Turua Primary School - 18/07/2013

1 Context

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

Turua School is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. It is located in the small rural township of Turua. It currently has a roll of 76 children of whom approximately 25 are Māori, most of whom come from outside the local iwi of Ngāti Hako. Since the 2010 ERO report there has been significant change in the population of the area resulting in a decline in the school roll.

The principal and board are experienced and long serving. In addition, there have been recent changes to staffing particularly in the senior school. Ongoing professional development in numeracy and literacy has resulted in improved student achievement.

Well-articulated values and virtues underpin a positive and inclusive school tone. The school has recently upgraded the library and continues to develop its information and communication technology (ICT) capabilities. The school has a positive ERO reporting history.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school uses student achievement effectively to promote student learning, engagement and achievement. Achievement data indicates that a significant majority of students are performing at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school uses a range of appropriate assessment tools to support their judgements about student achievement in relation to the National Standards. Teachers are continuing to develop more robust moderation procedures and have recently developed school-wide learning progressions to more effectively identify students’ learning needs. Teachers continue to develop more effective ways of planning to respond to student needs, and these have led directly to an increase in student achievement, particularly in mathematics.

Trustees receive informative achievement data and, with the guidance of the principal, use this data to make good decisions about staffing and appropriate interventions for students with special needs. The school utilises a range of researched intervention programmes, facilitated by a trained teacher’s aide, that have been shown to accelerate learning for these children. They are reviewed by senior leaders through careful monitoring of individual student progress.

Parents are encouraged by the school to be engaged in all aspects of their children's schooling. They receive information about their learning in a range of useful ways, including:

  • formal reporting twice yearly against the National Standards
  • twice yearly parent/student/ teacher conferencing
  • access to their children’s current and ongoing work and achievement, using an internet portal called KnowledgeNet.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. The curriculum is broad and defines priorities for teaching and learning at the school. Curriculum priorities include a focus on student learning that is connected with their real-life experiences. There is effective integration of ICT as a tool to engage students, particularly boys, in purposeful and enjoyable learning.

Teachers have established respectful relationships with students, contributing to high levels of motivation and engagement in classrooms. Recent professional development has increased teachers’ understanding and knowledge of curriculum content, particularly in reading, writing and mathematics. This is resulting in more focused teaching and consistency of practice across the teaching team.

There are opportunities for students to provide leadership, role modelling positive behaviour and support for each other in their learning. Students are increasingly able to discuss their achievement and next learning steps.

ERO and the school agree that useful next steps for improving the curriculum include:

  • strengthening the quality of assessment in subjects other than literacy and mathematics
  • developing mechanisms for ensuring that all curriculum areas are systematically included in the school curriculum.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

A significant majority of Māori students are achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school has responded positively to the increasing number of Māori students attending the school. They demonstrate a commitment to providing a curriculum that is responsive to Māori children and their whānau. Teachers are beginning to integrate a Māori perspective into class programmes and recognise the need to strengthen this aspect of their planning. ERO and the school agree that there is also a need to develop a systematic and developmental approach to the teaching of te reo Māori and local Māori knowledge and practices.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to maintain and improve its performance and respond to the areas for development identified in this report. Aspects of the school that contribute to this include:

  • effective leadership of learning by the senior leadership team
  • effective governance
  • formal and informal self review that is focussed on raising student achievement
  • a safe and inclusive school culture
  • high levels of student achievement in literacy and mathematics
  • a well-designed curriculum that provides choice for student learning
  • a robust teacher appraisal process, which focuses on student achievement.

ERO and the school have identified the need to clarify and implement a more structured schedule for parent and community consultation in relation to the strategic plan, curriculum development and the Māori community.

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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

18 July 2013

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 39 Boys 37

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Other European






Review team on site

May 2013

Date of this report

18 July 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2010

November 2007

August 2004