Welcome Bay School - 10/10/2019

School Context

Welcome Bay School is located in Tauranga for students in Years 1 to 6. The current roll of 338, includes 123 students who identify as Māori and 21 of Pacific heritage. The school is experiencing roll growth and a satellite class from Tauranga Special School is on site.

Since the August 2015 ERO report, a new principal has been appointed, collaborative learning hubs have been extended across the school and science developed as a conceptual integrated curriculum approach to learning.

The school vision ‘Ma te hurhuru ka rere te manu (adorn the bird with feathers so that it can fly)’ links to the Welcome Bay Learner and is woven into everyday learning.

The teaching and leadership team have been involved in professional learning and development in science, collaborative learning hubs and a digital curriculum. The school continues to participate in the Positive Behaviour for Learning Initiative, the Welcome Bay Way.

The board has responded positively to the previous ERO report and actively resources a wide range of initiatives for student wellbeing and holistic development.

A strategic achievement target in 2019 is ‘to raise students’ ability in thinking and behaving scientifically’.

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

  • reading
  • writing
  • mathematics
  • science

The school belongs to the Tauranga Peninsula Kāhui Ako.

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 and excellent outcomes for all its students. Student achievement data for 2018 shows that the majority of students achieved at or above expected achievement levels in reading, writing, and mathematics. These levels are comparable with 2017 achievement information. There is significant disparity for Māori in reading, writing and mathematics. Pacific students’ progress is well monitored and they are achieving positive outcomes. Girls achieve at significantly higher levels than boys in reading, higher in writing and at comparable levels in mathematics. Most students in Years 4 to 6 achieve at or above national norms for scientific thinking with evidence.

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

The school is effectively identifying and monitoring those Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. While ERO was on site senior leaders were able to collate and analyse schoolwide data to show how effectively the school was accelerating achievement for students at risk with their learning in reading, writing and mathematics. Data for these students indicates that in 2018 most made accelerated progress in reading, almost half in mathematics and some in writing. Half of those students who made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics were Māori.

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?

A strong, cohesive teaching team has been established. Positive, mutually respectful teacher and student interactions contribute to settled learning environments. Teachers know students and their families well and plan appropriate programmes to accelerate the learning of at-risk students. They use a useful range of standardised and other assessment tools. Teachers are involved in ongoing reflections and professional discussions about effective teaching strategies. Progress and achievement data guide teacher planning for groups and individual students. High levels of student engagement are evident.

An inclusive culture is evident, where diversity is appreciated and celebrated. Senior leaders and staff continue to maintain a welcoming, family-like learning environment. Parents and whānau, spoken to by ERO, value the approachability of staff and feel well informed about their children’s progress and achievement. Students with additional needs are well supported by leaders, teachers and teacher aides in an inclusive and nurturing environment. These learners are making progress against their individual learning goals and some show accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. The school actively engages with whānau, specialist support agencies and external experts to provide wraparound pastoral and learning support for those students who need it.

The senior leadership team is collaborative and reflective and promote clear school direction and a shared vision. These leaders provide opportunity for relevant professional development to build teacher capability. Effective internal evaluation informs school improvement and programme innovation. Senior leaders work alongside a cohesive teaching team to prioritise student learning and achievement with a focus on the acceleration of priority students.

An integrated curriculum focuses on science and play-based learning to provide authentic contexts for learning. Classrooms are well resourced, stimulating and literacy rich. The school has enriched their bicultural curriculum through connections with local iwi, kapa haka and senior students’ weekly marae visits. Students are engaged in a variety of academic, cultural, and sporting learning experiences.

The board understand and support the strategic direction of the school. Trustees make well-informed resourcing decisions in response to student achievement information and consultation with parents and whānau. A high trust model between the board and school leaders promotes collaborative and open relationships. Trustees are focused on student learning, well-being, achievement and progress.

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

ERO and the school agree that further priorities are to:

  • review the use of annual targets focused on accelerating the achievement of all at-risk students in reading, writing and mathematics
  • continue to build student capabilities to enable them to articulate their progress, celebrate achievement and identify next learning steps.

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 Children’s Act 2014.

4 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Welcome Bay School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

5 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • positive, mutually respectful teacher and student interactions that contribute to settled learning environments
  • a highly responsive curriculum that focuses on raising student achievement
  • a collaborative and reflective senior leadership team that promotes clear school direction and a shared vision.

Next steps

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

  • annual targets to focus on accelerating the achievement of all at-risk students
  • building student capabilities to enable them to articulate their progress, celebrate achievement and identify next learning steps.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

10 October 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Primary Years 1 to 6

School roll

353 students

Gender composition

Male 56% Female 44%

Ethnic composition

Māori 46%
NZ European/Pākehā 37%
Pacific 7%
Asian 5%
Other ethnic groups 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

10 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2015
Education Review June 2011
Education Review March 2008