Mararoa School

Mararoa School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


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


Mararoa School is located at The Key, within the Te Anau Basin. The Key is the gateway to Fiordland. The small rural school operates as a family unit where the school values of Caring for Myself, Caring for Others and Caring for the Environment promote an inclusive environment of trust, sharing and respect. 

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

  • identify at least one core curriculum area annually to raise the achievement of students achieving below or at risk of falling below their expected level

  • provide programmes to ensure all students are exposed to a diverse range of people and cultures to develop a respectful knowledge so they learn to value diversity

  • step up the delivery of the school’s curriculum practice by ensuring that the identity, language, and culture of all nationalities, with particular emphasis on Māori and local history is recognised and celebrated.

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how well the schoolwide structured literacy approach is lifting and sustaining achievement in writing for all students.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is to:

  • target achievement in literacy to increase the number of students achieving at, or above the school-wide expectations for writing as prioritised in the school's strategic goals and annual plan

  • to measure the effectiveness of a range of literacy programmes which have been put in place to strengthen student engagement and ultimately improve whole school learning data.

The school expects to see:

  • the achievement levels of literacy to improve for a target group of students and subsequently for all students

  • teachers and leaders fully understanding what makes the most difference to improving outcomes for students in literacy.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to improve outcomes for learners in literacy:

  • a highly motivated, experienced teaching staff that work collaboratively to ensure positive learning outcomes for all students

  • the alignment of aspects of teachers’ annual professional growth cycle to the strategic and annual goals of the school

  • strong support from the board, whānau and the wider community that strengthen learning partnerships and enrich the local curriculum.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • professional development which will strengthen teaching and learning in literacy

  • focused daily teaching and learning programmes for identified target group students

  • building the understanding and practice of evaluation amongst all staff members which will help support consistent practice right across the school. 

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.

 Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

11 November 2022 

About the School

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

Mararoa School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of June 2022, the Mararoa School, School Board 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 Mararoa School, School Board.

The next School Board 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

11 November 2022 

About the School

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

Mararoa School - 14/09/2016

1 Context

Mararoa is a small, rural Years 1 to 8 school. Most children travel by bus each day from surrounding farms and towns.

Children learn in multi-level classes. Physical activity, sustainable environmental practices and valuing the local context are prioritised in their learning. The board and parents fund a third teacher for the mornings. This way class sizes are kept small for literacy and mathematics.

The principal is also a classroom teacher in the school. She and two other teachers have worked in the school for many years.

The school is an important part of the community. It is very well supported by parents and community members who assist with out-of-school trips, sports and in-class learning.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school are for all children to become confident, connected, actively involved, life-long learners. The school wants its children to be positive and responsible learners, who care about others, themselves and the environment.

The school’s achievement information shows that most children achieve very well in reading, writing and mathematics. In 2015 over 85% of students achieved at or above the National Standards in these areas. These standards have been maintained over the last three years.

The school has made excellent progress against the recommendations in the 2013 ERO report. It is working with a cluster of schools to improve inter-school collaboration, share ideas and resources and improve access to professional learning.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has:

  • worked with children to better involve them in assessing their work and setting useful learning goals
  • sought professional learning linked to the annual targets
  • maintained regular review/evaluation of learning programmes and made ongoing improvements to these
  • adapted the inquiry approach to topic learning so that it focuses more on thinking skills
  • introduced new programmes for Years 7 and 8 children to engage and challenge them.

3 Accelerating achievement

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

The school responds immediately to any child whose learning needs extra support. Teachers know each child very well as a learner and as an individual. Any child at risk of not achieving or progressing sufficiently is quickly identified. These children benefit from intensive instruction. Their progress is closely monitored and shared with parents.

The school has set challenging and measurable targets to lift the achievement of some groups of children. Specific actions are taken to achieve these target. As a result, almost all of these children make accelerated progress. Professional learning strongly aligns to target areas and the learning needs of children.

Teachers work collaboratively with parents, particularly to help those children requiring extra support to achieve. Parents are well informed about their child’s progress and achievement against the National Standards. They are involved in regular discussions about their child’s learning goals and next steps, and how they can best help them.

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's curriculum, systems and practices very effectively support children in their learning and realising the school's vision.

Teachers make frequent use of the local context and resources to enrich children's learning. Children benefit from a range of engaging experiences and targeted support to help them achieve in their learning and be prepared for 'their life's journey' beyond school. They enjoy many opportunities for hands-on learning in and out of the classroom.

Teachers closely monitor all children's learning. The learning programmes are adapted to meet children's interests, strengths and current needs. For example, the Year 7 and 8 programme was changed to have a stronger focus on leadership and preparation for high school. Children take increasing responsibility for managing their own learning as they progress through the school.

Children told ERO they feel safe and included at their school. Their views are regularly sought and responded to. Teachers ensure that the school's values are an integral part of all children's daily learning, in and beyond the classroom.

The board, principal and teachers have a strong focus on ongoing improvement. Teachers' individual strengths are well used and built on. They are well supported to build their professional practice and ensure effective teaching and learning. Teachers work collaboratively, sharing their expertise and information in the best interests of the children.

Effective systems and guidelines ensure theschool's smooth operation, with well-embedded processes for planning, assessing and evaluating children's progress. This helps teachers make well-informed judgements and decisions about teaching and learning.

The school is ably governed and led. Trustees have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They are well informed and future focused. The experienced principal and senior teacher provide strong leadership for teaching and learning. Resources are well managed and decisions appropriately made with the best interests of staff, students and community in mind.

The principal and board of trustees agree on the need to strengthen how bicultural Aotearoa/New Zealand is reflected and promoted. They need to review programmes, policies and practices to ensure more meaningful inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori at all levels of the school.

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.

Teachers develop very positive relationships for learning with the children and their parents. Children benefit from interesting and relevant learning in and out of the classroom and a strong foundation in literacy and mathematics. This is ensuring their success as learners and preparing them for life beyond school.

There is a strong commitment from the board, leadership and teachers to well-informed and ongoing improvement. Robust practices and systems support this. As a result, this is a high performing school.

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

School leaders need to strengthen the way bicultural Aotearoa/New Zealand values are reflected and promoted across the school.

Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

14 September 2016 

About the school


Te Anau

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 25 Girls 19

Ethnic composition





Review team on site

July 2016

Date of this report

14 September 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2013

February 2010

November 2006