Te Puke High School - 28/02/2019

School Context

Te Puke High School is a co-educational Year 9 to 13 secondary school located in the Western Bay of Plenty. The school has a multi-cultural roll of 931 that includes 334 Māori, 54 Pacific and a wide range of students from other ethnic groups. Since the previous ERO review in 2015 the principal has continued in his role and there have been some changes to the senior leadership team. There have been some minor changes to the composition of the board of trustees.

The school’s guiding principles (vision, mission and core values) have been reviewed since the 2015 ERO evaluation. The school’s vision is anga whakamua, inspiring students and staff to realise their potential through being future focused life-long learners who have a strong sense of identity. In addition, the school’s mission te manawanui is to engage and challenge each and every learner to fulfil the core values of Respect, Responsibility, Relationships, Resilience and Realising their Potential.

The school campus includes a combination of new innovative, collaborative learning environments and more traditional learning spaces. The junior school curriculum continues to evolve, providing junior students with an integrated programme. In these environments, the programme of learning is intended to be personalised, socially constructed, differentiated, student initiated and connected. Key strategic goals of the school are to contribute to the success of the Te Puke Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako, and to achieve excellence, equity and belonging. The school has a dedicated special education unit Te Ringa Awhina, to support high and very high needs students. Since 2015, professional learning for teachers and leaders has focused on culturally responsive and relational pedagogy, and collaborative practice.

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

  • achievement and progress in National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)

  • achievement in Year 9 and 10 in reading, writing and mathematics

  • student engagement.

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 working towards achieving equitable outcomes for all its students.

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) 2015-17 shows the following trends:

  • Most students achieve success at NCEA Level 1 and 2, and a majority of students achieved Level 3.

  • Although there is a significant upward trend, less than half of Year 13 students achieve University Entrance (UE).

  • Pākehā significantly outperform Māori at Level 1, 3 and UE but in 2017 Māori achieved at the same level as Pākehā at Level 2.

  • The achievement of Pacific students has steadily improved at Level 1 to outperform both Māori and Pākehā in 2017. However, Pacific students achieve significantly less well than other groups in the school at Level 2, 3 and UE.

  • Boys’ achievement at Level 1 has improved and in 2017 they achieved at similar rates to girls. Girls achieved slightly better than boys at Level 2 and significantly better at Level 3 and UE.

  • Achievement information gathered over a longer period of time shows steady improvements in achievement for all students at all levels of NCEA and in UE. During this time merit and excellence endorsements across NCEA have largely remained consistent.

  • A greater proportion of Pākehā students leave school with NCEA Level 2 than their Māori peers.

The school has started to collect achievement data for students in Year 9 and 10 in reading, writing and mathematics. Data for 2017-18 shows that a significant proportion of students enter the school at Year 9 achieving below expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and aspects of mathematics. Senior leaders have identified the need to make more effective use of this data as evidence of improved academic learning outcomes for students, for reporting to trustees.

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

The school is effectively accelerating progress for some Māori and other students who need this.

Achievement information shows significant and effective accelerated progress for Māori and other students who entered Year 9 in 2014 achieving at below expected levels aspects of literacy and mathematics. This data shows that more than half of these students made accelerated progress to achieve NCEA Level 2 by the end of 2018.

The school is working towards gathering and making more extensive use of data to show progress and achievement of all students during Years 9 and 10.

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?

The school’s approach to leadership for learning is responsive and providing an ongoing focus on improved outcomes for students. Leaders convey a coherent and shared vision to improve outcomes for all students. Leadership is distributive, inclusive and enabling increasing collaboration among teachers and leaders. Strategic appointments and delegations support school direction in building a culture of reflection and learning for teachers. Leaders ensure professional learning is focused on building teacher capability and aligned with school curriculum priorities and direction. Leadership decisions are guided by current research about best practice in innovative collaborative learning environments. School structures, responsibilities and timetables are contributing to student learning and engagement. Leadership is improving engagement and outcomes for priority learners and addressing inequity in the school.

The school and community are engaged in reciprocal learner-centred relationships. Connections and partnerships with local iwi, regional and national organisations and tertiary institutions are well established. The school has played a key role in establishing networks with local schools including the Kāhui Ako. The school curriculum provides many opportunities for students to engage in authentic Māori learning contexts in the wider community. The school has established a strengths-based approach to recognising diverse groups and enabling participation and engagement for these learners. Specific collaborative interventions and partnerships are in place to improve levels of engagement and achievement for Māori and Pacific learners and other groups of at-risk learners.

The school’s curriculum is responsive to students’ need for learning and wellbeing. Learning programmes enable curriculum coverage in an integrated environment. Teachers know which students require additional support and specific interventions are in place to support these learners. Learning environments are inclusive and student diversity is valued. Authentic contexts and themes for learning are well supported by the use of technology as a tool to enhance students’ ideas and outcomes. There are many opportunities for students to undertake leadership roles both within the learning programme and across the wider school. The curriculum is designed to support individual pathways to enable students to access further education and training.

Effective and responsive support is provided for students with high needs. A culture of care and inclusion for students is actively promoted for these learners. Te Ringa Awhina Special Education Unit provides a purpose-built high-quality learning environment and programme for students with high and complex needs. These students receive individualised care and support across the curriculum. Te Ringa Awhina enables these students to realise their potential and, where possible, participate alongside their peers in school-wide programmes.

Programmes and initiatives are supporting culturally competent teaching and learning. The school has prioritised the inclusion of te reo, tikanga and te ao Māori across the curriculum. A professional learning focus about culturally responsive pedagogy is impacting positively on levels of engagement for at-risk Māori and Pacific learners. School-wide kapahaka and staff commitment and understanding of tikanga and te reo are contributing to an environment where te reo and tikanga are part of the school culture. There is a strategic and planned approach to identifying and implementing initiatives to support Māori learners whose learning needs to be accelerated. An example of this is Te Roopu Taurahere initiative which is providing mentoring and support for identified at-risk Māori learners.

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

Leaders have identified the need to ensure the school’s local curriculum provides a foundation for:

  • the implementation of progressions to support teaching and learning at Year 9 and 10

  • teachers and students to be increasingly aware of their current and next learning steps

  • the development of systems to track, monitor and report about the progress of groups of students who are yet to realise their potential

  • continuing to promote collaborative, reflective practice among teachers.

The school has also identified a need to maintain an ongoing programme of evidence-informed internal evaluation in relation to the effectiveness of the new school curriculum design and approach to teaching and learning. This is needed to maintain a responsive approach to curriculum design and review.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international learners is thorough.

At the time of this review there were 54 international students attending the school, including 0 exchange students.

Te Puke High School provides high-quality support and care for international students. These students are well supported by the school’s pastoral systems and empowered to fully participate in a wide range of sporting and cultural opportunities and events. A well-considered and inclusive approach to catering for these learners’ academic, wellbeing and language needs is contributing to high levels of confidence and success at school. The diverse cultures of international students are acknowledged and celebrated.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership for learning that is responsive and focused on building teacher capability

  • relationships that are responsive to student and community needs

  • a curriculum that promotes integrated, collaborative teaching and learning

  • programmes and initiatives to support culturally responsive teaching and learning.

Next steps

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

  • assessment, including progressions to support teaching, learning, reporting and review, especially at Year 9 and 10

  • evidence-based internal review to inform curriculum effectiveness and development.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

28 February 2019

About the school


Te Puke

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 55% Boys 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 36%
Pākehā 43%
Pacific 6%
Asian 1%
Other 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

28 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2015
Education Review May 2012
Education Review May 2009