Te Puru School - 29/06/2018

School Context

Te Puru School is located in the small coastal settlement of Te Puru, north of Thames. It provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. The school roll of 159 includes 31 Māori students and 31 students from a range of other diverse nationalities.

The school’s mission is to provide children with opportunities to be confident life-long learners, ready to take a positive place in society. It aims to provide a comprehensive, effective and challenging educational experience that equips students with the skills, knowledge and attributes to succeed in the 21stcentury. Students are encouraged to try their best, follow and use the school virtues, be part of the school whānau, focus on the future and be resilient in everything they do.

The school’s strategic aims focus on improving student achievement by:

  • increasing the number of Māori and other students achieving at or above expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics
  • raising the rates of progress for all students at risk of not achieving.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

Since the previous ERO review in 2014, there have been no changes to the leadership team and very few changes to the teachers and support staff. The majority of trustees are new to their governance roles.

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 achieving excellent outcomes for some students. However disparity for boys and Māori remains.

The school’s data from 2015-2017 shows that most students are achieving at expected levels in reading and a large majority of students in writing and mathematics. Overall reading achievement has increased over the past three years with significant improvement for Māori students. However some disparity remains for Māori in reading, writing and mathematics. Girls are achieving at higher levels than boys in literacy and mathematics. Mathematics achievement overall has decreased over the past three years.

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

The school is responding well to many Māori and other students whose learning needs acceleration.

As a result of strategic intervention, the school can show accelerated progress for many of the at-risk students, including Māori in reading and writing. By the time students leave school in Year 8, most are achieving at or above expected levels in reading.

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?

Experienced leaders are improving outcomes for students through targeted school programmes and initiatives, particularly in reading. A deliberate approach to culturally responsive practice has improved achievement for Māori students. The school is developing a middle leadership structure and internal leadership capability. Positive relationships between leaders and staff enable a collaborative approach to school development and have raised overall levels of student achievement.

Teachers plan and use deliberate strategies to enhance learning. They make clear use of learning intentions and successfully scaffold learning for students. Ongoing teacher observations inform responsive planning and teaching. Students at risk of not achieving are clearly identified and receive targeted planning support. Positive and affirming relationships and calm, settled environments are conducive to learning. Deliberate strategies have led to improved outcomes and accelerated learning for many Māori students and at-risk learners, particularly in reading.

The school’s curriculum enriches learning and engagement for students. A variety of stimulating learning opportunities and experiences create a sense of belonging to the school. Māori students are affirmed in their culture through participation in te reo and tikanga cultural practices. The local curriculum makes effective use of the unique physical environment and authentic contexts for learning.

The school has an inclusive culture for learning. Students with additional learning needs are well included in classroom programmes and the life of the school. Trustees make informed decisions about resourcing that contribute to equitable opportunities to learn. A personalised approach to planning is supported by positive partnerships with parents, families and whānau.

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

Priority should be given to:

  • developing a strategically aligned approach to accelerating progress for all students at-risk
  • strengthening annual targets to focus on all students whose learning requires acceleration
  • monitoring and reporting on rates of progress for at-risk learners over time
  • strengthening the appraisal process to focus on reflective practice to improve outcomes for at-risk learners and align to the Education Council requirements.

Leaders and teachers should continue to:

  • build teacher capability to raise overall achievement in mathematics and address equity for Māori students and boys
  • build students’ knowledge of their own learning and next steps, especially for at-risk students
  • develop consistency of targeted action across the school, including teacher planning, assessment and ongoing monitoring.

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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to personnel.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. obtain and consider information from New Zealand Police vet for core and non-core workers
    [Vulnerable Children Act 2014, regulations 5-8 of the Vulnerable Children Regulations 2015, requirements for safety checks of children’s workers].

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • develop bullying prevention and responsive policy and procedures based on Ministry of Education guidelines.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • effective relationships and a positive culture that support student learning and belonging
  • a curriculum that is responsive to students’ interests and cultural identities.

Next steps

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

  • building teacher capability to raise the achievement of identified groups of at-risk learners
  • internal evaluation to inform targeted action
  • empowering students to take ownership of and lead their own learning.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato / Bay of Plenty

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

29 June 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 53% Boys 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 19%

Pākehā 61%

Asian 4%

Indian 3%

Pacific 2%

Other 11%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review February 2015
Education Review January 2012
Education Review December 2008