Te Horo School (Otaki) - 10/06/2014

1 Context

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

Te Horo School (Otaki) is a country school located five kilometres south of Ōtaki township on the Kāpiti Coast. The school has a growing roll. An enrolment scheme between the school and the Ministry of Education is now in place. At the time of this review, there were 209 students, with 10% identify as Māori.

Active, strong school and parent partnerships and links with the wider community support positive learning outcomes for students. Many parents contribute to the life of the school, which is a focal part of the local community. Students have many opportunities to develop skills and build on their learning in a spacious, well-resourced and well-maintained school environment. Planned property developments for 2014 include a new classroom and the construction of a multi-purpose learning space.

Many staff have long association with the school. Most, including the principal, have been in their current roles since before ERO's 2011 review. Trustees are similarly experienced.

Te Horo School’s mission statement ‘our children, our community, our future’ is strongly evident and enacted in school learning and activities.

2 Learning

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

Senior leaders, teachers and trustees are making effective use of achievement information to support students’ engagement, progress and achievement. Teachers have worked collaboratively to develop shared understanding about moderation and consistency in making overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards. This includes involvement in school wide and local school cluster moderation processes. These opportunities are ongoing.

The school reports that the majority of students are achieving at and above National Standard expectations in reading, writing, and mathematics. School leaders are aware that some Māori students achieve at lower levels than their peers. Staff are working to address this.

Student achievement information is well used by the principal and teachers to identify trends and patterns, set targets to raise overall levels and to identify students who require additional support with their learning. Teachers use student achievement information to inform their planning and adapt the programme to meet the needs of all students.

Recent developments to processes for identifying and responding to students with specific learning needs have the potential to further strengthen school wide practices. An inclusive environment and suitable programmes effectively support provision for these students. A next step to extend this provision is to evaluate the impact of teaching interventions and strategies on students' learning outcomes.

Students are confident and highly engaged in learning. They are well informed about what they are learning, their next learning steps and how they can achieve them. A positive tone is evident.

Reports to parents clearly explain students’ progress and achievement over time and next steps for learning in relation to National Standards. Teachers regularly share information with parents through a range of approaches such as student-led conferences, goal setting, portfolios and the use of information technologies.

3 Curriculum

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

Te Horo School’s curriculum purposefully promotes and supports student learning, engagement, progress, and achievement.

The curriculum has been collaboratively developed, and is underpinned by the school's teaching and learning beliefs. There is clear alignment to The New Zealand Curriculum key competencies and priorities for teaching and learning. It is well-designed to reflect the local context and effectively guides class programmes. The teacher handbook provides clear expectations and direction.

Teachers use a range of high quality teaching strategies to effectively promote student learning and engagement. This includes well-paced lessons, co-operative learning opportunities, relevant learning experiences, the use of questioning to promote thinking and high expectations for all learners. Teachers know their students well.

Students benefit from the broad curriculum through involvement in a wide range of sporting, cultural, academic, and social experiences. Information and communication technologies are well used as a tool to enhance learning.

These purposeful learning environments and positive relationships successfully promote student learning. Provision for Year 7 and 8 students is well considered. Students are encouraged to take leadership roles and opportunities to do this are appropriately supported by teachers. Student views and contributions to decision making are highly valued.

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

Leaders and teachers are committed to raising Māori student achievement and building positive relationships with families and whānau. Increasing and extending links with the school's Māori community is a clear focus. Opportunities for Māori students to have school wide leadership roles are evident.

School leaders acknowledge that continuing to promote and develop staff awareness and knowledge of success for Māori as Māori is a next step. The principal has accessed Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success to guide the school’s direction and response for Māori learners. This includes developing further ways of engaging with Māori whānau, and increasing the use of te reo Māori school wide.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. The board consults widely with parents and its community to inform strategic direction, school practice and operations. Students contribute to decision making.

Experienced trustees understand their governance role and responsibilities. They receive information about student achievement, curriculum and programmes that assist them in making decisions around additional staffing, resources and interventions.

Self-review processes are established at board and school levels. Review is well-considered and used to inform actions and make changes to improve outcomes for students. Extending this to help clearly identify the impact and effectiveness of strategies, interventions and programmes is an agreed next step.

Ongoing developments to appraisal processes have further strengthened teachers’ use of reflection to critically inquire into and grow their practice.

The principal is providing effective leadership and clear direction for the school. Teachers’ strengths are well used to contribute to school operations and enhance curriculum experiences for students.

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 three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

10 June 2014

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 51%, Boys 49%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups




Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

10 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

May 2011

April 2009

January 2008