Te Awamutu Intermediate - 12/04/2013

1 Context

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

Te Awamutu Intermediate caters for Years 7 and 8 students from the local township and surrounding rural areas. The current roll is 470, including 23% of students who identify as Māori. Students learn in composite classes of Year 7 and 8 students. The school operates an accelerate class and a boys’ class both focusing on specific learning needs and styles.

The school’s vision and values encourage individuals 'to be the best they can be' in a wide range of learning areas. The current and developing school environment provides students with high-quality resources and facilities enabling them to experience success in technology, science, performing and visual arts, and sports.

Since the ERO review in 2010 there has been consistency in school governance, leadership and staffing. School leaders and staff have worked successfully to address the agreed priority from the previous ERO report related to the interpretation and analysis of data. There is a major focus on improving students’ achievement in writing that includes a planned approach to professional development about teaching and assessment in writing. Other learning and development opportunities for teachers have included aspects of information and communication technologies as tools for teaching and learning.

2 Learning

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

School-wide student achievement information is well used by school leaders and teachers to identify students needing additional support or extension in their learning. Achievement targets have been set with a particular focus on increasing boys’ achievement and further improving writing skills across the school. Teachers have a good understanding of these targets and goals, and are committed to raising student achievement.

While 2012 school data shows that students made progress in reading, writing and mathematics, school leaders acknowledge that improving student progress and achievement needs to remain an important priority for the school, particularly for Māori students and boys.

Teachers have established positive and respectful interactions and relationships with students. They use classroom assessment information to ability group in reading, writing and mathematics. ERO observed:

  • high levels of student involvement in learning activities and opportunities
  • examples of effective teaching practices that build on student knowledge to support new learning
  • students understanding the purpose of learning and what they need to do to be successful
  • classrooms that reflect the school’s vision, values, emphases on literacy, mathematics and high expectations for learning and behaviour
  • a wide variety of intervention programmes supported by dedicated and skilled teacher aides for students needing additional support in their learning.

The school is aware of the importance of advancing these models of good practice consistently throughout the school.

Parents are well informed about their children’s progress and achievement through student-led conferences, written reports and ongoing communication with teachers about students’ learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The well-designed school curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. It caters for a wide range of students’ interests, talents and learning needs. Science and technologies are effectively linked to classroom programmes. Students benefit from the opportunities to experience new activities and develop skills and enduring interests.

The Te Awamutu Intermediate curriculum strongly reflects the principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum as well as local priorities and goals. It provides a sound framework and expectations for teachers’ planning and practice.

Initiatives that include an accelerate class, boys’ class and composite Year 7 and 8 classes are well established in the school. These classes respond to students’ academic and social development, enhance motivation and foster leadership.

A feature of the school is the high level of pastoral care for students. Managers, teachers and support staff work in partnership with parents to ensure that students have equitable opportunities to engage in learning and participate in school life. Students benefit from learning in a friendly and inclusive school culture.

Parents spoken to by ERO value the open communication and positive relationships with school leaders and teachers. The school encourages parents to be active participants in their children’s learning, school activities and events. Parents make a valuable contribution to the broad curriculum opportunities for students.

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

School leaders understand and value the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua. They have established close relationships with kaumātua, the wider community and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. An experienced kaiawhina implements a Māori language programme throughout the school, provides te reo Māori extension and leads kapa haka.

Parents of Māori students spoken to by ERO express their appreciation for the wide-range of learning experiences offered to their children, including opportunities to participate as tangata whenua in events such as pōwhiri and noho marae.

ERO and school leaders agree that there is a need to build on teachers’ knowledge, confidence and capability in Māori language and culture in order to integrate these more deliberately and regularly across the curriculum.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance because:

  • experienced and well-informed trustees are committed to improving student achievement
  • the principal and senior management work well together in the best interests of students’ learning, social development and wellbeing
  • teachers willingly engage in new learning to improve their teaching practice
  • there is a vibrant school culture where positive values and key competencies are promoted
  • the school is proactive in developing positive partnerships with parents and the wider community.

Strengthening evidence-based self review should enable the school to:

  • evaluate the effectiveness of school initiatives and support programmes for improving student engagement and raising achievement
  • achieve greater consistency in the implementation of school expectations and indicators for effective teaching
  • continue to develop and implement specific plans and goals to raise the achievement of Māori students.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review processes for international students is thorough.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

12 April 2013

About the School


Te Awamutu

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Girls 51%

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Other European

Other Asian









Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

12 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2010

May 2007

April 2004