Christchurch Girls' High School -Te Kura o Hine Waiora

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Education institution number:
328
School type:
Secondary (Year 9-15)
School gender:
Single Sex (Girls School)
Definition:
School with Boarding Facilities
Total roll:
1235
Telephone:
Address:

10 Matai Street, Riccarton, Christchurch

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School Context

Christchurch Girls’ High School|Te Kura o Hine Waiora caters for students in Years 9 to 13. The school has a roll of 1259 students, 12% of whom identify as Māori.

The school’s vision is to empower and inspire the development of 21st century lifelong learners, and is linked to the values of manaakitanga (respect and dignity), whanaungatanga (belonging and relationships), aroha (care and compassion) and rangatiratanga (leadership).

Staff and leaders were recently involved in professional learning and development with external facilitators to create the new strategic priorities for the school. The key goals and targets for improving students’ learning outcomes include:

  • creating a learning environment that supports engagement
  • providing diverse learning opportunities for innovation
  • fostering authentic relationships for wellbeing and belonging
  • continuing to develop leadership and staff capability.

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

  • achievement in relation to levels of the New Zealand Curriculum
  • achievement within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • attendance and wellbeing for success.

Since the 2016 ERO review there have been changes in staffing and trustees. A new principal was appointed in 2019. The board continues to oversee the ongoing redevelopment of property on the school site.

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 making good progress in ensuring equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students.

Between 2016 and 2019, almost all students gained National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualifications at Levels 1, 2 and 3, with most gaining University Entrance (UE). NCEA certificate endorsements show high achievement at merit and excellence levels. In 2019, all students achieved NCEA Level 1 literacy and numeracy.

Students who identify as Māori achieve well in NCEA. This was especially evident at Level 2 in 2019. However disparity remains in relation to some other groups within the school at Levels 1 and 3. Raising achievement for Pacific students at Levels 1 and 2 and for UE is a priority for the school.

In Years 9 and 10 almost all students achieve at or above NZ Curriculum expectations in reading and writing. Most students in Year 9, and the majority of students in Year 10, achieve at curriculum expectations in mathematics. Achievement information shows in-school disparity for Māori and Pacific students in relation to their Pākehā peers in reading, writing and mathematics. This has reduced over time.

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

The school is accelerating the learning of a small number of students who need it, including students who identify as Māori. School data over time shows that most students requiring acceleration in Years 9 and 10 gain NCEA Level 1 literacy and numeracy, and achieve NCEA levels 2 and 3.

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 experience positive relationships with staff. Learning environments are calm, purposeful and well resourced. Students have access to a broad curriculum that aligns to New Zealand contexts and optimises their learning opportunities. Students are encouraged to think of themselves as leaders. There is a wide range of opportunities for students to demonstrate citizenship, contribution, social competence and readiness to learn. A tradition of high expectations, participation and identity is shared and supported by the whole school community.

Strong processes are in place to promote positive transitions into the school, and for supporting and monitoring individual students with identified additional learning and wellbeing needs. Students are guided and supported to choose and extend their own learning, according to their needs, interests and future learning pathways.

The school uses a range of assessment tools and identifies students requiring additional support on entry. Teachers use systems to track and monitor progress and achievement for students targeted for learning support.

School leaders are reflective, improvement focused and have established high levels of relational trust across the whole staff. Extensive work has been undertaken recently to develop the vision, values and strategic direction of the school. Well-considered change management is supporting the introduction of new systems and initiatives designed to strengthen school culture. This includes exploring concepts such as personal excellence for all. School leaders support teachers to develop collaborative practices and engage in appropriate professional learning to improve learning outcomes for students.

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

To enable the achievement of equity and excellence, leaders and teachers need to give greater prominence to culturally responsive practice to ensure:

  • a more consistent approach throughout the school to all aspects of te ao Māori, tikanga Māori and te reo Māori
  • that students who identify as Māori are supported to succeed as Māori, with authentic involvement of whānau, hāpu and iwi
  • appropriate support is given to Pacific students to achieve equitable outcomes.

These identified areas build on the 2016 ERO report findings.

Trustees, leaders and teachers should develop a systematic and strategic approach to internal evaluation. Teachers and leaders need to fully understand what is most effective in improving outcomes for students and the impact of programmes provided, including in relation to acceleration of learning for equity and excellence. Leaders need to report clearly to the board on how well the school has accelerated the learning of those students across the school who need this.

Teachers and leaders need to continue to strengthen and embed school wide teaching practices, including differentiation of learning.

3 Other Matters

Provision for students in the school hostel

The hostel is owned by the school and accommodates up to 110 students. Most students reside in the hostel from Monday to Friday.

The school attests that all requirements of the Hostel Regulations have been met. ERO’s investigations confirm that there are sound processes to support students’ wellbeing, safety and learning. Ensuring that students have regular opportunities to give feedback about aspects of hostel life would further strengthen the support provided by hostel staff.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code but has not completed an annual self review of its implementation of the Code. ERO recognises that the school has begun making progress on this.

At the time of this review there were 19 international students attending the school. The comprehensive, well organised and responsive pastoral care network at the school provides a wide range of support for all students, including international students. The school’s high-quality teaching and learning and robust systems help to ensure that all international students are well supported to achieve.

The school is in the process of developing a framework and deeper understanding of effective self review to improve practices that relate specifically to this group of students, particularly in relation to regular updates on wellbeing.

ERO’s evaluation of the school’s process for self review and provision of pastoral care, as required by the Code, identified the need to develop regular monitoring and evaluation of all practices pertaining to international 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 Christchurch Girls’ High School|Te Kura o Hine Waiora’s performance in achieving valued outcomes for its students is: Well placed.

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 existing strengths in:

  • a broad and well-resourced curriculum that engages students in their learning
  • a collaborative and relational leadership team that is improvement focused
  • a school culture that supports achievement and student wellbeing.

Next steps

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

  • providing a more consistent approach to all aspects of culturally responsive practice to ensure equitable outcomes for all learners, particularly those who identify as Māori and Pacific
  • implementing a more strategic and systematic approach to internal evaluation to know the effectiveness of initiatives aimed at providing equity and excellence for all students
  • ensuring adequate reporting to the board in relation to accelerated learning
  • ensuring that school-wide teaching practices support opportunities for students to have greater agency over all aspects of their learning.

Recommendations to other agencies

In relation to Pastoral Care of International Students:

ERO recommends that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as Administrator of the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 follows up with the school its implementation of ongoing, evaluative self review.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

30 June 2020

About the school

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

Findings

Christchurch Girls’ High has a longstanding tradition of education for girls. There is a culture of high expectations for positive outcomes for all students. Levels of achievement have remained significantly high over time. The school’s new vision embraces tradition, innovation and excellence. The board and principal work well together and have actively advocated for improved facilities.

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?

Christchurch Girls’ High School remains a high-performing school and has made significant progress since the last full ERO evaluation in 2012. The reconsidered vision strategically positions the school for the future by building on its longstanding traditions while also embracing innovation and excellence.

The recent addition of the school’s name in Māori – Te Kura o Hine Waiora - provides a meaningful opportunity to integrate the history of the local area into the school’s culture and curriculum programmes.

The school has sustained a positive culture for learning and achievement, with a focus on a holistic approach to education. Students continue to demonstrate pride in their school.

At the time of the ERO evaluation, major building redevelopment had begun. The board and principal have strongly advocated for facilities that best promote the school’s vision.

2 Learning

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

The school is using achievement and other information effectively to make positive changes to student engagement, progress and achievement.

Students’ learning strengths and needs are well identified upon entry to the school. Their progress is regularly monitored across junior and senior years. Within subject areas, teachers adapt aspects of learning programmes to better meet students’ identified needs. Learning support leaders provide a good range of opportunities for students who need to improve their literacy and numeracy skills, especially at junior levels.

The school’s Year 9 and 10 information shows that:

  • the majority of students in Year 9 make satisfactory to very good progress in their learning
  • by the end of Year 10, most students are well placed to achieve success in their Year 11 National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) programmes.

Senior student achievement information, over time, reflects sustained levels of student success. This includes:

  • consistently high roll-based achievement across NCEA Levels 1-3 that is significantly higher than national comparisons
  • very high achievement in literacy and numeracy
  • almost all girls leaving the school with the NCEA Level 2 qualification.

The shared commitment to excellence across the school community remains very evident. School leaders and teachers are focused on continuing to raise the quality of qualifications through an increased number of excellence endorsements, especially at NCEA Level 2. Achievement data for 2015 shows that the success of Māori students noticeably improved across all NCEA levels.

Students are well supported in their learning by teachers. Settled and purposeful learning environments promote student engagement and understanding of learning. The effective support students receive when they transition into the school helps them to develop a sense of belonging and positive attitudes to learning and achievement.

Senior leaders closely scrutinise progress and achievement information from all learning areas. They keep the board well informed about achievement and progress towards school goals and targets. This is helping the board to understand learning and achievement, and to make relevant resourcing decisions.

Next step

Since the 2012 ERO evaluation, there has been some broadening of assessment opportunities for students. ERO recommends that curriculum leaders and teachers continue to develop this range of assessment approaches so that the diverse learning needs of students are further supported.

3 Curriculum

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

The school’s curriculum effectively promotes and supports student learning. A culture of high expectations for successful outcomes for all students continues to be a defining feature of the school. A wide range of learning opportunities within and beyond the school across academic, sporting and cultural codes contributes to the very good level of student participation in these areas.

Students benefit from the strong support teachers and curriculum leaders provide for their learning interests and programmes. Within learning areas, leaders and teachers work collaboratively to support and strengthen individual students’ learning needs.

Some new senior courses have been added to the school’s curriculum. This is beginning to widen the range of options available to students, especially those for whom more practically-based programmes promote educational success and expanding career opportunities.

Students benefit from the range of appropriate pastoral care. The current review of pastoral systems is aimed at strengthening support for girls’ wellbeing and learning progress.

The gradual implementation of a range of digital technologies is being well considered. School leaders are focused on ensuring that digital tools are used well in teaching and learning programmes. The school’s e-learning leadership and strategy provide clear directions for ongoing development in this area.

The school’s career programme is at the early stage of development. Current and planned improvements are likely to considerably strengthen and broaden learning and career opportunities for students.

Senior leaders and teachers ensure that there are ongoing opportunities to acknowledge and celebrate students’ successes across academic, sporting and cultural areas.

Next steps

In consultation with curriculum leaders and teachers, school leaders should:

  • strengthen opportunities for teachers’ collaboration across learning areas to share good practice and increase all students’ understanding of themselves as learners 
  • increase meaningful opportunities for the learning support programme to be more fully integrated into the school’s curriculum, planning and direction.

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

A number of improvements have been made to the ways Māori culture is reflected in the school. A new room has been established for Māori and Pacific students to meet and study. Māori students have regular opportunities to be involved in a range of cultural events and activities.

School leaders have re-established links with the local rūnanga. Whānau hui continue to be an important opportunity for Māori parents to contribute their ideas and suggestions for improvements that promote success for Māori, as Māori.

Next steps

In consultation with Māori students and their parents, senior leaders should develop and implement a Māori action plan that identifies key priorities and goals for development, including the use of te reo Māori across all classrooms. Progress towards these goals should be regularly evaluated and reported to the board and Whānau Hui group.

A planned approach to meeting the needs of Pacific students should also be implemented, regularly evaluated and reported in a way that is manageable for school leaders and teachers.

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 performance. The board, leaders and teachers are strongly focused on continuous improvement and ensuring high outcomes for student learning and achievement.

Trustees bring a diverse range of skills, experience and expertise to their role as stewards of the school. They are well informed about student achievement and school operations. The principal and board have positive relationships and work closely together. They are proactively managing major school developments and have good systems for promoting physical safety within the school.

The principal provides strong leadership and has a clear vision for the school’s strategic direction. The newly-developed vision retains the rich traditions of the school, while embracing the future. The principal is well supported by senior leaders. This senior leadership team is focused on providing an environment and conditions conducive to meeting school goals and targets.

School leaders and teachers have positive learning relationships with parents. They have extended the ways they communicate with parents and whānau to share information about girls’ learning and achievement.

The principal and school leaders have developed an improved process for teacher appraisal and inquiry into teaching practice. This new process is well considered, based on research, and has student learning at the centre.

Next step

The principal and senior leaders regularly gather a wide range of feedback from staff, students and the community about aspects of school programmes and operation. The school’s approach to making use of this information needs to be more evaluative. The board and senior leaders should:

  • develop a more strategic framework for evaluating the effectiveness and impact of programmes and initiatives designed to meet school priorities
  • extend the scope of evaluation to include the effectiveness of appraisal, governance and school leadership.

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, none of whom were exchange students. The school provides good quality pastoral care and education for international students. Their education includes a focus on achieving NCEA literacy credits. Students are well integrated into the school, including participation in an International Club.

The school has robust systems for managing international students and for reviewing its performance against the latest revision of the Code. 

Provision for students in the school hostel

The school hostel, Acland House, accommodates 108 students, 10% of the school roll. It is owned by the Christchurch Girls’ High School Board of Trustees. The hostel owner has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met. Recent reconstruction and restoration of the original homestead has resulted in high quality spaces for administration, dining and junior girls, while still preserving the character of the original building.

The hostel is characterised by:

  • effective relationships within the hostel and between the hostel and school
  • an emphasis on students’ safety, welfare and care
  • an attractive environment that supports students’ learning.

This is achieved through:

  • well established governance, including a strong policy base and strategic planning
  • efficient and effective administration, including computer-based management practices
  • regular communication with parents, including well-analysed surveys
  • caring relationships between staff and students and between senior and junior students.

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

Christchurch Girls’ High has a longstanding tradition of education for girls. There is a culture of high expectations for positive outcomes for all students. Levels of achievement have remained significantly high over time. The school’s new vision embraces tradition, innovation and excellence. The board and principal work well together and have actively advocated for improved facilities.

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

Lesley Patterson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

9 August 2016

About the School 

Location

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

328

School type

Secondary (Years 7 to 13)

School roll

1089

Number of international students

20

Gender composition

Females 100%

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Māori
Asian
Pacific
Other Ethnicities

76%
10%
10%
  3%
  1%

Special Features

School Hostel-Acland House

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

9 August 2016

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review
Education Review
Supplementary Review

August 2014
August 2012
November 2008