Timaru Boys' High School

Education institution number:
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Boys School)
School with Boarding Facilities
Total roll:

211 North Street, West End, Timaru

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Timaru Boys' High School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 24 months of the Education Review Office and Timaru Boys’ High 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 www.ero.govt.nz


Timaru Boys' High School, established in 1880, is a single sex state secondary school located in the port city of Timaru, South Canterbury. The school caters for students in Years 9 to 13. The school’s vision is "A Timaru Boys’ High School young man will be aspirational, respectful and a positive contributor to his community, with an inquiring and independent mind”.

Timaru Boys’ High School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • promoting an environment that supports individual student development

  • promoting excellence and equity in achievement by providing high quality teaching and learning

  • supporting Māori and Pasifika students to experience success

  • building capability and character through the arts and sports.

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the extent to which culturally responsive teaching practice contributes to excellence and equity in progress and achievement for all students.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • high quality teaching and learning is one of the school’s strategic goals

  • the school is reviewing the junior curriculum

  • improving educational outcomes for Māori and Pasifika students is a priority.

The school expects to see that ongoing monitoring and evaluation of achievement and other indicator data will show improved outcomes in terms of excellence and equity for all students.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal of achieving excellent and equitable outcomes in progress and achievement of all students:

  • Collaborative practices and planning schoolwide contributes to a coherent and aligned approach to improving student outcomes. 

  • Well-considered professional learning and development is extending teachers’ knowledge and understanding of culturally responsive practice and effective strategies to accelerate student learning.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • tracking and monitoring students who are at risk of not meeting the required curriculum level and designing next steps for learning

  • improving educational outcomes for Māori students.

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

19 May 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Timaru Boys' High School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of May 2022, the Timaru Boys High 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 Timaru Boys High 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

19 May 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Timaru Boys' High School

Provision for International Students Report


The Education Review Office reviews schools that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020.


The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code and has completed an annual self-review of its implementation of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 5 international students attending the school, and no exchange students.

The school has established clear and thorough processes for reviewing its provision for international students and compliance with the Code. School governance and leadership make good use of a range of information about student wellbeing, learning and engagement to support positive student outcomes.

Sound processes and practices support students to settle into school and to be active participants in school life and the wider community. Students have access to the full range of subjects and activities offered by the school. Students are actively encouraged and supported to take part in co-curricular activities alongside their peers.

The International Director has active and effective lines of communication with international students, their teachers and their families. The director keeps families informed about students’ progress. Students’ wellbeing is closely monitored. All students spoken with indicated that they have good support networks with staff and connections with other students.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

19 May 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Timaru Boys' High School

Hostel Report


The Chief Review Officer has the authority to carry out reviews (which may be general or in relation to particular matters) of the provision of a safe physical and emotional environment that supports learning for students accommodated in hostels under section 470 of the Education and Training Act 2020. This function is delegated to review officers who have the powers to enter and carry out review of hostels under section 472 of the Act.


The hostel manager and the hostel owner have attested in the Hostel Assurance Statement that they meet the requirements of the Hostel Regulations 2005.

Boarders are provided with an environment that supports their physical and emotional safety well. The hostel uses comprehensive systems to monitor and manage boarders’ whereabouts and leave.

The board is kept regularly informed of boarders’ wellbeing and matters of compliance, safety, monitoring and maintenance. Boarders have ready access to all school recreation and sporting facilities.

Supporting boarders’ learning is a key focus for hostel staff. Boarders’ learning and ongoing progress is usefully shared with hostel staff and factored into student support. Boarders benefit from regular supervised study.  

ERO’s review of the school hostel identified that the concerns and complaints policy does not meet the requirements of the Hostel Regulations 2005.


ERO identified non-compliance in relation to the requirement for the owner to establish a procedure for resolving complaints by a boarder, boarder’s parents, or school board about the hostel under Part 5 of the Hostel Regulations. [Ref: Regulations 67 – 70]

The board has since taken steps to address this.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

19 May 2023 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Timaru Boys' High School - 20/04/2017


The school’s goal is for each boy to achieve his personal excellence, be respectful, and contribute to the community, with an inquiring and independent mind. Most boys respond well to this school goal. Boys achieve well in NCEA. The school’s curriculum is increasingly responsive to students’ needs and abilities. The hostel is a significant, positive feature of the school’s culture. Trustees and leaders place a high priority on continuous, sustainable improvement.

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

1 Context

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

Timaru Boys’ High School is a Year 9 to 13 school with a proud tradition. The school is part of the Timaru South Community of Learning with a group of other schools and some early learning services. An increasing number of international students attend the school.

Students from both town and country choose to enrol. A high proportion of students participate with success in the wide range of sporting and cultural pursuits available, as well as school-wide house events. This focus on involvement helps students develop their sense of belonging.

A significant feature of the school is John Scott Lodge where many learning experiences outside the classroom (EOTC) benefit boys throughout their years at the school. The school’s whare acknowledges the place of Māori language and culture in the centre of the school. The school’s building and refurbishment programme was underway at the time of this review. An active old-boys' group supports the school well. The school’s on-site hostel is a significant feature of the school.

Since the last ERO review, the school has appointed a new rector. School staff engaged with a Ministry of Education initiative to strengthen positive behaviours for learning. The school responded well to the recommendations in the 2013 ERO report. School leaders increased the sharing of good teaching practices across the school, and further developed the curriculum, including strengthened learning support and better provision for boys requiring extension or extra challenge.

2 Learning

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

The school makes effective use of achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Trustees make good use of information about student achievement and set annual improvement targets to make positive changes to students’ engagement, progress and achievement. The school’s data indicates improving overall trends in Level 1 and Level 2 NCEA results. Level 3 results have remained steady over time. Very good NCEA Level 1 literacy and numeracy achievement have been sustained over recent years. A high proportion of boys who plan to go on to tertiary study gain University Entrance. A steadily increasing proportion of school leavers gain Level 2 NCEA.

The senior leaders are continuing to strengthen their use of achievement data to better monitor and track student progress and lift NCEA endorsements. Improved school systems have increased teachers’ access to a wider range of data and assessment tools to more effectively:

  • identify students who need additional support
  • review and make changes to programmes
  • respond to an individual learner’s needs.

Students are using achievement information to set and measure their progress against meaningful learning goals.

Year 9 and 10 students’ individual achievement and progress is effectively assessed, monitored and shared with students and their parents. Students are supported by conferencing about their learning goals. Teachers make judgements about the degree to which individual students are working within the levels of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) or acquiring the competencies and skills specific to that learning area.

English and mathematics teachers use an online assessment tool to assess students in reading and aspects of mathematics. Teachers use the results of these assessments well to identify individual students who need additional support in reading and to plan mathematics teaching and learning programmes. In 2016, all Year 9 students who received specific support in reading made accelerated progress. These results form part of an overall achievement picture for senior leaders. The board should receive a summary of progress by year-level groups in Years 9 and 10 across the curriculum to make resourcing decisions and to inform internal evaluation.

There is increased sharing of assessment information, particularly in English and mathematics, to help all teachers know about each student’s abilities and needs, and to inform curriculum planning.

Next steps

In order to further support the school’s efforts to raise student achievement:

  • leaders and teachers should refine practices to rigorously evaluate the impact of their teaching
  • curriculum leaders need to provide better analysis, evaluation and reporting of overall achievement and progress information to senior leaders and the board, particularly for Year 9 and 10 student cohorts and other specific groups, for example Māori students
  • teachers need to extend the purposeful sharing of diagnostic assessment results with boys directly, so that boys can be more engaged in aspects of their learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is increasingly responsive to students’ needs and abilities, and effectively promotes and supports student learning.

The school’s revised mission is to provide learning that is active, varied and progressive, grounded in the school’s values, supporting each boy to achieve personal excellence. The vision is for young men to be aspirational, respectful, and contribute positively to the community, with an inquiring and independent mind. School values are well known by students and actively taught and promoted. How well boys show these values is reported frequently to parents and used to inform pastoral support, monitoring and to motivate boys.

The school strongly promotes a positive and inclusive culture. A range of support systems is in place to promote student belonging, wellbeing and the positive school culture. The board ensures that appropriate resources are available to support their intention that no boy misses out on learning and other school-related activities. Boys with advanced capabilities value the increased opportunities they have to extend and enrich their learning.

Leadership, provision and systems for learning support are strong. Boys who need additional support with aspects of their learning are very well provided for. These boys are quickly identified and relevant information shared with appropriate staff. Expectations about how teachers should effectively meet individual student interests, needs and abilities are well modelled by learning-centre staff and are valued by students. A next step is to strengthen the analysis, evaluation and reporting of the effectiveness of learning support to inform leaders’ and trustees’ decision making.

Useful networks with the local community and tertiary organisations are being created or strengthened to provide boys with a wider range of ways to learn and succeed. The school’s mission is strongly supported by opportunities for boys to give service within and beyond the school, extending their learning and opportunities to succeed. The school’s curriculum design and management effectively supports this flexible and innovative approach.

The school and the community work together constructively to support students’ transitions into, through and out of the school and on to further education, training or employment. Leaders and teachers have strengthened home-school partnerships to support boys’ learning through more information sharing and working together to best meet their learning needs.

Some significant features of the Year 9 and 10 curriculum that benefit the way boys learn include:

  • digital and financial literacy
  • learning about how to care for the environment
  • te reo and tikanga Māori
  • ways for Year 13 students to support, tutor and have positive, house-based interactions with Year 9 boys
  • a programme supporting positive development into adulthood.

The school’s curriculum in action contributes strongly to what the school wants for boys, in line with its mission statement. Students’ learning at ‘John Scott Lodge’ and other places in the local environment is active, varied and built on as they progress through the school. The school provides a range of opportunities for boys to develop leadership skills. Boys value these opportunities and would benefit from more ways to put their initiative, ideas and energy into appropriate action.

Curriculum and assessment management has been streamlined and improved. This has resulted in senior and curriculum leaders getting more timely information relating to department progress and student outcomes. Expertise is being shared between curriculum leaders, creating greater coherence and accountability. Curriculum leaders have a clear view of areas requiring development within their department. This is informed and guided by robust, comprehensive and highly valued external curriculum reviews. 

Next steps

To further improve the way the curriculum supports student learning, leaders and teachers need to:

  • strengthen the evaluation and reporting of the senior and junior curriculum, including about specific school-wide programmes to enhance learning
  • provide multiple opportunities for students to give feedback on the quality of the teaching and learning they experience, its impact on their learning and wellbeing, and what might need improvement
  • continue to explore and embed ways in which to use digital technology to enhance teaching and learning.

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

The school continues to place a priority on promoting success for and as Māori. Leaders have introduced programmes to help ensure Māori language, culture and identity are a part of school life and learning. Senior leaders and key Māori staff regularly meet, mentor and monitor Māori students to support their efforts to succeed in their learning.

Overall achievement by Māori students in NCEA shows some upward trends over recent years. The small numbers of Māori students at each year level make achievement appear variable in places. In NCEA Levels 1 and 2, achievement by Māori boys is similar to that of their non-Māori peers at the school. Many Māori boys leave at the end of Year 12 to employment, training or further learning. The number of Māori students staying on into Year 13 and achieving Level 3 or UE is lower than for other boys at this school.

Māori students appreciate when the teaching they receive is engaging, relevant and allows them to feel actively involved in their learning. All students have opportunities to learn te reo Māori. Some Māori students would appreciate their ideas and opinions being more regularly gathered and responded to.

Individual Māori students benefit from regular discussions with a mentor about progress towards learning goals and the support needed to help achieve success. Key Māori staff members engage with the whānau of Māori boys in a range of ways, including by home visits. The purpose is to strengthen the partnerships to continually build on success.

The Māori boys who choose to participate feel positive about the opportunities the school provides to help them experience success as Māori, such as kapa haka, pōwhiri, and helping with new carvings to reflect Māori culture in the school’s environment.

The board has a clear priority to ensure more Māori boys stay on at school and achieve success in NCEA. School leaders want to build on the positive, early stages of a newly established relationship with Kai Tahu.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Pacific students?

The school is positively promoting educational success for Pacific students. The board has a strategic priority to continually improve educational success for this group. 

The small number of Pacific students at each year level makes looking closely at achievement patterns of limited value. Pacific students who spoke to ERO said they valued the opportunities the school provided, both in and out of the classroom. Senior leaders regularly monitor and track Pacific students’ progress and attendance. Boys and their parents value the conferencing, monitoring and tracking of progress, particularly when goals that have been set are specifically revisited.

The school continues to build positive community links with the South Canterbury Tongan Society.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

The rector, senior leaders and trustees have refreshed the school’s vision for teaching and learning so that there is a clear focus on ongoing, sustainable improvement for students. The rector and senior leaders have strengthened organisational structures to promote positive change. They ensure that professional learning is well linked to the school’s strategic priorities for improvement. The aim is to create greater coherence and consistency so that the school’s vision and mission are working well for each boy.

The rector effectively distributes and promotes leadership in others. Senior and middle leaders are trusted and empowered to lead important initiatives so that they contribute to improved outcomes for students.

The school has effective links with its own and the wider community. The school uses a wide range of strategies to regularly communicate with parents and whānau.

The board of trustees is a committed group with a vision for improved student outcomes. Trustees are eager to be assured by high quality evaluation that boys are making sufficient progress. They are well supported by comprehensive guidance for their roles on the board. There are good plans and systems to ensure sustainability of effective stewardship. The board supports the rector’s performance by ensuring a rigorous appraisal process is in place.

The board is keen to know that the school-wide drive for coherent improvement is well supported and having a positive impact. Trustees will be better informed when:

  • measures are in place to survey staff, parents and students to provide the board with information about improvement
  • the performance of the teams leading improvement change in the school, including the senior leadership team, is evaluated.
Next steps

To continue to improve school performance, leaders and trustees need to:

  • be better assured that students’ opinions are regularly and widely gathered, collated to make useful summaries, and responded to in ways that are evident to the boys
  • further develop the current appraisal process and practices to achieve greater consistency and rigour, including strengthening ways in which teachers inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching
  • strengthen the quality of reports that come to the board by providing clear expectations about the evaluative process that is to be followed, including the evaluative questions that need to be answered.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 26 international students attending the school.

The school has reviewed and updated its policies and procedures in line with the new Code. International students achieve and progress well. Some students achieve to very high levels. They have access to a varied and rich curriculum and appropriate English language learning and support. International students are encouraged and well supported to integrate into the school and local community.

Next steps

The school’s monitoring systems for knowing how international students feel about their learning and provision should be strengthened. The school needs to ensure all international students have regular opportunities to provide anonymous feedback about their learning and wellbeing. Teachers should gather ongoing information about how well their teaching is meeting the needs of international students. Staff should have relevant professional learning to understand how they can best support international students in their learning.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Thomas House, accommodates 117 boys, 17% of the school’s roll. It is owned by the board of trustees. The hostel is a well-established, on-site boarding facility operating at full capacity. The hostel owner has attested that all requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

Boarders experience positive relationships with each other and with hostel management and staff. Junior boys are welcomed and supported by staff and senior boarders to engage confidently in hostel living. The director of boarding and residential manager have highly effective systems for monitoring and responding to the safety and wellbeing needs of boarders. These include clear and well-understood guidelines for staff and boarders. Systems are in place to consider and respond to the opinions and ideas of boarders. The work of the food committee and kitchen staff has resulted in boarders having positive views about the quality, quantity and variety of meals provided.

Hostel leaders ensure there is regular communication with parents and caregivers. Hostel managers and staff find many ways to effectively engage the families of boarders in the life and culture of the hostel. Boarders and their families demonstrate a strong sense of belonging as a result.

Hostel managers communicate and work constructively with school leaders and staff to support boarders’ learning and participation in all aspects of hostel and school life. Hostel students benefit from well-established study routines and access to school resources and appropriate teaching staff.

The hostel is about to undergo major refurbishment, one area at a time. The board has taken a well-planned approach to carrying out this work so that more boarders will be in small groups and with greater independence than is possible in the present style of buildings.

Next step

The board needs to ensure that reports to trustees clearly and regularly provide assurance about, not only the effectiveness of systems to support boarders’ physical and emotional needs, but also the positive impact of all actions taken to support boarders’ learning.

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.


The school’s goal is for each boy to achieve his personal excellence, be respectful, and contribute to the community, with an inquiring and independent mind. Most boys respond well to this school goal. Boys achieve well in NCEA. The school’s curriculum is increasingly responsive to students’ needs and abilities. The hostel is a significant, positive feature of the school’s culture. Trustees and leaders place a high priority on continuous, sustainable improvement.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

20 April 2017

About the School 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys: 100%

Ethnic composition











Special Features

Hostel on site

Review team on site

February 2017

Date of this report

20 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Education Review

November 2013

August 2010

May 2009