I am pleased to report to the Paraparaumu College community on student achievement for national qualifications in 2016.
At Paraparaumu College, we largely use ‘roll-based’ data for both setting targets and reporting on results. This ensures that every single student who attends Paraparaumu College in Years 11-13 is included in the statistics for their level (i.e. Year 11 – NCEA Level 1, Year 12 – NCEA Level 2 and Year 13 – NCEA Level 3). This differs slightly from the ‘participation’ data, sometimes used in the media to compare schools. The ‘participation’ data excludes students who for a variety of reasons may not be entered in enough standards or may be deemed by their school to not to be ready for assessment at the same level as their peers.
- The academic highlight of 2016 was undoubtedly the exceptional results gained by Paraparaumu College students in the 2016 NZ Scholarship Awards. Scholarships are reserved for the top 3 percent of Year 13 students across New Zealand in each subject area. Paraparaumu College students gained a total of 35 awards, the best result in the College’s history, placing Paraparaumu College among the very best schools in the greater Wellington region for NZ Scholarship in 2016.
- Five of these 35 awards were at ‘Outstanding’ level. ‘Outstanding’ scholarships are awarded to the top 0.3 percent of Year 13 students.
- Paraparaumu College’s 2016 Dux, Connor Monk, gained seven Scholarship awards in History, English, Economics, Statistics, Chemistry (Outstanding), Music and Geography and was named among New Zealand’s “Outstanding Scholars”, with Stefan Przychodzko and Ozzman Symes-Hull gaining 4 scholarship awards each.
- Paraparaumu College’s Scholarships were awarded in fourteen different subjects but of particular note were the results from Physical Education where a total of thirteen scholarships were won, with three of these at the ‘Outstanding’ level. Among these, Beli Harvey-Broad, was the top student in New Zealand for Physical Education.
- Year 12 students, Cara Andres, Ella Bain and Tessa Thomson, gained scholarship awards placing them among the top Year 13 students for their subjects in New Zealand.
- Paraparaumu College’s National Certificate of Education (NCEA) results at Level 2 (Year 12) were also the best in the College’s history with over 88 percent of all Year 12 students gaining the qualification. The Government’s ‘Public Service Target’ is for 85 percent of 18 year olds to gain this qualification, so it is gratifying that Paraparaumu College’s students reached this target when they are in Year 12 (mainly 16 & 17 year olds). This result is significantly above the average achievement levels of other high decile schools (the 2016 national average for decile 8-10 schools was 81.6%).
- The achievement rate of Paraparaumu College’s Year 11 students in NCEA Level One (83.9%) was also above the average for other decile 8-10 schools (80.1%).
- The achievement rate of Paraparaumu College’s Year 13 students was the best performance in the past five years with 72.3% of all students gaining the qualification (83.2% of those attempting the Level 3 qualification)
- There were some gains in the achievement of Māori students at Paraparaumu College in 2016 particularly at Level Two where 90.5% percent gained the certificate. This was slightly higher than the achievement rate for NZ European/Pakeha students (88%) and Pasifika (77.8%) and slightly below the achievement rate for Asian students (91.7%)
Continued Areas for Focus
- Despite these excellent results, we failed to meet some of our ambitious targets for overall student achievement in 2016. In Year 11 we had aimed for a 90% (roll-based) achievement rate but only got to 83.9% . This was still well above the average for comparable schools, but not as good as we had hoped for. For Year 13 we surpassed our target for the overall achievement for our students, but average achievement rate was still below that of other high decile (8-10) schools. Some of the results for University Entrance were also disappointing. We have set more ambitious goals for Level 3 and University Entrance achievement in 2017.
- To a certain extent, we were able to close the achievement gap between girls and boys in 2015. This gap widened a little in 2016 at Levels 1 and 2 and closed a little at Year 13. Developing our programmes and the approaches which we take with boys continues to be a priority for us.
- While the results of Māori student at Level 2 were extremely pleasing, there remains a gap in the achievement of Māori and non-Maori students at Levels 1 and 3. In 2016, this gap closed slightly at Level 3, but grew slightly at Level 1. We continue to develop relationships, strategies and approaches to support our work in this area as well.
The overall high level of achievement of students at Paraparaumu College has been recognised by the Ministry of Education. It was great to receive this letter from Suze Strowger, the Director of Education for Wellington, earlier this year.
Gregor Fountain (Principal)