St Mary's College (Wellington)

Education institution number:
286
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
526
Telephone:
Address:

15 Guildford Terrace, Wellington CBD, Wellington

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St Mary’s College (Wellington)

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report

Background

This Profile Report was written within 16 months of the Education Review Office and St Mary’s College (Wellington) working in Te Ara Huarau, an improvement evaluation approach used in most English Medium State and State Integrated Schools. For more information about Te Ara Huarau see ERO’s website. www.ero.govt.nz

Context 

St Mary’s College is an urban Years 9 to 13 integrated Catholic college in central Wellington. Students travel to the college from the wider Wellington area. St Mary's College is a Roman Catholic College whose faith is centred in God. It follows the values of Jesus Christ through the lens of mercy.

A new principal and assistant principal were appointed and began at the beginning of 2021 and 2022 respectively.

St Mary’s College’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are to demonstrate daily a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and nurture the cultural identity and strength for all ākonga, to walk as global citizens and that:

  • partnerships between the school, family and whānau and wider groups will be strengthened to enhance learning opportunities and future pathways for ākonga

  • the wellbeing of everyone in the school community is paramount

  • all school activities and learning and teaching programmes will serve to build the values, skills and attributes reflected in the college’s graduate profile

  • all policies and practices will be reviewed and redesigned to maximise learner success, including the removal of barriers for individuals or identified groups.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on St Mary’s College (Wellington)’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate improving excellence achievement for Māori and Pacific learners to achieve parity with all other learners at St Mary's College. 

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is leaders have identified that:

  • Māori and Pacific students have not been achieving proportionally as many excellences in NCEA Levels 1 to 3 as the rest of learners at these levels

  • small numbers of Māori and Pacific learners are enrolling and participating in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in the senior school.

  • in Year 9 Mathematics, a non-streamed student-centred approach to teaching and learning has led to greater Māori and Pacific student enjoyment of mathematics and confidence as learners of mathematics.

The school expects to see enhanced equity and excellence for all students through an increase the proportion of Māori and Pacific learners achieving excellences in NCEA and participating and achieving NCEA in STEM subjects. This will broaden their pathways beyond school. 

Strengths

The school can draw from the following strengths to support the school in its goal to support equity and excellence for all students.

  • Its commitment to equity and excellence which is closely linked to the college’s graduate profile.

  • The importance of the college’s special character which supports resilience in students.

  • Strong pastoral care and home school partnerships that foster family and whānau connections to the college.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • ensuring that there is equity of access for all students within the school curriculum

  • implementing the Māori achievement framework

  • identifying the culturally located pedagogies teachers are using showing students that their language, culture and identity are fostered and valued

  • student agency with digital fluency.

ERO’s role will be to support the school in its evaluation for improvement cycle to improve outcomes for all learners. ERO will support the school in reporting their progress to the community. The next public report on ERO’s website will be a Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report and is due within three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

16 November 2022 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement.  educationcounts.govt.nz/home

St Mary’s College (Wellington)

Provision for International Students Report

Background

The Education Review Office reviews schools that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Findings

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 established under section 534 of the Education and Training Act 2020. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code.  

No international students were enrolled at the time of the ERO review.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

16 November 2022 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

St Mary’s College (Wellington)

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2022 to 2025

As of August 2022, the St Mary’s College (Wellington) Board of Trustees has attested to the following regulatory and legislative requirements:

Board Administration

Yes

Curriculum

Yes

Management of Health, Safety and Welfare

Yes

Personnel Management

Yes

Finance

Yes

Assets

Yes

Further Information

For further information please contact St Mary’s College (Wellington) Board of Trustees.

The next Board of Trustees assurance that it is meeting regulatory and legislative requirements will be reported, along with the Te Ara Huarau | School Evaluation Report, within three years.

Information on ERO’s role and process in this review can be found on the Education Review Office website.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

16 November 2022 

About the School

The Education Counts website provides further information about the school’s student population, student engagement and student achievement. educationcounts.govt.nz/home

St Mary's College (Wellington) - 15/08/2017

Findings

The positive school climate, shared Catholic ethos and genuine celebration of cultural diversity means that students know that their identity and values are recognised and respected. The curriculum is inclusive. Consistently high levels of achievement at all levels in NCEA are evident. Enhancing internal evaluation is a key area for development.

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?

St Mary’s College is a state integrated Catholic secondary school, located in central Wellington. At the time of the ERO review the roll was 635 girls, with 22% identifying as Pacific and 16% as Māori. Students come from a large number of contributing schools, over a wide geographical area.

The school’s special character is founded on the Gospel values and charism of the Sisters of Mercy. The convent shares the same site and the school is proud of the history and tradition it derives from the Order.

Trustees and leaders have responded positively to areas for development identified in the June 2014 ERO report.

2 Learning

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

Leaders and teachers are increasingly effective in using achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

An appropriate range of assessment tools and transition information from contributing schools is well used to gather baseline data on entry. Students in need of additional support are clearly identified and information, including possible strategies and approaches, is shared with form (Ako) and class teachers and heads of department. Each student’s progress is tracked and monitored throughout their time in the school.

The recent review of the junior curriculum and assessment practices has led to all learning areas taking a common approach to using curriculum level assessment. This is enabling more effective tracking and evaluation of the rate of progress of individuals, groups and cohorts. 

National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results for 2016, show very high levels of achievement in Levels 1 to 3. Results for all groups are comparable to schools of similar type and above that of schools nationally. Māori and Pacific students achieve at similar levels to their peers in the school. Improving the proportion of merit and excellence certificate endorsements in NCEA is an ongoing focus.

The online portal and other e-technology enable parents to have immediate access to their child’s records of progress and achievement. Regular communication with families is supporting a growing partnership with parents.

3 Curriculum

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

The school's curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning.

The school’s philosophy, values and Catholic ethos are the basis for all curriculum planning and delivery. Students have extensive opportunities to participate and celebrate success in a range of special character, cultural, artistic, sporting and leadership activities. They benefit from positive, affirming relationships with their teachers.

The curriculum is inclusive. Students’ culture, language and identity are valued, celebrated and integrated into a culturally responsive approach to teaching and learning. There is a growing recognition of the importance of student voice in decisions linked to the curriculum and their learning.

Review of curriculum, including a major redefinition of the junior curriculum in 2015 - 16 to more closely align with theNew Zealand Curriculum, is ongoing. The senior school curriculum is under review in 2017.

A new appraisal system was introduced in 2014. Leaders recognise it is timely to review and refine the system to more effectively enhance professional growth and accountability.

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

The school’s strong commitment to increasing success for Māori students is clearly evident in daily practices, routines and interactions. Māori language, values and tikanga are evident in school practices. Leaders and trustees have a strategic commitment to enhancing Māori student achievement. Key supporting practices include:

  • incorporating and embedding in the curriculum, aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori
  • recognising and celebrating Māori student achievement
  • providing positive role models to encourage high aspirations
  • supporting and valuing the successful kapa haka group
  • promoting the holistic wellbeing of students
  • building culturally responsive teaching practices.

Growing stronger links with whānau and iwi is an important development goal for the school.

How well does the school promote success for Pacific students?

The positive school climate, shared Catholic ethos and genuine celebration of cultural diversity means that Pacific students know that their identity and values are recognised and respected. They are well engaged in the life of the school, participating successfully in all activities. Retention and achievement through to Year 13 is high. The Samoan language has been recently introduced as a full subject. The school engages Pacific parents and aiga through a group of Pasifika parents who meet together regularly with teachers at the college to support their students.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

The school is well placed to sustain and improve performance.

Trustees provide sound governance. They are well informed, ask appropriate questions and make evidence-based resourcing decisions. Trustees work collaboratively with the board of proprietors. There is a clear, shared understanding of the school’s special character, beliefs and strategic direction.

Leaders are reflective. The principal has a well-articulated vision for ongoing development and innovation. There is a deliberate approach to growing leadership school wide, and promoting staff development using a range of internal expertise and external support.

A positive tone and learning culture is evident throughout the school. Relationships are respectful and reciprocal. Students and staff appreciate the strong family atmosphere and shared values. Student wellbeing is supported by a well-considered pastoral and guidance network.

The school has strong relationships with the Catholic Church, parents, whānau and the wider community. They are starting to develop closer links with other Catholic schools in Wellington in a Community of Learning| Kāhui Ako.

School leaders and trustees have recognised the need to continue to further develop, refine and embed new approaches to teaching and learning. Effective review should enable leaders to evaluate the impact of these programmes and initiatives on outcomes for learners.

A well-established culture of discussion and reflection is demonstrated at all levels of the school. A next step is to develop internal evaluation that is data-based and uses agreed indicators of success. This should enable leaders to evaluate the impact of initiatives, programmes and interventions on student progress and achievement and better inform planning for continuous improvement.

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 four international students attending the school, including one exchange student. 

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough. Students have access to very good quality learning experiences, enjoy participation in school activities and are well supported by effective pastoral care systems. Student wellbeing, academic progress and achievement are appropriately monitored and reported. The international coordinator is working to develop a complaints process that meets the requirements of the Code.

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.

Conclusion

The positive school climate, shared Catholic ethos and genuine celebration of cultural diversity means that students know that their identity and values are recognised and respected. The curriculum is inclusive. Consistently high levels of achievement at all levels in NCEA are evident. Enhancing internal evaluation is a key area for development.

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

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

15 August 2017

About the School 

Location

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

286

School type

Integrated Secondary (Years 9 to 13)

School roll

635

Number of international students

4

Gender composition

Female 100%

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Asian
Other ethnic groups

16%
45% 
22%
14%
3%

Review team on site

June 2017

Date of this report

15 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review
Education Review
Education Review

June 2014
July 2011
August 2008