We are again very proud of the academic results achieved by our students in 2023. NZQA data shows that St Mary's College students consistently perform well above the national average for all New Zealand schools, including other girls' schools.
In 2023, our achievement rates for Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 were above 94% at each level. At each of these levels over 70% of students achieved their respective qualifications with a Merit or Excellence Endorsement. Our Māori and Pasifika achievement is also very high.
The graphs below are generated by NZQA at the beginning of February and show St Mary's academic results (blue) compared with the national rates (red) and schools with a similar equity index rating (green). It can be interesting to see how results may be interpreted so we make sure we share our data directly from NZQA.

This is not just applicable to 2023, this level of academic achievement is consistent as is illustrated in the graphs. It is worth noting that 2023 was the first year since 2020 that there was no COVID accommodations for students. In previous years, these had included things such as Unexpected Event Grades, Learning Recognition Credits and adjustments to the number of credits required for endorsement.
Another interesting statistic is the continued success of St Mary's College students in Religious Studies Scholarship. 2020 was the first year that Religious Studies was offered as a Scholarship subject. Scholarship is a separate examination to stretch and challenge students. There were 67 Religious Studies Scholarships awarded throughout New Zealand, six of these went to students from St Mary's College. What is also impressive is that 67% of students at St Mary's who attempted this examination, were successful. We have continued to experience success in Scholarship since 2020, including an Outstanding Scholarship (top 1% of New Zealand) in 2021. In 2023, 6% of the Scholarships awarded in New Zealand went to St Mary's College students.
We are well placed to make the change to the new NCEA standards. For the past three years we have been piloting the Level 1 Religious Studies standards Each year we have added another subject to this pilot group, including Chinese and Music. We have learnt a lot as a result of being involved in this. All Year 10 students had the opportunity to sit the Literacy and Numeracy Co-Requisite requirements. Again, our levels of achievement are over 75% for each paper. There is currently work going on behind the scenes with the NZQA process. For students that may not have achieved this yet, there will be communication home shortly.
These outstanding academic results reflect the high standards of our students and staff. Teachers and Deans know each student, their story and work with them to achieve their goals. Achieving is part of the St Mary's culture. Students are guided and supported to achieve to their potential. Our smaller class numbers are an advantage to both students and staff who enjoy close working relationships with their students. St Mary's College teachers are specialists in their fields,  and students are taught by these specialists right from Year 7, which does make a difference.
Achieving is not just about success at the Scholarship level, it is about students stretching and challenging themselves to achieve to their full potential or demonstrating our 2024 Mercy Value Panekiretanga/Excellence. Some of the best anecdotes I have heard are about students who worked really hard to achieve their NCEA certificates and were so pleased when they did. Each person is on their own path, which is something that we respect here at St Mary's College.
St Mary's College is about excellence in more than academic results. Our aim is for students to leave the College as 21st Century Women of Mercy. This can be seen in contributions made back to the community, service, leadership and participation in a wide variety of activities. At the end of 2024 this was recognised by over $400,000 worth of Tertiary and other Scholarships being offered to our senior students.
Scholarships Awarded included those from:

  • Robert Ned Covich Scholarship
  • First Foundation  
  • Auckland University
  • Auckland University of Technology
  • Massey University
  • Otago University
  • University of Canterbury
  • University of Waikato
  • Victoria University Wellington

Congratulations to all students and staff on the 2023 results. We are looking forward to seeing what students achieve in 2024.