Kaikoura Primary School - 07/08/2019

School Context

Kaikoura Primary is a Years 1 to 6 school with a roll of 93 students. Of these students, 32 identify as Māori.

The school states that its vision is to create connected, confident, adventurous learners, using Kaikōura as its classroom. Its values are whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, ako and aroha.

Current strategic priorities for improvement are for all students to experience educational success; for teachers to know and use best practice; for students to learn in a safe and nurturing environment, and within a responsive and inclusive culture; and to form educationally powerful partnerships with whānau, family and iwi.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • rates of attendance
  • students’ understanding of the school values.

Since the 2016 ERO review, the school has worked closely with the wider community and relevant agencies to support students and families recovering from the Kaikōura earthquake. Teachers have participated in a MoE funded approach to strengthen students’ engagement in their learning, and in mathematics professional development. There have been several changes in leadership and teaching staff, with a new leadership team appointed in Term 2, 2019.

Kaikoura Primary is a member of the Kaikōura Community of Learning|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 is progressively achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for most students in reading and mathematics.

Over time, most students achieved at or above the school’s curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Overall, Māori student achievement is similar to that of all learners.

In 2018 almost all students achieved at or above curriculum expectations in reading. Following teacher participation in a mathematics professional development programme, achievement levels in mathematics improved to 86% at or above curriculum expectations school wide.

Achievement in writing has been lower over time, especially for boys.

School information shared with the board shows that overall most students are attending regularly. A survey of students indicated that most know the school values well.

Students with additional needs make progress in relation to their individual learning plans.

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

The school is accelerating learning for about half of students who need this in reading and mathematics. Few students whose progress needs to be accelerated in writing, have done so.

The school has not reported to the board information about the sufficiency of progress for Māori students or other groups that might need this.

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 culture strongly supports students’ wellbeing and learning. The school values are well known and enacted. Teachers and students have respectful, positive relationships for learning. Classrooms are settled and students are well engaged in their learning. There are many opportunities for students to learn and practise leadership. Students participate and learn in a caring and inclusive environment.

The school’s localised curriculum provides rich opportunities for learning. ‘Kaikōura is the classroom’, where the local environment, people and places are the context for learning. The curriculum responds to student voice and interests, and draws on community, iwi and whānau expertise. The school benefits from strong reciprocal relationships with its community, particularly since the earthquake. Students with additional needs are well supported and there are improved systems in place for monitoring and supporting those students who need to accelerate their learning. Students learn within a connected, learning-focused community.

The new leadership team collaboratively pursues the school’s vision, goals and targets for improvement. Leaders are reflective and improvement focused, managing a well-considered, consultative approach to change. They are focused on improving school systems and practices for greater effect on student outcomes. New staff are well supported and distributed leadership is being implemented. Leaders involve teachers, families and students in the development of an environment that supports wellbeing and learning.

The board effectively represents and serves the school community. It has established a comprehensive policy and procedure framework and is committed to following due process. The board has appropriately responded to challenges, utilising advice from support agencies. Trustees have undertaken community consultation as part of reviewing the school’s vision, values and desired outcomes for students. Trustees work strategically and collaboratively with the leaders and teachers to realise the school community’s vision and values.

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 evaluation confirms, that the school’s recent improvements to processes and practices are ready to be embedded in order to increase their effectiveness in achieving equity and excellence for all students. Further work is needed to update and refine the school’s curriculum guidelines so that these better reflect current priorities for student learning. This should include assessing and reporting on the breadth of the New Zealand curriculum, and further work on establishing skills progressions in other learning areas.

The school needs to better measure, analyse and report about the rates and sufficiency of progress of students. This includes processes to systematically evaluate progress of groups of students who need this. Achievement and progress in writing across the school needs particular intervention.

Aspects of internal evaluation need strengthening. Inquiry, evaluation and knowledge building need to be embedded in practice to prioritise actions that will improve student achievement and acceleration of progress for those who need this.

3 Other Matters

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Kaikoura Primary 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.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • its vision for, and development of, a local curriculum that reflects students’ culture, identity and place as a context for rich learning
  • its commitment to promoting student, staff and whānau wellbeing that supports learning success.

Next steps

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

  • improving outcomes for students in writing, to achieve equity for all groups in the school and raise levels of achievement overall
  • strengthening internal evaluation to better identify what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the requirement to adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, at least once in every two years, after consultation with the school community
    [Section 60B Education Act 1989].

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • develop and make known to the school’s community policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students, in consultation with the school’s Māori community.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

7 August 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing primary (Years 1-6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 50, Girls 43

Ethnic composition

Māori 32
NZ European/Pākehā 50
Other 11

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

7 August 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review January 2016
Education Review February 2013
Education Review November 2009