Kuratau School - 22/10/2019

School Context

Kuratau School is located north west of Turangi and has students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 95, includes 57 students who identify as Māori and most whakapapa to Ngāti Tūwharetoa. Many students travel from Turangi and local rural areas to attend the school.

Since the July 2016 ERO report, school leadership has changed and a new principal started in Term 2, 2019. The established teaching team remain in their roles.

The school’s mission statement states, ‘together we will provide quality education to create confident, lifelong learners.’ The mission is supported by the school values of commitment, respect, imagination and perseverance.

The current strategic aims include: a focus on student achievement and success; providing a positive environment where students can achieve their full potential; nurturing relationships in an inclusive culture; and ensuring the wellbeing of everyone in the school community.

The achievement focus is to improve reading achievement schoolwide. Students significantly below the expected level of achievement have personalised and targeted programmes.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

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 working towards achieving equitable outcomes for all students.

In 2018, most students achieved expected curriculum levels in reading and a large majority in writing and mathematics. Information about Māori learners, gathered between 2016 and 2018, shows significant disparity in reading, writing and mathematics. In mid-2019 achievement for Māori students has increased and is comparable to that of Pākehā children in reading and mathematics and higher in writing.

There is disparity for boys in reading and writing. Longitudinal data from 2017 to mid-year 2019 for all, shows a decline in achievement in reading. Overall, writing and mathematics results have remained steady.

Students with additional needs have an individualised plan and are working towards achieving their personalised 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 students who need this.

Mid-year 2018 to mid-year 2019 achievement data, shows effective acceleration for at-risk learners in reading, writing and mathematics and to a lesser extent for Māori and boys in writing.

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?

An inclusive environment supports students’ learning and wellbeing. Whanaungatanga visibly underpins school culture. Relationships are respectful and positive between students and with staff. A deliberate and responsive approach supports students with additional needs. Regular personalised communication with whānau encourages them to be involved in their child’s learning. This inclusive culture encourages high levels of whānau and community involvement in school events. Students benefit from a collaborative and caring learning community.

Students experience a broad curriculum through a wide range of authentic opportunities that engage them in learning. Te ao Māori is valued and supports a sense of belonging. Students and staff actively engage in many activities that observe tikanga Māori. Staff acknowledge the need to continue to strengthen their own practice in this area.

Students learn in well-managed and productive environments. Their learning is supported by a range of strategies, including intentional teaching to meet the needs of individuals or small groups. Collaborative learning opportunities enable students to help each other. Teachers develop their planning for learning based on observations of students and their known needs.

School leadership has built relational trust with teachers and a positive professional learning culture. A collaborative approach has fostered commitment of all staff to schoolwide improvement. An increasingly strategic approach to professional learning and development builds teacher capability. With leaders, teachers inquire into practices to improve student outcomes. Areas for development in practices and processes for improved teaching and learning have been clearly identified. An action plan has been developed in conjunction with the Ministry of Education to support schoolwide progress and these plans are being implemented.

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

Priorities for further development include specific achievement targets that focus on all students whose learning needs acceleration and to report this progress regularly to the board. The draft assessment plan to build teacher assessment capability needs to be fully implemented and student achievement information used to inform planning for individual needs.

The development of the localised curriculum to further reflect local Māori histories, knowledge and local priorities is at an early stage. Continuing to establish and document a culturally responsive curriculum aligned to the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum and the aspirations of the community, is a priority. This development should include building teacher capability in culturally responsive practice to support Māori student achievement.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Kuratau School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership that has established a relational and collaborative school culture that enables school improvement

  • a broad curriculum that engages students in their learning

  • teaching and learning strategies that support student progress.

Next steps

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

  • prioritising students whose learning is at risk, to accelerate their progress

  • building teacher capability to improve the use of data to make decisions about student learning

  • furthering a localised curriculum that responds more effectively to students, including Māori

  • building teaching practice to respond more effectively to Māori students’ language, culture and identity.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to:

  • police vetting

  • consultation with the school’s Māori community

  • working towards offering students opportunities for learning second or subsequent languages.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  • ensure the regular police vetting of employees
    [Education Act 1989 Sections 78c to 78d, Children’s Act 2014]
  • consult with the school’s Māori community, develop and make known to the school’s community policies, plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students
    [National Administration Guidelines 1 (e)]
  • ensure the current practice meets the requirements for learning languages.
    [The New Zealand Curriculum]

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • complete the development of the new appraisal process for teachers and implement the process to meet the attestation requirements of the Teaching Council.

ERO recommends that the school continue to seek support from the Ministry of Education in order to bring about improvements in:

  • assessment for learning
  • localised curriculum development
  • culturally responsive practice.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

22 October 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 - 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 60, Male 35

Ethnic composition

Māori 57
NZ European/Pākehā 34
Other ethnic groups 4

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

22 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2016
Education Review April 2014
Education Review April 2011