Tauranga Primary School - 10/09/2019

School Context

Tauranga Primary School is located in Tauranga city and provides education for students in Years 1 to 6. The current roll of 450 includes 74 Māori students and an increasing number of students from culturally diverse backgrounds. There are currently 13 international students enrolled at the school.

Since the previous review in 2015 the principal and the teaching team have remained mostly the same and there have been new trustees elected. The school has had some modernisation and students learn in both innovative learning environments (ILE) and traditional teaching spaces.

The school is part of the Tauranga Peninsula Community of Learning (CoL)|Kāhui Ako. Teachers have undertaken a range of professional learning and development opportunities initiated by the school and the Kāhui Ako.

The school’s mission statement states that students will learn in a caring and collaborative learning community which inspires curiosity and encourages creativity. They will be challenged academically and socially to develop and make meaning of their world. The school’s vision states that ‘together we are learning to go places, Akonga tātou, ngā haere ki wāhi kē.’ This is supported by The Tauranga Primary School Way where the aim is to develop children’s skills and attributes as thinkers, communicators, team players, self-managers and contributors.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • learner engagement
  • special educational needs (SENCO).

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 achieving excellent outcomes for most and working towards achieving equity for all students.

Achievement data from 2015 to 2018 shows a consistent pattern with most students achieving at or above national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. This data indicates that girls achieved at higher levels than boys in reading and significantly higher levels in writing. Boys slightly outperform girls in mathematics. In 2018 most Māori students achieved national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. There is slight disparity between Māori and Pākehā in mathematics, reading and writing. This information also shows that most Pacific students achieve at or above national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Information collected in a survey of students indicates that the school effectively supports student wellbeing and learner engagement.

Students with additional learning needs are making good progress against their individual learning and behaviour goals.

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

The school is accelerating learning for some students who need this.

Data gathered in 2018 on the provision of additional reading programmes indicates that the interventions effectively accelerated student achievement for some Māori and others.

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 learn in caring and inclusive environments. They benefit from warm and respectful relationships with staff. There is a strong focus on providing students with strategies and building dispositions that will support self-management and wellbeing. They are encouraged to work cooperatively with their peers in ability, mixed ability and social groupings. Students with additional learning needs are identified and well supported and integrated through a range of additional programmes and initiatives. Input from external agencies is accessed where appropriate to support these learners. Effective strategies are used to communicate with, and engage parents, whanau and community. Parents and whanau spoken to by ERO feel welcome and involved in their child’s learning. Students are provided with equitable opportunities to be extended across curriculum areas, including cultural, sports, leadership and the arts.

Leaders work collaboratively to support the school’s identified priorities. They build relational trust at every level of the school community. Leaders use a range of evidence from evaluation and inquiry to review strategies and practices for improvement. There is a planned and considered approach to building teacher capability through appropriate professional learning and development to respond to priority learners. Leaders and teachers have established effective processes for student transition within and through the school to improve outcomes for at-risk learners. Leaders are well supported by the board of trustees to implement initiatives that accelerate progress for students, including those whose learning is at risk.

Teachers provide productive and well-managed learning environments. They work cooperatively to share knowledge and expertise to improve outcomes for students, including those at risk. Teachers use a good range of positive and inclusive practices that respond to learner diversity. Programmes are differentiated to meet learner needs, particularly in literacy and mathematics. Teachers naturally integrate culturally responsive practices, including te reo into the daily teaching and learning programmes. Students are supported to be self-managing and independent learners. They have a strong understanding of the school’s learning model and are highly engaged in all aspects of the curriculum.

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

To further support equity and excellence, ERO and the school have agreed the following:

  • the refinement of targets to include all identified groups of at-risk learners and report regularly to the board how effectively their progress is being accelerated
  • to further develop coherent systems to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives that seek to achieve the school’s valued outcomes
  • to continue to strengthen students’ understanding of their learning pathways, particularly their progress and next learning steps.

Provision for international students

The school is 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 there were thirteen international students attending the school.

The school has comprehensive systems and processes to support the wellbeing and learning of international students. Students’ cultures are valued through the inclusive learning environments. Induction and orientation for students and parents is well considered to promote their positive involvement in school activities. There are effective systems for identifying and responding to individual learning needs, including regular access to English language learning programmes.

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 Tauranga Primary School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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:

  • leadership that is focused on school-wide improvement
  • a culture that effectively supports student learning and wellbeing
  • learning environments that support high levels of student engagement.

Next steps

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

  • refining school-wide target setting and reporting to include all at risk learners
  • strengthening school-wide practices that show the impact of initiatives and programmes on accelerating student achievement
  • extending practices that enable students to monitor and make decisions about their learning pathways.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

10 September 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type


School roll


Gender composition

Male 54% Female 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 17%
NZ European/Pākehā 57%
South East Asian 5%
Other European 4%
Other 10%
Asian 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

10 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2015
Education Review September 2012
Education Review May 2009