Whitiora School

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

38 Willoughby Street, Whitiora, Hamilton

View on map

Whitiora School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within 18 months of the Education Review Office and ​Whitiora 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 


Whitiora School is located in the centre of Hamilton within the boundaries of Ngāti Wairere, the local hapū. It caters for students in Years 1 to 8 and offers instruction in both Māori and English. The guiding mission of the school is “Whakapono ki a koe - Be true to yourself”. 

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

  • grow and strengthen powerful partnerships to support the Whitiora localised curriculum 
  • build strong inclusive relationships through valuing ākonga identity, language and cultural competencies 
  • grow pouako knowledge, skills, and capabilities to be deliberate with formative assessment, planning and teaching. 

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how well strengthening an assessment for learning approach will further accelerate the progress of all students, particularly those who are performing below expectations. 

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is to:  

  • further accelerate the progress of students who need this 
  • increase the effectiveness of tracking, monitoring and reporting of student progress and achievement including reporting outcomes to the Board 
  • the school knows that when students are making progress they are more likely to attend school regularly 

The school expects to see: 

  • an increasing number of students achieving curriculum expectation 
  • assessment for learning practices growing student agency and engagement in learning 
  • an improvement in regular attendance at school. 


The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to strengthen the assessment for learning approach to accelerate the progress and engage all students, particularly those who are performing below expectation. 

  • A strategic and effective response to the numbers of students with pastoral needs. 
  • A strong and well-articulated commitment by leaders and teachers to equity and to enacting the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • A well-developed and school-wide learning progression framework utilised in mathematics. 

Where to next? 

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:  

  • completing the development of learning progressions frameworks in literacy, te reo matatini and  
    pāngarau to support learners to increase responsibility for their learning 
  • facilitating effective use of learning progressions for monitoring, tracking, and reporting of progress and achievement 
  • ensuring systems and processes for managing attendance are robust and consistently implemented. 

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​

​2 May 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 

Whitiora School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report ​2024​ to ​2027​

As of April 2024, the ​Whitiora 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: 

  • In consultation with the school’s Māori community, developed and made known plans and targets for improving the progress and achievement of Māori students 

[s127(1)(d) Education and Training Act 2020]. 

  • Provided appropriate career education and guidance for all students in Years 7 and 8 

[s103 Education and Training Act 2020]. 

  • A police vet must be obtained for all employees and renewed every three years. 

[Section 104 Education and Training Act 2020]. 

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

Further Information 

For further information please contact ​Whitiora 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​ 

​2 May 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 

Whitiora School - 09/07/2019

School Context

Whitiora is a long-established school located in central Hamilton. In 2019 the school will celebrate its centenary. The school caters for students from Years 1 to 8. Almost half of the roll of 230 identify as Māori and 11% identify as being of Pacific origin. A diverse range of other ethnicities and cultures are represented. Transience continues to be very significant in the inner city school community.

Since the previous ERO review the principal has remained in his position, a new deputy principal has been appointed and there have been two new middle leaders appointed. There have been some other changes to staff. The school has experienced considerable roll growth.

The school’s vision is ‘We are a community of empowered, connected learners making a difference with ‘HEART.’ Honesty, Engagement, Attitude, Risk-taking, and Thoughtfulness are the ‘HEART’ values which support the school vision. The motto is ‘To Thine Own Self Be True, Whakapono ki a koe.’ 

The school strategic aims are to:

  • build teacher and leader capabilities through collaborative inquiry and effective teaching and learning
  • grow learner agency through culture, identity, partnership, voice and ownership
  • recognise and strengthen powerful connections and transitions with parents, whānau, community and other organisations
  • value diversity, validate culture, languages and identity.

Leaders and teachers have been involved in professional learning and development about positive behaviour for learning (PB4L), wellbeing, spirals of inquiry, leadership and Māori achievement. The school is a member of the He Waka Eke Noa Community of Learning (CoL)|Kāhui Ako.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, school-wide information about outcomes for students in reading, writing, mathematics and wellbeing.

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 students.

Achievement information for 2018 shows the majority of students, including Māori and Pacific, are achieving at or above the expected curriculum levels in reading and mathematics and approximately half in writing. Information gathered by the school about student wellbeing showed a significant majority of students have a positive view of their learning, the school and of their relationships with teachers.

There is disparity in achievement for boys in all areas and for Māori and Pacific students as compared to Pākehā in reading and mathematics. Overall achievement information from 2016-2018 shows there has been an improvement in achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

The school is accelerating the learning of a few Māori and other students who need it. The 2018 school achievement information shows approximately one fifth of at-risk Māori and other learners made accelerated progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Students with additional needs are making expected progress against their individual goals.

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?

Strategic leadership guides school operations effectively. Leaders actively promote the school’s vision and values. These are highly visible and integrated into every aspect of the school life. Leaders have developed explicit expectations for curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment. They have implemented comprehensive systems and processes to support the identification, monitoring and evaluation of student achievement.

Leaders deliberately build collective capability and collaboration within the school community. They access targeted professional learning and development that is aligned to school goals focused on raising achievement. Involvement in the Kāhui Ako is supporting the sharing of best practice. Leaders have developed an inclusive school culture focused on wellbeing and positive learning outcomes for students. There is a sense of urgency in responding to student needs.

The school responds well to parent and whānau aspirations. Increasing parent and whānau involvement with the school is supporting positive outcomes for students. Whānau engagement and participation in the school is actively encouraged through termly parent, teacher and student conferencing, along with regular hui with Māori whānau which focus on student learning. The diverse languages and cultures in the school community are recognised and valued.

The curriculum is responsive to students’ wellbeing and enhances engagement in learning. Strategies for enhancing wellbeing are explicitly taught to support this priority. Students with identified needs or abilities, including those for whom English is an additional language, are well-catered for. The school actively seeks external expertise to support the needs of students at-risk. Māori students’ language, culture and identity are valued and an integral part of the curriculum. All students experience respectful and caring learning environments that are responsive to their needs.

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

The school needs to place priority on the consistent implementation of their documented teaching and learning expectations. While ERO observed many examples of teachers using a wide range of effective teaching strategies which reflect school expectations, this was not consistent across the school.

Leaders are closely monitoring the progress and acceleration of all students. There is a need to further refine board targets to more specifically identify those students at risk of not achieving and to monitor and report to the board on the accelerated progress of these students on a regular basis.

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 Whitiora School’sperformance 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:

  • school leadership that provides a strategic approach to accelerating achievement in an inclusive environment
  • parent/whānau involvement that promotes a collaborative approach to support learning and wellbeing
  • a broad curriculum that enables students to enjoy success in a range of learning experiences.

Next steps

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

  • extending effective teaching and learning practices to promote consistency across the school
  • further refining school-wide targets to more specifically focus on accelerating progress for at-risk students.

Phillip Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

9 July 2019

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1-8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 52%

Female 48%

Ethnic composition

NZ Māori 47%
Fijian 2%
Tongan 2%
Cook Island Māori 2%
Samoan 5%
South East Asian 3%
Indian 15%
Other Asian 3%
NZ European/Pākehā 14%
Filipino 2%
Other 5%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

9 July 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review November 2016
Education Review May 2013