Waiotira School

Education institution number:
School type:
School gender:
Not Applicable
Total roll:

Ararua Road, Waiotira, Northland

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Waiotira School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 6 months of the Education Review Office and Waiotira 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


Waiotira School is in Northland and caters for students in Years 1 to 6. A new principal and teaching team were appointed at the beginning of 2022. The school values of participation, respect, innovation, diligence and empathy help promote students to be self-aware and have the skills to thrive and contribute positively to the wider community.

Waiotira School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • review and implement the responsive localised curriculum that guides teaching and learning and community engagement

  • all learners have the opportunity to learn in a way that meets individual needs, by identifying learning targets, interests, strengths, and dispositions

  • design and construct outdoor learning spaces that provide learning opportunities for ākonga to engage with the environment in collaborative and meaningful contexts

  • implement and plan for the enviro school award (silver) which extends the range and depth of student learning and action, through whanaungatanga in terms of our school, our community, and our environment.

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how a culturally responsive, authentic, and inclusive localised curriculum can engage and inspire ākonga.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is to:

  • create opportunities where ākonga can lead their learning through their interests and learning dispositions

  • strengthen learning-focused relationships with whānau and the wider community 

  • commit to culturally responsive learning through whanaungatanga for ākonga and whānau.

The school expects to see confident, independent, and engaged learners who have a strong connection to their culture and community.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to evaluate how a responsive, authentic, and inclusive localised curriculum can engage and inspire ākonga:

  • a whole school approach to curriculum design and development that will promote coherence

  • collaborative and committed staff with local connections who are focused on improving outcomes for all learners

  • well-developed whānau and community relationships to support the development of the localised curriculum.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • strengthening authentic and culturally responsive teaching practices to engage learners

  • continuing to develop an integrated and localised curriculum that is highly relevant for students.

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.

Filivaifale Jason Swann
Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)
Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

13 December 2022

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

Waiotira School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of September 2022, the Waiotira School Board of Trustees has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration




Management of Health, Safety and Welfare


Personnel Management






Actions for Compliance

ERO and the board have identified the following areas of non-compliance during the board assurance process: 

  • ensure that the swimming pool fence meets the requirements set out in the MOE’s safety at the pool building Code (including the new clause F9 for pool fencing).

The board has since taken steps to address the areas of non-compliance identified.

Further Information

For further information please contact Waiotira School Board of Trustees.

The next Board of Trustees 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.

Filivaifale Jason Swann
Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)
Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

13 December 2022 

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

Waiotira School - 02/08/2018

School Context

Waiotira School in Northland caters for 35 students in Years 1 to 6. Māori students make up one third of the roll. The school roll has doubled in recent years.

The board’s vision aims ‘to create lifelong learners who care and have pride.’ Participation, respect, innovation, diligence and empathy are the school values and the basis of the learning culture. The school values children being self-aware and having the skills to thrive and contribute positively to the wider community.

Current achievement targets are supported by improving teaching and learning strategies to better meet the needs of all learners in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers in the senior room provide learning programmes that incorporate digital technologies. Play-based approaches to learning have recently been introduced in the junior room.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • outcomes for students with additional learning needs

  • progress and achievement in relation to school targets

  • engagement and wellbeing for student success

  • outcomes relating to identity, culture and language as a result of a schoolwide focus on strengthening the use of te reo and tikanga Māori.

Since the last ERO review there have been changes in staffing.

The school is part of the Whangarei Kahui Ako (Group 4).

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 developing its capacity to better understand the progress and achievement of its students.

Due to the small number of students, the roll increase in recent years and the transient nature of some students, achievement data trends are difficult to identify. In 2017 the school reported that the majority of students achieved well in reading and writing. Most students achieved well in mathematics. School leaders have identified disparities in achievement between Māori and other students, and between boys and girls.

The valued outcomes for students are highly evident within the school culture. Parents report that the school’s inclusive environment is highly responsive to students’ social and learning needs.

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

The school is building its capability to accelerate the learning of those students who need to make accelerated progress.

The school has identified specific targets in reading, writing and mathematics for 2018. This could help the school to better track and monitor student achievement. Teachers are trialling new teaching approaches for mathematics to meet students’ identified learning needs.

The board has a deliberate focus on maintaining low numbers in the junior room so these students make a strong start to their early learning years. A teacher aide provides additional support for individuals and groups of students.

The school continues to build on existing assessment practices and processes. This work helps teachers to increase their knowledge and understanding of effective strategies that are likely to accelerate student progress and achievement.

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?

Trustees, staff and parents share a strong commitment to the school and are clearly focused on students’ wellbeing and success. Trustees and staff recognise students as capable and competent learners.

Students engage in a variety of innovative learning experiences. These learning opportunities help to develop the skills and attitudes that are likely to serve them well in their future education and in life. Tuakana/teina learning partnerships are a strength of the school.

Staff know students and their whānau well. They are proactive in identifying and responding to students’ learning needs. Students are increasingly encouraged to build on their personal interests and passions. Parents report that they have positive learning partnerships with the school.

Trustees and staff are improvement focused. Staff seek and trial approaches that are likely to support children to be successful. The school has responded positively to the 2015 ERO report. In particular, very good progress has been made in affirming the identity of Māori students and supporting their success as Māori. Bicultural practice has been significantly strengthened for all students and the community.

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

Staff regularly reflect on their teaching practices together. However, to strengthen the school’s internal evaluation, it would be helpful to formalise systems for determining the effectiveness of initiatives, interventions and processes.

The board must ensure that all policies, procedures and practices are kept up-to-date and meet the current statutory requirements. It could be useful to use ERO’s Board Assurance Statement guidelines to support these reviews.

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.

Appraisal audit

During the course of the review, ERO audited the process for the endorsement of teachers’ practising certificates undertaken within the last 12 months. The process in place at the time of the endorsement did not meet Education Council requirements. Recent improvements to the appraisal process indicate that it is now likely to meet requirements.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • the emphasis on students’ success and wellbeing

  • strong community commitment that focuses on outcomes for children

  • relationships supporting children’s learning and wellbeing

  • responsive leadership and governance that promotes improvement.

Next steps

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

  • building teachers’ capability to better analyse, interpret and use achievement data to accelerate students’ progress
  • reviewing the curriculum to reflect the current direction and innovations in teaching and learning
  • increasing student understanding of their learning to promote self-managing learners
  • strengthening internal evaluation to determine the effectiveness of initiatives, interventions and processes for school improvement
  • reviewing policies, procedures and practices to meet all current statutory requirements.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

2 August 2018

About the school


Waiotira, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 23, Boys 12

Ethnic composition

Māori 12

Pākehā 23

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

2 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review March 2015
Education Review July 2012 
Supplementary Review June 2010