Tuahiwi School - 07/02/2019

School Context

Tuahiwi School, situated in North Canterbury, provides education and care for learners (ākonga) in Years 1 to 8. The school has a current roll of 118 ākonga. There has been significant roll growth since the beginning of 2018. A new principal was appointed at the end of 2017.

Ākonga have the opportunity to learn in either English or Māori medium classrooms. Ākonga in the three Puaka classes follow the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), and ākonga in the three Whitireia classes follow Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMOA). Recently, ākonga in Whitireia classes have had their class instruction level raised to te reo Māori Level 1 immersion. The school maintains close links with the local Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Tuahiwi Marae.

The school’s mission is for all ākonga (learners), kaimahi (staff) and whānau (families) to live and uphold the school vision, Aroha ki te Tangata, te Tuahiwi ki te whai ao. The vision promotes the belief that self and mutual respect lay the foundation for future success. Valued outcomes are for ākonga to be able to make a difference, love learning, be open to possibilities and to be empowered to control their futures (in both te ao Māori and the Pākehā world), in Māori and non-Māori speaking contexts.

The means for achieving the school’s vision and valued outcomes are the school values (Ngā Uara): Manaakitanga (kindness, caring and respect), Kaitiakitanga (environmental preservation), Whanaungatanga (caring relationships), Rangatiratanga (leadership), Ūkaipōtanga (identity and belonging), and Puawaitanga (personal potential).

The school’s priorities are to raise achievement in writing (tuhituhi) for target groups and to develop a culturally and linguistically responsive curriculum that is more closely connected to the needs and interests of ākonga and their whānau.

The school has made good progress in areas identified for improvement in the 2015 ERO report, including:

  • the development of personalised learning pathways for ākonga

  • strengthened teacher capability to deliver the marautanga (te reo Māori curriculum) and te reo Māori programmes

  • the development of a reflective, collaborative school culture for continuous improvement.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for ākonga in the following areas:

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in the NZC

  • achievement in pānui (reading), tuhituhi (writing), kōrero (speaking) and pāngarau (mathematics) in TMOA

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets (writing) and classroom targets (reading, writing and mathematics)

  • engagement and wellbeing for success.

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 effectively supporting most target groups of ākonga to achieve the school’s valued equity and excellence outcomes.

School achievement information in relation to NZC expectations, for 2015 to 2017, shows that:

  • in reading and writing, the majority of ākonga in Puaka classes achieved at or above curriculum expectations

  • in mathematics, most ākonga in Puaka classes achieved at or above curriculum expectations

  • there is a disparity between boys’ and girls’ achievement in reading and writing over time, with girls achieving higher

  • there is a disparity between Māori and non-Māori ākonga in reading and writing, with non-Māori achieving higher

  • in 2017, almost all ākonga in Whitireia classes achieved at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

School achievement information for ākonga learning in language immersion classes (Whitireia) is measured against the TMOA. In the last year, processes have been implemented to better demonstrate learning progress for these learners. These processes refer to time in immersion (TIM) and time at school measures (TAS). For ākonga in Whitireia classrooms the school’s data shows that:

  • in 2016, almost all ākonga achieved at or above curriculum expectations in pānui and most achieved at or above curriculum expectations in tuhituhi and kōrero

  • in 2017, most ākonga achieved or exceeded curriculum expectations in pānui, tuhituhi, pāngarau and kōrero (TIM), less than half achieved in kōrero and tuhituhi, and the majority achieved in pānui (TAS).

School information for three months from mid-year 2018 shows that for target groups in writing (English medium) most ākonga are achieving at or above NZC expectations.

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

The school is making some progress in accelerating the progress of those Māori and other students who require it, with strengthened systems in place to respond to these students’ needs.

End of year 2017 school data shows little acceleration progress, but a positive improvement in overall achievement, for ākonga who required acceleration in tuhithi/writing in Whitireia classes.

School achievement information for 2018 shows that from June to September, for target groups in writing (English medium), accelerated progress was made, and all Year 1-2 ākonga, the majority of Year 3-5 ākonga and most Year 6-8 ākonga were achieving at or above NZC curriculum expectations.

Ākonga with additional learning needs are identified, monitored and supported to make progress.

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?

School leaders have collaboratively developed, refined and pursued the school’s vision, goals and valued outcomes for equity and excellence. Leadership-inspired relational trust and collaboration, within the school and with parents and the wider professional community, have led to significant and positive changes for children. Leaders have focused on innovation for excellence and the skills and dispositions to equip learners to be successful.

The board and school leaders have strengthened and reinvigorated school community connections. Effective, learning-centred and wellbeing/hauora relationships with families/whānau have been enhanced through planned communication. Coherent school systems, structures and processes have been built and embedded to support conversations about what success looks like for each learner. Enhanced digital technology capability, surveys, and gatherings/hui are supporting teachers, ākonga and parents to be actively involved in supporting learning success.

Ākonga learn, achieve and progress using a new and developing curriculum which embraces both the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. Their learning is personalised and provides increasing opportunities to make choices and determine learning pathways. The school manages this effectively through its Ara Ako initiative which captures ākonga goals, progress and achievement and ongoing communications between ākonga, teachers and whānau.

Mātauranga Māori values underpin the school curriculum and ākonga learning. These values guide the way staff, whānau and tamariki work together to support the holistic wellbeing and progress of each ākonga in all areas of the local curriculum. Ākonga participation in, and success at, Ngā Manu Kōrero and kapa haka competitions and festivals provide authentic te ao Māori contexts for success.

The school is growing and developing a culture of internal evaluation, focusing on reflection and knowledge building to enhance school and teacher capability. Key school leaders are experienced bilingual educators and fluent speakers of te reo Māori. Assessment and moderation processes have been strengthened in both English and Māori medium learning environments, with the support of external expertise. Distributed leadership opportunities, linked explicitly to valued ākonga outcomes and targeted professional learning, are driving changes for improvement schoolwide.

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

School leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that the school needs to continue:

  • the strengthening of spoken te reo Māori as a valued priority
  • formalising processes for teaching as inquiry to further build teacher capability
  • developing pathways of excellence and success for all ākonga, by embedding thinking and learning dispositions.

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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership-inspired innovations for equity and excellence

  • a collaborative vision and strengthened connections with whānau/families to support valued outcomes for ākonga

  • an emerging curriculum, underpinned by Matauranga Māori values, which personalises the learning and prioritises the wellbeing of all ākonga

  • a school culture of professional reflection and capability building, aligned to school priorities.

Next steps

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

  • continuing to grow ākonga te reo Māori speaking capabilities

  • formalising teaching as inquiry processes to inform teaching practice

  • embedding teaching and learning programmes which include thinking and learning dispositions.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

7 February 2019

About the school


North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% ; Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 75%

Pākehā 17%

Pacific 5%

Other ethnicities 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes

3 (full immersion)

Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)


Number of students in Level 1 MME


Number of students in Level 3 MME


Review team on site

October- November 2018

Date of this report

7 February 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review May 2015

Education Review November 2011

Education Review April 2008

Education Review September 2004