Policy Documents

Access to all school policies is now through SchoolDocs:

  1. Visit the website https://karamu.schooldocs.co.nz
  2. Enter the username (karamu) and password (knowledge).

Annual Accounts

PdfdownAnnual Accounts ended 2023
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School Planning and Reporting

Pdfdown Mahere Rautaki o te kura tuarua o Karamū 2024-2026 (Strategic Plan 2024-2026)
Pdfdown Mahere ā tau o te kura tuarua o Karamū 2024 (Annual Implementation Plan 2024)

Education Review Office (ERO) Report (2022)

Te Ara Huarau is the new evaluation approach that the Education Review Office (ERO) is using in our school. This is a developmental approach to evaluation where ERO and our school work together over time rather than one off reviews that happened previously. ERO maintains a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools. Our school worked alongside ERO to write our Profile Report. This type of report will only happen once as part of our initial engagement with Te Ara Huarau. The profile report reflects our strategic goals and a shared evaluation focus on one or more areas that are important to us as we work together to improve outcomes for all our learners. ERO, like us, have a strong focus on equity and excellence. Future reporting will show our progress and achievement towards meeting the goals we have set. You can view our Profile Report, a Board Assurance Report and the Provision for International Students on ERO’s website.

ERO External Evaluation (2019) Download PDF

Karamū High School, Hastings

The purpose of ERO’s external evaluations is to give parents, whānau and the wider school community assurance about the quality of education children and young people receive. ERO reports on the equity and excellence of learning outcomes for all students and for specific groups including Māori students, Pacific students and students with additional learning needs. This includes a focus on accelerating learning for students. ERO also reports on the quality and effectiveness of the school’s processes and practices for continuing and sustaining improvement. The report gives evaluation findings that answer four key questions about the school’s performance.

School Context

Karamū High School is located in Hastings and serves a wide geographical area. The school has experienced considerable roll growth. The current roll is 915 students including 36% Māori and a small group of Pacific.

The school’s mission is to provide coeducational learning opportunities that inspire students to achieve a wide range of success and self-esteem, and develop high standards that enable them to become successful members of society. The vision is to support students to be proudly Karamū, proudly Hastings and proudly learning. This is based on the values of whanaungatanga, excellence, leadership, creativity, overcoming adversity, manaakitanga and embracing diversity.

The school targets focus on improvement in achievement, wellbeing and sustaining a great learning environment.

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

  • achievement targets, attendance and wellbeing
  • attainment of National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs).

The school‘s professional development and practice focus includes cultural inclusiveness and digital technology.

The school is a member of the Whirinaki Kāhui Ako where staff are actively involved.

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 continues to work towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

Almost all students, including those with Māori and Pacific heritage, achieve the NCEA literacy and numeracy requirements. Most achieve NCEA Levels 1 and 2. Over time, equitable outcomes for boys and Māori have improved at NCEA Level 2.

Endorsements with merit at all NCEA Levels continue to increase. Almost all students achieve NCEA Level 2 before leaving school. The majority achieve a Level 3 qualification and almost half of students achieve University Entrance (UE). Boys and Māori and a small group of students with Pacific heritage achieve less well in UE and Level 3 qualifications.

Vocational pathways show nearly all students gaining qualifications for these courses. Employment, further education or return to school are outcomes for these students.

In Year 9, most students, including Māori achieve at expected curriculum levels. A large majority of students reach school expectations in writing by Year 10. Some disparity exists for boys in writing.

Students with additional needs are valued, included and well supported to prepare for their future. External and internal support is well considered and accessed as required.

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

The school has effective processes to identify and respond to those students whose learning and wellbeing requires support or acceleration. There are examples of students who have had their progress accelerated in reading and mathematics in Years 9 and 10.

The school acknowledges that there is a need for further refinement in analysis of achievement data to make clear the picture of acceleration for groups at risk of not achieving curriculum expectations.

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 work collaboratively with the principal to progress agreed goals and targets. An experienced board sets the strategic direction. Trustees are well informed about school operations and systems. The leadership team is improvement focused and works collaboratively to promote consistency to progress school targets. Leaders work cohesively to strengthen systems and processes for effective functioning of the school.

Leaders support the school’s direction and demonstrate an unrelenting focus on improving student wellbeing and promoting positive relationships as a basis for student success. Leaders and staff provide holistic support to students that is deliberate, intentional and contributes to engagement and successful outcomes. A reflective and responsive culture ensures student voice is valued and impacts on decision making.

There is an appropriate focus on building teachers’ practice to improve outcomes for students. Leaders have a strategic and coherent approach to providing professional learning opportunities. Teachers are highly collaborative and open to new learning. They regularly engage in professional dialogue and learning opportunities to develop their practice.

Trustees, leaders and teachers are committed to a culturally responsive curriculum. This is broad and includes localised learning opportunities that respond to individual student interests and needs. A range of opportunities are provided for all students to demonstrate leadership in authentic and meaningful contexts. These include sport, cultural activities and programmes that support wellbeing.

Leaders and teachers have well considered strategies to support students to engage and experience success. Purposeful planning, informed by monitoring and tracking of priority learners, supports a range of meaningful learning experiences. Shared school values are highly evident in calm and respectful learning environments.

Strong, responsive relationships exist within the school and wider community. Parents and whānau views are valued and increasingly considered in strategic and curriculum decisions that contribute to their child’s learning and progress. They are well informed about the different pathways and programmes available and contribute to decision making with their children at critical transition points.

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

There is an appropriate appraisal framework and system in place. This has the potential to support teachers and leaders to inquire into their practice. Further development in implementation that includes clear feedback should deepen understanding and improve the consistency of teacher inquiry practice.

Deeper analysis of achievement data should give leaders a clearer picture of the progress and achievement of individual groups of students. This would enable the identification of more specific targets and a clearer focus on accelerating the progress of those students identified at risk of not achieving.

Leaders and teachers are reflective and improvement focused. Strengthening their understanding and application of internal evaluation is required to better understand, and make clear, the impact of actions and initiatives on student achievement and other valued outcomes.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Karamū High School’sperformance 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:

  • a school culture and a strong sense of belonging that promotes students’ social and emotional wellbeing
  • school leadership that encourages respectful relationships and collaboration between staff, students, trustees and the wider school community
  • clear direction setting by the board of trustees, that provides a purposeful strategic direction focused on improving student outcomes
  • extensive curriculum opportunities that encourage student engagement, learning and achievement
  • growing staff professional capability through a strategic and coherent approach that is focused on improving outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • knowledge and effectiveness of teacher appraisal and inquiry processes to better support teachers’ professional growth and development
  • the use of achievement data to promote acceleration and address disparity
  • knowledge, application and a shared understanding of internal evaluation to better understand the impact of initiatives on student achievement and wellbeing.

Phillip Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services Central
Central Region
10 June 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number229
School typeSecondary (Years 9 to 13)
School roll915
Gender compositionFemale 57%, Male 43%
Ethnic compositionMāori 36%
NZ European/Pākehā 55%
Other ethnic groups  9%
Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)Yes
Provision of Māori medium educationNo
Review team on siteApril 2019
Date of this report10 June 2019
Most recent ERO report(s)Education review February 2016
Education review November 2012


The Purpose of an ERO Report  (2016)

The purpose of ERO’s reviews is to give parents and the wider school community assurance about the quality of education that schools provide and their children receive. An ERO school report answers the question “How effectively is this school’s curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?” Under that overarching question ERO reports on the quality of education and learning outcomes for children and for specific groups of children including māori students, Pacific students and students with special needs. ERO also reports on the quality of the school’s systems for sustaining and continuing improvements.

Individual ERO school and early childhood centre reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically. However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO National Office in Wellington. Please consult your telephone book, or see the ERO web page, http://www.ero.govt.nz, for ERO office addresses.

Karamū High School Education Review - 23/02/2016

On this page:


1 Context
2 Learning
3 Curriculum
4 Sustainable Performance
School Statistics


1 Context

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

Karamū High School is a co-educational secondary school in Hastings catering for students from Years 9 to 13. At the time of this review in October 2015 there were 835 students, 297 of whom identified as M?ori.

A positive, student-centred tone contributes to the strong sense of belonging and pride that reflects the Proudly Karamū vision. Students are supported to accept responsibility, support their peers and actively participate in learning. Identifying and promoting student potential is prioritised.

Students participate successfully in a range of cultural and sporting activities, both within school and as part of the community. Student leadership is promoted and supported.

The school site has continued to be re-developed. An upgrade of the gymnasium area has been recently completed. Purpose-built teaching spaces and outside areas provide an environment that is deliberately designed to draw individuals into learning.

The school has a good reporting history with ERO. It is responsive to findings from external review.

2 Learning

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

Effective use of achievement information enables the school to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Student achievement in Years 9 and 10 is shown by indicating progress through curriculum levels and the use of nationally standardised assessment tools. Data is used to inform and develop strategies to engage and accelerate learners.

Assessment data in Year 9 and 10 indicates accelerated progress in literacy and mathematics for a number of students. Many who enter Year 9 achieving below year level expectation gain success in the National Certificates of Achievement (NCEAs) when they reach the senior school.

Senior managers agree they should continue to extend the use of achievement information to evaluate the extent of progress of junior students, particularly for those whose learning needs to be accelerated.

NCEA and student leaver data for 2014 indicates significant improvement in achievement since the November 2012 ERO report. Deliberate school-wide and faculty strategies have contributed markedly to results. Improvement for māori students means they now achieve at similar levels to their peers within the school in many measures.

Students gain NCEAs at rates well above national at Levels 1, 2 and 3. The number of NCEA excellence endorsements have increased at Level 1 and endorsements overall at each level are similar to national. Five students gained New Zealand Scholarships in 2014.

Recent board achievement targets appropriately focus on continuing to improve the achievement of boys and māori and to increase the number of students gaining NCEA endorsements. Improvements in achievement for targeted groups in 2014 indicate the success of the approaches implemented.

In 2014, 78% of school leavers had achieved at least NCEA Level 2. This is similar to the national figure and is an improvement from 61% in 2012. Strategies to extend the aspirations of some students are aimed to increase the length of time they remain at school and further improve leaver qualifications.

Regular tracking and monitoring of students' progress in gaining credits for the NCEAs and in relation to their individual goals during the year is a priority and is well developed. Staff meet with students whose progress is of concern and a range of interventions are successfully put in place to assist them to meet expectations.

Comprehensive collation and analysis of Year 9 to 13 achievement data is carried out school-wide and within faculties. Changes are made to systems and practices to continue to improve outcomes for students.

Reporting to parents promotes understanding of their child’s learning, progress and achievement. Specific next steps for improvement are identified within these reports.

3 Curriculum

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

A well-considered school curriculum effectively promotes learning and provides students with relevant choices that support transition to further education and training.

Multiple pathways of learning enable students of all abilities to experience success. There is an expectation that every student will be successful.

A focus within all faculty areas on building literacy capability of students is contributing to improved achievement. Faculty and school-wide goals are linked to literacy development. Specific interventions for targeted groups are in place, especially in the junior school.

Appropriate school-wide and faculty guidelines support effective teaching, learning and review. These are responsive to student perspectives, cultural backgrounds and future pathways.

Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative and inclusive learning environments. Teachers know students well as learners. High expectations for achievement contribute significantly to a strong focus on learning in classrooms. Teachers are deliberate in responding to individual learners and providing suitable challenge.

Students are supported to be active participants in learning. Relevant and familiar contexts incorporate their interests. Students are aware of their potential pathway and how their learning links to it. Student voice is valued and influences teaching approaches.

Students with high learning needs are effectively catered for. An inclusive culture and collaborative focus in responding to individual needs ensures high levels of support and nurture.

The school provides a wide range of opportunities for students to mentor and support others. Peers regularly work with each other to assist classroom learning. Mentoring linked to manaakitanga and whānaungatanga values is actively promoted in a variety of areas.

Students are supported to develop vocational awareness and to consider tertiary education and career pathways for when they leave school. Frequent use of role models is an example of how aspirations are deliberately built. Career discussions are being aligned to specific Youth Guarantee Vocational Pathways. Faculties are linking programmes to specific pathways.

Senior managers should use leaver destinations to assist their review of how well the curriculum contributes to student pathways.

Students identify their pastoral and welfare needs are well supported. There is a collective responsibility for supporting wellbeing for learning.

Senior managers agree student voice should be used more systematically to assist in review of provision of supports for wellbeing.

Reciprocal, learning-centred relationships are fostered to engage and involve parents, whānau and the school community. Links are strengthened through use of digital technology, goal setting and milestone tracking. Community collaboration and partnerships provide opportunities for students to extend interests, learning and career pathways. An increasing number of events are held to celebrate, share information and involve families and whānau.

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

Since the previous ERO review the school has consolidated and extended opportunities for māori students to be successful.

Shared understandings of the priorities for māori learners have been built with local Ngāti Kahungunu iwi leaders and their education plan. whānau perspectives are collected and collated to inform decision-making.

Te ao māori is promoted and valued. The use of tikanga māori in a range of contexts empowers students and promotes māori identity. The whare wananga encourages further connection to the school and celebrates learning.

M?ori students feel well supported by whānau (other students and adults) within the school. Authentic māori student leadership is promoted and supported. Several māori students are successful leaders across a range of areas in the school. Po Whakanui, linked to Mātariki, celebrates academic, cultural and sporting success of māori students and highlights future potential.

Teachers increasingly provide opportunities for culture and identity to be promoted through the curriculum. Effective, culturally responsive teaching practices to promote māori student success are shared in whole staff professional learning and within faculties.

Processes are in place to continue to build understanding and promote māori succeeding as M?ori. Identified priorities are to extend whānau involvement and increase the use of culturally relevant contexts for classroom learning. The board has also begun to explore a māori cultural responsiveness self-review tool to review their practice.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

A range of effective systems and practices enable the school to be well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

Evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building is promoted. Considering effectiveness and what is necessary for improvement is an ongoing focus. External evaluation and extensive involvement with the wider education community further supports development.

Examples of focused evaluative self review are evident. Achievement data and student feedback assists critical reflection, consideration of the impact of teaching practice and identification of appropriate next steps. Sustaining and improving performance for māori students is a focus of review.

A strengthened teacher appraisal process focused on improvement has been implemented in 2015. It includes goal setting linked to school priorities, teacher reflection and next steps for improvement.

Senior managers and faculty leaders should continue to build evidence-based evaluative capacity and teacher inquiry across the school, including within performance appraisals.

A strategic approach builds professional expertise and collective capacity. Professional learning opportunities align to the school vision, values and priorities. Initiatives identified as being successful are shared and implemented more widely. Teacher collaboration and collegial support focuses on improving student outcomes.

Since the previous ERO review there has been deliberate building of profile and capability of leadership across faculties and within the pastoral system. Roles and expectations are clearly defined and provide a framework for effective leadership focused on student outcomes.

The principal and senior managers are focused on effectively responding to individual students. They ensure:

the vision, values and priorities for equity and excellence are enacted

an orderly and supportive environment conducive to student learning and wellbeing is in place

inquiry and review for sustained improvement is maintained

relational trust and effective participation at every level of the school community continues to be built.

The charter provides clear strategic direction through its identified objectives and education priorities. It incorporates a clear framework for how aims will be met and for sustainability and improvement.

Trustees bring a range of board experiences to their role. They scrutinise the work of the school in achieving valued student outcomes for all in a range of areas.

The board are well informed through principal reports. A range of relevant information influences decision-making and review.

Documenting an ongoing programme of self review, and more systematic reporting on progress towards specific targets and goals should contribute to a stronger focus within the board on agreed priorities for development.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should receive regular reports about attendance and the effectiveness of measures to support students whose absence levels place their learning at risk.


A well-considered curriculum promotes learning and provides relevant pathways in and beyond school. Students gain National Certificates of Educational Achievement at levels well above national comparisons. They are active participants in learning and accept responsibility to support others. Effective leadership and processes contribute well to the school sustaining and improving its performance.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

23 February 2016

School Statistics



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 55%, Male 45%

Ethnic composition

Other ethnic groups


Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

23 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2012

September 2009

June 2006