Taupaki School

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Education institution number:
1529
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Co-Educational
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
188
Telephone:
Address:

Cottle Road, Henderson, Auckland

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1 Context

Taupaki School, established in 1899, has a long history of inter-generational connections and significant links with the community. The school's inclusive culture, rural setting and strong community focus are valued by whānau and families. The school has increasing numbers of Māori children. Since the 2012 ERO report classrooms have been refurbished to provide a modern learning environment for children and teachers. The school's technology centre provides further educational opportunities for Year 7 and 8 children including children from six contributing schools in the local area. The school has a history of positive ERO reports.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to nurture and inspire children to reach their full potential. This vision and the four core values align well with tikanga Māori. They emphasise striving for personal best and respect for all, in a nurturing, learning environment. Valued outcomes for all children in this school community focus on learners:

  • taking risks and being independent, creative thinkers
  • caring for others, the community and the environment
  • being reflective, self-motivated learners.

The school’s achievement information shows that over 80 percent of children achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Many children also achieve well in writing, although overall success levels are below those for reading and mathematics. While achievement levels are consistently high, data for the last three years shows that overall achievement levels have remained static.

The school's 2015 data shows that over 70 percent of Māori children achieved at or above the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Achievement data for 2014 and 2015 indicates that outcomes for Maori children are below that of other children. However, school targets have consistently and successfully focused on accelerating the progress and achievement of some Māori children.

2015 achievement data shows that the small number of Pacific children achieve very well in literacy. School achievement data also shows gender-based differences, with girls' achieving very well in literacy and boys achieving very well in mathematics. Teachers are moderating writing with other local schools to enhance the reliability of their achievement data.

School data over the past three years indicates that most Year 8 children leave Taupaki School achieving at or above the national standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The school sets specific targets for some children to improve. Trustees and school leaders could now include all children who need to make accelerated progress in the school's annual targets.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has implemented a range of new initiatives focused on accelerating the achievement of all children.

These initiatives include:

  • introducing the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) planning approach using digital technologies, to enable more inclusive and personalised learning pathways for children
  • restructuring teaching teams to promote a more seamless education for Taupaki learners as they transition through the eight year levels
  • further developing teaching and learning strategies to accelerate learning progress
  • delegating two team leaders to coordinate learning support programmes
  • implementing an inquiry approach to strengthen teachers' reflective practice.

These initiatives are at the early stages of implementation.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The board, leaders and teachers respond effectively to children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Information gathered shows that the school has had some success in accelerating the progress of these children. School leaders are committed to extending successful acceleration strategies to reach all students who are underachieving.

Leaders and teachers meet regularly to discuss children's learning. They promote the use of effective strategies to improve outcomes for children and monitor children's understanding of their learning. Teachers use achievement information well to plan classroom programmes that are based on children's strengths and talents, as well as their learning needs. These school-wide approaches reflect the collective responsibility that teachers, leaders and children have for nurturing valued outcomes for all.

Children have an increasingly good understanding of their own learning and achievement, and set learning goals with their parents and teachers. Children requiring additional support, participate in appropriate programmes and interventions to build their learning capability.

The school has continued to strengthen its links with whānau Māori. Importantly, the school's increasing recognition of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori creates an environment that supports Māori children to succeed as Māori. The school could develop with whānau, a strategic plan to provide a more coordinated approach to promoting success for Māori children. This planning could specify achievement targets for all Māori children needing to make accelerated progress and identify whānau and student aspirations for success as Māori.

There are positive, learning-centred relationships between home and school. Parents value the open communication they have with their children's teacher and with the school generally. The school provides a variety of opportunities for whānau and families to engage with the school. Parents receive good information about their children's progress and achievement and, through digital technologies, are able to access information about how they might support their child's learning at home.

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 vision, values and organisational processes support the curriculum and help to promote equity and excellence for all students. Children, staff, whānau and families enjoy a warm and inclusive school culture. School conditions to support children's learning and nurture their wellbeing are effective.

Trustees, school leaders and staff have high expectations for all children to experience and celebrate success. Children are settled in their learning spaces and have positive relationships with teachers and each other. They have many opportunities to engage and experience success in a range of sporting, cultural and artistic interests.

The values focused curriculum supports children as confident, articulate learners. Modern learning environments and approaches provide children with good opportunities to choose how and where they learn. Digital learning technologies are well-integrated in teaching programmes and continue to enrich children's learning opportunities. Specialist teachers deliver meaningful technology programmes that extend children's learning.

School leaders recognise that it is now timely to review and redesign the school curriculum using the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum. The school has an appropriate focus on developing a more connected, culturally responsive curriculum that reflects the school community and further promotes children's ownership of learning.

School leaders and teachers are beginning to promote deliberate strategies to bring about increased improvement for all children. Recent strategies include maximising the use of teacher aides within the classroom, providing learning goals and clear feedback for children, and increasing opportunities that promote critical thinking and problem solving.

The principal recognises the value of building a culture of professional inquiry to improve teachers' professional capability and create positive changes for children. Teachers' performance appraisals are well aligned to the Practising Teacher Criteria (PTCs). Increasing teacher's evaluative thinking could strengthen the new collaborative inquiry approach and further develop effective practice for accelerating learning.

The school has expressed an interest in forming a Community of Learning (COL) comprising of a number of local schools. Staff also participate in local education networks and clusters as part of wider community work to build their professional capability and collective capacity.

The board governs effectively and is well led. Trustees and senior leaders work well as a team to utilise their collective strengths. Trustees scrutinise achievement information and resources are allocated strategically to meet children's learning needs.

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 to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how teaching is working for these children
  • need to systematically act on what they know works for each child
  • need to have a plan in place to build teacher capability to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

The principal and associate principal provide effective leadership. They make strategic staff appointments, and provide good opportunities for teachers to lead programmes and initiatives. They promote future-focused learning and innovative teaching practices so children develop the capabilities to productively engage in an ever-changing world. They recognise the benefit of developing an improvement plan that aims to enable more children to achieve well.

School leaders agree that useful next steps in school development include:

  • reviewing and documenting the Taupaki curriculum and expectations for teaching and learning as part of building greater coherence across Years 1 to 8
  • increasing teachers' understanding of approaches that have strong evidence of accelerating progress for children and evaluating the impact of these on children's achievement
  • strengthening evaluation and reporting across the school.

The school is well positioned to develop the Raising Achievement Plan referred to below.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should use the findings of this evaluation, the Effective School Evaluation resource, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to develop a Raising Achievement Plan to further develop processes and practices that respond effectively to the strengths and needs of children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s Raising Achievement plan and the progress the school makes.

ERO is likely to carry out the next full 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 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school continue to further develop internal evaluation to monitor and report on the effectiveness of school improvement initiatives, including those relating to accelerating children's progress and achievement. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 July 2016 

About the school

Location

West Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1529

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

272

Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

other European

other

12%

78%

4%

3%

1%

2%

Special Features

Technology Centre catering for five other full primary schools

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

13 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2012

May 2009

March 2006

1 Context

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

Taupaki School is a high performing school. It has provided education to the local community for many generations and, more recently, for out-of-zone students. The school benefits from the high levels of support it receives from its community. The time that parents give willingly to the school extends the academic, sporting and cultural opportunities available for students. Financial support from parents and the community enrich student learning resources. Senior leaders, trustees, staff and parents want the best for students and cooperate well to help ensure that this is achieved.

The school’s high quality governance and management promotes student learning. Senior leaders and trustees are strategic thinkers who place student learning at the forefront of their decisions. A shared vision, along with thoughtful and reflective approaches, has established an environment in which life-long learning for all is encouraged and celebrated. A generous professional development budget promotes steps taken to achieve a modern, forward thinking school that is focussed on learners and learning.

Student learning is nurtured in the school’s caring and settled environment. Relationships are affirming and encouraging, and inclusive educational practices feature strongly. Classrooms are positive places in which students cooperate well together, and actively support the efforts of their peers. Māori values such as manaakitanga, aroha and whanaungatanga are strongly evident and underpin the school’s culture.

2 Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Students are highly engaged in set learning tasks and show pride in their efforts. They respond positively to the high expectations that permeate the school. Their work is purposeful and focused. Well paced lessons, innovative use of information and communication technologies (ICT), and good levels of experiential, hands-on learning activities further support students to be engaged and interested learners.

Students are progressing and achieving well. Good quality student achievement data show:

  • positive results in relation to the National Standards, and other schools nationally
  • the notable progress that students make in their first year at school
  • how students generally maintain steady progress over time, particularly the girls
  • the good progress that students make when on support programmes.

The school has many high quality systems for monitoring, tracking and using student achievement information. Special features of these systems include how well:

  • teachers are using a range of assessment processes to make judgements about student achievement
  • data is analysed at year levels, by gender, and for Māori students
  • data is used to identify students needing extension and to target those requiring support
  • data is analysed to assist with school goal setting and resourcing decisions
  • students have access to information about their own performance and constructive teacher feedback through the school’s newly introduced knowledge net (KNet).

Agreed next steps include teachers using assessment results to more directly inform their programmes of teaching and learning, and to evaluate the success of their programmes in terms of outcomes for students. Senior leaders and the board also agree there would be value in introducing more formal and ongoing monitoring of target students’ progress and programmes throughout the year.

3 Curriculum

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

The Taupaki School curriculum encompasses the school’s core values, resulting in high levels of alignment between its philosophy and practice. Parents are well consulted about the design of the school curriculum and are suitably informed about its implementation. This helps to build a meaningful partnership between school and home.

The school’s curriculum design caters effectively for the needs of students. Programmes maintain literacy and numeracy as essential learning areas and include students’ learning of a second language. Visual and performing arts feature strongly in the school, as do sports and outdoor education. The technology unit provides good opportunities for older students to experience extended on-site educational opportunities.

Extension programmes for identified students are of a high quality and are successfully implemented. Students who are below National Standards receive additional individual and small group teaching that is well focused on their needs and that results in improved progress.

A high overall standard of teaching effectively promotes and supports student learning. Teachers establish positive, nurturing classrooms that are interesting places of learning. They engage in intensive professional development. They are using a wider range of ICT to motivate students and to promote extended digital learning opportunities. School leaders agree that closer monitoring may now be needed to ensure that all teachers are making expected progress towards meeting school goals.

Well implemented self review has led senior leaders to reconsider student learning opportunities in areas such as the social and physical sciences. They are now working with staff to strengthen integrated “concept” studies. As they do so, senior leaders appropriately recognise the need to update assessment processes and to promote more challenging learning that involves students in higher order thinking.

A school goal is for students to be life-long learners. Senior leaders have identified that continued strengthening of formative teaching approaches could help achieve this goal. It could also be useful for teachers to use KNet as a tool to facilitate students’ greater involvement in the planning and evaluation of their own learning.

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

The school has 6 students identified as Māori. They comprise two percent of the school roll.

Senior leaders and trustees are highly supportive of and demonstrate a good understanding of their responsibilities in this area. They consult well with parents/whānau and are responsive to the aspirations they have for their children. School leaders ensure that the curriculum integrates Māori topics and themes into programmes.

Senior leaders and trustees have carefully planned the school’s next steps in promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori. The skills teachers are gaining to teach French and Spanish will be directly applicable to teaching the school-wide te reo and tikanga programme which is to be introduced next year.

The board agrees that next steps for the school are to make New Zealand’s bicultural heritage more visible in school documents and around the school, and to set goals and monitor how well the school promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

The principal’s leadership is values-based and ethical. It is also constructive, affirming and motivational. The principal and associate principal are both fully committed leaders who are enthusiastic about the school and its future. Both leaders support and model life-long learning, and both support the growth and development of others.

Other features that support the school’s sustained improvement include its:

  • insightful and effective board leadership
  • capable and knowledgeable trusteeship
  • well established processes for promoting the continuity of the school’s strategic direction
  • high levels of effective self review and next step planning that is evidence-based
  • transparent, open and consultative practices.

During the review, ERO, senior leaders and the board discussed the value of strengthening self review processes by increasing the number of reviews that feature evaluative comment against programme goals and outcomes for students. They agreed that there would be value in monitoring school practices against a wider range of best practice publications.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Compliance for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

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
  • 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 four-to-five years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

19 June 2012

About the School

Location

Taupaki, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1529

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll

240

Number of international students

0

Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

Indian

Korean

other European

others

84%

2%

2%

2%

2%

5%

3%

Special Features

Technology Centre catering for five other full primary schools

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

19 June 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2009

March 2006

February 2003