Wā Ora Montessori

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

278 Waddington Drive, Naenae, Lower Hutt

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Wā Ora Montessori

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 18 months of the Education Review Office and Wā Ora Montessori 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


Wā Ora Montessori School, located in Naenae, Lower Hutt, provides education for learners aged from six years through to Year 13. Wā Ora Preschool, also located on this site, provides education for learners aged from three to six years.

Wā Ora Montessori School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • Curriculum: to support each child/student’s progress and achievement against the NZ curriculum and Te Whāriki.

  • Te Tiriti Partnership: to establish, maintain and improve equitable learning outcomes as Tiriti partners, recognising the importance of partnership with Māori in education.

  • Montessori Authenticity: to ensure we build, develop, and practice an authentic Montessori programme and approach throughout the school aligned with Montessori Journey to Excellence (MJ2X) and the Wā Ora Montessori Essential Elements.

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively interventions and programmes accelerate the progress and achievement of all students in writing, with particular focus on priority learners.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • the school has identified the need to comprehensively review the effectiveness of writing programmes at all levels of the school

  • school data over time has shown a decline in writing achievement in the primary and adolescent areas. 

The school expects to see that reviewing the teaching of writing throughout all levels of the school will support leadership to align systems and processes, strengthen curriculum delivery and teacher practice, and lift the writing achievement of all learners.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to evaluate how effectively interventions and programmes accelerate the progress and achievement of all students in writing, with particular focus on priority learners:

  • the Montessori philosophy is embedded, highly visible and woven throughout all aspects of school life

  • all children are supported in their holistic learning journey (academic, social, and emotional) from entry at three years through to 18 years

  • the highly committed staff build strong relationships fostered over time, resulting in deep knowledge, and understanding of each learner.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • the development of shared, consistent expectations and understandings about writing across all sections of the school

  • further strengthening of whānau engagement in writing through purposeful conversations and shared goals.

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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

30 August 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

Wā Ora Montessori

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of July 2022, the Wā Ora Montessori School Board of Trustees 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 Wā Ora Montessori 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

30 August 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


Wa Ora Montessori School - 15/05/2018

School Context

Wa Ora Montessori School is a state integrated area school in Lower Hutt. Of the 247 students from Years 2 to Year 13 who currently attend the school, 13% identify as Māori. Over the past three years the school roll has continued to increase, with the greatest expansion occurring in the secondary and senior primary areas. Ongoing property and building work is responsive to this growing roll. There have been recent significant changes in leadership and teaching staff.

The school has a preschool on site. Education from early years through to college is underpinned by the Montessori philosophy. Each classroom caters for three year levels. Students experience long, uninterrupted work cycles in which they have freedom to direct their learning within Montessori limits and order.

The school aims to provide a learning environment that supports children’s physical, moral, emotional and intellectual development. Valued outcomes that sit within the Montessori philosophy and The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) are for students to be:

  • confident, independent learners
  • part of ‘humanity’ through being contributors to school and wider society
  • self managers and independent thinkers.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics for primary school students

  • progress and achievement in English and mathematics for Years 8 to10

  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework

  • effectiveness of specific interventions

  • progress and achievement in relation to annual achievement targets

  • engagement and wellbeing for 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 working to develop consistent practices and processes to effectively address equity of outcomes for all learners.

School reported data for 2017 indicates that:

  • most students continue to achieve National Certificates of Educational Achievement(NCEA) at Levels 1, 2 and 3. A few students achieved merit or excellence
  • in the past three years most students finished schooling having gained at least NCEA Level 2. In 2016, all leavers achieved this level
  • most students in Years 8 to 10 achieve at or above expectation in English and mathematics
  • most primary school students continue to achieve at or above expectation in reading and mathematics and a large majority are successful in writing
  • achievement levels have remained static over time
  • Māori students continue to achieve less well than their peers in reading and writing
  • girls achieve significantly than better than boys in reading and writing

School leaders and the board have appropriately identified key areas of focus for 2018 in response to this data.

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

The school has some useful practices and processes to accelerate learning, progress and achievement for identified students. They have yet to effectively address disparity for Māori and boys.

The school recognises the urgent need to inquire into the effectiveness of action, practices and processes to better promote acceleration for those students at risk of underachieving.

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, leaders and teachers have a shared understanding of and a commitment to the Montessori philosophy, aligned with the NZC. This informs the school’s strategic direction and decision-making, with an appropriate focus on student wellbeing, learning and achievement.

Trustees are strategic, responsive and well informed. They have confidence in the appointment of the new principal to further pursue the school’s vision.

The Montessori philosophy and NZC underpins teaching and learning across all areas of the school. The learning environments are suitably resourced to support students’ engagement in and understanding of their learning. Positive, respectful, reciprocal relationships are highly evident and valued across all levels of the school community.

Well considered processes support children’s successful transitions into and through the school. A collaborative approach and collective responsibility for information sharing and flexibility assist transitions.

Sound systems and processes along with collaboration with parents, whānau and external agencies supports children with high learning or health needs to engage in meaningful learning.

Schoolwide professional development is linked to school priorities. Collaboration and sharing information across the sectors promotes an understanding of holistic development and stages of learning of students.

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

The school has identified the need to build on the good bicultural practices developed in the early years of learning. Having a cohesive and progressive te ao Māori programme across the school is a next step. Continued engagement with and consultation through whānau hui should support this development.

Leaders and teachers should further strengthen their understanding and use of internal evaluation and inquiry. This should help to measure the effectiveness of systems, processes and practices in promoting improvement and to determine how successful strategies could be transferred to other learning contexts.

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

The school’s documented endorsement process is sound, butwas not fully implemented in 2017.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a shared understanding across the school of and a commitment to Montessori philosophy and The New Zealand Curriculum that guides teaching and learning

  • clear direction-setting by leaders and trustees that prioritises student wellbeing as a foundation of learning.

Next steps

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

  • the use of data, from a range of sources, for internal evaluation to better identify what is working well for student learning and where improvements are needed

  • accelerating achievement for students at risk and promoting equity for all groups in the school

  • strengthening understanding and use of 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.

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

15 May 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Composite Years 1 - 13

School roll


Gender composition

Female 53%, Male 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori 13%
Pākehā 67%
Asian 7%
Other ethnic groups 13%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

March 2018

Date of this report

15 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, February 2015
Education Review, December 2011
Education Review, November 2009