Marian College - 02/05/2018

School Context

Marian College is a Year 9 -13 Catholic girls’ school in Christchurch with a roll of 405 students. The school remains focused on its key values of courage, perseverance and commitment.

A new principal and senior leadership team have been appointed since the last ERO review in 2014.

Leaders, Heads of Learning areas and teachers regularly report to the board school-wide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in all curriculum areas for students in Years 9 and 10
  • senior student NCEA data
  • learning information on Māori and Pacific students.

Marian College is a member of the Christchurch Catholic Community of Learning Kāhui Ako |Community of Learning (CoL). The school is also involved in three clusters: the Catholic Cluster, the East Christchurch Cluster and the Ōtākaro Cluster. 

The school shares some facilities and programmes with Catholic Cathedral College.

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’s achievement information generally shows equitable and excellent outcomes for its senior students over the past three years.

The overall patterns of achievement in NCEA show students achieve very well. Over the last three years:

  • almost all students have achieved NCEA Level 1
  • students have consistently achieved 90% and over at NCEA Level 2  
  • most students achieve the NCEA Level 3 qualification
  • the achievement of NCEA literacy and numeracy has remained high. 

Overall achievement for Māori learners in NCEA Levels 1 and 2 is very good. In 2017, all Māori and Pacific students achieved NCEA Level 2. In 2017 almost all Pacific students gained NCEA Levels 1 and 2. The achievement of Māori and Pacific students at NCEA Level 3 remains an area for ongoing improvement.

Senior students are well supported to remain at school and engage in meaningful pathways to achieve appropriate leavers' qualifications.

The school has suitable processes and practices for assessment and moderation, and provides useful guidelines for teachers about this. The school’s practices in managing national assessment for senior students are robust.

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

The school is responding very effectively to Māori, Pacific and other students in Years 11, 12 and 13 whose learning and achievement needs acceleration.

There have been positive achievement outcomes for students with additional needs.

The school is developing systems to respond to students in Years 9 and 10 whose learning and achievement need acceleration. There is a range of information on individual students’ achievement. However, the school is not yet reporting clearly to the board on the extent to which students are making accelerated progress.

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?

The school’s Catholic character is strongly evident in the culture of care that underpins the sense of belonging students experience at the school. Trustees, leaders and staff have created a culture of learning based on positive relationships and the school’s values of courage, perseverance and commitment. The core Māori values of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and tuakana teina are highly evident.

The school’s curriculum is responsive to students’ needs, interests and aspirations. Students learn in positive environments that are highly conducive to their learning and the development of self-management skills. They have a good understanding of their progress, achievement and next learning steps. Teachers maintain a deliberate focus on linking students’ abilities and skills with flexible and adaptive opportunities to learn. They make good use of learner views to inform curriculum planning and enactment. Students with additional needs are very well supported.

Meaningful integration of Māori and Pacific curriculum concepts and contexts promote student engagement and learning-centred relationships.

There is strong professional leadership at Marian College. The leadership has a clear focus on building collective responsibility for students’ learning and wellbeing. Teachers are provided with targeted professional learning opportunities, including ongoing building of culturally responsive teaching practices. This is supporting the ways teachers respond to identified learning needs. A robust appraisal process and targeted professional learning development opportunities are supporting a culture of ongoing improvement.   

Leaders and teachers take a systematic approach to gathering, tracking and sharing learning information. Robust moderation and assessment processes are contributing to effective teacher practice. Key staff carefully monitor each student’s attitude, engagement and achievement with learning. As a result, students, staff and parents benefit from timely and effective sharing of learner information.

The board is strongly focussed on serving the community and school in its role. Trustees receive reports about student achievement, practices, programmes and the school’s special character. They use this information to ensure the focus remains on equity and excellence for all students.

The board and senior leaders are strongly focused on meeting the language, culture and identity needs of Māori and Pacific students and their families.

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

Some aspects of school’s processes need to be strengthened and embedded to increase effectiveness in achieving equity and excellence for all students. The board and leaders need to:

  • strengthen the analysis and reporting of Years 9 and 10 achievement information to show rates of student progress and identify students whose progress needs acceleration
  • further develop the school’s guidelines for identifying and achieving consistently high quality teaching and learning practices across the school.

3 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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Provision for international students 

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (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 no international students attending the school.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

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

  • providing an inclusive and caring school culture for all students
  • a highly responsive curriculum which focuses on a holistic education for each individual student, with flexible and adaptive opportunities to learn
  • leadership that focuses on high expectations and collective responsibility for students’ learning and wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • ensuring high quality analysis and use of achievement information over time, especially regarding those students who are at risk of not achieving
  • strengthening the analysis of Years 9 and 10 learner information to more effectively monitor and report student progress and acceleration over time
  • reviewing and consolidating the school’s desired teaching guidelines for what good practice looks like at this school. 

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in three years. 

Dr Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

2 May 2018 

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (9 -15)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori                                  14%

Pākehā                               62%

Pacific                                  9%

Asian                                    8%

Other Ethnicities                7%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

February 2018

Date of this report

2 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review  November 2014

Education Review  September 2009

Education Review  August 2006