Motu School - 25/08/2017


Motu School caters for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this external evaluation, ten students were enrolled, with two identifying as Māori. There is a clear focus on providing an inclusive environment for students. Strong support from families and the community continues to be a feature of the school.

Since the June 2013 ERO report, the board of trustees has experienced significant membership changes. A new board chair has been appointed. Staffing is stable. The school have been recently refurbished to modernise its learning environment.

The school’s mission is to develop every child as a ‘Motu Kid’ within a caring learning community with all able to achieve personal excellence, with lifelong learning attitudes. The school’s values of duty, compassion, obedience, kindness, responsibility, honesty and truthfulness, respect and consideration are evident.

Leaders and teachers have been involved in a wide range of professional learning and development programmes since the previous ERO report.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

National Standards information over the past three years, shows that most children make expected progress over time. There is achievement disparity between Māori learners and their peers. Trustees and teachers have identified that accelerating achievement in writing for Māori boys is a priority in 2017. Some learners have experienced accelerated progress. Girls’ achievement overall for reading writing and mathematics is higher than boys.

Further developments in school processes to achieve equity and excellence should include: strengthening school wide targets and reporting progress against these; building trustees’ and teachers’ understanding and practices of internal evaluation; building board understanding of their roles as trustees; revising the appraisal system for teachers to include teacher inquiry and links to school wide targets that focus on accelerating children’s learning.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO. 

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is continuing to develop its effectiveness is responding to all children, including Māori, whose learning and achievement requires acceleration.

Achievement information, over time, indicates achievement disparities for Māori learners. The data shows that they are achieving below their peers for reading and mathematics. The school identified that writing in particular for Māori boys is a priority for the school this year.

The teaching principal and their release teacher know students well. They use a range of assessment tools to identify, respond to and monitor individual learning and progress.

Assessment and moderation practices provide trustees and teaching staff with a dependable picture of achievement across the school. The teaching staff actively engage with other schools to support their decisions when making their judgements about student achievement. They share knowledge with colleagues to assist them in this process.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Trustees and teaching staff are developing their capability and processes to better support and promote the achievement of equity and excellence for all learners.

The board of trustees is highly committed to the school and the community it represents. The board is achievement focused and makes resourcing decisions to support and target student learning and achievement.

The teaching principal actively builds strong relationships with the community. They work collaboratively with other staff, board members and parents.

Parents, whānau and the community are welcomed as respected and valued partners in learning. They receive useful information and participate in many learning opportunities that enable them to support their children’s learning.

The curriculum provides many opportunities for children to learn, progress and achieve. Teachers use children’s interests to develop authentic and meaningful learning experiences. Children are supported to identify useful learning goals to build on and extend their progress and achievement.

Children experience positive and respectful relationships with their teachers and peers. Learning contexts promote student wellbeing, and a high sense of belonging in the school. 

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Trustees and teaching staff are improvement focused. Key next steps are to: seek professional learning to build their understanding of their roles as trustees; and capability in internal evaluation to evaluate the systems and processes that impact on children’s learning.

Improved clarity and alignment of annual goals and targets from the strategic plan to classroom teaching is needed. This should enable more regular reporting of children’s progress against targets during the year and build understanding of what works for school wide improvement.

Enhancing the appraisal process is required, to build teachers’ understanding of systematic inquiry into their practice and strategies that improve outcomes for students whose achievement needs acceleration.

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

  • 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated

  • need to improve the school conditions that support the acceleration of children’s learning and achievement.

  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop to support the school to develop effective planning and monitoring processes to support equity and excellence for all children. 

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

25 August 2017

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Year 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 7, Female 3

Ethnic composition

Māori 2
Pākehā 8

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

25 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, June 2013
Education Review, July 2010
Education Review, April 2007