Published: Monday, 09 April 2018 10:48
It’s been a whirlwind 15 months or so for Ngaire Ashmore.
Since her appointment as Auckland Girls’ Grammar School, Principal Ashmore’s been hard at work with transformation the name of the game.
“The first thing I wanted to do when I came to Auckland Girls’ was to look at how we could raise academic achievement, I think Auckland Girls is a school which should be right up there on the academic stage so that’s been a real focus.”
Ashmore empowered her staff to encourage students to be all they could be. And it’s working.
At the start of 2018 Ashmore and her team received the news that AGGS’ NCEA Level 1 pass rates had gone from 78 to 90 percent, Level 2 from 84 to 94 percent and Level 3 from 68 all the way up to 80 percent. An impressive start to Ashmore’s tenure as principal.
“We have tremendous staff who worked very hard at making changes to raise student achievement and we managed to do that, which is fantastic.”
“I think now we want to make sure that we are preparing our girls not only academically but to be all round leaders, citizens and contributors to society.”
“The students are the most important,” she stresses. “They are why we are here. Their parents are making an enormous sacrifice and investment in Auckland Girls’ so every decision we make and every action we take has to have them at the core.”
Ashmore’s hoping for more of the same through 2018 and all the indicators are there.
“We excel academically, particularly around the high levels of student achievement – Excellence and Merit endorsements in NCEA as well as scholarship examinations. We have an enormously successful teaching staff which is translating into high student achievement.”
The AGGS team is also working hard to continue to grow and develop its sports programme so that students can compete at the highest level.
“We’ve had that historically and my belief is that we can be up there again,” says Ashmore, who knows a thing or two about sport, being a former New Zealand waterpolo representative. “And the other area that we really excel at is identifying and supporting girls to develop their cultural identity.”
Under Principal Ashmore – who came to her new role after 10 years as Principal of Tangaroa College - Auckland Girls’ Grammar School is thriving.
“This is my second year teaching in an all girls’ school and I am just so passionate about girls’ education and how important it is. It’s really allowed me to concentrate and put all my energy into how we can develop girls. Their leadership, their opportunities, their contribution and just their sense of who they are in this world.”
While Ashmore’s goals are to keep accelerating the improvement at AGGS, she also has another quiet ambition.
She explains: “One of the things I’ve observed is that we don’t attract our local girls. So I want to let parents know – and let girls know – that we offer an outstanding high academic achievement programme, we’re developing and working on our high performance sports and certainly around our cultural, arts, drama and performance space we have a thriving programme.
“So if you’re interested and keen we’re very keen to talk to you about what Auckland Girls’ Grammar has to offer.”