Rotokauri School

Rotokauri School

School Evaluation Report

Tēnā koutou e mau manawa rahi ki te kaupapa e aro ake nei, ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa. Mā wai rā e kawe, mā tātau katoa.

We acknowledge the collective effort, responsibility and commitment by all to ensure that the child remains at the heart of the matter.


Rotokauri School is located in Hamilton and provides education for students in years 1 – 8. The school vision is articulated as: together we grow; together we learn.

There are two parts to this report.

Part A: An evaluative summary of learner success and school conditions to inform the school board’s future strategic direction, including any education in Rumaki/bilingual settings. 

Part B: The improvement actions prioritised for the school’s next evaluation cycle. 

Part A: Current State

The following findings are to inform the school’s future priorities for improvement.

Learner Success and Wellbeing

The majority of students experience positive learning outcomes.
  • The large majority of students achieve at or above expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics, with Māori students achieving at comparable levels to their Pākehā peers.
  • Senior students have lower levels of achievement in mathematics and writing than junior students.
  • The school is almost meeting Ministry of Education attendance targets overall; however, senior students have significantly lower rates of attendance than junior students.

Conditions to support learner success

Leadership is increasingly well-placed to bring about the key improvements to enhance and sustain positive learning outcomes.
  • Leadership has developed a useful foundation to guide effective teaching practice to support equitable outcomes for learners.
  • Clear schoolwide systems and processes for planning, and for identifying and responding to target students has been developed.
  • Student achievement data is regularly analysed, and student progress is monitored.
  • Areas for individual and schoolwide professional development are identified and are beginning to be addressed.
Aspects of the school’s curriculum and teaching practices are inclusive and supportive of diverse student learning and wellbeing needs.
  • Classroom routines and expectations for positive behaviour are well-established and relationships among teachers and students are respectful.
  • Students with additional needs are supported to learn alongside their peers.
  • Further development is needed to integrate te ao Māori into the curriculum.
  • Assessment is not yet being consistently and effectively used to support students’ knowledge about their learning.
Evaluation processes are beginning to be used to identify areas for school improvement and to drive decision-making about action plans.
  • Regular surveys of students and parents help school leaders identify improvement priorities.
  • A range of achievement and pastoral care data is regularly collected and analysed.
  • Evaluation processes need to include systematic monitoring of programmes, interventions, and practices to understand their effectiveness on improving student outcomes.

Part B: Where to next?

The agreed next steps for the school are to: 

  • review the school’s curriculum to recognise the unique position of Māori within New Zealand society, and build teacher capability to integrate te ao Māori, including te reo, into teaching practices
  • increase schoolwide knowledge, understanding and use of effective assessment, including high-quality formative assessment and feedback
  • take action to increase the rate of senior students’ regular attendance
  • strengthen evaluation processes to include systematic monitoring of the impact of strategic improvement actions.

The agreed actions for the next improvement cycle and timeframes are as follows:

Within three months:

  • identify individual and collective professional development needs related to building capability in te ao Māori and effective assessment-for-learning practices
  • identify strategies and plan actions to increase senior student attendance.

Every six months:

  • provide a targeted professional development programme for teachers in response to their identified strengths and needs
  • review the school’s curriculum to identify where and how to increase meaningful integration of te ao and mātauranga Māori
  • monitor and report to the board on the impact of student attendance strategies.


  • evaluate the impact of strategic improvement actions, including the extent to which:
  • teachers are implementing effective practice to respond to students’ needs 
  • student understanding of their own learning has increased
  • te ao Māori is evident in the enacted curriculum
  • senior student rates of attendance have improved.

Actions taken against these next steps are expected to result in:

  • a curriculum that better reflects the place of Māori in New Zealand
  • increased student engagement in and understanding of their learning and next steps to make progress
  • improved rates of attendance for senior students.

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

Me mahi tahi tonu tātau, kia whai oranga a tātau tamariki 
Let’s continue to work together for the greater good of all children

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

28 May 2024

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Rotokauri School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2024 to 2027 

As of May 2024, the Rotokauri School Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Actions for Compliance

ERO and the board have identified the following areas of non-compliance during the board assurance process:

  • Students in Year 7 and above need to be provided with appropriate career education and guidance 
    [section 103, Education and Training Act].
  • The school needs to work towards offering students opportunities for learning second or subsequent languages (Years 7-8)
    [The New Zealand Curriculum].
  • The Board needs to ensure that every incident of physical restraint is reported to the Ministry of Education
    [section 100, Education and Training Act].

The board has not yet addressed the areas of non-compliance identified.

Further Information

For further information please contact Rotokauri 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

28 May 2024 

About the School 

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Rotokauri School - 09/12/2019

School Context

Rotokauri School is located on the outskirts of Hamilton and provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. The school’s current roll of 207 includes 55 Māori students and a small number of students from a range of other cultures.

The school’s vision ‘together we grow’ places priority on ‘unity-kotahitanga, inclusiveness-manaakitanga and guardianship-kaitiakitanga.’ The school’s ‘REACH’ values encourage students to show respect and empathy, be active learners and show courage and honesty.

The school’s strategic goals focus on:

  • students actively engaging in learning through curiosity and creativity
  • creating effective learning programmes
  • developing an inclusive school culture
  • developing physical learning environments that reflect the mission, vision and values of the school
  • effective governance.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics
  • technology.

Since the 2017 ERO review there have been significant changes to personnel. All teachers and trustees are new to their roles. New senior leaders have been appointed while the principal has remained in her role. There has also been a significant property upgrade.

Leaders and teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in mathematics, Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL), teaching as inquiry and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L).

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 and excellent outcomes for all students.

The school’s data from 2018 shows that most students are achieving at or above expected levels in reading and the large majority are achieving in writing and mathematics. This pattern of achievement has continued over time. Data from 2019 shows approximately half of all students are exceeding expected curriculum levels in reading and approximately a third in writing and mathematics.

Māori students have improved in their overall reading achievement from 2017 to 2018 and are now working at comparable levels to their NZ European/Pākehā peers. Interim achievement data for 2019 shows significant improvement in writing achievement especially for Māori students and boys but significant disparity remains for Māori students in writing and some in mathematics.

Boys are achieving at significantly lower levels than girls in literacy and some disparity remains in mathematics. This pattern of disparity has continued in writing over time.

The school has also collected and reported on schoolwide achievement in technology. Data from 2019 shows that almost all Māori and other students are achieving at or above expected curriculum levels.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported and make appropriate progress in relation to their individual goals.

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

The school is accelerating learning for some Māori and other students who need this. The school’s analysed data from the end of 2018 to the end of Term 3 2019 shows approximately half of all Māori and other students at risk, made accelerated progress to reach expected curriculum levels in writing and approximately one third in reading and mathematics.

Leaders and teachers can also show effective acceleration for smaller groups of students as a result of specific school targeted interventions.

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?

The school has a highly supportive and inclusive culture for learning. Students with additional needs are well catered for in classroom programmes and benefit from individualised planning and guidance. Effective liaison with a wide range of outside agencies supports students’ learning, health and behavioural needs. Teachers and teacher aides work closely together to improve outcomes for students.

The school’s curriculum enriches student wellbeing and engagement in learning. Students have many opportunities to participate in a variety of learning experiences and develop positive leadership skills. GATE (gifted and talented education) students are clearly identified and supported to achieve and excel in classroom programmes. A deliberate focus on values and traditions contributes to a strong sense of community for students and their families. Tuakana-teina relationships and a school-wide approach to building positive behaviours for learning promotes harmonious student interactions. Whole school kapa haka and bicultural contexts for learning enable a sense of pride and belonging for Māori students.

Teachers use deliberate strategies to enhance learning. Students at-risk of not achieving are clearly identified and differentiated planning supports their learning and achievement. A range of assessment tools is used appropriately to monitor and track individual progress and inform targeted planning and teaching. Learning is successfully scaffolded through effective questioning, learning intentions and adaptive teaching techniques. Regular communication with parents, families and whānau contributes to positive partnerships for learning. Warm and affirming relationships between teachers and students promote calm and settled environments for learning.

Leadership has established many high-quality processes and practices for continuous school improvement. Clear guidelines and expectations for effective teaching and learning have been developed to enable consistency of practices across the school. Professional learning is prioritised to build teacher capability and improve outcomes for learners. School-wide data is used effectively to track and monitor rates of progress and inform school internal evaluation. A strong focus on strengthening assessment practices through robust moderation and collaboration has improved the overall reliability of school data.

The school actively promotes a collaborative approach to improving outcomes for students. New school values have been developed in consultation with the parent community. Relationships with whānau and local iwi have been strengthened and are supporting raising achievement. The Board regularly consults with parents, considers students’ views and acts appropriately. Trustees are well informed on achievement information and able to make appropriate resourcing decisions to enable equitable opportunities to learn.

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

There is a need to develop a strategic and sustainable approach to ongoing school improvement. A current challenge for the school is the significant changes in the teaching team. Continuing to build teacher capability in implementing the Rotokauri School’s curriculum should further support improved outcomes for students and reduce disparity in achievement. Closer scrutiny of student achievement information is required to better inform and align strategic direction, targeted action and decision making.

Continuing to empower students in learning pathways is an agreed focus for the school. Useful frameworks have been developed to support students to understand identified goals in learning. However, there is a need to further strengthen formative assessment practices and students’ knowledge and reflection on their current learning and next steps, especially for those at-risk of not achieving.

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 Rotokauri School’sperformance 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:

  • leadership for learning that provides effective guidance and direction to improve outcomes for students
  • teaching practice that is focused on raising student achievement and accelerating learning
  • an inclusive culture for learning that supports the individual needs of students.

Next steps

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

  • embedding school processes and practices to reduce disparity in achievement, especially for boys in all areas and Māori students in writing and mathematics
  • student agency to grow fully independent learners.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure that teachers and authorised staff are suitably supported and trained in physical restraint.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

9 December 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 57% Female 43%

Ethnic composition

Māori 27%
NZ European/Pākehā 61%
Indian 5%
Other ethnic groups 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

9 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2017
Education Review May 2014
Education Review August 2009