Tiaho Primary School - 30/04/2015


Tiaho Primary School is well placed to continue to sustain ongoing improvements in teaching and student progress. The board, senior leaders and teachers are working collaboratively and alongside their community. They continue to strengthen and embed improvements in leadership, assessment practice and culturally responsive practice.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Tiaho Primary School is located in Wairoa. It caters for Years 1 to 6 students. It has a roll of 129 and 84% of students are Māori.

The October 2012 ERO report identified the following as significant areas for improvement: student progress and achievement; assessment practices; community engagement and culturally responsive practices.

Following the 2012 ERO report, school leaders developed a plan for review and development, in consultation with ERO. This has provided a framework to guide improvements in key areas.

External support has been sought to build internal capability so that changes are sustained and enhanced.

This 2015 ERO report evaluates the progress made since 2012 and how well placed the school is to sustain continuous improvement.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development

In 2013, the board of trustees developed an action plan to support improvements in student achievement and address issues identified in the previous ERO report.

Issues included improving:

  • assessment practices
  • partnership with community, family and whānau
  • school culture, contexts and practices to respond to the language, identity and culture of Māori students.


The school has actively addressed the areas for development. The principal has developed systems and structures that support ongoing change. Significant improvements are evident.

Assessment practice The collection, moderation and analysis of assessment information are considerably improved.

Overall teacher judgements about student achievement against National Standards are much more reliable in reading, writing and mathematics. The school is better placed to reflect on whether progress is being made over time to raise student achievement.

Data is collated regularly to monitor and report progress towards schoolwide targets. Many students enrolling at Year 1 need support in literacy and mathematics. They make considerable progress in the first two years of school. Longitudinal data shows that the average number of students meeting national expectations by age six years has risen significantly since the previous ERO review.

Many students who are at risk of poor outcomes make good progress towards National Standards. Teachers are beginning to inquire into how effective their teaching practice is for students. They collect and share evidence about the progress of these targeted students. They discuss teaching strategies to support accelerated progress in syndicate meetings.

School culture, contexts and practices to respond the language, identity and culture of Māori students Teachers’ awareness of the cultural framework within which they work has increased. They have extended the range of meaningful contexts through which Māori students learn. There is improved visibility and explicit cultural references within classroom environments and teaching practice. Te reo Māori use is increasing within classrooms.

Ako is growing as a visible school value. Students are gaining confidence to share and use their culture, language and identity as Māori within their learning. Teachers are increasingly confident as learners themselves.

Senior leaders have improved knowledge about current best school practices and have a good base for future planning. External support and classroom observations, alongside professional learning and development have impacted significantly on the quality of teaching.

Partnership with community, family and whānauInitiatives to strengthen engagement with community, families and whānau have resulted in:

  • increased knowledge about the community
  • increased representation of Māori whānau in governance
  • parents' ideas being sought and responded to
  • a greater flexibility on the part of the school to scheduling events at times and in locations that will suit families.

Improved communication, through extending ways of communication has resulted in:

  • increasing involvement of whānau in school events and activities
  • contact with a wider whānau base.

The introduction of student-led conferences has increased parent and whānau involvement.

Key next steps for review and development are to:

  • further strengthen teachers’ evaluation and teaching as inquiry practice
  • extend and embed the new initiatives around Māori culture, language and identity
  • use Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, linked to appraisal, to more explicitly support teacher development
  • further develop the curriculum guidelines so that they reflect current expectation and practice for cultural responsiveness
  • continue to develop learning partnerships with parents and whānau that are two-way.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

The school is well placed to sustain and continue to improve its performance. Significant progress is evident in strengthened professional leadership, sound governance and growth in self-review practices.

The senior leadership team have participated in external leadership training which has had a significant impact and resulted in:

  • more explicit leading of the learning for teachers.
  • modelling of learning conversations that help build teaching practice
  • setting high expectations for themselves and teachers to reflect, review and improve practice.

Effective communication strategies support staff collaboration and ownership of decision making.

Senior leaders have a significantly improved understanding about the quality of teaching practice schoolwide and the impacts of what they are doing for students and whānau.

Self-review practices are developing well. There is a clear focus on robust monitoring of student progress, school systems and initiatives. Evaluation is developing to be more based on evidence about impacts for students. Staff provide regular feedback within review to support further developments.

Key next steps for review and development include setting more progressive schoolwide targets to help create a greater sense of urgency in raising student achievement. Recent changes to school staffing have the potential to impact on current developments. Senior leaders recognise the need to continue to embed developments and carefully monitor how these impact on student achievement and progress.

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.


Tiaho Primary School is well placed to continue to sustain ongoing improvements in teaching and student progress. The board, senior leaders and teachers are working collaboratively and alongside their community. They continue to strengthen and embed improvements in leadership, assessment practice and culturally responsive practice.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

30 April 2015

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 51%,

Female 49%

Ethnic composition



Other ethnic groups




Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

30 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2012

July 2009

September 2006