Waiau Pa School - 28/02/2019

School Context

Waiau Pā School is a full primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 8. It is located in Waiau Pā near Clark’s Beach.

The school encourages students to believe, belong, and become. The schools’ agreed values of respect, inclusion, care and honesty are promoted. Skills for learning such as making connections, taking risks, asking questions, persevering and reflecting are valued.

A new principal and senior management team started at the beginning of 2018. The board continues to be led by an experienced chair, with a mixture of old and new trustees.

The school is a member of the Rosehill Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

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 achieving excellent outcomes for some of its students.

The school’s achievement information for 2017 shows that most students are achieving at or above expected levels in reading and mathematics, and a large majority in writing. Disparity has been reduced for boys and Māori in mathematics and for Māori in writing since 2016. Significant disparity has remained consistent over time for boys and Māori in reading, and for boys in writing.

There is a small number of Pacific students at the school. Up until 2017 the majority of Pacific students were achieving at or above expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. In 2018 slightly less than half of Pacific students were achieving at or above expectations in writing and mathematics.

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

The school is accelerating the progress of some Māori and other students who need it.

Interim 2018 data shows effective acceleration for Māori students in reading and writing. In mathematics about one quarter of students at risk of underachieving made accelerated progress in 2017 and 2018. Data collated during the onsite stage of the ERO review shows that approximately one third of students at risk of underachieving made accelerated progress in reading and writing in 2017.

Students who require additional support make appropriate progress in relation to their individual goals.

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?

The new leadership team is developing a clear strategic direction for improvement. Leaders are developing strong collaborative relationships with all stakeholders to ensure their perspectives and aspirations are incorporated in the school’s goals and targets. They support teachers and facilitate ongoing professional discussion about improving student progress and achievement. Leaders have a well-considered approach to managing change.

Students participate and learn in a caring, collaborative learning environment. Relationships between teachers are respectful. Agreed school values are well-promoted in classes and school-wide, and understood by students. Senior leaders actively promote agreed expectations and a consistent approach to behaviour management, with a focus on restoring relationships. The new leadership team has developed an open, inclusive approach to special needs education. Students’ diverse languages, cultures and identities are celebrated. Those who need additional support are carefully identified, and programmes and interventions are responsive to their needs.

The promotion of learning skills for life facilitates the development of life-long learning. Parents of Māori students spoken to by ERO report that the school is beginning to enact their aspirations in relation to tikanga and te reo Māori, which are visible in the school. Extensive professional development in writing aligns with identified trends and patterns in student achievement data. Students who are achieving below expectations are well identified and their progress tracked. A broad range of opportunities enable students to develop confidence, leadership skills and experience success.

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:

  • further strengthen the management and use of student assessment data to report on rates of progress (expected and accelerated) for at-risk learners
  • inquire more deeply into teaching practice to identify strategies making a difference for learners, and the effectiveness of programmes and interventions.

Teachers need to:

  • to empower students to take more responsibility for their learning, by developing knowledge of their own learning and next steps

  • develop greater consistency of targeted planning and feedback to accelerate learning for at-risk students

  • review the curriculum document with a focus on developing a local perspective.

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.

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 collaboratively develops clear directions for improvement

  • a learning environment that is respectful and inclusive

  • a broad curriculum that provides many opportunities for students to experience success.

Next steps

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

  • reviewing the collation and use of assessment data to focus on accelerating the progress of those at-risk of underachievement

formative assessment teaching practice to enable students to become self-managing learners

  • localising the curriculum to reflect community priorities and emphases

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

28 February 2019

About the school


Waiau Pā, Hunua, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

Waiau Pa School 1547

School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 16%
Pākehā 79%
Pacific 2%
Other 3%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

28 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2015
Education Review April 2012
Education Review November 2008