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Small Wellington school again delivers NCEA results

Small Wellington school again delivers NCEA results well above national averages.

Data published by NZQA shows that St Catherine’s College has once again achieved academic results significantly higher than national NCEA averages.

Commenting on the data, new St Catherine’s College Principal Steve Bryan said the school had done well at all levels.

“As with our 2016 NCEA results, our 2017 NCEA results have exceeded the national average and have once again exceeded the average results of other schools of the same decile (7) rating.”

Mr Bryan said one of the keys to the success was the small classes (15 on average), the brand new purpose-built facilities and the daily pastoral care provided by teachers to the girls, during whanau groups.

“The daily whanau time gives the teachers a chance to check in with each student and make sure she’s on track in all areas of her school and wider life. Any problems are identified early and students are given the support and encouragement they need.

“Students tell us they love the feel of the college - no one is lost in the crowd, and due to the small class sizes each student receives a high level of teacher contact.”

“Our vision at St Catherine’s is to create an aura of success and ambition for our young women,” says Steve.

He said the Catholic girls’ college nestled in the hills behind Kilbirnie had a small number, 10%, of ‘non-pref’ (non-Catholic) places, but that these were highly sought after.



The college also this month again jointly won the ‘O’Shea Shield’, an annual competition held between 17 Catholic schools drawn from Hawkes Bay, Taranaki and the wider Wellington area.

The competition, which is in its 72nd year, covered debating, junior prepared speech, scripture reading (in both Te Reo Māori and in English), oratory, religious drama, and impromptu speaking. The major award – the O’Shea Shield itself – was jointly won by St Catherine’s College and Sacred Heart College (Lower Hutt).

Mr Bryan said that despite the damp weather, spirits were far from dampened and that the mammoth task of welcoming and looking after 300 students and teachers from the 17 schools involved every member of the College community.

“I’m very proud of the way the students hosted the event and delighted with the result.”

Mr Bryan said that Ms Nan Walden, the Head of Technology at St Catherine’s College, had mobilised a talented army of students, staff and PTA members for provide high quality food for everyone. The logistics of this job rated an article of its own in the NZ Education Gazette this month, as Ms Walden was able to use this real life catering experience for her students to be assessed and gain NCEA credits into the bargain.

Mr Bryan said that this year’s joint O’Shea Shield win was consistent with St Catherine’s proud history of success in this competition. Last year, the College placed third overall, having won the Shield for the previous four consecutive years.

“In the past 20 years there had rarely been a year when St Catherine’s has not been amongst the top three schools in the competition. This success is driven by a small but dedicated group of teachers and old girls who put in many hours with the 17 senior students in the O’Shea team, to ensure that the girls showcase their extraordinary talents and represent St Catherine’s to the highest level.

He said the school was holding an open night on Monday 11 June [time] for year 9 students in 2019, and encouraged prospective students and families to come to see for themselves. He pointed out that 5% of places were available to non-Catholic students but that these places went quickly and that anyone interested should make contact with the school as soon as possible and come along to the open night.

St Catherine’s College – Wellington’s best kept academic secret
Open Night Monday 11 June (6.30pm - 8pm)
14 Upper Bourke Street, Kilbirnie, Wellington, 04-939 8988

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