Pukeatua Primary School (Wainuiomata) - 07/08/2019

School Context

Pukeatua School is situated in Wainuiomata and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this ERO review, the roll is 144, of whom 81% are Māori.

In the three Māori immersion (Rumaki) classes, Te Whānau, the children’s learning is based on Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. The learning of students in five classes, Te Kākano, is based on The New Zealand Curriculum.

The school’s mission statement focuses on the school values: whakaute (respect), manaakitanga (caring and sharing), tuakiri (identity), and ngana (commitment). The aim is that the ‘school values nurture the growth and love of learning as students become capable, successful learners in all aspects of their lives’. Three current strategic goals focus on improving student achievement, enriching the school’s curriculum and continuing to foster whānau and community relationships.

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

  • progress and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics for students in Te Kākano
  • progress and achievement in kōrero, pānui, tuhituhi and pāngarau in Te Whānau classes
  • attendance.

The principal, deputy principal and a recently-appointed assistant principal make up the senior leadership team.

Staff professional learning and development (PLD) from 2017 to 2019 has focused on teaching literacy. Different external providers are supporting teacher development in the two teams of the school. Mathematics PLD in 2017 and 2018 has been led internally. The school is in its third year of involvement in the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme.

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?

Most students at the school are Māori.

In Te Kākano, student achievement data from 2016 to 2018 shows increased levels of achievement in reading and mathematics. At the end of 2018, most students were achieving at and above expectations in reading, and the large majority in writing and mathematics. The achievement of Pacific students increased in reading between 2016 and 2018. There is disparity between the achievement of girls and boys in reading and writing, with a larger number of girls achieving at and above curriculum expectations.

In Te Whānau, at the end of 2018, approximately half of students were achieving at and above expectations in pānui and te tau. The numbers of students who were achieving at and above expectations in kōrero were low, and very low in tuhituhi.

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

In 2018 the school tracked the progress of specific year groups and documented the acceleration of the target students in these year groups.

In Te Kākano, there is clear evidence of acceleration. Approximately a third of these targeted students made accelerated progress in reading, approximately half in writing and all in mathematics.

In Te Whānau, the progress of target students in specific year groups was also tracked. It is less clear if the school is effective in accelerating learning for these 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?

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and cultural diversity are promoted and celebrated in classroom programmes and the daily life of the school. The identity, language and culture of Māori learners and their whānau is affirmed in many ways. The school values are demonstrated in authentic ways.

The school works appropriately alongside families, the community and external agencies to support the learning of children with additional learning needs. The Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) appropriately facilitates and documents the schoolwide processes that promote and support these children’s learning and wellbeing. Teacher Aides and Kaiawhina provide suitable additional support.

Warm and welcoming relationships are evident in the school environment. Older students support the learning and activities of younger children. Students participate enthusiastically in classroom learning activities. Teachers seek ways of using learning opportunities in the community to provide children with a broad range of learning experiences.

The appraisal process has been reviewed and strengthened. It is appropriately linked to the Standards for the Teaching Profession, and informed by regular observations of classroom practice and useful discussions to promote ongoing improvement.

The principal and board have been working on strengthening communication and engagement with whānau over several years. Whānau have been consulted and this regular communication has informed the development of new initiatives. Evaluation of the effectiveness of partnerships with whānau has led to ongoing improvement.

Leaders and teachers strongly focus on supporting students’ wellbeing and achievement. Following the 2016 ERO review, leaders and trustees developed an achievement plan and have regularly evaluated progress towards the goals. A new strategic plan has been developed. Trustees fund initiatives and resourcing to support teaching and learning.

Those students at risk of not achieving are clearly identified through the use of relevant assessment tools. The progress of some target students is regularly monitored and reported to the board.

Internal evaluation is used effectively to inform ongoing planning and development. The principal and trustees make good use of school evaluation indicators to examine the effectiveness of their practice, the impact on students’ outcomes, and to identify next development steps.

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

An urgent priority for the school is to increase student achievement, and accelerate the learning of students who are achieving below curriculum expectations. To achieve this, it is important to continue and increase:

  • identification of students’ specific learning needs

  • use of deliberate teaching strategies

  • tracking of each student’s progress.

With the appointment of a new senior leader it is timely to develop a more cohesive approach to schoolwide development to promote more consistent outcomes for learners. Strengthening the process and use of inquiry should assist teachers to know about the effectiveness of their practice in promoting student outcomes.

Teachers are at an early stage of promoting student agency. Increased provision of prompts, feedback and feedforward is likely to increase students’ knowledge of their learning stage and next steps.

The school has identified, and ERO’s evaluation supports, that a next step is to increase the consistency of implementation of PB4L strategies inside and outside the classroom.

Leaders have begun to review and document the school’s curriculum. This work should include the development of one curriculum document that reflects the school values, principles and mātāpono, local contexts for learning, expectations of teacher practice, documented pedagogy for the two strands of learning and other specific curriculum programmes.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Pukeatua Primary School (Wainuiomata)’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

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:

  • focusing on the wellbeing of students
  • a continuing emphasis on building relationships with whanau and community.

Next steps

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

  • accelerating the progress of those students at risk of not achieving
  • strengthening documentation and delivery of the curriculum to better provide consistent outcomes for all learners.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

7 August 2019

About the school


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53%, Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 81%
Pacific 10%
NZ European/Pākehā 7%
Other ethnic groups 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

7 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2016
Education Review June 2013