Tamatea High School - 03/02/2014

1 Context

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

Tamatea High School caters for students in Years 9 to 13 from Tamatea and surrounding suburbs of Napier, in a positive and supportive environment. It has a strong sense of community, with engaged family and whānau. There are 259 students attending the school, 54% of whom identify as Māori and 3% as Pacific.

The school’s motto ‘Growing good people for a changing world’, and the P.R.I.D.E values of participation, respect, integrity, diversity and excellence, underpin all aspects of school life. Strong pastoral care systems and an inclusive culture of high expectations support the holistic development of each student.

The school provides extensive opportunities for students to participate and celebrate success in a wide range of academic, cultural, sporting, art and leadership activities at all levels. Students achieve highly in local and national events and competitions. They are confident, friendly and proud of their school.

Since the 2010 ERO review, a new principal leads the school. Staffing and board of trustees membership are stable. Senior leaders and teachers have continued to maintain their strong focus on improving literacy learning across the school and on developing a professional learning culture, where they share expertise and reflect on their practice. Staff participate in a range of Ministry of Education sponsored development initiatives.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

School leaders and teachers have made considerable progress in analysing and using student achievement information. This is well used by teachers in planning, teaching and evaluation. Class descriptions identify each student’s strengths and needs effectively. Individual development plans for students are developed from this data and involve families and whānau. Progress against the plans is closely monitored. House group teachers support and mentor students as they work to achieve their learning goals.

Student achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) at Levels 1, 2 and 3 has shown significant improvement since 2010. A variety of systems is used to monitor students' progress. These include the Year 9 and 10 Junior Diploma, NCEA standards tracking and the schoolwide Fern Awards. As a result of these processes, well-analysed data is available for each student to show accelerated progress, trends and patterns. ERO considers the reporting of data could be further developed in terms of explicit analysis and interpretation to inform and support board decision-making about next steps.

Priority learner groups, including Māori and Pacific, are identified, specific targets are developed and implemented, and outcomes measured. The progress of these groups in junior and senior assessment is comparable with other students in the school. Students with special learning needs have individual educational programme plans and are well integrated. School leaders have a continuing focus on exploring innovative pathways for improving rates of engagement, attendance and retention of students.

School-wide data is used effectively to inform decision-making and resourcing, and to guide professional learning programmes. Departments use achievement information appropriately to review programme effectiveness and guide decisions on curriculum changes.

School leaders have identified the need to continue to strengthen teacher capability in the analysis and use of assessment information to inform planning and teaching, and evaluate lesson and programme effectiveness. Accelerating the achievement of merit and excellence results in the NCEAs is a key next step for the school.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s broad-based, culturally responsive curriculum promotes student learning effectively. It provides a wide range of opportunities that support students accessing pathways beyond school. Options for senior students are well considered and comprise academic subjects as well as polytechnic and industry-based choices. Students are assisted with high quality advice and guidance to make good subject and career decisions.

Aspects of the curriculum are regularly reviewed to ensure their continued relevance and reflection of the diverse cultures in the school. Student voice is a significant part of curriculum review and design.

The members of the senior leadership team have clear expectations for teaching and learning that are widely evident in practice. The senior leadership team and board are committed to the promotion of high quality teaching using professional learning and development and appraisal.

Managers recognise the importance of aligning student achievement information, teacher inquiry, professional learning and goals with the revised appraisal process. Robust implementation of this appraisal process should help to continue to extend and embed effective teaching practice.

Students benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers. Student interactions show mutual respect and care. ERO observed classes where students were on task, cooperative and well engaged in learning.

Senior leaders and staff have made significant progress and continue to develop their shared understanding of effective teaching and assessment practice. Teachers increasingly use achievement information to reflect on their practice, try new strategies and adapt teaching programmes to meet students' needs.

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

The school promotes educational success for Māori as Māori effectively, and supports the students to be confident in their culture and identity.

There is a strategic approach to raising Māori achievement, with specific annual targets and actions aimed to improve success for Māori students. There is a schoolwide commitment to include Māori perspectives, values and contexts in department and classroom planning.

Whānau are increasingly engaged in the learning of their children. There is regular contact between home and school including the new extended learning conferences, which focus on each student's individual development plan.

Māori student achievement in the NCEAs has shown similar significant improvement to that of other groups in the school. The school continues to seek improvements to support further success for Māori as Māori.

Māori students achieve highly in local and national cultural events and competitions. They take advantage of opportunities to achieve and lead inside and outside the classroom.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Tamatea High School is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The following features contribute to the focus on improvement.

  • Effective governance from a well-informed board whose key focus is improving student outcomes. Trustees bring considerable expertise to their roles.
  • Clear alignment from strategic and annual planning, through professional learning and appraisal, to classroom practice.
  • Effective leadership and change management by the principal, who is well supported by the senior leadership team and capable middle managers.
  • Teachers and support staff who work as a collegial and cohesive team.
  • Effective pastoral care and support for students.
  • A culture of high expectations and mutual respect amongst students, staff and parents.
  • Increasingly strong community connections and support for school events and programmes.

An established culture of critical reflection and self-review supports school improvement. School leaders and trustees successfully use research, achievement information and the opinions of students, teachers and families when reviewing the effectiveness of programmes and deciding on next steps. Individual departments follow a standard process that promotes their effective reflection and evaluation of programme effectiveness and guides the next steps for ongoing improvement. Enhancing the use of assessment information should help embed existing self-review processes.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there were six international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

The school regularly reflects on systems that provide for international students. It is now timely to consider developing a formal reporting process to the board on the impact and effectiveness of current processes and provision.

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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • 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 three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

3 February 2014

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 56%, Male 44%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Other European


Other ethnic groups






Special Features

Attached satellite unit

Review team on site

September 2013

Date of this report

3 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

October 2010

October 2007

December 2006