Tawa Intermediate - 15/05/2017


Tawa Intermediate, caters for students from Years 7 to 8 in the Wellington suburb of Tawa. The school serves a diverse community and this is reflected in the multicultural roll. Of the 494 students, 15% are Māori and 14% identify as Pacific.

There is a clear focus on providing an inclusive environment for students. Strong support from families and the community continue to be a feature of the school.

The school has responded well to the next steps identified in the May 2014 ERO report. Since the previous review, the school has continued to focus on improving achievement in writing and mathematics, student wellbeing and strengthening restorative practices. Leaders and teachers have participated in ongoing professional learning and development (PLD) to support these priorities.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school is well placed to improve and sustain equitable outcomes for all learners. Most students are achieving well and the school is deliberate in its response to those children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The school is implementing planned strategies to continue to raise the achievement of Māori and Pacific learners. Enhancing learning partnerships with parents and whānau supports this.

The school environment has a positive tone. Relationships are warm and respectful.  Students experience a broad curriculum and have opportunities to learn in authentic contexts. Trustees, leaders and teachers are highly reflective. There is a collective responsibility for and strong focus on student learning and wellbeing.

Leaders have plans in place to review its curriculum. This includes reflecting local and cultural learning contexts and involving the school community.

To continue to improve outcomes for students, the board, leaders and teachers should:

  • strengthen appraisal
  • build a shared culture of evidence-based, systematic inquiry and internal evaluation.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school has further strengthened processes to promote progress for students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

National Standards achievement in reading, writing and mathematics shows a positive trajectory of improvement from 2013. Significant progress in writing is evident, especially for Pākehā and Pacific learners. Māori achievement has continued to improve across all learning areas.

Reported data for 2016, showed most students achieve well in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Overall achievement in reading is above the Ministry of Education goal of 85%. Māori and Pacific students’ achievement is continuing to rise overall to match other groups. Girls’ achievement exceeds boys in literacy and mathematics.

Recent improvement targets focused on raising achievement in writing, especially for Māori and Pacific boys. Comprehensive, targeted strategies contributed to increased rates of achievement. Of the targeted group, most made accelerated or expected progress. High expectations and individualised approaches support improved student progress and achievement and promote equity and excellence for most individuals.

Robust systems and processes are in place to support teachers’ assessment of students’ achievement. Strengthened moderation practices, especially in assessment of writing and mathematics, contributes to increased dependability and consistency of achievement information.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Curriculum design ensures that every child has the opportunity to learn, progress and achieve. It is increasingly student-centred and provides choices in how students learn. Their views are regularly sought to promote wellbeing and inform future learning contexts. Students set meaningful learning goals with teachers. Improved planning personalises teachers’ response to these goals.

Students requiring additional support are well identified using a range of assessment tools and measures. This informs planning and targeted support to improve learner outcomes. The special education needs coordinator (SENCO) supports a deliberate approach to transitioning students into appropriate programmes, and accesses external support for them. Progress with students’ learning and achievement is evident.

There is a supportive environment that is conducive to student learning and wellbeing. Relationships between students and adults are positive and respectful. Parents, whānau and the community are welcomed and involved in school activities and events. Engagement of Māori and Pacific families has increased.

The school has developed a strategy for achieving equity and excellence for Māori learners. The development of this is well supported by a close working partnership with Ngāti Toa iwi representatives. 

Aspirations are sought from Pacific families and appropriately used to inform ongoing curriculum planning and the development of a strategy to improve Pacific student achievement.

Teachers are well supported to build their professional capability and collective capacity. PLD is aligned to school priorities and focused on developing effectively consistent teaching practices. Improved inquiry processes and collaborative learning opportunities has resulted in improved achievement, especially in writing.

Trustees, leaders and teachers work collaboratively and are highly reflective. They are focused on students’ learning, wellbeing, achievement and progress. Trustees are well informed about school operation and student achievement, including progress towards school improvement targets. Information is used to support appropriate decision-making about resourcing and additional programmes and initiatives.

Leaders have developed a clear process to guide internal evaluation to support ongoing development and school improvement. Extending internal evaluation capacity across the school is a next step.

Leadership is effective in pursuing the school’s vision, goals and achievement targets. There is a deliberate focus on promoting leadership of staff to support continuity and coherence across learning programmes and enhance sustainability.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school has identified some key practices requiring further development to increase effectiveness in promoting equity and excellence and sustaining good practice. ERO’s evaluation affirms these ongoing improvements. These include:

  • undergoing planned curriculum review
  • continuing to enhance learning partnerships with parents and whānau
  • continuing to strengthen appraisal, including the quality of evidence against the Practising Teacher Criteria
  • building a shared understanding and practices of evidence-based systematic inquiry and internal evaluation.

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
  • 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.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • strengthen appraisal processes and practices
  • build a shared culture of evidence-based systematic inquiry and internal evaluation.

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

Pat Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

15 May 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate School (Years 7 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                       15%
Pākehā                                    53%
Pacific                                      14%
Asian                                        10%
Other ethnic groups            8%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February/March 2017

Date of this report

15 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, May 2014
Education Review, March 2011
Education Review, October 2007