Queens High School - 07/09/2017


Students learn in an inclusive and supportive school culture which promotes their active engagement in learning and achievement of personal success. Learning programmes and school systems are highly responsive to students’ interests, strengths and needs. Trustees, leaders and teachers are focused on continual improvement, and have high expectations for all students.

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

1 Context

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

Queen's High School provides education for girls from Years 9 to 13. Students come from many different cultural backgrounds. They learn in a very inclusive and supportive school environment which promotes their active engagement in learning and achievement of personal success. Some senior classes and facilities are shared with the neighbouring Kings High School.

The school strongly supports students’ wellbeing and learning. The values of manaakitanga/respect and caring, whanaungatanga/family-like relationships and mahi tahi/working positively together are highly evident in the school. All senior students participate in a well-structured academic mentoring programme. Other key strengths include very effective learning and pastoral support programmes and an active-education approach that uses physical activity as a context for learning.

Students ERO spoke with were very positive about the way leaders and teachers:

  • care about them as individuals and value their ideas and opinions
  • have high expectations for them as learners and believe they can achieve well
  • support them well to achieve their individual goals.

Since the last ERO review in December 2012, there have been two changes of principal. There have been other changes in staffing as a result of a fall in the school’s roll. Many trustees are new to their role on the board.

The school responded positively to the recommendations for improvement in the 2012 ERO report. A school-wide programme to promote and celebrate positive learning, behaviour and engagement is well embedded as ‘The Queen's Way: Respect for People, Place, and Learning’. 

2 Learning

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

The school uses achievement information well to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

School achievement information for the last four years shows:

  • overall, an increasing proportion of students are achieving NCEA certificates at Levels 1, 2 and 3
  • an increasing proportion of students are achieving excellence and merit endorsements at each level
  • the proportion of students achieving university entrance has varied over this period.

The school has improved the way it reports to junior students and their families about how well junior students are achieving against expected levels. However, it is not yet analysing school-wide achievement information for Year 9 and 10 students to know how well it is supporting these students to make sufficient progress to achieve at expected levels.

This school successfully engages a high proportion of its students in learning. This is reflected in positive attendance data and a high proportion of learners being retained each year and into Year 13.

Teachers use achievement information, including students’ own perspectives on their learning, very well to get to know each student’s learning needs. Teachers use this knowledge to adapt their teaching practices and programmes to better cater for the needs of students in their classes. Teachers share achievement information with students and provide feedback on what they need to do to improve.

Leaders and teachers carefully monitor and analyse a range of learning information to identify any students at risk of poor educational or wellbeing outcomes. Students are quickly identified and relevant actions taken to support them to improve their wellbeing, engagement and achievement.

Leaders and teachers have useful systems for communicating with each other about students’ engagement, wellbeing, progress and achievement. These systems are well used to coordinate strategies and approaches to lift achievement and enhance engagement.

Achievement information and student feedback is well used by leaders and teachers to evaluate the impact of learning programmes. This often results in changes to courses, learning pathways and teaching and assessment practices.

The board uses achievement information well to evaluate the school’s performance against its achievement goals and targets, and to know about the success of key initiatives to raise achievement. It is well informed about learning outcomes for all students. This includes receiving detailed information about how students not participating in national qualifications have been supported to pursue personalised learning and learning-to-work pathways. 

Next steps for school leaders are to:

  • analyse learning information to know about the rates of progress junior students are making and to evaluate how effective actions to accelerate progress have been
  • monitor and report on the progress and achievement of targeted groups of learners, including those not yet achieving at expected levels, and learners with additional needs or in alternative programmes.

3 Curriculum

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

This school offers a broad and responsive curriculum which effectively promotes and supports all students’ learning. The school’s vision and values are very effectively enacted by the school’s curriculum.

High expectations for girls’ behaviour, learning and achievement are explicit and consistently promoted across the school. Girls are provided with opportunities to participate in a wide range of academic, cultural, sporting and service-related programmes and activities. Their achievements and successes in each of these areas are acknowledged and celebrated.

There is a very strong commitment to the school value of manaakitanga/caring, respectful and supportive relationships. This is clearly evident in relationships at all levels in the school and is well supported by explicit expectations for teachers and students and well-considered school structures and practices. Promoting inclusive and equitable practices and opportunities to learn and succeed for a diverse student body are well embedded. Students told ERO that they valued the way diversity was accepted and embraced in their school. A strong school-wide pastoral care network responds promptly and effectively to students’ wellbeing needs.

Students are very well supported to develop the skills to manage themselves and their learning and to play an active part in the school community. Senior students have meaningful leadership roles which include leading a wide range of school activities and supporting and tutoring younger students. Teachers work closely with individual students and small groups of students to develop effective study habits and address any barriers to learning. Teachers regularly seek students’ feedback on how well their teaching is meeting students’ needs.

Teachers have had a sustained focus on the development of inclusive teaching practices. As a result most learning areas incorporate aspects of students’ cultures in learning programmes. Students told ERO that they felt their culture, identity and language were valued by students, teachers and leaders.

Leaders and teachers have strengthened the ways they communicate with parents and whānau about students’ progress and learning. Parents receive three-weekly reports on their daughters’ engagement in learning and have opportunities to meet with subject teachers and mentor teachers to discuss their daughters’ progress, learning goals and needs.

Very good use is made of a range of external tertiary, community and employment-related organisations to provide additional learning opportunities and to support the exploration of future work roles. The school’s alumni actively supports the school’s learning, mentoring and transition programmes. 

The next step for leaders and teachers is to:

  • continue to explore and develop ways to provide flexible and individualised pathways for senior students.

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

This school very effectively promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori.

Core Māori concepts of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, mahi tahi, tuakana teina and ako are embedded in school values, structures, systems and practices. The school has explicit goals and plans to support the success of Māori students and has put in place specific roles, programmes and resourcing to enable the achievement of these goals. The school has strong, reciprocal links with whānau, local runaka and cultural advisors to help it develop its plans and practices and to support students’ success as Māori. Students told ERO they felt their culture, identity and language was valued in the school and that they were very well supported to succeed in their learning as Māori.

School information shows increased achievement by Māori students at NCEA Levels 2 and 3 over the past four years.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Pacific students?

Pacific students are well supported to achieve success in their learning. The school has specific goals and plans for supporting and lifting the achievement of Pacific students. These goals are monitored and reported on. Students value the one-to-one support and mentoring they receive and the connections made with their families to support their learning. Families and Pacific community members actively support the school to provide opportunities for students to participate in and share aspects of their culture.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve its current good performance.

Senior leaders and trustees have developed a strategic plan that provides clear direction for the future of the school. The priorities for development focus strongly on continuing to improve outcomes for learners. The intentions of the strategic plan are well enacted by planned actions in each area of school operations. Trustees regularly receive useful, informative reports from the principal about the impact of actions to achieve these annual goals.

The senior professional leaders have actively modelled the school’s values of respect and open communication. They have deliberately built a positive culture of manaakitanga for the benefit of both staff and students. They have worked collaboratively with staff to:

  • promote high, clear, consistent expectations for staff and students
  • establish effective school-wide systems and structures to support students’ wellbeing and learning
  • plan and implement purposeful professional development linked to school priorities.

School leaders have ensured that a number of effective, well-established inquiry and evaluation practices are helping to build coherent school-wide knowledge about what works well for learners and what needs to be improved.

Trustees have some useful guidelines for carrying out their role in the school. They have undertaken training to build their stewardship capacity. They review their performance as trustees and their contribution to sustainable school performance.

The next steps for trustees and senior leaders are to:

  • ensure the planned reviews of policies and procedures over a three-year schedule are carried out thoroughly
  • strengthen guidelines and practices for teacher appraisal to ensure they meet the requirements of the Education Council
  • improve assurance reporting to the board
  • strengthen practices to evaluate the impact of actions to achieve valued student outcomes
  • improve the ways the board is assured about student and staff wellbeing.

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 eight international students. From time-to-time the school hosts small groups of short-stay students.

The school has reviewed its policies and procedures to be assured that these are in line with the new Code.

International students are suitably welcomed to the school. They are supported to be well integrated into the life of the school. Key staff members work with the students to identify their learning goals for their time at the school. Teachers support the students to improve their English language skills where necessary, and achieve their learning goals. Pastoral support staff members monitor students’ wellbeing and help them to have a positive experience at the school.

The next step is for reports to the board of trustees to be more evaluative, showing how well the learning and pastoral needs of international students have been met.

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.


Students learn in an inclusive and supportive school culture which promotes their active engagement in learning and achievement of personal success. Learning programmes and school systems are highly responsive to students’ interests, strengths and needs. Trustees, leaders and teachers are focused on continual improvement, and have high expectations for all students.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

7 September 2017

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



Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

7 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

December 2012
June 2009
December 2005