Waipara School - 10/12/2013

1 Context

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

Waipara is a small rural school located in North Canterbury. A positive feature of the school is the strong relationships that are evident between students, teachers, families and the wider community.

The teachers, including the principal, have taught at the school for a number of years. The school has close links with the local community and other schools in the surrounding areas.

The board, principal and staff ensure that the school is maintained to a high standard and well resourced. The active PTA undertakes considerable fund raising to support students and their learning.

Since the December 2010 ERO report, teachers have been involved in a three year information and communication technologies (ICT) professional development programme. The board has supported this by providing considerable funding for additional resources.

2 Learning

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

Teachers collect a wide range of information about individual student achievement. They use this well to help students progress and experience success in their learning.

School achievement information shows most students are making good progress and achieving at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The board and principal make good use of this information to identify the students who need more help from their teachers and experienced teacher aides.

Small class sizes help teachers establish strong relationships with students and their families. The principal maintains regular contact with families to keep them well informed about their child’s learning and wellbeing.

Areas for review and development

The principal provides the board with reports about students’ learning and progress. This information needs to be collated and well analysed to identify why some students are not making expected progress and identify approaches that could be put in place to further improve student achievement.

The principal needs to review the process used to report students’ achievement in Years 1 to 3 in relation to National Standards. The way the school assesses and reports against National Standards needs to be improved. (Action 1)

3 Curriculum

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

The school has a well developed curriculum that effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

Learning programmes are interesting, varied and include a wide range of experiences within and beyond the local community. Literacy and mathematics are strongly emphasised within the school’s curriculum.

The curriculum document provides teachers with clear guidelines and expectations for teaching and learning. Teachers provide well-planned and organised programmes. They successfully adapt programmes to meet individual students’ needs, interests and home-life experiences.

The school’s vision for a successful learner, referred to as the ‘Waipara Learner Qualities’, effectively underpins all aspects of the school’s curriculum. The learner qualities are well integrated into class plans and programmes, and are explicitly taught. These qualities are age appropriate and well understood by students. They have many opportunities to contribute to the development of class programmes.

Teachers work well together and make good use of their own strengths to promote student learning and interests.

Student leadership is actively promoted throughout the school. Student leaders are fully involved in organising school events. Their opinions are regularly sought and their views are valued and contribute to decisions made about the school.

Students are supportive of each other. Older students take good care of younger students. They work well together within classes and in the playground.

Area for review and development

The principal and teachers need to improve the quality and usefulness of curriculum reviews.

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

At the time of this review the school did not have students enrolled who identify as Māori.

While some Māori culture and language are included in the curriculum, the principal acknowledges that the school needs to increase bicultural perspectives across all aspects of the school.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school has appropriate systems and practices to sustain and improve its performance.

The staff are provided with professional leadership that promotes a strong focus on student learning and wellbeing. They involve the whole community in the life of the school. Teachers have many opportunities for professional development that link well to the school’s planned future direction.

The newly appointed board has recently undertaken training to increase its understanding of governance roles. Trustees are supportive of the teaching team and effectively use student achievement information to provide resources to assist student learning.

Areas for review and development

The board has identified, and ERO agrees, that it should take a more active role in the development and review of the strategic plan.

A better understanding about the purpose and process for self review and how it impacts on student learning is likely to support learning outcomes for 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.


An area of non-compliance was identified during the review.

  • The board, with the principal and teaching staff, is required to report in writing twice a year to students and parents about student achievement and progress in relation to the National Standards.

National Administration Guidelines 2A

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

10 December 2013

About the School


Waipara, North Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 24 Boys 16

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Review team on site

October 2013

Date of this report

10 December 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2010

November 2007

June 2004