St Hildas Collegiate

We maintain a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

We are in the process of shifting from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

There may be delays between reviews for some schools and kura due to Covid-19 and while we transition to our new way of reviewing.

Read more about our new processes and why we changed the way we review schools and kura.

Find out which schools have upcoming reviews.

Education institution number:
380
School type:
Secondary (Year 7-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
Definition:
School with Boarding Facilities
Total roll:
468
Telephone:
Address:

2 Cobden Street, Dunedin

View on map

School Context

St Hilda’s Collegiate is a state integrated school with a roll of 450 students. About 10% of these students identify as Māori and 5% are international students. Over 33% of students board at Tolcarne, the school’s hostel.

The school’s vision is that students will become ‘future ready, independent learners’. Intended outcomes include that students will become life-long learners, develop resilience and wellbeing, and show compassion, empathy and social responsibility. These are expressed in the school’s valued behaviours as: ‘Be You, Can Do, Better Together and Explore Faith’.

The school’s current key strategic goals are to continue to:

  • develop curriculum design and delivery to enhance student engagement and progress

  • develop student wellbeing and achievement, specifically embedding the St Hilda’s Graduate profile

  • foster community connections to enable quality learning opportunities and to support the strategic vision of the school.

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

  • achievement in Years 7-10 against the New Zealand Curriculum levels in all learning areas
  • achievement in NCEA Levels 1 – 3 and University Entrance
  • achievement of International, Māori and Pacific students
  • wellbeing.

The school has made strong progress against the recommendations and sustained the good practices identified in the June 2015 ERO report.

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 very successful in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

Almost all Year 7-10 students achieve at or above expected curriculum levels. Similarly, almost all achieve NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 and most achieve University Entrance. Over time, the majority of students gain endorsements. Māori students achieve at similar levels to their peers.

Patterns of achievement over time show that almost all students make appropriate progress during their time at school.

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

The school is very effective in accelerating the progress of those students who need this. Over the past three years, all students identified as at risk of not achieving their relevant NCEA level did so.

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?

Trustees and school leaders work strategically and collaboratively with staff, students and parents to realise the school’s vision, values and agreed goals. Leaders deliberately model and build relational trust at all levels to support openness, collaboration, risk taking and receptiveness to change and improvement. There is effective and transparent communication across the school community. Decisions are informed by a range of information, including diverse perspectives. Leaders carefully align systems, resourcing and practices to achieve the school’s vision for learning.

There is strong evidence of deep understanding and use of internal evaluation to drive improvement across the school. Leaders constantly search for what could be better for students. They systematically gather relevant data to know about the impact of key initiatives and to inform change. They ensure ongoing monitoring, review and adaptation of new initiatives. These practices contribute to well-considered and sustainable changes and developments.

The school’s curriculum is highly responsive to the learning and wellbeing needs of all students. This includes well-considered curriculum innovations to engage students in deep and authentic learning. The curriculum deliberately prepares students to be future-ready and independent learners. In consultation with its community, the school has identified the desired attributes of a St Hilda’s graduate and is in the process of embedding these. Leaders, with students, proactively investigate wellbeing concerns. The findings inform targeted programmes and initiatives to strengthen wellbeing and resilience. Leaders and teachers have very effective systems to identify and respond to individual students with wellbeing and/or learning needs.

Leaders have implemented strong systems and practices to build and sustain teacher capability. This includes well-planned professional learning that aligns with school priorities. As a result, teachers are using a wider range of effective teaching strategies to meet the diverse abilities of students.

Students learn in an environment where they know that leaders and teachers care deeply about their learning and wellbeing. They describe their school as inclusive and feel a strong sense of belonging and community. The school has implemented deliberate structures to build positive relationships between students, and between the school and parents.

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

Through internal evaluation, school leaders have identified key next steps are to:

  • develop systems to be able to know about students’ progress and achievement in relation to the St Hilda’s Graduate attributes

  • continue to build and embed teaching strategies that respond to the diverse needs and abilities of students.

ERO’s evaluation confirms these areas for continued development.

3 Other Matters

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Tolcarne, accommodates up to 162 students. At the time of this review 158 students were living in the hostel. Tolcarne is owned by the St Hilda’s Collegiate School Board of Proprietors. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

The Director of Boarding is new since the last ERO review. She is working collaboratively with the board, staff, parents and students to sustain and build on the many effective systems and practices supporting positive experiences and outcomes for students. There are sound systems to manage and provide a safe physical environment for students. Students’ wellbeing and social and emotional resilience are actively supported through a wide range of staff and student-led initiatives and programmes, and through access to well-qualified pastoral staff. Junior students’ transitions into the hostel are carefully planned for, and positive relationships with their peers and senior students intentionally fostered. Senior students have many opportunities to show and develop leadership skills. They are appropriately encouraged to take increasing responsibility for themselves.

There is effective communication and coordination between the hostel and school to ensure continuity of care for students’ wellbeing and learning. Students’ learning is prioritised and supported in the hostel context.

Parents are very well informed about their daughters’ wellbeing and participation in the life of the hostel. They have regular opportunities to be involved in hostel events, give feedback on aspects of hostel operations and discuss their daughters’ wellbeing and personal growth.

The Director of Boarding and hostel staff prioritise continuous improvement and professional learning to enable them to provide effective pastoral care for all students.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (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 20 international students attending the school.

The school uses internal evaluation processes very effectively to know about the quality of pastoral care and education provision for international students and to identify areas for improved practice.

The Director of International Students has used annual review processes and student feedback effectively to identify development priorities and actioned these in a timely way. In particular, structures, programmes and practices to support international students to orient to their new school, form friendships and participate in the life of the school and wider community have been strengthened and are supporting positive social and emotional outcomes. School information shows that almost all international students achieve the New Zealand Qualifications Framework qualifications they enter for. School pastoral and academic monitoring systems are very well used to know about and support the learning and wellbeing of international students. The school board is well informed about both the provision and outcomes of wellbeing and learning support for students.

4 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of St Hilda’s Collegiate School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • strategic leadership and relational trust across the school community, enabling the school to be highly responsive to students’ needs, abilities and interests
  • effective systems for internal evaluation that lead to ongoing improvement
  • having a highly responsive curriculum that supports students to be independent, future-focused learners.

Next steps

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

  • developing systems to know more about school-wide trends and patterns in students’ development in relation to the St Hilda’s Graduate attributes
  • continuing to build and embed teaching strategies to meet the diverse abilities of students.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

11 June 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.

Findings

St Hilda’s is a high performing school. Students benefit from a wide range of learning experiences. They enjoy high levels of achievement and success academically, as well as in sporting and cultural areas. The focus on wellbeing is highly evident. Senior leaders, teachers and trustees have high expectations for learning.

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

1 Context

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

St Hilda’s Collegiate is a state integrated girls’ school providing education for students in Years 7 to 13. The associated hostel facility caters for students in Years 9 to 13 so that the school can offer this particular learning experience to girls from other parts of the country. The school makes a point of ensuring St Hilda’s Christian special-character values are evident in the everyday life of the school.

Students benefit from the efforts of staff to promote a family-like atmosphere and build positive relationships with a focus on how girls learn best. The school community has high expectations for students at the school. Staff members in the pastoral-care system work purposefully to support girls’ emotional wellbeing and resilience as the students respond to these high expectations.

Teachers are generous with their time and effort to support students’ learning and their other interests. Staff members are professionally collaborative and open to purposeful change.

A new principal was appointed at the beginning of 2015. She is well supported by the senior leadership team, trustees and the wider staff. The principal works collaboratively to determine plans for the future and lead the staff towards realising the school’s vision.

The school has been successful in addressing the recommendation in the 2010 ERO report. Teachers continue to improve and build on their practices that support students to know about their learning, to use the language of learning and to be involved in evaluating their progress.

2 Learning

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

The school effectively uses learning information to make positive changes to teaching and learning for the benefit of students.

Areas of strength

There are high levels of achievement across all year levels. In Years 7 and 8, over ninety percent of students are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics. High levels of achievement continue to be evident through Years 9 and 10, where summary information from English and mathematics shows a similar proportion of students continue to make very good progress.

NCEA information for the senior school shows that a higher percentage of students at this school compared with similar schools nationally:

  • achieve certificates in Levels 1, 2 and 3
  • gain merit or excellence endorsements at Levels 1, 2 and 3
  • achieve University Entrance in Year 13.

Students know how well they are achieving and their learning goals. Students who are at risk of not meeting expectations are well supported. Students’ achievement of excellence is celebrated. Key staff members discuss with students the manageability of students’ workload and goals so they can be best supported to achieve well while maintaining their wellbeing.

Teachers are aware of the individual needs of students and they plan appropriately to meet these needs. They make very good use of a purposeful five-week monitoring process to:

  • communicate regularly with students and their parents about how well each student is learning
  • support students to continue to make appropriate progress.

Senior leaders ensure the achievement of students overall is well documented and analysed with recommendations for future improvements. Curriculum leaders and teachers analyse student achievement information well to decide how to adapt teaching to better meet the needs of their students.

Trustees are well informed about student achievement and indicators of progress over time. They make very good use this information to inform their decision making.

Next steps

School leaders are aware of the areas where refinements and improvements will strengthen the quality of teaching and improve outcomes for students. ERO agrees with these focus areas which include ensuring that teachers:

  • help students in Years 7 to 10 know more about the learning process, how well they are learning, and what they need to do to improve
  • respond to students’ opinions more regularly so that they can adapt learning and evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching
  • continue to embed and strengthen teaching-as-inquiry practices
  • refine the National Standards targets to focus more on those students that need to make accelerated progress.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports students’ learning.

Areas of strength

The school’s curriculum strongly reflects the school’s desire to foster the holistic development of each girl. This desire is closely aligned to the notion of service to the school and, local and global communities.

Students are encouraged and well supported to achieve personal excellence academically, culturally and in a wide range of sporting activities. Students are helped to decide their priorities across these areas. The head of guidance and the guidance counsellor work in a proactive and responsive way to ensure students maintain a positive balance between personal excellence priorities and their emotional wellbeing. Parents are well supported to help their daughters manage issues related to adolescent wellbeing and learning.

Significant features of the school’s curriculum include the purposeful ways that:

  • the curriculum is designed to respond to the emerging needs and interests of students
  • students are offered a range of subjects and choice about what they want to learn
  • teachers and students use ICT to access learning at anytime of the day and anywhere, including beyond the school
  • teachers use the local environment and further afield to extend students’ sporting, cultural and academic opportunities.

Students benefit from very good quality teaching practice. Teachers are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their subject areas. Students told ERO that they appreciate the level of support and encouragement they receive from their teachers.

Teachers actively participate in professional learning and development (PLD) that leads to ongoing improvement to teaching and learning. PLD is targeted and personalised to teachers’ individual interests and needs. Teachers told ERO that they appreciate the range and quality of professional development they receive and that it continues to lead to positive outcomes for students.

Trustees demonstrate a high level of commitment to spreading best practice and building a coherent approach to teaching and learning. Senior and middle leaders continually encourage teachers to reflect on and improve teaching across the school.

Next steps

Through the school’s self-review processes, the board, senior leaders and teachers have identified the next steps for continued improvement to teaching and learning are to:

  • identify the key attitudes, skills and attributes that they want each student to have when they leave the school
  • continue to explore the provision of te reo Māori as a subject in the school’s curriculum.

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

The school effectively promotes the educational success of Māori students and continues to strive to promote the success of Māori students, as Māori. Since the last review, the number of Māori students has increased, at a rate similar to the overall increase in the school’s roll.

Māori students achieve highly. In 2014 all students at each NCEA level achieved a National Certificate. This is significantly higher compared with other Māori students nationally and to Māori students at similar schools. In Years 7 to 10 Māori students are achieving and progressing well across a range of subject areas, and sporting and cultural activities. Students’ achievement and progress is closely monitored to ensure that they sustain these high levels of achievement.

Students told ERO that they appreciate the support of the deputy principal and the many initiatives that help them feel a sense of belonging that affirms their personal identity.

Students enjoy a range of opportunities to hear te reo Māori and learn about their culture. There is an increased use of te reo Māori in all aspects of school life, including chapel service and assemblies. Many of the students belong to the kapa haka group and demonstrate a sense of pride when they perform at special events.

The board is responsive to the views of the parents of Māori students. Parents’ views and opinions have helped the school identify key priorities. Trustees and senior leaders demonstrate a good understanding of the importance of Māori students succeeding as Māori.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

Areas of strength

The board and senior leaders are highly responsive to identified needs and continue to maintain a strategic focus on improving student outcomes.

Trustees bring a wide range of experience and skills to their role. They skilfully ask evaluative questions to ensure that they have the relevant information to inform their decision making. The board and the Board of Proprietors work well together for the benefit of students.

The board receives detailed reporting about curriculum and achievement. The principal reports to the board at each meeting to show how the implementation of annual planning is achieving the school’s strategic focus.

The principal and the senior leadership team are effectively leading and managing the school.

Other key features that are contributing to the school’s sustainable performance and improvement are:

  • the importance given to the Specialist Classroom Teacher role in improving and promoting high quality teaching practice across the school
  • the quality of the advice and guidance programme for new and beginning teachers
  • the well-developed self-review framework for the various kinds of review that cover all aspects of the school’s operations
  • the board’s commitment to strengthening the ICT network to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of students and staff.

Next steps

The board and senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that the next steps are to:

  • refine strategic planning to show more clearly a manageable number of strategic priorities
  • share with students how their views and opinions have been responded to
  • include the Registered Teacher Criteria in the principal’s appraisal and the teachers’ professional standards in the teachers’ appraisal.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. ERO’s discussions with key staff confirmed that the school has an appropriate self-review process for international students. The outcomes of this review process are reported annually to the board.

At the time of this review there were 26 international students attending the school. International students benefit from very good pastoral care. Their involvement and integration into the school and its community is closely monitored. They are well supported to achieve well and make appropriate progress. International students at the school are highly motivated to take every opportunity to improve their English. The students told ERO that they would appreciate more opportunities for informal speaking interactions with domestic students.

Reports to trustees about provision for international students should have a greater focus on how well the wellbeing of these students is supported, how well they are integrated into the school and community, and how well they are progressing in their learning.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Tolcarne House, accommodates 140 students, 29% of the school roll. It is owned by the St Hilda’s Collegiate School Board of Proprietors. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

The director of boarding, appointed since the previous review, continues to build on the strengths identified in the 2010 ERO report. She has sustained or improved systems for promoting positive relationships, students’ welfare and learning.

Students told ERO that they feel safe. They spoke highly of the help they receive from the hostel staff and other boarders. Boarders told ERO that they particularly enjoy the family-like atmosphere.

The director of boarding works collaboratively with hostel staff to ensure that boarders benefit from their time in the hostel. There are strong links between the school and the hostel to support the boarders’ wellbeing and learning. The Tolcarne Committee displays a strong sense of pride in the hostel and works closely with the boarding director to ensure that the hostel’s attractive environment contributes to the boarders’ wellbeing and personal development.

Boarders are well supported in taking increasing responsibility for managing themselves. In Year 13, the boarders live independently in flatting accommodation on the hostel grounds. Students told ERO that this is helping them to prepare for life after school.

Other key features include:

  • the useful processes for gathering and responding to the girls’ views and ideas
  • the high-quality information parents receive about their daughters’ lives while in the hostel
  • the many opportunities the girls have to participate in a range of activities.

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.

Conclusion

St Hilda’s is a high performing school. Students benefit from a wide range of learning experiences. They enjoy high levels of achievement and success academically, as well as in sporting and cultural areas. The focus on wellbeing is highly evident. Senior leaders, teachers and trustees have high expectations for learning.

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

16 June 2015

About the School

Location

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

380

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

472

Number of international students

26

Gender composition

100% Girls

Ethnic composition

European/Pākehā

Māori

Asian

Other

81%

8%

1%

10%

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

16 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2010

October 2006

November 2003