Turuturu School - 10/02/2017

1 Context

Turuturu School is a semi-rural contributing primary, on the outskirts of Hawera, catering for students in Years 1-6. At the time of this ERO review, 210 students were enrolled and 30% identify as Māori.

The staff are led by an experienced leadership team. Most trustees are newly elected to the Board.

Teachers are regularly involved in professional development. This has included mathematics, behaviour management, building cultural understanding and competency, and the early years of schooling.

The school is part of the recently formed Hawera-South Taranaki Kāhui Ako Community of Learning (CoL).

2 Equity and excellence

The school's vision for learners is 'Believe, Achieve, Succeed'. The valued outcomes, defined by the school for all children, are that students will experience a broad and full curriculum that develops their talents and motivates them to achieve. There is a focus on science, environmental sustainability, physical activity, the arts and oral language. Students will be supported to become confident and articulate learners.

A recent review of the school's values resulted in the development of the 'ROAR' acronym: Respect; RespOnsibility; ReAdiness; and Resiliance. This provides a framework for the school's behaviour management processes. Developed in consultation with the community, 'ROAR' expectations are that learning will take place in settled, purposeful, engaging classrooms with increased learning opportunities.

The school’s 2015-2016 achievement information shows that most students achieve in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The 2015 data showed significant disparity between Māori and their non-Māori classmates. By the end of 2016, information shows a significant increase in the achievement of Māori students.

Teachers use a range of assessment tools to make judgements about students' achievement in relation to the National Standards. They continue to refine their use of these tools to ensure the accuracy of their decisions. External moderation, undertaken with other schools, should provide a wider perspective on the quality, reliability and consistency of judgements.

Since the March 2011 ERO evaluation, the school has reviewed its values, vision and charter goals in consultation with the community. Work has been done to increase the consistency of teaching practices and learning conditions, and for the curriculum emphases on oral language, science and learning contexts that are related to the school's semi-rural nature. 

In order to improve student achievement, teachers have focused on accelerating learning in mathematics, by using achievement data to target their teaching to students' needs and measure the impact of their approach. These actions have contributed to improved teacher practices.

In 2016, there has been a schoolwide focus on developing classroom conditions for learning. Improved learning behaviours are the result. Teachers' professional development in the teaching of mathematics appears to have had a positive impact on student achievement.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Turuturu School is increasingly effective in responding to Māori students whose learning and achievement require acceleration.

In order to raise Māori students' achievement the school has:

  • identified all under achieving students and implemented specific programmes to meet their needs
  • introduced 'learning talks' for all targeted students and their whānau
  • increased teachers' collective responsibility for the learning of these students
  • implemented termly data gathering and reporting of their progress
  • increased teachers' understanding of te ao Māori through a schoolwide focus.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Leaders and teachers acknowledge the need to continue to focus on accelerating the achievement of those learners at risk of not achieving. There is an increased focus on meeting the identified needs of all students whose learning requires acceleration. Trustees have resourced additional teacher aides who are used wisely to support learning in classrooms.

Teachers identify students in their classes who need additional support with their learning. They implement specific programmes to meet their needs and monitor and report on progress. There is a collective commitment to ensuring these students are supported to make progress. Teachers share successful teaching strategies and challenges.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum and other organisational processes and practices are effective in promoting student engagement and achievement, as well as supporting development of its vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence.

The curriculum provides students with opportunities to work collaboratively and solve problems in a range of real world contexts. Students' learning is enabling and future focused. They are challenged to achieve their best. Māori culture and language are fostered and valued. Oral language, the arts and science are an integral and planned part of the curriculum at all levels.

A positive and supportive culture is evident. Students are friendly, confident and proud of their school. They are supportive of their classmates and engage in a variety of learning. Positive relationships exist between students and staff. Senior students are provided with leadership opportunities.

Classrooms have a positive tone. A sense of achievement and interest in learning is evident. Teachers use a range of teaching strategies. Tasks are relevant and structured to support learning. Teachers regularly discuss and reflect on their practice. They engage in professional learning and regularly evaluate the impact of their practice on student outcomes.

Parents and families are kept well informed about their children’s progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards and other areas of the curriculum. There is increased collaboration with the whānau of targeted students, through termly 'learning talks', and sharing of activities designed to enable whānau to support their children's learning at home.

Leaders are improvement focused, have a clear vision for the school and are strategic in their decision making. They are collaborative and actively seek new learning.

A useful appraisal process is in place. This is based on teachers' performance in relation to the Practising Teacher Criteria. Leaders actively support teachers with constructive feedback and carefully considered professional development opportunities.

The school has identified, and ERO's evaluation affirms, that there is a need to further strengthen its response to Māori culture. Leaders have begun to focus on strengthening culturally responsive practices. Weekly kapa haka has increased understanding of te ao Māori schoolwide. Continuing to integrate cultural contexts into the local curriculum, developing the capacity of teachers, and strengthening relationships with local iwi have been identified as key steps towards meeting this goal.

A culture of reflection, review and inquiry is apparent. A useful policy framework and review cycle is in place. The development of indicators for gauging the effectiveness of operation should help to strengthen decision making about improvement. It is timely to review the setting of school goals, annual targets and annual plan to ensure these are appropriately aligned to school priorities.

Newly elected trustees are developing their understanding of, and approach to, stewardship. There is a planned approach to induction of new board members. Improving student achievement, especially for those whose progress needs acceleration, is a priority. Regular and useful student achievement information is received and used well as a basis for decision making and setting of school priorities. 

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Continuing to strengthen and embed recently developed practices such as 'learning talks' with whānau, should support the continuing improvement of outcomes for students at risk of not achieving.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

7 Recommendations

The school should continue to implement the actions for schoolwide growth begun in 2016, and identified in this report. These actions should include:

  • review and further development of school goals, annual target setting and annual planning processes to ensure these appropriately align to priorities
  • further development and review of assessment processes to improve the reliability and usefulness of achievement information, including the moderation process with other schools
  • strengthening the response to Māori culture.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

10 February 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Year 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 50%, Girls 50%

Ethnic composition



Other ethnic groups




Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

10 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2011

May 2007

April 2003