ERO Report

School Context

Morrinsville School is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 200 includes 108 students who identify as Māori. Many of these whakapapa to Ngāti Hauā, the local iwi.

The school aspires to be an inclusive community where students and their whānau can say it is ‘Our Place, Tō Tātou Kāinga’. The school values are nurture, whāngai; grow, whakatipu; inspire, whakamanawa.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:
.  reading, writing, mathematics.

A long-serving principal and well-established senior team continue to lead the school. The chair of the board of trustees is also long serving. The board comprises experienced and new trustees. There has been a major focus in professional development for teachers on accelerating the acquisition of early literacy skills in 2017-18.

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 is working towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all of its students. Since 2015 the majority of students have achieved at or above national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. Boys underachieved in relation to girls in reading and writing in 2016 and 2017. There has been significant underachievement for Māori students in relation to their Pākehā peers in reading, writing and mathematics over a number of years.

The progress of students who have individual education plans, (IEPs) is regularly tracked and monitored. IEPs sighted by ERO indicate that students are making progress over time.

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

The school is responding well to those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration in reading and mathematics. Just under half of the students at risk of underachieving in 2017 made accelerated progress. The proportion of Māori students making accelerated progress is similar to that of others. Effectively accelerating the achievement of at-risk students in writing remains a challenge for the school.


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?

Leadership collaboratively develops and pursues the school’s vision, goals and targets. Leaders have developed a strategic, evidence-based approach to improving student achievement in literacy. The focus on tracking and monitoring student progress and acceleration has led to early identification and analysis of trends and patterns for individuals and groups. Leadership builds trust with students, parents, whānau and the community.

Effective, culturally responsive practices support student learning. Leaders have developed a systematic way of teaching te reo Māori throughout the school. This is well supported and resourced by trustees. Relationships between teachers and students are warm and supportive. School values and virtues are well promoted. Most teachers and support staff are involved in ongoing professional development in te reo and tikanga Māori. Tikanga Māori is highly visible in classrooms and the school environment. Students are confident in leading tikanga practices such as karakia, waiata and haka. Effective practices support students’ pastoral needs and there is individualised, restorative approaches to students with behavioural challenges.

Teachers use a variety of teaching strategies to engage students. The recent, effective acceleration of at-risk students in reading includes:

  • using literacy as a tool across all curriculum areas
  • a focus on oral language and building specific curriculum vocabulary
  • using authentic and relevant contexts for reading
  • specific and intense teaching of pre-reading skills within the first year at school.

Systematic and challenging professional learning opportunities effectively build teacher capability. Clear plans for professional development incorporate multiple learning opportunities. A collaborative approach has led to an increase in the quality of teacher professional discussions about students and their learning. Leaders are fully involved in professional development undertaken by teachers.

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

Leaders now need to:

  • review quality-assurance processes to ensure consistent, high-quality implementation of school-wide expectations
  • strengthen the alignment of school-wide systems and processes to the charter goals for acceleration
  • strengthen the ways that parents are involved as partners in their children’s learning.

Teachers need to:

  • strengthen planning and teaching so that there is a targeted response to the specific next steps in learning of individuals and groups, and strengthen the ways that students are empowered to take responsibility for their own learning
  • strengthen the quality of teaching, assessing and reporting of te reo Māori, particularly in the level two immersion class
  • strengthen the teaching of local iwi history and places of significance
  • review behaviour management systems at the classroom level so that they better align with the school’s culturally responsive approach
  • strengthen professional inquiry to better focus on the needs of at-risk learners in line with charter goals.


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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Areas for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • review the provision of careers education for students in Years 7 to 8 to ensure that it is systematic and coherent.


4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leadership that is strategic and focused on a common vision
  • culturally responsive practices that support students’ belonging and engagement
  • teacher professional development that promotes collaborative learning and improvement.

Next steps

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

  • quality assurance to address variability across the school
  • teaching practice to ensure a targeted approach to each student’s specific next steps in learning
  • parent engagement to empower them to assist effectively in their children’s learning.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Adrienne Fowler

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa – Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

29 October 2018


About the school

Ministry of Education profile number1834
School typeFull Primary (Years 1 to 8)
School roll200
Gender compositionGirls 52% Boys 48%
Ethnic compositionMāori 55%
Asian 7%
Pākehā 33%
Other 5%
Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)Yes
Provision of Māori medium educationYes
Review team on siteAugust 2018
Date of this report29 October 2018
Most recent ERO report(s)Education Review January 2015
Education Review November 2012
Education Review August 2009