Turakina School - 23/08/2019

School Context

Turakina School is located to the south of Whanganui and west of Marton. It has children in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review there were 27 children on the roll, including 13 Māori children.

The school’s mission ‘To empower our students to become confident, motivated life-long learners by providing individualised learning to inspire all our students to be the best they can be’, is underpinned by the values of ‘independence, courage, responsibility, respect, pride, empathy, integrity’.

The school’ strategic goals include:

All learners will have an increased sense of belonging at Turakina School through opportunities to build the key competency of participating and contributing.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics, in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum
  • progress in relation to achievement targets in mathematics
  • wellbeing.

The school has undergone staffing and leadership changes since the previous ERO review. There is a new first-time principal supported by two teachers new to the school.

Teachers have undertaken professional development in:

  • cultural relationships for responsive pedagogy
  • local curriculum development
  • the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT)
  • play-based learning.

Turakina School is part of the South Rangitikei Kāhui Ako.

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 continuing to develop its effectiveness in achieving excellent and equitable outcomes for all students. At the end of 2018 a large majority of all students achieved at or above in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the levels of The New Zealand Curriculum. Disparity of achievement overtime between girls and boys is reducing across all these areas.

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

The school is building its effectiveness in accelerating learning of those students who require it.

Of the students identified at the start of 2018, nearly all made progress and many made accelerated progress. Data for 2019 shows similar patterns of progress and acceleration.

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?

Leadership is focused on ensuring schoolwide practices and processes enhance student wellbeing, and enable students to learn and achieve at the expected curriculum level.

An appropriate range of standardised and formative assessment tools is used effectively to measure student achievement and progress. The accuracy and dependability of teachers’ overall assessment judgements about students’ learning is strengthened through internal and external moderation. Teachers use achievement information effectively to track student progress and to inform teaching practice.

Students are well known and responded to through relevant interventions and a range of appropriate internal and external supports. These interventions have contributed to improved student achievement and wellbeing.

The strategic plan appropriately aligns schoolwide goals with professional development opportunities. Systematic, informed inquiry, implemented by leaders through appraisal, is appropriately focused on improving student outcomes. Professional development opportunities have impacted positively on learning for both teachers and students.

Whānau and community are actively encouraged and involved in the life and work of the school. Responsive transition programmes and processes are in place that support students in to the school. Families are welcomed and valued as learning partners in the school.

Leadership ensures trustees are well informed to undertake their roles and responsibilities. Board members have undertaken training and sought external expertise and guidance when required. They demonstrate commitment to resourcing the school to maximise student opportunities and achievement outcomes.

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

Leaders plan to review and develop the school’s local curriculum. This development should incorporate:

  • the school’s desired expectations for graduating students
  • how the curriculum responds to students’ language, culture and identity
  • how students lead their learning
  • guidelines for student assessment of their learning.

The recently implemented investigative learning programme should continue to be developed,and evaluated to establish the effect of the programme on learner outcomes.

Refining processes for target setting and reporting to specifically focus on accelerating the progress of priority students is needed. Measurements for success for targets should be in numbers, not percentages, to allow for a clearer evaluation of achievement, progress, and acceleration. This should enable leaders and trustees to better respond to the school’s goal of achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Turakina School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • leadership and teaching that are focused on student’s wellbeing and learning
  • identifying the learning needs of individual students and providing support that promotes achievement towards equitable outcomes
  • teacher inquiry and professional development that grows collective capability.

Next steps

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

  • clearly identifying, and monitoring, all students at risk of not achieving school expectations in reading, writing and mathematics to raise levels of achievement
  • reviewing the school curriculum and effectively implementing a curriculum to enact its vision for teaching and learning.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • work towards offering students opportunities for learning second or subsequent languages. (Years 7 - 10)
    [NAG 1; The New Zealand Curriculum]

Since the on-site stage of the review, school leaders have reviewed and addressed this concern.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

23 August 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Year 1 - 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 14, Male 13

Ethnic composition

Māori 13
NZ European/Pākehā 14

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

23 August 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, June 2016
Education Review, June 2013
Education Review, April 2010