Turua Primary School - 24/06/2019

School Context

Turua Primary School is located in the township of Turua on the Hauraki Plains near Thames and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The school roll is currently 106 students of whom 24 identify as Māori. The school’s overarching vision is ‘to develop confident, creative thinkers and communicators and successful, lifelong learners’. Recently reviewed values are manaakitanga (caring for each other), whanaungatanga (working together as a family), ako (teaching and learning) and kotahitanga (standing together as a school community).

Since the 2016, ERO report there has been a significant increase in the roll including a number of students requiring additional support. There have been significant staff and trustee changes.

Local goals include providing a safe, inclusive and challenging learning environment, respect for self and others, and planning for innovative and purposeful learning opportunities.

The school’s current aims are focused on increasing the number of students achieving at or above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

  • reading
  • writing
  • mathematics
  • attendance.

Turua Primary School is part of the Hauraki Community of Learning | 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?

Turua Primary School is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all of its students. The school’s data for 2018 indicates that most students are achieving within or above expected curriculum levels in reading, mathematics and for the majority of students in writing. School achievement data for 2018 also shows that girls and boys are achieving at comparable levels in mathematics and reading. However, girls are achieving significantly better than boys in writing. Māori students are achieving better than other students in mathematics, similar to their peers in reading and at lower rates in writing.

Student achievement information from 2016 to 2018 shows a decrease over time for all groups of learners in reading, writing and mathematics.Information about outcomes for students with additional learning needs shows that these students make good progress within individualised programmes.

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

The school responds effectively to Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. School-wide collated and analysed student achievement information shows significant acceleration in reading, writing and mathematics for targeted students.

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?

Students participate and learn in a caring and inclusive learning community. An holistic curriculum engages students in a variety of learning opportunities and broadens their experiences. Sound processes to support transition into school enables students to demonstrate a sense of belonging to their new learning environment. An emphasis on the key competencies promotes a smooth transition for students into their next stage of learning.

Teachers use a range of effective teaching strategies to support the diverse learning needs of targeted students. They have developed useful processes to track and monitor the progress of these students. Recently reviewed and updated individual development plans are responsive to targeted students’ learning needs. One of the reasons the rates for acceleration are comparatively high is that there has been a strategically aligned process to closely focus on acceleration for these students. The school accesses appropriate external agencies to support students with learning and behaviour needs.

Effective bicultural practices are well supported by the Hauraki Kāhui Ako. They fund a teacher who models te reo and tikanga Māori practices throughout the school on a regular basis. Students are benefiting from the natural inclusion of aspects of te ao Māori in classroom programmes.

The collaborative and reflective senior leadership team is successfully promoting clear school direction and vision. Senior leaders endorse recent initiatives, such as play-based and project-based learning, to respond to identified student-learning needs. Leaders’ involvement in the Hauraki Kāhui Ako is contributing to building teacher capability, providing a shared understanding of learning progressions and more robust moderation processes. An effective appraisal system, including a spiral inquiry approach to improving student achievement, is enabling teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching practice.

The board is committed to making decisions that will improve student outcomes. Trustees are representative of the school community; actively support the school’s strategic direction and base resourcing decisions on student achievement information. Their decisions are making a positive contribution to improving outcomes for students at risk of underachieving.

Parent/school partnership enrich opportunities for students to develop confidence and resilience. Parents are well informed about students’ learning and achievement. Staff actively involve parents and community members to support aspects of the school’s curriculum.

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

ERO and the school have identified the following priorities for ongoing development:

  • embedding teacher and student use of learning progressions to support students’ knowledge and understanding of their own learning and progress

  • access relevant and specific professional learning and development to support the school focus on improving student achievement in mathematics

  • ensuring annual targets in school charter are more sharply focused on the number of students whose progress needs acceleration.

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 Turua Primary School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

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:

  • governance that is providing clarity of direction and ongoing school improvement
  • leadership that is inclusive, promotes student well-being and is focused on improving student achievement
  • teaching strategies that effectively support the diverse learning needs of targeted students
  • a school community that is engaged in reciprocal and respectful relationships.

Next steps

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

  • strengthening student agency to improve student knowledge of their own learning
  • professional learning and development to improve student achievement in mathematics
  • annual targets to focus more specifically on acceleration for at-risk learners.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure that all support staff are appraised annually
  • develop and implement a formalised careers programme for Years 7 and 8.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

24 June 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 51% Male 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 23%
NZ European/Pākehā 73%
Other 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

24 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2016
Education Review July 2013
Education Review October 2010