Whanganui Intermediate

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

90 Dublin Street, Whanganui

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School Context

Whanganui Intermediate caters for students in Years 7 and 8 who come from across the city. Of the roll of 594, over a third of students identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is reflected in its motto of inspiring and enabling every learner to have a successful, creative, confident future. The valued outcomes expressed in its charter are: manaakitanga, respect, responsibility, resilience and whanaungatanga.

Current school charter goals and targets prioritise increasing the number of students achieving at or above The New Zealand Curriculum level for their age in reading, writing and mathematics.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to the curriculum expectations
  • progress and achievement in relation to student outcome goals, school and national targets
  • engagement and wellbeing for learner success.

Teachers have been involved in professional learning and development (PLD) in accelerating learning in mathematics in 2015, and through a mathematics specialist teacher in 2016. PLD continues in this area in 2018. A Teacher Lead Innovation Programme involving a local cluster of schools, began in 2016. This inquiry project focused on building partnerships with local iwi, hapū and whānau. Enhancing relationship-based teaching practices, and a greater focus on including local place based learning contexts are priorities.

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?

School achievement information shows the majority of students achieve at or above expectations for their year levels in mathematics and most achieve at expectations in reading and writing.

The school achievement information continues to show a disparity for Māori students. As a group they achieve less well than their peers within the school, particularly in mathematics. Boys achieve less well than girls, especially in literacy.

In the last three years overall achievement has improved slightly in literacy and mathematics, with students achieving best in reading. The small number of Pacific students achieve at higher levels than other groups within the school in reading and writing and at similar rates in mathematics.

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

The school does not have a clear overall picture of acceleration of learning over time for groups of students who need it. School information from 2016 and 2017 shows that some groups of targeted students make accelerated progress.

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 experience a varied curriculum that provides opportunities for learning and success. Curriculum statements provide clear expectations and strategies for responding to students’ interests and needs. Many students have experiences that extend their interests and learning, including a wide range of creative arts, performances and scientific and technological challenges.

Clear expectations for student engagement, participation and behaviour are closely aligned to the school values. These are well known and enacted by students and teachers and are visible throughout the school environment. Students have opportunities to take ownership of their learning. This includes regular goal setting, tracking of their progress, and discussing their assessment and areas to improve with teachers, parents and whānau.

ERO observed good levels of engagement in classes and students interacting in positive ways. Careful class placements, knowledge of individual students and sourcing appropriate support assists with this. Pastoral care strategies resourcing and close relationships internally and with community agencies enables wrap around support for those at risk of poor educational outcomes.,

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

Trustees are committed to the wellbeing of students and the development of an engaged community. In order to grow their stewardship capacity there is a need to receive better data that identifies, targets and monitors those students whose progress and achievement need acceleration. Increased scrutiny of data and outcomes for all students should help leaders’ and the board’s evaluation of the school’s performance in achieving equity and excellence.

ERO affirms the board’s initiative to strengthen the use of internal evaluation at the strategic level. Further development of trustees’ and leaders’ understanding and use of evaluation should improve planning and resourcing decisions. Teachers should continue to extend their use of inquiry and deeper evaluation to better measure the impact of strategies on accelerating the progress of all priority groups of students.

Leaders accept there is a pressing need for increasing the acceleration of the achievement, especially for those Māori and boys who need it. They should ensure that the annual raising achievement action plans include the numbers and needs of all students who need acceleration. These plans should be adjusted during the year in response to ongoing evaluation and inquiries into the impact of strategies to accelerate progress for those that need it.

The school identifies a large number of students with additional learning needs. Some of these students make steady progress against their individual goals. A greater focus on evaluation of the effectiveness of all interventions and the impact of these for students should be given high priority

Performance management appraisal procedures have expectations and processes that need to be implemented with more rigour and consistency. This should include:

  • improved understanding and application of the Standards for the Teaching Profession
  • appraisal goals that are explicitly linked to strategic priorities and improving outcomes for priority learners
  • more timely feedback and feedforward from regular observations to support improvement
  • more specific judgements and agreed future development areas identified in the annual summary statements.

Teachers and leaders have begun to strengthen their ability to respond to the culture, language and identity of Māori students. ERO affirms the importance of continuing to develop learning partnerships with whānau and iwi. Strengthening the inclusion of te ao Māori through a curriculum that better reflects its local context, should support Māori students to be confident and successful in their identity as Māori learners.

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.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

At the time of this review there were no international students attending the school.

To improve compliance practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure that appraisal of teaching staff is robust and based on the Standards for the Teaching Profession for the issue and renewal of practising certificates; and there are clear procedures for dealing with matters related to reporting to the Education Council [Education Act 1989, Part 31]
  • strengthen procedures related to the management and reporting of restraint practices that are consistent with the guidelines
  • ensure the implementation of comprehensive procedures for police vetting are in place.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • collaborative practices that are increasingly focused on improving the quality of teaching and learning programmes
  • students involvement in their own learning and the provision of a broad curriculum that promotes a wide range of opportunities
  • pastoral systems and processes for promoting positive relationships.

Next steps

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

  • processes to assist teachers and leaders to better identify, monitor and report accelerated achievement
  • strengthening culturally responsive practices that better respond to Māori students language, culture and identities
  • consistent implementation of the appraisal processes to support teachers and leaders to improve their practice
  • targeted planning to accelerate learning for individual learners and achieve equity for all groups in the school [ERO will monitor and discuss progress with the school]
  • strengthening evidence-based internal evaluation to show the impact of planned actions on improving equity and excellence for all learners.

[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

29 June 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 51%, Male 49%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Ethnic composition

Pākehā 54%

Māori 36%

Pacific 4%

Asian 3%

Other ethnic groups 3%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

29 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, May 2015

Education Review, July 2010

Education Review, October 2006


Students have access to a broad curriculum. Teachers and leaders are committed to promoting and supporting their wellbeing and educational success. Recent leadership developments have led to an increased focus on raising student achievement. Development of curriculum, use of achievement information and self review is needed to further improve outcomes for students.

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

1 Context

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

Wanganui Intermediate caters for students in Years 7 and 8. It is located near Whanganui’s central business district and students come from a wide geographical area. Since the July 2010 ERO report, there has been significant roll growth. At the time of the 2015 review the school roll was 643. More than a third of students identify as Māori.

The school is organised into five teaching teams, with one of these comprising specialist subject teachers. Some students learn in classes which have a particular focus on extension, digital learning or te ao Māori. The leadership team consists of the principal, three deputy principals who oversee special needs, pastoral care and property/health and safety, and the five team leaders.

Students enjoy the benefits of a large school. These include access to a range of curricular experiences, both in and outside their classrooms, flexibility with regard to class placements and well-maintained, spacious grounds and facilities.

Pastoral care provision is a positive and growing feature of the school. The deputy principal has developed relationships with many students’ families and community services. With a vision for “allowing teachers to teach and students to learn” she leads a team who support students to engage positively in school life.

The school has recently elected to participate in an iwi initiated professional learning and development programme, Te Kākahu: Building on Success.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school is developing the ways it uses achievement information to promote students’ learning and progress.

There are good examples of leaders and teachers using and analysing assessment information to guide their teaching. Specialist mathematics and reading teachers, supported by volunteer workers, provide small-group instruction for students who have been identified as underachieving in mathematics and reading.

Students with high needs and additional learning requirements are well identified and their progress is tracked and monitored. Good levels of professional collaboration and sharing of information support students with special needs, both within the school and with external agencies.

Leaders have put in place a useful inquiry model for teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching strategies. They should continue to develop teaching as inquiry and ensure the process is implemented consistently so that it leads to accelerated student progress.

Leaders and teachers are working towards ensuring that achievement information, both at school entry and over the two years each student is at school, is valid and reliable. Ongoing reflections, discussions and support from lead teachers of literacy and numeracy have contributed to modifications and some improved practices. There remains a need to be confident that leaders and trustees have a clear, accurate picture of achievement and progress. This should include continued work to improve processes for making and moderating teachers’ judgements about National Standards' achievement.

To improve achievement outcomes, leaders and teachers should:

  • strengthen teachers’ use of achievement information to more consistently differentiate and target their teaching to students’ needs and strengths
  • increase the use of strategies which help students to understand and be responsible for their learning and know about their next learning steps
  • develop student achievement targets that are specific, measurable and linked to clear expectations of accelerated progress for students. These should be accompanied by clear action plans and more closely aligned to team improvement plans.

3 Curriculum

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

Overall, the school’s curriculum promotes and supports student learning well. However, data collected by leaders in 2015 suggests that there are a significant number of students who require acceleration to achieve at expected levels, particularly in mathematics. Teachers, leaders and trustees are taking steps to address this challenge.

Students have many opportunities to experience a broad curriculum with a wide range of academic, sporting, technological, science-based, cultural and artistic activities available. Their wellbeing and positive engagement in school life are priorities for teachers and leaders. Appropriate schoolwide strategies to enhance relationships and promote positive student behaviour have been developed.

ERO visited a number of classes and found respectful and positive relationships between teachers and students. Most students were well engaged in their classroom activities. There was some variability in teaching practice, organisation for learning and the extent to which te ao Māori was reflected in the curriculum and environment.

Leaders and ERO agree that a next step is to review and develop a schoolwide curriculum framework to guide teaching and learning. This should be done in consultation with families and the community. Key aspects include:

  • determining how The New Zealand Curriculum principles, values and key competencies will be enacted at Wanganui Intermediate School
  • clarifying expectations for teaching and assessment practice
  • deciding how bicultural and local perspectives, and culturally-responsive practice will be promoted.

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

School leaders consult regularly with whānau of Māori learners. A long-established plan for schoolwide development of te reo Māori is in place. The lead teacher of Māori, along with external trainers, provides professional development and support for teachers to improve their confidence and skill to use aspects of Māori language and culture. Some teachers integrate te ao Māori effectively into their curriculum programmes and classroom environments.

Increasingly strong connections with kaumatua and representatives of Te Āti-Haunui-a-Pāpārangi have been developed. These have potential to enhance the ways in which local tikanga is reflected in the school curriculum.

School achievement information indicates that a significant group of Māori learners are not achieving at National Standards.

It is timely to review the school’s strategic direction for Māori success, in consultation with whānau and local iwi, to define and promote success for Māori, as Māori, across the school. Leaders should continue to explore appropriate ways to build teachers’ knowledge and understanding about te ao Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi. Deliberate and strategic planning, combined with a revised curriculum, strengthened assessment processes and involvement in Te Kākahu are likely to contribute to improved outcomes for Māori learners.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain its performance.

Trustees bring a range of skills and experience to their roles. They are led by a long-serving chairperson and are committed to success for students.

School leaders work collaboratively to improve outcomes for students. Leadership responsibilities are distributed across the staff. Recent training initiatives have given team leaders increased responsibility for teaching and learning. Consideration should now be given to strengthening schoolwide leadership of curriculum and assessment.

Aspects of formal self review are in place to support continued school improvement. These include teachers’ reflections and some of the reports which leaders present to the board. The appraisal process for teachers was reviewed and modified in 2014. It appropriately includes links to the Registered Teacher Criteria and the school’s teacher inquiry model. Examples of the process demonstrate that teachers receive targeted, evidence-based feedback to assist them to improve their practice.

A next step is to strengthen the ways in which robust evidence about student outcomes is used to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies, interventions and decision-making. This is likely to contribute to increased progress for students and ongoing school improvement.

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.


Students have access to a broad curriculum. Teachers and leaders are committed to promoting and supporting their wellbeing and educational success. Recent leadership developments have led to an increased focus on raising student achievement. Development of curriculum, use of achievement information and self review is needed to further improve outcomes for students.

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

11 May 2015

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Intermediate (Years 7 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Male 53%, Female 47%

Ethnic composition





Other ethnic groups






Review team on site

March 2015

Date of this report

11 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2010

October 2006

December 2002