Tairua School - 22/08/2012

1 Context

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

Tairua School is a rural full primary located in a small coastal community on the Coromandel Peninsula. The school is set on an extensive and well-maintained site, alongside an attractive harbour with immediate access to native bush.

Under the leadership of the principal, the positive profile of the school has continued to strengthen in the local community, and nationally. Since the last ERO review the student roll has increased, which has enabled the school to operate a fifth classroom. There have been several changes to the teaching team.

A social inquiry project undertaken by students in 2010 resulted in the development of the Tairua School Citizen Learner Profile. This profile has become a shared reference point for the coherent development of the school’s philosophy, charter, curriculum statements and approaches to teaching and learning.

2 Learning

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

Consistently high levels of student engagement in learning and school activities are evident. The school has thorough systems and processes for gathering an extensive range of student achievement data, particularly in literacy and mathematics. This data indicates that a high proportion of students are progressing well and achieving at or above national expectations. The school has well-moderated systems for supporting teachers to make Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJs) for individual students in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. This information is reported to the board, students and parents, and used to inform student goal setting and school targets. Teachers use student assessment information to inform their planning, and to identify students requiring additional support or extension. There would now be benefit in using existing data to strengthen the cumulative tracking of students as they progress through the school.

Teaching and learning is strongly influenced by the students’ mission and vision for developing global citizens of the future. This is summarised as students who are:

  • connected to the local, national and global environment
  • independent self managers
  • trustworthy and reliable
  • innovative and creative thinkers
  • have a zest for knowledge and learning
  • engaged in others welfare
  • have a 'not all about me' attititude.

Students have an exceptionally wide range of learning and development opportunities for worthwhile involvement in, and contribution to, local, national and global initiatives. These include the Paddle for Humanity fundraising event, local environmental projects and interactions with senior citizens. Dedicated teachers, parents and community members give generously of their time, knowledge and expertise to support these co-curricular activities.

3 Curriculum

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

The Tairua School curriculum effectively supports students learning. The Learner Profile described in the context section also guides curriculum design and delivery. Curriculum features include an emphasis on inquiry learning, the use of authentic and meaningful learning contexts and deliberate use of cross-curricular links. Classrooms are well resourced to support teaching and learning. The considered development of information and communication technologies (ICT) is allowing students increasing access to tools for e-learning. The principal and ERO agree that a greater understanding of e-learning is an area for continued development for teachers.

Values inherent in the learner profile are highly evident, and contribute to the inclusive, respectful relationships, and mutually supportive school culture. Teachers set and share high expectations for themselves and their students. Students are happy and settled, and show genuine pride and ownership of their school. Students’ understanding and ownership of learning is greatly enhanced through teachers’ effective use of formative assessment practices.

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

Twenty four percent of students on the roll identify as Māori. These students achieve success academically, and through sporting, cultural and leadership opportunities. Their achievement is comparable to that of their non-Māori peers. Recent school developments include a successful celebration of Matariki, the gift of a school waiata and haka, and weekly evening te reo Māori lessons held for the community on school premises. In addition, the Māori board of trustees’ member is facilitating closer links with whānau and local iwi. An important next step is the shared development of a plan to fully realise the intent of the board’s strategic goal for Te Ao Māori at Tairua School.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Tairua School is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Positive contributing factors are as follows:

  1. Trustees are well informed and bring a relevant range of skills knowledge and experience to their governance roles. They seek external expertise as appropriate and are strongly supportive of the principal and staff. The board makes well considered and generous allocation of resources to support student learning, engagement, progress and achievement
  2. The principal provides strong educational leadership for the school and its community. His innovation, energy and enthusiasm are pivotal to the continuing development of this community of learners
  3. Teachers demonstrate high levels of professionalism and collaboration. They are reflective practitioners who maintain a clear focus on promoting positive educational outcomes for all students
  4. A supportive parent and wider community, continues to provide significant contributions to fundraising and enhancing educational opportunities for students
  5. Self-review processes are well integrated into all aspects of school operations and professional practice.

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.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

22 August 2012

About the School


Coromandel Peninsular

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)



School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53%

Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā NZ


Other European

Other Ethnicity







Review team on site

July 2012

Date of this report

22 August 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2010

April 2007

June 2004