Rotorua Girls' High School - 30/10/2017


Rotorua Girls’ High school is a single-sex secondary school catering for students in Years 9 to 13. At the time of this review there were 548 girls enrolled, including 78% who identified as Māori, 8% as Pākehā and 6% as Pacific.

The school’s vision is ‘Crafting Future Leaders’. The vision is underpinned by a graduate profile that outlines the valued outcomes, ‘Ngā Pou Mana’ which recognise and honour ‘Mana Wahine’ and ‘Mana Wairua’. The local curriculum is based on the Te Arawa ancestress, Te Aokapurangi and was developed through extensive consultation to promote and celebrate Te Arawatanga and whānau and iwi aspirations.

The school offers a broad range of academic and vocational programmes and initiatives including sporting opportunities to support the aims and aspirations of students. Examples include the Future Focused Learning (FFL) initiative, the Teen Parent Unit (TPU) and funding from Ngāti Whakaue to resource initiatives designed to accelerate learning for identified students.

The school has a positive reporting history with ERO.

How well is the school achieving equitable outcomes for all learners?

The school is highly effective in its response to those learners whose progress and achievement need acceleration.

School conditions that are enabling the achievement of equity and excellence include a well-designed and responsive curriculum, highly effective leadership, effective teaching and learning support, meaningful partnerships with parents and whānau and strong governance.

At the time of this review, the school was well placed to provide the conditions for students to achieve equity and excellence.

School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparities in achievement. Learners are achieving excellent educational outcomes.

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

Equity and excellence

How effectively does this school respond to Māori and other students whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is highly effective in its response to those learners whose progress and achievement need acceleration.

Learners are effectively supported to make accelerated progress in literacy and numeracy in Years 9 and 10. School data shows that the significant majority of learners make sustained accelerated progress and are well prepared to meet the requirements of National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) by Year 11. The school has effective systems for assessment and moderation. Teachers make reliable judgements about learners’ achievement in relation to the curriculum levels in Years 9 and 10 and NCEA.

Roll-based data shows that the disparity between Māori, Pacific and Pākehā learners has been steadily decreasing. By the end of 2016 there was comparable achievement between these groups. Data from the past three years shows that the proportion of learners achieving NCEA has steadily increased over time.

2016 NCEA roll-based data shows that overall, achievement was well above national averages. In Year 11, 84% of students achieved NCEA Level 1 and almost all Year 12 students (96%) achieved Level 2. In Year 13, 92% of students achieved Level 3 and approximately half the cohort gained University Entrance (UE).

The school maintains detailed destination data for those learners who left school without NCEA Level 2 and is able to show that the interventions and initiatives enabled a significant majority of this group to access further training and employment. The 2016 leavers’ data shows that the proportion of Māori and Pākehā learners leaving school with NCEA level 2 is now comparable.

School conditions supporting equity and excellence

What school processes are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence?

The following school conditions are highly effective in enabling the achievement of equity and excellence.

The culturally responsive curriculum positively influences educational outcomes for all learners. It is highly relational, meaningful and reflects Ngā Pou Mana. It is future focused, prioritises learner wellbeing and achievement and opportunities for them to achieve success. A well-designed curriculum supports teachers and learners to develop cultural knowledge and understandings, and a strong sense of self, as confident and connected global citizens. Learners show they value their language, culture and identity.

Highly responsive teaching influences positive learner outcomes. Teachers make effective use of teaching and learning information to guide their practice to promote positive outcomes for learners. They are reflective and collaborative practitioners focused on continually improving outcomes for at-risk learners. Flexible and personalised learning programmes and assessment opportunities respond to learner interests, needs and strengths. Learners are engaged and motivated to succeed.

Reciprocal learning partnerships with whānaufoster informed learning pathways for learners. A range of well-planned approaches engage parents and whānau as partners in their children’s learning, progress and achievement. They are empowered to make meaningful and well-informed decisions about their daughters’ learning journey. Learners and their whānau are actively involved in goal setting, reflecting on progress and developing individual, coherent, meaningful learning pathways for the future.

Well-developed systems and approaches foster learner engagement, support and increasing levels of achievement. Girls who require additional learning support are effectively catered for. The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) plays a critical role in supporting and monitoring their learning and provides comprehensive reports to parents, whānau and trustees about the progress they make. Ngāti Whakaue provides significant resourcing for literacy intervention programmes for all learners whose learning is at risk. Learners are actively supported to make accelerated progress.

Leaders are highly effective in pursuing equity and excellence for all learners and Mana Mokopuna – ‘placing the learner at the heart’ is the key driver for change and improvement. They have established high expectations for teachers and students which set a positive culture for learning. Learners are positively influenced by the leadership role models they have. Internal evaluation is purposeful and closely aligned with the culturally responsive framework. Effective leadership contributes to a strong sense of purpose that ensures all learners have opportunities to achieve success.

Effective governance and focused stewardship prioritises ongoing improvement and positive outcomes for learners. Trustees have a clear strategic focus on raising student achievement. They have well-established, robust processes for ongoing internal evaluation. Charter targets are specific, aspirational and focused on those learners whose progress and achievement requires acceleration. The board receives regular reports on the progress and achievement of target students and this contributes to the unrelenting focus on achieving positive outcomes for at risk learners.

Sustainable development for equity and excellence

What further developments are needed in school processes to achieve equity and excellence?

To sustain and further support equity and excellence, ERO and the school have identified the value in supporting successful transitions for all learners through the Community of Learning/Kāhui Ako.

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

  • 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 theEducation (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 was one international student attending the school.

The school is providing pastoral care, quality education, and actively involving the student in the school community and has effective monitoring systems to ensure student wellbeing.

Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all learners who need it?

Learners are achieving excellent educational outcomes. School performance has been sustained over time through well-focused, embedded processes and practices. This school has successfully addressed in-school disparity in educational outcomes.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato/Bay of Plenty

30 October 2017

About the school



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Secondary (Years 9 – 13)

School roll


Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori 78%
Pākehā 8%
Pacific 6%
Other 8%

Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

30 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review September 2014
Education Review May 2009
Education Review June 2006