Brightwater School 19/01/2010

Community Page

Brightwater School is a contributing primary school which serves as the hub of the Brightwater community, near Nelson. At the time of this review the student roll was 288, with 8% identifying as Māori. The present principal took up his position at the start of 2009.

The school is welcoming for students, parents and whānau. Long-standing links with the local community, along with an open-door policy and management's consultative approach, renders a strong home school partnership. The school has won national recognition for its travel plan and successful 'walking bus'. Parents have a high level of involvement in their children's education.

Students are achieving highly, with approximately two thirds of each year level attaining at or above national expectations. For students achieving below expectation, there are sound support strategies, so that the number of students not achieving to expectation is comparatively small.

As a result of the meetings held to consult about The New Zealand Curriculum, students are beginning to have an input into decision making and a student council now operates. They have contributed to the development of the beliefs and values for the school, and these are now incorporated into the water wheel of the school logo, which is visible in every classroom. Students have increased opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning.

Senior management, curriculum leaders and staff serve the school well. They are collegial about developing their own skills and enthusiastic about seeing the positive impact of this on student work. Past professional learning has been around the use of technologies, especially in the teaching of literacy. These are effectively integrated into programmes across the school, including each class writing its own weblog. More recent professional development has been on the effective teaching of writing. Students' dedication to their writing is reflected in their ability to produce high quality work.

As a result of the analysis of achievement data schoolwide, senior management recognises that a next step is to ensure there are programmes in place which appropriately challenge the large groups of high-achieving students in all classrooms, as well as reviewing the procedures for catering for those identified with special abilities.

The board receives full and clear reports from senior leadership, has a good understanding of its governance role, and has seamlessly continued the established review process. Property is well maintained and the grounds are attractive and spacious, with a recently upgraded swimming pool. Currently, two new classrooms are being built to accommodate increasing student roll numbers.

Future Action

ERO is very confident that the board of trustees can govern the school in the interest of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report. ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four to five years.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website,

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region


About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

· improve educational achievement in schools; and

· provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school's self review.

Review Focus

ERO's framework for reviewing and reporting is based on three review strands.

· School Specific Priorities - the quality of education and the impact of school policies and practices on student achievement.

· Areas of National Interest - information about how Government policies are working in schools.

· Compliance with Legal Requirements - assurance that this school has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a school is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this school.

[1] Decile 1 schools draw their students from areas of greatest socio-economic disadvantage,
Decile 10 from areas of least socio-economic disadvantage.


Individual ERO school and early childhood centre reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically. However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO Corporate Office in Wellington. Please consult your telephone book, or see the ERO web page,, for ERO office addresses.

This report has been prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

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