Tisbury School - 24/05/2012

Education Review Report: Arotake Paetawhiti Tisbury School

ERO’s review process takes into account each school’s context, performance and self-review capacity. ERO differentiates between schools that are having difficulties, schools that are performing well, and schools that are high performing and have well-developed self review. Arotake Paetawhiti reviews are designed to support schools that are experiencing difficulties. These reviews involve ERO providing ongoing evaluation over the course of one-to-two years as the school works to improve its overall performance and build its self-review capability.

This Arotake Paetawhiti report answers key questions about the school’s background and the context for the review. The report also provides an evaluation of how effectively the school is addressing areas identified for review and development and the quality of its practices and systems for sustaining performance and ongoing improvement.

1.Background and Context

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

Tisbury School is a semi-rural school. The school has a stable roll and indications are that it will increase. A new principal was appointed in 2011 and several teachers were appointed at the start of 2012. The principal provides strong leadership for teachers and the board. She has introduced a leadership model that encourages teachers to use their strengths to develop their management skills.

The ERO review in 2010 identified a number of issues that impacted on student learning and achievement. The report showed student achievement was low in reading, writing and numeracy. There has been considerable progress made by most students over the past year. The 2011 target for raising levels of student achievement in reading was met by most students. Teachers have been involved in significant professional development during 2011 to improve their teaching practices. The principal and external providers have led much of this. ERO observed effective teaching in numeracy and writing.

Students benefit from respectful and positive relationships. Teachers work well together to provide a caring and supportive learning environment. The principal has improved the communication processes between the board, teachers, parents and the school community.

2. Review and Development

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

Priorities identified for review and development

  • curriculum development
  • teaching practice
  • assessment practices
  • self review

Curriculum development. The principal and teachers are making good progress in developing the school’s curriculum. They have started to review the English curriculum to realign it with the New Zealand Curriculum. Student and parent input is used to help make decisions about the school’s values and vision and what each will look like in the daily life of the school. Teachers have developed a shared understanding of how the curriculum will be delivered. They have developed a comprehensive long-term plan that guides teacher planning and includes all curriculum areas.

Students benefit from the support and extension programmes being implemented to meet their specific learning needs. These programmes focus on improving and extending students’ knowledge and skills in literacy and numeracy.

Learning processes. Teachers are highly motivated to develop their knowledge and understanding of best practices in teaching and learning. They have made significant progress in developing effective strategies for identifying the purpose of the learning and the next learning steps for students. Students can talk about their own learning and what they need to do to improve. Teachers are beginning to reflect on their teaching practice and evaluate how effectively programmes are meeting the needs and interests of all students.

Assessment practices. The principal and teachers have made significant progress in developing useful ways for gathering, recording, analysing, using and reporting student achievement. They

  • use a range of assessment methods during the year
  • ensure assessment is purposeful and useful
  • make good use of assessment information to plan for students' further learning.

Teachers closely monitor student progress in literacy and mathematics over the year. The principal regularly provides useful information about students’ levels of achievement to the board.

Future priorities for development and review

The principal and teachers need to continue to:

  • review and further develop the school’s curriculum over time.
  • embed current effective teaching practices across the school.
  • reflect on their practice to improve achievement levels for students further.

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 in a much better position to sustain and continue to improve its performance. It has made considerable progress in developing policies, procedures and programmes to guide the direction of the school and to bring about better outcomes and improved achievement for students.

Priorities identified for review and development

The 2010 ERO report identified self review as an area for review and development.


Self review practices. The board and principal have developed a useful review schedule. The principal has provided curriculum reports to the board that include meaningful review information about student achievement. The review of school-wide operations identifies and addresses areas for development. The next step for the board is to develop written guidelines and framework for how the reviews will be implemented and used.

Future priority for development and review

The board and principal need to increase the rigour of the school’s internal-review process.

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
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

The board has addressed all areas of non-compliance identified in the 2010 ERO report.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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


Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

24 May 2012

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 56 Girls 45

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā










Review team on site

March 2012

Date of this report

24 May 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review