Takaro School - 15/02/2018

School Context

Takaro School in Palmerston North caters for 203 students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this external evaluation, 66% identify as Māori and 8% are of Pacific heritage. The ‘Te Reo Pūtahi’, rumaki Māori unit, supports 31 students in two Level 1 immersion classes. The rest of the school has a Level 3 immersion focus.

The school’s learning characteristics are Whakamana Tangata – respect, support and honouring others; Ringa Ueke – application and endeavour for learning; Ihu nui – curiosity and the desire to learn; and, Whakauaka – sustainability and preservation of our environment.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics

  • tuhituhi, pāngarau, pānui and korero

  • engagement and wellbeing for success.

The school incorporates Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) to support students as they engage in their learning. Since 2014, leaders and teachers have participated in a range of professional learning and development opportunities that include: ALiM (Accelerated Learning in Mathematics), ALL (Accelerated Literacy Learning), writing and Te Reo Matatini – Pānui, tuhituhi me kōrero ā-waha.

Since the April 2014 ERO report, the board of trustees has undergone significant changes. A new chairperson has been appointed.

The school is a member of the Palmerston North City and Rural Schools Two Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school continues to develop systems and processes to better promote the achievement of equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

In 2016, the school reported that the majority of students are achieving well in reading. In writing and mathematics less than half of all students are achieving well. This achievement information shows that there is disparity. Girls achieve better in reading and writing. Boys achieve better in mathematics.

The Rumaki Māori achievement data for 2016 shows that less than half of all students are achieving well in pangarau, pānui, korero, and tuhituhi. There is clear disparity between boys and girls in pangarau, tuhituhi and korero.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Leaders and teachers are increasing their capability to respond more effectively to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school’s data shows that some students identified as at risk in 2017 have made accelerated progress.

Leaders have identified that accelerating boys’ achievement in writing and in korero ā-waha is a focus in 2018.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Curriculum design reflects the uniqueness of the school. Te Kura o Tākaro Marautanga-ā-Kura promotes the inclusiveness of their local maunga, ngā awa and ngā tuna. Every child has the opportunity to learn, progress and achieve in a kaupapa Māori setting. It provides choices for students and relevant contexts that support their learning.

The school has developed useful systems to identify at risk students. Students requiring additional learning support participate and learn in a caring and inclusive environment. Leaders and teachers effectively monitor, track and plan appropriately to ensure their needs are being met.

Parents, whānau and the community are welcomed as respected and valued participants in their children’s learning. Teachers use a range of initiatives that support students’ learning. The school values promote positive interactions and relationships across the school. There is a strong focus on student wellbeing contributing to a sense of belonging.

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

Building on established relationships with whānau to develop learning partnerships, particularly for those students whose learning needs acceleration, is a next step.

Trustees are committed to the wellbeing of students and an engaged community. With a number of members new to their stewardship role, developing their capability through professional learning and development is needed to help to build their knowledge and understanding of their roles.

Trustees and leaders should strengthen and align school targets with annual goals. This should assist improving accountabilities and understanding of what works for schoolwide improvement. In addition, leaders and trustees can effectively measure the impact of the school’s performance against its vision, mission and school priorities.

Leaders and teachers are developing their understanding of teaching as inquiry to improve their practice to support those children whose learning and achievement requires acceleration. As part of this process teachers are using data to identify targeted groups of students, their needs and to develop key strategies to improve their learning outcomes. This development should continue.

Senior leaders and trustees have identified the need to improve their understanding of effective internal evaluation. Improved practice should support them to know what is working well and what needs to change to improve outcomes for all children.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a culture of collaboration among leaders, trustees and teachers, that maintains high expectations for teaching and learning throughout the school

  • an inclusive learning environment, that responds to students’ needs, promotes and supports their wellbeing and learning success

  • a curriculum that is responsive to students’ language, culture and identities and the local context.

Next steps

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

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning by strengthening schoolwide targets that focus on those students whose learning and achievement require acceleration
    [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school.]

  • building trustees’ capability through professional learning and development to grow their understanding of their stewardship roles

  • strengthening internal evaluation, to determine how well school-wide systems and process are promoting positive outcomes for all children.
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

15 February 2018

About the school


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 55%, Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 66%
Pākehā 2%
Pacific 8%
Other ethnic groups 24%

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


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

15 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, April 2014
Education Review, December 2010
Education Review, May 2008