The Education Review Office (ERO) has recently updated its evaluation model. The periodic external review model, which saw ERO staff carrying out an evaluation every few years, has been replaced with a continuous improvement approach where an ERO evaluation partner works alongside the school. We are currently part-way through an evaluation cycle and work done to date can be viewed on our page of the ERO website.

The most recent Kaipara College ERO review report under the old evaluation model is below.

ERO REPORT - 27/01/2017


Students at Kaipara College benefit from a broad, relevant curriculum that supports their learning and achievement and fosters their wellbeing. The school engages positively with its community to promote and celebrate student success. School leaders continue to seek new approaches and opportunities to improve the equity and excellence of outcomes for all students.

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

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Kaipara College in Helensville is a well-established secondary school located in the Ngati Whatua o Kaipara region with strong intergenerational links to the local community. The roll has grown steadily over the past three years and is currently 670. The school is a member of the newly founded Kaipara Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL).

A significant change in school leadership has taken place over the past two years following the retirements of the long-serving principal and a number of senior staff. The new principal took up the position at the beginning of 2016.

Through its vision of ‘Whāia te iti kahurangi – strive for the things in life that are important to you’ the school aspires to offer young people an educational experience where they are challenged and supported to become lifelong learners. Māori students have the opportunity to be part of Te Whare Ako, a whānau class that leads the celebration of Māori language and culture in the school.

The 2013 ERO report identified some areas requiring improvement, including developing a more culturally responsive curriculum, improving success for Māori students and further development of governance operational structures and processes. Considerable progress has been made to address these areas. An improved school culture has been sustained and continues to underpin school initiatives.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school makes effective use of achievement information to make positive changes for learners. Students are actively engaged in their learning and are motivated to achieve personal success across a wide variety of academic courses and co-curricular activities. They have opportunities to participate in and contribute to student leadership, kapa haka, sports and cultural events. A steady improvement in the number of students continuing to Year 13 reflects the school’s increasingly strong learning culture.

National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results across the school at levels 1, 2 and 3 continue to improve. The proportion of students leaving school with NCEA Level 2 or better has improved slightly over the past three years and the numbers of merit and excellence endorsements have also risen.

The achievement of Māori students at all levels of NCEA, while still lower than overall results, shows improvement over time. Further raising Māori achievement and reducing disparity continues to be a priority for the school. School leaders and teachers prioritise strategies that support Māori and Pacific learners to make accelerated progress and to be successful.

Teachers of Year 9 and 10 students are using literacy and numeracy data effectively to identify student strengths and needs for extra support. Senior leaders are reviewing the consistency of assessment practices against curriculum levels in Year 9 and 10 in order to develop targets for accelerating progress. These targets would sit appropriately alongside those currently in place for senior students overall and for Māori and Pacific students.

School leaders and teachers are systematically using assessment information to identify students who are at risk of not achieving success and implementing strategies to accelerate the progress of these students. Learning assistance is very well coordinated for students who require extra support. Personalised programmes assist students to make progress towards their learning goals.

The Kia Eke Panuku project is influential in growing learning relationships across the school. Improved levels of attendance of targeted students in 2016 and fewer stand downs and suspensions is resulting in higher levels of engagement and gains in achievement for these students. Regular monitoring and review provides students and their families with ongoing information about their learning. Student progress and achievement is regularly celebrated with whānau.

The board is committed to equity and excellence. Trustees make good use of well analysed achievement information to make strategic decisions. Charter targets are focused on raising the achievement of all students and accelerating the progress of those students not meeting NCEA or curriculum level expectations.

School leaders have identified that to continue to improve outcomes they should now develop a way to clearly identify and report on accelerated student progress over time, particularly for Year 9 and 10 students. Deeper analysis of student learning data should enable leaders and teachers to identify and promote acceleration strategies that prove effective.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s increasingly broad and responsive curriculum is very effective in engaging students in learning. It provides Year 9 and 10 students with a range of relevant subject options, and relevant academic and vocational programmes at senior level. Students experience authentic and purposeful learning that responds to their strengths and learning needs. Their voice is valued in the design and implementation of learning programmes.

The Kia Eke Panuku professional learning and development programme is having a positive impact on the school’s curriculum. Strong leadership is providing a well-considered and systematic understanding of what cultural responsiveness means at Kaipara College. This whole-school approach underpins teaching and learning practices. Staff are showing considerable receptiveness to professional development that is building their bicultural capability.

The school’s strong commitment to students’ individual learning pathways is reflected in programmes of learning across curriculum areas. These pathways enable students to plan their learning at school and prepare for their future education, training and employment. Careers education is well integrated into the curriculum and responds effectively to students’ interests and aspirations.

Relationships between students and teachers are mutually respectful. Teachers are committed to improving outcomes for students. A coordinated approach to ongoing improvement in teaching and learning is having a positive impact on classroom programmes. Sharing, exploring and promoting innovation are seen as key elements in further developing teacher potential.

High expectations for learning are evident across the school. Students respect and appreciate teachers’ skills and subject knowledge. A well-considered, strategic and scaffolded approach to e-learning and digital competencies is supporting students and preparing them for future learning. Teachers are increasingly using digital technologies as effective teaching and learning tools.

School leaders identify key next steps for further improving the curriculum as:

  • consolidating and continuing to promote the culturally responsive school curriculum
  • reviewing the Year 9 and 10 curriculum, in consultation with the school community, to provide seamless transitions for student as they move into and through the school.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

Māori students make up 28 percent of the school population. Trustees, leaders, teachers and students strongly promote educational success for Māori students, as Māori. This commitment is evident in school annual goals and priorities. Māori students’ success is celebrated and their contribution to the school culture is valued.

Te Roopu Rangatira, started in 2016, are providing cultural leadership in the school. They are encouraging and supporting staff to more fully appreciate and foster the Kaipara College kaupapa. Māori students who spoke with ERO acknowledge the staff’s commitment to better understanding and responding to their language, culture and identity. They notice and appreciate the increasing use of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori across the school.

Trustees, school leaders and ERO agree that the next step in further promoting success for Māori at Kaipara College is to continue to strengthen partnerships with whānau and iwi.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to sustain its current good practices and continue to improve its performance. The school’s vision and values are promoted and shared by all members of the school community. Evaluation as a school-wide mechanism for ongoing improvement is well understood and used to promote and sustain development.

Professional leadership in the school is strong. Well considered appointments to the senior management team, aligned to the school’s strategic plan, are enabling this team to lead change in the school and support professional teaching practices. Leaders at all levels of the school take responsibility for maintaining and sustaining improvement and innovative practices across the school.

Shared respect and understanding are evident in the way the principal and board work together to establish a purposeful and successful learning environment for their students. Board decision-making is strategic and evidence based.

The recently implemented performance management system for teacher appraisal is clearly aligned with the school’s charter goals and school-wide professional learning priorities. School leaders acknowledge the importance of embedding new appraisal processes and further strengthening teachers’ understanding of evidence based inquiry.

Relationships with parents, whānau and the wider school community are constructive and positive. The school continues to strengthen these relationships, benefiting students in their learning and future pathways.

Provision for international students

The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) was introduced on July 1st 2016. The school is aware of the need to update its policies and procedures to meet the new code requirements by December 1st 2016.

At the time of this review there were 15 international students attending the school.

The school is making good progress in aligning its policies and procedures to meet requirements for the 2016 Code.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees 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:

  • board administration
  • 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 student 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.


Students at Kaipara College benefit from a broad, relevant curriculum that supports their learning and achievement and fosters their wellbeing. The school engages positively with its community to promote and celebrate student success. School leaders continue to seek new approaches and opportunities to improve the equity and excellence of outcomes for all students.

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern
27 January 2017

About the school