Waiuku Primary School - 23/04/2019

School Context

Waiuku Primary School is located in Waiuku, Franklin. It is a full primary school providing education for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll of 416 includes 76 Māori and a growing number of students from culturally diverse backgrounds, including 17 Pacific students.

Since the previous ERO review in 2015 the school has experienced significant roll growth. A new principal was appointed at the end of 2015, the deputy principal has remained the same and there have been many changes to the teaching team. One new trustee was selected at the end of 2018 and the election of a new board chairperson took place at the initial meeting in February 2018.

Teachers have undertaken school-wide professional learning and development in an online student management system and Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L). Teachers have also been involved in culturally responsive practice professional development facilitated by the Kāhui Ako.

The school is a member of the Waiuku Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako (CoL).

The school’s vision is ‘Ka ora ka oka, ka ako ka ora, Life is for learning and learning is for life’. Core values of respect, integrity, excellence and independence are fostered throughout the school. The school promotes ‘The Waiuku Way’ that has been introduced since the last review. It has three key aims for students, they are:

  • We respect our school.

  • We are kind and caring.

  • We focus on our learning.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics.

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?

The school is working towards achieving equitable outcomes for all students.

In 2018, the majority of students achieved expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. This data also indicates that Māori and Pākehā achieve at similar levels in mathematics. Pākehā outperform Māori in writing and reading. The large majority of Pacific students achieve at expected curriculum levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Girls outperform boys significantly in reading and in mathematics and writing.

Information gathered for all students in reading, writing and mathematics between 2017 to 2018 show generally consistent achievement patterns. The pattern of boys achieving less well than girls and Maori achieving less well than Pākehā in literacy has remained consistent.

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

The school is able to show accelerated achievement for some Māori and other students who are involved in specific interventions. Leaders collated this information during the ERO review.

Students with additional learning needs are making good progress against their individual learning and behaviour goals.

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?

Leaders use a strategic approach to effectively manage change. A strong focus on building leadership capability across the school is evident. The introduction and implementation of robust quality assurance processes support consistency and improvement of teacher practice. Effective communication strategies are used to communicate with and engage parents, whānau and community. Leaders are well supported by the board of trustees. They have established an orderly and supportive environment for staff that is conducive to student learning and wellbeing.

Students learn in caring and inclusive environments. They benefit from warm and respectful relationships with staff. Teachers use a good range of positive and inclusive practices that respond to learner diversity and support engagement. These include providing opportunities for student self management and knowing students’ interests and learning needs well. Teachers have strengthened the natural integration of culturally responsive practice into learning programmes. The school values, well known by the school community, contribute to equitable outcomes for all students.

Students with additional learning needs are well supported. Processes and practices are clear for student identification, and effective input from external support agencies is accessed where appropriate. A knowledgeable special education needs coordinator (SENCO) works cooperatively with a team of experienced teacher aides. They provide appropriate in-class support to students with identified learning needs. The SENCO has established effective education networks within the local CoL which is strengthening interventions for all at-risk learners.

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

Leaders, trustees and teachers need to implement a more aligned approach to accelerating learning for all at-risk students. This should include:

  • developing specific and measurable targets for all identified groups of at-risk learners and report regularly to the board and parents how effectively their progress is being accelerated
  • evaluating the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives designed to accelerate the progress of priority learners
  • strengthening, monitoring and analysing student achievement data to better inform strategies and initiatives to improve learning outcomes
  • accessing professional learning and development to build leaders and teachers capability to accelerate the achievement of at-risk learners.

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 Waiuku Primary School performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

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:

  • leadership that builds a positive culture and sets high expectations for teaching and learning

  • learning environments that have high levels of student engagement.

Next steps

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

  • school-wide target setting and reporting that includes all at risk learners

  • evaluating the effectiveness of programmes and initiatives that accelerate the progress of priority learners.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

23 April 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 55% Girls 45%

Ethnic composition

Māori 18%
Pākehā 63%
Indian 4%
Other European 4%
Pacific 4%
Other 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

23 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2015
Education Review August 2012
Education Review December 2009