Te Huruhi School - 26/09/2018

School Context

Te Huruhi School on Waiheke Island caters for students in Years 1 to 6. It is located next to Waiheke High School in a semi-rural setting. Nineteen percent of the 377 students identify as Māori. Children learn in remodelled classrooms that allow flexible learning spaces.

Ngā Purapura Akoranga, the school’s bilingual unit, provides opportunities for students from all year levels to learn through bilingual learning programmes. Since the last ERO evaluation there have been changes to kaiako and support staff. Assessment in the unit is in English.

The school’s vision, “At Te Huruhi we are confident, connected and creative learners”, sets expectations for all. The school values include Caring - Manaakitanga, Cooperation - Mahitahi, Courtesy - Manawanui, Courage -Maia, Commitment – Mana. These underpin the schoolwide approach to learning. The school’s strategic goals focus on students:

  • experiencing rich personalised learning
  • developing a sense of identity that supports wellbeing and achievement
  • understanding their place in the world and local community
  • recognising and valuing te reo, tikanga Māori and the history of Aotearoa.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, and progress toward targets

  • programmes and interventions designed to support additional learning needs, including English as a second language

  • student wellbeing and attendance

  • innovative learning programmes such as ‘Garden to Table’, and the use of digital devices to enhance learning

  • ways the school promotes biculturalism and upholds the Treaty of Waitangi.

The board and leaders also monitor the impact of the current poor state of the buildings and any potential health and safety risks. The board of trustees and Ministry of Education (MoE) have been working on progressing the rebuild of the school since 2013. The MoE has assured the board and community that the rebuild will commence in the latter part of 2018.

Te Huruhi School is a member of the Waiheke Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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?

Te Huruhi School is making very good progress towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for students. The school’s achievement information shows that most children are achieving at or above expected New Zealand Curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. This level of achievement has been consistent over recent years.

School data shows that the achievement of Māori students in writing and mathematics has improved in recent years. In reading, most Māori students achieve at expected levels. School leaders have identified a goal to increase the numbers of Māori students achieving above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Leaders set clear targets that focus on successful practices that promote excellence for these groups of students.

Leaders and teachers have also identified some boys who need to make accelerated progress in writing. Effective strategic planning, tracking and monitoring of these students’ progress continues to be a priority for staff.

Students achieve very well in relation to other school valued outcomes. Students:

  • have a strong sense of their identity, culture and language
  • demonstrate positive, caring and inclusive interactions
  • use the school’s learning progressions to support their learning
  • use oral te reo Māori oral language and are familiar with tikanga.

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

The school is responding well to Māori and other students whose learning and achievement needs accelerating. Systems and processes for identifying and responding to the needs of at-risk Māori learners and other students are well implemented. These include differentiated teaching programmes and personalised assessment processes that respond to children’s needs. Leaders and teachers monitor children’s progress well.

The leadership team places a priority on responding to the learning of all children who require additional support. Appropriate interventions for these students are overseen by school leaders. Data shows that many of these students make good progress.

Teachers use personalised approaches well to support children’s learning and behaviour. They develop well-considered action plans or individual education plans. Parents and caregivers who spoke to ERO appreciate the school’s holistic approach to supporting their children. They affirmed the school’s strengthening of partnerships with parents. School leaders could now consider ways to further clarify shared understanding of processes and use of students’ learning plans.

Leaders and teachers regularly share information about individual students’ progress and achievement. Teaching teams collaborate to carefully track and monitor these students over time. Professional learning opportunities for teachers and teacher aides help them to refine and adapt programmes to meet the needs of children whose learning and achievement needs accelerating.

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?

Leaders are improvement focused. A culture of reflection and good internal evaluation practices support the achievement of equity and excellence. Teachers and leaders are open to new learning and continuous improvement. They inquire into the effectiveness of their practices. Innovations in teaching and learning foster student engagement and improved achievement. Internal and external expertise is valued and well used to improve teacher practices and student outcomes.

Children are engaged in their learning. The development of a schoolwide ‘language of learning’, and a responsive curriculum based around schoolwide concepts support children’s learning. The curriculum includes a focus on caring for the environment and sustainability.

The school curriculum places a significant emphasis on integrating Māori concepts into programmes. A focus on building confidence and skills in te reo and tikanga Māori across the school has had a positive impact on Māori children and others.

Since the 2015 ERO evaluation, the school has continued to promote positive outcomes for tamariki in Ngā Purapura Akoranga. Recent successful staffing appointments and teaching stability have led to increased confidence in teaching and learning practices.

The school’s learning progressions in reading, writing and science support children well in knowing their achievement, progress and next steps for learning. Teachers have used a similar model to develop further learning progressions in mathematics and Te Reo Māori and Tikanga.

Trustees focus on improving student outcomes. They prioritise target students and outcomes for Māori students. Trustees have a shared understanding of their governance roles and responsibilities.

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

Leaders agree that, to support ongoing improvement in the school, they should continue to:

  • implement and embed the school learning progressions to support assessment across the curriculum
  • extend teaching and learning practices that promote student directed learning
  • refine the analysis of data to better identify long term trends and patterns
  • consult whānau around the vision and philosophy for bilingualism in Ngā Purapura Akoranga.

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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a collective sense of responsibility among trustees, leaders and teachers that actively promotes student engagement and success

  • the “Te Huruhi way” with its focus on improvement, collaboration and innovative teaching practices

  • the use of good frameworks for personalised learning assessment

  • a strong commitment to bicultural practices schoolwide, and successful learning outcomes for tamariki in Ngā Purapura Akoranga

  • a strong culture of collaborative teacher reflection.

Next steps

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

  • extending teacher practices to better support student directed learning

  • refining the analysis of student achievement data

  • continuing to refine processes and systems to support sustainable practices in Ngā Purapura Akoranga.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

26 September 2018

About the school


Surfdale, Waiheke Island

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 19%

Pākehā 72%

other ethnic groups 9%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

26 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015
Education Review January 2011
Education Review October 2007