Whakatane S D A School - 24/04/2014

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

Whakatane S D A School is located next to the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Whakatane. The school is guided by the Christian beliefs and values of the church and caters for students in Years 1 to 8. The current roll is 36 students and nearly all families come from a range of church affiliations. Twenty students identify as Māori, and most connect with Tuhoe and Ngāti Awa.

The school mission and vision statements aim to present The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) from a Christian perspective, and support students to be life-long learners who contribute positively to the community. The school provides a welcoming and inclusive culture that engages parents and whānau in the life of the school.

Since the 2011 ERO review, the school has undergone significant property extension, development and refurbishment, including the upgrade of information and communication technologies (ICT). Students learn and play in an attractive, purpose-built environment that meets their educational needs. They are taught in two classrooms that allow for flexible grouping across year levels, and promote tuakana-teina relationships.

The school has responded positively to the areas for review and development in the 2011 ERO report. The principal and teachers have remained the same, and have engaged in a variety of professional learning and development initiatives in response to the learning and behaviour needs of the students.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school uses achievement information very well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Teachers collect and analyse nationally-referenced data and school assessment information about students’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. They use this data, together with teacher observations, to make overall teacher judgements in relation to National Standards. This helps them to:

  • identify priority learners who need additional support
  • share achievement information with students and identify their next learning steps
  • plan programmes of learning
  • monitor student progress and trends over time
  • write useful reports to parents.

The principal presents student achievement information to the board of trustees, and this is used to set targets, reflect on the value of school programmes, and make resourcing decisions.

Almost all students achieve at or above the National Standards in mathematics. A significant majority achieve at or above the National Standards in reading and writing. Students’ achievements in other curriculum areas is monitored and acknowledged. Good support is provided by teachers and teacher aides especially for students with special learning requirements. Students’ successes are acknowledged, celebrated, and shared with parents and community.

A notable feature is the way that the principal and teachers know and understand the achievement, progress and wellbeing of each individual student. This ensures that students’ learning pathways promote and support ongoing learning.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school curriculum promotes and supports student learning very well.

Students benefit from the school’s commitment to providing a curriculum that supports their physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development and wellbeing. The teachers give priority to literacy, mathematics and the school’s special character. They integrate other learning areas using local, authentic contexts, and are increasingly using inquiry approaches.

Skilled and knowledgeable teachers set high expectations for learning and behaviour. They choose appropriate strategies to engage and support students and encourage them to take ownership and responsibility in their learning. Teachers:

  • promote thinking and problem solving
  • engage students in hands-on learning activities
  • make learning fun
  • give students feedback that confirms their successes.

The recent professional learning and development that teachers have engaged in is helping them to improve their strategies for managing behaviour positively. They are encouraging students to grow in leadership roles, contribute to decision-making and develop their gifts and talents.

The professional learning culture for teachers could be further extended by setting aside time for:

  • sharing their knowledge and understandings
  • reflecting on and evaluating outcomes for students.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

Most Māori students achieve at or above National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. These results are significantly above their Māori peers nationally in writing and mathematics, and comparable in reading. Māori students are highly engaged in their learning activities. They enjoy a variety of learning activities and experience considerable success. The school provides some opportunities for their culture to be reflected and promoted such as waiata, karakia and Māori learning contexts. A next step for the principal and teachers is to extend the inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori, local Māori contexts and history, and the visual representation of Māori culture within the school environment.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Factors contributing to this are that:

  • the school is well supported by the Seventh Day Adventist School Association
  • the board of trustees is well led, focused on improving outcomes for students, and is supportive of the principal, teachers and staff
  • the principal continues to model and promote the school’s Christian values and beliefs
  • the principal and teachers respect and include all parents and whānau as partners in their children’s education
  • students develop a strong sense of belonging in a positive school culture.

Of significance, is the high level of achievement experienced by the vast majority of students in the school, including Māori students.

An agreed next step for the principal is to further develop and implement clear and transparent systems to enhance the effectiveness of self review.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees 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:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

During the review, ERO and the school discussed the need to:

  1. review aspects of the school’s obligations as a good employer. This would strengthen practices such as appointments and consultation with staff[NAG 3 (a and b)s 77A State Sector Act]
  2. fulfil the school’s obligation to consult with Māori whānau according to the National Education Guidelines.[NAG 1 (e)]

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

24 April 2014

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 22 Boys 14

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā









Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

24 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2011

May 2008

May 2005