Rotorua S D A School - 12/04/2019

School Context

Rotorua S D A School is a small state integrated school located in central Rotorua. This special character school caters for students from Years 1 to 8. The current roll is 42, including 24 Māori and five who identify as being of Pacific origin. Students learn in two multi-level classrooms. Since the 2015 ERO review there have been changes to teaching staff, however the principal remains in her role.

The school vision and mission state that they are: ‘Building for Eternity’ and ‘Developing the character of God and achieving personal excellence.’

The Rotorua S D A School aims to nurture the holistic GROWTH of students. Leaders and teachers pursue, Godliness, Rich relationships, Ownership of learning, Wisdom in decisions, Transformational learning and have a Harvest focus.

The school’s strategic aims are:

  1. All students are able to access the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) as evidenced by progress in relation to The New Zealand C curriculum levels.

  2. To know, live, commit and multiply as disciples for Jesus Christ.

  3. Commitment to the Rotorua Central Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako to focus on visible learning and assessment capable learners.

  4. To provide school leadership and effective governance.

The teaching and leadership team have been involved in professional learning and development in the use of the progress and consistency tool in writing and reading, learning progressions and visible learning.

The school is a member of the Rotorua Central Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL).

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide 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.

School achievement information for 2018 shows that the majority of students, including Māori, are achieving at or above curriculum expectations in reading and writing. Most students are achieving at or above the expected curriculum expectations in mathematics.

School achievement information from 2016 to 2018 shows significantly improved levels of achievement for Māori in mathematics and a decline in reading. There has been a decline in reading for all students over the last three years.

Girls are outperforming boys in reading and writing and this disparity has remained consistent over time. Disparity between boys and girls in mathematics has fluctuated with boys outperforming girls in 2018.

Students with identified learning needs are making progress against their individual learning goals.

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

The school is effectively accelerating the progress of some students who need this.

Achievement information in 2018 shows effective acceleration for most students achieving below curriculum expectations in writing. Effective acceleration for those students who are underachieving in reading remains a challenge.

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?

Leadership actively promotes the vision, mission and values, including the special character,of the school. Collaboration and relational trust is evident at every level of the school community. Leaders have fully engaged with the local CoL to support school improvement and raise student achievement. Clear expectations for teaching practices support learning and teaching. Leadership opportunities within the teaching team are promoted. Professional learning and development is building teacher capability both in the school and in the wider education community.

A broad curriculum, including local and authentic contexts, empowers students to learn, achieve and progress. Students increasingly understand their learning journey and many students can identify their own goals and next steps. Multiple opportunities for success in leadership, sport and culture are pursued by students.

Students participate and learn in caring and inclusive environments. Classroom teachers are focused on building relationships and know students and their families well. Te ao Māori is actively promoted and affirms the language, culture and identity of Māori students. Tuakana teina practices are evident and support student learning. Liaison with a range of agencies to support and facilitate learning for those with additional needs occurs as needed.

Reciprocal relationships between home and school support learning and progress. Aspirations of parents and whānau are actively sought to inform programmes of learning. Parents and whānau feel welcomed and participate in the life of the school resulting in a strong sense of belonging for students and their families.

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

The school now needs to:

  • develop specific school-wide targets focused on accelerating the achievement of all at-risk students.

  • track and monitor the progress and achievement of these students school-wide and report regularly to the board against the targets

  • analyse achievement information to evaluate the impact strategies, initiatives and interventions have on accelerating learning.

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.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO‘s overall evaluation judgement of Rotorua Seventh Day Adventist School performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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:

  • leadership that is actively engaged in the wider education community to support school improvement and improved learning outcomes for students

  • responsive relationships that support effective partnerships for learning

  • a school curriculum that strongly reflects the community values and enables students to achieve.

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

  • establishing school-wide targets to enable more effective monitoring of students whose learning needs accelerating

  • evaluating strategies and interventions designed to accelerate achievement.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • fully implement the annual cycle of appraisal to meet the requirements of the Teaching Council for the issue and renewal of practicing certificates. This was also identified as a priority in the 2015 ERO report.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

12 April 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boy 23 Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori 24
Pākehā 7
Pacific 5
Other 6

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

12 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2014
Education Review November 2011