By Jake Beleski
Several of Wairarapa’s secondary schools have performed above the national averages in the recently released 2016 NCEA results.
St Matthew’s Collegiate, Rathkeale College, Kuranui College, Tararua College, Makoura College, Solway College, Ponatahi Christian College and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Wairarapa all recorded a participation-based pass rate of above 90 per cent in at least one of the three NCEA levels.
St Matthew’s and Rathkeale led the way as the only schools to stay above 90 per cent at all three levels.
Participation-based results take into account all students who have entered for sufficient potential credits to achieve the qualification by the end of that particular year.
That is opposed to roll-based results, which account for every student on each school’s roll in a particular year group.
Nationally, the participation-based success rates for 2016 were 86.5 per cent (level 1), 89.9 per cent (level 2), and 83.4 per cent (level 3).
Wairarapa College and Chanel College showed improvement from the year before, but both ended up with pass rates below the national averages at each of the three levels.
Kuranui College identified a successful mentoring programme as a key contributor to their continued improvement in NCEA results.
The school recorded another successful set of participation-based results in 2016, with 94.1 per cent of Year 11s achieving NCEA level 1, 94.2 per cent of Year 12s achieving level 2, and 80.4 per cent of Year 13s achieving level 3.
The numbers have been steadily improving for the school over the past three years.
In 2014, they achieved 79.5 per cent at level 1, 87.2 per cent at level 2, and 69.3 per cent at level 3.
Principal Geoff Shepherd said the mentoring system was the main factor behind their impressive numbers in recent years.
“We put it down to very close monitoring of each student individually.
“We’ve got a system so every student in the senior school has what we used to call a form teacher, but it’s now their mentor.”
Mentors are responsible for 15-20 students each, and are required to have regular conversations with their students about exactly where they are up to and how they are going.
There were “no excuses”, as students knew exactly where they were at all times, he said.
“The mentor says ‘you’ve got X number of credits, so where and when are the next lot coming down the pipeline?’
“It involves a lot of planning, and it’s something we’ll use even more this year.”
Mr Shepherd said, like most schools, Kuranui would like to improve their level 3 success rate, but that was easier said than done.
“Sometimes students choose not to do it, because they don’t need it in terms of their pathway into the world.
“We have to offer them a meaningful course so they come out with a meaningful qualification . . . level 3 isn’t that well designed for students not planning on going to university.”
Makoura College recorded participation-based pass rates of 95.0 per cent (level 1), 94.5 per cent (level 2), and 87.9 per cent (level 3).
But it was the roll-based results, in which they were above the decile 3 average and national averages, that principal Paul Green was most pleased with.
“That’s the result of several years of work.
“Without the work at Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 you can’t get the good results at Year 13.”
Mr Green said roll-based statistics were far more effective in defining where his school was at academically.
“With participation-based, you can be as strategic as you like.
“You can pretty much engineer a 99 or 100 per cent pass rate by simply withdrawing people or not entering people.”
Wairarapa schools’ 2016 participation-based results at NCEA levels 1, 2 and 3 (percentage):
Chanel College: 72.5, 74.1, 76.9.
Kuranui College: 94.1, 94.2, 80.4.
Makoura College: 95.0, 94.5, 87.9.
Ponatahi Christian School: 66.7, 100, 100.
Rathkeale College: 97.7, 99.1, 96.9.
St Matthew’s Collegiate: 100, 100, 97.5.
Solway College: 87.5, 95.2, 100.
Tararua College: 71.7, 95.6, 86.7.
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Wairarapa: 0.0, 0.0, 100.
Wairarapa College: 76.7, 80.9, 76.4.