Kimi Ora School

Education institution number:
School type:
Special School
School gender:
Not Applicable
Total roll:

100 Walters Street, Naenae, Lower Hutt

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Kimi Ora School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report  


This Profile Report was written within 6 months of the Education Review Office and ​Kimi Ora​ 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. 

This report is part of a nationally coordinated evaluation of 27-day specialist schools during the second half of 2023. This included the development of day specialist school evaluation indicators by ERO with significant input from principals, staff and the Special Education Principals’ Association of New Zealand (SEPAnz). 


Kimi Ora School is a day specialist school for students aged five to twenty-one years with a range of special educational learning needs and intellectual and physical disabilities. All students are from the wider Wellington region and the Hutt Valley. 

All students have high or very high needs are funded through the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS). A team of specialists and therapists provide support for students in consultation with families, whānau and staff. Each student has a personalised learning programme (PLP).  

Beyond the base school there are satellite classes in three local host schools and a young adult transition centre in Lower Hutt.  

A specialist teacher outreach service provides support for ORS funded students enrolled in local schools. 

The school continues to navigate and manage roll growth pressures along with the property demands associated with this. 

Kimi Ora School’s vision is to work alongside whānau to enable ākonga to meet their full potential by developing independence, communication and participation in all areas of their lives. 

​​Kimi Ora​ School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are: 

  • enhancement of our cultural responsiveness to ensure staff understand Kimi Ora School’s obligations to the Te Tiriti o Waitangi 
  • review and design a Kimi Ora curriculum to strengthen content and systems to effectively provide guidance for teaching, learning to improve outcomes for learners 
  • maintain our school culture and values to strengthen ākonga, whānau and kaimahi sense of belonging to our community as we grow. 

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively the Kimi Ora School’s curriculum design is strengthening and supporting practice to promote positive learning and wellbeing outcomes for students and staff.  

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:  

  • to promote positive student outcomes through responsive curriculum design  
  • to provide guidance for staff in curriculum delivery through a time of evolving change and growth in relation to staff wellbeing and capability. 

The school expects to see a curriculum that is responsive to the unique needs of learners and enables the ongoing capability building of staff to improve equitable outcomes for all learners. 


The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to evaluate how effectively Kimi Ora School’s curriculum design is strengthening and supporting practice to promote positive learning and wellbeing outcomes for students and staff. 

  • Students experience a positive and supportive school environment that is responsive to individual learning goals and needs. 
  • Distributed leadership is highly responsive and creates and sustains conditions for improving outcomes for learners.  
  • Transdisciplinary knowledge of the learner is consistently evident in planning for learning. 
  • School systems and processes effectively identify and respond to the holistic needs of all learners and their whānau. 
  • Staff consistently demonstrate and enact high expectations for learners and their success. 
  • Collaboration between outreach and other schools is positive and effectively supports ORS learners. 

Where to next? 

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:  

  • launching and implementing the first year of the new differentiated three-year long-term plan for curriculum delivery 
  • seeking feedback from staff to identify challenges and success within the long-term plan   
  • monitoring and evaluating the ongoing impact on learners that includes whānau views at key points in time. 

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. 

Kimi Ora School

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

As of ​April 2024​, the ​Kimi Ora 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 ​Kimi Ora 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. u> 

Kimi Ora School - 01/08/2018

School Context

Kimi Ora School provides an holistic education for students with a diverse range of additional learning needs aged 5 to 21 years. At the time of the review, there were 71 students on the growing roll, with 10% of students identifying as Māori and 8% as of Pacific heritage.

All students have high, or very high needs, and are funded through the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme. Students from the greater Wellington area attend the base school in Naenae, or one of three satellite hubs hosted by two local schools and a trust. In all, there are 11 classes: five at Naenae, three at Evans Bay Intermediate School, two at Pomare School and one at Manaaki Ability Trust in Lower Hutt. Manaaki caters for students aged from 16 to 21, and has a strong focus on transition into the community. The hubs at Pomare School and Manaaki Trust were opened in term one of 2018. A team of specialists and therapists provide support for students, whānau, aiga and staff.

The school’s vision is that ‘Kimi Ora will be a centre of excellence increasing students’ independence, communication and participation through innovation in implementing education and therapy programmes’.

The school’s strategic focus on growing support for schools and for the community is provided across the greater Wellington area through its Specialist Teacher Outreach and Moderate Needs Physical Services.

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

  • progress and achievement in literacy and numeracy
  • progress and achievement in relation to students’ individual goals.

Since the July 2015 ERO report, there have been some changes to the leadership team and board membership.

The school belongs to the Naenae Kāhui Ako.

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 has high expectations of all students. Most students make appropriate progress in relation to their individual goals. Reported 2017 end-of-year school data shows that in relation to the expanded New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), nearly all students achieve well in literacy and a large majority, including Pacific students, achieve well in mathematics. Achievement for Māori students is above their peers in these curriculum areas. Over time, high levels of achievement in literacy have been maintained.

Students not achieving at expectation are well known by leaders and staff. Strategies are in place to support these students to achieve success.

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

Data from 2017 indicates that a number of students accelerated their progress in relation to their goals. A significant number of students, including Māori and Pacific, accelerated their progress in literacy. There is evidence of acceleration in mathematics, especially by Māori students.

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?

Trustees, leaders, specialists and staff have an unrelenting focus on supporting the progress and achievement of all students. Their highly collaborative approach guides teaching and learning through each child’s individual education plan (IEP). The IEP goals are responsive, realistic and build on each student’s current learning interests and needs. A wide range of planning holistically supports learner success. Useful systems and processes are in place to track and monitor student progress and achievement against their goals.

Strategic, well-considered professional learning and development (PLD) builds staff capability. This supports them to implement specialised learning programmes that effectively respond to each student’s learning interests and needs.

A range of appropriate, flexible and effective communication strategies strengthens reciprocal learning-centred partnerships with whānau. At IEP meetings, staff and families identify strengths, interests and next steps to review and formulate well-constructed goals.

Through its outreach services, the school actively promotes strategies to support students with additional needs in schools throughout the Wellington area. Expert support is provided to school leaders, special education needs coordinators, staff and whānau. These purposeful links to external expertise provide increased opportunities for students to learn alongside their peers in local schools.

There is a strategic focus on integrating te reo me ngā tikanga Māori through the curriculum across all levels of the school. This has been supported by PLD and whānau Māori. The concepts of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, ako, kaitoutoko, tohunga mahi toi and tangata underpin the school’s culturally responsive practices.

The school’s curriculum successfully promotes students’ interests, engagement and learning through thoughtfully selected learning opportunities that stimulate curiosity and exploration. Relevant, meaningful and authentic contexts are used to prepare students for life outside and beyond school. Well-designed, inclusive learning environments support children’s independence. Leadership opportunities are offered to students in a range of contexts. Respectful, productive and nurturing interactions and relationships are highly evident.

Individualised plans guide effective transitions from home to school. Staff knowledge of students’ subtle cues support ongoing and daily transitions. A comprehensive approach, with well-considered levels of support, builds learners’ independence and ability to participate and contribute meaningfully in their local community.

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

To sustain improvement, the school’s key next step is to build on their regular practice of reflection and review. Implementing a strategic process of internal evaluation that strengthens and aligns these processes, should improve knowledge of learner outcomes and support the school to know what is working and what is needed to sustain ongoing improvement.

To promote professional growth, further development of the implementation of the appraisal process is needed to increase consistency.Developing clear expectations of goal setting based on student outcomes, building cultural competence and teaching as inquiry should strengthen this process.

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:

  • a collective, unrelenting focus on all students’ progress and achievement, that supports and enables learner success
  • holistic learning partnerships with parents, whānau and the wider community, that actively support student learning and wellbeing
  • a well-considered curriculum that promotes student engagement, learning and successful transitions through meaningful and authentic contexts.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening internal evaluation practices, so that trustees, leadership and teachers analyse student achievement information and evaluate the impact of teaching programmes on student outcomes
  • building teacher capacity through consistent inquiry and appraisal processes and practices.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in three years.

Alan Wynyard 
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

1 August 2018

About the school

LocationLower Hutt
Ministry of Education profile number514
School typeSpecial School
School roll71
Gender compositionMale 41, Female 30
Ethnic compositionMāori 7
Pacific 6
Pākehā 41
Other ethnic groups 17
Special featuresBase school at Naenae, satellite sites at Evans Bay Intermediate School, Pomare School and Manaaki Ability Trust.
Specialist Teachers Outreach Service and Moderate Needs Service for the greater Wellington area.
Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)Yes
Provision of Māori medium educationNo
Review team on siteJune 2018
Date of this report1 August 2018
Most recent ERO report(s)Education Review, July 2015
Education Review, July 2012
Education Review, June 2006