Waikanae Primary School The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Ngā mokopuna o te ra nei Ngā rangatire o āpōpō.

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Waikanae School Education Review Report

December 3rd 2008

Click here for the full report

Waikanae Primary is a large Kapiti Coast school that caters for students in years 1 to 8. Well-maintained buildings and property provide a safe and attractive setting. A strong and growing roll is evident with a new entrant class due to commence in the week following ERO's visit. The school grounds are extensive, including spacious playing fields, hard courts and a large sandpit. Sports equipment is available for students to use during intervals. The environmental group plays an active role in tending seedlings, vegetables and gardens. During the week of the review, the school held its junior production and senior students and staff had just returned from a successful ski camp.

This ERO review evaluates the quality of teaching and learning in mathematics and literacy. It also considers progress made since the 2006 ERO review in improving Māori student achievement and preparations for teaching The New Zealand Curriculum in 2010. Aspects of compliance, with particular emphasis on students' emotional and physical well-being, are evaluated.

The Board of Trustees continues to be highly supportive of the principal and staff. Trustees demonstrate a clear understanding of the governance role and their responsibilities. Annual goals prioritise literacy, numeracy and information and communication technologies (ICT). The board receives analysed and interpreted achievement data in mathematics, reading and writing. These identify that students are working well in comparison to national norms in reading and writing, with some need for improvement in mathematics.

As noted in the 2006 ERO report, trustees and management need to make better use of achievement information to inform target setting for groups and guide future direction. In addition, the school's overarching special needs provision is poorly planned, monitored and evaluated. It is timely to review and implement effective measures to address this.

The principal and deputy principal lead ongoing professional discussion based on the school's evolving goals and objectives and on looking ahead to implementation of The New Zealand Curriculum in 2010. Together with the board, staff are building a shared vision for the school's future direction and are trialling associated changes in planning and teaching. The structure of the management team has been altered to enhance communication and consistency between syndicates and empower syndicate lead teachers to adopt roles of responsibility. This recent change is likely to strengthen school-wide development through more collaborative decision making.

The 2006 ERO review focused on mathematics. Since then, teachers have participated in professional development in numeracy and formative assessment. The quality of teaching in literacy and mathematics is generally of a good standard, with some high quality examples. Teachers enhance understanding by modelling and promoting purposeful interactions between students about their learning. Reading and writing activities are integrated authentically through topic work and with other curriculum areas. Self and peer assessment are being developed.

Use of thinking skills is promoted and ICT is incorporated into literacy and mathematics programmes. The deputy principal is a facilitator for the local ICT cluster and the board has invested substantial time and funds into developing staff and student capability in this area. Classes are provided with ample computer hardware and students also have access to camera equipment to support their learning. Seniors use these resources to create a book for each new entrant child, one copy of which is kept in the classroom and another presented to the family as a memento of their first day at school.

The school enjoys the confidence of its local community and has a very active Parent Teacher Association that organises fundraising ventures. Parents receive useful information about mathematics and literacy programmes, are invited to attend formal meetings and interviews, view data files and receive end-of-year written reports. Good home-school links are evident, aligned to the school's charter objectives of enhanced partnership. Initial, informal and positive steps have been taken to enhance communication with Māori families. The board still has to review and undertake effective, planned consultation with whānau to develop targets and strategies for improving outcomes for Māori students who continue, as a group, to perform less well in mathematics and literacy tests than their non-Maori peers.

Interactions throughout the school are affirming and respectful. There is a good level of student self-motivation, enjoyment and interest. Well-resourced, bright and inviting classrooms support the learning focus. Displays of students' work make clear links with past and current areas of study and celebrate effort and achievement. Through elective programmes, students produce murals, mosaic and other art work that are attractively displayed around the school. A settled, on-task and positive atmosphere in classrooms is highly evident.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the board of trustees can manage the school in the interests of the students and the Crown and bring about the improvements outlined in this report.

ERO is likely to review the school again as part of the regular review cycle.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website,  http://www.ero.govt.nz/


Lennane Kent

Area Manager

for Chief Review Officer


About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

improve educational achievement in schools; and

provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on student achievement and build on each school's self review.

Review Focus

ERO's framework for reviewing and reporting is based on three review strands.

School Specific Priorities - the quality of education and the impact of school policies and practices on student achievement.

Areas of National Interest - information about how Government policies are working in schools.

Compliance with Legal Requirements - assurance that this school has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of school performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to student achievement and useful to this school.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a school is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this school.

Decile 1 schools draw their students from areas of greatest socio-economic disadvantage,
Decile 10 from areas of least socio-economic disadvantage.


Individual ERO school and early childhood centre reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically. However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO Corporate Office in Wellington. Please consult your telephone book, or see the ERO web page, http://www.ero.govt.nz, for ERO office addresses.

This report has been prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.