Waimea Intermediate - 20/12/2013

1 Context

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

Waimea Intermediate School in Richmond, Nelson caters for Years 7 and 8 students from a large number of urban and rural contributing schools. Of the 603 students on the roll, 53 identify as Māori.

The physical environment has been thoughtfully developed over the years. Both the indoor and outdoor areas are conducive to learning. Students respect their environment. The school utilises the shared campus with Waimea College and Henley Primary School to facilitate reciprocal student visits and ease transitions for learners into and out of the intermediate school.

The modules programme on Friday enables students to participate in a wide range of activities aimed at extending their learning. There are also many opportunities outside the classroom to experience and develop skills and knowledge.

The charter’s vision is supported by a set of values, RISE (respect, integrity, self management, empathy) which are evident in the relationships between students and teachers. Respect is universal. Routines are well-established and students respond positively to high behavioural expectations. Strategies such as restorative practice and a team approach to student wellbeing have resulted in improved student behaviour and reduced stand-downs and suspensions.

A Ministry of Education Student Achievement Function Practitioner has been working in the school to assist with evidence-based practice and develop teaching as inquiry, with particular focus on mathematics.

The school has a very good ERO reporting history.

2 Learning

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

The school uses student achievement information in a range of ways to make positive changes to students’ engagement and achievement.

Nationally standardised tests inform overall teacher judgements. On entry, assessment is undertaken by the intermediate and used to identify students whose achievement level is of concern. Teachers group students and usually differentiate teaching accordingly.

School wide professional development to improve the teaching of writing has been adopted to meet the needs of students whose writing skills need considerable development.

Currently teachers are gathering, discussing and reflecting on a variety of information as part of their inquiry process. Teachers are employing a greater range of purposeful teaching strategies as a result of professional learning and development. As some teachers rely on data from standardised testing at set intervals, they have insufficient evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies they use. With more detailed analysis of data, and closer tracking of priority students, more positive changes could be made.

3 Curriculum

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

The school has consulted widely to develop an aspirational curriculum. It embraces the local context and is designed to provide a broad education around relevant, engaging topics. Teachers are working collaboratively to plan ways to manage the integrated programme within the given timeframes. Senior leaders recognise the need to maintain a focus on reading, writing and mathematics. They expect teachers to teach and integrate the same concept in multiple settings.

As the curriculum becomes embedded, it will be timely to review the impact to ensure it is meeting the anticipated outcomes.

Students are highly engaged and interact positively. They are enthusiastic, active and willing learners. The concept of WISE (wonder, inquire, engage, self reflect) learners is becoming embedded as teachers fully understand the process of investigation and provide more purposeful learning directions. All teachers should share the appropriate learning progressions with students.

Teachers have received valuable professional development to improve their skills in teaching mathematics. The school recognises that this is an ongoing area for development so that all teachers are fully conversant with teaching mathematics.

Good practice is evident where teachers plan collaboratively and are reflective. Lessons are well paced and these teachers actively work to build and maintain a positive, constructive learning environment. Such teaching practice is not consistent syndicate or school wide.

The school is well resourced. Students and teachers use information and communication technologies to support learning. Modern facilities in the technology department encourage creative teaching and learning.

Waimea Intermediate is an inclusive school. Students with high needs are well supported by the special education needs coordinator (SENCO), the teachers and the well prepared teacher aides. The students are making good progress towards meeting their individual education plan goals.

There are opportunities for all students to learn te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Lessons are planned to be part of the integrated curriculum. The module approach enables students to participate in kapa haka and also to learn te reo Māori at different levels.

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

Success for Māori as Māori is well promoted. Students are encouraged to be leaders and, through a deliberate tuakana teina strategy, their high quality leadership is sustained. Kapa haka students perform with pride and feeling. They practise under expert tutelage.

The school conducts regular hui to engage with Māori. The principal is responsive to suggestions and is continuing to explore ways to further engage whānau.

Staff are supported to grow and develop their understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Teachers recognise that they are on a continuum of expertise in this area.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school charter has been collaboratively developed with targets that focus on increasing student achievement rates of progress. The principal and lead teachers regularly inform the board about the delivery of the curriculum and progress towards meeting the targets. Although targets address particular areas of underachievement, defining the groups and the degree of improvement sought should be more detailed.

The school is well governed. The board has adopted the practice of staggered elections. This facilitates continuity. The recently elected trustees are mostly experienced board members and are familiar with the role of governance.

Performance appraisal is affirming and meets legal requirements. However, implementation is variable and not always rigorous. A more focused documented set of expectations of teachers, including cultural competencies, would make the process more useful.

Area for development

The next step for trustees and school leaders is to continue to develop sound evidence-based self review that contributes to improving the quality of practices school wide and further raising student achievement.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

International students generally stay for a short time as part of a group experience. The local college usually takes responsibility for the welfare of the students out of school time. Often the students transition to the college at the end of Year 8. Good communication between these schools facilitates appropriate care of the students.

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.

In order to improve practice, the board should review all policies and procedures to ensure that these reflect current practice.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

20 December 2013

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Male 51%

Female 49%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups




Review team on site

September 2013

Date of this report

20 December 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2011

February 2008

March 2005