Rotorua School

Education institution number:
School type:
Full Primary
School gender:
Not Applicable
Total roll:

1249 Arawa Street, Rotorua Central, Rotorua

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Rotorua School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within six months of the Education Review Office and Rotorua 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.


Rotorua School is located in Rotorua’s central business district. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8. It is a dual medium school offering instruction in both English and Māori. An established leadership team continue in their roles. Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa continue to support the school to develop and implement a local curriculum.

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

  • for Māori students to be engaged in their learning and achieve educational success with pride in their identity, language and culture through embedding culturally responsive teaching and curriculum

  • providing high-quality professional learning and development opportunities for teachers that result in increased achievement in literacy and science for all students, particularly students needing support.

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

ERO and the school are working together to, through evaluation, strengthen assessment systems and the use of assessment data by leaders, board, teachers, and students.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is to:

  • support more targeted teaching to further promote the progress and achievement of all students, including those at risk of under-achieving

  • continue to strengthen learner agency by further empowering students to take responsibility for their own learning.

The school expects to see:

  • an improvement in the numbers of students making accelerated progress, particularly those who need support in their learning

  • increasing numbers of students who are able to identify their current achievement and next steps for learning. 


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to evaluate and strengthen assessment systems and the use of assessment data:

  • teachers’ increasing understanding of assessment tools to support their planning in literacy, mathematics, te reo matatini and pāngarau

  • a positive culture for learning, and an inviting school environment

  • a supportive, collaborative and ‘open to learning’ staff culture.

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • the use of a range of assessment tools, including learning progression frameworks, to respond to and monitor the accelerated progress of students at risk of not achieving

  • the inclusion of school-wide student progress targets in the strategic plan, and regular reporting on these to the board and community.

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

22 June 2023 

About the School

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

Rotorua School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of October 2022, the Rotorua School 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 Rotorua School 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.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

22 June 2023 

About the School

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

Rotorua School - 29/06/2018


Rotorua School has made good progress in addressing the areas for development identified in the 2015 ERO report in relation to improving teacher practice. Students at risk of underachieving are now better supported. An important next step for the school is to appoint new school leaders to ensure that improvements made so far are sustained into the future.

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

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Rotorua School is located in central Rotorua and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll is 214. Of these, 96% are Māori, most of whom whakapapa to Te Arawa, the local iwi. There are also a small number of Pacific, Asian and Pākehā students.

The school is dual medium with five classes taught in English (Auraki) and five taught through the medium of Māori (Rūmaki). The school continues to enjoy close relationships with Ngāti Whakaue, the local hapū, who provide ongoing support for students in literacy in both English and Māori, as well as funding for other initiatives in the school.

Since the 2015 ERO report school leadership has remained stable. Board membership has changed over the past two years with a new chairperson in place mid-way through 2016.

The school is a member of the Te Maru o Ngongotaha Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development:

  • strengthen the use of assessment data at all levels of the school
  • complete the development of a local curriculum document
  • strengthen teaching practice
  • strengthen appraisal for leaders and teachers as well as other forms of internal evaluation
  • strengthen guidance and leadership for the teachers of the Rūmaki classes
  • strengthen school governance.


The school has strengthened the use of assessment data. Leaders have developed school-wide targets that focus on accelerating the progress of students identified as at risk of underachieving. These targets are included in the strategic plan so that the board can track progress in meeting them. Leaders have developed robust systems for the monitoring and tracking of at-risk students at syndicate and senior leadership level. A small number of at-risk students in each class are identified by the classroom teacher to be the focus of ongoing, evidence-based inquiry. This enables teachers to be more innovative and flexible in responding to the individual learning needs of each student.

The school has made significant progress in developing its local curriculum. Local iwi history is now taught systematically throughout both the Auraki and Rūmaki classes. Both the Auraki and Rūmaki sections of the school have reviewed the way curriculum content is organised and delivered. Leaders are working on ways to use local iwi history as the foundation and framework for the whole school curriculum.

Teaching practice has been strengthened. There are now clear expectations in place for many aspects of classroom practice including planning, reporting on and discussing assessment data, and presentation of classroom environments. Leaders have instituted robust systems to raise and maintain high levels of teacher performance. Teachers observed by ERO had warm and respectful relationships with their students. School-wide behaviour management systems assist teachers to promote a positive environment for learning. Strategies which make learning more visible for students such as the use of modelling books and success criteria are evident. Good use is made of learning progressions to identify individual student learning needs, particularly in reading, mathematics, pānui, pukapuka and pāngarau.

The services of an external appraiser have been used by senior leaders to assist them to improve their practice. In 2018 the focus of the appraisal is on the leadership team as a whole. A new appraisal system has been developed for teachers which aligns with current Education Council requirements and recommendations. Leadership and guidance for the Rūmaki teachers has been strengthened with the provision of both internal and external mentoring and support for leaders in this area.

Trustees have a good understanding of their roles. They are enthusiastic about new board targets which focus on student progress. They are fully involved in the development of the strategic plan and have shared ownership of the direction that they have set for the school. Trustees lead policy review. All trustees have been involved in ongoing training and development in order to more effectively carry out their responsibilities.

Key next steps

Ongoing development and improvement needs to continue, particularly in the following areas:

  • Leaders need to strengthen the analysis of assessment data in the Rūmaki section of the school and take a more strategic approach to identifying targeted actions to respond to trends and patterns. They should also ensure that the new appraisal system for teachers is consistently implemented.

Leaders need to complete the review of the local curriculum. This will include:

  • finalising the ways in which local iwi history becomes the foundation and framework for the whole curriculum in both the Auraki and Rūmaki sections of the school
  • developing clear expectations for the teaching of literacy, mathematics, te reo matatini and pāngarau.

Teachers need to continue to strengthen their practice. This will include:

  • developing systems that empower students to articulate and take responsibility for their own next steps in learning
  • aligning systems for providing feedback and feed forward to students about the next steps in learning
  • responding more effectively to the needs of groups and individuals in tuhituhi.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Trustees have set a clear direction for the school and are well-informed about their roles. Many of the new systems and processes recommended in the 2015 ERO report have been embedded in school practice. Key teachers who are able to support school leaders to maintain the current direction are in place.

However, the school is currently in a period of change. Two of the three senior leaders, including the principal, have recently resigned. An acting principal has been appointed until a new one can start at the beginning of Term 4, 2018.

For this reason, ERO will continue to monitor the school’s targeted planning and progress.

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.

In order to meet its legislative requirements the board of trustees must:

  • strengthen anti-bullying policies and programmes offered to students so that they cover all relevant types of bullying. [National Administration Guideline 5]

4 Recommendations

Recommendations, including any to other agencies for ongoing or additional support.

  • the board of trustees access external support to appoint a new principal
  • trustees and leaders participate in an ERO internal evaluation workshop.


Rotorua School has made good progress in addressing the areas for development identified in the 2015 ERO report in relation to improving teacher practice. Students at risk of underachieving are now better supported. An important next step for the school is to appoint new school leaders to ensure that improvements made so far are sustained into the future.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

29 June 2018

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 52% Girls 48%

Ethnic composition







Special Features

Dual medium

Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

July 2015

June 2012

June 2009