Queen Charlotte College - 20/08/2013

1 Context

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

Queen Charlotte College is a co-educational secondary school catering for students in Years 7 to 13. The current roll is 357 students. A significant number travel to and from school by bus. It is a community college with strong relationships with local businesses and organisations. The aquaculture wetlab is an example of partnering with business to provide additional opportunities for students.

Thirty one percent of students are Māori and there are close ties with the local marae and Te Atiawa Manawhenua ki te Potau Ihu Trust. Staff are involved in He Kākano professional learning and development with a focus on ensuring that the curriculum is culturally responsive.

2 Learning

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

Since the November 2010 ERO report, there has been a clear focus on aggregating and analysing achievement data. Teachers have good knowledge of students’ progress and achievement and know students well. A key initiative, at an early stage of development, is a MAP (My Action Plan) for each student. These plans engage teachers, students and their parents in discussion about goals and next learning steps.

At the schoolwide level, student achievement information is used to identify trends and patterns and provide appropriate support for groups and individuals.

Information about the achievement of students in Years 7 and 8 is collated and analysed in relation to the reading, writing and mathematics National Standards. Mathematics results were of concern in 2012 and a specific Year 7 initiative was introduced in term 3 that assisted several students to make accelerated progress by the end of the year. The board continues to resource this initiative in 2013. The school has identified a need to raise Years 7 and 8 achievement in reading and writing.

Years 9 and 10 diploma criteria are used to assess students’ self management skills and key competencies. However, the school does not have a clear overall picture of Year 9 and 10 student progress and achievement in literacy and mathematics.

High percentages of students experience success in the National Certificates of Education Achievement (NCEAs). Level 1 and 2 results consistently exceed national figures. The proportion of Māori students who gain these qualifications is higher than their peers in the college and above national figures for all students.

The school has extensive NCEA data that is used effectively to reflect on programmes and support students. It is also used for keeping the board well informed and reporting to the community. There is a clear strategic focus on students being successful learners and aiming for and achieving their personal best.

To continue to strengthen achievement through the use of student achievement information:

  • teachers should more consistently use data to plan and implement deliberate, specific strategies to adapt teaching for students' needs and abilities
  • senior leaders should improve the collation, analysis and use of Years 9 and 10 literacy and numeracy achievement data to measure progress and set targets for improving achievement
  • schoolwide targets should be more specific and focus on students at risk of underachieving.

3 Curriculum

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

The school curriculum is broad based and responsive to students’ interests and needs. It is guided by a clear vision and values and makes extensive use of local contexts. Students have opportunities to achieve success in a diverse range of ways.

Students have well-designed learning pathways to meet their needs, aspirations and interests. There is a strong focus on successfully transitioning students into the work place and further training. Teachers work collegially to support students’ interests and needs and provide leadership opportunities. High numbers of students participate in sporting and cultural activities.

The school curriculum is strongly bicultural. Te ao Māori is well integrated into school routines and practices.

Relationships between teachers and students are positive and respectful.

Next curriculum steps are to:

  • develop a shared understanding of effective teaching practice that is clearly articulated and monitored, including explicit planning to respond to specific student needs
  • further integrate te reo me ngā tikanga Māori into teachers’ practice
  • increase students’ active engagement as independent, self-directed learners.

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

The school is highly effective in promoting educational success for Māori students, as Māori. Māori student leadership is fostered and celebrated. Senior leaders and staff have high expectations for student achievement and this is reflected in the high percentage of Māori students gaining NCEA Levels 1 and 2. A well-embedded tuakana teina mentoring programme strengthens student confidence and relationships.

School leaders seek and respond to parents' aspirations for their children. Māori staff and community members take a leading role in the daily life of the school. Other opportunities for students include kapa haka, science wānanga and student leadership hui at the local marae.

Success for Māori, as Māori is a school priority. Māori students have a sense of belonging and know that their culture, language and identity are valued.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

A positive school tone and culture are highly evident. A sense of whanaungatanga is fostered. Comprehensive, well-integrated pastoral care ensures that the needs of individual students are identified, responded to and monitored. Senior leaders and staff focus on the health and wellbeing of students. New students and their families are welcomed. There are clear expectations for behaviour and student safety, with respect for self and others a priority.

A productive partnership exists between the board of trustees and management. Trustees have a clear understanding of governance and management. Sound governance systems include planning for succession and this was evident in recent trustee elections. The board effectively resources programmes and initiatives that promote ongoing school improvement and student achievement.

The school vision is well enacted. The charter documents the school’s clear focus on successful learners, using data and technology effectively, promoting success for Māori, as Māori and providing students with a safe learning environment.

The principal has a strongly strategic and measured approach towards leading and promoting ongoing improvement for students. The focus on building and maintaining relationships and partnerships with parents, whānau and the community is very evident. Goodwill exists between the school and local organisations, agencies and local government. The community values their relationship with the school.

The appraisal process is currently being revised. ERO’s external evaluation affirms this strengthening of principal and teacher appraisal. The process should include more specific developmental goals and robust, evaluative feedback to support ongoing improvement.

There is extensive reflection at many levels within the school and the next step is to build on this to develop a shared understanding of evaluative self review.

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. At the time of this review there were six international students attending the school.

The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.

The school regularly reflects on systems that provide for international students. It is now timely to develop a more evaluative approach to reviewing the impact of current processes.

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 three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

20 August 2013

About the School


Picton, Marlborough

Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Male 58%, Female 42%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnic groups




Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

20 August 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

November 2010
November 2007
March 2005