Queen Margaret College - 24/11/2011

1 Background

The Chief Review Officer has a statutory duty to report on the performance of private schools throughout New Zealand.

Section 35I of the Education Act 1989, requires the Education Review Office (ERO) to review fully registered private schools, and to report to the Ministry of Education on whether each school continues to meet the criteria for full registration.

This review report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

2  Criteria for Registration

Queen Margaret College is a fully registered, private Presbyterian school providing education for girls from preschool to Year 13. At the time of this review, the college has a roll of 635 girls. The preschool was also reviewed at this time and ERO’s findings are documented in a separate report. The college’s vision is for the girls to be ‘passionate learners, resilient women and future leaders’. Christian values and an international perspective are fostered.

Suitable Premises and Equipment

Sound systems for property management and maintenance are well established. Developments since the 2008 ERO review include a new junior school classroom and walkway. Building a new gymnasium and teaching complex is scheduled to begin in December 2011.

Teaching spaces, including specialist rooms, are well organised and presented. Student learning and records of their involvement in a range of sporting, cultural and service activities are attractively displayed throughout the school. High quality resources and equipment support student learning across the curriculum.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) development is a major focus. Ultra-fast broadband installation has had a significant impact on facilitating e-learning and communication through the college’s intranet. Students in Years 6 to 8 use personal laptops in classroom programmes. This initiative is to be extended to other year levels.

Suitable Staffing

School managers attest that they comply with the provisions of section 35G as being fit and proper persons to manage the school. In close partnership with the board, the principal and senior managers provide future-focused leadership towards achieving the college’s strategic objectives and annual development goals.

A key theme in the strategic plan is recruiting, developing and retaining high quality staff, with an emphasis on subject specialists. Professional development for staff is appropriately linked to the school goals.

Teachers’ e-portfolios effectively underpin performance management. A well coordinated induction and mentoring programme supports provisionally registered teachers.

Suitable Curriculum

The school’s curriculum is learner centred, with smooth transitions and clear pathways from Years 1 to 13. Students have strong frameworks for their all-round development and sound preparation for independent study.

Queen Margaret College places high value on global citizenship. Academic achievement is a priority, alongside expected involvement in sporting, cultural, creative and service endeavours.

Students in Years 1 to 10 learn through the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary and Middle Years Programmes. All Year 10 students gain some credits towards the Level 1 standards as part of an accelerated learning programme and all Year 11 students gain Level 1 National Certificate of Education Achievement (NCEA). A dual qualification pathway is offered in Years 12 and 13 with students able to select either NCEA courses or the IB Diploma. The Diploma, commenced in 2010, is a two year programme that includes a strong emphasis on (CAS) creativity, action and service, (TOK) theory of knowledge and an extended essay.

In 2010 students performed well at all levels of NCEA. Ninety-six percent of Year 13 students gained university entrance and 29 scholarships were awarded, including four that received an ‘outstanding’ endorsement. In 2012 the results of the first IB Diploma cohort will be reported.

Heads of department present annual reports to the principal and relevant senior managers. These reports review student achievement and evaluate programme effectiveness.

Parents are well informed about students’ progress and achievement. ICT developments including the school intranet and website promote effective communication between school and home.

SuitableTuition

There are many examples of teaching practices that foster high levels of student engagement across the school. Lessons are well planned and structured to build on students’ prior experiences through authentic contexts. High expectations for learning and behaviour encourage the development of students as independent learners.

Teachers use well-analysed student achievement information to provide learning enrichment and support. They make good use of nationally-normed assessment tools and achievement in reading, writing and mathematics is aligned with National Standards. Ongoing assessment and teacher feedback contribute to students’ confidence, self management and progress.

Students and teachers use a range of digital technologies with ease. The e-portfolio system is a high quality, innovative framework for inquiring into effectiveness and progress at teacher and student level. E-portfolios provide a platform for individuals to share information and critically reflect on the complexity of their learning.

Positive and respectful relationships are evident across the school. Well-developed pastoral care systems enhance the focus on holistic education.

3 Other Statutory Obligations

There are good systems in place for the school’s managing body to be assured that its other statutory obligations are met.

4 Other Matters

Provision for international students

Queen Margaret College 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 9 international students attending the school.

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

The school has a well thought-out rationale for enrolling international students. It has developed coherent plans and systems for monitoring students’ academic, pastoral and social integration needs.

5 Conclusion

On the basis of the information obtained during the review, ERO considers that Queen Margaret College meets the criteria for registration as a private school set out in the Education Act 1989.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services Central Region

24 November 2011

About the School

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

278

School type

Fully Registered Private School (Years 1 to 13)

Decile

10

School roll

635

Number of international students

9

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European

Māori

Indian

Chinese

Other ethnicities

79%

7%

5%

4%

5%

Review team on site

August 2011

Date of this report

24 November 2011

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2008

July 2005

April 2002