A big ERO tick for Waimataitai

Waimataitai Primary School is sustaining its level of excellence, according to its latest Education Review Office (ERO) report.

ERO reviewed the Timaru primary school earlier this year to see how well it was performing and if there were any areas requiring improvement.

As it was performing at an excellent level, Waimataitai was told it would be five years before its next ERO report, the longest gap possible between reports.

Acting principal Brent Rees said the school was rapt with the report but would have been disappointed with a less than perfect outcome.

"It vindicates our hard work. Our self-review systems have us well-placed to maintain high standards. We expected this result and would have been disappointed with anything less," he said.

According to the report the school "has sustained and built on its high performance since the 2009 ERO review".

The report highlighted the positive relationships within the school community as a key feature of the school's success.

Rees said the school had really built on positive relationships under the vision of principal Jane Culhane.

The school had implemented a programme called Wai Learners six years ago, he said.

The programme was fundamental in recognising the importance of those strong relationships and the overall happiness of the students.

"Research shows if they [students] are happy, they are wanting to learn and can deal with adversity," he said.

The report highlighted excellence in acknowledging its diverse student population. It said there were many ways students' cultures and successes were acknowledged and celebrated.

ERO noted Waimataitai had room for improvement in student writing ability. The school had highlighted the area as needing improvement and had put programmes in motion.

The report did acknowledge the students were reading at a very high level.

The only other area which the school was working on improving was Maori students' results.

Maori students had generated results at a comparable level to their peers until 2013. There had been an influx of Maori students who had learning needs. The report acknowledged the school had put programmes in place to accelerate their learning.

The Timaru Herald