Otaua School

Otaua School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 6 months of the Education Review Office and Otaua School working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website. www.ero.govt.nz


Otaua School is a rural full primary offering education for students in Years 1 to 8, located in Otaua, Waiuku. The school promotes the values of citizenship, fairness, responsibility and trustworthiness. 

Otaua School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • experiencing and contributing towards a sense of pride for the school, the environment and the wider Otaua area

  • strengthening home and school partnerships through the development of culturally responsive practices.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Otaua School’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the extent to which a responsive curriculum is improving student outcomes.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is that:

  • this is a strategic priority for the school

  • it supports the development of the school local curriculum

  • it further supports the school’s goal to strengthen home and school partnerships through the development of culturally responsive practices.

The school expects to see a school-wide cohesive and collaborative approach to design, deliver and plan the curriculum. The school also expects to see the development of learning progressions to indicate next steps for teaching and learning programmes.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to improve student outcomes:

  • Partnership with Waiuku Kāhui Ako to support curriculum development.

  • A professional development plan that supports Aotearoa histories implementation through a local curriculum lens.

  • A well-established Enviro School programme supports students to explore their passions for the wider natural world.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • participation in Waiuku Kāhui Ako and professional development to design, plan and implement the curriculum

  • reviewing the curriculum to understand what is working and for who and inform next steps.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

23 August 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Otaua School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of February 2023, the Otaua School Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Further Information

For further information please contact Otaua School, School Board.

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

23 August 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Otaua School - 28/02/2019

School Context

Otaua School is located in a rural township near Waiuku and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 180 includes 17 students who identify as Māori. The school motto ‘learn by doing’ is supported by the vision, ‘for students to be self-assured, connected, actively involved, life-long learners’. To support this vision, the school charter documents the values of fairness, trustworthiness, responsibility and citizenship.

Since the previous ERO review in 2015, the principal and deputy principal continue in their roles and some teachers are new to the school. The board chairperson is new to his leadership role and there have been minimal changes to the trustee team. During 2017 and 2018 teachers have had sustained, externally facilitated professional learning about writing and digital fluency.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

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 equitable outcomes for all its students.

Achievement information gathered by the school shows the following trends in achievement over the last four years:

  • most students achieve at expected levels in reading, the majority in writing and mathematics

  • achievement for the small number of Māori students has fluctuated in reading, remained stable in writing and increased significantly in mathematics

  • girls’ achievement in reading and mathematics has significantly improved

  • girls consistently achieve at significantly higher levels than boys in reading and writing, and to lesser extent in mathematics.

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

The school is effectively accelerating progress for Māori and other students whose learning is at risk.

Data gathered by the school in reading, writing and mathematics shows effective acceleration for Māori and other at-risk learners. Data for Māori shows the majority of learners made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Data for all at-risk learners shows that approximately three quarters of these learners made accelerated progress in reading, and over half in writing and mathematics.

The school is not yet systematically collating and reporting about rates and trajectories of accelerated learning for all students whose learning is at risk.

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?

Trustees are providing effective governance, maintaining a focus on the school’s core business of teaching and learning. They scrutinise student achievement data to make evidence-based decisions about resourcing and school priorities. They work closely with school leaders to promote high expectations across the school. The board actively represents the school community and are fully involved in school events and ongoing developments to support teaching and learning.

Parents, whānau and the wider community are well engaged with the school in reciprocal partnerships focused learning and wellbeing. Parents and whānau are well informed about student achievement and progress. They are welcome in the school as respected and valued partners, and fully involved in school events and activities. Collaboration with local and wider community agencies and initiatives enriches authentic integrated learning opportunities across the curriculum. The school and community work together to plan positive transitions into and beyond the school.

Teachers use a range of effective strategies to support student progress and acceleration. They consistently make the purpose of learning explicit for students and provide students with ongoing feedback about their learning. Teachers’ practice shows evidence of sustained, externally facilitated professional learning and development. Established cycles of professional inquiry are enabling teachers to make evidence-based decisions about improving their effectiveness. Teachers and students are making good use of computer technology to share learning and keep parents informed about student achievement.

Systems to identify, support and include students with specific needs are effective and inclusive. Communication with parents and whānau is responsive. Appropriate programmes and interventions are in place to support these student to make progress and address barriers to learning. Continual professional sharing of information and ideas about the best way to support children with identified needs is also contributing to positive outcomes for these students.

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

The current review of the local curriculum needs to include strengthening of programmes and initiatives to support te ao Māori. Aspects for consideration are:

  • the increased integration of aspects of tikanga and local Māori history
  • culturally responsive teaching and learning across the school
  • the implementation of a sequential programme of instruction in te reo Māori.

School annual planning and reporting processes need to include a stronger focus on accelerating progress for all at-risk learners. Aspects for leaders to consider are:

  • targets that include all students whose progress needs accelerating
  • ongoing reporting to trustees about the pace and trajectory of acceleration for those learners
  • ongoing evaluation of programme effectiveness.

The refinement and further development of school-wide learning progressions is needed to support recent and current teacher professional learning. This is necessary to:

  • support increasingly focused teacher planning in core curriculum areas

  • inform teacher assessment of student progress over time

  • support students’ knowledge of their own learning, progress and next steps.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • governance processes that contribute to excellence and equitable outcomes

  • partnerships and connections that enable community engagement and a collaborative environment

  • professional learning that supports effective teaching practice and improved outcomes for students

  • support systems that contribute to positive outcomes for students with identified needs.

Next steps

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

  • the development and implementation of a local curriculum to ensure teaching programmes reflect New Zealand’s bicultural partnership

  • learning progressions to support teaching, learning and student knowledge their progress

  • annual planning, reporting and internal review processes to reflect an ongoing focus on accelerating learning for those Māori, boys and other students who need this.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

28 February 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 64% Girls 36%

Ethnic composition

Māori 9%
Pākehā 90%
Other 1%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

28 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review June 2015
Education Review June2012