Raroa Normal Intermediate - 07/05/2020

School Context

Rāroa Normal Intermediate School located in Wellington’s western suburbs delivers education for students in Years 7 and 8. It has a diverse range of cultures with 25 ethnic groups represented. At the time of this ERO review, the roll was 708 students of whom 6% identify as Māori.

The school’s vision for students is for them to ‘Aspire 2 Achieve’. This is supported by the ‘ASPIRE’ values – Actively involved, Skilful and inquisitive thinkers, Persistent, Independent, Respectful and Enjoying ourselves.

Its current goals and targets for improvement in student outcomes are linked to the areas of:

  • progress and achievement across a broad spectrum of experiences
  • development of a future-focussed curriculum including relevant assessment practices that support learning and wellbeing
  • maintaining and enhancing a supportive, reflective and learning focussed culture
  • development of the skills, resources and facilities necessary to support learning.

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

  • progress and achievement for groups and individuals in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing
  • success in sports, competitions and other extramural activities.

There have been several changes of staff since the October 2015 ERO review. These included appointments of a second deputy principal, assistant principal and four team leaders. Additional teachers have also been appointed due to some roll growth. Professional learning and development for teachers in 2019 is focused on curriculum delivery and wellbeing.

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 consistently and effectively achieves equitable and excellent outcomes for most students. The good levels of achievement evident at the time of the October 2015 ERO report have been sustained. In 2018, most students, including Māori, achieved at or above expected curriculum levels, as demonstrated through standardised testing, in reading, mathematics and writing. Overall levels of achievement are lower in writing. Most students achieve above expected levels in all three areas. Boys and Māori achieve at lower levels than girls in writing. Māori student achievement is also lower in mathematics, especially at Year 8.

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

The school effectively accelerates the progress of many students identified as being at risk on entry. Acceleration is evident for students, including Māori, in reading and mathematics.

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?

The school continues to identify and implement effective practices and programmes to address equity of outcomes for all learners. The needs and strengths of students, including those identified as gifted and talented, are well known and supported. Suitable programmes and initiatives are accessed. Staff work collaboratively with parents and specialist staff to provide the support or extension these students require.

Students experience meaningful learning opportunities focused on fostering innovation, information literacy skills and social responsibility. Ongoing review of the curriculum has resulted in inquiry-based learning with a clear framework of expectations developed.  There has also been a shift from traditional technology classes to ‘Design Production Education’. Students have opportunities to join in a wide range of additional enrichment experiences that include the arts, culture, sports, service and leadership.

Leadership is collaborative and strongly distributive. Leaders are focused on improving learner outcomes and are responsive to the changing needs of individuals. Appropriate systems are in place to ensure students’ strengths, needs, interests and identities are well known. They seek to provide holistic support and an orderly environment that is conducive to learning and wellbeing. Deliberate opportunities grow the skills of others as leaders and educators.

Trustees have a good understanding of their stewardship role. They have a clear vision for the future direction and an appropriate emphasis on promoting success, innovation and wellbeing. Board members maintain good relationships with senior leaders. They effectively scrutinise and utilise a range of information to make sound, strategic decisions that promote positive student outcomes.

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

Leaders gather information on student achievement based on standardised testing. This information is shared with staff and parents. Leaders should continue to consider ways to provide more frequent and comprehensive data, including from a variety of sources, to better track the progress of individual and groups of students.

Teachers and leaders are reflective and utilise research to inform decisions made. They gather useful information from staff, parents and students to inform decision making. A more evaluative approach to review should better support leaders to determine the impact of initiatives and programmes on student outcomes and to better inform decisions made.

A staff appraisal process is in place however implementation of teacher appraisal requires further strengthening. This should include alignment of systems for the monitoring and development of teacher performance and include documentation of focused observations and feedback on teaching practice.

Some aspects of te ao Māori are evident through school practices. Delivery of a curriculum to better support students to understand and respect the bi-cultural nature of Aotearoa, New Zealand is desirable. A strengthening of relationships with whānau Māori is also necessary. This should enable a more cohesive and deliberate inclusion of te reo me nga tikanga Māori into the curriculum.

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 Rāroa Normal Intermediate’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • stewardship that is strategic and focused on positive student outcomes
  • curriculum delivery that is personalised and innovative
  • leadership that is collaborative and responsive to student needs.

Next steps

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

  • a more evaluative approach to internal evaluation to better determine the impact of initiatives and programmes on student outcomes
  • a more cohesive and deliberate delivery of a bi-cultural curriculum to better support student and teacher understanding of te ao Māori
  • strengthened implementation of the teacher appraisal process to better document observations and discussions.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • revisit policy and practices for managing and recording of the administration of medication to students while at school and ensure policy is followed.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement

Te Tai Tini (Southern Region)

7 May 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate, (Years 7 and 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 51%, Girls 49 %

Ethnic composition

Māori 6%
NZ European/Pākehā 65%
Chinese 7%
Indian 5%
Other Ethnicities 17%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

7 May 2020

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review October 2015
Education Review December 2012