Academic success attributed to cellphone ban


Top academic success at St Joseph’s Māori Girls College is being put down to a cellphone ban.

This year the college features in the 2018 top 10 schools achieving University Entrance.

With 66% of students boarders, the Hawkes Bay school’s policy is strict.

“Literally they [the cellphones] are taken off them and not given back”, the College’s Head of English, Radne Adern told the NZ Herald.

Adern said day students are allowed to bring cellphones to school but must leave them at the office and collect them once school finished.

“The school culture is that we have to do well to make a better future for ourselves,” said Grace Hemara-Tylden.

Hamara-Tylden, now studying at Otago University, also attributes the college’s success to an environment more stable than other schools she attended.

Small class sizes also help, she said.

“The school teaches us to be comfortable with who we are and to be comfortable with being Māori, and that we can be anything that we want to be.

“Also, because it was a boarding school, we were away from home, and it was also a way of repaying our parents for having sent us to the school – we repay them by doing well.”

St Joseph’s Māori Girls College principal is Dame Georgina Kingi, and she’s known to run a “tight ship”.

“Miss Kingi’s discipline is something that is admired by the whānau,” Ardern said.

“I really think they like structure. They like to know what they are doing, when they are doing it, why they are doing it.

Adern says that although the fees to attend the Decile 2 school are $13,000pa, the school is not elitist.

She said there’s a waiting list.

Private girls’ schools feature prominently in the 2018 league table of New Zealand high schools.

Topped by St Cuthbert’s College, the list also includes Scots College, Wellington, ACG Parnell College, Auckland Grammar, Auckland International College, Diocesan School for Girls, Macleans College and Queen Margaret College.

Crimson Education compiles the rankings in conjunction with QS World University Rankings.

Crimson Education says it draws up the lists based on its experience in working with a global pool of top-performing students who year-on-year continue to secure admission to the world’s most competitive universities.


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