St Hildas Collegiate - 11/06/2020

School Context

St Hilda’s Collegiate is a state integrated school with a roll of 450 students. About 10% of these students identify as Māori and 5% are international students. Over 33% of students board at Tolcarne, the school’s hostel.

The school’s vision is that students will become ‘future ready, independent learners’. Intended outcomes include that students will become life-long learners, develop resilience and wellbeing, and show compassion, empathy and social responsibility. These are expressed in the school’s valued behaviours as: ‘Be You, Can Do, Better Together and Explore Faith’.

The school’s current key strategic goals are to continue to:

  • develop curriculum design and delivery to enhance student engagement and progress

  • develop student wellbeing and achievement, specifically embedding the St Hilda’s Graduate profile

  • foster community connections to enable quality learning opportunities and to support the strategic vision of the school.

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board, schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas:

  • achievement in Years 7-10 against the New Zealand Curriculum levels in all learning areas
  • achievement in NCEA Levels 1 – 3 and University Entrance
  • achievement of International, Māori and Pacific students
  • wellbeing.

The school has made strong progress against the recommendations and sustained the good practices identified in the June 2015 ERO report.

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is very successful in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

Almost all Year 7-10 students achieve at or above expected curriculum levels. Similarly, almost all achieve NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 and most achieve University Entrance. Over time, the majority of students gain endorsements. Māori students achieve at similar levels to their peers.

Patterns of achievement over time show that almost all students make appropriate progress during their time at school.

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those students who need this?

The school is very effective in accelerating the progress of those students who need this. Over the past three years, all students identified as at risk of not achieving their relevant NCEA level did so.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Trustees and school leaders work strategically and collaboratively with staff, students and parents to realise the school’s vision, values and agreed goals. Leaders deliberately model and build relational trust at all levels to support openness, collaboration, risk taking and receptiveness to change and improvement. There is effective and transparent communication across the school community. Decisions are informed by a range of information, including diverse perspectives. Leaders carefully align systems, resourcing and practices to achieve the school’s vision for learning.

There is strong evidence of deep understanding and use of internal evaluation to drive improvement across the school. Leaders constantly search for what could be better for students. They systematically gather relevant data to know about the impact of key initiatives and to inform change. They ensure ongoing monitoring, review and adaptation of new initiatives. These practices contribute to well-considered and sustainable changes and developments.

The school’s curriculum is highly responsive to the learning and wellbeing needs of all students. This includes well-considered curriculum innovations to engage students in deep and authentic learning. The curriculum deliberately prepares students to be future-ready and independent learners. In consultation with its community, the school has identified the desired attributes of a St Hilda’s graduate and is in the process of embedding these. Leaders, with students, proactively investigate wellbeing concerns. The findings inform targeted programmes and initiatives to strengthen wellbeing and resilience. Leaders and teachers have very effective systems to identify and respond to individual students with wellbeing and/or learning needs.

Leaders have implemented strong systems and practices to build and sustain teacher capability. This includes well-planned professional learning that aligns with school priorities. As a result, teachers are using a wider range of effective teaching strategies to meet the diverse abilities of students.

Students learn in an environment where they know that leaders and teachers care deeply about their learning and wellbeing. They describe their school as inclusive and feel a strong sense of belonging and community. The school has implemented deliberate structures to build positive relationships between students, and between the school and parents.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

Through internal evaluation, school leaders have identified key next steps are to:

  • develop systems to be able to know about students’ progress and achievement in relation to the St Hilda’s Graduate attributes

  • continue to build and embed teaching strategies that respond to the diverse needs and abilities of students.

ERO’s evaluation confirms these areas for continued development.

3 Other Matters

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Tolcarne, accommodates up to 162 students. At the time of this review 158 students were living in the hostel. Tolcarne is owned by the St Hilda’s Collegiate School Board of Proprietors. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met.

The Director of Boarding is new since the last ERO review. She is working collaboratively with the board, staff, parents and students to sustain and build on the many effective systems and practices supporting positive experiences and outcomes for students. There are sound systems to manage and provide a safe physical environment for students. Students’ wellbeing and social and emotional resilience are actively supported through a wide range of staff and student-led initiatives and programmes, and through access to well-qualified pastoral staff. Junior students’ transitions into the hostel are carefully planned for, and positive relationships with their peers and senior students intentionally fostered. Senior students have many opportunities to show and develop leadership skills. They are appropriately encouraged to take increasing responsibility for themselves.

There is effective communication and coordination between the hostel and school to ensure continuity of care for students’ wellbeing and learning. Students’ learning is prioritised and supported in the hostel context.

Parents are very well informed about their daughters’ wellbeing and participation in the life of the hostel. They have regular opportunities to be involved in hostel events, give feedback on aspects of hostel operations and discuss their daughters’ wellbeing and personal growth.

The Director of Boarding and hostel staff prioritise continuous improvement and professional learning to enable them to provide effective pastoral care for all students.

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. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review, there were 20 international students attending the school.

The school uses internal evaluation processes very effectively to know about the quality of pastoral care and education provision for international students and to identify areas for improved practice.

The Director of International Students has used annual review processes and student feedback effectively to identify development priorities and actioned these in a timely way. In particular, structures, programmes and practices to support international students to orient to their new school, form friendships and participate in the life of the school and wider community have been strengthened and are supporting positive social and emotional outcomes. School information shows that almost all international students achieve the New Zealand Qualifications Framework qualifications they enter for. School pastoral and academic monitoring systems are very well used to know about and support the learning and wellbeing of international students. The school board is well informed about both the provision and outcomes of wellbeing and learning support for students.

4 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
  • finance
  • 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 Children’s Act 2014.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of St Hilda’s Collegiate School’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall Findings and Judgement Tool derived from School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success is available on ERO’s website.

6 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on its existing strengths in:

  • strategic leadership and relational trust across the school community, enabling the school to be highly responsive to students’ needs, abilities and interests
  • effective systems for internal evaluation that lead to ongoing improvement
  • having a highly responsive curriculum that supports students to be independent, future-focused learners.

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • developing systems to know more about school-wide trends and patterns in students’ development in relation to the St Hilda’s Graduate attributes
  • continuing to build and embed teaching strategies to meet the diverse abilities of students.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

11 June 2020

About the school

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.