Takaka Primary School - 21/11/2017


At the time of this review there were 156 children at Takaka Primary School. The school’s roll has been gradually increasing since the previous ERO evaluation in 2014.

A new principal was appointed in Term 4, 2015, and a new assistant principal began in Term 1, 2016.

Since the last review the school has made many improvements. These include:

  • a key focus on promoting a school-wide positive behaviour programme

  • building relationships and connections with children, teachers, parents, whānau and the local community

  • establishing strong links with mana whenua to improve authentic Māori experiences for children

  • the development and strengthening of systems to better focus on outcomes for students

  • children benefitting from a wide range of learning opportunities across a culturally responsive curriculum.

The school has identified and put strategies in place to reduce the disparity in the achievement of boys and Māori in reading and writing.

Mid-year achievement information for 2017 shows positive improvement in reading, writing and mathematics that now needs to be sustained over time.

The school is involved in the Kāhui Ako ki Mohuā|Golden Bay Area Community of Learning (CoL). The principal of Takaka Primary is the Lead Principal of the CoL.

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

The school has a number of effective practices that promote the achievement of equitable outcomes for all children.

Achievement information shows that many children achieve at or above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Achievement is highest in reading and lowest in writing. School achievement information shows in-school disparity for Māori and boys in reading and writing.

The school has a number of effective systems and practices that are supporting the achievement of equity and excellence. These include:

  • children participating and learning in a positive and collaborative school environment

  • the support provided by teachers and leaders to children whose learning needs acceleration

  • effective, culturally responsive teaching strategies that support and promote children’s learning.

School leadership is focused on improving wellbeing and achievement outcomes for all children. Leaders ensure there is an emphasis on the individual learner and their achievement, and promote positive school relationships that support children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging. Parents, whānau and the community are welcomed and involved in school activities and valued as partners in children’s learning.

The board effectively represents and serves the school and education community.

School leaders are aware that some initiatives and systems need to be fully embedded to sustain positive outcomes for children over time.

The school’s next steps include:

  • embedding culturally responsive practices across all areas of the school, and within the school’s strategic plan

  • improving writing performance and outcomes, particularly for Māori and boys.

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

Equity and excellence

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

The school is effective in responding to a number of children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The achievement of Māori children and boys is generally lower than other groups in the school, especially in writing. Leaders are aware of this disparity and have programmes and initiatives in place to improve outcomes for these and other children.

School achievement information shows many children achieve well in reading, writing and mathematics. Interim achievement information for 2017 provided by the school shows a positive trend across these learning areas. It is too early for ERO to evaluate this progress. School leaders are aware that their priority is to ensure the sustainability of this early progress over time.

Teachers focus their teaching practice on children whose learning most needs support. School leaders have intentionally strengthened systems for tracking the learning of individual children. Other improvement initiatives include:

  • an increased teacher focus, planning and reporting frequency regarding the learning of children whose rates of progress are slower than that of others

  • providing a range of targeted interventions that promote innovative and authentic opportunities for learning

  • ongoing board resourcing that supports children’s learning and engagement in classrooms.

School leaders and teachers are focused on improving the reliability of assessment and moderation practices. They use a nationally-developed tool to support them with this.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

The school has a number of processes that are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence.

School leaders have a clear strategic vision, priorities and approaches to building capacity and capability across the school that is centred on positive outcomes for children. They effectively promote a school-wide approach to positive behaviour for learning. An increased emphasis on the school values and learning environment is conducive to equity and excellence for student wellbeing and achievement.

School leaders use a well-considered and evidence-based change management process that focuses on community and student engagement, teaching and learning improvements and curriculum development.

The curriculum promotes opportunities for children to actively engage, experience success and achieve excellence in diverse ways and contexts. Children benefit from:

  • teachers inquiring into their practice and working collaboratively to plan a wide range of curriculum experiences built around children’s interests, abilities and needs

  • learning opportunities that are extended through culturally responsive practices and close links with the local community and mana whenua

  • support to take ownership of their learning and being encouraged to talk about their learning and future steps for improvement

  • many opportunities to actively contribute to decisions about the curriculum and school culture

  • regular communication that is building home and school learning partnerships to better support children’s learning.

School processes ensure that children whose learning and achievement need acceleration are clearly identified, monitored and planned for in well-focused, school-wide achievement targets.

Māori children experience opportunities for leadership as members of the “Tamariki Tu” group. Māori student voice is sought often and responded to by school leaders and teachers. Māori children have a variety of opportunities to experience success as Māori.

The internal evaluation approaches introduced in 2015 are helping to improve planned evaluations at school and board levels.

School leaders keep the board well informed and the board is responsive to this ongoing information. Leaders and trustees are well-focused on the strategic directions for school development.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school has effective processes to achieve equity and excellence. Some initiatives and systems need to be fully embedded for sustainability.

Priorities for improvement include:

  • embedding cultural responsiveness at strategic, leadership and teaching

  • continuing to focus on improving writing and mathematics for all students, particularly for Māori and boys.

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?

Many children are achieving good educational outcomes. The school has programmes and plans in place to address in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

The agreed next steps include:

  • embedding cultural responsiveness at strategic, leadership and teaching levels

  • continuing to focus on improving writing, particularly for Māori and boys.

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

Jane Lee
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

21 November 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type


School roll


Gender composition

Boys 59% Girls 41%

Ethnic composition

Māori 12%

Pākehā 82%

Other ethnicities 6%

Review team on site

September 2017

Date of this report

21 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2014

Education Review July 2011

Education Review August 2008