Te Kura Maori o Waatea - 31/03/2016

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 Te Kura Māori o Waatea. 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 sponsor.

2 Context

Te Kura Māori o Waatea is a Partnership School Kura Hourua (PSKH). Partnership Schools Kura Hourua are bound by a Partnership Contract with the Crown to deliver defined outcomes, particularly in regard to student achievement and engagement in learning. Sponsors report quarterly to the Ministry of Education. The performance of the school is also monitored by the PSKH Authorisation Board.

3 Background

Te Kura Māori o Waatea is sponsored by Mangere Urban Māori Authority (MUMA). The kura is based at Waatea marae in Mangere, and forms part of a complex of pan-tribal community provision that also includes Whānau Ora, an early childhood centre, a radio station and an undertaker.

Te Kura Māori o Waatea currently operates out of the marae buildings and an adjoining classroom. A complex of classrooms will be ready for use in 2016. There are three teachers and a principal.

There are currently 51 students from Years 1 to 4 on the roll. The school is progressing towards meeting the minimum roll requirement.   

4 Findings

The principal and teachers at Te Kura Māori o Waatea have made very good progress in building a culture of teaching and learning that reflects their sponsor’s vision. Kura values are highly evident in the positive way adults and children relate to each other, and in the central role the kura plays in the life of the marae. Supportive adults from all parts of the organisation play a role in building the engagement of learners and their whānau and share a strong commitment to building the foundations for future success.

The principal is providing effective school leadership and is actively seeking models of good practice to incorporate into teaching and learning practice. Teachers are making increasingly good use of achievement data to determine the strengths and needs of individual children. They are able to demonstrate that some children are achieving above National Standards expectations.

Teaching spaces are attractive environments where children’s work is affirmed, and their culture and identity are celebrated. Children are engaged in purposeful learning and older children are confident to talk about the next steps in their learning. Reports to parents and whānau contain clear and practical suggestions about how to support learning at home. Their tone reflects the respectful partnership with whānau that underpins the operation of this kura and teachers’ commitment to building productive partnerships with whānau about their children’s learning.  

The curriculum has an appropriate focus on building literacy and numeracy skills in Māori contexts as well as building the use of te reo Māori. High quality art and vigorous physical activity also feature prominently in the programme. Innovative strategies to support reading, build financial literacy and start children thinking about careers aspirations are also evident. The school’s status as an Enviroschool is also part of the curriculum.

The teachers have achieved a great deal in a short time. There are good documents to guide teachers’ practice and implementation of the curriculum. Appraisal systems are being developed that will support teachers to continue to develop their professional practice and enable teachers to maintain their registration.      

Challenges that face the school now are planning for the growth of school, recruiting more teachers who understand the kaupapa and consolidating the good practices developing in using assessment data effectively. A developing partnership with the adjoining early childhood centre is providing a useful opportunity to share information about children and their dispositions from an early stage as children become ready to enter the kura. 

Ongoing governance support from the sponsor has helped school leaders to deal effectively with the complexity of establishing a new school, including staffing changes. Focused strategic thinking is evident in sponsor documents. Their intention to refine their vision for the kura as they consolidate initial growth is designed to help them more exactly meet community aspirations for their children.

Sponsor assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the sponsor and school leaders completed the ERO Sponsor 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:

  • governance and school management
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on students' achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.


Students at Te Kura Māori o Waatea are benefiting from focused and purposeful teaching that supports them and their whānau to engage in learning. Effective leadership and shared commitment from the adults on site are helping to make the sponsor’s vision come to life.    

ERO is likely to carry out the first full review of the school after 12 months as part of the regular review cycle for new schools. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern 

School Statistics                              


Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Partnership School Kura Hourua

School roll


Gender composition

Boys      28

Girls       23

Ethnic composition





Review team on site

October 2015

Date of this report

31 March 2016