Matapu School - 30/05/2018


The school has improved practices that support and sustain students' engagement and achievement. School leaders and staff provide students with a positive, inclusive school culture.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Matapu School is a rural primary school situated between Hawera and Eltham. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. There are 98 students on the roll at the time of this review and 25 identify as Māori.

The school’s vision of, 'Engage, Explore, Create' has been developed with the community and emphasises a focus on promoting lifelong learning. The use of digital technologies is an integral part of teaching and learning. Respect, ambition, integrity, sustainability and effort are expressed as desired values for students to develop.

ERO reviewed the school at the end of 2015 and the principal and deputy principal had both resigned from their positions at that time. Along with a new leadership team, some staff changes have taken place since the March 2016 ERO report.

The new principal and trustees have responded positively to the findings in ERO’s March 2016 report. They actively engaged in an internal evaluation workshop with ERO in July 2016. School leaders developed an action plan in conjunction with the Ministry of Education to address the concerns raised in the report and the principal and board regularly monitored improvements toward their identified goals.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development from theERO review completed in 2016

Leaders and trustees needed to improve how student achievement and progress was raised through targeted action, including:

  • setting targets that quantify and focus on accelerating progress for identified students

  • reporting progress over time, particularly for targeted students
  • interpreting and explaining what has contributed to these results.

Other developments included the need to review and strengthen the curriculum, and the guidance it provides, to know how well the curriculum:

  • promotes student learning and progress in literacy and mathematics, particularly for boys
  • responds to all students’ culture language and identity
  • promotes success for Māori students as Māori.

Progress since the previous ERO review

Progress has been made in developing processes that assist leaders and teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice in improving students’ engagement, progress and achievement.

The school’s 2017 data shows achievement levels in reading and mathematics have been sustained over time, with most students achieving at or above the school’s expectations. The majority of Māori learners achieve at or above expectation in literacy and achieve slightly better than their peers in mathematics. There has been some improvement for boys in reading and writing.

School leaders and teachers have improved systems to respond to Māori and other children at risk in their learning. Teachers are increasing their confidence to use teaching as inquiry and assessment information to better determine teaching strategies and interventions to accelerate these students’ achievement.

Leaders and teachers regularly report schoolwide information to trustees about outcomes for students in reading, writing and mathematics.

Curriculum developments relevantly align with the school’s strategic direction. Trustees and school staff work collaboratively to further enhance the localised curriculum. Te ao Māori continues to develop as an integral part of Māori and all learners’ schooling experience.

Families’ and whānau views are sought and respected. Appropriate consideration is given to the attitudes, attributes and competencies a Matapu School Year 8 graduate should attain.

Teaching staff have had professional learning and development to improve the teaching of literacy. Processes encourage collaborative practice. Increased teacher knowledge in effective teaching of writing has improved achievement outcomes for most children.

Development in the new entrants’ class has the potential to promote continuity of learning for children from early childhood to school. It has a focus on child-led learning through play. This is being trialled and is in the very early stages of implementation.

Key next steps

The school identifies undertaking a collaborative inquiry into the effectiveness of mathematics teaching and learning as a priority for 2018. ERO's evaluation confirms this direction and encourages leaders to include an evaluative component that identifies shifts in practice and what works and does not work, especially for learners at risk of underachievement.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Improved systems and processes are being embedded. This should support the school to be better placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance.

School leaders and staff promote a positive inclusive school culture. Respectful, reciprocal learning partnerships between the school and families and whānau provide a positive platform for learning.

Key next steps and planning

To further strengthen processes for those students identified as requiring acceleration, leaders agree they should:

revise charter achievement targets and improve associated plans to track rates of progress

refine teaching as inquiry, to link specifically with appraisal and these targeted learners.

There is a need to further develop effective internal evaluation to ensure staff and trustees can determine how well changed practice and innovations meet identified priorities and improve outcomes for all learners.

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.


The school has improved practices that support and sustain students' engagement and achievement. School leaders and staff provide students with a positive, inclusive school culture.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

30 May 2018

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 51, Male 47

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

30 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

March 2016
March 2013
February 2010