Waimataitai School - 19/06/2014

1 Context

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

Positive relationships are a key feature contributing to the school’s success. Teachers know students and their families well. The school has highly developed systems to ensure that teachers are continually sharing information about students’ learning and wellbeing.

Senior leaders and teachers have extended the programmes and practices that support students’ learning and behaviour across the school. Students have many opportunities to contribute their ideas to improve these programmes and practices.

There is a strong school-wide emphasis on building partnerships with students and their families. The board funds a part-time trained counsellor and the school makes good use of other agencies to support students who have identified needs.

Since the time of the October 2009 ERO review, the school has become more culturally diverse and there are greater numbers of families who move in and out of the area. There are many ways that students’ cultures and successes are acknowledged and celebrated.

Waimataitai School has sustained and built on its high performance since the 2009 ERO review.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

Senior leaders and teachers make very good use of student achievement information to identify and support students’ achievement, progress and engagement.

Students’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics reported to the board, provide detailed and useful information. School-wide achievement targets clearly identify the small groups of students at risk of not achieving at particular year levels in each key learning area.

Teachers use a wide range of effective ways to make judgements about students’ learning and progress. They use this high quality information well to plan appropriate programmes of work. Groups of students and individuals who require additional classroom support are clearly identified and provided with high quality targeted programmes aimed at accelerating their progress.

Recent school achievement information shows that most students continue to achieve well in reading. Many students have made significant progress in mathematics. The school has identified that writing is still an area for further improvement. Specific high quality programmes are in place to continue to support the teaching and assessing of writing.

Parents receive regular and useful information about how well their children are learning. Student achievement reports to parents give a clear indication of how well students are achieving and progressing in reading, writing and mathematics. The best reports give very specific and helpful information about what students need to work on and how parents can help at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is well considered and developed to promote and engage students in their learning.

The school’s well-established ‘Wai learner qualities’ are an integral part of all aspects of the school. Students clearly know and demonstrate these qualities in their learning. They are well understood and used effectively by teachers in classroom planning and practices.

Teachers work collaboratively and regularly share ideas and the best ways to support students’ learning. Senior leaders provide staff with thorough and useful curriculum guidelines and expectations.

Students are provided with many different and interesting learning experiences, within and beyond the classroom. Older students are given a wide range of leadership responsibilities. They regularly support younger students with their learning.

Students have many opportunities to share and have their ideas listened to. These views are highly valued and well used by school staff and the board in their decision making.

The school leaders have identified that the next step for the school is to further extend assessment practices and reporting in learning areas other than literacy and mathematics.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

Overall the school is effectively promoting success for Māori, as Māori. Teachers provide increasing opportunities for Māori students to experience success as Māori.

The board is funding additional staff to assist teachers and all students to learn about te reo and tikanga Māori. Senior leaders acknowledge that teachers need further help to confidently use te reo and tikanga Māori within their teaching.

A recently introduced programme is encouraging and supporting all Māori students to learn about their culture and identity. Senior leaders are aware of the need to closely monitor the effectiveness and success of this approach.

Up until 2013, Māori students achieved similar levels to their peers. In 2013 a significant number of Māori students enrolled in the school. Some of these students had particular learning needs in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers provide high quality programmes for these students focused on accelerating their learning. They monitor these students closely and early progress reports show improvements particularly in reading.

The school has a strong kapa haka group for all students who want to be involved.

Consultation with Māori whānau occurs regularly. Senior leaders and the board are continually trialling and reviewing the best ways to successfully engage and consult with their Māori community. Teachers are currently considering ways to acknowledge Māori concepts of giftedness.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to continue to sustain and improve its performance.

The board, school leaders and staff have a shared vision and direction for the school, based on continuous improvement. The school’s strategic and annual plans provide specific goals for increasing positive outcomes for students’ learning and wellbeing. The annual goals are very well understood and are evident in all aspects of school planning and operations.

There is a strong culture of ongoing reflection, monitoring and review and being innovative to improve outcomes for students.

The principal and senior leaders provide clear direction, encouragement and professional and personal support for staff. Teachers are provided with regular and helpful feedback about their teaching practices and learning environments. A senior leader has recently been given responsibility for leading professional development. She is supporting teachers to continue to provide high quality learning programmes that will help improve learning outcomes for students.

Senior leaders are actively involved in a local schools’ cluster group that is supporting and building their capacity as leaders in the school.

The board is well led and has rigorous systems and processes to ensure the school is well governed and managed. Trustees are provided with a lot of useful information about student learning, achievement and wellbeing. Trustees and the principal work closely together. They actively seek the views of students, staff and families as part of their planning and review processes.

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
  • processes for appointing staff
  • 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 four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

19 June 2014

About the School


Timaru, South Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā




Other Ethnicities






Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

19 June 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2009

June 2006

December 2003