Raroa Normal Intermediate

Education institution number:
School type:
School gender:
Normal School
Total roll:

37 Haumia Street, Johnsonville, Wellington

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Raroa Normal Intermediate - 07/05/2020

School Context

Rāroa Normal Intermediate School located in Wellington’s western suburbs delivers education for students in Years 7 and 8. It has a diverse range of cultures with 25 ethnic groups represented. At the time of this ERO review, the roll was 708 students of whom 6% identify as Māori.

The school’s vision for students is for them to ‘Aspire 2 Achieve’. This is supported by the ‘ASPIRE’ values – Actively involved, Skilful and inquisitive thinkers, Persistent, Independent, Respectful and Enjoying ourselves.

Its current goals and targets for improvement in student outcomes are linked to the areas of:

  • progress and achievement across a broad spectrum of experiences
  • development of a future-focussed curriculum including relevant assessment practices that support learning and wellbeing
  • maintaining and enhancing a supportive, reflective and learning focussed culture
  • development of the skills, resources and facilities necessary to support learning.

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

  • progress and achievement for groups and individuals in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing
  • success in sports, competitions and other extramural activities.

There have been several changes of staff since the October 2015 ERO review. These included appointments of a second deputy principal, assistant principal and four team leaders. Additional teachers have also been appointed due to some roll growth. Professional learning and development for teachers in 2019 is focused on curriculum delivery and wellbeing.

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 consistently and effectively achieves equitable and excellent outcomes for most students. The good levels of achievement evident at the time of the October 2015 ERO report have been sustained. In 2018, most students, including Māori, achieved at or above expected curriculum levels, as demonstrated through standardised testing, in reading, mathematics and writing. Overall levels of achievement are lower in writing. Most students achieve above expected levels in all three areas. Boys and Māori achieve at lower levels than girls in writing. Māori student achievement is also lower in mathematics, especially at Year 8.

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

The school effectively accelerates the progress of many students identified as being at risk on entry. Acceleration is evident for students, including Māori, in reading and mathematics.

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 continues to identify and implement effective practices and programmes to address equity of outcomes for all learners. The needs and strengths of students, including those identified as gifted and talented, are well known and supported. Suitable programmes and initiatives are accessed. Staff work collaboratively with parents and specialist staff to provide the support or extension these students require.

Students experience meaningful learning opportunities focused on fostering innovation, information literacy skills and social responsibility. Ongoing review of the curriculum has resulted in inquiry-based learning with a clear framework of expectations developed.  There has also been a shift from traditional technology classes to ‘Design Production Education’. Students have opportunities to join in a wide range of additional enrichment experiences that include the arts, culture, sports, service and leadership.

Leadership is collaborative and strongly distributive. Leaders are focused on improving learner outcomes and are responsive to the changing needs of individuals. Appropriate systems are in place to ensure students’ strengths, needs, interests and identities are well known. They seek to provide holistic support and an orderly environment that is conducive to learning and wellbeing. Deliberate opportunities grow the skills of others as leaders and educators.

Trustees have a good understanding of their stewardship role. They have a clear vision for the future direction and an appropriate emphasis on promoting success, innovation and wellbeing. Board members maintain good relationships with senior leaders. They effectively scrutinise and utilise a range of information to make sound, strategic decisions that promote positive student outcomes.

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

Leaders gather information on student achievement based on standardised testing. This information is shared with staff and parents. Leaders should continue to consider ways to provide more frequent and comprehensive data, including from a variety of sources, to better track the progress of individual and groups of students.

Teachers and leaders are reflective and utilise research to inform decisions made. They gather useful information from staff, parents and students to inform decision making. A more evaluative approach to review should better support leaders to determine the impact of initiatives and programmes on student outcomes and to better inform decisions made.

A staff appraisal process is in place however implementation of teacher appraisal requires further strengthening. This should include alignment of systems for the monitoring and development of teacher performance and include documentation of focused observations and feedback on teaching practice.

Some aspects of te ao Māori are evident through school practices. Delivery of a curriculum to better support students to understand and respect the bi-cultural nature of Aotearoa, New Zealand is desirable. A strengthening of relationships with whānau Māori is also necessary. This should enable a more cohesive and deliberate inclusion of te reo me nga tikanga Māori into the curriculum.

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 Rāroa Normal Intermediate’s performance 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:

  • stewardship that is strategic and focused on positive student outcomes
  • curriculum delivery that is personalised and innovative
  • leadership that is collaborative and responsive to student needs.

Next steps

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

  • a more evaluative approach to internal evaluation to better determine the impact of initiatives and programmes on student outcomes
  • a more cohesive and deliberate delivery of a bi-cultural curriculum to better support student and teacher understanding of te ao Māori
  • strengthened implementation of the teacher appraisal process to better document observations and discussions.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • revisit policy and practices for managing and recording of the administration of medication to students while at school and ensure policy is followed.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement

Te Tai Tini (Southern Region)

7 May 2020

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate, (Years 7 and 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 51%, Girls 49 %

Ethnic composition

Māori 6%
NZ European/Pākehā 65%
Chinese 7%
Indian 5%
Other Ethnicities 17%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

7 May 2020

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review October 2015
Education Review December 2012

Raroa Normal Intermediate - 29/10/2015

1 Context

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

Raroa Normal Intermediate provides schooling for 656 students in Years 7 and 8.

Māori students comprise 10% of the school roll and 3% identify as Pacific. The roll has grown over the past three years. There have been a number of significant staff changes including a new principal from 2013 and several new team and curriculum leaders.

School leaders responded positively to areas identified in the December 2012 ERO report. Teachers are involved in planned, ongoing professional learning and development with a major emphasis on high quality teaching practice, and in 2015, a particular focus on writing.

2 Learning

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

Student achievement information is very well used by school leaders and staff. An appropriate range of nationally referenced and school based tools is used to:

  • recognise and report on trends and patterns for groups and cohorts including priority students
  • inform school-wide planning, target setting and resourcing
  • identify students in need of additional support or extension, inform appropriate responses and monitor progress
  • group students for instruction when appropriate
  • support the development and strengthened moderation of overall teacher judgements about students' achievement.

Teachers make good use of a wide range of assessment information to develop individual learning pathways for students, particularly in literacy and mathematics. They implement effective processes that support students to clearly identify their achievement, progress and next learning steps. As a result students are well able to monitor their progress and take increasing responsibility for their own learning.

Parents are well informed about their children’s learning. They receive three comprehensive written reports each year, have opportunities to participate in student-led conferences and ongoing access to their children’s learning through on-line portals.

The school’s achievement information for 2013 and 2014 indicates that a significant majority of students, including Māori and Pacific, achieved at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

Students requiring additional support or extension benefit from a comprehensive range of well-managed and monitored support programmes. These programmes are implemented by skilled and knowledgeable specialist teachers and teacher aides. Many students are able to show accelerated progress.

School leaders and ERO agree that refining school-wide targets to better reflect the school’s focus on accelerated progress is a useful next step. Specifically defining expectations for acceleration should enable more effective monitoring and evaluation of the impact of programmes and initiatives.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s broad and rich curriculum is highly effective in promoting and supporting students’ engagement in learning and their progress and achievement. It provides many opportunities for students to pursue their interests and strengths, as well as discover new areas of learning. The vision, ‘Aspire2Achieve’, and associated high expectations, are evident in the daily life of the school. Particular features of the school’s curriculum include:

  • an appropriate focus on literacy and mathematics
  • a wide range of learning experiences in technology, performing and visual arts, and sport
  • many opportunities for students to develop leadership skills
  • the effective use of real life learning contexts, including opportunities for students to make significant contributions to the local and wider community.

E-learning and digital technologies are key components of the curriculum. Students are able to access their cloud-based work at any time. This contributes to the involvement of parents and whānau in students’ learning.

Students learn in rich, stimulating environments that celebrate student work and provide multiple prompts to scaffold learning. ERO observed focused classes, with well-engaged students and supportive relationships amongst students and teachers. Students spoken with by ERO were able to talk about their learning, levels of achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Many students had explicit, realistic learning goals and were able to explain what they needed to do to achieve them.

The senior leadership team and board of trustees are committed to maintaining and growing consistently high quality teaching. There is an appropriate focus on using professional learning and development and appraisal to support ongoing development of teaching practice. An effective system guides teachers' inquiry into their practice. The recently developed coaching model has the potential to further enhance teaching practice, and student engagement and achievement.

There is significant ongoing review of the school curriculum. Multiple voices including students, parents and community contribute perspectives and aspirations. Current research and best practice underpin a carefully planned approach to the review. The school has identified, as part of this process, the importance of continuing to develop practices that promote the culture, language and identity of Māori students.

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

Whānau are actively involved in regular hui. Their views and aspirations are respected and influence school developments to improve outcomes for Māori students. There is a strong kapa haka group that celebrates culture and language. Māori students have strong leadership roles when all students participate in noho marae. They are able to celebrate and share the significance and importance of tikanga Māori. The te reo Māori curriculum was reviewed in 2014. Closer links are being developed with local high schools to better support the successful transition of Māori students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance.

There is a clear, shared understanding of the school’s values, beliefs and strategic direction. Trustees provide effective governance. They are well informed, ask appropriate questions and make evidence-based resourcing decisions. A wide range of self-review processes are resulting in improvement and supporting sustainability. Trustees work collaboratively with the senior management team.

The senior leadership team has a reflective approach to continuous school improvement. It provides a clear direction for school development that is based on current research and agreed effective practice. A particular strength of the senior leadership team is the wide range of opportunities and support that it provides for teachers to develop their leadership skills, and to share their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of their colleagues and students.

There are strong collegial relationships among the teaching staff. Teachers are supportive of the school’s curriculum priorities and are committed to their own professional learning. Staff provide an extensive range of learning opportunities for students.

There is a positive tone and learning culture through the school. Relationships are respectful and reciprocal. Student wellbeing is supported by well-considered pastoral and guidance systems.

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.


Students achieve well and participate in a range of academic, cultural, artistic, sporting and leadership activities. They benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers. The school’s broad and rich curriculum is highly effective in promoting and supporting students’ learning. The vision, ‘Aspire2Achieve’ is evident in the daily life of the school.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years. 

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

29 October 2015

About the School


Johnsonville, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 51%,Female 49%

Ethnic composition






Other ethnic groups







Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

29 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2012

August 2009

August 2006