Tai Tapu School - 19/06/2012

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

The board, principal and teachers provide high quality education for students. Positive relationships exist at all levels of the school. The school culture is inclusive with a strong sense of community. Students benefit from the strong support of parent groups and local businesses. Learning with information and communication technologies (ICT) is a feature of the school. Students have a choice of a wide range of learning opportunities. These include academic, cultural and sports activities that are well supported by the wider school community.

The appointment of the new principal in Term One 2012 and other staff changes have been well managed by the board. Since the 2009 review the school roll has grown and, as a result, two new classrooms have been built. At the time of this review a new hall was under construction. This building will provide additional covered space and a place for the whole school to meet.

The school has been affected by the Canterbury earthquakes. There are ongoing building repairs and some students are receiving extra support.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

The school reports that 90% of the students are at or above the National Standards for mathematics and reading, with 80% of students writing at or above the National Standards in writing. Māori students achieve as well as and in some cases better than their peers. Learning targets are set for identified priority groups of students. These students are effectively tracked and monitored.

Students who are achieving below or well above school expectations are well catered for in learning support and specialist programmes.

A wide range of effective teaching practices engage and motivate students to learn and improve. Teachers provide students with many choices and encourage them to be self-managing learners. Students told ERO that they enjoy learning and the many opportunities they have to contribute to the school’s vision, values and learning programme. They learn in attractive, well-resourced classrooms.

Teachers make good use of the National Standards. They are developing new processes, including working with other schools, to better moderate and define Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJs). They have a comprehensive and planned assessment programme on which to base their judgements. Collaboration and sharing by teachers is a strength of the school. Parents are involved in sharing knowledge and skills in the learning programme.

Teachers and students use ICT well to support learning in and out of the classroom. Recent professional development has had a significant impact on teaching and learning programmes.

Student leadership opportunities are linked to the school’s values. The board and school leaders respond to students' ideas. This contributes to a positive and inclusive school culture. Student leaders are good role models for younger students.

Areas for review and development

School leaders have identified that the next steps for the school are:

  • further developing and embedding the gifted and talented programmes to align with recent curriculum changes
  • sharing good teaching practice and continuing to align assessment processes with the National Standards

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

Ongoing review has resulted in a well-developed curriculum that meets the learning needs of the students and reflects the community’s high expectations.

The school’s curriculum reflects the context of the local environment and provides good guidelines for teaching practice and clear expectations for student success. Supportive school leaders are empowering staff to effectively lead curriculum change.

Teachers regularly reflect on and evaluate their teaching practice and make modifications to programmes and their practice to improve outcomes for students. Assessment information is analysed and used. Student achievement Information gathered from assessment is well used in strategic and classroom planning.

Te reo and tikanga Māori, ICT and the school’s values are thoughtfully integrated across the curriculum.

Areas for review and development

The school leaders have identified the following next steps to further improve outcomes for students. They plan to:

  • refine and embed recent curriculum changes
  • further strengthen community education about the integrated curriculum.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

Through programmes, in and out of the classroom, the school actively promotes educational success for Māori as Māori. Leaders have identified the need to continue to strengthen this area.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. There is a school-wide culture of reflection and ongoing self review that supports improvement.

The board has a strong focus on improving student outcomes and monitoring progress against its goals. Trustees have a wide range of skills that support their roles.

Strong leadership provided by the board, principal and senior managers has been a key to successful change management, maintaining a positive school culture and improving student achievement across the school. The distributed leadership model operates well and is valued by staff and students.

In 2012, good links with Māori parents have resulted in raising bicultural perspectives in the school.

The board has developed a culture of high expectations for students and staff. Trustees effectively allocate responsibility and work well as a team. They access training and support to increase their awareness and understanding of governance.

Trustees are further developing policies and procedures to ensure consistency and continuity of sound governance practices. They plan to extend the multi-cultural aspects of the school by becoming a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

Area for review and development

The board has identified the need to fully review its charter and strategic plans to align with the school’s vision and direction.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randel

l National Manager Review Services Southern Region

19 June 2012

About the School


Tai Tapu, Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)



School roll


Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā



Other Ethnicities





Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

19 June 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2009

February 2006

May 2003