East Taieri School - 02/08/2018

School Context

East Taieri School has 306 Years 1 to 6 students. The school is in Mosgiel, near Dunedin. Since the last ERO review in 2014, new trustees have been elected to the board, and a new junior dean has been appointed.

The school’s vision is to ‘empower, inspire and care as we learn and grow together.’ The vision is underpinned by the school’s:

  • values of ‘kindness, respect, responsibility, resilience, and personal best’

  • ‘learner qualities’ that support students to become ‘thinkers, self-managers, communicators, collaborative and resilient’.

The school’s strategic goals are to continue to develop learner agency across the school, strengthen the collaborative-teaching model and to implement the digital curriculum.

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

  • engagement and wellbeing for success

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets in reading, writing and mathematics, and intervention programmes

  • student engagement and achievement in learning areas across the breadth of the New Zealand Curriculum

  • whole-school improvement trends

  • how well students with additional learning needs are progressing.

Since the last ERO review, the school has developed school-wide changes and approaches to teaching and learning with a focus on collaborative teaching and students taking greater responsibility for their learning.

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 is highly effective in achieving positive outcomes for its children.

Over the past four years achievement reports show that:

  • most students are achieving at or above school curriculum expectations in mathematics and reading

  • the majority of students are achieving at or above school curriculum expectations in writing

  • Māori students have high achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

Levels of achievement have been well maintained over the past four years. Children with additional needs participate in learning opportunities that provide appropriate support and challenge in a caring environment. They are very well supported through a collaborative approach that includes input from parents, whānau and internal and external experts. The school can consistently show that greater proportions of all students achieve at or above national expectations by the end of Year 6.

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

The school is very effective in its response to those students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school’s learning information shows that most target students have made accelerated progress in their learning.

Strong emphasis is placed on professional learning to support teaching practices that will help students whose learning needs accelerating. Leaders and teachers develop well-considered individualised plans and programmes to address the specific needs of students. They regularly evaluate the effectiveness of these approaches, and monitor the sufficiency of students’ engagement and progress.

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?

The school’s processes are highly effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence.

The board of trustees provides high quality stewardship of the school. The board, leaders and teachers regularly analyse student achievement data and make informed decisions based on this information. These decisions support leaders and teachers to continue to provide high quality, effective practices that are centred on all studentswellbeing and success. The board of trustees provides extra resourcing to ensure all students have equitable access to the curriculum.

There is strong professional leadership across the school. Leaders have created a high trust, caring culture that enables innovation and improvement. There is a strategic focus on building leadership capability across the school. provide cohesive school-wide systems and processes that support consistency in practices for teachers and students. Teachers are well supported by deep and focused professional School leadersdevelopment that is clearly aligned with school priorities.

There is a strong focus on continuous improvement at all levels of the school. Leaders and teachers undertake ongoing evidence-based inquiries that focus on raising student engagement, progress and achievement. In-depth internal evaluations of teaching and learning approaches have resulted in very effective collaboration between teachers, and students having increased ownership of their learning. These developments are leading to highly effective and adaptive teaching practices that have positive learning outcomes for students. Students are well supported in their learning by highly skilled teacher aides who are an integral part of the collaborative teaching model.

The school’s curriculum is highly effective in empowering learning and promoting students’ belief in themselves as successful learners. Students learn in a caring and inclusive environment where they contribute to the organisation and design of their learning programmes. They are provided with an extensive range of rich opportunities to participate in a broad, localised curriculum, with real-life experiences. The school demonstrates a strong commitment to implementing bicultural learning experiences. Māori students are very well supported to achieve success as Māori in an environment where their culture is valued.

The school’s values, use of key competencies and learner qualities are well understood and enacted by students, teachers and leaders. The consistent approach to delivering the curriculum focuses on helping students learn how to learn, developing their social and emotional competencies, and self-management skills. Students benefit from individualised learning pathways that cater to their needs, strengths and interests. The school values reciprocal learning opportunities with parents, whānau and the wider community. They make sure students are well supported as they transition into and through the school, and on to further education.

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

To further support equity and excellence, leaders and teachers should sustain and build on existing good practices, including:

  • continuing to strengthen and align practices that promote student ownership of learning

  • enhancing the current inquiry-learning model to further empower students to explore a broad curriculum.

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:

  • leadership and teaching practices that empower learners to take ownership of their learning

  • an inclusive school culture with a caring environment

  • strong professional leadership

  • having a well-established culture of collaboration, among leaders, teachers, parents and students, that maintains high expectations for teaching and learning across the school.

Next steps

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

  • the alignment of key competencies and the school’s learning-to-learn capabilities

  • further deepening of the inquiry-learning model.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

2 August 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52%

Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 10%

Pākehā 80%

Pacific 2%

Other ethnicities 8%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

2 August 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review June 2014

Education Review June 2011

In May 2019 ERO publisihed an Exemplar reiview.

Please read it here Exemplar Review - East Taieri School - Writing - May 2019