Tirimoana School

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1 Context

Tirimoana School in Te Atatu is a primary school for children, Years 1 to 6. The school roll reflects its increasingly ethnically diverse community. The percentage of Pacific children has doubled in recent years. The recently elected board includes a good balance of new and experienced trustees.

The school is a member of Kokiri Tahi, the Te Atatu Community of Learning. This means that the school is working with eight other local primary, intermediate and secondary schools. The aim is to raise achievement across the community and improve children's and their families' transitions through the schools. The Tirimoana School principal has been appointed as the lead principal of the community, and five Tirimoana staff have been given community of learning roles.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are documented in the school's charter. Supporting children to become "confident, informed, reflective learners who embrace diversity and sustainability in order to fulfil their potential as members of society" is the school's mission. The key values of CARE ('Compassion, Act responsibly, Respect, Effort') are modelled and promoted by teachers and leaders. The long-established motto 'Discover Your Talents' continues to guide the curriculum and the opportunities offered for children to follow their interests.

The school’s achievement information shows that over the past four years most children achieve well in relation to the National Standards. Māori children's achievement has risen over that time in all standards and particularly in mathematics and writing. However, while achieving well, Māori achievement in mathematics and reading is lower than that of other children in the school. There is a disparity in Pacific student achievement across the national standards. Pacific children's achievement has lifted well in mathematics but continues to be variable in writing and reading. The school's data indicate that boys' achievement in writing and reading is lower than girls' achievement.

Kokiri Tahi has set targets to raise the achievement in writing of identified groups of Māori and Pacific students and boys across the schools in the community of learning.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has continued to use evaluation well to ensure and develop the effectiveness of practices to support children's successful learning. Initiatives include:

  • implementing 'Positive Behaviour For Learning' to support children's engagement in learning
  • using the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT), professional learning, and moderation to further develop the reliability of teachers' assessment judgements
  • introducing mathematics and literacy inquiry teams to track children's progress and mentor teachers to support this progress
  • introducing a reception class for new entrant children to grow their readiness for learning
  • professional learning focused on literacy and promoting the achievement of Māori and Pacific learners
  • using a mathematics support teacher (MST) over the past four years to promote accelerated learning.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The board, leaders and teachers have been committed to accelerating the progress of Māori children at risk of not achieving national standards. They have taken appropriate action and there is good evidence of Māori children's accelerated progress.

The school charter includes specific targets to accelerate the progress of Māori children who are achieving below the standards. The charter includes an action plan to guide leaders and teachers in their efforts to accelerate the progress of these children.

Teachers, leaders and trustees make very good use of a wide range of achievement information to support Māori children to be successful learners. Assessment data are well analysed to identify children at risk of not achieving and are used to plan tailored programmes specifically designed to accelerate children's individual progress.

Māori and other children at risk of not achieving have access to many additional programmes and strategies to support their learning. These include before and after school programmes designed to address identified priorities in literacy and mathematics. Māori children also have after school opportunities to further develop their "agency as Māori learners". All of these programmes are well attended and highly valued by children and their whānau.

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

The school demonstrates a strong commitment and acts appropriately to accelerate the learning of other children who are yet to achieve national standards. There is good evidence of children's accelerated progress.

The strategies and processes used to accelerate the learning of Māori children are used successfully with Pacific and other children. These include:

  • the use of coherent and well linked plans to raise achievement and guide and coordinate leaders and teachers actions
  • school charter targets that are relevant and aimed at accelerating learning progress so that all children can enjoy similar levels of success
  • specific targets set to accelerate the learning of Pacific children who are achieving below the standards
  • good systems for tracking the progress of these children.

Children's learning interests, strengths and needs are known and keenly followed by teachers and staff throughout the school. Leaders and teachers are alert to changes in children's engagement, attitudes to learning and assessment data. Teachers share collective responsibility for promoting children's success and accelerating their learning. They share teaching strategies and resources to cater for the learning needs of individual children and accelerate their progress.

Senior leaders and leaders of inquiry teams have good processes for monitoring and promoting effective teaching and learning. Teachers are well supported to develop teaching practices that accelerate children's learning. Teachers take responsibility for children's progress and the progress of target groups in their class and this accountability is a key aspect of their performance appraisal.

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?

Strong leadership and stewardship is guiding the school's curriculum and practices to support all learners to experience success. Evidence-based inquiry and evaluation guides school and teaching development and decision-making.

Senior leaders have high expectations of team leaders and teachers. These expectations are underpinned by a strong belief that children are all capable of experiencing and enjoying success. Senior leaders work collaboratively with teachers to ensure expectations and understandings are shared and shaping effective practices throughout the school. Leaders are highly reflective and adaptive. Professional capability is fostered well through the use external professional learning and internal expertise.

Children have opportunities to 'Discover their talents' through the broad curriculum programmes they are offered. These programmes include te reo Māori and other languages, music, environmental learning and kapa haka. Success in these areas is building children's confidence and supporting them to seek and experience success in literacy and mathematics.

The breadth of the curriculum is complemented by an appropriate emphasis on literacy and mathematics. Children whose home language is not English have access to additional programmes to help them gain fluency in oral and written English.

Curriculum programmes are responsive and show clear alignment to the principles and values of the New Zealand Curriculum. Children's languages, cultures and identities are acknowledged and valued. Leaders and teachers ensure that the curriculum is adapted to children's changing learning and social needs, and to the changing community aspirations for children's education. Children with special learning needs are well supported in the school's inclusive culture, and by leaders' and teachers' responsive and flexible approaches to their wellbeing and education.

Leaders and teachers are continuing to develop children's confidence, knowledge and capability to take ownership of their own learning. Children are encouraged to think and talk about their learning and achievement with their peers, parents, teachers and leaders. They have increasing opportunities to learn through inquiry, problem-solving and e-learning. Children also have many opportunities to take leadership roles in the school and in their class. This encourages them to take increasing responsibility for their own learning and progress.

Leaders and teachers establish good working relationships with families and whānau that are focused on fostering children's engagement and learning. Parents are well informed about their children's progress and achievement. They receive useful information and strategies to support children's learning at home.

Senior leaders are responding well to the growing Pacific community in the school. They are encouraging Pacific community connections and growing parents' confidence to participate and contribute to children's learning. Senior leaders are using good inquiry, evaluation and professional learning processes to build their understanding of Pacific children and their families.

Trustees have a strong interest in children's achievement and school curriculum developments. They demonstrate stewardship through their well-considered responses to achievement data and evaluation findings. For instance, the board funds key staff to take on roles that support children and their families, and to work alongside teachers to develop teaching capability. This is enabling these teachers to flexibily and quickly respond to children and their families and to emerging achievement data and inquiry findings.

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.

Tirimoana School is very well placed to sustain current effective practices and to refine and adapt these in response to children's learning needs and to the aspirations of families/whānau.

Senior leaders have identified relevant priorities for further development. These include:

  • developing an action plan specifically aimed at supporting Pacific children to achieve at similar levels to other children in the school
  • extending the team leader's role in accelerating children's progress
  • further integrating e-learning into the curriculum and developing teaching practices that promote this.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five 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's good practices of reflection, inquiry and evidence-based evaluation continue to guide future curriculum developments to support children to be "confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners". 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

31 August 2016

About the school

Location

Te Atatu South, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1536

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

698

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Samoan

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

Middle Eastern/African

other Asian

other Pacific

12%

45%

13%

8%

8%

3%

2%

2%

6%

1%

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

31 August 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2011

November 2008

November 2005

1 Context

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

Tirimoana School is a well established Year 1 to 6 primary school in Te Atatu South, Auckland. The increasing cultural diversity of the community is reflected and celebrated in the school. Parents and whānau have many opportunities to be involved in school life and the school enjoys strong community support.

The longstanding principal is well supported by a capable board and leadership team. The school has a history of positive ERO reports. School leaders have a commitment to ongoing improvement and a continued focus on achieving high quality in all aspects of school operations. They are responsive to current educational research and developments. They use external review opportunities to complement school self-review processes.

School vision and values, clearly aligned to those of The New Zealand Curriculum, provide a strong foundation for school operations and interactions. The school provides an inclusive environment that supports students to develop key learning behaviours and social skills. Caring relationships and high expectations foster students’ sense of belonging and pride in the school. Students participate in a rich variety of cultural, music, sport and academic opportunities.

Well tended grounds provide students with attractive areas for learning, performance, and play. The school’s commitment to the "Enviro Schools" programme is clearly reflected in the environment and in learning programmes.

2 Learning

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

Students are very well engaged in learning. They are keen to learn and are able to work independently and co-operatively. Learning environments are settled and focused. Students have positive relationships with each other and their teachers. Classrooms are well resourced and students are able to access a variety of equipment, including computer technology, to support their learning. Students are learning to be confident and clear speakers, reflecting the value placed by the school on communication and social skills.

Student progress and achievement is well monitored. Student achievement information is collated and analysed according to year level, ethnicity and gender, and is used effectively to inform decision making. School achievement information indicates that most students achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Student achievement data is used to identify students with special learning needs. The school provides a range of appropriate learning support interventions. Students make significant progress as a result of these targeted interventions.

The board receives regular reports about student achievement. Separate information is provided about the achievement of Māori and Pacific students and about the outcomes of intervention programmes. Trustees use reported information to set targets for student achievement in relation to the National Standards.

Teachers use a range of appropriate assessment tools and make good use of achievement data to inform teaching and learning. They work together to arrive at reliable teacher judgements about students’ progress and achievement. They report to students and their parents in plain language on students’ achievement in relation to the National Standards.

Examples of teachers sharing achievement information and next steps with students are evident in classrooms throughout the school. Students know the purpose of their learning tasks and can discuss strategies that they are using. Students are beginning to evaluate their own learning and progress, set more specific learning goals and articulate their next steps to achieve those goals. Learning partnerships with parents are fostered through written reporting and student-led conferences.

Teachers are developing approaches to enable students to take even greater ownership of their learning. Senior leaders plan to revisit professional development about using assessment practices that support learning. ERO and senior leaders agree that these strategies would continue to build the capability of teachers to develop students as reflective, self-managing learners.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

Eleven percent of students at the school identify as Māori. School achievement information indicates that Māori students are achieving at levels similar to those of their peers in reading and mathematics. Some Māori students are supported through intervention programmes as appropriate, and their progress and achievement is monitored by teachers and senior leaders.

Māori culture is affirmed through the high profile given to kapa haka. Participation is open to all ages and senior Māori students take pride in their leadership roles. Good quality te reo and tikanga Māori programmes are provided for all students in Years 3 to 6 and a progressive programme of skills and knowledge is being developed to support teachers in their own learning and in their teaching. A specialist teacher provides support to incorporate tikanga in school events and special occasions. Professional development has been provided using Ministry of Education curriculum resources to increase the cultural responsiveness of all teachers. The specialist teacher and members of the school community have provided opportunities for staff and parents to learn how to support Māori students’ language, identity and culture and how to foster the use of te reo and tikanga Māori in the school.

The board and school leaders have explored different ways to consult Māori whānau. Effective communication has resulted in increased parent/whānau attendance at meetings to share ideas and aspirations, and greater participation in school events and programmes.

School leaders and staff have also considered the Ministry of Education publication, Ka Hikitia Managing for Success, Māori Education Strategy, to develop strategies to further promote success for Māori students. The board and senior leaders should continue to use this resource as a useful tool for reviewing policy and practice, and for evaluating school progress.

ERO recommends that the board and senior leaders continue to build the cultural capacity of teachers and continue to review the school’s strategic direction for the ongoing success of Māori students.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum promotes and supports student learning effectively.

Tirimoana School has a well developed curriculum that is closely aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum. An holistic approach provides students with rich learning opportunities. Distinctive features of the school curriculum include:

  • access to learning a variety of other languages
  • authentic learning contexts that incorporate relevant local and current topics
  • ‘Enviro-schools’ activities
  • a focus on performing arts and music opportunities.

Appropriate priority is given to ensuring that students have a sound base in literacy and mathematics. The key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum are well integrated into programmes and routines and support the development of learning behaviours and social skills.

The school is developing an inquiry approach to teaching and learning. Skills that support an inquiry approach are being developed across the school. Inquiry learning models are being trialled. The school is well placed to identify agreed effective inquiry teaching and learning practices and to embed these in the curriculum.

School leaders have effective systems for curriculum development and review. Research informs decision making about curriculum design and delivery. Internal and external expertise is used effectively to support ongoing curriculum development. Strategic and responsive professional development programmes enhance teacher capability. School documentation gives teachers clear direction, and school leaders provide effective support and guidance.

The school has a culture of professional inquiry into practice. School systems promote teacher dialogue about high quality practice. Staff have opportunities to take on curriculum leadership and mentoring roles. Performance management processes are linked to professional development and school goals and staff are encouraged to undertake relevant tertiary study.

In discussion with ERO, school leaders identified some areas for ongoing review and development. These include:

  • continued development of the school’s inquiry approach to learning
  • review of the school curriculum and classroom teaching programmes and practices against the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. A culture of critical reflection and rigorous self review is embedded at all levels of the school to help ensure ongoing improvements.

The school is well led by an experienced and respected principal, who works collaboratively with senior leaders and trustees to maintain a clear long-term vision and strategic direction for the development of the school.

Trustees are well informed about school operations and plan strategically to sustain and improve the school’s performance. They have a good understanding of the complementary roles of governance and management. Trustees have clearly defined board roles that make good use of their strengths and experience. They maintain a visible profile in the school, and through formal consultation and informal communication, gain valuable insights into community perspectives.

Information from parents, staff and students is used to inform board decisions. Regular surveys of the community and staff give assurance that the school is continuing to provide high quality services and enables the board to respond to emerging areas for development and review.

Parent interest in standing for election to the board has been high. The current board has ensured that interested parents have opportunities to become involved in school activities. The board is well advanced in considering succession planning.

The school explores ways of encouraging effective communication and rich learning conversations with the wider school community. The board could continue to use some of the good practices in place to further enhance communication with the diverse cultural groups of the school community.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

At the time of this review, one long-term and two short-term international students were attending the school. International students are well supported to progress, achieve well and become involved in school activities beyond the classroom. The school manages and promotes the education and pastoral care of international students effectively.

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)

25 January 2012

About the School

Location

Te Atatu South, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

1536

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

Decile

6

School roll

616

Number of international students

1

Gender composition

Girls 50% Boys 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

Indian

Samoan

Niuean

Tongan

other Asian

other

50%

11%

15%

9%

6%

2%

1%

4%

2%

Review team on site

November 2011

Date of this report

25 January 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

November 2008

November 2005

November 2002