Christchurch Girls’ High School|Te Kura o Hine Waiora caters for students in Years 9 to 13. The school has a roll of 1259 students, 12% of whom identify as Māori.
The school’s vision is to empower and inspire the development of 21st century lifelong learners, and is linked to the values of manaakitanga (respect and dignity), whanaungatanga (belonging and relationships), aroha (care and compassion) and rangatiratanga (leadership).
Staff and leaders were recently involved in professional learning and development with external facilitators to create the new strategic priorities for the school. The key goals and targets for improving students’ learning outcomes include:
Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:
Since the 2016 ERO review there have been changes in staffing and trustees. A new principal was appointed in 2019. The board continues to oversee the ongoing redevelopment of property on the school site.
The school is making good progress in ensuring equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.
Between 2016 and 2019, almost all students gained National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualifications at Levels 1, 2 and 3, with most gaining University Entrance (UE). NCEA certificate endorsements show high achievement at merit and excellence levels. In 2019, all students achieved NCEA Level 1 literacy and numeracy.
Students who identify as Māori achieve well in NCEA. This was especially evident at Level 2 in 2019. However disparity remains in relation to some other groups within the school at Levels 1 and 3. Raising achievement for Pacific students at Levels 1 and 2 and for UE is a priority for the school.
In Years 9 and 10 almost all students achieve at or above NZ Curriculum expectations in reading and writing. Most students in Year 9, and the majority of students in Year 10, achieve at curriculum expectations in mathematics. Achievement information shows in-school disparity for Māori and Pacific students in relation to their Pākehā peers in reading, writing and mathematics. This has reduced over time.
The school is accelerating the learning of a small number of students who need it, including students who identify as Māori. School data over time shows that most students requiring acceleration in Years 9 and 10 gain NCEA Level 1 literacy and numeracy, and achieve NCEA levels 2 and 3.
Students experience positive relationships with staff. Learning environments are calm, purposeful and well resourced. Students have access to a broad curriculum that aligns to New Zealand contexts and optimises their learning opportunities. Students are encouraged to think of themselves as leaders. There is a wide range of opportunities for students to demonstrate citizenship, contribution, social competence and readiness to learn. A tradition of high expectations, participation and identity is shared and supported by the whole school community.
Strong processes are in place to promote positive transitions into the school, and for supporting and monitoring individual students with identified additional learning and wellbeing needs. Students are guided and supported to choose and extend their own learning, according to their needs, interests and future learning pathways.
The school uses a range of assessment tools and identifies students requiring additional support on entry. Teachers use systems to track and monitor progress and achievement for students targeted for learning support.
School leaders are reflective, improvement focused and have established high levels of relational trust across the whole staff. Extensive work has been undertaken recently to develop the vision, values and strategic direction of the school. Well-considered change management is supporting the introduction of new systems and initiatives designed to strengthen school culture. This includes exploring concepts such as personal excellence for all. School leaders support teachers to develop collaborative practices and engage in appropriate professional learning to improve learning outcomes for students.
To enable the achievement of equity and excellence, leaders and teachers need to give greater prominence to culturally responsive practice to ensure:
These identified areas build on the 2016 ERO report findings.
Trustees, leaders and teachers should develop a systematic and strategic approach to internal evaluation. Teachers and leaders need to fully understand what is most effective in improving outcomes for students and the impact of programmes provided, including in relation to acceleration of learning for equity and excellence. Leaders need to report clearly to the board on how well the school has accelerated the learning of those students across the school who need this.
Teachers and leaders need to continue to strengthen and embed school wide teaching practices, including differentiation of learning.
The hostel is owned by the school and accommodates up to 110 students. Most students reside in the hostel from Monday to Friday.
The school attests that all requirements of the Hostel Regulations have been met. ERO’s investigations confirm that there are sound processes to support students’ wellbeing, safety and learning. Ensuring that students have regular opportunities to give feedback about aspects of hostel life would further strengthen the support provided by hostel staff.
The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code but has not completed an annual self review of its implementation of the Code. ERO recognises that the school has begun making progress on this.
At the time of this review there were 19 international students attending the school. The comprehensive, well organised and responsive pastoral care network at the school provides a wide range of support for all students, including international students. The school’s high-quality teaching and learning and robust systems help to ensure that all international students are well supported to achieve.
The school is in the process of developing a framework and deeper understanding of effective self review to improve practices that relate specifically to this group of students, particularly in relation to regular updates on wellbeing.
ERO’s evaluation of the school’s process for self review and provision of pastoral care, as required by the Code, identified the need to develop regular monitoring and evaluation of all practices pertaining to international students.
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:
During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:
On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Christchurch Girls’ High School|Te Kura o Hine Waiora’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.
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.
For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:
For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:
In relation to Pastoral Care of International Students:
ERO recommends that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as Administrator of the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 follows up with the school its implementation of ongoing, evaluative self review.
Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region - Te Tai Tini
30 June 2020