Gate Pa School - 18/12/2018

School Context

The school has a highly transient roll. Data from 2016 to 2018 shows approximately 40% of the roll changes each year. Gate Pā School is located in Tauranga and provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school’s current roll of 307 students includes 153 Māori students and a large number of students from a range of diverse cultural backgrounds.The school’s roll comprises approximately 20% of students who are English language learners.

Education through the medium of te reo Māori is provided in two Te Rūmaki o Pukehinahina classes. These classes cater for students in Years 1 to 2 and Years 3 to 6. A Puna Reo early childhood centre is located on the school grounds supporting transition to school for tāmariki and whānau.

The school’s vision aims to provide rich teaching and learning experiences so that all students can develop inquiring minds, skills in numeracy and literacy, and be able to care for others and their environment. A focus is also on developing students to be culturally sensitive and aiming for their personal best in all academic, physical, cultural and social settings. The school’s ‘Care’ values encourage students to be confident, hardworking, respectful and honest.

The school’s strategic goals focus on:

  • establishing a school and community emphasis on wellbeing for all

  • developing a rich Gate Pa curriculum that is engaging, exciting, challenging and fun

  • expanding and enhancing play based and inquiry learning

  • raising achievement for priority learners, especially Māori and Pasifika students

  • culturally responsive pedagogy that links to all aspects of school life.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the previous review in 2015, the school has undertaken significant development in its physical environment. There has been an upgrade of digital technology across the school with the provision of one-to-one devices for students in Years 3 to 6, and classrooms have been updated. Leadership has remained stable with a long serving and experienced principal and senior leadership team. There have been some changes to staffing and trustees.

Leaders and teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in literacy, mathematics, cultural responsiveness, wellbeing and behaviour. The school is a member of the Tauranga Peninsula Community of Learning (CoL) | Kāhui Ako.

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 achieving equitable outcomes for some students. Data from 2017 shows that the majority of students are achieving at or above expected levels in reading and mathematics and approximately half in writing. There has been improvement in reading and mathematics achievement over the past three years. Boys and girls are achieving at comparable levels in these areas.

There is significant disparity for Māori and boys in writing. Less than half of Māori students are achieving at expected levels in writing. There is also disparity for Pacific students with their Pākeha peers in writing and mathematics. Interim achievement data from 2018 shows significant improvement over time for Māori students in reading and some improvement in mathematics.

Most Asian students are achieving at or above expected levels in reading and mathematics and a large majority in writing.

Te Rūmaki o Pukehinahina data from 2018 shows most students are working towards achieving or exceeding expected levels in mathematics and the majority of students in reading. Less than half of students are achieving at expectations in writing and this has been a consistent trend over time.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported and make appropriate progress in relation to their individual goals.

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

The school is accelerating learning for some Māori and other at-risk learners in reading and mathematics.

Leaders and teachers can show effective acceleration in literacy for groups of students as a result of targeted school interventions. Leaders have yet to collate and analyse school-wide acceleration data for all students at risk.

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?

Professional learning and development is prioritised to build shared knowledge and consistency of school-wide practices. Effective systems are in place for developing teacher capability through coaching and mentoring, regular observations, feedback and formal appraisal. Strong pastoral care and personalised support is provided for families and whānau. Positive relationships between leaders, teachers and trustees contribute to a collaborative approach to school development and a cohesive team culture.

Teachers use deliberate strategies to enhance learning. Students at risk are clearly identified through a range of assessment information and their progress is well tracked and monitored over time. Digital technologies are used effectively to support and accelerate learning. Positive and affirming relationships between teachers and students contribute to calm and settled classrooms. A feature of the rūmaki is regular hui and a deliberate approach to building whānau capability to grow te reo Māori in their homes. Strong, personalised communication with parents enables positive partnerships for learning and improved outcomes for students.

The school has a highly inclusive culture for learning. A strong focus on values and culturally responsive practices contributes to a sense of belonging for all students and positive behaviour.  Students with additional learning needs, including English language learners, are well supported in classes through a personalised approach to planning and monitoring. Effective liaison with outside agencies supports students’ learning and behavioural needs. Deliberate strategies facilitate effective transitions into the school and rūmaki for students and their families. Trustees make informed decisions about resourcing that enable students to have equitable opportunities to learn and succeed.

The curriculum responds well to the cultural diversity in the school and community. Students have many opportunities to experience rich cultural, environmental, sporting and outdoor education activities. Authentic contexts for learning enable high levels of student engagement and wellbeing. Cultural diversity for Māori and other groups of students is acknowledged and integrated into the life of the school through festivals and celebrations. Te Rūmaki o Pukehinahina has developed its own te ao Māori local curriculum through effective consultation with whānau, based on shared values. Regular consultation with the multicultural community gathers views and aspirations to inform decision making.

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

There is need to strengthen the management and use of student achievement information in order to:

  • strategically monitor and report on rates of progress and acceleration for at-risk students over time and regularly report this information to the board and parents

  • inquire more deeply into what is making a difference and leaders to accelerating outcomes for at-risk learners.

Leaders and teachers should consider ways to:

  • further develop teacher capability to accelerate learning for students at risk, particularly in writing/tuhituhi

  • strengthen students’ understanding of their own learning and next steps especially for at-risk students, and develop consistency of teacher feedback

  • broaden and enrich te reo and tikanga Māori in mainstream classrooms and provide professional learning and development opportunities and support for Māori medium education in the rūmaki.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to theEducation (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016established 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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that promotes wellbeing for all and improves outcomes for students

  • a rich and inclusive curriculum that promotes high levels of student engagement

  • strong relationships that enable positive partnerships for learning within the school and community.

Next steps

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

  • internal evaluation of teaching programme effectiveness

  • building teacher capability to improve learning for Māori and Pacific students to achieve equity

  • empowering students in learning pathways to accelerate achievement.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Phil Cowie

Central Region Director Review and Improvement Services

18 December 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 54% Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 50%
Pākehā 20%
Indian 8%
Filipino 5%
Tongan 5%
Pacific 5%
Other 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


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


Number of students in Level 2 MME


Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

18 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2015
Education Review May 2012