Taranaki girls stay at top of the class in NCEA

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 13/08/2014

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Taranaki's boys were behind their female counterparts and other males around the country in the latest NCEA examinations.

Figures for last year's NCEA results show NCEA level 2 and University Entrance, (UE), pass rates for Taranaki boys at 68 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.

University Entrance is the minimum requirement students need to achieve to be accepted into a New Zealand university.

This compares to national averages of 71 per cent and 43 per cent.

A total of 80.4 per cent of the region's girls gained NCEA level 2, and there was a 54.3 pass rate at UE level, compared to national averages of 77.2 per cent and 55.4 per cent.

The national overall pass rate for NCEA level 2 and UE is 74 per cent and 49 per cent respectively.

New Plymouth Girls' High School principal Jenny Ellis said she was delighted with her students' achievements, with 86 per cent of students gaining NCEA level 2, and 67 per cent with UE.

"It's really been the result of work over a number of years and the number of initiatives we have in the school, with strategic alignments, which has led to this result," Ellis said.

The school also had more than 100 New Zealand Scholarships over the last three years, Ellis said.

"When I began here, the scholarships were around 12 to 14 in a year. There's been a lift right across the board, with our gifted and talented and accelerated learning programmes."

Ellis said the school "does not conform" its students to their particular year level and the school has about 100 students sitting for NCEA subjects a "year ahead of them".

Francis Douglas Memorial College principal Martin Chamberlain was "very proud" of his students' results, with 85 per cent of students with level 2 and 54 per cent with UE.

"We're very proud of our results and the atmosphere of learning the staff and students create and value," Chamberlain said.

Equally pleased with his school's performance was Hawera High School principal Hans Konlechner.

Seventy-five per cent of its students have gained NCEA level 2 and the achievement was a result of new initiatives the school had introduced.

"There were two things that made a real difference for us," Konlechner said.

"One was, we started sending home regular credit reports to parents so they can see how their kids are doing early in the year."

But what raised the students' achievements were the extra tuition they received just before sitting for their NCEA exams.

"At the end of the year, we had a call back of students we thought were at risk of just missing out," Konlechner said.

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This made a big difference to the results, so the school is looking to do the same this year, with a "bit more experience", he said.

- Taranaki Daily News

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