Taumata School

Taumata School

1 Introduction

A New School Assurance Review is a review of particular areas of school performance and is undertaken to specific terms of reference.

New School Assurance Reviews are generally undertaken within the first year of the school’s opening.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of Taumata School. The terms of reference for the review are to provide assurance to the community:

  • that the school is well placed to provide for students
  • that the school is operating in accordance with the vision articulated by the board of trustees.

2 Context

In February 2019 Taumata School opened for students in Years 1 to 6 from the The Lakes and Pyes Pa area in Tauranga. Year 7 has been added in 2020 and Year 8 will be added in 2021. The rapidly growing roll, currently 420 students, includes a diverse range of ethnicities and 16% identify as Māori. The roll is expected to be approximately 490 by the end of 2021.

3 Background

The collaboratively developed school vision of ‘Empowered to learn; Empowered for life’ is learner centred. The vision is reflected throughout the school environment, regularly revisited with students, parents and staff and the key reference point for development. Values and learning principles linked to the vision are reflected school wide.

An elected board of trustees has been in place since June 2019. Strategic planning and school wide review is well established. Community consultation is an integral part of determining strategic direction. Development priorities appropriately link to teaching and learning, school culture and reciprocal community partnerships.

Teaching and learning takes place in collaborative, flexible, multi-level studios. Development of the property of the new school site continues, in association with the Ministry of Education.

4 Findings

School data for 2020, indicates most students achieve at or above curriculum expectation for their year level in reading, writing and mathematics. Individual student progress is well supported by carefully considered strategies and closely monitored. The majority of students below expectation at the beginning of the year made accelerated progress and met expectation by the end of 2020. Achievement outcomes for male/female and Māori/non-Māori groups are similar. Specific annual achievement targets are set based on analysis of data and these are regularly reviewed.

Students are well supported by adults to develop positive relationships with others and ensure an emphasis on learning. Promoting belonging and wellbeing is a key focus of operational structures and the role of learning coaches (teachers). Very high levels of attendance promote student success.

Deliberate teacher strategies promote learner engagement and provide challenge. Learning coaches successfully support students to be drivers of their own learning. Students are confident, enjoy, and talk enthusiastically about their learning.

Planning and practices are responsive to the needs of Māori students and support all students to develop greater bi-cultural understanding. Regular connection and genuine partnership with Ngai Tamarawaho is valued. Deliberate strategies successfully build culturally responsive practices of staff and trustees. Staff are well supported to extend knowledge of the local Māori context. Learning regularly links to te ao Māori and to the knowledge and experience of mana whenua and Māori children.

The senior leadership team bring complementary skills to their roles and work collaboratively to promote the vision, teaching, learning and student success. They have built capability, coherence, consistency and inquiry across the school. They successfully role model expectations for collaborative practices. Learning coaches are empowered to be leaders by the deliberate strategies in place to support this. A collective responsibility for wellbeing, progress and achievement of students has been established.

Expectations for teaching, learning and assessment are clearly stated and supported through documentation, collaboration and professional learning. Best practice research and its findings are regularly referred to and valued. Learning coaches and leaders are well supported to share, inquire into, and strengthen their practice.

Learning coaches, leaders and trustees are highly reflective. Review is both ongoing and more formalised. It contributes to improvement-based decision making. Critical review is supported through identifying relevant measurable outcomes able to show impact of programmes and teaching. The school is successfully building its evaluative thinking and practices.

Effective systems for reporting to parents on children’s achievement and progress are in place. Digital ‘real time’ reporting and sharing of learning enables parents to see the level their child is currently working at, in relation to expectation, and what should be worked on to further progress. The knowledge of parents, as contributors to student learning, is recognised and further promoted through learning conferences.

The board of trustees efficiently carries out its governance role. Trustees are well informed by comprehensive reporting from senior leaders and feedback from a range of stakeholders. Student achievement, progress data and wellbeing information are regularly shared and discussed. Board decision-making ensures ongoing support for student wellbeing, teaching, learning and school improvement.

During 2020, the school has been highly responsive to the various challenges of Covid-19. A comprehensive and sensitive approach has successfully supported students, staff and the parent community. Purposeful home-based learning opportunities made available to students allowed continued access to learning.

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.

A positive, well established student-centred learning environment is based on the collaboratively developed school vision, values and principles. A whole school culture supportive of

learning and wellbeing is in place and is an ongoing focus. Academic progress is valued and closely monitored. Systems and practices effectively support sustainability, improvement and student success.

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school by the end of the third year of the school’s operation.

Phil Cowie
Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

17 March 2021

About the School                   

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