Waiouru School - 17/04/2014

1 Context

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

Waiouru School is part of a rural community with a unique tie to the New Zealand Defence Force. The Waiouru Military Camp plays an important role in the lives of students, staff and families. The school shares a strong relationship with Rongomaraeroao Ngā Haue Wha, the National Army Marae.

The school experiences a high turnover of students as their families move onto and out of the military base. A significant number of students unexpectedly arrived at the school at the beginning of this year. The present roll is 94 with approximately 40 identifying as Māori. A small number of students from Pacific nations attend the school while their parents are on two-year postings to the Waiouru Military Camp.

In June 2011 the school was rebuilt. There have been three principals since the December 2010 ERO review, with one acting in the role for a term in 2012. The present principal has been in her role since Term 2, 2012.

2 Learning

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

Teachers and trustees effectively use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. National Standards data shows that there have been improvements in the number of students achieving at or above in relation to the standards in mathematics, reading and writing.

Since the previous ERO review, there have been a number of interventions to assist improvements in teaching and learning. Teachers have strengthened the assessment moderation process across reading, writing and mathematics. Student progress, particularly in writing, is an outcome of the targeted professional learning and development. Teachers inquire into their teaching practice and put in place strategies to accelerate student learning. They use their analysis of assessment data effectively to improve teaching and learning.

Students are involved in goal setting and identifying their next learning steps.

Positive, trusting and supportive relationships between students and teachers focus on student wellbeing and achievement. Students are highly engaged in learning and supported to be independent learners.

Student wellbeing is a high priority for the school and army. Representatives from the army and the school principal have ongoing discussions to ensure that family wellbeing is managed appropriately. The reciprocal partnership with the army demonstrates that the school is an integral part of the base.

3 Curriculum

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

The Waiouru School curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

There is a clear rationale evident for the choices made in designing the curriculum and selecting areas of learning emphasis. Teachers plan as a team ensuring that learning programmes have appropriate progression over class and year levels.

Outcomes of self review inform ongoing teaching and learning. Team reflection, based on unit plans, is linked to learning intentions. These give very clear and specific detail about student learning and achievement and strategies teachers have used to improve learning.

Students learn through authentic, hands on contexts. They confidently question and offer answers and are highly engaged in meaningful learning activities. The local environment is well utilised for learning. “We are Waiouru” is a predominant theme.

A significant increase in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) enhances students learning. ICT has opened up a wider range of opportunities for students to share learning with their class. This will soon be extended to enable them to share with family and the wider world.

Pacific students come from Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. Appropriate support and programmes are put in place to assist students succeed. Families are supported to engage in school life.

Early identification of students with diverse learning needs ensures they are provided with appropriate support and learning. Students, teachers, parents and outside agencies participate to develop individual education plans. There is a strong focus on students experiencing success. The school actively includes all students in school activities.

Students are immersed within a culturally diverse, future-focused curriculum created with and by the Waiouru learning community. It acknowledges and celebrates the Treaty of Waitangi and the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa.

Next step

The school is in the process of further defining the school curriculum. Consideration should be given to incorporating expectations for Pacific students through the principles and goals of the Waiouru School curriculum. This should include recognition of their culture, language and identity.

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

The school has a well considered and planned approach to successfully promoting educational success for Māori as Māori. The school has close links to Ngāti Tumatauenga and the Army marae, Rongomaraeroa-o-Ngā-Hau-e-Wha. Through these links students experience a strong sense of belonging. This contributes to their growing confidence as Māori. The whole school stands tall on the national marae. The students are valued and treasured taonga. Māori students are leaders and role models in the school. They take pride in who they are and demonstrate confidence to share their language, culture and identity.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Ongoing self review is focused on continuous improvement.

The principal reports student progress and achievement to the board at monthly meetings. This enables trustees to make informed decisions to continue to improve learning outcomes for students. Reporting is honest and frank and includes analysis of the data and the next steps needed.

Trustees access training to build their capacity to effectively govern the school. The charter and strategic plan identify key priorities likely to lead to positive outcomes for students. Targets are based on reliable student assessment data. They identify key groups of students whose achievement needs to be accelerated. The school charter is the outcome of extensive community consultation.

The principal, staff and trustees work collaboratively and demonstrate a clear understanding of the future direction of the school.

Through appraisal, teachers critically reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching and develop professional and personal learning goals. An appropriate needs-based guidance programme is provided for provisionally registered teachers.

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 three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

17 April 2014

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 53, Female 41

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Papua New Guinea











Review team on site

February 2014

Date of this report

17 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Supplementary Review

December 2010

June 2008

May 2007