Taupo-nui-a-Tia College

Taupo-nui-a-Tia College

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 13 months of the Education Review Office and Taupo-nui-a-Tia College 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


Taupo-nui-a-Tia College is a co-educational school located in Taupō and caters for learners in Years 9 to 13. A new principal was appointed in 2022 to begin Term 3, following the retirement of a long-serving principal.

Taupo-nui-a-Tia College’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • to embed culturally responsive and relational pedagogy to achieve parity in outcomes for all learners

  • developing a responsive localised curriculum through partnerships with whānau, hapū, iwi and community

  • to accelerate progress in literacy and numeracy

  • for all learners to have the skills and are empowered to enhance their wellbeing, allowing them to engage with education and society.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Taupo-nui-a-Tia College’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively the school is raising student achievement in literacy and numeracy.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • to ensure all students have foundational literacy and numeracy skills to access relevant curriculum and future pathways

  • to ensure there is parity in outcomes for Māori, Pacific and other priority students

  • to strengthen teacher capacity in numeracy and literacy strategies and practices across all curriculum areas.

The school expects to see:

  • that all students will have foundational literacy and numeracy to enable them to access future pathways
  • that all teachers are confident to deliver best practice literacy and numeracy learning across all curriculum areas.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to raise literacy and numeracy outcomes:

  • an inclusive learning environment that is positive and culturally responsive to learner needs

  • an evolving curriculum that is designed to engage learners and build their literacy and numeracy capacity

  • whole school leadership that is sharply focused on improving outcomes for all learners, including Māori, Pacific and learners with additional needs.   

Moving forward, the school will continue to prioritise:

  • professional learning and development to further build capacity for literacy and numeracy teaching

  • understanding and implementing the changes to The New Zealand Curriculum and assessment framework to best support outcomes for all learners

  • embedding systems and processes to support improved outcomes in literacy and numeracy.

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.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

27 July 2022 

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


Taupo-nui-a-Tia College

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2021 to 2024

As of October 2021, the Taupo-nui-a-Tia College Board of Trustees 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 Taupo-nui-a-Tia College Board of Trustees.

The next Board of Trustees 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.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

27 July 2022 

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

Taupo-nui-a-Tia College

Provision for International Students Report


The Education Review Office reviews schools that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020.


Taupo-nui-a-Tia College has attested that it complies with all aspects of The Code.

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

Taupo-nui-a-Tia College is effective at identifying areas of good practice and areas for development in the provision for international students through the self-review process. During the ERO review process the school has provided evidence to show they have responded to all matters identified in the internal school review. The school can strengthen the way they document the response to the internal review.

Students can participate in a range of learning pathways suited to individual needs. Student pastoral care needs are supported by the international student director, deans, guidance counsellors and class teachers. Information gathered by the school shows that students feel well-supported. Students have many opportunities to be involved in the school community and beyond.

Prior to international students returning, the school should consider how they include provision for international students in the overall strategic and annual planning processes to ensure the provision for and outcomes of this group of students are closely monitored.  

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)
Central Region | Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

27 July 2022 

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

Taupo-nui-a-Tia College - 26/10/2016


The school has a supportive, friendly and inclusive whānau culture. Teachers and students get to know each other well. Students are provided many opportunities for meaningful learning, including te reo and tikanga Māori. High numbers of students leave with at least a NCEA Level 2 qualification. The school has a strong focus on self improvement. Senior leaders are establishing a culture of professional learning, with a focus on improved teaching and learning.

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

1 Context

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

Taupo-nui-a-Tia College is a well-established, co-educational secondary school situated in Taupo. The school has a growing roll and there are now 1021 students enrolled who come from Taupo and the surrounding rural areas. Māori students make up 32% of the roll and many affiliate to Tūwharetoa, the local iwi. The school has developed strong relationships with Tūwharetoa and the local community.

The principal and many staff have remained in their roles since the previous ERO review in 2013. There have been changes to the chairmanship of the board of trustees and members of the senior leadership team. The school’s vision ‘preparing your child for the future’ has been reviewed after consultation with the community and now places a greater emphasis on future-focused learning. Students learn in a positive school culture where they feel a strong sense of belonging and respect.

Teachers have been engaged in ongoing professional learning and development about implementing culturally responsive relationships and pedagogy, and in the teaching of literacy. The school is continuing to respond to the areas for review and development identified in the 2013 ERO report. These areas are raising Māori student achievement, and gathering and using student assessment information, especially in Years 9 and 10.

The school is governed by a capable board. A deliberate approach to succession planning, along with effective internal school organisation, ensure high quality governance. Parents and whānau are warmly welcomed into the school.

The school is a member of the Taupō Community of Learning (CoL) which has set achievement targets about raising student achievement and is in the early stages of implementation.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school is gathering a wide range of data and information about students’ achievement, progress, key competencies and engagement. This data is used effectively to reflect on and evaluate programmes of learning, initiatives and school performance, and to set overarching goals.

Student achievement information in literacy and mathematics is gathered in Years 9 and 10 using nationally referenced assessment tools. This information is made available to all teachers to help them identify where students need extra help especially in literacy. Subject specific assessments are used to show the gains that students make. Middle leaders and teachers are being encouraged to use student achievement data and other evidence to inform their inquiries and action plans.

Overall trends in the last three years indicate that students in Years 11, 12 and 13 are achieving at similar levels to their peers nationally in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). There is a continuing disparity between the achievement of Māori and non-Māori students at the school. Leaders and teachers are highly committed to reducing this disparity and have been working proactively for a number of years to build teacher capability in this area. In 2016, more comprehensive systems for monitoring student achievement in NCEA have resulted in this achievement gap being reduced after a dip in results in 2015.

Students receive feedback about their progress, achievement and effort from their subject and whānau teachers. Whānau teachers, deans and counsellors provide advice, support and encouragement to students about their learning pathways and attitudes to learning. Study hubs have been established to provide extra support for students in Years 11 to 13.

School leaders and ERO agree that there is a need to strengthen assessment and learning processes in Years 9 and 10 to better identify and respond to the learning needs of students at risk of underachieving. This was also an area for review and development in the 2013 ERO report. Clearly analysing robust achievement data, and using targeted teaching strategies to raise achievement, are needed to ensure more equitable outcomes, especially for Māori students. Reporting on Years 9 and 10 student achievement and progress to the board is also an important requirement.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum has an appropriate balance of academic, vocational, cultural and physical pursuits. This ensures that students have ample opportunities to develop their interests and strengths, and follow meaningful learning pathways. School leaders are monitoring the destinations of students when they leave school and are able to show that the majority of students embark on tertiary studies with the next largest group going into employment.

Significant features of the school curriculum are:

  • the inclusion of future-focused learning practices including increased use of digital technologies
  • authentic learning experiences through partnerships with local businesses
  • a wide range of cross-curricular and co-curricular learning experiences
  • greater student choice to enhance their engagement and success.

Teachers are using an inquiry approach to explore and trial teaching strategies aimed at better engaging students and further raising their achievement. These strategies take into consideration the preferences of students for what and how they will learn.

A collaborative and collegial professional culture is supported by mutually respectful relationships. There is regular and planned professional learning and development for teachers that is focused on culturally responsive pedagogy, and supports and deepens teacher inquiries. A robust appraisal system effectively integrates improving teacher practice with the accountability requirements of the Education Council.

Middle and senior leaders work collaboratively to build leadership and teacher knowledge and understanding of good practices in teaching and learning. They are using an evidence-based inquiry approach to examine and reflect on the effectiveness of programmes and innovations in raising student achievement in their subject areas. This inquiry approach underpins internal evaluation across the school.

Students benefit from high-quality pastoral care systems provided by a team of dedicated and highly skilled professionals. A range of programmes and interventions are in place to support students whose learning needs accelerating or extending. Students with diverse learning needs are well integrated into the school culture. A newly appointed Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) is extending the range of support available for these students. Student survey results indicate high levels of wellbeing, inclusion, safety and security.

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

There has been a sustained and deliberate approach to enhancing outcomes for Māori students through:

  • building positive relationships with Tūwharetoa and whānau
  • ongoing commitment to culturally responsive and relational pedagogy
  • increasing awareness by teachers of the importance of Māori language, culture and identity within the curriculum, in relationships, and across school documentation and systems
  • increasing visibility of Māori culture and tikanga in the school through pōwhiri, kapa haka, waiata and Māori sports
  • the appointment of a Māori liaison person to help facilitate communication with whānau.

A successful Māori department offers courses in te reo Māori and Māori performing arts up to NCEA Level 3. The school has plans to extend courses to include hospitality in partnership with Tūwharetoa.

Māori students indicated that they felt acknowledged and respected as Māori, that there were opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills in te reo and tikanga Māori, and they were able to experience a strong sense of belonging.

The school needs to continue its unrelenting focus on raising Māori student achievement. In particular:

  • the progress and achievement of each Māori student should be closely monitored, tracked and responded to as they progress through the school
  • leaders should continue to consolidate the current professional development model for enacting and embedding a culturally responsive pedagogy and strengthen accountabilities in line with teacher appraisal
  • middle leaders and teachers need to systematically increase the inclusion of Māori context and content throughout all course work.

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 because:

  • there is a very well-informed board with clear governance guidelines and expectations, and trustees who bring valuable experience and expertise
  • the principal provides sustained and effective leadership for the school and together with his senor leadership team is managing change in a careful and considered manner
  • the board and principal have a clear vision for preparing the school for future-focused learning
  • the school is working proactively and effectively to increase the engagement and participation of parents and whānau in their children’s education and to strengthen relationships with Tūwharetoa
  • there is a spirit of evaluation, inquiry and knowledge-building informed by data and evidence throughout the school.

Provision for international students

The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) was introduced on 1 July 2016. The school is aware of the need to update its policies and procedures to meet the new code requirements by 1 December 2016.

At the time of this ERO review there were five international students attending the school.

The school is making good progress in aligning its policies and procedures to meet requirements for the 2016 Code.

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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


Taupō-nui-a-Tia College provides students with a positive, inclusive school culture and an holistic curriculum that offers a wide range of opportunities to experience success. There is increasing responsiveness to the interests and engagement of Māori students. The school has close relationships with the local community and this helps to ensure that students develop meaningful pathways to future employment.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

26 October 2016

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 50% Girls 50%

Ethnic composition




Other European











Review team on site

September 2016

Date of this report

26 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

September 2013

October 2010

January 2008