Teaching and Learning

At Sancta Maria College we highly value the professional growth of our staff.

Every Thursday our teachers are engaged in professional learning, which in 2024 has been strongly focused on designing classroom learning to incorporate the central tenets of Universal Design for Learning.

In addition to professional learning focused on ensuring universal engagement across all classrooms at our kura, over the past two years, Sancta Maria College staff have also participated in professional learning focused on better engaging Pacific students.

This is in line with a nationwide drive across all kura in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Working with both the Ministry of Education, and Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland, our teachers were able to analyse key findings from achievement data.

Across Aotearoa New Zealand, there is a large drop-out rate after students’ first year of tertiary study.

In 2023, at Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland, this meant that 21% of Pacific students, 20% of Māori students, and 15% of students of all other ethnic groups, dropped out of the university after their first year.

Clearly, there is a greater chance that Pacific students will drop out of university after the first year.  This gap has been consistent over the past 5 years, with, on average, 7% more Pacific students dropping out after their first year of study.










A further striking statistic that came out of the data we analysed was the correlation between external credits gained at Level 3 and success at undergraduate level.

When there were little or no external credits attained at Level 3, the students were far more likely to fail their first year (35% of students who did not gain success in Level 3 external examinations, did not pass their first year at university).

For students who passed 20 or more external credits at Level 3, the failure rate was only 5%.

It is clear that in order to succeed at university, our students must experience success in external examinations whilst at Sancta Maria College.

These success/failure figures are even more stark for Pacific students.

Nearly half of Pacific students who gained no external credits at Level 3, did not pass their first year at university.

We will be working with our Pacific students through Term 3 to ensure that they are best placed to experience success in external examinations in November.

This will set them up for success beyond school and a firm foundation for life-long learning.

Ray Green

Associate Principal