Waipawa School - 29/04/2019

School Context

Waipawa School is a full primary school located in Central Hawke's Bay. Of the 231 students enrolled, 29% are Māori and a small number are of Pacific heritage. The school has an attached Years 7 and 8 technology unit.

Since the July 2016 ERO report, the number of students attending the school has increased significantly. A number of changes have occurred to staffing, including a new senior leadership team and principal appointment in 2018.

The vision is for students to be ‘Active in learning; Active in life; Tangata tu tangata ora’.

The school’s strategic goals for 2019 to 2021 are:

  • valuing hauora to develop a sense of belonging where all are resilient and connected

  • developing a localised and future-focused curriculum that is visible throughout the school

  • being actively involved in the community and the community actively involved in children’s learning

  • growing teachers who are nurturers, learners, inquirers, change agents and have impact.

The 2019 achievement target is to accelerate the learning of those students below expectations at the end of 2018 by more than one year, particularly in mathematics.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement and progress in reading, writing, and mathematics

  • wellbeing and attendance.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

At the end of 2018, many students achieved expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. This data also shows disparity for Māori students and boys in reading and writing.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school’s achievement information for 2018 indicates that some at-risk students made accelerated progress. For more systematic acceleration of learning, improvements to systems, processes and practice have been implemented to increase the effectiveness of the school in responding to those Māori and other children who need this. Some processes are newly introduced. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation is planned to ensure developments accelerate student learning and raise achievement.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Senior leaders are deliberate in the approach to improve systems, process and practice to effect equitable and excellent outcomes for students. Developments appropriately include the opinions and aspirations of staff, parents, whānau and the school community. A revised senior leadership structure has established clear responsibilities aligned to strategic priorities. Purposeful professional learning, coaching and mentoring practices build the consistency of teaching capability.

Trustees suitably undertake their roles and responsibilities. Considerable review and reflection has informed a clear strategic plan to guide ongoing improvements. In 2018, the vision and kaupapa was redeveloped with staff, students and the school community. Detailed reporting from leaders ensures the board is well informed when making resourcing decisions.

Students identified with additional and complex learning needs have appropriate support to promote their inclusion and achievement. Increasingly, assessment information is better used by teachers to determine the learning needs of students and to track and monitor their progress. Expectations for planning to raise achievement, provides a systematic process for teachers to document the specific needs of learners. Intervention planning, developed for children with complex needs, appropriately documents the shared goals and aspirations for learners, in conjunction with parents, whānau and external specialists.

Students learn in a positive and inclusive school culture. Classroom environments and strategies used by teachers promote the purposeful engagement of children in learning. Students demonstrate a strong sense of belonging at school. Leaders gather relevant information in relation to student wellbeing to acknowledge practices that are working well and plan further developments.

Relevant learning contexts, including an increasing response to Māori learners’ language and culture, promote positive engagement in learning. The newly revised curriculum document appropriately aligns the school’s vision and values to the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum. Expectations for teaching and learning make relevant connections to current professional learning initiatives and achievement priorities. Digital technologies are accessible to promote student learning and support their inquiry.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school has the capability and capacity to make improvements in outcomes for students. Senior leaders have implemented changes to strengthen curriculum delivery and professional practice, promote student wellbeing and extend learning partnerships with parents and whānau. Comprehensive strategic and annual planning supports these developments.

For coherency to achieve the desired outcomes of these developments, the board, leaders and staff should continue to strengthen evaluation and inquiry practice. Aligning success measures and key progress indicators to evaluate the achievement, engagement and wellbeing of learners should provide information to understand how well introduced changes achieve equity and excellence for students.

3 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

  • finance

  • 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.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO‘s overall evaluation judgement of Waipawa School performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance is available on ERO’s website.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • collaborative leadership that, facilitates well considered improvements to systems, processes and practice

  • curriculum provision that, promotes positive student engagement in learning

  • responses to learners identified with complex and additional learning needs so that teaching purposefully meets their needs

  • an inclusive environment that, fosters the positive involvement of students, parents and whānau in learning and school life.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • strengthening evaluation and inquiry practice to clearly understand how well introduced changes to systems, processes and practice address achievement disparities and promote increased equity and excellence for all learners.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

29 April 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary Years 1 to 8

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 51%, Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

Māori 29%
Pākehā 66%
Pacific 1%
Other ethnic groups 4%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

29 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review July 2016
Education Review September 2012
Education Review September 2009