Tiritea School - 18/06/2014


A positive school tone supports student learning. The curriculum is well implemented. High quality teaching strategies are evident. A next step is for leaders to develop a process for planned in-depth self review and document its outcomes.

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

1 Context

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

Tiritea School is located in a semi-rural setting, close to Massey University and Linton Army Camp. Students and staff show a strong sense of belonging and appreciate being part of a small school community. Twenty two of the 143 students are Māori.

Since ERO's 2011 review two additional classes have been added due to roll growth. A new multipurpose space, known as Tane Mahuta, and a library have been built. Staffing has been stable since 2013.

Teachers' professional development has been focused on written language and student inquiry learning. Information technology provisions have been reviewed and updated to support this.

Teaching as inquiry, where teachers research and reflect on their personal teaching practice, has also been introduced.

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information well. Suitable assessment tools are used to gather data at classroom level. An assessment implementation plan provides a useful framework for subsequent analysis and use.

Teachers use achievement information to:

  • identify students at risk of not achieving and those who require additional support
  • analyse gaps in student learning to identify specific teaching actions for groups and individuals
  • develop individual learning plans for those requiring support and extension
  • make moderated teacher judgements about achievement and report progress to parents
  • monitor students' progress and achievement.

Trustees receive reports based on high quality analysis of school-wide achievement data. This is used to inform self review, identify and monitor individuals and groups of identified priority learners, and track student progress over time by gender and ethnicity.

In literacy and numeracy almost all students achieve at or above the National Standards. Māori students achieve at higher levels than their peers in reading and at similar levels in writing and mathematics. The number of Māori students achieving above National Standards expectations increased substantially from 2012 to 2013.

Teachers know their students well. A positive school tone supports student learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The Tiritea School curriculum is well implemented in classrooms. A range of high quality teaching strategies are evident. Teachers establish and articulate high expectations for learning, sharing learning intentions and success criteria with students. There are many opportunities for cooperative learning. Constructive teacher feedback contributes to the next stage of students' learning. Learning programmes are relevant, authentic and interesting.

Elements of The New Zealand Curriculum are being adapted to meet the needs and interests of Tiritea students. ERO’s evaluation supports this direction to strengthen guidance to teachers and gain consistency of practice across the school. Student inquiry is already well developed.

Students participate enthusiastically in their learning and actively engage during independent work. High levels of interest and motivation are apparent. Students talk about their learning and their next steps. They support each other well in class. Positive, respectful, cooperative relationships are evident. Success is celebrated in class displays, assemblies and newsletters.

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

Māori students are highly engaged in learning. The school effectively promotes educational success for Māori as Māori.

Teachers have worked hard to raise the mana and profile of te ao Māori at this school. This has been achieved through:

  • staff and board professional development around Ka Hikitia Accelerating Success andTataiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners
  • the introduction of kapa haka
  • pōwhiri to welcome new students and their families at assemblies
  • student mihi presented in assemblies
  • staff engaging in regular face-to-face conversations with whānau
  • use of te reo Māori by teachers and students during lessons.

The board regularly engages formally with the school's Māori community. Whānau are highly involved in school programmes and activities such as camp, sports coaching and fund raising. A marae visit for students is planned for term 3 this year.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The strategic plan is strongly based on student achievement and other information arising from community consultation. The annual plan and related action statements provide a useful framework for self review. School practices are closely aligned with board policies and procedures.

Wide-ranging self review informs decision making and helps focus ongoing school improvement. Currently self review is carried out using a variety of approaches. A next step is for leaders to develop a process for carrying out planned in-depth self review. ERO considers it timely to evaluate the impact of these reviews on student achievement and formally document the outcomes.

The principal has a collaborative, collegial approach to leadership. She is active in leading professional learning and development and working alongside staff.

The principal and deputy principal work well together. All staff contribute to school leadership and decision-making. It would be useful to collate a staff handbook describing operational practice as a way to clarify expectations.

Trustees value and respond to the views of their community through surveys and newsletters. Good partnerships have been developed with teaching staff.

The principal is aware of the need to add rigour to the staff appraisal process. ERO agrees, in particular, providing feedback to teachers as an outcome of classroom observations.

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.


A positive school tone supports student learning. The curriculum is well implemented. High quality teaching strategies are evident. A next step is for leaders to develop a process for planned in-depth self review and document its outcomes.

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

18 June 2014

About the School


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 56%, Female 44%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā



Other ethnic groups





Review team on site

May 2014

Date of this report

18 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2011

May 2008

March 2005