Waterloo School - 06/06/2017


Waterloo School serves over 500 students in Years 1 to 6. The school is increasingly culturally diverse with growth in Māori, Chinese and Indian enrolments. Māori and Pacific students comprise 15% and 7% of the roll respectively.

Significant changes since the May 2014 ERO report include the appointment of an experienced principal in Term 2, 2016. Five teachers and a team leader were appointed early in 2017. Two experienced deputy principals along with a core group of staff provide continuity. The board chair elected at the start of 2017, is supported by both experienced and more recently elected trustees. Substantial property redevelopments were successfully completed since the May 2014 ERO review.

The school is a bronze Enviroschool and is part of the Ministry of Education Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programme. Staff have participated in ongoing, regular professional learning and development (PLD) in literacy and encouraging students’ ownership of their learning. Mathematics is the focus for 2017.

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

At the time of this ERO review, the school reports most students achieve at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. However, since 2012, the percentages of students at National Standard has remained static or slightly declined. The school has yet to achieve equity or improve achievement levels for key groups of students, including Māori and Pacific learners. Few targeted students in 2016 made accelerated progress.

Positive developments include providing individualised learning support. Students are purposefully engaged in a positive and respectful learning environment. Teachers continue to participate in relevant PLD that has informed the recent teacher review of the school curriculum. There is a focus on increasing students’ ownership of their learning and the use of digital technology to enhance learning opportunities.

Culturally responsive practices led by most teachers support students to understand the importance of te ao Māori. Two-way communication between home and school has improved and this information contributes to setting the board’s strategic direction.

The school has the capacity and capability to develop strategies and approaches that should improve achievement and lead to equitable and excellent outcomes for children. Increased action, through focused professional leadership and teaching, strategicstewardship and a more responsive student-led curriculum has begun.

The school plans to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning.

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 reports that in 2016 most learners achieved at or above in relation to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Since 2014, student achievement has remained static or decreased. Disparity in student outcomes has increased for Māori and Pacific learners in mathematics and reading. Gender inequities in literacy continue. Increasing equity and excellence in student outcomes is a key school priority.

Schoolwide assessment practices require further strengthening to ensure that teacher judgements are consistent and dependable. Reviewing assessment practices, including moderation and assessment for learning, should assist with developinga shared understanding about accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

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

Students are confident, motivated and enthusiastic learners. A positive school environment, and respectful relationships between students, teachers, and staff are evident. Student views are increasingly sought to inform their learning goals. There is a belief and focus on developing student-led learning to enhance achievement and deeper engagement in learning.

The school has appropriately identified Pacific students as a group that needs further support. Some schoolwide events affirm Pacific students’ culture.

Processes that contribute to the positive learning environment include:

  • progress with embedding culturally responsive practices for Māori schoolwide and the school’s response to whānau hui
  • identifying and monitoring progress for students that require learning support and the provision of appropriate internal and external assistance and programmes
  • teachers participating in relevant professional learning and development linked to students’ learning needs, school improvement targets and teacher appraisal goals
  • revision of the school curriculum to capture recent teacher professional development such as student-led learning and the school values developed through PB4L
  • increased clarity about syndicate leader roles and more professional leadership roles for teachers
  • a sustained focus on building community relationships through surveys and two-way information sharing to support students’ learning and to inform the focus for governance.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

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

The school has capacity and capability to develop strategies and approaches that accelerate and improve student achievement. However, key areas for improvement identified in the previous ERO report continue to require attention.

Increased urgency by school trustees and school and syndicate leaders is needed to:

  • accelerate the achievement of learners not yet at the National Standard in reading, writing and mathematics through clear schoolwide processes
  • strengthen schoolwide assessment practices to improve the dependability of student achievement information
  • continue to increase teacher capability through the use of teaching as inquiry and the revised appraisal system to focus on improving student achievement
  • continue progress with developing responsive curriculum opportunities, including integrated te ao Māori in classroom programmes, learner agency and use of blended learning approaches
  • strengthen stewardship through closer monitoring of improvement targets and governance practices
  • continue to extend learning partnerships between school and home
  • use the ideas and feedback from whānau hui and planned Pacific fono to help inform the school curriculum and strategic direction
  • build on schoolwide tracking, monitoring, reporting and internal evaluation in relation to the annual targets set by the board, to determine the impact of school initiatives and programmes on learner outcomes.

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.

Appraisal audit

The school recently revised its appraisal process to align with Education Council guidelines. The consistent and robust implementation of this process, in conjunction with a linked teaching as inquiry focus, is likely to support growth in teaching practice and student achievement.

Actions required

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure the process for the review and sign-off of school policy and procedures is appropriately documented in board meeting minutes and records

  • ensure that all reports to parents are clearly referenced to the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics

  • seek support from the New Zealand School Trustees Association to increase their understanding of their roles and responsibilities

Going forward

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

The school has capacity and capability to accelerate learning for all children. However, disparity in achievement for Māori and other children remains.

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • need to further develop and implement approaches that effectively meet the needs of each child

  • need to build teacher capability to accelerate children’s learning and achievement.

The school agrees to:

  • develop more targeted planning to accelerate learning for children

  • monitor targeted planning, improved teaching, and children’s progress

  • discuss the school’s progress with ERO.

ERO will provide feedback and resources to support the development of more targeted planning.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

6 June 2017

About the school


Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing Primary School (Years 1-6)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 52%, Female 48%

Ethnic composition

Māori 15%

Pākehā 51%

Pacific 7%

Chinese 9%

Indian 5%

South East Asian 3%

Other ethnic groups 10%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

6 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review May 2014

Education Review February 2011

Education Review December 2007