• By: KH
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Understanding our NCEA results in 2013


It can be difficult to navigate the statistical maze of the current assessment mechanism used in our secondary schools.  Our national secondary school qualification, NCEA, is rich with choice and flexibility, but that makes it complex; it does not lend itself to simple judgments about schools.  The analysis below should be helpful to our community in understanding our NCEA results in 2013.

NCEA Level 1

We were pleased to see that the upward trend in Level 1 results is continuing, and that 2013 saw the best overall standard of performance ever from a Year 11 cohort of students.  In addition you will see that this was significantly better than the national average and almost the same as the average for decile 8 schools.

The general lift in achievement in 2013 has been the result of many factors but there is no doubt that our academic counselling team is sharply focused on supporting students.  Students identified as being ‘at risk’ of non-achievement were provided with extra assistance, along with being encouraged to attend the school’s Homework Centre twice a week.  Teachers from all curriculum areas invested extra time before and after school – and this seems to have had a positive impact.

In addition there has been an improvement trend in relation to the quality of academic performance.  The evidence of this is in the number of ‘Endorsed’ NCEA Level 1 Certificates in the last three years.  You can see in the following chart that there is a strong upward trend for Merit endorsements and the goal now is to increase the trend for Excellence endorsements as well.

level 1


level 1 endorsements

NCEA Level 2

Results at this level have plateaued a little and, although above the national average, we should expect our students to be achieving closer to the decile 8 average.  Analysis is difficult at this level because the range and variety of courses available to Level 2 students broadens considerably to include qualifications from work experience and tertiary based programmes.   The mix of Achievement Standards and industry based Unit Standards means that the statistical breakdown of results is extremely complex.

However, again the quality of academic performance is moving upwards, which is a very encouraging pattern and one that our teachers are focusing on strongly.   The current government target is that 85%of all 18 year olds will achieve Level 2 qualifications, either at secondary school or in the tertiary sector.  It is clear that most of our students reach this standard while at Green Bay High School.

level 2


level 2_2

NCEA Level 3

There were strong individual performances in terms of academic achievement at this level last year but the cohort performance went against the trend of the last few years.  After a fairly consistent increase in Level 3 and UE achievement levels since 2007, there was a reversal of that pattern.  Of course there has been considerable analysis about the factors contributing to this, with reflection on course design and delivery and following up with school leavers by the careers and transition staff.

A key factor was that the cohort did not reduce in number significantly from Year 12 to 13, while in previous years the opposite was the case.  This was largely related to perceptions about the availability of suitable employment opportunities at the end of 2012 and an understandable reluctance for students to leave school without some certainty of the next steps.  In other words the programmes on offer may not have been relevant for a small but significant group of students.  This year we have further broadened some of those learning pathways to suit students who are not focused on University Entrance as a qualification.

That said, the quality of the results of those eligible for endorsed certificates improved, with 35% of all students studying endorsable courses achieving Merit or Excellence.   This is very encouraging and is strong evidence of the commitment to lifting academic achievement.

level 3
level 3_2


The upward pattern of achievement continues to be evident in our NCEA results.   In particular the quality of achievement is improving every year and this is seen as a crucial element in building our academic profile.  There is a relentless focus on making sure that lifting student achievement is central to all our professional activity.

Morag Hutchinson – Principal.