Waima School

Waima School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 6 months of the Education Review Office and ​Waima School​ working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website. www.ero.govt.nz 


Waima School is a small rural school, beneath the maunga of Whakatere, in South Hokianga. The school provides education for Years 1 to 8 students. All students have whakapapa connections to Waima. The school’s vision is “He Taonga ahau - We will have success for today and be prepared for tomorrow.” 

​​Waima School​’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:  

  • We will actively grow and nurture the character of our ākonga through the WAIMA values 
  • We will provide an environment where all participants are active and valued  
  • We will provide and monitor quality learning programmes to ensure each of our ākonga are engaged and attend school regularly. 

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on ​Waima School​’s website. 

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how well the design and delivery of the localised curriculum aligns with local and national priorities and achieves equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners at Waima School.     

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is to:  

  • establish the school’s localised curriculum so that it reflects the interests of ākonga and their whānau 
  • improve attendance, engagement, progress and achievement for all ākonga 
  • continue to improve numeracy and literacy teacher capability through an inclusive, responsive learner focused curriculum. 

The school expects to see: 

  • learning for ākonga that is meaningful, relevant and targeted to their individual needs and improves their achievement 
  • teaching and learning through a relevant and local curriculum that improves equitable and excellent outcomes for all ākonga


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to evaluate how effectively the school’s localised curriculum is achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all ākonga at Waima School. 

  • a school learning environment that promotes shared values, builds on learner’s strengths and encourages positive engagement of all ākonga 
  • an experienced, capable teaching team who work well together 
  • staff who have a shared understanding of effective teaching practices and are committed to improving outcomes for all ākonga

Where to next? 

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:   

  • strengthening whānau learning partnerships to support ākonga in their learning 
  • actively promoting and sustaining student wellbeing through te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori 
  • supporting the success of Māori learners through the development of the school’s local curriculum 
  • strengthening assessment analysis and evaluation processes that effectively inform planning and improve teaching practice and positive learning outcomes for all ākonga

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.  

Shelley Booysen 
Director of Schools  

​30 April 2024​   

About the School 

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

Waima School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of August 2023, the ​Waima School​ Board has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:  

Board Administration 




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare 


Personnel Management 






Further Information 

For further information please contact ​Waima School​, School Board. 

The next School Board assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years. 

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website. 

​Shelley Booysen​
​Director of Schools​ 

​30 April 2024​   

About the School  

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home 

Waima School - 15/07/2019

School Context

Waima School is a small rural school, located beneath the mountain ranges of Whakatere, alongside the Waima River. It provides education for students from Years 1 to 8. The school has a roll of 46 students. All students have whakapapa connections to Waima.

The school’s vision is “He Taonga ahau - We will have success for today and be prepared for tomorrow.” School values that underpin this vision focus on whanaungatanga, aroha, integrity, manaaki, and ako.

Since the 2015 ERO review, an open plan classroom for Years 1 to 5, and a digital learning space for students in Years 6 to 8, have been established. Teachers have had professional learning in Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL) and in Accelerating Learning in Maths (ALiM) and Mathematics Support Teacher (MST) programmes, to develop teaching practice. The school has become a member of Te Arahura Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako and the Kaikohekohe Cluster which is a partner of the Manaiakalani Outreach Programme.

The board responded positively to areas for development identified in the school’s 2015 ERO report. The school has continued to make ongoing progress.

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

  • achievement and progress in reading, writing and mathematics
  • student wellbeing and attendance.

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 outcomes for all its students. The majority of students are achieving at expected curriculum levels in mathematics, writing and reading. The school’s information indicates there have been positive shifts in achievement since 2017.

Achievement data are well analysed, monitored, and regularly reported to the board. Schoolwide and across school moderation, in collaboration with the kāhui ako and the Kaikohekohe Cluster is supporting teachers to make more reliable judgements about students’ achievement.

Many students achieve well in relation to the school’s valued outcomes, including:

  • confidence in their identity, language and culture

  • a strong sense of belonging and connection to the school

  • respectful and positive relationships with staff and each other

  • demonstrating the Waima School values identified in the individual graduate profile.

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

The school is successfully accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this. Effective systems and processes to identify and monitor students who need to make accelerated progress are in place. Senior leaders and teachers know the target learners and their learning strengths and needs.

Teachers use a variety of assessment information to plan responsive programmes to children’s learning needs, and to identify those who would benefit from additional support. They effectively use individualised tracking processes and targeted interventions to accelerate progress.

Leaders and teachers have been working together to build expertise in the teaching of reading to address a small in school disparity for boys’ reading. Professional learning for teachers has had a positive impact in promoting children’s engagement and confidence in learning mathematics. This approach has resulted in higher mathematics achievement in 2018.

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?

Students are encouraged to be confident and proud of their cultural heritage and the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa, New Zealand. They experience leadership opportunities through a wide range of tikanga practices, and attend tangihanga at their local marae. Te reo Māori and tikanga Māori is provided by a specialist teacher in all classes.

The school’s inclusive, localised curriculum strongly reflects the New Zealand Curriculum. Leaders and teachers prioritise literacy and mathematics as foundations for learning. Students engage well in authentic learning experiences in the local environment and Waima community. These opportunities strongly support the breadth and depth of the school’s culturally responsive curriculum. Senior students develop skills to lead their individualised learning pathways that includes the use of digital technologies.

Teachers foster positive learning environments and programmes that actively engage children in relevant learning activities. They adapt programmes to meet students’ individual needs. Teacher aides use relevant strategies to support students’ confidence, progress and achievement.

Leaders proactively lead change in the school. They build relational trust and collaboration at every level of the school’s community. Leaders value the strengths of staff. They continually build staff capability through meaningful professional learning linked to students’ achievement goals. A robust appraisal process is promoting teachers inquiring how their professional practice impacts on outcomes for students. Building teachers’ professional capability through purposeful evaluation, appraisal and professional learning aligns to the school’s charter aims.

Leaders and teachers work closely with whānau and the wider Waima community. They encourage community involvement in the school. Whānau participate in child-led family conferences, where aspects of children’s learning and assessment information are shared. Teachers support parents by providing them with strategies to support their child’s learning at home.

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

Leaders and trustees agree that next steps for further school development include:

  • continuing to embed effective teaching and learning strategies, and targeted interventions to accelerate students’ progress

  • continuing to build learning partnerships with parents/whānau

  • further developing trustees’ understanding of achievement information to support resourcing decision-making.

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 Waima 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:

  • assessment systems and processes that track the progress and achievement of all students individually
  • relationships of care and connectedness where students’ culture, language and identity count
  • a culturally responsive, localised curriculum that is worthwhile and engages students
  • purposeful professional development that builds teachers’ capability
  • highly effective leadership that collaboratively pursues equity and excellence.

Next steps

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

  • embed teaching and learning strategies that effectively accelerate student progress
  • build learning focused partnerships with parents/whānau that enhance students’ learning opportunities, achievement and wellbeing
  • further develop trustees’ capability to scrutinise student data and evaluative information, to support the strategic resourcing for improving outcomes for students.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

15 July 2019

About the school


Waima, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 27

Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori 46

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

15 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review            October 2015
Education Review            October 2012
Education Review            November 2009

Waima School - 05/10/2015

1 Context

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

Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou o te kura o Waima, ki te hapū o Te Mahurehure me te iwi o Ngāpuhi hoki, tēnā koutou. Ki te pōari, te tūmuaki, ngā kaiako, ngā mātua, me ngā tamariki tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Tēnei te mihi ki ā koutou e pou kaha ana kia whai ai te mātauranga mō ō koutou tamariki mokopuna.

Waima School is a small rural school located in the Far North, close to Kaikohe. This culturally rich school continues to be an important part of the community. The local hapū, Te Mahurehure, is central to the school’s kaupapa. The school’s values, whanaungatanga, aroha, integrity, manaaki, and ako, create a sense of connectedness and belonging for students, staff and whānau.

The school caters for students from Year 1 to 8 in three classes. The majority of students identify as Māori. A number of students who have strong whakapapa links to Waima, travel from Kaikohe in the school van. Learning-focused relationships between the school, whānau and children are valued as an important part of children’s education.

Special features of the school’s setting include the purpose-built outdoor stage, the astro-turf courts, students’ mosaic art work and the well maintained school gardens and grounds. An early childhood centre is located on site and continues to be an integral part of this inclusive school community.

The school is well led by a capable principal and a committed board of trustees. Significant staff professional development has been targeted to improve outcomes for students. ERO’s 2010 review identified positive and respectful relationships, dedicated staff and high levels of student engagement. These positive features and practices have been sustained and further developed.

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 well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement. The school’s active promotion and support for the wellbeing of whānau and students impacts positively on their engagement and learning.

Well developed assessment systems and processes provide valid and reliable achievement information. This information is used to inform strategic decisions. Achievement information indicates that while most students achieve at or above the National Standards in reading, the majority of students are achieving below the National Standards in writing and mathematics. Senior students who have had most of their education at Waima School achieve very well. The principal notes the impact that a high student transience rate is having on the school’s overall student achievement data.

Staff work well with the high number of new entrant students who arrive with few early literacy and numeracy skills. To support children’s transitions into the school, the early childhood Reggio Emilia philosophical approach has been introduced in the junior classroom. This approach provides a useful basis for strengthening the early learning skills and knowledge of these children.

Close relationships between the school and its community benefit students’ learning. Mutukaroa, the school’s partnership programme, is a new initiative. Teachers work closely with whānau to develop and review personalised learning programmes and to enhance learning partnerships with whānau. Parents highly value this initiative. They also appreciate the availability of resources to support children’s learning at home. The principal and teachers continue to develop processes for reporting to whānau about the progress and achievement of children.

To further promote positive outcomes for students, the principal agrees it would be useful to:

  • assist teachers to more deeply evaluate the impact of their teaching practice on students’ achievement
  • increase opportunities for students to take more ownership of their learning.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s culturally responsive curriculum is effective in promoting and supporting student learning. It appropriately prioritises wellbeing alongside literacy and mathematics. An extensive range of activities such as sports, cultural programmes, environmental experiences and education outside the classroom engage students in real and meaningful learning contexts.

Students proudly participate in pōwhiri. Senior students lead mōteatea, haka and waiata. Teachers are committed to increasing their understanding and use of te reo Māori. They participate in weekly te reo programmes provided by a fluent Māori speaker. This programme is enhanced by the inclusion of Te Mahurehure tikanga and history.

Students are keen and capable learners. They participate enthusiastically in classroom programmes and are able to work independently and collaboratively. Learning programmes place an appropriate emphasis on building junior students’ oral language skills as the foundation for academic success. More able students participate in a range of extension programmes.

Teachers are highly collegial and willingly share their expertise. Some good teaching practices include targeted group teaching and teachers sharing learning intentions with students. Teachers are committed to strengthening their practice. They benefit from well focused professional development.

The principal recognises that it is now timely to review the curriculum. To support this review it would be useful to:

  • use the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum to develop a more connected curriculum
  • document and embed a set of agreed school-wide expectations for teaching practices to support the development of a “successful Waima student” graduate profile.

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

Nearly all students are Māori. Many of the features of the school effectively promote students’ confidence as Māori and provide a sound foundation for their ongoing success.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school’s positive tone, inclusive culture and committed staff provide a strong foundation for sustaining and improving student learning. The principal is an effective leader who successfully builds high relational trust with students, staff and whānau.

The board has a well developed strategic plan to guide school improvement. Trustees bring a range of professional skills and cultural expertise to their roles. They are highly supportive of the principal and staff. The board is well led by an experienced board chair. A useful next step is to make outcomes for students more visible in the charter.

Personnel and performance management procedures are developing. The principal is working towards an appraisal system that clearly demonstrates how well teachers are meeting the professional registration criteria. The board needs to ensure that the principal is well supported by a performance agreement and an annual appraisal process. The principal and board are keen to explore the possibility of using an external facilitator to undertake a review of the school’s performance management systems. ERO affirms this intention.

Best outcomes for students are central to school decision-making. Self review is valued and includes whānau perspectives. To improve school performance and sustainability, the principal and board of trustees acknowledge the need to further develop and document self-review processes.

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

To improve practice, the board should keep better records of the processes used to manage education outside the classroom activities.


Waima School continues to provide a caring and culturally affirming environment for children. The school’s positive tone and high whānau engagement promote students’ wellbeing. Students benefit from diverse learning experiences. Pride in the rich history of Te Mahurehure hapū is central to the school’s strong sense of identity and kaupapa.

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

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

5 October 2015

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls       28
Boys      25

Ethnic composition

NZ European


Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

5 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

October 2012
November 2009
October 2006