as a context.

  • A family-like, inclusive environment, with supportive relationships at all levels of the school - Tuakana-teina|older students supporting younger.

  • Students achieve well academically.

  • Small classes where students develop strong foundations in literacy and numeracy.

  • The staff and board work collaboratively to support positive outcomes for students.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • increasing the use of a specific progress monitoring tool to support assessment and teaching practice in mathematics

  • strengthening evaluation skills to support ongoing improvement.

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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

21 September 2022 

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

Hillside Primary School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of June 2022, the Hillside Primary School Board of Trustees 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 Hillside Primary School Board of Trustees.

The next Board of Trustees 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

21 September 2022 

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

Hillside Primary School - 29/05/2018

School Context

Hillside Primary School is a rural Year 1 to 8 primary school in Central Southland. It has a roll of 37 children who learn in multilevel classrooms.

The school’s vision is to encourage innovation, promote excellence and life-long learning, and to celebrate and respect differences. To achieve its valued outcomes, the school’s strategic goals are focused on accelerating achievement and progress for all children in reading, writing and mathematics. This is supported with a school-wide approach to learning using digital technology.

Leaders and the teaching staff have been stable for a number of years. Most of the board are experienced and long-standing, with some newly-elected trustees.

The board receives reports on achievement and progress for all children in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the school’s targets. Achievement reports are also received for some other curriculum areas, including science, technology and visual arts. This includes reports on children who require additional learning support.

The principal regularly reports to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for children in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • children’s wellbeing

  • progress against school targets.

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?

Achievement trends have been consistently maintained over time. 2017 end of year data shows that most children achieve well in writing. Almost all children are achieving well in reading and mathematics. Progress data shows that most children have made or sustained sufficient rates of progress in reading, writing and mathematics over the last three years. School information shows that almost all children have achieved well in science, technology and the arts.

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

The school is highly successful in accelerating progress for children who need this. By the end of Year 8 the school can consistently show that greater proportions of all children achieve at or above the school’s expectations. All children who need to make progress in their learning are identified, individually planned for and are closely monitored within the class. The school makes good use of internal and external support, such as teacher aides and the Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) network.

School information shows that those children who need to make accelerated achievement have made progress but not all have made enough progress to be at the expected curriculum levels yet.

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?

The school provides a number of processes and practices that are significantly contributing to highly effective school operations, student success and wellbeing. It provides an authentic and responsive, integrated curriculum where the learner is at the centre. All children are encouraged to be actively engaged and benefit from a meaningful inquiry approach to their learning. The curriculum is set in real world contexts that are relevant to the children’s lives and backgrounds. Teachers ensure that learning is thoughtfully integrated across different curriculum areas and linked to the local context and wider world. Digital technology is frequently used as a teaching and learning tool and for the sharing of learning between children, teachers and parents.

The board is highly committed to children’s learning, wellbeing and progress. Trustees significantly resource skilled teacher aides to support individual and group programmes in and out of the class. They maintain a focus on the whole child and actively promote and continue to develop networks to extend and enrich the school’s curriculum. Relationships between the board and the principal are based on a shared commitment to improving valued outcomes for all children. Trustees draw on their networks and expertise to strengthen organisational capacity and effectiveness. The principal and the board collaboratively develop and successfully pursue the school’s vision, goals and targets for equity and excellence.

The principal seeks out parents’ aspirations and encourages reciprocal learning relationships with them and their whānau and children. Parents, whānau and community are welcomed and involved in children’s learning and school activities as respectful and valued partners. The principal establishes clear expectations for all children and teachers to enact the values of the school and to support the school’s localised curriculum. The principal promotes and engages in professional learning alongside teachers which has impacted positively on learner outcomes.

Teachers clearly identify strategies and implementation approaches that result in the successful acceleration of children’s progress and achievement. Teachers work collaboratively to plan a relevant curriculum and design engaging tasks and activities. Teachers are knowledgeable about and confident with current technologies to be able to use them effectively to support effective teaching and create new opportunities to learn. Teachers know the children very well as individuals and learners. They use innovative and collaborative approaches to assessment, and each child’s progress is carefully tracked and monitored.

Internal evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building processes in the school are purposeful and focused on improvement. The school makes good use of relevant information across all year levels to promote school-wide improvement.

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

The school needs to develop indicators for reporting against its valued outcomes in relation to the school’s vision and values.

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:

  • high levels of student engagement, agency, achievement and progress

  • strong, collaborative learning partnerships with parents and the wider community

  • innovative and future-focused teaching and learning practices.

Next step

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

  • the development and use of relevant indicators for reporting against the school’s valued outcomes in relation to its vision and values.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer – Southern

Te Waipounamu – Southern

29 May 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female: 16

Male: 21

Ethnic composition

Māori: 1

Pākeha: 33

Other: 3

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

29 May 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review: 15 June 2015

Education Review: 15 June 2010