Takaro School

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

Brighton Crescent, Palmerston North

View on map

Takaro School - 15/02/2018

School Context

Takaro School in Palmerston North caters for 203 students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this external evaluation, 66% identify as Māori and 8% are of Pacific heritage. The ‘Te Reo Pūtahi’, rumaki Māori unit, supports 31 students in two Level 1 immersion classes. The rest of the school has a Level 3 immersion focus.

The school’s learning characteristics are Whakamana Tangata – respect, support and honouring others; Ringa Ueke – application and endeavour for learning; Ihu nui – curiosity and the desire to learn; and, Whakauaka – sustainability and preservation of our environment.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics

  • tuhituhi, pāngarau, pānui and korero

  • engagement and wellbeing for success.

The school incorporates Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) to support students as they engage in their learning. Since 2014, leaders and teachers have participated in a range of professional learning and development opportunities that include: ALiM (Accelerated Learning in Mathematics), ALL (Accelerated Literacy Learning), writing and Te Reo Matatini – Pānui, tuhituhi me kōrero ā-waha.

Since the April 2014 ERO report, the board of trustees has undergone significant changes. A new chairperson has been appointed.

The school is a member of the Palmerston North City and Rural Schools Two Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school continues to develop systems and processes to better promote the achievement of equitable and excellent outcomes for all students.

In 2016, the school reported that the majority of students are achieving well in reading. In writing and mathematics less than half of all students are achieving well. This achievement information shows that there is disparity. Girls achieve better in reading and writing. Boys achieve better in mathematics.

The Rumaki Māori achievement data for 2016 shows that less than half of all students are achieving well in pangarau, pānui, korero, and tuhituhi. There is clear disparity between boys and girls in pangarau, tuhituhi and korero.

1.2 How effectively does this school respond to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

Leaders and teachers are increasing their capability to respond more effectively to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school’s data shows that some students identified as at risk in 2017 have made accelerated progress.

Leaders have identified that accelerating boys’ achievement in writing and in korero ā-waha is a focus in 2018.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

Curriculum design reflects the uniqueness of the school. Te Kura o Tākaro Marautanga-ā-Kura promotes the inclusiveness of their local maunga, ngā awa and ngā tuna. Every child has the opportunity to learn, progress and achieve in a kaupapa Māori setting. It provides choices for students and relevant contexts that support their learning.

The school has developed useful systems to identify at risk students. Students requiring additional learning support participate and learn in a caring and inclusive environment. Leaders and teachers effectively monitor, track and plan appropriately to ensure their needs are being met.

Parents, whānau and the community are welcomed as respected and valued participants in their children’s learning. Teachers use a range of initiatives that support students’ learning. The school values promote positive interactions and relationships across the school. There is a strong focus on student wellbeing contributing to a sense of belonging.

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

Building on established relationships with whānau to develop learning partnerships, particularly for those students whose learning needs acceleration, is a next step.

Trustees are committed to the wellbeing of students and an engaged community. With a number of members new to their stewardship role, developing their capability through professional learning and development is needed to help to build their knowledge and understanding of their roles.

Trustees and leaders should strengthen and align school targets with annual goals. This should assist improving accountabilities and understanding of what works for schoolwide improvement. In addition, leaders and trustees can effectively measure the impact of the school’s performance against its vision, mission and school priorities.

Leaders and teachers are developing their understanding of teaching as inquiry to improve their practice to support those children whose learning and achievement requires acceleration. As part of this process teachers are using data to identify targeted groups of students, their needs and to develop key strategies to improve their learning outcomes. This development should continue.

Senior leaders and trustees have identified the need to improve their understanding of effective internal evaluation. Improved practice should support them to know what is working well and what needs to change to improve outcomes for all children.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • a culture of collaboration among leaders, trustees and teachers, that maintains high expectations for teaching and learning throughout the school

  • an inclusive learning environment, that responds to students’ needs, promotes and supports their wellbeing and learning success

  • a curriculum that is responsive to students’ language, culture and identities and the local context.

Next steps

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

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning by strengthening schoolwide targets that focus on those students whose learning and achievement require acceleration
    [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school.]

  • building trustees’ capability through professional learning and development to grow their understanding of their stewardship roles

  • strengthening internal evaluation, to determine how well school-wide systems and process are promoting positive outcomes for all children.
    [ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders.]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

15 February 2018

About the school


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 55%, Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 66%
Pākehā 2%
Pacific 8%
Other ethnic groups 24%

Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)


Number of students in Level 1 MME


Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

15 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, April 2014
Education Review, December 2010
Education Review, May 2008

Takaro School - 30/04/2014

1 Context

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

Takaro School, also known as Te Kura o Takaro, is a full Years 1 to 8 primary school located in the suburb of Highbury, Palmerston North. Of the 168 students who attend the school, 86% identify as Māori and 5% as Pacific. Students learn in te reo Māori immersion or English medium classrooms, with te reo me ngā tikanga Māori embedded in the daily life of the school.

The school enjoys the support of loyal and established whānau and community. A sense of whanaungatanga pervades school culture.

2 Learning

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

Assessment practices and the use of achievement information have improved significantly since the December 2010 ERO report. Student attendance and engagement in learning is high.

Raising achievement and accelerating the progress of learners remain critical goals. The school reported that while three quarters of students achieved at or above in relation to National Standards in reading in 2013, just half of all students met the standard in mathematics and writing. Pacific students are achieving well. Ngā Whanaketanga data from Rumaki Māori classrooms shows positive results. The principal and staff intend further development of assessment practice and moderation within the Rumaki Māori classrooms.

An important area for development is to clearly define what accelerated progress looks like for students who are not yet achieving in relation to National Standards or Ngā Whanaketanga. This should help teachers to set high and measurable targets for these students to attain.

Teachers' understanding of student achievement schoolwide has improved. Moderation and teachers' overall judgements about levels of student achievement have developed. Useful benchmarks are used by teachers to inform learning programmes. These provide a common language to help teachers better support students' progress.

Teachers have a clear focus on identifying priority learners and considering new ways to respond to their learning needs. They are beginning to reflect on what strategies are working well for these students. This teaching-as-inquiry process has increased collaboration within teaching teams. Schoolwide achievement and goals have been the focus for discussions, sharing practice and solving problems together. These practices are in the early stages of development and are beginning to benefit staff and learners.

Parents receive clear and detailed information about their child’s achievement and progress. Next steps and ways to help at home are included. Student portfolios are rich and valued archives that celebrate ongoing progress and achievement. The principal and staff continue to focus on increasing the number of parents engaged in learning partnerships.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is relevant and responsive to Māori students, whānau and te ao Māori. Te Marautanga o Takaro was developed with parents, whānau, staff, community and student input. Local maunga and awa are used in a culturally significant, symbolic framework for a curriculum, underpinned by the principles of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The curriculum provides a strong platform for success. It supports students’ sense of belonging, identity and connectedness to their place and community.

Teaching and learning reflects cultural competency, te ao Māori and te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Students are developing the characteristics that are promoted through the curriculum. These characteristics include: strength of character when leading and learning alongside each other (mana tangata); being inquisitive (ihu nui); and hardworking, focusing on the task at hand (ringa ueke). Curriculum development has occurred recently with the inclusion of a new learning characteristic Whakauka (sustainability). ERO observed well settled classroom environments with learning at appropriate levels. Students were highly engaged and classroom tones were respectful and cooperative.

Teachers know Māori students as learners and individuals. Students are encouraged to be self managing. Ako is a principle within the curriculum that is strongly promoted. Students with high and special needs are well identified and detailed plans promote their progress and success. The school involves parents, whānau and appropriate external agencies, so that collaborative and wrap-around support is put in place. A culture of inclusion actively promotes student wellbeing.

Expectations for what is effective teaching and learning are clearly outlined and appropriate. Guidelines for teaching staff are comprehensively expressed through vision and curriculum statements.

Professional learning and development is purposeful and centred on literacy and mathematics. It encompasses sharing best practices in teaching and learning. More focused use of teacher aide support in classes is now occurring.

More thoroughly reviewing the effectiveness of the curriculum is a key next step. In particular, reviewing literacy and mathematics programmes, and measuring the outcomes of the values and characteristics being promoted through the curriculum. Such review should include a wide range of data, observations of practice and student and whānau voice.

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

The school roll comprises 86% Māori students. The findings across this report apply to Māori students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

Strong links between the school vision, key documents and practices align with the Ministry of Education's Māori strategy,Ka Hikitia Accelerating Success 2013-17, and contribute to an environment that strongly promotes success for Māori students as Māori.

The principal’s leadership is strategic and thoughtful. A deliberate approach to growing leadership and developing others' potential is evident. Teacher development needs are appropriately identified and some key strategies are in place to grow capability and promote consistency of practice schoolwide.

ERO identifies that useful next steps to support continued teacher and leadership development include:

  • providing clearer written expectations for leaders about their roles in promoting and monitoring expected school practices
  • implementing a more rigorous and supportive performance management process for senior leaders that acknowledges strengths and provides clearer direction for improvement.

The board receives more regular and detailed information about student engagement, achievement and the outcomes of interventions than three years ago. The framework and reporting systems are clear. Some reporting is not always as evaluative or useful as it could be. Analysis and reporting of school data should include asking and answering questions about the effectiveness of programmes for groups of students over time.

Aspects of self review are working well. Some effective use of self review to improve success for Māori students as Māori is evident in school planning.

Positive, reciprocal relationships exist between adults in the school, students, whānau and iwi. School partnerships with parents, whānau, as well as with community health and social service providers greatly contribute to student wellbeing and learning. Relationships are cultivated and the knowledge and expertise whānau share about their children's strengths and needs is appreciated. The staff and school is valued and cared for by the community.

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 (Acting)

30 April 2014Image removed.

About the School


Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition




Other ethnic groups





Special features

Resource Teacher: Māori Māori Immersion classrooms

Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

30 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2010

May 2008

June 2005