Turaki School - 25/10/2018

School Context

Turaki School, situated in Taumarunui, has a roll of 170 Years 1 to 8 students. This is a decrease from the 235 children enrolled at the time of the November 2015 ERO report. The majority of students (59%) identify as Māori. The school acknowledges the iwi of Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Tūwharetoa, who have mana whenua where the school is located.

Within the school vision is the belief that every student can succeed to a high level. The ‘AROHA’ values of ‘attitude, respect, ownership, honesty and achievement’ are promoted in support of the vision.

In 2018 schoolwide achievement targets have been set in reading, writing and mathematics. These include all children below curriculum expectation and needing acceleration in learning.

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

  • achievement in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum

  • progress in reading, writing and mathematics

  • levels of engagement in learning.

A new principal and senior leadership team have recently replaced a long-serving principal and deputy principal.

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?

A clear picture of overall student achievement outcomes, relative to curriculum expectation over time, is not evident. Lack of a shared understanding for making overall achievement decisions and variable use of assessment data, mean the school cannot be assured of the dependability of the judgements. The newleadership team is supporting teachers to strengthen their understanding of assessment information and develop guidelines to enable more appropriate judgements about achievement and progress to be made.

A range of assessment tools is used by teachers and leaders to identify levels of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Reference to specific assessments indicates that a small majority of students, including Māori, achieve at curriculum expectation in reading. Achievement in writing and mathematics is lower, with about half of the students meeting expectation.

School-collected data indicates Māori, as a group, achieve at a lower level than non-Māori, especially in writing. Boys are over represented amongst those needing to make accelerated progress in reading and writing.

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

Processes are being developed to enable teachers and leaders to better determine how effectively students’ progress is being accelerated. Strategies are being implemented to support greater progress for these targeted learners.

Specific measures have been identified to show acceleration. Target students are the basis of individual teacher inquiries. Teachers are able to describe the progress individual children have made. They increasingly reflect on the effectiveness of programmes to accelerate progress.

Interim 2018 data indicates children’s progress is more effectively accelerated in mathematics than in reading and writing.

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?

The board is strongly focused on improving student wellbeing and achievement. Trustees question and seek information to support them in pursuing the school’s targets and goals. They receive a range of data to assist them in knowing what is going well, what is not and why. Good collaboration between the board and senior leadership has established a clear understanding of respective roles. The recently reviewed strategic goals and 2018 annual plan establish a clear direction for improvement.

Collective responsibility for improving children’s outcomes is evident. The principal has a strategic approach to building capability across the school. The collective capacity of the new senior leadership team continues to strengthen. Senior leaders are well supported to guide and mentor other teachers.

The recently appointed principal effectively uses inquiry and ongoing reflection to determine priorities for improving outcomes for children. The relational and strategic approach taken is increasing the levels of engagement of staff and community in promoting learning and improvement.

A supportive environment conducive to children’s wellbeing and learning is developing. A renewed focus on AROHA values is leading to greater shared understanding of expected practices and increased consistency in implementing them. A positive schoolwide tone more supportive of learning is further promoted by increased opportunities for children to be heard and take on leadership roles.

Children and whānau are increasingly involved as partners in learning and in determining school direction. Implementation of deliberate strategies is resulting in the establishment of an environment that is inclusive and promotes children’s confidence in their language and culture. Community resources and expertise are valued. Extended opportunities in Māori performing arts recognise the cultural knowledge of children and whānau. The acknowledgement of te ao Māori in everyday school practices and learning, and building of purposeful connections with whānau, effectively promote the importance of children’s identity to learning success.

A sensitive and inclusive approach supports those children with the most complex needs. Children’s learning priorities, interests and strengths are well-known. Goals are determined in association with parents, whānau, teachers, teacher aides and external agencies. Individual learning plans are purposeful and appropriate. Students are well supported to access learning in a caring learning environment.

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

The school has identified assessment practices should be improved to ensure the dependability and appropriate use of data to identify and report children’s progress relative to expected curriculum levels. This process should include:

  • building teacher understanding of the use of appropriate tools to show achievement and progress
  • documenting guidelines, including for moderation and monitoring, to ensure consistent and appropriate overall curriculum level judgements by teachers
  • identifying how children’s progress and achievement in literacy and mathematics will be shared with parents, whānau and trustees.

Better use of assessment information should enable the school to build a more comprehensive picture of the quality of learning overall, and also for groups of students, including Māori. This should support better reporting to the board, more effective targeting of resources and an improved understanding of how effectively teaching contributes to excellent and equitable outcomes for learners.

As identified by leaders and teachers, it is a priority to develop a schoolwide, documented curriculum delivery plan, underpinned by The New Zealand Curriculum and the school’s identified core values. This should include:

  • expectations and guidelines for teaching, learning and assessment, and for curriculum innovations underway and planned
  • embedding of learning from teacher professional development
  • planning for ensuring coherence as children progress through the school
  • using whānau voice to further promote Māori culture, language and identity within a local context
  • identifying high quality practices linked to the Standards for the Teaching Profession.

These actions should support consistent schoolwide understanding and implementation of good teaching practices to improve outcomes for learners.

In junior classes, a purposeful play-based learning programme that should promote children’s learning, progress and wellbeing has yet to be effectively implemented. Clear teaching expectations and learning outcomes should be identified to support ongoing inquiry into the impact of this initiative.

A process for teacher appraisal has been developed and is in the early stages of implementation. Appropriate components include evidence-based consideration of the impact of teacher practice on children’s outcomes and personalised teacher goals. The process should be strengthened by ensuring documentation is focused on the Standards for the Teaching Profession and includes an annual summary document. Embedding the newly developed system for appraisal should support improved teacher capability.

Teachers and leaders are reflective and focused on improvement. They should deepen their understanding of internal evaluation to assist them to identify what is working well in the school’s curriculum, where further developments are necessary, and how shifts in practice are impacting on outcomes for children.

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:

  • the collaborative and relational focus of the principal, that is increasing the involvement of parents and whānau

  • the direction setting and monitoring by the board of trustees that promotes children’s wellbeing and achievement

  • an inclusive approach that involves all learners in a range of learning opportunities

  • promoting te ao Māori that endorses the importance of children’s identity to success in learning.

Next steps

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

  • improving outcomes for children by raising levels of achievement overall

  • build a more comprehensive picture of the quality of learning as a whole, and to support targeted planning to accelerate children’s learning [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]using dependable assessment information to

  • consistent schoolwide understanding and implementation of good teaching practices to support a curriculum based on valued learner outcomes

  • internal evaluation that clearly identifies what is working well for children’s learning and where improvements are needed.

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 and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

25 October 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Year 1 - 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 56%, Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori 59%
Pākehā 38%
Other ethnic groups 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

25 October 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2015
Education Review September 2012
Education Review July 2009