Mangatangi School

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School Context

Mangatangi School is a small rural school in north-east Waikato. It is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. The school roll of 109 includes 27 Māori students. 

The school’s vision states the school will provide an enriched learning environment where children are encouraged to develop a ‘thirst for learning to reach their fullest potential’. The values link to ‘THIRST’ – thinking, hauora, inspiring, relationships, self-managing, team building.

The 2019 annual plan states three overarching goals for improvement are:

  • raising progress and achievement in mathematics

  • growing the school culture and learning environment to build students’ ownership of learning

  • building learning relationships with community and whānau.

Teachers are participating in a professional development contract to raise achievement in mathematics.

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

  • reading, writing, mathematics, and wellbeing.

The school is a member of the Hauraki Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

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 working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students. The 2018 achievement information shows a large majority of students achieved at or above expected curriculum levels in reading and mathematics and a small majority in writing. Boys slightly outperform girls in reading and girls outperform boys in writing. There is no achievement disparity between boys and girls in mathematics.

Māori students’ achievement over time is consistent in reading, has decreased in writing and increased in mathematics, however there has been a significant decline in achievement for Pākehā students in all areas.

There is a consistent pattern of achievement over time in mathematics, however this is not apparent in reading and writing.

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

The data gathered over 2018 shows the school is accelerating the achievement of some students, including Māori, in reading and writing. Of the small number of those who made accelerated progress in reading most were Māori.

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 learn, achieve and make progress through a broad curriculum that promotes purposeful and localised learning opportunities. A variety of programmes, activities and meaningful experiences are guided by students’ interests. Students share and celebrate their learning, growth and development through a variety of platforms and processes. They are confident to talk about their current learning and next steps. Consistency across the school for students to talk about their learning progress and next steps is still developing. Students receive high-quality feedback and feed forward about their learning outcomes, particularly in writing.

Leaders build trusting and meaningful relationships to promote positive learning outcomes for students. Teachers respect and value the collegial team approach. Leaders are supporting seamless transitions for students into, through and out of the school. This maximises learning and teaching time while providing security and continuity for students. Consistency and clarity of systems and pathways are being enhanced by leaders. School-wide student achievement is closely monitored.

The school culture supports students’ learning and wellbeing. A wide range of students’ needs are supported with understanding and sensitivity. Teachers know the children well, identifying and reducing barriers in order to respond to their needs in a timely manner. Cultural backgrounds are respected and valued, with diversity and equity openly supported. Culturally responsive practices are naturally woven throughout the life of the school.

Relationships and communication are a strength of the school. Many opportunities exist for parents, whānau and the community to participate and be actively involved. Strong connections with local community and iwi are being fostered. Opportunities for regular teaching and modelling of te reo Māori supports learning for both teachers and students. Interactions between teachers, learning assistants and students are reciprocal, inclusive and respectful.

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

Leaders have identified the need to embed strategies that increasingly empower students as independent, self-motivated learners. Priority should be given to building a school-wide approach, to improve consistency of teacher practice to support students to discuss their own progress and next steps in learning.

Students’ achievement and progress is closely monitored by leaders and teachers. Deeper analysis of this achievement data to identify trends, patterns and rates of progress over time for groups of learners is needed to better inform goal setting that is targeted, measurable and focused on those students requiring 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 Mangatangi School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success 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:

  • a localised curriculum and responsive teaching practices that support students’ learning and achievement
  • leadership for learning that is focused on improving outcomes for students
  • an inclusive culture that promotes students’ sense of belonging
  • effective relationships that support students to be confident, positive learners.

Next steps

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

  • empowering students to lead their own learning
  • developing targeted, measurable achievement goals, with a focus on those students needing acceleration to raise achievement through effective planning and review.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified non-compliance in relation to Health, Safety & Welfare.

In order to address this, the board of trustees must:

  1. comply with the requirement to develop and implement guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education on the practice and procedures to be followed in relation to physical restraint by authorised staff
    [Education (Physical Restraint) Rules 2017]

  2. develop and implement procedures on surrender and retention of property and searches of students by the principal, teachers and authorised staff members.
    [Education (Surrender, Retention, and Search) Rules 2013, sections 139AAA to 139AAF of the Education Act 1989].

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure antibullying programmes cover the scope of the Ministry of Education guidelines for bullying prevention and response.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

21 February 2020

About the school


Mangatangi, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 51% Female 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 25%
NZ European/Pākehā 68%
Pacific 5%
Other ethnic groups 2%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

21 February 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2016
Education Review December 2012
Education Review June 2009

1 Context

Mangatangi School is a long-established, small rural school in North-East Waikato. The school provides for children from Years 1 to 8. About 25 percent of the school roll is made up of Māori children. Pākehā children make up the largest group of students, and a small number of children from a variety of other cultures also attend. Some families have long standing connections to the school.

Soon after ERO's 2012 review a new principal was appointed to lead the school. There have been some further changes to the teaching team since this time.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes for all learners in this community are expressed in the 'Mangatangi Method' which identifies the school values. Children are encouraged to develop a life-long thirst for learning and to reach their fullest potential. Valued outcomes for the school include children being able to set and achieve their own goals and having a sense of identity and self-worth.

Student achievement over time shows that about 70 percent of all students achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. It also indicates some disparity in achievement outcomes, with girls overall performing at higher levels than boys, especially in reading and writing. Data further show the need to raise the educational success levels of some Māori children.

The school continues its work to improve outcomes for students at risk of not achieving to potential. Information gathered in 2015 shows that most children identified by their teachers for additional learning support made accelerated progress, with some making very significant progress. School data show that more work is needed to raise the achievement of boys.

Since the 2012 ERO evaluation, the school has continued to prioritise literacy and mathematics. Very good use is made of staff internal knowledge and skills. Some external expertise has also been used to help teachers moderate their judgements about student achievement to help ensure these judgements are consistent and reliable. Key actions that the school has taken to improve educational outcomes for children include:

  • continuing work to improve teaching practice in reading, writing and mathematics
  • developing teaching approaches that enable children to have greater ownership of their learning
  • promoting learning support programmes that include tuakana/teina teaching relationships
  • using wrap around approaches to support children with special education learning needs.

Mangatangi School is also a member of a cluster of schools known as the Hauraki Community of Learning. The cluster has developed relevant priority targets based on the cluster-wide achievement information. These include targets aimed at accelerating the progress of children in Years 1 to 3 to promote the development of successful and confident learners from the early school years onwards.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

Leaders and teachers respond well to children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. They know the names, learning needs and numbers of children who need support to make accelerated progress, including those who are Māori.

Strategies that support accelerated achievement include ongoing professional learning and development for teachers to build their capability especially in the teaching of literacy and mathematics. The school's literacy leader has developed comprehensive plans that provide teachers with clear guidelines and help them to plan programmes.

Teachers carefully identify those students at risk of not achieving and monitor their progress. They regularly discuss teaching strategies and how they might adapt their practice to meet the needs of target students.

Provisions for children at risk of not achieving include in-class learning support provided by learning assistants. They also benefit from the school's tuakana/teina approaches where older children act as tutors for their younger peers in activities such as the buddy reading and writing programmes. Measuring the impact of these types of programmes would now be helpful for informing resourcing decisions by the board.

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 priorities for equity and excellence?

The school continues to develop a curriculum and other organisational processes and practices that are enabling the enactment of the school's vision, values, goals and priorities for equity and excellence.

The school's curriculum is closely aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. It prioritises reading, writing and mathematics and includes an emphasis on sports and education outside the classroom. Children enjoy a range of sports and learning programmes that make good use of the local area as a context for learning.

Also evident is the continuing progress on developing a strong student-centred curriculum. Approaches include teachers' work in making learning more visible, enabling children and their families/whānau to gain a better understanding of their progress, achievements, and next learning steps. The 'River of Learning' inquiry model being followed helps children have greater ownership of learning that is of particular interest to them. Parents receive good quality information about student learning in a range of ways. Student-led conferences provide an opportunity for children to share their learning with parents and whānau.

Students are confident, friendly and proud of their school. School values are well known to them. They know and appreciate the history of the school and the significance of events such as Calf Club Day. A recent review of student leadership opportunities has resulted in a stronger focus on these roles, particularly for Year 8 students.

The principal has a good relationship with Māori whānau, particularly those connected with the local marae. Local whānau members tutor the school's successful kapa haka. All children, including Māori, are becoming more practiced at leading pōwhiri. These strategies support Māori tamariki to succeed as Māori.

The school is preparing for the upcoming 2016 board of trustees election. When the new board is elected, it will be important that trustees access professional development that will support them to:

  • develop a shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities, including evaluating the effectiveness of the board's governance and stewardship role
  • better scrutinise student achievement information so that the board can better determine the effectiveness of school operations and interventions intended to promote accelerated learning, and ensure it is well placed make appropriate resourcing decisions.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

The school is becoming increasingly well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

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.

ERO acknowledges the continuing good work by the school to progress all of the above aspects of school performance and its ongoing commitment to promoting equity and excellence. To build on the progress already made the school agrees that the following strategies would be of value:

  • using school achievement information to set specific targets for Māori and other groups of children at risk of not achieving
  • further developing its reporting on student achievement so that it is more evaluative
  • continuing to strengthen teacher appraisal processes
  • increasing the rigour of teachers' inquiry into the impact of their teaching practices, especially for children whose learning and achievement needs accelerating.

To increase the effectiveness of the curriculum school leaders could:

  • consider ways to build learning partnerships that allow whānau to better support the learning of those children at risk of not achieving to their potential
  • strengthen internal evaluation by seeking parents' inputs about aspects of school operations and the curriculum
  • continue to bring the school's bicultural curriculum to the fore, and make greater use of the expertise of whānau Māori.

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.

To improve practice the school should continue to improve communication and partnerships with whānau.

During the review ERO identified an area of non-compliance. To address this the board must ensure that the principal has a signed annual performance agreement, and is appropriately appraised in relation to the Practising Teacher Criteria as required by the Education Council of New Zealand.

National Administration Guidelines 3; State Sector Act 1988, 77C.

7 Recommendations

ERO recommends that the school continue to progress its work for promoting equity and excellence in outcomes for children. As part of this work the principal should provide the board with evaluative reports about children's progress and achievement, including information related to students whose learning and achievement needs to be accelerated. This will help strengthen the board's knowledge about the extent to which the school is successful in meeting children's learning needs and achieving its vision for them.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 June 2016

About the school


Mangatangi, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 61 Girls 41

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

16 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

December 2012
June 2009
March 2006