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Principal’s News – Term 1, 2019

Term 1 this year has been one of the most eventful and rewarding terms yet in my tenure as Principal of Woodford House. It is only now as we enter into a brief lull over the term holidays that I have been able to pause and reflect on the successes we have celebrated in the New Year.


Woodford House continues to deliver exceptional results year on year, and we were delighted to receive exemplary pass rates across NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3. Our Excellence and Merit NCEA endorsements were also outstanding, and they show a positive trend in Year Levels as students move higher up the School.

Woodford House also celebrated its highest ever number of NCEA Scholarships this year. A record 19 Scholarships, including four at Outstanding level, were awarded to Year 13 students across nine different curriculum areas including accounting, biology, classical studies, design, English, French, geography, history and painting. In addition, 21 Year 13 students were collectively awarded $242,000 in university scholarships for academic excellence and outstanding leadership, as well as other areas of achievement; this is yet another record.

Our academic success certainly provided a fitting commencement to the start of 2019 as we also celebrated the 125th Anniversary of the School. As the 12th Principal of Woodford House, I was honoured to welcome the Woodford House community, both past and present, back to the School to mark this significant milestone.

In 26 years working in education, I have not experienced an institution which connects the heart and mind so strongly. This special Woodford House connection was certainly palpable as we welcomed home over 1000 Old Girls, former staff, Board members, parents and friends throughout the weekend. The relationships and memories made at Woodford House are profound and immensely meaningful, and, as was plainly evident during our celebrations, they continue long into adulthood.

Our entire Woodford House community came together to celebrate our beloved school. We are so fortunate to have such a strong community and truly appreciate the enormous effort that was made by all to share this weekend together.

In recent news, an independent top NZ Schools list, released by Crimson Education in partnership with QS World University Rankings, ranked Woodford House at number 29 across all secondary schools nationwide. The top 50 list presented a review of New Zealand secondary schools based on their academic performance, extracurricular opportunities and equal access, with an aggregated evaluation of students’ chances of gaining admission to top universities around the world.

In regards to the methodology used in this ranking, academic performance was the most influential factor and given a 70% weighting in determining a school’s overall performance. Woodford House’s academic performance was ranked 18th nationally, taking into account university entrance rates, NZQA Scholarships (as well as CAIE/IB Awards), and NCEA Excellence rate on a per capita basis. An overview of the rankings report, its methodology and the full top 50 list is available here.

As a Home to Excellence, Woodford House is committed to bringing a culture of excellence to life across all areas of the School, whether academic, sporting, cultural or spiritual. Term 1, 2019, has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our academic success and commemorate 125 years of educating young women; and as such, the year is already a shining example and testament to our pursuit of excellence.

I look forward to sharing with you all of the exciting news and developments the rest of 2019 and our 125th Anniversary have to offer.

Julie Peterson, Principal