Waihi East School - 07/05/2012

1. Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Waihi East School is a contributing primary school catering for students in Years 1 to 6. The school currently has a roll of 133 students, 35 percent of whom are identified as Māori. There are 5 Pacific students.

Significant developments since the previous ERO review include the election of a new board of trustees, the appointment of two new deputy principals, ongoing upgrading of school property and purchase of information and communication technologies (ICT) equipment. Teachers have been involved in a number of professional learning initiatives designed to enhance their classroom practice, some of which have involved the participation of external facilitators.

The school benefits from an association with local industry. The board is funding an additional teacher in the new entrant area to keep class sizes to a minimum, and a number of teacher aides are employed to support students’ learning.

The school presents an attractive welcoming environment for students and their families. Buildings and grounds are well maintained. There is an emphasis on promoting an active partnership with parents and the local community. This is reflected in projects such as the development of school gardens.

2. Learning

How well are students learning – engaging, progressing and achieving?

Teachers have high expectations for student learning. Overall, students at Waihi East School are achieving well and were observed by ERO to be positively engaged with their learning.

Achievement information reported to the board at the end of 2011 indicates that a significant majority of students are achieving at and above the expected National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics. Students are able to talk about their learning and in many cases have a good understanding of their next learning steps.

The school has made good progress in implementing National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers are reporting to parents about student achievement in relation to the standards. Reports contain information about what students need to do to progress their learning, and are supported by detailed year books that contain extensive information about the curriculum, expectations for learning and relevant work samples. School-wide data is collated, reported to the board and is being used to set annual targets to improve achievement.

Achievement information is also used to identify and develop individual education plans for students who are not achieving at expected levels. Teacher aides are providing support for these students within classrooms.

The school recognises that there is a need to continue to refine the management and use of achievement information by introducing a wider range of assessment tools. This should assist teachers to more effectively plan classroom programmes and make overall judgements about student achievement.

How well does the school promote Māori student success and success as Māori?

The school has identified that, generally, Māori students are not achieving as well as other students.

The need to raise the achievement of Māori students and affirm their cultural identity within the school is recognised as a priority in the school’s charter, annual plan and curriculum document. The school has been proactive in obtaining external advice in developing and implementing appropriate achievement targets and strategies to raise the achievement of Māori students. Teachers have been involved in professional development to enhance their appreciation of culturally responsive practices. In addition, the school currently has a focus on improving its engagement with Māori parents and whānau.

Attention should be given to ensuring that there is a greater reflection of a Māori dimension in classroom environments.

3. Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

The recently developed curriculum document clearly describes how the school is giving effect to The New Zealand Curriculum. There is a broad coverage of all learning areas with an emphasis on literacy and mathematics. The curriculum reflects a shared vision and values for supporting students to become successful citizens who contribute positively to our society. There are clear expectations for teachers in regard to curriculum delivery and assessment. The school recognises that there will need to be ongoing evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of this curriculum with opportunity for input from parents.

Teachers use a range of effective strategies to engage students in meaningful learning. They maintain positive and affirming relationships with students contributing to a calm, settled environment for learning throughout the school. Classrooms are well-organised and attractively presented to support and stimulate learning.

Recent professional learning and development for teachers, supported by an external facilitator, has resulted in an increasing focus on making the purpose of learning clear. This focus is supporting students to reflect on and become more independent in their learning. School leaders and ERO agree that there is a need to maintain the momentum of this professional learning so that students continue to develop as self-managing learners.

4. Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to sustain ongoing improvement and development.

An important element in ensuring this sustainability is the effective, well-informed professional and educational leadership that is being provided by the principal. She is implementing a clear direction for improving student achievement, has been proactive in obtaining high-quality external support for school initiatives and maintains positive relationships with staff, students and parents. She is well supported by two hard-working deputy principals and they work well together as a cohesive team.

Other factors that support sustainability are:

  • effective governance that is focused on school growth and improving achievement
  • teachers who are positive, enthusiastic, reflective about their practice and involved in ongoing professional learning and development
  • an increasingly planned and effective approach to self review that is informed by student achievement data
  • a highly inclusive approach to engaging with parents and whānau.

There is a strong commitment to supporting students' well-being, promoting their safety and encouraging achievement and success.

Provision for international students

Waihi East School has no international students.

Provision for students in the school hostel

Waihi East School does not have a hostel.

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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

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

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

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

7 May 2012

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)



School roll


Gender composition

Girls 54% Boys 46%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pakēhā

NZ Maori

Other European


South East Asian






Review team on site

March 2012

Date of this report

7 May 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Supplementary Review

Supplementary Review

May 2009

June 2006

June 2005