Te Awa School - 28/09/2018

School Context

Te Awa School is located on the outskirts of Napier and serves a wide geographical community. The roll continues to increase and Māori children make up 65% of the roll.

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school are that all children experience and contribute to a caring and supportive school culture and have many opportunities to collaborate and learn together in a family-like environment. This vision is underpinned by the ‘KEEN Te Awa Kid, being: Knowledge/ako; Enthusiastic/whakawhanaungatanga; Empathetic/aroha; and Nurtured/manaakitanga’.

School goals are to promote Māori succeeding as Māori, effective teaching and positive schoolwide behaviour. Current school targets are to accelerate the progress of Year 6 and Pacific students in mathematics, improve wellbeing data, and increase attendance of all students at the start of the school week.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • behaviour and engagement
  • attendance.

Some families and trustees have long associations with the school. There have been a number of changes to staff and the leadership team since the 2015 August ERO report. The school has a long serving principal.

Staff have participated in professional learning and development (PLD) in mathematics and culturally responsive practice. Several programmes and initiatives are in place to promote positive behaviour and student wellbeing, including a board funded position of a school-based liaison officer who works with children and their families.

The school and its leaders are active members of the Matariki 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?

Most students achieve at curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. These achievement levels have been sustained over time. In 2017, there was increased achievement for Māori students in writing. The school recognises boys achieve less well than girls in reading and mathematics.

There is evidence of high, improved attendance and engagement.

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

While many students, including Māori and Pacific, achieve well, the school recognises the need to continue to develop shared understanding and systems to identify and report accelerated progress for those students at risk in their learning.

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?

Staff and trustees demonstrate high levels of commitment to the learning success and wellbeing of all students and their whānau. Whanaungatanga and manaakitanga are effectively fostered throughout the school. Diversity is valued and inclusive practices are highly evident at all levels of the school. These approaches support families and children to develop positive, learning-centred relationships and a strong sense of belonging. Families are recognised as key partners in learning and they are welcomed and well supported to engage in school life.

Children participate enthusiastically and show enjoyment in learning. Their positive engagement is fostered through a range of deliberate strategies and caring staff. Children are well supported to collaborate and learn from each other through ako and tuakana teina approaches. Teachers provide opportunities for students to follow their interests and make meaningful connections in their learning.

Teachers work collaboratively to share information and strategies to enhance learning for children. They know their students and families well and are responsive to individual needs. The learning and progress of students identified for targeted action is carefully planned for and well monitored.

Teachers collectively build their professional practice through PLD and well informed discussion. They actively explore different approaches to teaching and learning to increase their effectiveness and enrich the curriculum. A newly revised appraisal process provides an increased focus on accelerating student achievement and supports teachers to reflect on their practice.

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

Strategies are in place to continue to build teachers’ cultural responsiveness and promote success for Māori learners. Next steps are to clearly articulate shared understanding of desired outcomes and whānau aspirations, and to collaboratively plan for development. The plan should clarify leadership and whānau contributions, and help to build on successful strategies for sustaining improvement.

Continuing to clearly document curriculum priorities and emphases, in consultation with families, should assist in defining expectations for responsive, localised teaching and assessment practice.

Senior leaders are well informed, highly reflective and provide well-considered direction for improvement. Ensuring leadership and stewardship roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and distributed should help to build the school’s capability to sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for children. This should be supported by a collaborative, systematic approach to internal evaluation to determine the impact of actions taken and to inform ongoing decision-making.

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.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should ensure:

  • policies, procedures and processes are well known and developed to provide good guidance for robust practice in meeting all current and relevant legislative requirements.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a caring culture and practices that support positive, learning-centred relationships and a strong sense of belonging for children and their families

  • well-considered strategies that foster children’s positive participation and enjoyment in learning

  • high expectations for learner success that promotes engagement and learning

  • collaborative sharing of information that supports teachers to respond appropriately to students’ needs.

Next steps

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

  • refining the use of achievement information to better show acceleration for all learners at risk

  • continuing to develop curriculum priorities and documentation to define expectations for responsive teaching and learning

  • ensuring effective practices and improvements are sustained through well-defined and distributed leadership and stewardship roles, and a collaborative, systematic approach to internal evaluation.

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

28 September 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 52% Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 65%
Pākehā 24%
Pacific 8%
Other ethnic groups 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

28 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2015
Education Review August 2012
Education Review August 2009