Wharenui School - 16/01/2020

School Context

Wharenui School is situated in Riccarton, Christchurch, and provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. At the time of this review, the school’s roll was 329 students.

The school’s vision for learners is ‘Knowing your yesterdays, embracing our todays, learning for tomorrow, being the best me I can be/Kia eke panuku ahau’. The following school values support this vision:

  • Respect/Whakaute
  • Caring/Manaaki
  • Doing your Best/Pukumahi
  • Being Fair/Matatika
  • Responsibility/Kawenga

The school’s current strategic priorities are to develop a rich curriculum that inspires a passion for lifelong learning, improves learning outcomes for all and builds collaborative teaching practice.

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

  • achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • wellbeing, identity, culture and language
  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets
  • outcomes for students with additional learning needs.

Recent professional learning and development has been undertaken across the school in the areas of literacy, behaviour management and appraisal.

The school is situated within an ethnically diverse community. There has been significant recent roll growth since the 2016 ERO review, including an increasing number of English language learners. New teachers have been appointed as a result of this roll growth. An associated refurbishment and building programme is underway.

Wharenui school shares its site with a hub of the Van Asch Deaf Education Centre.

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

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 effectively achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for the large majority of its students.

Student achievement data for 2017-2018 shows that the large majority of students achieved at or above curriculum expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. The school is focused on continuing to raise the achievement of all students.

Māori and Pacific students achieve as well as or better than others in reading, writing and mathematics.

English language learners show similar rates of achievement to others in reading, writing and mathematics.

There is ongoing disparity for boys in reading and writing, and to a lesser degree in mathematics.

A recent survey shows that students believe their languages, cultures and identities are acknowledged and valued at the school.

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

School achievement information for 2018 shows that, overall, learning is being effectively accelerated for those Māori and other students who need this.

Achievement data on the progress of priority students in 2018 shows that:

  • the majority of students targeted to make improvements in literacy and mathematics made progress toward curriculum expectations, with many making accelerated progress
  • rates of progress, including accelerated progress, are similar for all ethnic groups and English language learners.

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?

The school provides an inclusive and caring learning community that values children’s language, cultures and identities. Students demonstrate a noticeable sense of belonging and pride in their school. There is a strong focus on continuing to build learning partnerships with parents and whānau through effective communication.

Leaders have a clear focus on improving wellbeing and learning outcomes for students. Collaboratively-developed organisational systems help support staff to provide differentiated approaches to meet the needs of individual students. Systems for identifying, monitoring and supporting the progress of at-risk students are well developed. Warm relationships, a high degree of relational trust and distributed leadership opportunities promote a shared responsibility for improving student outcomes.

The school proactively draws on community resources and makes good use of external expertise to support students, whānau and stakeholders. Educational experts in the wider community are used effectively to support students with additional needs. They are given good support to engage in a meaningful curriculum alongside their peers. Wellbeing and support groups work alongside the school to help meet the needs of various groups within the local community.

Students experience a wide range of opportunities through the local curriculum, with a particular emphasis on learning the skills, dispositions and competencies expressed within the New Zealand Curriculum. Teachers and learning assistants are creative in modifying curriculum programmes to engage learners and meet individual needs. Respectful, caring and inclusive relationships and calm, purposeful classroom environments support learning.

PLD opportunities and a reflective culture within the school support culturally responsive practices. Evidence-based inquiry, useful induction programmes and appraisal systems help to develop teachers’ capabilities.

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

School leaders need to continue to strengthen evaluation, inquiry and knowledge-building processes. More purposeful and coherent processes in these areas are likely to better promote improvement at classroom and school-wide levels. This will also help to more clearly identify and measure the impact of interventions and innovations on meeting school priorities.

It is timely for trustees and leaders to strengthen strategic planning to more effectively set priorities that are well understood and aligned at all levels of the school. This should help teachers and leaders to pursue specific goals and targets that are likely to have the most significant impact on improving student outcomes.

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 Wharenui School’s 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:

  • strong partnerships with parents, whānau, community and external experts
  • a collaborative school culture that is focused on continuing to improve outcomes for learners

  • a welcoming, positive and inclusive environment that values students’ cultures, languages and identities.

Next steps

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

  • increasing understanding of how to use internal evaluation and inquiry to ensure innovation and initiatives are improving student outcomes
  • refining strategic planning to focus on goals and actions that will have the most impact on student learning and wellbeing
  • continuing to build the board’s evaluation capability to more effectively identify, and measure progress against, strategic planning goals and decision-making priorities.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

16 January 2020

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 22%

Pacific 10%

Pākehā 15%

Filipino 30%

Indian 9%

Chinese 4%

Other Ethnicities 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

16 January 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2016

Education Review March 2013

Education Review October 2010