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Principal’s News – Term 1, 2018

Welcome to the first issue of Inhouse for 2018 where we celebrate student and staff successes, and provide an insight into living and learning at a leading girls’ school. I’m delighted to report that we have started the academic year as we mean to go on – successful and exciting, but also brave and disciplined as we strive for continuous improvement in all that we do.


Woodford House is celebrating its highest number of NZQA scholarships and another exceptional year of NCEA results across Levels 1, 2 and 3.

Ten national scholarships were awarded to Year 12 and 13 students across the curriculum areas including English, Accounting, Chemistry, History, Physical Education, Music and Design.

The 2017 Head Prefect and Dux, Susannah Hansen, received three scholarships including an Outstanding, which is the highest accolade awarded by NZQA.

Three Year 12 students, Madeleine Fenn, Georgia Trent and Emily Park, also received scholarships, which is a remarkable achievement. Read more about our results here.

At Woodford House, we encourage girls to strive for personal excellence in all their pursuits and, this year, we are focusing on cultivating a culture of excellence in every area of the School, from teaching and learning to boarding, the administration and the grounds and facilities that our girls live and learn in every day.

As part of this effective internal evaluation, we invited independent reviewer Lara Meyer, an evidence-based Educational Consultant to Woodford House, with the aim that her findings would assist in future planning and provide a focused approach to school-wide improvement.

The School Improvement Review assessed our school across nine domains of effective school practice including resources, data collection, teaching practices and school culture. The results highlighted a number of outstanding areas and the valuable feedback will be used to develop strategies to further enhance optimal student outcomes. Read about the findings here.

This focus on internal evaluation and continuous improvement aligns directly with our brand strategy. Woodford House has developed a new tagline of “Home to Excellence”, which you will start to see around the School as well as in our promotional material.

This tagline is the result of extensive research, consultation and experts working together to distil the essence of Woodford House in a succinct way that the entire community can be proud of.

The ‘Home’ affirms that we are first and foremost a boarding school for girls – a home away from home. We are also the only school in New Zealand to be called a house, not a school or college, making it truly unique to us. The word ‘Excellence’ comes from the standards we set, the results we see and the visions we have for girls’ education.

Staff and students have been encouraged to pledge what they are going to do to reach their personal excellence this year and to think about what a Home to Excellence looks like for them.

We have been overwhelmed with the pledges, which are mature and inspiring. These have been turned into art displays across the School as visual reminders of their commitments this year.

My own pledge is to ‘Be the standard you want to see’. I was inspired to create this pledge because I have always remembered the wise words of David Hurley, former Chief of Defence Force, who said, “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”.

I shared my pledge with the girls in assembly and encouraged them to hold me accountable throughout the year.

We hope you enjoy reading more staff and student pledges as well as the wonderful stories that follow in this newsletter.

Woodford House truly is a Home to Excellence.

Mrs Julie Peterson, Principal