Waitakiri Primary School

Waitakiri Primary School

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report


This Profile Report was written within twelve months of the Education Review Office and Waitakiri Primary 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


Waitākiri Primary School is located in Christchurch and provides education for students in Years 1 to 6.

Waitakiri Primary School School’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are:

  • enhancing positive relationships and supportive leadership to empower students to grow and develop into successful life-long learners

  • encouraging a school culture and systems to enhance wellbeing and safety for the whole school community

  • building a student’s sense of belonging and feeling of security in their culture, language and identity as they participate, engage and achieve in education.

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

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate how effectively communication and reporting to families and whānau is supporting learning and increasing engagement.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is to:

  • support groups of students who are not achieving at expected levels, particularly in writing, to make accelerated progress

  • enable teachers and leaders to know how effectively they are building meaningful educational partnerships with families and whānau to support students’ learning and engagement

  • ensure that there is a consistent approach to and greater confidence in assessing students’ learning, and using information effectively to plan targeted learning programmes.

The school expects to see students and their whānau engaging meaningfully in learning and participating regularly in reporting opportunities.


The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to communicate and report to families and whānau in ways that support learning and increase engagement:

  • Knowing the students well and having good systems in place to monitor and address their progress and wellbeing.

  • Providing well-considered and targeted professional development to continue to build consistency across the school and support teacher capability and capacity.

  • A strong, positive culture with a stable leadership, staff and board who work collaboratively and have a shared understanding of best practice to support learning.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • strengthening current practices for students to share their learning with teachers, family and whānau

  • enhancing the ways parents, whānau and families engage in conversations about their child’s learning.

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

25 July 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

Waitakiri Primary School

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of May 2022, the Waitakiri Primary 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 Waitakiri Primary 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

25 July 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

Waitakiri Primary School

Provision for International Students Report


The Education Review Office reviews schools that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020.


Waitakiri Primary School has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code and has completed an annual self review of its implementation of the Code. 

At the time of this review there was one international student attending the school, and no exchange students. 

The school has very thorough systems in place to ensure the pastoral care and learning needs of international students are met during their time at the school. Their learning and wellbeing are closely monitored and supported. They have opportunities to participate in a wide range of curriculum opportunities and experiences.

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

25 July 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

Waitakiri Primary School - 27/07/2016

1 Context

Waitākiri opened in 2014, after the merger of Burwood and Windsor schools. It operated over two sites until moving into purpose-built, flexible learning spaces in January 2016. The school caters for children in Years 1 to 6 and consists of six learning studios that each integrate two year groups.

Effective change management strategies have enabled the school and community to successfully transition into its new setting and provide children and their families with a sense of belonging. Careful consideration has been given to recognising and celebrating the traditions and history of both schools and the local area. This is reflected in the school’s kaupapa.

The newly elected board has a mix of experienced and new trustees. The previous board effectively supported the positive transition to the new school.

This is the new school's first ERO report.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to be 'REAL Heroes making REAL CHOICES - Hanga kōwhiringa tūturu.' This involves supporting children to show respect, to encourage others and achieve and grow as life-long learners. REAL CHOICES for children means becoming self-regulated learners, who progressively take responsibility for their learning.

The school’s achievement information shows that most children achieve highly in reading, writing and mathematics and are at or above the National Standards. Achievement in writing, particularly for boys, is a little lower and the school has plans in place to address this. Considering the challenges involved in the merger process and relocation to a new site, achievement results have remained very positive.

The school reports that in 2015 Māori students achieved highly in mathematics and reading and at slightly lower levels in writing. Māori students made accelerated progress in reading from 2014 into 2015.

The school has robust systems in place to support teachers to make judgements about children's achievement. A range of nationally normed assessment tools, classroom practices and observations inform teachers' decision making.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is highly responsive to individual Māori children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Senior leaders and teachers have well-developed systems for identifying, planning for and closely monitoring Māori and other groups of children, who need additional support to progress. Planned actions for raising achievement are culturally responsive and include the use of tuakana teina role models.

High quality professional learning and development (PLD) for all teaching staff, and a collaborative approach, are helping to accelerate children’s learning. Focus groups of teachers are extending inquiry into ways to raise achievement for priority learners and those at risk of not achieving.

The school's curriculum and environment strongly reflect Māori history and culture. Meaningful connections are woven into the daily programme ensuring the mana and language of Māori are valued and promoted.

Current annual achievement targets and rates of progress would be further strengthened by specifically identifying the actual number of children targeted and how well they are progressing.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is highly effective in responding to other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. Senior leaders and teachers have a good understanding that what works well for Māori, also works well for all. Therefore, they use similar processes to improve learning outcomes for other children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

Senior leaders are actively involved in supporting teachers to raise achievement. They place priority on high quality teaching practices. There is a strong shared understanding about how children learn. Teachers identify specific strategies designed to address barriers to learning and promote successful outcomes. Senior leaders and teachers are inclusive and responsive to children’s learning and wellbeing needs.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school’s clearly understood vision, values and priorities are very well reflected in the curriculum and other organisational processes and practices.

There is strong coherence between the school's priorities and expectations, and what happens for children in classrooms. The school's curriculum is carefully considered and emphasises literacy, mathematics and science.

Children learn in focused, well-paced lessons within calm, settled environments. They make effective use of a range of digital technologies to support their learning.

Senior leaders and teachers participate in and contribute to the wider educational community and have built some strong partnerships that support children’s learning. A strategic approach is empowering teachers to develop their leadership.

A culture of reflection and collaboration is impacting positively on teachers’ beliefs and understandings about quality teaching practice. Teachers in the first two years of their practice are provided with high quality induction and mentoring programmes. The school’s appraisal process provides all teaching staff with regular, useful feedback. Teachers are inquiring deeply into identified priorities that support the school’s strategic focus on raising student achievement.

Teaching teams work closely together in flexible learning spaces. This is making high-quality teaching more visible and strengthening the shared responsibility teachers have for meeting children’s needs. The robust transition to school programme helps children and their families develop a feeling of connectedness and familiarity prior to starting school. Learning assistants are valued and are included in decision making about children's learning.

Teachers provide children with choices about their learning, within a carefully planned framework. The child–centred learning approach enables children to have their voice heard and valued. Children's home learning is actively promoted through relevant learning opportunities.

Parents are provided with regular information about their children’s learning and school events. Bicultural partnerships are actively sought. The school values these relationships and acts on information and guidance provided. Leaders and teachers consistently seek ways to further enhance parent partnership in learning.

Senior leaders and teachers agree that further development of personalised learning approaches will increase children’s ownership and understanding of their own learning.

The board has a strategic focus on children’s learning and wellbeing and receives high quality information and recommendations that enable it to effectively resource the school. The board needs to develop a system for regularly evaluating its own effectiveness.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

How well placed is the school to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

The senior leadership team has high expectations for teaching and learning. A significant strength is the way senior leaders use research effectively to inform decision making and practice. They provide very clear guidelines for teachers and instil a sense of urgency about responding to children’s learning needs and wellbeing.

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

6 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 the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • 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

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

7 Recommendations

The board and senior leaders are very well placed to implement the next steps identified in this report. Trustees acknowledge that these next steps provide good future direction for the board as it continues to improve outcomes for children and will be included in their ongoing internal evaluation process. 

Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

27 July 2016 

About the school


Burwood, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll


Gender composition

Female 53%; Male 47%

Ethnic composition









Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

27 July 2016

Most recent ERO report

No previous ERO reports