Te Hihi School - 19/12/2016

1 Context

Te Hihi School, in rural Papakura, is a full primary school for children Years 1 to 8. A newly elected board began its term in June 2016. Teachers have participated in professional learning that is supporting them to develop more flexible approaches to teaching and learning. It is also helping them to extend their use of assessment information to raise children's achievement. The board continues to work with the Ministry of Education (MoE) in preparation for the construction of new classrooms designed to provide flexible teaching and learning spaces. The school is a member of the Rosehill Community of Learning along with 11 other local primary, intermediate and secondary schools.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to prepare them to be global citizens, connect them with real life learning, and acknowledge the role they have as kaitiaki/stewards of the land. The values of character, kindness and courtesy have been central to the school for many years. In addition, the SHINE values of self-management, helping, inquiring, networking and excelling are promoted. The acronym SHINE links to the Māori name for the area of Te Hihi a te Ra, the ray of the sun.

The school’s achievement information shows that approximately 80 percent of children achieve the National Standards for mathematics and reading, and approximately 76 percent achieve the writing National Standards. The majority of Māori and Pacific children achieve the National Standards. It is evident that the school has been successfully and consistently improving the achievement of these groups across all National Standards, over the past four years.

Good processes are followed to support teachers to make reliable judgements in relation to the National Standards. Teachers contribute to assessment moderation in their teaching teams and across the staff. Moderation is linked to the ongoing evaluation and discussion about the progress of children at risk of not achieving. Senior leaders have a key role in moderation and closely check data for any anomalies and follow these up. Senior leaders are well informed and have good knowledge of children's learning strengths, needs and interests.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has:

  • restructured classrooms into two-year hubs and developed flexible teaching approaches that support children to manage aspects of their learning and to learn collaboratively with their peers
  • reviewed and updated learning progressions in reading, writing and mathematics
  • been involved in the Maori Achievement Collaborative (MAC) and Te Toi Tipu, and used these initiatives to guide their review of the school's curriculum
  • become an Enviro school to promote children's understanding of their role as kaitiaki of the land
  • introduced an inquiry learning programme based on the International Baccalaureate
  • contracted with the MoE Whānau Engagement Strategy.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school responds well to children who need to make accelerated progress. Children benefit from programmes and practices that are responsive to their learning strengths, needs and interests. The board, principal and teachers demonstrate a strong commitment to prioritising and responding to Māori and other children who are at risk of not achieving the National Standards. There are clear links between the school's achievement goals and the deliberate actions taken to accelerate the progress of these children. School documentation contains good evidence of children's accelerated progress.

Teachers share a collective responsibility for promoting children's learning. They regularly meet to develop and plan strategies to support children to achieve. Teachers are quick to identify the learning needs of the children in their class and implement appropriate strategies and programmes. Senior leaders and teachers closely monitor the progress of every individual child, as well as broader overall progress towards achieving the school's charter goals. Trustees are well informed about the progress towards charter goals.

Children are respected as capable learners who can make decisions about their learning. They demonstrate confidence as learners and engage well in class programmes. Teachers support children's progress by giving them useful feedback about what they are doing well and how they could improve their learning. Children have learnt to use learning progressions and exemplars well and particularly in Years 3 to 8, many are able to identify their achievement and next learning steps. These practices are helping children to have greater ownership of their own learning and progress, and contributing to motivating them to achieve.

Teachers regularly monitor and evaluate children’s progress. They use a variety of appropriate assessments to guide their overall judgements about each child's achievement. Inclusive and responsive approaches support children with special or additional learning needs. Individualised programmes are developed for children at risk of not achieving National Standards. These are tailored for each child's specific learning needs. The board funds teacher aides to support these learners within their class programmes.

Teachers provide parents with useful information about children's learning. Parents have regular opportunities to discuss their children's achievement and to work with teachers to share strategies and support learning progress. Senior leaders and teachers develop positive working relationships with the parents of learners who require additional and targeted support.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school uses good processes and practices to promote equity and excellence in children's outcomes. The school charter, learning programmes and teacher appraisals have a common focus on improving practices to ensure all children are successful learners.

The school's inclusive and welcoming culture supports children to develop a sense of self efficacy as learners. Children are valued as unique individuals and are encouraged to participate in and contribute making decisions about their learning. Children have regular opportunities to reflect on their learning and school activities. Teachers and leaders respond well to children's perspectives and ideas.

The school’s curriculum aligns well to the values, principles and key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Literacy and mathematics are emphasised as the foundation skills for learning. Because the curriculum is designed to integrate different learning areas, children have many opportunities to apply these skills as they undertake their individual and group inquiries. Children are benefitting from a meaningful, global and localised curriculum that is growing their understanding of the community and the environment.

Children's cultures are increasingly well acknowledged and included in class programmes. This supports children to have a greater sense of identity in their class and school. Senior leaders and teachers are integrating bicultural practices in curriculum programmes and into school life. The school charter includes strategies to guide support for building Māori children's sense of identity in the school and promoting their educational success. All children have opportunities to gain knowledge of Māori culture and language. Children confidently participate in and lead kapa haka which is a valued part of the school's curriculum and protocols.

The principal and senior leaders focus on teaching and curriculum developments to enhance learning outcomes for children. To achieve this they actively promote professional collaboration. The momentum for school development that they lead is well paced. Teachers' professional learning and collaboration is resulting in more cohesive understandings of effective teaching and assessment practices across the school. Increasingly, consistent teaching approaches are supporting children's learning confidence as they transition through the school, particularly in Years 3 to 8.

Trustees' professional approach to their stewardship responsibilities and sound processes ensure the board meets its statutory obligations. Trustees work well as a team and in sub-committees. They are keenly interested in the reports they receive about student achievement. This year the charter targets have been more explicitly focused on accelerating specific learners' progress. The board has recently begun receiving information that tracks children's accelerated progress over the past four years. This longitudinal data should help the board to more specifically plan for and evaluate this progress.

There are high levels of community engagement in school life and events. The principal and trustees seek, value and include the school community's perspectives in planning and decision-making. The board has identified extending partnerships with whānau to support their children's learning and progress, as a priority.

Internal evaluation is used well by the principal, trustees and teachers to sustain improvements and guide school development. Progress towards the charter's strategic aims and annual goals is regularly monitored and evaluated. Teachers are well supported to reflect on how effectively their teaching practices impact on children's learning. Trustees have identified that it would be useful for them to evaluate their stewardship of the school.

5 Going forward

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

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

School leaders and trustees support staff to engage all children in a curriculum that builds on their capabilities and accelerates the progress of those who are at risk of not achieving.

Parents' participation in and contribution to the life of the school is very evident. Enhancing partnerships with parents and whānau is seen by the school as an important way of improving children's learning and promoting their wellbeing. School leaders are well aware that partnership with parents is particularly important for the children who need to make accelerated progress in relation to the National Standards.

Senior leaders recognise that other relevant priorities for development include:

  • continuing to reduce the disparity between Māori and Pacific children's achievement and that of other groups of children
  • increasingly specific and targeted classroom planning for individual children's accelerated progress over each year
  • developing careers education for Year 7 and 8 children as required by the NZC
  • continuing to refine teacher appraisal processes.

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

6 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 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • provision for international students. 

Provision for international students

The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) was introduced on July 1st 2016. The school is aware of the need to update its policies and procedures to meet the new code requirements by December 2016. Te Hihi School belongs to Schools International Education Business Association (SIEBA) that is working on this alignment on behalf of its member schools.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the board, senior leaders and teachers continue to use internal evaluation to guide the development of strategies to improve outcomes for Māori and other children whose learning needs acceleration.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 December 2016

About the school 


Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 50%, Girls 50%

Ethnic composition



Cook Island Māori





other Asian

other European












Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

19 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

March 2010

November 2006