Tuahiwi School - 30/11/2011


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

Tuahiwi School provides students and their parent’s choice in bilingual Māori immersion education. Eighty percent of the 122 students identify as Māori. The parents want their children to be strong in their identity as citizens of Aotearoa/New Zealand and value New Zealand’s bicultural heritage.

The school offers 6 classrooms for learning te reo and tikanga Māori at Levels 2 and 3 immersion. The 4 Whitireia classrooms provide a more intensive reo and tikanga Māori programme with kaupapa learning programmes planned from the Marautanga, the Māori Curriculum documents.

Students benefit from meaningful learning experiences from within the local community, the marae and beyond, for example, attending regional Māori education celebrations.

Teachers use the New Zealand Curriculum and Marautanga in their planning to create opportunities for incorporating learning of tikanga Māori for all students. For example, dance and drama is planned in the school kapa haka programme.

The school’s vision for biculturalism and strategic development is closely aligned with local iwi aims for building whānau capability in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Whānau-centred values are visible and modelled by the board, teachers, parents and students.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students learn and play in a safe, positive and inclusive environment. This is evident in the respectful happy relationships they enjoy with their teachers and each other.

The board, principal and staff have a strong focus on increasing student achievement levels in literacy and numeracy across the school. Achievement information shows that as students move through the school most achieve at expected levels in relation to the National Standards. The learning needs of students who are identified with lower levels of achievement in reading, writing and numeracy are targeted and well supported.

Teachers are developing a good understanding of how the National Standards operate and apply this to their teaching, assessment and reporting practices. Students are assessed against the National Standards in reading, writing and numeracy. In 2010 the school reported to parents on student achievement in numeracy and has a process for reporting other mathematic strands in 2011.

Students are guided in their daily interactions by clear expectations for social and learning behaviour. Teachers build student respect and confidence, minimising off-task behaviour and focus on learning.

Teachers apply effective reading practices that promote students’ learning. They support each other to implement the new approaches learnt as a whole school to place students at the centre of the learning. The benefit of this is evident in the use of the new strategies for teaching reading in all classrooms. As a result, students receive more focused teaching and learning, for individual, group and whole-class lessons.

Teachers are continually seeking and adapting a variety of literacy learning resources and activities to meet the range of learning needs in their classrooms. This includes focused support for individuals and for small groups of students from Resource Teachers of Māori, Literacy, Learning and Behaviour and kaiarahi reo.

Areas for review and development

ERO agrees with school leaders and teachers that:

  • students could be more involved in managing their own learning
  • programme evaluation could be improved through the use of the teaching as inquiry model
  • the progress of targeted students is regularly monitored and reported to the board.

3. Curriculum

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

Students benefit from a well-developed, localised curriculum that reflects the strong bicultural values and vision of the school community. Students learning includes how tikanga Māori can positively enhance their lives in and beyond the school. The curriculum principles are visible in the school and used in planning and review processes.

Teachers effectively include the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and aspects of the Marautanga in the learning programmes. Students learn English and mathematics from the NZC. Teachers of Whitireia classes use the Marautanga to deliver other curriculum areas.

Teachers make meaningful links in learning for students, for example by using local and national Māori history contexts. As a result, students develop a strong sense of identity, belonging, bicultural awareness and competence. Where possible tikanga Māori is practiced through a variety of experiences, such as whole-school hui, marae involvement and ako Māori principles.

In Puaka, (general education) classes, teachers and students use te reo naturally within the daily programme. This is a result of teachers continually seeking ways to extend their confidence and competence in teaching Level 3 Māori language immersion programmes.

In Whitireia classes, students benefit from a concerted focus on promoting leadership and confidence in using te reo and tikanga Māori. Teachers continually seek to create entertaining and engaging activities that support second language learning.

Area for review and development

ERO has identified and the principal agrees that;

  • assessment of te reo Māori and specialised programmes for Māori as first language students should be further developed and implemented.

4. Sustainable Performance

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

The board, principal and teachers are very aware of what is needed to progress the school.

Trustees have very good processes in place for self review and strategic development. The board is currently consulting with the community to form the school’s vision for students’ learning. They are committed to maintaining the bicultural character of the school and reflect the multicultural diversity of the local community.

The board is continually seeking to extend its understanding of governance and self review. Trustees have improved board processes to ensure a greater emphasis on student’s learning and achievement.

Areas for review and development

It is timely for the board and staff to review the school’s vision for building staff capability and strengthening the bilingual learning programme. This could be achieved through:

  • teachers sharing new approaches and activities for engaging children in their learning of te reo and tikanga Māori
  • support teachers being used to increase the consistency of learning programmes

Whitireia teachers increasing the use of the Marautanga for reading, writing and mathematics.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. 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 students' 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.

ERO did not identify any areas of concern.

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

30 November 2011


About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 53%

Boys 47%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā





Review team on site

September 2011

Date of this report

30 November 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Accountability Review

April 2008

September 2004

December 2001