Tamariki School - 18/01/2018

School Context

Tamariki School provides a unique learning environment for 59 children from Years 1 to 8 in Christchurch city.

The school's special character is based on giving students the freedom to choose when, how and what they will learn. There is a strong emphasis placed on the social and emotional wellbeing of the students.

The school community aims "to equip each child, according to the child’s nature and talents, to lead a personally satisfying life, and to be an effective and contributing member of a democratic society".

The school's valued outcomes are:

  • emotional and social growth
  • close relationships
  • participation in rule-making and group meetings
  • child-control over learning
  • self-reflection and goal setting
  • learning through play
  • child-control over environment & resources
  • involvement of whanau.

The school's goals are to:

  • develop and maintain a culture of self review and documentation
  • support strong community relationships and connections
  • support all children to become, according to their nature and talents, emotionally, socially, and academically able and engaged lifelong learners.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • outcomes for students with additional learning needs, including very able students.

At the time of the 2015 ERO review there was a limited statutory manager (LSM) in place with responsibility for curriculum and achievement. The LSM completed her work in 2015 and the board was returned to full governance. In the past two years teachers have become much more involved with local schools. This has led to opportunities for professional learning and development (PLD) with their peers.

The school is a member of the Tamai Kahui Ako|Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school's strong focus on the learning needs of each child provides equitable opportunities for each child to reach their personal best.

Most students are working at their expected curriculum levels by the end of Year 8.

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

The school is very effective in responding to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Each child receives individual and small group support from teachers. All teachers are very aware of children's strengths, interests and needs.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

Leaders and teachers continue to build their capability and capacity to respond to the students’ learning needs and interests. The positive impact of their recent PLD is evident, particularly in writing and the use of effective teaching strategies. Teachers have a collaborative approach to their work. The professional relationships teachers and leaders have formed with others in local schools is supporting improved teaching and learning.

Community collaborations enrich opportunities for students to become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners. Parents are present and actively engaged in the learning of their own and other children. Parents and the community have many opportunities to contribute to school developments. The Tamariki Society, board of trustees, and school leaders are all involved in community consultation.

Students learn in a caring, collaborative and inclusive environment. The flexible and responsive curriculum is well aligned to the school's valued outcomes. There is a strong focus on the safety and wellbeing of students. The vision is evident in the way learning is student led. Improvements in assessment practices mean that students' social, emotional and academic progress is carefully tracked throughout their time at the school.

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

Some aspects of evaluation and curriculum need to be improved.

Trustees and leaders need to build on recent developments to continue to improve their evaluative practices. A recent review of the health curriculum provides a good model for future evaluation. A new appraisal system provides a structured approach to teaching as inquiry. When trustees have completed their current work on updating policies, they will be able to begin a systematic review of their responsibilities.

Leaders and teachers need to improve the bicultural perspectives and practices. Maori language and culture are not sufficiently evident in the school’s programmes and practices. Teachers and leaders know they have further work to do in order to ensure that the school is effectively promoting te reo and tikanga Māori. This should support students to understand and participate in their bicultural heritage.

Teachers need to continue their progress in developing teaching and assessment practices. The effective strategies being used in writing could be extended to other curriculum areas. There are some useful assessment tools in place. However further work needs to be done to ensure that teachers’ judgements about student achievement are robust and based on an appropriate range of assessments.

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:

  • providing equitable and effective learning opportunities for all students to reach their personal best

  • involvement of parents as partners in learning and the whole school community in the life of the school

  • the flexible and responsive approach to the curriculum that meets the needs, interests and abilities of all children.

Next steps

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

  • evaluative practices so that trustees, leaders and teachers know what practices and strategies are most effective in improving outcomes for children

  • bicultural practices so that all students can understand and participate in their bicultural heritage

  • teaching and assessment practices to ensure that all students make sufficient progress to leave the school having attained the school’s valued outcomes.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

18 January 2018

About the school


Christchurch city

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 35; Boys 24

Ethnic composition

Māori 11

Pākehā 45

Asian 3

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

18 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Arotake Paetawhiti Review June 2015

Education Review January 2013

Education Review November 2009