Dannevirke: Principal praises NCEA exam success

By Christine McKay -
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Dannevirke students received outstanding results in the NCEA exams. Photo/Thinkstock
Dannevirke students received outstanding results in the NCEA exams. Photo/Thinkstock

The outstanding success of Dannevirke High School pupils in last year's NCEA exams, is absolutely wonderful, principal Dr Dawid de Villiers says.

"We're all excited, but my staff are typical teachers and while happy our pupils have reached new heights, they won't be resting until we've achieved 100 per cent, which will be a New Zealand first," he said.

"At the moment we're analysing everything to death and looking at what we need to do to get to that magical 100 per cent."

Results show pupils in all three NCEA year levels reached higher achievement than in 2012 and it's the first time in Dannevirke High School history all three year groups have shown pass rates of more than 80 per cent, Dr De Villiers said.

"Both literacy and numeracy results were above 90 per cent. That's brilliant for a decile four school," he said.

"Literacy was at 92.5 per cent and numeracy at 90.7 per cent, both substantially higher than the previous year and way higher than the national averages."

With results far higher than the national average Dr de Villiers told the Dannevirke News he puts the success down to the way everyone in the school has pulled together to get a better overall NCEA result.

"Monitoring of individual pupils by their academic deans means we've increased feedback to pupils. For instance a senior pupil at Dannevirke High School gets 10 reports a year. Those print outs clearly indicate where pupils are doing well and where they are falling short.

"We also have catch-up classes on a Wednesday and pupils see those as a real opportunity to improve their performance.

"You know, pupils these days work a lot harder than when I was at school, because NCEA is so tough."

Dr De Villiers said the Dannevirke High School results include the performance of all pupils, including international students who don't begin their academic year at the school until half way through the year.

"Some schools do exclude those results, but we don't," he said.

Leading the outstanding NCEA results was Laura Sandbrook who achieved a scholarship in biology.

"This was a huge achievement and well deserved," Dr De Villiers said.

"Our NCEA results are not only good for our school, but also the Dannevirke community. However, you can't get to these levels if you don't have the support of parents and families because NCEA is demanding."

And academic dean Allan Carr agrees.

"Our school results were very good last year, but we intend to do even better this year. To do this we need the support of every parent and caregiver in our school community. At Dannevirke High School excellent teaching and learning is our core business."

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