Taradale High School - 16/10/2018

School Context

Taradale High School provides education for 990 students in Years 9 to 13. Māori students comprise 17% of the roll. The school has a small number of students of Pacific heritage attending.

The school states that its valued outcomes for all students are expressed through its vision of ‘confident, caring young people, who are creative, collaborative and committed to their learning’. The R.I.C.E. values of Respect, Integrity, Curiosity and Excellence underpin school practises.

Key strategic goals for the school include: to improve the achievement of priority or at risk learners especially in Years 9 and 10; and enhance student wellbeing.

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

  • achievement in National Certificates of Education Achievement (NCEAs)

  • subject specific annual achievement

  • 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?

School data for 2017 shows that most students achieved NCEA Level 2 and many students achieved Levels 1 and 3. Achievement at Level 2 is consistent over time. Attainment of University Entrance has declined as many students focus on alternative training or employment destinations.

Females achieve at higher levels than males across all year groups. Historically, Māori student achievement has been consistently lower than their peers. Significant improvement for these students brought them level with their peers at Levels 1 and 2 in 2017.

Year 9 students enter the school with numeracy and literacy levels similar to overall national patterns. Most students are reported to make expected progress through to the end of Year 10. In other learning areas, systems are developing to better enable teachers to evaluate student progress against curriculum levels.

Students with more complex learning needs are well identified and supported with progress measured against individual education plans.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

School data shows that a number of students in Years 9 and 10 including Māori, make better than expected progress in mathematics.

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?

Students have a supportive schoolwide learning environment. Relationships among students and with teachers are positive and respectful. Well-considered processes guide students’ transition into the school. Common expectations for learning and routines are visible across classes. Each student’s holistic wellbeing is a school priority. Regular surveys and student voice inform decision making.

The school’s broad-based curriculum provides many opportunities for students to participate and celebrate success in a wide range of academic, sporting, cultural and leadership activities. Pathways, including tertiary programmes, provide options for senior students who receive sound career advice and guidance. Regular curriculum review and development focuses on growing student agency, promoting deeper learning and enhancing the acknowledgement of culture, language and identity across the school.

Teachers are well supported to develop and extend their skills and expertise. Extensive professional development is appropriately aimed at introducing new methodologies and growing teachers’ professional capability. Appraisal processes are improvement focused with individual goals of staff linked to school targets. Professional learning groups promote a collaborative culture. Beginning teachers are appropriately mentored and guided.

Leaders and teachers use an appropriate range of assessment tools to gather sound baseline data and identify students at risk of not achieving. Individual student achievement is well monitored. Teachers use this data to identify and respond to students’ interests and learning needs. The introduction of ‘hubs’ in the junior school promotes a collegial and collaborative approach to addressing the learning needs of these students.

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

The school is developing a shared understanding of acceleration. Systems and processes are not yet fully developed to monitor, respond and report on the rate of progress of individuals or groups of students. School targets that sit under the broad strategic goals should be more specific about students at risk of not achieving.

School leaders have identified, and ERO’s evaluation confirms, that enhancing engagement with whānau, hapū, iwi and aiga is an important area for development. Formal gathering of family and community aspirations and expectations should help inform planning and evaluation and promote a stronger partnership to support improved outcomes for Māori and Pacific students.

Internal evaluation needs further development. Understanding and clear evidence for the outcomes of individual students and overall pictures of schoolwide information and achievement are evident. Patterns of achievement and outcomes for groups and cohorts of students are recognised and shared. A key next step is to more deeply explore this data to identify why the pattern exists, what has worked and where to next. Developing clear indicators of expected outcomes at the planning stage should assist with reporting of progress and evaluating the effectiveness of initiatives.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review the number of international students attending the school had grown to 42 students, encompassing a wide variety of nationalities and ethnicities.

The school uses sound processes to monitor the provision of pastoral care, accommodation, English language learning, appropriate learning programmes, community links and achievement for international students.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • systems and processes that support student wellbeing and promote an inclusive culture and sense of belonging for students

  • a curriculum that encourages student engagement, learning and achievement

  • the strategic approach growing staff professional capability to improve outcomes for students.

Next steps

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

  • more specific focus on students at risk of not achieving and accelerating their learning, particularly Years 9 and 10
  • strengthening internal evaluation to more deeply inquire into data and promote improvement
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders]

  • enhancing engagement with whānau, hapū, iwi and aiga to better represent and support Māori and Pacific aspirations, culture, language and identity and promote improved outcomes for Māori and Pacific students.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

16 October 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 52%, Male 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 17%
Pākehā 72%
Pacific 1%
Other ethnic groups 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

16 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2015
Education Review December 2011
Supplementary Review January 2009