Matua School - 16/08/2018

School Context

Matua School is located in a coastal suburb of Tauranga and provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The school has experienced significant roll growth. Student numbers have increased by approximately one hundred since the last ERO review in 2015. The current roll of 487 includes 39 Māori and 77 students from culturally diverse backgrounds. The roll also includes 18 fee-paying international students.

Since the previous review in 2015 a new principal and deputy principal have been appointed and the leadership structure in the school has been reviewed. It is part of the Ōtūmoetai Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL). Teachers have undertaken professional learning and development facilitated by the CoL.

The school’s vision is that students will be confident, engaged, actively involved life-long learners. This is captured in the Matua Learner model that represents competencies for students to live, learn, work and contribute as active members of the school community and beyond. These competencies define the Matua Learner as a confident communicator, connected learner, self-manager, team player and problem solver.

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 achieving equitable and excellence outcomes for most students particularly in reading and writing. The school’s achievement data from 2015 to 2017 shows a consistent pattern with most students achieving at or above national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. The data also indicates that boys achieved at similar levels to girls in reading and writing and at a higher level in mathematics. In 2017, almost all Māori students achieved national expectations in reading, most in writing and the large majority in mathematics. There is increasing disparity in achievement for a small number of Māori students in mathematics in comparison to other groups in the school. Achievement levels have remained consistent over the last three years for almost all other students.

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

Leaders collated information about accelerated learning during the ERO review. The school is able to show accelerated achievement for some Māori and other students who are involved in specific target groups. Leaders now need to further develop systems to collate, analyse and report school-wide information that shows the rate and pace of acceleration for all at risk students. This information will support evaluation of teaching practices and programmes to ensure target and priority learners are on a trajectory to success.

Students with additional learning needs are closely monitored and are making progress against their personal learning and development goals.

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?

School leadership is knowledgeable and inclusive. There is a strong focus on building leadership capability across the school. This approach maximises the use of teacher expertise and allows the sharing of effective teaching strategies and practices. Internal evaluation has been used well to support developments in curriculum review, school rebranding and partnerships with parents. Leaders have developed a culture of high trust where productive partnerships for learning continue to grow in depth and strength at all levels of the school.

The school’s curriculum is broad and responsive to children’s interests. There is a strong emphasis on reading, writing and mathematics within an inquiry approach. Teachers use a range of well-proven and effective strategies. They work collaboratively to provide inclusive and productive learning environments for all students. There are many opportunities for students to be extended in sports, music, science, leadership and performing arts. Students have a strong understanding of the Matua learner model and are highly engaged in all aspects of the curriculum.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported. Systems and processes are clear for student identification, and effective input from external support agencies is accessed where appropriate. A knowledgeable special education needs coordinator (SENCO) effectively manages a large team of teacher aides who provide appropriate in-class support to students with identified learning needs. The SENCO has established effective education networks within the local Kāhui Ako which is strengthening interventions for all at-risk learners.

The board actively represents the school community. They undertake robust community consultation and act on parent and whānau aspirations. There are very positive and supportive relationships between the board and leaders. Trustees scrutinise student achievement data and other information they receive to inform resourcing decisions. They are supportive of all initiatives to accelerate progress for students, including those who are at risk.

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

Leaders, trustees and teachers need to implement a more aligned approach to accelerating learning for all at-risk students.

This should include:

  • further developing specific and measurable targets for all identified groups of at-risk learners and reporting regularly to the board and parents how effectively their progress is being accelerated

  • teachers consistently making use of diagnostic classroom assessment information to plan specifically to meet the needs of at-risk learners.

Further development is needed to strengthen student ownership of learning, particularly for students whose learning needs acceleration. This includes a more consistent school-wide approach that supports students to understand their progress and specific next learning steps.

Good progress has been made since the last ERO review with a planned approach to further develop the bicultural dimension. This should remain a priority to strengthen the natural integration of Māori language, culture and identity into daily programmes.

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 the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 18 international students attending the school.

The school has comprehensive systems and processes to support the wellbeing and learning of international students.

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 is inclusive and focused on school-wide improvement

  • stewardship that places priority on supporting leaders and partnerships with the community

  • responsive learning environments that support high levels of student engagement.

Next steps

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

  • school-wide target setting and reporting that include all at risk learners

  • teachers consistent use of assessment information to inform planning for at-risk students

  • practices that enable students to monitor and make decisions about their learning pathways.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

16 August 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing Primary (Year 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 8%
Pākehā 76%
Other Asian 4%
Other European 4%
Chinese 2%
Other 6%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

16 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015
Education Review November 2011