Stephanie is a senior reporter for the Rotorua Daily Post.

Schools boost NCEA rates

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Most Rotorua secondary schools had an increase in their overall achievement percentage across at least one year level.
Most Rotorua secondary schools had an increase in their overall achievement percentage across at least one year level.

Rotorua secondary students have fared well in the 2015 NCEA exams with most schools seeing an increase in their overall achievement percentage across at least one year level.

The 2015 data was released to the public last week by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata saw improvements in student achievement rates across all three year levels, but the largest was a 26 per cent increase in students achieving Level 3, going from 64 per cent to 90 per cent.

Principal Cathy Dewes was "over the moon" with the improvements but said the school would not stop there.

"Our goal is to get 100 per cent across all the year levels. We aim for perfection in order to achieve excellence."

Ms Dewes said the school's success could be partly attributed to tailoring the curriculum to suit the students' needs.

"Every year we introduce new standards that provide credits towards gaining NCEA. We look for standards with high student interest and relevant to our community.

"It comes down to tailoring our curriculum to suit each individual student."

She said the commitment of teachers and whanau to the education of the students was also a contributing factor to their improvement.

Rotorua Girls' High School principal Ally Gibbons agreed, saying the school had a partnership with whanau to provide students with as much support as they needed. Her school also saw a big jump in its Level 3 outcomes, increasing 22 per cent from 2014 to 2015.

"We are thrilled with our Level 3 results in particular, but we were really pleased across the board. It all comes down to the tireless work of everyone at the school and the commitment that goes into helping our girls achieve."

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Koutu was the only school in Rotorua to achieve 100 per cent pass rates in more than one year level. But the school did see a drop of 13 per cent in achievement rates for Level 3 students, going from 83 per cent pass rate in 2014 to 70 per cent in 2015.

Principal Uenuku Fairhall said he was "chuffed" with the students who achieved but knew where the school could tighten up to improve its overall results.

"We have a very small cohort of students so any time someone misses the mark it makes a huge impact. We do set the bar high and expect a lot of our kids and so they are used to that."

John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said he was pleased his school continued to maintain its high pass rate across all year levels.

"We are consistently performing at the same level or compare favourably to other decile 9 and 10 schools around the country. Our Maori and Pacific students are performing at the same level and in some cases higher than non-Maori which is bucking the trend and we are proud of that."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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