Tai Tapu School - 30/08/2017


Tai Tapu School roll at the time of this review was 269.

The majority of children have continued to achieve well and there has been an increase in those achieving above National Standards.

Since the last review the school has undergone well managed and well-communicated change with the development of its new learning spaces. This has resulted in some considerable shifts in practice. Teachers operate in collaborative teams and children have considerable input into their own learning.

The charter has been reviewed and aligns with learner outcomes, values, school goals, documents and practices. The gifted and talented programme has been adapted and embedded.

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

The school is achieving equitable outcomes for most children. Sound systems and practices operate to identify learners at risk of not achieving. Interventions and programmes are personalised and monitored for Māori children and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

A comprehensive, data-driven wellbeing programme with clear school-wide targets and strategies is in place to improve equity for children.

A strong culture of collaboration and teamwork supports programme planning, assessment and tracking of all learners. Teachers have developed some good internal evaluation practices to enable them to identify areas for further improvement. Teachers make good use of specific professional development to promote equity and excellence.

The school has identified areas of disparity in achievement against the National Standards between girls and boys and for some Māori. Leaders have also recognised that while children achieving at and above National Standards have shown increased achievement, those performing below have shown little improvement. The school has implemented programmes and strategies to promote the learning and progress of these children.

Equity and excellence

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

Most children, including Māori, regularly achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Children’s learning in mathematics has been significantly accelerated. The school has achieved improvements in the number of children moving from, at to above, in National Standards for reading and writing. Overall, girls’ achievement is higher than boys.

The school has recognised the need to improve the achievement of children below the National Standards. Writing is a major focus across all levels. A consistent approach to accelerating children’s reading progress is necessary.

Targeted learning support is provided for children who need additional assistance and the school has good examples of children making progress.

Collaborative teaching practices enable differentiated learning that is tailored to children’s needs and abilities. Teachers:

  • know the children well and tailor programmes to individuals
  • involve children in planning and evaluating their own learning
  • have a range of processes to ensure parents are engaged with their children’s learning
  • have regular teaching team discussions about children’s learning and progress.

The strongly collaborative nature of teaching and learning and effective systems have helped to strengthen assessment and moderation processes. Leaders and teachers are yet to carry out moderation with other schools.

The board supports the provision of additional learning support and receives regular reports on children’s progress and achievement.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Tai Tapu School has a highly collaborative environment where children, parents and teachers work together to design programmes around children’s interests, abilities and needs. The school has a clearly articulated vision and embedded learner outcomes that are effectively reflected in school culture, documentation and practices. A comprehensive and explicit curriculum document clearly incorporates:

  • high expectations for learners
  • a commitment to improving outcomes for all children and responding to their needs
  • strategies for best teaching practice
  • direct links to key competencies and learner outcomes
  • bicultural perspectives and local content
  • a research based, cohesive wellbeing programme.

The teaching practices, environment and resources support children in their learning. The school carefully planned the transition to its new learning environment. Teachers have responded positively to the opportunities for different approaches to teaching and learning that this environment provides. A thorough parent education programme enabled parents to be involved in the transition process.

Equity and excellence are supported by all children being able to:

  • work alone or collaboratively
  • celebrate their strengths and achievements
  • build on areas of development in a way that is targeted to them
  • make choices about their learning
  • use technology to support their learning
  • access specialist programmes and support.

Children are focussed, engaged and settled. Relationships are respectful, and older children working with and supporting younger children (tuakana teina) is evident.

The school is well led and governed. Effective leadership has resulted in clear achievement-based targets, the alignment of strategic directions and practices, well-considered change management and a developing model of distributed leadership to further build capacity. Trustees are well informed and committed and have procedures in place to support sustainability. They are yet to carry out a board review.

The school uses internal evaluation to review its practices and to inform decision making. Wide and regular consultation is carried out with its community.

The school has established a relationship with the local marae and has sought appropriate advice in the planning of its environment. Bicultural practices are evident in school activities and in the classroom. This continues to be an area in which the school seeks deeper understanding to inform its practices and decisions.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

The school has some sound processes to achieve equity and excellence.

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

Leaders and teachers need to:

  • strengthen and evaluate programmes and strategies to better accelerate the learning of students working below National Standards in reading and writing

  • evaluate how effective classroom and specialist support programmes are in achieving equitable outcomes for any children who are underachieving.

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?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • continue to develop a planned, evaluative approach to all practices and programmes

  • further clarify and embed bicultural understandings and practices.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern/Te Waipounamu

30 August 2017

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary

School roll


Gender composition

Male 55% : Female 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 4%

Pākehā 94%

Other 2%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

30 August 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review June 2012

Education Review June 2009


Education Review February 2006