Principal's Welcome Message

Victoria Kerr - Principal Kia ora koutou

Greetings to you all

New Plymouth Girls’ High School has shaped and influenced the lives of young women since 1885.  It is a real privilege and honour to lead this school, our school in to the future.  Our vision is clear:  to develop confident, educated young women of outstanding character.  This vision is timeless.  This vision is also underpinned by our core values of Respect - Whakamana, Responsibility - Haepapa and positive Relationships - Whanaugatanga.

Our school is based on traditional values with innovative approaches to teaching and learning supported by modern information communication technology.  We are living in a fast-paced and dynamic world. We need to be innovative and keep pace with change whilst holding on to the values and traditions we all hold dear. We do need to consider what our vision may mean for our young women in this rapidly changing world.  Relationships are at the centre of our philosophy – positive, supportive, collaborative relationships.  Together we can achieve so much and have achieved so much.  Our school offers a safe, positive learning environment where students are able to learn, work, grow, and achieve to the best of their ability.

We have a proud tradition of academic excellence and a proven record of outstanding achievement in sport, visual, and performing arts.  Our students consistently achieve above the national average and comparative schools in national qualifications.  Provisional results for 2016 are particularly pleasing with 94% of Year 11’s achieving NCEA Level 1; 94% of Year 12’s achieving NCEA Level 2; 86% of Year 13’s achieving NCEA Level 3 and 76% achieving University Entrance.  Twenty-nine NZ Scholarships were awarded to students across 14 subjects in 2016 with two Outstanding Scholarships in Biology and Photography.  Congratulations to all the recipients and their teachers.  A feature of the academic success of our students are the multi-level learning and accelerated programmes that enable academically gifted students to achieve a National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) at a level above their school year level; and the multi-level, diverse programmes that allow all students to achieve to the best of their ability.

Personal development is given high priority and leadership opportunities abound at all levels throughout the school.  We welcome international students and value their contribution and the cultural diversity they bring to our school community.

We are fortunate to have a dedicated, hard-working, motivated, and impassioned staff who are committed to the school values and vision and are striving for excellence. They are also committed to supporting all our students to achieve personal excellence and endeavour to do their best, respect each other, and work together.

Our on-site school hostel is a tremendous asset that offers quality residential accommodation for 150 students in a supportive living and learning environment.  We also have outstanding programmes and support services delivered out of our Careers Centre, Awhina - the Learning Support Centre, Wai Ora - the Wellness Centre, and the Special Needs unit - Waimarie.

New Plymouth Girls’ High School is a school that undertakes to ensure that the young women entering its gates will receive an education that enhances learning and is responsive to individual needs.  Our platform of traditional values encourages respect, responsibility and positive relationships. What we offer is a unique opportunity to be educated at one of New Zealand’s oldest, most prestigious State girls’ schools that is committed to the education of young women.

I will be consulting widely with the whole school community on what our vision may look like for the next ten years.  A highly effective school is a responsive, effective learning community with a clear vision underpinned by shared values, where staff and students are willing to take risks (calculated) risks and challenge themselves, engage in rich learning conversations, and not be held back by a fear of failure.  This vision needs the support and input of all stakeholders in the school community: students, parents and whanau, teachers, the Board of Trustees, and the whole school community.  These different ‘voices’ need to be listened to and heard and incorporated within the vision.  Therefore, community engagement and consultation is required.  I will be spending the first two terms of 2017 listening – I will consult with teachers and support staff; and create forums for parents, whanau, and community to offer their thoughts and ideas; and most importantly opportunities for students to also have a say in what the school looks like going into the future.

I invite you to join with us on the next phase of your educational journey by making New Plymouth Girls’ High School your first choice for secondary education.  

Victoria Kerr, BA(Hons), PGCE.