Waitakaruru School

Waitakaruru School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within six months of the Education Review Office and Waitakaruru 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


Waitakaruru School is located in the Hauraki District and provides education for students in Years 0 to 8. The school’s SHARP values (Self-discipline, Honesty, Aspiration, Respect, Perseverance) and graduate profile provide a foundation for its pastoral system and localised curriculum.

Waitakaruru School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are to:

  • give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi

  • ensure every student is able to gain their highest possible standard in educational achievement

  • ensure the school is a physically and emotionally safe place

  • ensure the school is inclusive and caters for students with differing learning needs.

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the extent to which strengthened wellbeing practices are improving resilience, engagement and learning outcomes for all students.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is:

  • the need to respond to a significant number of students who require support

  • the significant difference this focus will make to learners most at risk of underachieving.

The school expects to see:

  • a wellbeing framework guiding a coherent, comprehensive approach to wellbeing and engagement

  • a range of strategies being implemented to promote wellbeing and engagement that respond effectively to individual students’ needs

  • improved student resilience, engagement and wellbeing leading to improved learning outcomes.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to improve learner outcomes:

  • strengthened systems and practices for identifying students with additional needs and tracking their progress

  • relationships within and beyond the school that promote connection and inclusion

  • leadership that is committed to developing an inclusive environment that meets the needs of individual learners.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • developing a comprehensive and coherent approach to wellbeing based around the SHARP values

  • continuing to strengthen staff understanding of responsive wellbeing strategies

  • implementing a range of wellbeing practices to support increased engagement and resilience

  • using student wellbeing data and student achievement information to monitor the impact of improvements to wellbeing practices.

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

20 July 2023

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

Waitakaruru School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of June 2023, the Waitakaruru School Board 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: 

  • a police vet had not been obtained every three years for every person, contractor or employee who works at the school.
    [Education and Training Act 2020, Schedule 4] 

The board has since addressed the areas of non-compliance identified.

Further Information

For further information please contact Waitakaruru 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

20 July 2023

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

Waitakaruru School - 07/11/2019


On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Waitakaruru School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

1 Background and Context

What is the background and context for this school’s review?

Waitakaruru School is a rural school located in the Hauraki district. It provides education for students in Years 1 to 8. The school’s current roll of 73 includes 24 Māori students.

Since the previous ERO review in 2017 there have been significant changes to the teaching team, with three new appointments midway through 2018. The principal and deputy principal have remained in their roles. A new board of trustees chairperson was appointed in 2019. Leaders and teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in positive behaviour for learning (PB4L), writing, accelerating literacy learning (ALL) and appraisal.

The school is a member of Hauraki Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako.

The 2017 ERO report identified significant areas for development and this report summarises the progress made in addressing these areas.

2 Review and Development

How effectively is the school addressing its priorities for review and development?

Priorities identified for review and development
  • regular reporting to the board of trustees about the progress of at-risk learners

  • teachers’ use of assessment information

  • strengthening moderation processes

  • partnerships with whānau and iwi to strengthen culturally responsive practices

  • te reo Māori, local Māori history and places of significance systematically incorporated into the school’s curriculum

  • implementing the appraisal process

  • expectations for teaching practice including the principles of Tātaiako

  • professional development programme in response to achievement patterns and trends

  • health curriculum consultation

  • provision and maintenance of a safe outdoor environment and other compliance issues.


Leaders have developed clear processes to identify students at-risk of not achieving. Priority students’ progress and achievement is regularly tracked, monitored and reported on over time. Trustees are well informed about student achievement and use this information to make appropriate resourcing decisions to enable equitable opportunities to learn.

Leaders and teachers have strengthened all aspects of assessment practice. Strong frameworks for learning progressions in reading, writing and mathematics have been developed as part of the school’s involvement in the Hauraki Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako. Teachers use these progressions effectively to inform differentiated planning for students. Participation in regular moderation and collaborative discussions support the consistency of teacher judgements about student achievement. A range of assessment tools including standardised assessments supports reliability of whole school data.

A strong focus on culturally responsive practice has been effectively implemented across the school. Teachers know their students and whānau well and have respectful and affirming relationships with them. Stronger links to local iwi and marae have been built and regular whānau hui has contributed to positive partnerships for learning. A documented te āo Māori curriculum priorities a sequential approach to the teaching of te reo, tikanga and Haurakitanga. School values are well embedded and articulated by students and support positive behaviour and calm settled environments for learning.

Leadership has effectively built teacher capability through a range of planned strategies. Clear school guidelines and expectations are in place for planning, assessment and evaluation. Extensive internal and external professional learning has been undertaken to develop professional knowledge and a school-wide approach to improving outcomes for priority learners. A regular cycle of teacher appraisal has been implemented which includes documented observations of teaching, ongoing coaching and mentoring and teacher reflective practice. This is well aligned to the needs of students at-risk of not achieving.

Trustees have adopted a comprehensive policy framework to address all legislative requirements. All compliance matters have been satisfactorily addressed.

Key next steps

Leaders now need to:

  • continue to build collective capacity to accelerate learning for all students at-risk of not achieving

  • continue to strengthen aspects of internal evaluation and targeted action to raise overall achievement and reduce disparity for Māori students and boys in literacy.

3 Sustainable performance and self review

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

Waitakaruru School is developing very useful processes and practices to sustain and continue its performance. Factors contributing to sustainability are:

  • leadership for learning that is highly focused on building capability and improving outcomes for all students

  • the use of student achievement information that has been strengthened at all levels of the school

  • teachers clearly identifying and responding to the learning and behavioural needs of their students through specific planning and programmes

  • culturally responsive practices and values that are well embedded in the school’s curriculum

  • trustees who are providing effective governance and are keeping well informed about student achievement.

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
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014.


On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO ‘s overall evaluation judgement of Waitakaruru School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Developing.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

7 November 2019

About the School


Hauraki District

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 43 Female 28

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Review team on site

June 2019

Date of this report

7 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

July 2017
February 2014
May 2011