Villa Maria College

Education institution number:
326
School type:
Secondary (Year 7-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
816
Telephone:
Address:

21 Peer Street, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch

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Villa Maria College

Te Ara Huarau | School Profile Report

Background

This Profile Report was written within four months of the Education Review Office and Villa Maria College 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 

Villa Maria College is a Catholic, state-integrated school in Christchurch. It provides education for girls from Years 7 to 13. The school’s mission is to empower each young woman to determine her potential, live Gospel values, confidently embrace lifelong learning and, as a Mercy woman, be inspired to make a difference.

Villa Maria College’s strategic priorities for improving outcomes for learners are to:

  • enhance connections and relationships in the Villa Maria College community that promote engagement

  • provide a robust and future-focused academic programme, that engages all learners to strive for personal excellence

  • develop cohesive and holistic Years 7 to 11 learning programmes, investigating opportunities for cross curricular collaboration

  • ensure student literacy and numeracy underpins teaching to prepare students for lifelong learning

  • enable students and staff to build a Catholic community that lives the gospel values of Atawhai Mai, Atawahi Atu | Mercy received, Mercy given.

You can find a copy of the school’s strategic and annual plan on Villa Maria College’s website.

ERO and the school are working together to evaluate the impact of its reviewed Years 7 to 11 learning programmes on student engagement, agency, and achievement outcomes.

The rationale for selecting this evaluation is to:

  • ensure every student sees themselves in the school's learning programmes and is excited, enthusiastic, and curious about learning

  • prioritise hauora, increase engagement and student choice through more holistic learning programmes in Years 7 to 11.

The school expects to see improved Years 7 to 11 student engagement, agency and achievement especially for identified priority learners.

Strengths

The school can draw from the following strengths to support its goal to evaluate the impact of its reviewed Years 7 to 11 learning programmes on student engagement, agency, and achievement outcomes:

  • the special character, based on the Catholic and Mercy charism forms the foundation for learning review and design

  • the school identifies and responds to learners’ needs and there is equity in achievement outcomes

  • a systematic approach to reviewing and evaluating is used to measure the impact of initiatives

  • kaiako and kaiawhina are increasing their understanding and use of te reo and mātauranga Māori, and Pacific cultural competencies, so they can be meaningfully incorporated into learning.

Where to next?

Moving forward, the school will prioritise:

  • targeted professional learning to build capacity in learning design, assessment for learning, cultural competencies, and for teaching literacy and numeracy skills

  • designing flexible, future-focused teaching and learning programmes for Years 7 to 11, which are responsive to the needs of diverse ākonga, the local context and circumstances

  • monitoring student achievement, agency, and engagement data to measure the impact of the reviewed learning programmes.

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.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

10 October 2023

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

Villa Maria College

Board Assurance with Regulatory and Legislative Requirements Report 2023 to 2026

As of June 2023, the Villa Maria College Board 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 the Villa Maria College Board.

The next School Board 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.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

10 October 2023

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

Villa Maria College

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 and has completed an annual self-review of its implementation of the Code.

At the time of this review there were 25 international students attending the school.

The new international team at Villa Maria College is effectively using self-review processes to sustain positive outcomes for students and strengthen practices. International students are well cared for, well integrated into the school community, and participate fully in a variety of leadership, performing arts, and sporting activities. Students are mentored effectively to make the appropriate choices for their pathways and are supported academically.

The experienced International Director is working with the school Board to review and update the strategic plan for international students.

Shelley Booysen
Director of Schools

10 October 2023

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

Villa Maria College - 24/06/2019

School Context

Villa Maria College is a state integrated Catholic school providing education for 824 girls from Years 7 to 13 in Christchurch.

The college’s mission is ‘empowering each young woman to determine her potential, live Gospel values, confidently embrace life-long learning and, as a Mercy woman, be inspired to make a difference’. Its vision is ‘to do the ordinary things extraordinarily well’.

The key Mercy values are Manaakitanga – Hospitality; Whakaute – Respect; Tika – Justice.

The school states that its current key strategic goals include:

  • enabling students to build a relationship with Jesus Christ, by living gospel and Mercy values in all they do
  • developing learners with a sense of agency and personalised learning programmes to meet their individual achievement goals
  • building resilience by developing confidence and life skills.

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

  • reading, writing and mathematics from Years 7 to 10
  • achievement in the national qualifications framework
  • priority groups, including Māori and Pacific students
  • engagement and wellbeing
  • special character.

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 highly effective in achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

Most students achieve consistently well in reading, writing and mathematics from Years 7 to 10.

Almost all students achieve Level 2 NCEA in Year 12, and Level 3 NCEA in Year 13. Over time, more than half the students achieve NCEA qualifications with merit or excellence. Māori students achieve as well as their peers, and sometimes better.

Leaders and teachers are aware that there has been some inequity in NCEA achievement outcomes for Pacific students, and have responded in a targeted way. NCEA rates of achievement at NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 in 2018 show very positive outcomes for Pacific students across these levels.

In a 2018 survey, most students indicated that girls treat each other and teachers with respect, a key Mercy value. Almost all students stated that they felt safe at school.

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

The school has effective systems and processes for achieving acceleration, where needed.

Schoolwide data shows that while most junior students achieve at expected curriculum levels, almost all girls achieve the expected qualification at each level of NCEA.

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?

Students participate and learn in caring, collaborative, inclusive learning communities. Girls are at the centre of college systems, processes and decision making. The special character of the college is highly evident in all aspects of the day-to-day life of the school. Respect, empathy, relational trust, and cooperation are expected and exhibited by girls in class and in the wider life of the school.

Students have highly effective, sufficient and equitable opportunities to learn. Leaders are responsive to the views of students and the community. The curriculum is designed and modified to be relevant specifically to Villa girls. College leaders are aware of the need for, and are maintaining, the valued college traditions while embracing innovation.

Leaders very effectively and collaboratively develop and pursue the school’s vision, goals and targets for equity and excellence. There is clear alignment from its strategic vision through to classroom practice. College leaders model and expect a high level of professional reflection. There is a culture of continuous improvement, with leaders promoting and participating in schoolwide improvement initiatives. They have a strong focus on building the capability of staff through professional learning and support.

Student learning, wellbeing, achievement and progress are the board’s key concerns. Trustees scrutinise the comprehensive, well-analysed information they receive from school leaders and teachers. They are very well informed to make sound resourcing decisions. Relational trust between trustees and college leaders is evident. Trustees understand their roles as stewards of the college. They organise themselves effectively to meet statutory requirements. There are strong connections between trustees and the local community.

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

Leaders and trustees have identified that there is a need to further develop culturally responsive practice. While there are many positive initiatives in place, more could be done to recognise the language, culture and identity of some groups.

College leaders agree that it is timely to plan how to evaluate the impact of the recently-introduced AKO programme. Some issues that have been identified are being addressed through surveying students and teachers, and changing the timetable. However, school leaders now need to plan for how they will evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative in meeting its stated goals.

There is a need to continue to improve consistency of implementation of the appraisal process. The documented systems and processes meet requirements, but there is considerable variability in how teachers and leaders are completing the process.

3 Other Matters

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 the review, the school had 28 International students, 19 of whom were long term and 9 short term.

The International students’ programme is well organised. Students receive appropriate care and support to successfully participate in the school’s academic and wider curriculum. Communications with, and reporting to families are robust. The school regularly reviews the programme in order to meet the aspirations of students and their families.

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 Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Area for improved compliance practice

To improve current practice, the board of trustees should:

  • ensure that all managers and teachers consistently complete all aspects of the school’s appraisal process each year.

5 ERO’s Overall Judgement

On the basis of the findings of this review, ERO’s overall evaluation judgement of Villa Maria College’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Strong.

ERO’s Framework: Overall School Performance 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 existing strengths in:

  • strong collaborative leadership
  • effective stewardship
  • a curriculum that meets the needs and aspirations of Villa Maria College girls.

Next steps

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

  • further developing and embedding cultural awareness and responsiveness practices
  • the evaluation of a recent major initiative
  • effective implementation of the appraisal process.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

24 June 2019

About the school

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

326

School type

Secondary (Year 7-15)

School roll

824

Gender composition

Girls 824

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 72%

Māori 9%

Pacific 3%

Asian 9%

Other Ethnicities 7%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)

No

Provision of Māori medium education

No

Review team on site

May 2019

Date of this report

24 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review April 2013

Education Review June 2009

Education Review August 2005

Villa Maria College - 06/06/2013

1 Context

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

Villa Maria College is an integrated Catholic school for Years 7 to 13 girls. The special character of the school is highly evident in values and practices that relate to respect, excellence and service. A wide range of opportunities and experiences for students encourages participation in activities at and beyond the school. Reflected across all areas of the school is a culture of high expectations for achievement. This is contributing to very successful outcomes for students.

A new principal was appointed in 2012 and a new senior leadership team commenced at the beginning of 2013. Together with the board, they are building on past and current strengths of the school to continue to improve systems, practices and resources that support high quality teaching and learning.

In line with the history and traditions of the college, the concept of the ‘Mercy Woman’ defines relationships at all levels of the school. This contributes to a very supportive environment that encourages care of others and positive attitudes to life-long learning. There are a number of voluntary student groups at the school that support the work of various social agencies and charities.

Since the June 2009 ERO review, the upgrading of some buildings has led to improved facilities for students. Along with a range of other groups, the Parent Teachers’ Association provides significant support that reinforces the school’s special character and contributes to school goals and directions. The college is also involved with a number of local schools that are focused on meeting the needs of 21st century teaching and learning.

2 Learning

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

The school makes very good use of student achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement.

Students in junior levels generally make very good progress and achieve well, especially in English and mathematics. The school’s National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results show that students are consistently achieving at, or above, the levels of students at similar schools, and that NCEA endorsements are continuing to increase. Māori and Pasifika students are mostly achieving at similar or higher levels than their peers within the school.

Teachers use a wide range of assessments to monitor students’ progress. School leaders and teachers use assessment information to set appropriate targets that address identified learning needs. The next step for teachers is to extend the use of junior achievement information to ensure consistent use across all classes to guide and inform teaching programmes.

The school has good systems for identifying and monitoring the progress of priority learners. A gifted and talented coordinator has recently been established. A more formal process for identifying students who need extra support would further strengthen current effective practices.

Pastoral care systems are highly effective and well led. Tuakana teina relationships provide younger students with ongoing support from their older peers. This is contributing to students’ wellbeing and sense of belonging. Students are regularly asked their opinions about various aspects of the school. Student leaders told ERO that they felt valued, respected and challenged to achieve highly. They also said that they would like more opportunities for closer involvement in school planning and direction-setting processes.

3 Curriculum

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

The school undertook a comprehensive review of the curriculum towards the end of 2012. Senior leaders have identified planning and priorities for completing the review. ERO observed high levels of cohesion and alignment among the board, senior leaders and staff regarding these priorities. Because of this, the school’s curriculum is very well placed to promote and support students’ current and future learning.

The very good process used by the board and senior leaders to review the curriculum included:

  • a shared vision and purpose based on the school’s special character and the revised New Zealand Curriculum (NZC)
  • wide consultation with all relevant groups
  • extensive use of data to inform decision making
  • an action plan to guide curriculum redevelopment and ongoing review that includes comprehensive reports to the board.

The school places high value on a curriculum that promotes academic success for all students. This includes ensuring that school processes and practices are strongly supporting students to fully participate and achieve well in curriculum programmes. Senior leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that the school’s next step is to continue to broaden curriculum and learning pathways in order to better meet the learning needs, interests and aspirations of all students.

In the best examples of teaching practice sighted during the review, ERO observed:

  • positive and respectful relationships
  • meaningful learning
  • the use of a high quality planning template
  • quality questioning to challenge and extend students’ critical thinking
  • teachers making connections to real life contexts.

The principal and senior leaders have identified that their next steps are to continue to:

  • increase opportunities for students to develop independent learning skills
  • extend high quality teaching practices across all classrooms
  • strengthen learning partnerships by providing more opportunities for students to identify what is having the greatest impact on their learning and achievement.

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

The school effectively promotes educational success for Māori, as Māori. The school’s special character values are well aligned with Māori values.

Māori students are identified and their progress is well monitored. The board receives specific information about the achievement of all groups of Māori students and sets appropriate achievement targets.

The success of Māori students is celebrated by the whole school community. A specific award, Iho Pūmanawa, was presented by local iwi and is used to acknowledge individual excellence. Māori students told ERO that they feel their culture is valued by the school and that they have good opportunities to learn about it. The school’s kapa haka is well integrated into the school as a part of the wider community. Staff have undertaken professional learning to extend their understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori.

The Māori whānau committee, some of whom are trustees, meet regularly and formally to provide specific feedback to senior leaders and the board. They have been actively involved in the recent appointment of a mentor to work with Māori students.

Senior leaders agree that their next steps are to review the impact of teaching practices that are best supporting Māori success as Māori. This review should include:

  • developing ways to assess the level of te reo students have at entry to the school and how best to support new students who are more fluent speakers of the language
  • maintaining whānau support through to Year 13
  • ensuring that there is greater visibility of Māori values within the school’s vision and values.

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

The school effectively promotes educational success for Pasifika, as Pasifika.

Students and parents spoken with by ERO said that the school is a safe and inclusive place. Teachers monitor Pasifika students’ progress and achievement closely. The school has an effective mentoring programme in place. This provides students with an opportunity to meet regularly and share any concerns or feedback. The mentoring system is also strengthening parent consultation and support processes. A homework club was set up as a result of students’ suggestions. Pasifika students are encouraged to participate in cultural competitions and festivals and to share their culture within the school.

Pasifika parents told ERO that they are keen to set up their own committee and develop a Pasifika action plan. Among other priorities, this could include ways to:

  • further extend leadership opportunities for younger Pasifika students
  • give further recognition to Pasifika students’ achievements
  • continue to develop teachers’ awareness and understanding of Pasifika students’ learning needs.

4 Sustainable Performance

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

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

High quality school leadership and governance promote a culture of continuous improvement. The school’s vision and values are strongly shared by the school community. Teachers and other staff are enthusiastic about continuing to improve learning experiences and opportunities for students.

The significant improvement to communication made by the principal and senior leaders is ensuring that students, their parents and the community are better informed about school systems, activities and goals. This is enabling the school to engage more fully with its community.

Self review is very well understood and used by the board, principal and senior leaders. They use effective processes that lead to improvement and clarify future directions. Considerable use of external expertise is further strengthening internal review processes and outcomes. Self-review practices are contributing to sustaining the school’s high academic achievement and continued successful development. Improved systems for managing teacher performance and teachers’ professional learning have recently been introduced.

Senior students told ERO that the school’s special character and culture of high expectations are providing an environment that encourages and celebrates all forms of achievement. They said that girls at the college are very keen to achieve to the best of their ability. They also said, as did staff, that there is a strong sense that the school is moving in a positive direction.

In order to support increasingly higher performance at governance and senior leadership levels, the next steps for the board and senior leaders could include:

  • an annual review of each group’s own effectiveness in relation to progress towards the school’s vision and long-term goals
  • further use of anonymous surveys of staff and students as part of the board’s role as a good employer.

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. At the time of this review there were 12 international students attending the school.

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

ERO’s investigations confirmed that the school’s self-review process for international students is thorough.

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.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

6 June 2013

About the School

Location

Upper Riccarton, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

326

School type

Integrated Secondary (Years 7 to 15)

School roll

743

Number of international students

12

Gender composition

Girls 100%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand/Pākehā

Māori

Samoan

Other Pacific

Asian

Other Ethnicities

76%

8%

1%

2%

6%

7%

Review team on site

April 2013

Date of this report

6 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

June 2009

August 2005

June 2002