Tainui Full Primary School - 28/11/2018

School Context

Tainui Full Primary school is located in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa. It caters for students from Years 1 to 8. The current roll is 323 including 56% who identify as Māori and 19% who identify as Cook Island. Pākehā make up 21% and there are small numbers of students from other cultures.

There has been a significant increase in the roll and some changes to the leadership and teaching team since the 2015 ERO review. Redevelopment of classroom spaces in the senior school has been completed to support a collaborative teaching approach.

The school’s mission statement documents the intent to develop a culture of continuous improvement, equip children with the skills and technologies of the 21st century and incorporate Māori and multicultural perspectives into teaching and learning programmes.

The strategic aims focus on:

  • Māori students achieving successfully as Māori and success for other priority groups (Pacific and students with additional needs)
  • collaborative classes and learning teams to develop assessment capable students, teachers, leaders and parents
  • effective learning for all that is guided by The New Zealand Curriculum and recognises progress and achievement for all learners.

Teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in oral language, Māori achieving successfully as Māori, meeting additional learning needs, culturally responsive practices, growth mindsets and collaborative learning environments.

The principal leads the Tokoroa Community of Learning|Kāhui āko. The school has annual targets relating to wellbeing, writing and reading.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • 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 is continuing to work towards equitable outcomes for all its students. Between 2015-2017 school achievement information shows improvement in reading and a significant improvement in writing and mathematics for all students.

School data from 2015-17 shows that:

  • achievement levels for Māori in literacy have remained consistent and have improved in mathematics
  • overall girls achieved at higher levels than boys in reading, writing and mathematics
  • achievement levels in reading, writing and mathematics for Pacific and Pākehā students have improved significantly over time

School achievement information for 2017 shows that the large majority of students are achieving at or above expectation in reading, writing and mathematics.

  • Pacific students achieved at higher levels than other groups of students in the school
  • Māori and Pākehā students achieved at similar levels in literacy
  • Māori and Pacific students achieve at higher levels than Pākehā students in writing and mathematics.

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

In 2018 wellbeing survey results show positive levels of student wellbeing across the school.

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 Māori and other students who need it. 2017 achievement information shows accelerated learning for Māori in reading, writing and mathematics. There is accelerated learning in reading and writing for Pacific students who need this.

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?

Leaders have a strategic approach to developing culturally responsive teaching and learning practices designed to accelerate learning. A deliberate focus on building capability in the whole school community is evident. Professional learning and development is aligned to school goals and targets and focused on raising achievement. Explicit expectations for curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment are in place. Systems and processes for identifying, monitoring and evaluating student achievement are actively used by leaders and teachers. The use of achievement information guides decision-making. Leaders use data-based evidence from internal evaluation, inquiry and professional learning to select, develop and review strategies for improvement.

The school’s vision and values are visible and woven into the daily life of the school. School policies and practices promote student wellbeing, confidence in their language culture and identity and engagement in learning. Clear and consistent social expectations support a learning culture. Relational trust and collaboration underpin relationships in the school community.

Students confidently participate in and contribute to multiple learning opportunities. They learn in caring and inclusive learning environments where difference and diversity are valued. Respectful and productive relationships are evident. The learning environment supports engagement and agency where students can increasingly monitor their own learning using learning progressions. Students experience many opportunities to explore possibilities for future pathways.

Students with identified learning needs are well supported by school leaders and classroom teachers. They are making appropriate progress against their individual learning goals. A range of interventions including referral to outside agencies are accessed to ensure students’ specific learning needs are met.

Effective communication supports reciprocal learning-centred relationships with parents, whānau and iwi. Partnership with Raukawa contributes to teacher knowledge and the culturally responsive curriculum which affirms the language, culture and identity of Māori students. Parents feel welcome in the school as partners in their children’s learning.

Active stewardship is strongly focused on improving outcomes for learners. Experienced trustees have a sound understanding of their governance role. They work in collaboration with the principal and staff in a high-trust environment to create conditions that support the school’s vision. Achievement information is scrutinised, resourcing is effectively targeted and outcomes are evaluated. The board is well informed and statutory requirements are effectively met. Learning, progress and achievement along with the wellbeing of both students and staff are prioritised.

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

Extend school-wide achievement and wellbeing targets to more specifically focus on:

  • continuing to accelerate achievement for all students who are underachieving
  • a more strategic approach to improving attendance levels of at-risk learners.

Strengthen assessment practices to validate overall teacher judgements through:

  • continuing to build capability in moderation
  • the inclusion of norm referenced tools.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership for learning that is strongly focused on improving outcomes for students
  • a well-designed curriculum that promotes wellbeing, achievement and progress for all students
  • a culture of learning in the wider school community that enables a sense of belonging and wellbeing for students and their whānau
  • improvement focused stewardship that actively represents and serves the school community.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to accelerate learning to achieve equitable outcomes for all students who are underachieving
  • a strategic approach to improving attendance particularly for those at risk of not achieving
  • continuing to build assessment capability of all teaching staff.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

28 November 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 51% Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 56%
Pākehā 21%
Cook Island 19%
Others 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

28 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2015
Education Review June 2012
Education Review June 2009