Wakatipu High’s come a long way in six years.
In 2011, a damning Education Review Office report led then-principal Lyn Cooper to resign.
This year, Queenstown’s only high school has received an ERO report to rave about.
“We’re extremely pleased”, says principal Steve Hall, who’s been widely credited with turning around the school since his appointment back in 2012.
“It reflects a lot of hard work, ‘cos to get to a report like this, that doesn’t have any major ‘pull-your-socks-up’ in it, takes a lot of time and effort from a lot of people.”
The report, based on an ERO team’s visit during the first term, notes that, since the 2014 report, rates of NCEA achievement have generally continued to improve.
“In 2016, achievements at Levels 1 and 2 NCEA were well above national rates and above schools of similar type.”
The report says Wakatipu High goes to a lot of trouble to monitor individual students’ performances, intervening where necessary and informing parents.
It considers the school has “a rich and varied curriculum” that’s been reviewed ahead of the school shifting to a new Remarkables Park campus next year.
The school’s board of trustees is praised for providing “very effective strategic leadership”.
The teachers, it notes, are involved in a wide range of professional learning and development programmes.
It also observes “respectful relationships and interactions are strongly evident” between teachers and students.
The report concludes: “The school is well placed to sustain ongoing improvement.”