Tautoro School - 26/11/2012

1 Context

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

Tēnā koutou te kura o Tautoro, arā te poari, ngā mātua, te tumuaki, ngā kaiako me ngā tamariki. He mihi nei ki a koutou e pou kaha ana kia whai ai te mātauranga mō ō koutou tamariki.

Tautoro School is a small rural school located outside of Kaikohe within the hapū boundaries of Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Moerewa and Ngāti Hine. The school continues to be an important part of the community, which has long-standing and inter-generational connections with the school.

The school caters for students from Years 1 to 8 in four mainstream classes and a Māori immersion unit. Whānau continue to be highly engaged in the school, with significant numbers attending whānau days, sporting and cultural events. The Ministry of Education has recently certified the established Puna, (early childhood playgroup) which is a part of the inclusive school community.

Since the 2009 ERO review, the school’s roll has increased and classrooms have been refurbished. The attractive learning environments are well resourced and heighten students’ keen interest in learning. Special features of the school’s setting include the carved waharoa and pou, painted murals, a newly planted orchard and school gardens.

The school is very well led by a capable principal and a committed board of trustees. The principal, teachers and trustees have high expectations that the school will perform well. Significant staff professional development has been targeted to improve outcomes for students.

2 Learning

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

Students are progressing and achieving well. They make good progress, particularly in literacy. Teachers use appropriate frameworks and assessment tools to assess students’ progress and achievement. Effective assessment procedures are used to provide the board and teachers with very good quality information about students’ strengths and needs in learning.

School achievement information shows that the majority of students achieve at levels that at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Students in the immersion unit, Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori (NWRM), achieve well in pānui, tuhituhi and pāngarau. Students who are not progressing or achieving at the expected National Standard or Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori have targeted support from teachers to accelerate their progress.

Individual education programmes are regularly monitored and adapted to meet students’ identified learning needs. Teachers discuss achievement information in depth and explore ways of modifying their practices and programmes so that they best meet students’ learning needs. Increasingly, teachers are supporting students to reflect on their progress and to set goals to improve their learning.

Students benefit from an extensive range of cultural and co-curricular activities. They are well engaged in their learning and use their classroom learning environments successfully. Students refer to displayed models of learning to monitor their work and to identify the next steps needed to progress and achieve more highly.

ERO, the principal and trustees agree that the next steps for improvement in learning could focus on:

  • further encouraging students to take more ownership of their own learning
  • using plain language when reporting to parents against the National Standards or Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori
  • broadening leadership opportunities for students.

3 Curriculum

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

Students benefit from a curriculum that has a strong emphasis on literacy and mathematics. The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga provide the flexibility for the school to localise their own curriculum and build on students’ cultural knowledge and backgrounds. Students participate in learning programmes, using an inquiry approach that is connected in meaningful ways to te ao Māori. Very good planning and monitoring systems and processes ensure coverage of the curriculum.

Students are empowered to make decisions about the allocation of resources to support their learning, interests and needs. High quality artwork around the school demonstrates effective collaboration between students, teachers and community members.

Teachers are improvement-focused and work collaboratively to share the teaching practices that are most likely to raise student achievement. Senior leaders plan good quality, relevant, whole-school professional development to further develop learning relationships between teachers and students. Teacher aides and kaiawhina receive specific training to help them support student learning.

ERO affirms the school’s decision, made in response to whānau consultation, to review provision for students in the immersion unit. This review could include a decision about the level of te reo Māori required on entry, so students can engage successfully in the teaching and learning programmes.

ERO and the principal agreed that to further improve the school curriculum, teachers could:

  • increase the use of information and communication technologies in teaching and learning
  • modify current school-wide expectations for teaching practices to support the development of a profile of graduates from Tautoro School.

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

The school is highly effective in promoting education success for Māori, as Māori. Ninety-nine per cent of the students at Tautoro School identify as Māori. Students experience tikanga Māori in real and meaningful ways. They proudly participate in school pōwhiri, with all students leading karanga, whaikōrero, mōteatea, waiata and haka.

Staff, students and the community are actively involved as kaitiaki o Papatūānuku. The local kaumatua and kuia are treasured resources for the school, who share the history of the local area and retell stories and information about ngā atua Māori.

All students benefit from rich opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori. Resources that reflect te reo Ngāpuhi have been developed to support students’ learning.

The principal and staff are knowledgeable about, and observe, tikanga Māori. The principal uses te reo Māori confidently at pōwhiri and hui.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school’s positive tone, inclusive culture and high whānau engagement provide a strong foundation for sustaining and improving student learning. The principal is a highly effective professional leader with clear expectations of all staff. The board and school community are supportive of the principal and value the work of teachers and support staff. Trustees have high expectations of school performance and have made effective use of external training. The board has strategically co-opted new trustees with particular skills and knowledge to strengthen their governance role.

Trustees, the principal, staff and community work together to promote a strategic direction focused on raising student achievement. Property development decisions are focused on supporting learning for students.

School documentation reflects a sense of coherence. School management systems and operational planning and reporting procedures are closely aligned with the board’s well designed strategic plan. Carefully analysed student achievement information supports self review and the use of improvement targets. Performance management systems are rigorous, so that they support and improve teacher practice.

Staffing has remained stable over the past three years. The appointment of a new senior teacher with leadership experience, due to start in 2013, will support the principal’s intention to share and develop leadership in different ways throughout the school.

Effective self review of management is an integral part of the school's functioning. The board is strengthening self-review processes at the governance level. Greater use of self review for strategic reflection could increase the effectiveness of processes for board self review.

ERO, the principal and trustees agree that targeted training to further strengthen board self review is a next step to support the development of the school.

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 four-to-five years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

26 November 2012

About the School


Kaikohe, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 52

Boys 49

Ethnic composition





Special Features

Māori Immersion Class

Review team on site

September 2012

Date of this report

26 November 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

August 2009

July 2007

June 2006