Waipu School - 09/11/2017


Waipu School, a contributing primary school, has a roll of 241 children of whom 23 percent are Māori and 73 percent are Pākehā. The district’s Māori and Scottish heritages are reflected in the school environment.

Most trustees are new to their stewardship roles. The school has stable leadership and low staff turnover. The principal and one deputy principal are experienced in their roles and the other deputy principal was appointed in 2016. Most teachers are experienced. There has been a significant professional learning focus on the teaching of mathematics.

Waipu School is a member of the recently formed Ngā Kura mō te ako o Whangarei (Group 5) Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL).

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all children?

The school has high expectations for student learning. Disparities in educational outcomes between Māori and Pākehā children have been reduced particularly in National Standards mathematics. Disparity between ethnicities in literacy has also been reduced over the last three years.

The school’s processes and actions help to achieve excellence and equity for all learners. This is mostly attributable to effective stewardship and leadership, a responsive curriculum, powerful partnerships with parents, whānau and community, and support for growing professional capability and capacity.

Relevant development priorities to support ongoing improvements focus on strengthening the school’s internal evaluation practices.

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school responds well to those children whose learning and achievement needs accelerating. The percentage of students achieving the standards has increased significantly since 2013. The percentage of Māori students achieving the National Standards increased by approximately 25 percent.

Overall National Standards achievement is high in reading, writing and mathematics. Māori students’ achievement in reading and mathematics is consistent with that of their non-Maori peers. There is now greater parity in achievement across all ethnic groups in National Standards for writing, however gender disparity in writing remains.

Senior leaders closely monitor students’ progress and achievement. There are many opportunities for teachers to discuss students’ progress and how to best support groups and individual children to make accelerated progress. The CoL is beginning to provide a forum to promote more consistency of overall teacher judgements in relation to the National Standards.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

School processes are effective in enabling all children to achieve well.

The board of trustees works in partnership with school leaders to ensure that teachers have the skills and resources to promote equity and excellence across the school. The principal promotes a learning environment conducive to children’s wellbeing. He knows the school’s families and staff. He is well supported by the deputy principals who have complementary professional and leadership skills.

Senior leaders are strategic in building and sustaining the capability of teachers to achieve equity and excellence. They encourage teachers to take leadership roles in their areas of expertise and interest. Professional learning and development for teachers is purposeful and relevant. Senior leaders promote greater consistency of assessment practices through ongoing professional development and guidance. Teachers use achievement information to identify children’s learning strengths and needs.

Trustees understand their stewardship role and bring relevant knowledge and skill to the board. With the support of the Parent-Teacher Association, trustees are proactive in making appropriate resourcing decisions. The board employs staff strategically including skilled teacher aides and specialist teachers to support te reo me ngā tikanga Māori programme, the Arts programme and kapa haka. This ensures that all students have equitable access to curriculum activities in order to achieve success.

The school’s responsive curriculum provides children with relevant learning opportunities to be confident, connected, actively involved lifelong learners. The curriculum acknowledges the Treaty of Waitangi and supports Māori children to achieve success as Māori. Students and teachers have good opportunities to learn te reo Māori and to understand and experience aspects of te ao Māori.

Teachers encourage children to be self-directed learners. They provide authentic learning opportunities for children to evaluate their own work and that of their peers. Teachers use a wide range of teaching strategies and are making increased use of digital technologies to enhance learning opportunities for children. Literacy and mathematics learning is often integrated with learning in other areas of the curriculum. Children with additional learning needs, gifts and talents are well supported through additional programmes and staffing.

The school’s work with family/whānau and community promotes equity and excellence. Parents are involved and well-informed about student learning through children’s portfolios and electronic communications.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

Strengthening internal evaluation would support the ongoing development of school processes.

The board has identified the need to review the format of the school charter and to strengthen community consultation, particularly with Māori whānau, to ensure that their aspirations for their children are included in the charter goals. The board should also consult with the community about the school’s health curriculum every two years.

Senior leaders have recently identified the need to review the school’s appraisal processes in order to meet the requirements of the Education Council. It would be appropriate for school leaders and teachers to continue with their plans to make links to Tātaiako, Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners when developing the new teacher appraisal system.

Senior leaders should strengthen internal evaluation by ensuring that they document the findings and recommendations identified through the evaluation process. Teachers could also document their evaluations of the impact of educational programmes on children’s learning.

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

  • 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.

To improve current practice, the board of trustees could consider recording minutes of meetings with greater detail to ensure that they are able to be understood by members of the public.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Children are achieving well. The school demonstrates strong progress toward achieving equity in educational outcomes, supported by effective, sustainable processes and practices.

Agreed next steps are to:

  • review staff appraisal processes to ensure Education Council requirements are being met

  • strengthen assessment moderation processes

  • strengthen the documentation of internal evaluation.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

9 November 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type


School roll


Gender composition

Girls 49% Boys 51%

Ethnic composition

other Ethnicities


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

9 November 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review Education Review Education Review

June 2013
August 2010
June 2007