Christchurch Girls' High School | Te Kura o Hine Waiora - 30/06/2020

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.