Tatuanui School - 09/04/2020

School Context

Tatuanui School is a rural contributing school situated in the outskirts of Morrinsville. The school caters for students in Years 1 to 6. At the time of this ERO review, nine children identified as Māori. Since the September 2016 ERO report, the roll has grown to its current roll of 136. Leadership has remained consistent and approximately half of the teaching team has since joined the school. The board of trustees is led by an experienced chairperson, other trustees have a range of skills and experience.

The school vision ‘Empowered 21st Century Learners’ is underpinned by ‘we care’ (caring, attitude, responsible, respectful, enviro kid) values for ‘A Tatuanui Child’ who will be: ‘self-motivated, resilient, problem solvers, communicators, and collaborators’.

Staff have accessed professional learning and development in learner agency, writing, and digital technology.

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

  • reading, writing, mathematics
  • social studies, the arts and aquatics.

The school is a member of the Morrinsville Kāhui Ako.

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?

The school is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. Achievement data for 2017 to 2019 shows that most students are achieving at or above national curriculum expectations in writing, reading, and mathematics. Girls significantly outperform boys in reading and writing. The school’s most recent data in writing shows improved achievement for both gender groups, however, the disparity for boys remains. In mathematics, a significant improvement in achievement for boys over time has led to comparable levels of achievement with girls.

School data shows most students are achieving within curriculum expectations in aquatics, social studies and the arts.

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

Data for 2019 shows acceleration for approximately half of the identified students who need this in reading and writing, and some students in mathematics. The school’s recent professional development focused on writing and student agency is showing improved outcomes for boys in literacy. Māori students are accelerating at similar rates to their peers in literacy.

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?

Leaders provide effective professional learning opportunities. A recent focus on resilience and writing is reducing disparity and improving outcomes for those students who need this. Well-established systems to monitor and track student achievement shows that professional learning and development benefits students. The school is supported by a well-informed, responsive board of trustees who are focused on improving outcomes for students. Trustees resource and fund learning programmes that contribute to accelerated progress.

Caring, collaborative and organised learning environments enables students to achieve success. Classrooms are well resourced with an appropriate focus on literacy and mathematics. Teachers use a wide range of effective strategies to engage and support students to be increasingly independent in their learning. A range of planning and assessment tools enhance consistency of practice throughout the school. Students with additional needs are included and supported in calm, positive classrooms. Timely communication encourages positive relationships with parents, family and whānau. Effective systems and affirming relationships are contributing to positive outcomes for students.

The school curriculum offers a wide range of authentic learning opportunities. A recent digital technology and learner agency focus, fosters children’s engagement in learning. Access to context-based learning through sustainability education, sporting and various cultural focuses underpins the curriculum. A range of tikanga Māori practices are developing in the school and contributing to a sense of belonging for Māori students. Appropriate emphasis is given to a breadth of learning areas as outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum. Strong school values are visible and enable a sense of community and belonging. Children benefit from a culture of care that fosters confidence and contributes to the aspirations for a ‘Tatuanui Child’.

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

Students achievement and progress is closely monitored by leaders and teachers. They now need to give priority to the improved use of achievement data through:

  • targeted use of data to accelerate the learning of identified groups of at-risk students, particularly boys
  • collective responsibility for the alignment of teacher inquiry linked to schoolwide targeted students
  • internal evaluation to monitor the impact of initiatives and inform decision making about resource planning and continuous improvement.

Leaders and ERO agree that continued development of learning partnerships with the community and iwi, to inform local contexts with a bicultural focus, should further enhance the school curriculum.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Tatuanui School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • effective leadership that is focused on continual improvement for equitable and excellent outcomes for all students
  • a responsive schoolwide culture that promotes learning success
  • a wide and rich curriculum that promotes engagement and sense of belonging.

Next steps

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

  • the effective use of achievement information to inform ongoing improvement
  • strengthening the localised school curriculum to enhance identity within a bicultural context.

Darcy Te Hau

Acting Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

9 April 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.