From The Principal

Welcome to our new academic school year, and a special welcome to our 222 new students who have joined our learning community. Although the school year did not start last week as planned, it has been great to see everyone back on site over the last few days.

To those who have been impacted by the weather events and flooding, if there is anything that the College can support you with, please do not hesitate to reach out and let us know.  Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who have been severely impacted, displaced and face ongoing challenges and uncertainty as a result of the flooding.

On Tuesday most of our new students to our community were welcomed and spent time getting to know each other with the support of our student leaders, tuakana leaders and teachers.  To everyone involved in the planning and running of the day, thank you.  Thank you for your time, your energy, your guidance and support in making sure that by the end of our new students’ first day, they left feeling a part of Carmel and were excited to come back the next day.  There is something really special about being a student at Carmel College. 

Of our new students, 205 have come from 64 schools across New Zealand; 5 students are new to New Zealand, coming from Canada, South Africa and the Philippines; and we have 12 international students from China, South Korea, Singapore and Japan.

At our mihi whakatau on Wednesday, I challenged our students to be the best they can be, and to get the most from their time at the College, from the classroom to providing service to others in the wider community, from the arts and cultural stages, to the sports courts and fields.  Our young women need to make the most of each day, do the ordinary, extraordinarily well and know that they are part of the Carmel community, and that they belong. 

At Carmel we want education to open opportunities and pathways for our young women, so that when they leave they are empowered to challenge and shape their future whilst being women who live by our Mercy values.  Women of Carmel are compassionate and respectful, they seek justice for others and themselves, and they have the courage to pursue their ambitions.

In the coming weeks, once NCEA results are finalised, we will be having our Scholar’s assembly.  However, it is important to acknowledge the 2022 NCEA results as they currently stand.

  • 96% of our NCEA Level 1 students gained this qualification, with 52% of the year group achieving NCEA Level 1 with Excellence, and a further 31% gained it with Merit.
  • 90% of our NCEA Level 2 students gained this qualification, with 57% of the year group achieving NCEA Level 2 with Excellence, and a further 22% gained it with Merit.
  • 95% of our NCEA Level 3 students gained this qualification, with 39% of the year group achieving NCEA Level 3 with Excellence, and a further 36% gained it with Merit.  87% of Level 3 students were also awarded with University Entrance.

These results sit well above National percentages and other Decile 9 schools, and the students are to be congratulated on their academic achievements in a year that saw many impacted by further COVID disruptions.  What has also come from analysing our 2022 NCEA results is the clear and undeniable link between consistent attendance and academic success.  If our young women come to school regularly they achieve academic success, and while we appreciate the challenges that some students face, the college strongly encourages parents and caregivers to make attendance a priority.  Should you or your daughter require any support, please do not hesitate to contact the college.

The final academic success to be celebrated is the awarding of 24 Scholarships to 18 of our top academic students.  Scholarship examinations are assessed at Level 4 of the New Zealand Qualification framework and only 3% of the cohort entered into the examinations for each subject area are awarded Scholarship.  Scholarship students are supported by their teachers outside of timetabled lessons as these examinations are extremely demanding and assess students against academically challenging standards.  Candidates are expected to demonstrate high-level critical thinking, abstraction and generalisation, and to integrate, synthesise and apply knowledge, skills, understanding, and ideas to complex situations.

The 2022 Scholarship recipients are:

Accounting Imogen Wood
Biology Annise Boothroyd, Ava Croker, Swetlana Khoo
Chemistry Annise Boothroyd, Swetlana Khoo, Imogen Wood
Classical Studies Sophia Carmo Machado, Elise McGregor, Esther Mihaljevich, Catherine Sole, Briana Wells
English Swetlana Khoo, Janelle Pilgrim
Geography Grace Chapman, Sophie Collett, Ava Croker, Lina Jang
Health and Physical Education Abbey Smith
History Lina Jang
Technology Ava Fitzgerald, Olivia Gardner, Angelique Indrawidjaja, Amanda Yap


Congratulations to all recipients, and a special mention to Swetlana Khoo, who achieved Scholarship in 3 subjects, and Janelle Pilgrim who gained Scholarship in English, as a Year 12 student. Also, a huge thank you to the teaching staff who supported our young women in achieving these scholarships.  The support involved planning, teaching and providing feedback outside of timetabled classes; they do not receive remuneration.  Your dedication to our students is greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

Finally, I wish to acknowledge and thank Mrs Sandy Goonan, our Head of Technology, for her 18 years of service to the College, as she departs on Tuesday, 14 February.  We wish her all the very best for her future in Nelson, teaching at Waimea Intermediate, and being closer to two of her daughters and five grandchildren.  To say that Sandy is an outstanding practitioner does not do justice in recognising the phenomenal work, dedication and passion that she has working with our young women.  It was however very fitting that last year Sandy was recognised by the Technology Education NZ (TENZ) Awards Panel as she was awarded Outstanding Teacher in Technology Education Award.  Sandy, we wish you all the best in the next chapter of your teaching career being closer to family and thank you for all that you have done for the students, the Technology department and school.