NZQA Assessment Report 2019


Tamatea High School

04 September 2019

Consent to assess confirmed

This review found that the school is meeting the requirements of the Consent to Assess Against Standards on the Directory of Assessment Standards Rules 2011. No significant issues with the school’s management of national assessment were found. The school’s own review mechanisms allow them to identify and respond to most issues. Therefore, it is anticipated that the next Managing National Assessment review will be conducted within three years.

At the request of NZQA, and with the school’s agreement, this review was rescheduled from 2018.

What the school is doing well

Tamatea High School is a small school with strong links to the local community. The genuine spirit of whanaungatanga in the school is empowering and engaging for students, contributing to their desire to succeed. Attainment in NCEA at Levels 1 to 3 is above that of similar schools. However, the primary focus is to support individual pathways and respond to each student’s needs. The implementation of Individual Development Plans for every student is pivotal to enabling students to achieve their qualifications goals.

The school’s strategic goals are well-aligned to those of the Ahuriri Kahui Ako. The school’s internal review process identified the improvement of foundation literacy and numeracy skills as key to raising achievement for all akonga,especially at Level 2 and beyond. The newly appointed Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator uses data to identify and track target students whose literacy and numeracy skills are below expected levels to enable these students to participate successfully in NCEA.

The school provides effective wrap around support to keep students on the path to achieve their educational goals by tracking each student’s progress at frequent intervals. It has expanded the role of the Whanau Group Teacher to manage and monitor student progress towards identified goals in each student’s Individual Development Plan.

Data tracking is regularly shared with all staff in the weekly Professional Learning timeslot. Teachers share successful strategies and staff receive training on how to interpret the Literacy Learning Progressions accurately. The school’s data from diagnostic testing shows that the interventions for these students have had a positive impact on accelerating the improvement of literacy and numeracy skills for the target group.

The school provides a broad range of programmes to cater for the varied pathways its students wish to follow. Student engagement in vocational pathways is strong resulting in the percentage gaining a Vocational Pathways Award overtaking that of all other schools in 2018. Teaching practice is culturally responsive and student­ centered resulting in highly personalised programmes with flexible timelines to assess students when they are ready.

The Principal’s Nominee manages school-wide internal moderation processes with a commitment to ensuring all results reported are credible. External moderation outcomes are addressed by Heads of Department preparing an action plan to resolve issues. Senior management monitors the completion of interventions.

Data analysis and use informs good practice and self-review for teachers, senior management and the Board of Trustees. Procedures to monitor and track NCEA achievement progress for all students are thorough and effective, with early interventions improving student outcomes.

The school has a strong culture of meeting student needs and supporting students to achieve. Individual Development Plan conference days provide a better understanding of NCEA and school assessment procedures for students and their whanau.

Areas for improvement

This review identified that some staff still lack an understanding of purposefully selecting student work around grade boundaries for internal moderation grade verification. Discussions around grade boundaries should be recorded on the internal moderation cover sheet to improve teachers’ understanding of the standards they assess, to inform future assessor judgments and to provide evidence of the grade verification process.

Some of the departments interviewed send eight or more samples of student work for verification. They are advised to be more strategic regarding their selection process thereby reducing verifier workload. The staff handbook should be updated accordingly.

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