Milton School

Milton School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 12 months of the Education Review Office and Milton 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.


Milton Primary School is a contributing Year 1-6 primary school located in South Otago, just south of Dunedin. The school’s vision is to “develop confident, well rounded, active learners who will be respectful, responsible citizens.”

Milton School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are to:

  • ensure that every child achieves success in literacy and mathematics

  • fully engage all learners in active learning by developing teaching and learning strategies for future-focused learning

  • focus on the wellbeing of all children

  • have strong community connections to support all students through shared understandings.

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the impact of effective teaching practices that support the development of learning to learn capabilities.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • the consolidation of school-wide assessment practices has provided a robust platform for developing learning to learn capabilities

  • acknowledgement of whom learners are, how the school might both celebrate their strengths and address the needs they present whenever they begin attending school

  • a valuing of equity in accessing wellbeing and learning support across the school so that children grow their learning capabilities and leave the school with the skills they need.

The school expects to see:

  • a profile that is embedded across the school, prioritising the equitable development of learning to learn capabilities for each child

  • a localised curriculum for learning and behaviour that supports the needs of the school’s diverse learners and includes indicators of progress and development

  • an iterative evaluation of assessment practices to ensure that achievement information accurately reflects learner progress and reports this in ways that are authentic, meaningful and hold value for whānau.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal:

  • the robust examination of achievement information to provide an accurate and ongoing view of progress

  • the continuity of learning programmes across year levels that cater for the diverse range of learners

  • a willingness to communicate clearly and proactively with the community about learners’ progress.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • embedding a localised curriculum that includes learning to learn strategies, a focus on wellbeing and a clear pathway for progress and growth built on shared values

  • the development of progress indicators that explicitly communicate the key learning and wellbeing milestones to learners and the school 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.

Kathy Lye
Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

8 March 2023

About the School

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

Milton School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report

As of March 2022, the Milton 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 Milton 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.

Kathy Lye
Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

8 March 2023

About the School

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

Milton School - 12/07/2016

1 Context

Milton Primary School is one of four schools in the small, rural township of Milton. Since 2012, the school roll has increased, classrooms have been added and four new teachers appointed. The board funds an extra teacher to keep junior classes small and give children the best opportunity to build foundation skills. Children come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

The school is part of the South Otago Ministry of Education, Community of Learners. Through this, the school will collaborate with other local schools to improve outcomes for children.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school are for all children to become confident, well-rounded, active learners who will be respectful and responsible citizens. Alongside these are the shared values from a Māori perspective of manaakitanga (caring and respect), whakaute (responsibility), maia (confidence) and whanaungatanga (teamwork). These values are very evident in the everyday life of the school.

The school’s achievement information shows that by the end of 2015, 84% of students reached or exceeded the National Standards (NS) in reading, 77% in writing and 86% in mathematics. Māori children achieved similarly to non-Māori for mathematics but slightly lower for reading and writing. Teachers have an ongoing focus on improving writing and are involved in professional development (PD) to achieve this. A next step is for the charter targets to better reflect the school's very deliberate actions to raise the achievement of all children yet to reach the NS. These children are individually planned for in all of the core learning areas.

The school's assessment data over the last four years shows very positive trends in student achievement. The proportions of children at or above the NS is increasing. Children make good progress in their first two years of school to reach the NS.

Teachers have a shared understanding about assessment practices and expectations. Easily followed and comprehensive guidelines support this. The school has developed its own assessment tools to help teachers and children make appropriate decisions about the quality and extent of the learning.

Since the last ERO review, the school has worked strategically towards developing children as 'active learners'. Children have a high level of control over what and how they learn. They know about their progress and next learning steps. The school has also put major funding and infrastructure in place to increase the use of digital technologies to further support children's achievement and progress.

Ongoing PD continues to develop teachers’ confidence and competence in teaching te reo and te ao Māori. Particular focus has been on learning about and acknowledging children's culture, language and identity so that they can succeed in a way that best suits them.

The school's strategic goals focus on building consistently high quality learning. This occurs through an intensive, coherent, school-wide approach to improvement, particularly for those children whose progress needs to be accelerated.

3 Accelerating achievement

This school responds very effectively to Māori children whose learning and achievement needs to accelerate.

On arrival at the school, children are assessed so that any literacy and numeracy learning needs can be quickly identified. This gives teachers a useful baseline from which to measure children's ongoing rates of progress over time. This also helps them to be alert to any issues requiring attention and provides information as to what response is needed. Teachers' planning for individual children whose progress needs to be accelerated is detailed and specific.

The board generously funds programmes to help raise the achievement of students overall as well as those who need extra help with their learning.

The school is able to show that in 2015 over half of its Māori children who needed extra support to succeed in literacy made accelerated progress and slightly less than a half in mathematics. The inclusion of programmes such as kapa haka and Ako Māori provides opportunities for Māori children in particular to engage and excel. The confidence children gain through this impacts positively on their attitudes towards learning in other areas.

At the classroom level teachers have and use comprehensive learning information about children's engagement, progress and achievement. A next step is to more formally analyse, evaluate and report accelerated progress for specific groups of children to inform internal evaluation

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

The systems in place for supporting Māori children are used to effectively respond to all children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

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?

This school's curriculum and culture very effectively enact the vision, values, goals and aims for equity and excellence.

The curriculum is designed to prepare children for the future in a digital environment. It makes the most of local cultural and geographic features and provides children with variety and rich opportunities to learn. It focuses on developing in children, important skills and understandings relevant to children's interests.

The principal and teachers are very aware of the importance of having strong partnerships with whānau and the community to support raising student achievement. Through consultation with groups such as Ngā Hui and the whānau group the inclusion and integration of Māori language, culture, identity and te ao Māori across the school has been strengthened. The principal and teachers make very good use of external agencies to promote better engagement of some families and their children with the school.

Children benefit from adults having strong collaborative and collegial relationships. Increasingly, children's ideas and opinions are sought by teachers and contribute to the positive school culture. Teachers discuss together how best to help children learn. They are committed to improving their practice through PD and raising the achievement of the children in their classrooms. These classrooms are well-resourced, attractively presented and modern.

Useful systems and guidelines are in place to support:

  • teachers to plan, teach, assess and report in a way that is in line with current research and school expectations
  • teachers to evaluate the impact of their practice and programmes on children's learning
  • appraisal that leads to improved practices
  • internal evaluation.

A next step for leaders and teachers is to improve the depth of evaluations to more deliberately investigate 'how well' aspects of the school are functioning.

The principal is leading and developing a collaborative and progressive learning community. This includes with the staff, board, parents and students. Leadership opportunities are given to staff and students.

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
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The principal’s approach to all aspects of school operations is systematic, and in line with the school's vision, values, goals and priorities. She ensures logical alignment between the vision, priorities, strategic plan, guidelines and expectations, classroom practice, reporting and internal evaluation. The board and principal have developed useful frameworks that support the work of governance and the induction of new trustees.

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

To improve practice in this already effective school, the next steps in the body of this report should be acted on.

Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

12 July 2016

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys: 55% Girls: 45%

Ethnic composition







Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

12 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

May 2012

October 2008

July 2005