Te Kauwhata Primary School - 07/11/2018

School Context

Te Kauwhata Primary School, located in the rural township of Te Kauwhata, caters for children in Years 1 to 6. The current roll is 274. Approximately 26% are Māori, many of whom whakapapa to Tainui and Ngāpuhi.

The school aspires to develop students as confident, connected, actively involved life-long learners who communicate well, have aspirations, are respectful and engaged. They aim to do this through learning together – kia ngātahi te ako.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

At the time of the review the experienced principal, who is leader of the local Kāhui Ako, was in her last weeks at the school before moving to another position.

The school is part of the Tō Tātou Haerenga – Our Journey Community of Learning|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?

The school is not achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. While the majority of students are achieving at or above expectations, boys are significantly underachieving in relation to girls, particularly in reading and writing. Māori students are underachieving in relation to their Pākehā peers in all areas.

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

School data, collated for ERO, shows that of the students at risk of not achieving in reading, writing and mathematics at the beginning of 2018, approximately 40% had made accelerated progress by mid-year. Māori students made less accelerated progress than their non-Māori peers. Boys made less accelerated progress than girls in reading and mathematics.

The progress of children with special needs is tracked and monitored by the school’s special needs coordinator in collaboration with classroom teachers and parents. They use classroom tracking systems and individual education plans to monitor the progress of these students. Special needs children are progressing satisfactorily in relation to their individual goals.

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?

Leadership collaboratively develops and pursues the school’s vision, goals and targets for improving outcomes for students. They have developed a strategic approach to responding to the needs of at-risk learners which is clearly outlined in the charter and strategic plans. Teachers feel supported in their roles and trusted as professionals. Leaders ensure that systems and processes in the school such as teacher appraisal and professional development align with the strategic approach.

Students participate in a caring and inclusive environment that facilitates learning. They benefit from strong, learning-centred relationships with their teachers. The ongoing promotion of school values, peer mediation and newly introduced positive behaviour for learning systems all support a welcoming and positive school culture. Students with special needs are well supported through a range of evidence-based interventions. Local businesses provide resources to help support students pastoral needs.

The school and community collaborate to enrich opportunities for students. Teachers, parents, whānau and community engage in joint activities to improve learning. Parents and whānau contribute constructively to decision making in a variety of ways including the ongoing review of the local curriculum. Key members of the Māori community are actively engaged in the school to support teachers and students in te ao Māori.

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

Leaders and teachers now need to improve several aspects of teaching practice, necessary to improve learning outcomes for students.

Strengthen the consistency and quality of intentional teaching to:

  • improve teachers’ discussion, documentation and enactment of teaching strategies that respond to individual and group next steps in learning

  • further develop systems and processes that facilitate student management of their own learning.

Strengthen the collation, analysis and use of student achievement data to:

  • review and document expectations for making overall teacher judgements about student learning

  • refine systems for tracking and monitoring acceleration of at-risk students at the classroom and syndicate level

  • review charter targets to ensure a focus on the acceleration of all students who are at risk of under achieving.

Continue to strengthen culturally responsive practice to:

  • build the quality of Māori language provision and assessment

  • strengthen the teaching of local iwi history and places of significance.

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:

  • leadership that is strategic and collaborative

  • school culture which promotes and facilitates learning

  • school, whānau and community partnerships which enrich the curriculum for students.

Next steps

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

  • building teacher capability to address the specific learning needs of individuals and groups

  • the collation and use of assessment information to respond more effectively to students at-risk of not achieving

  • continuing to strengthen culturally responsive practice to promote Māori students succeeding as Māori and greater understanding of Aotearoa/New Zealand as a bicultural society

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

7 November 2018

About the school


Te Kauwhata

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing Primary (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 46% Boys 54%

Ethnic composition

Māori 26%
Pākehā 65%
Pacific 2%
Indian 2%
Other 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

7 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review January 2015
Education Review November 2011
Education Review December 2008