Waiheke Primary School - 01/03/2017

1 Context

Waiheke Primary School caters for children from Years 1 to 8 and is situated in a valley surrounded by established trees in the Ostend/Palm Beach area of Waiheke Island. Māori children make up 22% of the total roll and the school maintains a close partnership with Piritahi Marae. The board of trustees is committed to continuing to provide an environment that promotes children's progress and achievement. The classrooms and grounds have been developed to uphold the values of environmental sustainability. Waiheke Primary School is a member of the Waiheke Schools Community of Learning network.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to offer an inspirational learning environment where excellence, creativity and individuality are nurtured. The values of "Nurture, Inspire and Achieve through Integrity and Excellence" are promoted.

The school’s achievement information shows that by the end of 2016 between 74 percent and 81 percent of children achieved or exceeded the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Trustees monitor the disparity in achievement between genders. They are aware that overall girls' achievement is higher in reading and writing however, the achievement of boys overall is better in mathematics. The board also tracks the disparity between Māori and non-Māori children. They are aware that as a group Māori children now achieve better than non-Māori in all the National Standards. The board regularly monitors the progress of the school's small group of Pacific children.

Since the last ERO evaluation the school has focused on;

  • ensuring that achievement information is robust and dependable through the use of moderation processes
  • teachers building their capability through well planned whole staff professional learning
  • increasing leadership opportunities for both teachers and children.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds very well to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration. Teachers are aware of the names, needs and strengths of these children and develop teaching plans to accelerate their progress accordingly.

Senior leaders and teachers implement a variety of successful initiatives and strategies to identify and respond effectively to any barriers to children's learning. Reports to the board could be more useful if they contained information on the success of the initiatives that details evidence of the progress and achievement outcomes for children.

Senior leaders place high importance on increasing all children's engagement with their learning and on ensuring children take pride in their own cultural identity. The board and principal value the input they get from Māori whānau about their hopes for and support of their tamariki.

Teachers have implemented a wide variety of initiatives to accelerate children's progress and achievement. These include:

  • placing high importance on establishing and maintaining close working relationships with children and their families
  • empowering children to drive their own learning
  • using children's interests to engage them in learning
  • closely scrutinising progress and achievement results.

The senior leadership team has created a profile of the interests, academic achievement and progress and involvement of each Māori child in the life of the school. They use this information to research conditions that positively contribute to accelerating learning for Māori children.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds very well to all children whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school uses a good range of teaching practices to meet the needs of all children. The progress and achievement of children with special needs are closely monitored by the special education needs coordinator. The use of appropriate external agencies and well supported teacher aides provides the foundation for children to make successful progress with the goals set in their individual education plans.

The board and principal acknowledge that it could be beneficial if they develop a profile of interests for Pacific children along similar lines to the profile for Māori children.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school's curriculum and other organisational processes and practices are very effective in developing and enacting the school's vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence.

The board and senior leaders have maintained the school's emphasis on promoting bicultural practices and placing high value on tikanga Māori. Trustees have a reciprocal relationship with Piritahi Marae, which includes having a representative from the marae on the school board. Children actively participate in powhiri and many children of all ethnicities are proud members of the kapa haka group. The school offers an extension class in te reo Māori and invites whānau to regular hui.

The board is confident in their role as stewards of the school. Trustees work confidently together and have developed a useful operational format that guides them to make evidence-based decisions. They are well informed by members of the senior leadership team about progress towards the board's strategic goals and targets. Trustees are assured that the achievement information they receive is robust and rigorous. This is because good processes are used to ensure this. These include the use of the Ministry of Education progress and achievement tool, moderation within and across the school and assessment information being triangulated with school-based and nationally normed tools.

The board and senior leaders work closely with the community to arrive at shared aspirations and to ensure that these are reflected in the strategic and annual plan. The board and leaders offer the community many opportunities to have a say in the direction of the school.

The principal is an experienced leader who is focused on ensuring ongoing school improvement. She is capably supported by the senior leadership team. The principal offers many appropriate opportunities to grow the leadership skills of teachers and children. She gathers the perspectives of the wider school community and continues to develop reciprocal learning-centred relationships with them.

The principal has embedded organisational structures, processes and practices to underpin and sustain collaborative teacher development for ongoing positive outcomes for children. Teachers participate in appropriate whole staff professional learning opportunities. They reflect systematically on the impact that their teaching is having on children's learning. Teacher's performance management systems have been enhanced through external facilitation. As a result, they are now more meaningful and purposeful and support improvement to teaching practices.

The curriculum reflects the school's mission statement and is aligned to the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum. It is responsive to children's strengths, interests and needs. Teachers have high expectations for children to achieve and children work consistently towards meeting the expectations. They also offer equitable opportunities for children to lead their own learning and to be challenged. Children have many opportunities to participate in extra curricula activities and experiences outside of the classroom. The school's membership in the Island's community of learning network is likely to help ensure that children make smooth and successful transitions at the key points of change throughout their school lives.

The principal is developing coherent organisational conditions that promote internal evaluation. She completed a thorough and useful evaluation of the place of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum. The outcome of this evaluation has contributed to the school developing an effective and responsive curriculum.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children. 

The school is well placed to sustain progress made with consistent teaching practices and student ownership of their learning. Leaders have identified relevant priorities for further development. These include:

  • reviewing the roles of the senior leadership team to ensure their focus is on being leaders of learning
  • using the outcomes of trends and patterns of achievement and disparity gaps to make focused school-wide targets and goals
  • embedding and extending the current useful process of evaluation, including reporting the impact on outcomes for children to the board, to include regular and emergent internal evaluation.

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

6 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review the board of trustees 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

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that school leaders continue to build reciprocal relationships with the community and maintain their firm focus on student progress and achievement.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

1 March 2017

About the school 


Ostend, Waiheke Island

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 55% Boys 45%

Ethnic composition





other European








Review team on site

November 2016

Date of this report

1 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

April 2014

December 2011

September 2008