Napier Girls' High School - 09/05/2014

1 Context

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

Napier Girls’ High School caters for 984 students and 22% are Māori. The roll continues to grow, especially the number of Māori and Pacific students.

The school was established 130 years ago and retains its unique traditions and values. Its shared vision is: ‘Inspiration from the past, learning for today and tomorrow, vision for the future’.

A culture of high expectations supports the holistic development of each student. The school’s mission, ‘Creating a successful education pathway for every student to enable her to reach her highest potential,’ underpins all aspects of school life and the curriculum.

The school has a positive ERO reporting history.

2 Learning

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

Highly effective use of achievement information supports positive student engagement, progress and achievement.

Comprehensive achievement information is collected when students arrive at the school. This data is well analysed and used to support students’ specific needs and integration into the school. Individual student progress is closely tracked and monitored against expected outcomes. School reported data shows that nearly all Year 9 and 10 students achieve at or above school expectations. Using this data to determine trends and patterns for these year levels overtime should contribute to the school's future-focused thinking.

Student data is used well to identify and respond to the needs of priority learners. There is regular review of this by teachers to guide teaching and learning. As a result, well-analysed data is available for each student to show accelerated progress, trends and patterns. Achievement information is effectively used by senior leaders and trustees to inform decision-making and resourcing.

Since the July 2009 ERO report, the school has maintained high levels of achievement in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs) Levels 1 to 3 and University Entrance (UE). Student achievement information from 2009 to 2013 shows a significant increase in the proportion of students gaining merit and excellence endorsements.

Māori students' engagement and retention has improved with more students staying to Year 13, especially in 2013. They achieve high academic outcomes, above figures for similar schools and nationally. Student achievement information from 2009 to 2013 shows a significant increase in the proportion of Māori students gaining NCEA Level 3 and UE.

Pacific student numbers have increased since the previous ERO review. The achievement of the Pacific students is comparable to that of their peers.

3 Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. It is clearly aligned to The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

Junior students study all eight learning areas of the NZC and senior alternative pathways have been increased. Teachers incorporate the key competencies in their planning and teaching practices. There is a strong focus on literacy and numeracy with an increased emphasis on meeting the needs and aspirations of individual learners.

Core values underpin all aspects of school life. Students at all levels have extensive opportunities to participate and celebrate success in a range of cultural, artistic, sporting and leadership activities. Students benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers.

Students are encouraged to be self managing. Those with special education needs are well identified and teachers develop plans to promote their progress and success. The school involves parents, whānau and appropriate external agencies, so that collaborative support is put in place. A culture of inclusion actively promotes student wellbeing.

The school has developed an effective model to guide teachers' inquiry into their practice. Middle leadership inquiry contributes to curriculum review, monitoring student progress, improved achievement and inter-school collaboration. The school recognises that ongoing implementation of its inquiry model has the potential to further enhance teaching practice and student engagement.

Teaching promotes student engagement, progress and achievement effectively. The senior leadership team and board of trustees are committed to maintaining consistently high quality teaching. There is an appropriate focus on using professional learning and development and appraisal to support ongoing development of teaching practice.

Regular formal and informal review promotes ongoing development and enhances the school’s curriculum. Student voice is an important part of this process.

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

Māori students achieve well academically and there is a clear vision for promoting educational success for Māori, as Māori.

School initiatives positively support Māori learners. These include:

  • the Māori Achieve team, a group of staff who support Māori success
  • the Māori Consultative Group, initiated in 2013 as a link between the board of trustees and whānau
  • Kahui Māori, a senior Māori students’ leadership group
  • Kaiawhina, a mentoring programme where senior students support juniors.

In response to these initiatives, there has been increased representation by Māori students in leadership roles, increased participation in the curriculum, greater cultural reflection in the environment, enhanced whānau engagement and ongoing professional learning and development for teachers.

The school is well placed to strengthen the inclusion of te ao Māori across the curriculum. To support this, the school recognises the importance in continuing to build teachers’ competence to respond to the cultural aspirations of Māori students, their whānau and iwi.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The board, principal and senior leaders continue to use evidence-based self review to inform resourcing and decision-making, and to reflect on school programmes and operations.

The school is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Factors influencing this include:

  • well informed trustees who capably provide effective governance and strategic direction
  • highly effective leadership with a clear vision and focus on priorities that should sustain and accelerate learning and achievement for students
  • strong, supportive links with parents, whānau and the wider community
  • an established culture of critical reflection and self review that promotes improved outcomes for students
  • respectful, affirming relationships amongst students and teachers that promote individuals’ wellbeing and success effectively.

As a school intent on continuous improvement, a next step is to consider evaluative self review where the focus is on how well what is done impacts on students' learning. Such evaluation should consider the use of indicators or criteria to reach self-review judgements.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code for the Pastoral Care of International Students. At the time of the review there were 25 international students. ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough. Effective policies and practices support the social integration and academic learning programmes of the school’s international students.

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Hewett House, accommodates 164 students, 17% of the school roll. It is owned by Napier Girls’ High School Board of Trustees. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

Key features of hostel provision for students include:

  • positive relationships developed between students and the hostel staff
  • clear routines and expectations by hostel staff and students
  • effective processes to monitor and respond to students' individual needs
  • regular and effective communication
  • carefully managed transition in and out of the hostel.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

9 May 2014

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Female 100%

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā







Special Features

School Hostel

Review team on site

March 2014

Date of this report

9 May 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

July 2009

November 2005

February 2002