Limehills School

Limehills School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report 


This Profile Report was written within 12 months of the Education Review Office and Limehills 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.


Limehills School in Central Southland provides education for students from Years 0 to 8. The principal was appointed in 2022 and a new senior leadership team was appointed in 2023. The school’s mission is: “Our tamariki will have a ‘can-do’ attitude and take ownership of their learning”.

Limehills School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are to develop:

  • strengths in literacy and numeracy and improve all students’ learning outcomes
  • skills in te reo Māori and to have a greater understanding of tikanga Māori and Te Tiriti ō Waitangi

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively the school’s writing programme supports learners to meet the expectations of the Literacy Learning Progressions.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • over the last two years the school has implemented ‘Structured Literacy’ in the four junior classrooms, and ‘The Code’ across all learning areas and wishes to evaluate the impact of both on student outcomes
  • staff have identified a need to improve learners’ writing fluency and the inclusion of surface and deeper features to better meet the expectations of the Literacy Learning Progressions in all contexts.

The school expects to see:

  • a programme that enables all ākonga access to the curriculum through strong foundational literacy skills and knowledge
  • increased engagement, progress, and achievement for ākonga in literacy.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support it in its goal to achieve improved learning outcomes for all ākonga in literacy:

  • a collaborative teaching team who have high expectations for all students to achieve
  • a strong partnership between the community and school that supports learning and wellbeing
  • a consistent approach to literacy teaching schoolwide, that is supported by regular professional development for teachers and learning assistants
  • the delivery of a structured literacy programme that aligns with the school’s strategic direction and priorities.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • a collaborative approach to planning, assessment and data gathering to monitor and evaluate the impact of the literacy programme on students’ learning
  • a tracking process to ensure ongoing support for identified groups of students not making expected progress. 

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

23 August 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Limehills School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of February 2023, the Limehills 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 Limehills 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

23 August 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Limehills School - 19/02/2018

School Context

Limehills School has 185 Years 1 to 8 students, 35 of whom identify as Māori. The school is in Centre Bush, Central Southland. Since the last ERO review in 2013, new trustees have been elected to the board.

Leaders and teachers have been undertaking professional learning to deepen their ability to differentiate teaching and learning by better knowing students’ diverse learning needs. 

The school’s mission statement is that, ‘Limehills kids will take ownership of their learning and embrace challenges with a ‘can do’ attitude’. The mission is underpinned by the:

  • school’s RIPPERS values of, ‘respect, integrity, perseverance, participation, empathy, responsibility and sportsmanship’
  • vision for students to be confident, connected, actively involved lifelong learners
  • enviro-school principles of Māori perspectives, respect for diversity, sustainable communities, learning for sustainability and empowered students.

The school strategic goals are that the school’s culture will continue to challenge and inspire, and sustainable finances will create future enhancement opportunities. The target is to accelerate progress in literacy achievement for targeted learners.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • engagement and wellbeing for success
  • achievement in relation to school targets
  • whole-school improvement trends
  • achievement of the school’s valued outcomes. 

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is very effectively achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students in literacy, mathematics and the New Zealand Curriculum key competencies.

Over the last three years most students have achieved very well in reading, writing and mathematics. Levels of achievement are well maintained through to Year 7 and 8, in particular, for reading and mathematics. Most Māori students achieve very well in these learning areas.

Reports from New Zealand standardised assessments show very good school-wide improvement over time in literacy and mathematics.

Almost all students are achieving the school’s valued outcomes, as expressed in the mission statement and school RIPPERS values.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is highly effective in its response to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

In 2017, all Māori learners identified as needing to make accelerated learning in literacy did so. Almost all other targeted students also made accelerated progress in literacy.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school continues to be a very high performing school, in particular in the following areas.

Limehills School is relentless in its focus on continuous improvement. Teachers and leaders demonstrate adaptive expertise to better meet the needs of students. They critically apply new knowledge to problems to develop useful approaches and solutions. Increased collaboration between teachers spreads effective teaching practices across the school. Teachers are well supported by deep and focused professional development, robust appraisals, on-going evidence-based inquiries and clear guidelines and expectations for teaching. Skilled teacher aides ably support teaching and learning programmes.

Students learn and work in an environment where their ideas and views are sought, valued and responded to. This culture contributes greatly to children having a strong sense of belonging to their school. The school RIPPERS values, whanaungatanga/relationships, manaakitanga/caring for others and learning, and tuakana-teina/older children guiding and supporting younger children are highly evident in all areas and levels of the school. Māori culture is valued. A child-centred focus and Māori perspectives are integral to all learning.

The school’s curriculum is very effective in enabling learning and is future focused. It successfully promotes students’ belief in themselves to achieve. The enviroschool principles are well embedded and provide a solid base and coherence for learning across all areas of the curriculum. The child is at the centre of the learning environment. Children are very actively engaged in their learning where they plan, carry out and reflect on self-initiated authentic projects within and beyond the school.

School leaders and trustees ensure the school’s vision is realised, and equity and excellence are strived for, for all students. Contributing to the success of these are:

  • cohesive and useful school-wide systems
  • well-managed change processes
  • the high expectations of teachers and students
  • that relationships within the school community are based on trust, integrity and openness
  • the value placed on the support of parents and the wider community that is central to students’ learning and development.

Self review/internal evaluation is integral to all school operations. Clarity of purpose and process lead to continuous improvement. There is well-planned alignment from the strategic goals through to classroom programmes and interventions.

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

School leaders need to report rates of progress to the board, for the board to be assured that students are making sufficient progress over time.

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:

  • inquiry and reflections on practice that continue to improve the curriculum and outcomes for students
  • having a highly-developed culture of collaboration among leaders, teachers, parents and students, that maintains high expectations for teaching and learning throughout the school.

Next step

For sustained improvement and future learner success, a development priority is in:

  • the use of learning data to show rates of progress and sufficiency of progress over time.

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 Paterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

19 February 2018

About the school 


Central Southland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys:     55%
Girls:      45%

Ethnic composition

Māori:   14%
Pākehā:                74%
Pacific:  2%
Asian:    3%
Other:   7%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

19 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Reviews          September 2013
                                                April 2010
                                                March 2007