Rāwhiti School

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

150 Leaver Terrace, North New Brighton, Christchurch

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Rawhiti School - 17/06/2019

School Context

Rāwhiti School is purpose-built and opened on its current site in 2016. The roll of 534 students in Years 1 to 8 is drawn from a culturally diverse community.

The school’s vision is: Rising above the ordinary. The valued outcomes for students are conveyed through the RISE values of: resilience, integrity, success and empathy.

The school’s key strategic goals include promoting and supporting innovative ako (learning) that is engaging, challenging, accessible to all, and prepares for both the present and future. They are also for enhancing learning and a sense of connectedness through effective relationships with whānau and positive engagement with the local and wider community; and, creating a vibrant and inviting environment that children will love.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • additional learning needs
  • engagement and wellbeing for success.

The school has identified that mathematics is a priority area for development in 2019.

Māori Medium education is provided in a Years 1 to 8 bilingual class. The school is involved in the Manaiakalani Outreach Project, for the use of digital technologies in teaching and 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?

The school is effectively achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students. Achievement information for 2018 shows that most students, including Māori students, achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in reading and writing. The majority of students, including Māori, achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in mathematics.

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

Overall, 2018 school information shows that targeted responses to accelerate the rate of learning in writing were very effective for the majority of the identified students. Achievement information also shows accelerated progress for 30% of Years 4 to 8 priority students in reading and 40% of Years 4 to 8 priority students in mathematics.

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 is a warm and inclusive learning community which values collaboration and flexibility. Coherent processes and practice promote equity and excellence.

Te ao Māori, language, culture and identity are actively fostered to build capacity and responsive practice at all levels of the school for students and teachers.

The curriculum is highly responsive to individual needs and offers a range of innovative, meaningful experiences which encourage student engagement, voice, and ownership of learning. Carefully considered practices, programmes and the environment authentically reflect the local context and bicultural perspectives. The school values are becoming understood and embedded.

Leaders have high expectations for teaching and learning. There are clear guidelines for teachers, balanced with flexibility to meet students’ interests, needs and strengths. Students’ learning and progress are identified, tracked and monitored through well-developed systems.

A wide range of appropriate support programmes are thoroughly planned. The school responds effectively to those students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Effective use is made of resourcing, and internal expertise and external agencies support targeted interventions and teaching practices.

The school has a highly reflective culture that has a sustained focus on improvement. Effective school systems enable collaborative learning and decision making. Strong leadership builds collective capacity, utilising individual strengths to support collaboration and best practice. Teachers are regularly engaged in well-resourced, strategically aligned professional learning to increase their knowledge and skills and develop their adaptive expertise.

Well-considered strategic planning provides visible alignment across all aspects of the school’s operations, and priorities are directly linked to improving student achievement and wellbeing. Leaders are well informed and make evidence-based decisions to provide targeted resourcing. Trustees access a wide range of information and use it effectively to support their understanding and set priorities for future focus.

Close links are being developed with the local community to support students’ sense of belonging and wellbeing. Student, staff and community voice is actively sought, valued and used to inform decision making.

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

The school has identified, and ERO’s external evaluation confirms, that key priorities for development are to continue to:

  • develop the school’s curriculum, including embedding shared practices to provide clear expectations for teaching and learning
  • strengthen the analysis of achievement information, assessment and reporting across all learning areas to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and show progress in relation to the expectations of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • extend learning partnerships with whānau.

Leaders’ awareness of the need to consistently meet Teaching Council requirements has led to further improvements in appraisal since the onsite stage of this review.

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 Rāwhiti School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

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:

  • rich learning opportunities that are responsive to the needs and strengths of individuals
  • collaborative practices that focus strongly on supporting learning and wellbeing
  • school and pedagogical leadership that is building teacher capability and capacity to deliver equity and excellence for all students.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to develop the school’s curriculum
  • strengthening student achievement data analysis and use
  • extending learning partnerships with families and the local community.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

17 June 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 29%

NZ European/Pākehā 60%

Pacific 7%

Other ethnicities 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)


Number of students in Level 1 MME


Number of students in Level 2 MME


Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

17 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

New School Assurance Review May 2017

Rawhiti School - 10/05/2017

1 Introduction

A New School Assurance Review is a review of particular areas of school performance and is undertaken to specific terms of reference.

New School Assurance Reviews are generally undertaken within the first year of the school’s opening.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of Rāwhiti School. The terms of reference for the review are to provide assurance to the community:

  • that the school is well placed to provide for children
  • that the school is operating in accordance with the vision articulated by the board of trustees.

2 Context

Rāwhiti School opened at the beginning of 2015 with a roll of 460. Central New Brighton, Freeville and North New Brighton Schools were merged and a new school, Rāwhiti, was established as part of Christchurch’s post-earthquake Shaping Education – Future Direction Programme.

The school was initially situated on two separate sites and moved into purpose-built facilities in January 2016. The school has faced a number of challenges, including three boards in three years, and a number of staff changes. A parent elected board now governs the school.

3 Background

Children learn in six innovative learning environments (called studios). Parents are able to choose to have their children educated through a bilingual programme using both the English and Māori languages.

The school has quickly developed strong direction and expectations for children’s learning. The diverse student roll has grown quickly with 52% of the roll new to the school. As a result of this growth, the Ministry of Education has put an enrolment zone in place.

The board has prioritised building positive relationships to bring the three school communities together as one new community.

4 Findings

Rāwhiti School is well placed to provide for its students and is operating well in accordance with its vision and values. 

The board and senior leadership team have high expectations for children’s learning, wellbeing and achievement. They are future focused and work together effectively. The school’s vision and strategic plan are guiding school operations and practices.

The school is strongly focused on incorporating bicultural perspectives into all aspects of learning and teaching. They have been well served by the local iwi, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, to include the history of the local environment into the school’s curriculum. Associated kīwaha (sayings) align well with the school’s vision, ‘To rise above the ordinary’.

The bilingual programme strongly model the use of both Māori and English languages. Children learn in a supportive, whānau-based environment. Teachers are making effective use of professional learning to strengthen their use of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (the Māori curriculum). They are working with whānau to develop a graduate profile for Year 8 leavers going to secondary school.

The school’s curriculum provides opportunities for older children to support younger children in their learning and play. These tuakana-teina relationships closely reflect the school’s bicultural emphasis.

A significant feature of the school is its high quality transition to school programme for new entrant children and their parents. The play-based learning approach in the junior school is effectively supporting children’s transition and engagement in learning. Teachers collaboratively work with early childhood staff to make the transition process for children as smooth as possible. Parents are well informed of the ways that they can help their children’s learning at home.

Leaders and teachers have implemented a well-considered, responsive approach to the curriculum. The needs of children have been central to its emerging design. Teachers purposefully provide children with choices and leadership opportunities to strengthen their decision-making and build their independence and ability to manage their own learning.

The assessment of children’s writing has been strengthened. Teacher confidence and consistency in making judgements has improved the reliability of assessment in writing. Some good cohort progress in literacy is evident. The level of professional sharing by teachers is building a cohesive and collegial team.

The board provides strong support for children with additional learning needs. Substantial pastoral care is provided for children and their whānau. A range of specialist agencies and the Ministry of Education provide professional skills and resources to support improved outcomes for children.

The board and principal have a good understanding of internal evaluation. The principal and teachers are reflective and appropriately evaluate the effectiveness of their processes and procedures. These include spontaneous reviews and concept evaluations that result in positive outcomes for children.

The board and senior leadership team effectively provide a range of professional learning and development to build on teacher strengths and increase their understanding of new approaches to teaching and learning. Teachers share their new professional knowledge and innovative or effective strategies that have led to positive outcomes for children.

The senior leadership team effectively recognises and uses staff strengths to increase leadership and decision making across the school. Team leaders are well supported in their roles and are encouraged to be innovative and try fresh ideas to enhance children’s learning. The board and principal are strategic in the way they appoint teachers who will positively contribute to the school’s approaches to learning and teaching.

The board and senior leadership team are developing effective systems to ensure the smooth operation of the school and children’s wellbeing and learning. The appraisal process is rigorous and focused on achieving quality teaching. Specific consultation has helped the board and staff to build an environment that responds to the expectations of parents and the community.

ERO and the school agree the next steps include:

  • continuing to develop the school’s curriculum and review processes
  • developing consistent assessment practices across the school
  • reviewing provision and structure for learning support.

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:

  • school management and reporting
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on students' achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


The school is very well governed and led with children’s wellbeing and learning central to all decision-making. While aspects of the school’s operation are still in the early stages of development, ERO is confident that the priorities focused on, have been well chosen. The curriculum is appropriate and innovative. The community can be assured that the school is in a very good position to move forward. 

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school by the end of the third year of the school’s operation.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern Region/Te Waipounamu

    About the School



    Ministry of Education profile number


    School type

    Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

    School roll


    Gender composition

    Boys 54%; Girls 46%

    Ethnic composition





    Other ethnicities






    Review team on site

    February 2016

    Date of this report

    10 May 2017