Te Kura o Tahaaroa - 08/04/2013

1 Context

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

Te Kura o Tahaaroa serves the isolated community of Tahaaroa which is situated near the southern arm of the Kawhia harbour. Most of the families are employed in the iron sands industry. The kura caters for students from Years 1 to 8, all of whom whakapapa to Ngāti Mahuta ki Tahaaroa. Since the last ERO review in 2009 staffing has remained the same. A new board chairperson was appointed in August 2012.

There is a positive tone and culture within the kura that nurtures and supports students self confidence. E tū rangatira ana ngā tamariki. Teachers have engaged in information and communication technologies (ICT) and literacy professional development to strengthen their teaching and learning practices.

The kura is committed to fostering, utilising, caring for and understanding the unique local environment and history of Ngāti Mahuta. Parents, kaumātua and kuia actively participate in the school in a variety of ways to support children’s learning. The kura has a positive reporting history.

2 Learning

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

In 2012 school student achievement information stated that in reading, writing and mathematics a significant majority of students were achieving at and above the National Standards for their age groups. Students are experiencing success in their learning. They are highly engaged in meaningful learning opportunities, and challenges within the classroom programmes are leading to increased student ownership of their learning.

The school is using student achievement information effectively to make positive changes to learners’ engagement progress and achievement. Teachers use this information to identify priority learners. They modify classroom learning programmes and plan innovative special interventions with external support. Student’s progress is monitored in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions. The school data shows that these students have made good progress.

The school has already identified and ERO agrees that it is now appropriate to review and rationalise the assessment tools being used in mathematics and literacy. The principal needs to improve the written reporting of student achievement information to the board. Student achievement information is used by the board and principal to inform targets, resourcing and strategic planning decisions.

Parents receive written reports twice a year informing them of their child’s progress and achievement against the National Standards. Students are aware of their progress and next steps for learning. There are also a range of formal and informal opportunities for parents to be informed.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. There are clear expectations and effective guidelines for teachers in assessment, planning, monitoring and reporting. Innovative features of the curriculum include:

  • excellent use of information and communication technologies
  • an integrated approach to curriculum design and delivery of essential learning areas
  • a wide range of education outside the classroom activities that use both local and distance places and events
  • effective use of te hunga pakeke to guide the teaching and learning of Tahaaroatanga.

Mathematics programmes could be further enhanced by ensuring an appropriate coverage of all mathematics strands such as assessment of measurement, statistics, geometry and algebra.

There are positive and respectful learning interactions and relationships among teachers and students. The inclusion and use of the Tātaiako competencies in the appraisal process should further support teacher, learner interactions. These competencies link well with the school’s curriculum, and are based and developed upon embracing the vision ‘Tu Pakari Ki Toku Ao Hurihuri’ (I stand strong and confident in my ever-changing world).

Effective teaching practices include cooperative group work, tuakana- teina, the promotion of thinking skills and opportunities for students to share and reflect on their learning. Students are aware of their progress and next steps for learning, which takes place in meaningful contexts.

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

There is a comprehensive range of documents outlining the schools approach to the holistic education of students as Ngāti Mahuta ki te Tai Hauauru, ki Tahaaroa. This includes the teaching of tribal history, supporting local and community activities and interests and a commitment to the teaching of te reo Maōri. The development of an implementation plan pertaining to Tahaaroatanga would lead to a more sequential delivery of essential knowledge skills and understandings in this area. While good plans are in place for the teaching of te reo Māori these now need to be implemented more consistently.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Te Kura o Tahaaroa is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The board and management processes for self review are robust and effective. There is a strong focus on teaching and learning to improve student engagement and achievement.

The board has undertaken succession planning and are committed to ongoing training to increase their knowledge of the governance role. Trustees are focused on ensuring all children are provided with quality educational opportunities to raise student achievement.

The principal’s leadership demonstrates a culturally responsive and collaborative approach. She is an effective and capable educational leader who is committed to continual improvement and development of teachers, students, parents and whānau of the Tahaaroa community.

The school is well supported by whānau me mahi tahi te kura, te whānau me Ngāti Mahuta.

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.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

8 April 2013

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 18

Boys 12

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

8 April 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Review Type

May 2009

April 2006