Waimataitai School

Waimataitai School - 18/06/2018

School Context

Waimataitai School provides education for children in Years 1 to 8. The school has a roll of 448 students.

The school’s overarching vision is ‘Whaia te iti kahurangi/Striving for excellence’. Its valued outcomes are for students to achieve well in literacy and numeracy. The school also aims for its students to develop the ‘WAI Learner’ attributes of respect, motivation, curiosity, reflection and being a team player.

To achieve these outcomes the school has identified the following strategic goals and targets:

  • to improve school-wide teaching of writing

  • to accelerate the progress of Māori and Pacific students, and boys in reading, writing and/or mathematics

  • to empower all families/parents/whānau to be effectively engaged in supporting their child’s learning.

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

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics

  • those related to the ‘WAI Learner’ attributes

  • student wellbeing

  • student attendance.

Since the last ERO review in 2014, there have been changes to the school’s leadership team and the board of trustees, including a new chairperson.

Over the last four years the school has been part of Ministry of Education initiatives to lift achievement levels in literacy and mathematics, and enhance student engagement and behaviour.

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 effectively supporting students to achieve the school’s valued outcomes. Over the last three years most students have achieved at or above the school’s expectations for reading and mathematics. The majority of students have achieved at or above the writing expectations. A variety of information shows that almost all students know and demonstrate the WAI Learner attributes in and around the school on a daily basis.

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

Specific and targeted responses to accelerate progress have been effective in reducing in-school disparity for some groups of learners.

Over the past three years Māori and Pacific student achievement levels have been slightly lower in reading, mathematics and writing, and for boys in reading and writing. In 2017, there were good levels of accelerated progress in reading and mathematics for most groups of students. The school recognises the need to increase the numbers of students working at expected levels in writing. To achieve this the school is implementing the long and short-term strategies of:

  • school-wide teacher development to increase the professional capability and collective capacity in the teaching of writing

  • targeting students in all classrooms to support them to accelerate progress in their learning.

Attendance rates for students have improved as a result of the school’s deliberate focus on improving attendance for the last two years.

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?

The school continues to be a high performing school using coherent processes and practices that promote equity and excellence.

Teachers, leaders and trustees have genuine care for individual students and their learning. They have a determination that all students will experience success. They establish intentional partnerships with parents and whānau, with an increasing focus on learning.

Children’s learning and wellbeing are well supported through specific interventions and close monitoring of progress. Teachers focus on the valued attitudes and dispositions for all students to be a happy learner/person (WAI Learner). This culture of care is well supported by the teachers’ collaboration and collective responsibility.

School leaders and trustees are strongly committed to achieving the school’s vision. This is evident through:

  • their unrelenting focus on achieving equity, learning, wellbeing and a sense of belonging for all students

  • the coherency and consistency of systems that guide teaching practice and school-wide systems

  • the high expectations leaders and trustees have of teachers

  • following a well-defined strategic direction and associated planning, with clear connections to all that happens.

The school has well-developed structures and processes to ensure sustained practice and ongoing improvement. Strong internal evaluation is based on the deep scrutiny of a range of data and viewpoints. This is used to inform teaching and learning decisions for the whole school, and groups of and individual students. Very effective systems and practices build teacher capability.

Well-considered distribution of leadership and responsibilities are in place to support the achievement of the school’s key priorities.

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

School leaders and teachers now need to use the learning information already in the school to know more about, and report on the sufficiency of progress for those students who are at risk of not achieving at expected levels.

Leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that the school needs to continue to build teachers’ understandings and practices related to cultural responsiveness.

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.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • a school-wide focus on equity and excellence

  • effective school-wide processes and practices that continue to build and sustain a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students

  • experienced and effective leadership and governance

  • strong evaluation processes to inform decision making.

Next steps

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

  • systems for better school-wide monitoring and reporting about student progress to ensure sufficiency and rates of progress are clear

  • strengthening how te reo and te ao Māori are valued and part of day-to-day learning so that Māori and other children experience a more bicultural curriculum.

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

18 June 2018

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys: 53% Girls: 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori: 19%
Pākehā: 66%
Pacific: 5%
Other: 10%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

18 June 2018

Most recent ERO reports

Education Reviews June 2014
October 2009
June 2006

Waimataitai School - 19/06/2014

1 Context

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

Positive relationships are a key feature contributing to the school’s success. Teachers know students and their families well. The school has highly developed systems to ensure that teachers are continually sharing information about students’ learning and wellbeing.

Senior leaders and teachers have extended the programmes and practices that support students’ learning and behaviour across the school. Students have many opportunities to contribute their ideas to improve these programmes and practices.

There is a strong school-wide emphasis on building partnerships with students and their families. The board funds a part-time trained counsellor and the school makes good use of other agencies to support students who have identified needs.

Since the time of the October 2009 ERO review, the school has become more culturally diverse and there are greater numbers of families who move in and out of the area. There are many ways that students’ cultures and successes are acknowledged and celebrated.

Waimataitai School has sustained and built on its high performance since the 2009 ERO review.

2 Learning

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

Senior leaders and teachers make very good use of student achievement information to identify and support students’ achievement, progress and engagement.

Students’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics reported to the board, provide detailed and useful information. School-wide achievement targets clearly identify the small groups of students at risk of not achieving at particular year levels in each key learning area.

Teachers use a wide range of effective ways to make judgements about students’ learning and progress. They use this high quality information well to plan appropriate programmes of work. Groups of students and individuals who require additional classroom support are clearly identified and provided with high quality targeted programmes aimed at accelerating their progress.

Recent school achievement information shows that most students continue to achieve well in reading. Many students have made significant progress in mathematics. The school has identified that writing is still an area for further improvement. Specific high quality programmes are in place to continue to support the teaching and assessing of writing.

Parents receive regular and useful information about how well their children are learning. Student achievement reports to parents give a clear indication of how well students are achieving and progressing in reading, writing and mathematics. The best reports give very specific and helpful information about what students need to work on and how parents can help at home.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum is well considered and developed to promote and engage students in their learning.

The school’s well-established ‘Wai learner qualities’ are an integral part of all aspects of the school. Students clearly know and demonstrate these qualities in their learning. They are well understood and used effectively by teachers in classroom planning and practices.

Teachers work collaboratively and regularly share ideas and the best ways to support students’ learning. Senior leaders provide staff with thorough and useful curriculum guidelines and expectations.

Students are provided with many different and interesting learning experiences, within and beyond the classroom. Older students are given a wide range of leadership responsibilities. They regularly support younger students with their learning.

Students have many opportunities to share and have their ideas listened to. These views are highly valued and well used by school staff and the board in their decision making.

The school leaders have identified that the next step for the school is to further extend assessment practices and reporting in learning areas other than literacy and mathematics.

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

Overall the school is effectively promoting success for Māori, as Māori. Teachers provide increasing opportunities for Māori students to experience success as Māori.

The board is funding additional staff to assist teachers and all students to learn about te reo and tikanga Māori. Senior leaders acknowledge that teachers need further help to confidently use te reo and tikanga Māori within their teaching.

A recently introduced programme is encouraging and supporting all Māori students to learn about their culture and identity. Senior leaders are aware of the need to closely monitor the effectiveness and success of this approach.

Up until 2013, Māori students achieved similar levels to their peers. In 2013 a significant number of Māori students enrolled in the school. Some of these students had particular learning needs in reading, writing and mathematics. Teachers provide high quality programmes for these students focused on accelerating their learning. They monitor these students closely and early progress reports show improvements particularly in reading.

The school has a strong kapa haka group for all students who want to be involved.

Consultation with Māori whānau occurs regularly. Senior leaders and the board are continually trialling and reviewing the best ways to successfully engage and consult with their Māori community. Teachers are currently considering ways to acknowledge Māori concepts of giftedness.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is very well placed to continue to sustain and improve its performance.

The board, school leaders and staff have a shared vision and direction for the school, based on continuous improvement. The school’s strategic and annual plans provide specific goals for increasing positive outcomes for students’ learning and wellbeing. The annual goals are very well understood and are evident in all aspects of school planning and operations.

There is a strong culture of ongoing reflection, monitoring and review and being innovative to improve outcomes for students.

The principal and senior leaders provide clear direction, encouragement and professional and personal support for staff. Teachers are provided with regular and helpful feedback about their teaching practices and learning environments. A senior leader has recently been given responsibility for leading professional development. She is supporting teachers to continue to provide high quality learning programmes that will help improve learning outcomes for students.

Senior leaders are actively involved in a local schools’ cluster group that is supporting and building their capacity as leaders in the school.

The board is well led and has rigorous systems and processes to ensure the school is well governed and managed. Trustees are provided with a lot of useful information about student learning, achievement and wellbeing. Trustees and the principal work closely together. They actively seek the views of students, staff and families as part of their planning and review processes.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

19 June 2014

About the School


Timaru, South Canterbury

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8)

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā




Other Ethnicities






Review team on site

April 2014

Date of this report

19 June 2014

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

October 2009

June 2006

December 2003