Whakarewarewa School - 19/01/2018

School Context

Whakarewarewa School is located in Rotorua and caters for students in Years 1 to 8, the majority of whom are of Tuhourangi descent. The school provides education in both English and Māori mediums. A Māori immersion class currently caters for 14 students in Years 1 to 6. The roll has increased and currently there are 95 students enrolled. Initiatives and interventions to support learning are partly funded by the Ngati Whakaue Education Empowerment Trust.

The school’s vision is Kia u ki te pai, kia hari koa te ako – strive for success and enjoy learning. The aim of the school is to provide a learning environment where all tamariki reach their potential.

A new principal was appointed at the start of Term 3 2017. There have been significant staff changes and new trustees elected. The recommendations in the 2014 ERO report about professional learning and development for teachers in the use of analysis and use of assessment data, and teaching in a collaborative learning environment, are being addressed.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the National Standards

  • achievement in relation to Ngā Whanaketanga.

The school is part of the Rotorua Central Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – valued outcomes for students

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

The school is achieving equitable outcomes for most students. School achievement information at the end of 2016 shows that the majority of students achieved at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. There is little or no disparity between girls and boys. Overall achievement levels in reading in 2016 declined. School leaders need to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching in reading in order to improve learning outcomes in this area.

Data from 2016 for the rūmaki class shows that almost all students were at and above Ngā Whanaketanga in aspects of te reo matatini. Only a few students were at or above in pangarau.

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

The school is unable to show how effectively it is responding to Māori students whose learning and achievement need acceleration. There is no school-wide information about the acceleration of student progress and learning. Leaders have yet to collate, analyse and interpret assessment information about how well students achieving below expected levels, are progressing. Some teachers are able to show accelerated progress for individual students who are achieving below expected levels.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence

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

The school is providing a culturally responsive curriculum. There is an emphasis on the values of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, ako, mahi tahi. The curriculum strongly reflects the local iwi vision, aims and aspirations for achievement and success. Tikanga and te reo Māori are strongly promoted and are features of the school. Students are well supported to experience success for Māori, as Māori.

The school, iwi, whānau and the community engage in reciprocal learning-centred relationships. Parents and whānau actively participate in activities such as the three-way conferencing that enables them to support their children’s learning. The school draws resources from its local community to enhance the curriculum and student learning opportunities.

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

Internal evaluation processes and practices need to be improved as follows:

  • the development of a school-wide approach to assessment including the alignment of assessment tools across the school
  • the development of specific targets for students whose learning is at risk
  • the implementation of an effective appraisal system
  • regular curriculum review.

Teacher capability needs to be developed. Relevant professional development for teachers is necessary to establish a coherent and consistent approach to the teaching of literacy and mathematics.

The school’s strategic plan needs review. Priorities must align with focus areas for development for the new leadership team, teachers, the board of trustees, and the growing school community.

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 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • culturally responsive practices that strongly reflect the local iwi vision, aims and aspirations for achievement and success

  • iwi and whānau engagement who are highly committed to the success of the school and its students.

Next steps

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

  • the use of data from a range of sources, for internal evaluation that better identifies what is working well for students’ learning and where improvements are needed

  • teaching and assessment practice, to provide consistency across the school

  • targeted planning to accelerate learning [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]

  • internal evaluation processes and practices.

[ERO will provide an internal evaluation workshop for trustees and senior leaders]

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

19 January 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary School

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 44 Boys 51

Ethnic composition

Māori 94
Pakeha 1

Provision of Māori medium education


Number of Māori medium classes


Total number of students in Māori medium (MME)


Total number of students in Māori language in English medium (MLE)

Number of students in Level 1 MME


Number of students in Level 2 MME

Review team on site

October/November 2017

Date of this report

19 January 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review August 2014
Education Review May 2011
Education Review February 2010