Waikowhai Intermediate - 30/06/2017


Waikowhai Intermediate provides education for Year 7 and 8 students. Currently there are 361 children, with six percent of Māori descent and 24 percent from Pacific Nations.

The school has built on the very good practices noted in ERO’s 2014 evaluation report. Positive developments include greater partnering with whānau and families, and targeting programmes to accelerate children’s progress.

In 2016, the board successfully managed the school through school leadership changes. The new principal has established a wider team of capable senior leaders. This new leadership team works cohesively with dedicated trustees who have a keen understanding of stewardship.

The school’s multi-layered approach to raising achievement, supports learning equity and excellence for children. Effective school leadership, robust internal evaluation and strong community partnership underpin this work. The school’s data show that children engage well in learning. In the two years they attend Waikowhai, their progress is accelerated in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school is a member in the Lynfield Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL). School leaders have established pathways to build coherence and capability for the benefit of the children, the school and the wider CoL.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school responds very well to learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration. The board, leaders and teachers see lifting overall achievement as an integral part of school improvement. The school’s processes and actions are very effective in helping to achieve excellence and equity for children.

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years. 

Equity and excellence

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

The school responds very effectively to all learners whose learning and achievement need acceleration.

The school’s data show significant shifts in students’ achievement in relation to the National Standards, from when they enter school at Year 7 to when they leave at Year 8. A range of robust processes are in place for moderation across the school and with other schools in the CoL.

Children benefit from the board’s strategic approach to raising achievement. The school is addressing in-school disparity for Māori. In 2016, Māori students’ learning progress was accelerated in reading, writing and mathematics.

The school monitors Pacific students’ progress and responds with culturally appropriate interventions to accelerate their progress. This deliberate approach acknowledges the partnership of families, children and teachers, and the inclusion of culture in learning. It is also being used to accelerate mathematics learning for all children. The school is addressing in-school disparity for Pacific students. School data show a significant increase in the achievement of Tongan and Samoan students in all National Standards.

Culturally responsive teaching practices are supporting children to engage well in their learning. Specialist subject teachers are an integral part of the school’s learning community and contribute fully to the targeted actions to accelerating student progress. They also monitor children’s achievement outcomes through their targeted teacher inquiries.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The school’s processes and actions are very effective in helping achieve excellence and equity for children.

The board demonstrates a strong commitment to fostering conditions for equity and excellence. Trustees are strategic in their approach to accelerating students’ achievement. Priority is given to enabling all children to access meaningful learning opportunities. This is achieved through very good use of resourcing and strong internal evaluation processes that ensure interventions support and strengthen outcomes for children.

School leaders have high expectations of themselves and of everyone in the school’s learning community. They lead and influence a professional teaching culture, committed to ongoing learning and improvement. All staff participate in quality mentoring and coaching programmes and comprehensive appraisal processes. Leaders and teachers carry out evidenced-based inquiries into the effectiveness of their practice, with the purpose of benefitting learners.

Internal evaluation is systematic and coherent, underpinning school improvement at every level. The community, board, leaders, teachers and students contribute to the school’s evaluations.

The school’s curriculum design is responsive to children’s culture, language and identity. Children experience a wide range of learning opportunities called the ‘Wai Way’, which is linked to The New Zealand Curriculum. They have many opportunities to engage in high level critical thinking and reflection. Personalised ‘learning maps’ reference each child’s progress, fostering student agency. These maps are shared with teachers and family. Children use school-issue computers very well for independent and collaborative learning.

Children respond well to school expectations and strive to succeed as learners and developing citizens. Manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and mahi tahi are evident throughout the school. Students’ wellbeing is a focus in the school. The school’s values are threaded through the curriculum, and are reflected in the very good outcomes achieved for students. These values are ‘diversity, excellence, equity, participation, innovation and inquiry, hauora, integrity, respect and sustainability’.

Leaders and teachers maintain useful partnerships between families, school and the community. Home languages are actively encouraged and used in the school, and at parent interviews. The school establishes relationships with agencies and networks to support equity of access for all children.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

The school is very well placed to sustain its current good practices and continue to make ongoing improvements that impact positively on equity and excellence for all children. Leaders and teachers continue to have a strong focus on eliminating disparity across the school, and the further development of children’s agency in their role as school decision makers.

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

  • 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

Going forward

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

Children are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

Agreed next steps are:

  • undertake an internal evaluation to align successful school wide initiatives that will further enhance the curriculum

  • continue implementing successful strategies to address disparity in achievement.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years. 

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

30 June 2017

About the school 


Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Years 7 and 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 51% Girls 49%

Ethnic composition

Other Pacific
Other Ethnicities


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

30 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

February 2014
September 2010
May 2007