The Terrace School (Waipukurau) - 11/01/2018

School Context

The Terrace School, located in Waipukurau, caters for students in Years 1 to 8. There are 213 on the roll and 80% identify as Maori. The school has three bilingual classes, Te Aranga, that are taught in te reo Māori for at least 50% of the time.

In 2017, the school participated in the Ministry of Education initiative Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) and Accelerated Learning in Literacy (ALL). The PB4L initiative will continue in 2018. The school has applied to participate in ALL in 2018.

The school’s vision is ‘Knowledge is Strength’. The new ‘WAKA’ values of wānanga, awareness, kaitiakitanga and achievement, were developed with support from the Resource Teacher Māori and will be implemented in 2018.

The charter goals are aligned to the National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) and government priorities.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school wide information about outcomes for students in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is part of the Ruahine Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

Overall achievement levels have remained variable over the past three years. School reported data shows that just over half of students are achieving success in reading, writing and mathematics. School leaders report that more accurate assessment of writing led to lower achievement being reported at the end of 2016.

1.2  How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Leaders and teachers are not yet responding effectively to students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Mid-year 2017 assessment data was incomplete and does not show a clear picture of sufficient progress being made for these students.

The writing intervention (ALL) focused on a group of students in Years 4 to 8. The outcome was positive, with many of these students making accelerated progress in 2017.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Principles of te ao Māori and culturally responsive practise are well embedded. Children have regular opportunities to learn te reo Māori and participate in kapa haka and pōwhiri. Māori students’ culture language and identity are affirmed.

The WAKA values will provide a platform for ongoing curriculum development.

Collaboration is beginning to develop among teachers. This is promoted through the school’s involvement in PB4L. Some useful professional learning and development is being implemented to build teacher capability and raise student achievement in writing and reading.

Regular communication with whānau is integral to the bilingual unit. Students participate and learn in a kaupapa Māori setting.

Some useful processes have been developed to support students who require additional learning support to engage in learning. Their progress is regularly monitored by teachers and support staff.

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

The school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence of student outcomes are not sufficiently developed. Urgent improvement is needed in leadership and stewardship to bring about the required improvements in student learning and wellbeing. This should include developing:

  • school wide systems and processes to identify, track, monitor and report students’ progress and achievement

  • annual targets for students’ achievement, that are focused on those students whose learning and achievement needs acceleration

  • assessment practices that enable teachers to make robust and dependable judgements about student learning

  • a collaborative approach to implementing the curriculum to ensure a shared understanding of teaching expectations

  • a performance management process that effectively supports teachers’ professional growth and development including the use of teaching as inquiry.

The board and principal should develop a strategic plan clearly focused on raising student achievement. A more coherent approach to raising achievement should be developed through aligning the school curriculum and processes to improvement targets.

Developing a robust governance policy framework that clearly informs school operation, is required. This should include regular policy and procedure review.

School wide processes to undertake evidence-based internal evaluation are not in place. Knowledge of what works and what needs to change is required to support improvements in school operation and student outcomes.

2 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.

At the time of the review ERO’s evaluation identified many policies and procedures were not in place to support school operations.

Appraisal audit

Developing a robust appraisal system that meets the education council requirements and supports teachers’ professional growth and development is a key priority for action.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to assessment information and ongoing programme of self review, health and safety and personnel management.

The board should take urgent action to ensure the school is meeting its legislative requirements by having suitable policies and procedures.

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

  • maintain an on-going programme of self-review in relation to policies, plans and programmes, including evaluation of good quality assessment information on student progress and achievement[National Administration Guideline 2]

  • provide a safe physical and emotional environment for students

  • comply in full with any legislation currently in force or that may be developed to ensure the safety of students and employees [National Administration Guideline 5]

  • develop and implement personnel and industrial policies, within policy and procedural frameworks set by the Government from time to time, which promote high levels of staff performance, use educational resources effectively and recognise the needs of students

  • be a good employer as defined in the State Sector Act 1988 and comply with the conditions contained in employment contracts applying to teaching and non-teaching staff.

[National Administration Guideline 3]

3 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • culturally responsive practices

  • the outcome of recent professional development in writing

  • processes to support students requiring additional learning support.

Next steps

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

  • establishing assessment processes, to enable trustees, leaders and teachers to reliably know about the needs, achievement and progress of all students

  • professional leadership, to build the capability of teachers to effectively respond to the learning needs of students

  • governance, to ensure the school is meeting its legislative requirements and that the school’s vision for children is achieved.

Recommendations to other agencies

ERO recommends that the Secretary for Education consider intervention under Part 7A of the Education Act 1989 in order to bring about improvement in:

  • professional leadership including developing teaching and learning

  • governance including internal evaluation, strategic direction, personnel management and health and safety.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO intends to carry out a process of ongoing external evaluation to support development over the course of one-to-two years.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

11 January 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 - 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 54%, Male 46%

Ethnic composition

Māori 80%
Pākehā 20%

Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Number of students in Level 2 MME


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

11 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review December 2014
Education Review November 2011
Education Review December 2007