Manaia School (Taranaki)

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1 Context

Manaia School in South Taranaki caters for students in Years 1 to 8. There were 121 students on the roll at the time of this review, with about two-thirds identifying as Māori.

Since the May 2013 ERO report, there have been changes in leadership, staffing and the board. Two acting principals led the school during 2013 and 2014. The previous board resigned in 2014 and was replaced by a commissioner. The current principal was appointed at the end of 2014. In 2016, a new board of trustees was elected. The commissioner's role ended, but she now supports trustees in developing their skills and capability in governance.

The school is involved in the Ministry of Education (MoE) Accelerating Learning in Literacy programme. All teachers, including the principal, have been involved in the Incredible Years programme to create more positive learning environments. Whole school literacy professional learning was provided in 2015 and 2016.

Leaders and trustees have expressed an interest in becoming part of a Community of Learning. The school will participate in the Positive Behaviour for Learning programme in 2017.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are that they will “dream – believe – achieve”, and that they will be encouraged, supported and challenged to be life-long, passionate learners.

The school’s achievement information shows that in 2015 just under three-quarters of all children achieved National Standards in reading and writing, with about two-thirds achieving the Standards in mathematics.

Information reported by the school indicates that National Standards achievement has improved since 2014 in reading, writing and mathematics. The school's mid-year 2016 data suggests that this trend may continue.

In 2015, Māori students achieved similar levels to their New Zealand European peers in the school in reading and mathematics, but lower in writing. Boys achieved less well than girls in writing.

Since the previous ERO evaluation the school has focused on:

  • building positive and productive relationships
  • increasing students' engagement in their learning
  • introducing restorative practices to behaviour management strategies
  • increasing the engagement of parents and the community in the life of the school
  • developing systems that support teachers to improve their practice
  • improving teachers' use of data to promote achievement and progress
  • developing a Manaia School curriculum that reflects the New Zealand Curriculum
  • improving teaching and learning in writing.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school is developing its response to Māori learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

Overall achievement for Māori has improved since 2014. Some students experience accelerated progress. Improvements are more noticeable in reading, where Māori students achieve at levels comparable to their peers in the school. Although writing has been a whole school focus for improvement this has not yet had the desired impact for Māori learners, as few have accelerated progress in this area.

Leaders have identified that in 2016 raising achievement in mathematics is a priority. In this learning area, Māori students are achieving at the National Standard similarly to the rest of the school, but fewer are achieving above.

The school's annual improvement goals identify those Māori students who are at risk of underachieving. Actions are planned to accelerate their learning and progress.

Over recent years, the school has had variable success in achieving its targets. Setting more specific and measurable targets for students who need accelerated progress, implementing planned actions to reach the targets and then evaluating the difference made, should support the school to improve its effectiveness.

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

In annual improvement goals, the school identifies all students who are at risk of underachieving. These learners are targeted to accelerate their learning and progress. However, this targeting does not consistently result in accelerated progress.

Leaders have identified that increasing teacher's capability to use data more effectively to inform their planning should assist them to better respond to students' individual needs.

Teachers have access to more detailed information about students' achievement. Additional assessment tools have been introduced to provide a wider range of information for teachers to make overall teacher judgments (OTJs) about students' achievement in relation to the National Standards.

Teachers are increasingly collaborative in their approach to sharing and moderating data to promote learning and progress. Leaders agree that continuing to improve practices for reliability and dependability should improve the accuracy of OTJs.

Closer tracking and monitoring by leaders should provide a clearer picture of trends and patterns of achievement. Knowing more about students 'progress over time should enable teachers to identify more precisely whose learning is being accelerated, particularly for those students who are at risk of not achieving. 

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 is developing the effectiveness of the curriculum and organisational processes and practices to better promote equity and excellence for all students.

Leaders, whanau and community were consulted to develop a new vision, values and mission statement. The comprehensive charter clearly articulates priorities for improvement and sets the strategic direction of the school's future.

Leaders have established schoolwide priorities for improvement and have sought to develop a climate of trust and collaboration. Establishing a caring, inclusive community that values diversity and promotes student wellbeing has been an ongoing focus. Teachers prioritise developing positive and respectful relationships with students. Leaders have focused on increasing engagement of students in their learning and of whānau in the life of the school.

A new Manaia School curriculum framework is being developed to align with the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). It suitably reflects the philosophy of empowering students to take responsibility for and drive their own learning. It has a strong focus on literacy and numeracy.

Programmes and practices have been introduced to support students to take ownership and make decisions about their learning. These emphasise developing student's social skills and the key competencies of the NZC.  

Next steps are to establish the desired learning outcomes for these initiatives, and develop practices to extend, measure and track student achievement and progress. These should enable teachers and leaders to evaluate the impact of these strategies and determine if learning is improved for all students, and particularly for priority students.

A well-considered process supports children's transition into, through and beyond the school. Relationships with the local early learning services and secondary schools are being strengthened. The school has introduced play-based and inquiry learning for the new entrants to support students' sense of belonging and empower them to further explore their learning.

The school demonstrates that it values students' culture, language and identity to promote success for all children. Students participate in whole school kapahaka, waiata and karakia. Teachers and whānau support each other to further develop their knowledge of culturally responsive practices. A recent appointment has brought expertise to foster improvements in bicultural practice and support Māori learners to succeed as Māori.

Reports to parents are clear and provide information about their child’s achievement in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Next steps for learning are included and parents are provided with suggestions about how they can further support their child’s learning at home. Strengthening how reports show progress over time should support learning conversations with whānau. 

In 2016, performance management systems have been further developed to support teachers to improve their practice. Strengthening the coherence of appraisal and including feedback about progress towards teachers' goals should ensure the process is more effective. Using Tātaiako - Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners should support teachers to improve their response to learning for and with Māori students.

A new framework to support teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice has been introduced and includes a focus on improving the achievement of targeted students. Strengthening the use of achievement information within appraisal and inquiry processes should improve how well teachers are able to show the impact of changes in practice on outcomes for students.

Leaders have used student achievement information in decision making about teachers' professional learning and development to support the strategic priorities for school improvement. Leaders and teachers have actively participated and incorporated their new learning in everyday practices.  

Teachers are collating evidence to meet requirements for renewing Teacher Practising Certificates.  Building a shared understanding of what is appropriate and sufficient evidence, coupled with strengthening feedback, is needed to improve this attestation process.

Self-review processes seek improvement to student achievement, school systems and practices. However, leaders and teachers do not yet have a clear understanding of what works well, what does not and what makes a bigger difference for all learners.

The next step is to further strengthen systematic use of evidence-based evaluation to measure the impacts of practices and programmes. Improved internal evaluation should enable the school to better measure the effectiveness of the curriculum and teaching on accelerating students' progress, particularly for those at risk.

The school has prioritised developing relationships with its community. Parents and whānau increasingly engage through a variety of activities and sports. Senior leaders and teachers should continue to extend partnerships with parents, whānau and the community to further support student learning and success.

Systems and processes for effective governance have been developed and implemented. Trustees are well informed about school activities and students' achievement. Strengthening the principal's reports to include more specific information about targeted students' progress towards achieving their goals would provide a better basis for the board's decision making. Trustees have identified, and ERO agrees, that there is a need to continue to build understanding of governance and develop their capability to fulfil their roles and responsibilities. 

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
  • need approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child
  • need to ensure the school is well placed to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it.

Manaia School is continuing to build its capacity to respond effectively to all students and particularly those whose learning and progress need acceleration. It has introduced new programmes and initiatives intended to improve outcomes for all children. Systems and processes that support teachers to build their capability and effectiveness have been strengthened.

Improving internal evaluation will support the school to measure the value and worth of its actions and their impact on improving outcomes and success for all.

Action: The board, principal and teachers should participate in an internal evaluation workshop. They should use this workshop, the Internal Evaluation: Good Practice exemplars and the School Evaluation Indicators to address the findings of this evaluation and develop more targeted planning that includes a significant focus on building teacher capability to accelerate learning and achievement.

As part of this review ERO will continue to monitor the school’s planning 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 Recommendations

Leaders and teachers should continue to build capacity to respond effectively to all students whose learning and progress needs acceleration. The next steps are:

  • to continue to develop systems and processes that support teachers to build their capability and effectiveness
  • for trustees, with support, to further develop their effectiveness in governance
  • to strengthen systematic evidence-based evaluation to determine the impact of actions on improving outcomes for students. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

19 December 2016 

About the school 


Manaia, Taranaki.

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

59% Male 41% Female

Ethnic composition







Review team on site

October 2016

Date of this report

19 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2013

March 2010

June 2006


1 Context

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

Manaia School, located in south Taranaki, caters for students in Years 1 to 8 in the local township and surrounding rural area. The roll of 123 includes 51% who identify as Māori. The spacious outdoor environment is well maintained. Students have access to a range of equipment that extends and challenges their physical development.

Strong community relationships underpin the culture of the school. Local kaumatua and kuia help staff and students to have an understanding of te ao Māori and support their cultural practices. Successful initiatives lead to increased engagement with parents, whānau and the community.

A planned induction programme helps children and their families transition from the kohanga reo and onsite early childhood centre. A settled, family-like environment effectively supports students’ learning and holistic development.

2 Learning

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

National Standards information is reported to the board annually and includes the achievement of Māori students. Achievement data for 2012 indicates that most students achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading and mathematics. Data for writing show fewer achieving in these categories, although there is variability across the school. The numeracy target for junior students and the reading target for seniors have been met.

The school is making good use of 2012 data to inform its achievement focus for 2013. Achievement targets have been developed related to the school’s strategic goals and are supported by an action plan and resourcing.

Teachers use a range of appropriate assessment tools and moderate results to make overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards. They discuss learning, progress and achievement with students and assist them to set goals and understand their own learning and next steps. Students’ progress is enhanced by specific interventions and initiatives, including those designed for identified priority learners.

The principal acknowledges that teachers need to make better use of achievement information. Staff should review the school’s teaching as inquiry model to investigate how it can be used to support teachers’ ongoing reflection about the effectiveness of their teaching strategies for raising student achievement.

The school has developed an effective process for reporting to parents. Whānau receive written reports about their children’s achievement. Parents attend meetings with their children and teachers to discuss learning. All are involved in setting goals and next learning steps for students.

It is timely to review the reporting template to ensure that parents receive full and detailed information about their child’s progress and achievement in all three priority learning areas in relation to National Standards.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. It gives strong emphasis to literacy and mathematics with clear links to The New Zealand Curriculum. Learning is a partnership between student and teacher, based on respect and shared expectations.

Recently introduced curriculum initiatives are responsive to student needs and promote engagement, progress and achievement. These processes are aligned with the school vision and values and focus on building a sense of belonging and well-being for students. Staff should formally review these initiatives to evaluate their impact on student engagement, progress and achievement.

Teachers use a range of effective teaching practices to foster student learning. They use their knowledge of students' needs to make decisions about class programmes and learning activities. Classroom environments are settled and interactions are positive and supportive. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are available in classrooms to enhance teaching and learning.

The principal has identified, and ERO affirms, that it is timely to investigate how to extend the use of ICT to further enhance learning opportunities for students.

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

Strong links with local iwi, Ngā Ruahine Rangi, supports well-being and promotes educational success for Māori learners. A range of opportunities are used to consult and communicate with whānau and the wider community.

Māori students take on leadership roles and act as positive role models. Māori student achievement shows the same profile of achievement as for other students at the school. Data from 2012 indicates higher achievement in reading and mathematics than in writing.

The school provides an inclusive environment for its Māori whānau. A Māori achievement plan is in place that includes schoolwide cultural perspectives and experiences and an expectation that Māori will succeed and achieve. Classroom programmes include useful aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

School leaders have identified, and ERO affirms, that they should:

  • review the effectiveness of the plan to ensure that it continues to support Māori to achieve as Māori
  • consider and respond to Tātaiako : Cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners to help in the provision of culturally responsive programmes
  • report clear achievement information for Māori students to the board and whānau
  • investigate how to further acknowledge and celebrate Māori language, culture and identity.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The board demonstrates a sound understanding of its governance role and responsibilities. Trustees have constructive and supportive relationships with the principal and staff. They support the school enthusiastically.

The board has successfully consulted with parents to develop the charter that informs the school’s strategic direction and priorities. Trustees allocate resources based on student achievement data to better meet identified needs and priorities.

The principal encourages leadership throughout the school. Staff have opportunities to take responsibility in areas of strength and interest.

Teachers have developed appraisal goals that are aligned with Registered Teacher Criteria and the school’s priorities. Professional learning and development is provided to support teachers’ progress towards achieving their goals.

The appraisal process has not always been consistently carried out for the principal or teachers. The principal has identified, and ERO affirms, that the appraisal for the principal and teachers requires strengthening to ensure that it is robust and that it enhances teachers’ professional practices which improve learning outcomes.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

17 May 2013

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā



Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

17 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2010

June 2006

June 2002