Vision statement

Otago Girls' High School is committed to quality education for all girls in a safe, caring and inclusive environment.

Inspire ~ Empower ~ Challenge~ Dream.

After a thorough consultation process involving parents, staff, board and students, the Otago Girls’ High School Board of Trustees adopted the Otago Girls’ High School Malaga in 2020.  The Malaga (which means journey in Samoa) incorporates our school vision (why we do what we do), seven principles (how we do what we do) and seven learner profile characteristics (the outcome of what we do).  The Malaga is underpinned by both our core values of Respect (kia whakaute), Positivity (kia hihiri) and Integrity (kia pono) as defined by our Positive Behaviour for Learning framework and Restorative Practice.  These three elements; our values,  our restorative approach and the OGHS Malaga, inform and shape the programmes of teaching and learning that occur both inside and outside the classroom.  This is what we do.  

Student, staff and community consultations make it clear that we should strive for the highest possible achievement.  Hauora (physical, mental and emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing) is essential to achieve this goal and we have been incorporating health and wellbeing content into all elements of the school’s operation.  Te Whare Tapa Wha is used as the overarching wellbeing model used in the school with PERMA-V as the framework that we use to promote wellbeing. In 2020 we began the introduction of Solution Focussed approaches to support all ākonga to be proactive in managing their own wellbeing.  

Respect is central to our vision.  Respect for yourself encompasses the values of positivity and integrity while respect for others encompasses the values of empathy, inclusiveness, friendship, fairness, acceptance of diversity and valuing learning.  We value the place and contribution of Māori, particularly Kai Tahu our manawhenua.  We also respect our global community, and have welcomed increasing numbers of international and former refugee students to our school in recent years.  We participate actively in our communities and look after our environment as evidenced by our gaining Green-Gold enviroschools status in 2017 and our participation in outreach programmes. 

We are working towards a better future not just for our children but for all things and for all time; kaitiakitaka. We operate from a framework of positive behaviour for learning and restorative practice.

Mā te mātauraka ka tū teitei te tōtara

Through education the totara tree will stand tall

Recti cultus pectora roborant

The right education makes the heart as strong as oak 

Education Goals

We seek to provide an inclusive learning environment that fosters individual excellence and a love of learning through the provision of engaging learning opportunities.  There is an emphasis on skills and capabilities, as well as knowledge, as evidenced by our principles and learner profile.  E-learning facilitates and enriches our learning and digital citizenship is a key component of our programmes. The new Digital Technologies Curriculum is currently being implemented in the school.  Foundation skills and knowledge, including literacy, numeracy, oral language and listening skills are fostered.  Meaningful health and wellbeing education that is informed by current circumstances and needs is provided.  Second language learning is strongly encouraged and six languages are offered.  We provide a range of exciting and relevant learning experiences outside the classroom and are increasingly incorporating innovative approaches to curriculum delivery, including Problem Based Learning opportunities. 

We are placing an increasing focus on te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Karakia are an integral part of meetings, assemblies and occasions of the school.  Bilingual signage has been installed and a pare is being installed and blessed early this year.  Increasing numbers of staff are taking part in Professional Learning and Development in te reo Māori.  

Students engage in well-rounded educational opportunities.  They are encouraged to participate and contribute in sporting and cultural activities as a complement to their academic progress.  Students also have opportunities to develop social and leadership skills, with older students supporting and helping younger students. The House system, Whanau Groups and Peer Support Programme provide such opportunities.  Our vertical form structure at Years 10 to 13 enhances student belonging and wellbeing while our whanau class structure at Year 9 focuses on providing additional care and support while these ākonga develop their own connections within the school environment.  Students engage in meaningful career education programmes.  Partnerships with local enterprises, schools, tertiary institutions and community organisations enhance career related learning experiences.

Classrooms are vibrant, exciting and supportive learning environments.  We are a Restorative Practice school and teachers foster positive learning relationships with students.  They endeavour to know each learner and to develop programmes relevant to them.  For success, students must know why they are learning and be able to make links to prior learning.  Teachers focus on strategies that will support students to become resilient, compassionate, open minded, clear communicators, problem solvers, critical thinkers and confident leaders as outlined in our learner profile.  The school operates as a Teaching and Learning Community.   The 2021 -  2023 Strategic Goals reflect the priorities of the school.  

The school celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2021 and we treasure our long history as the first State Secondary School for Girls in the Southern Hemisphere. We draw strength from the long tradition of amazing wāhine/women who went before us.

Strategy – Strategic Goals 2023-2025
1. All ākonga manage their wellbeing proactively and effectively. PB4L and RP frameworks sustain productive learning environments and maximise ākonga achievement. Ākong feel belonging and connection to school.
2. Ākonga are empowered through learning opportunities that are inspiring, authentic and responsive to their needs now and in the future.
3. Ākonga success and belonging is enhanced by learning environments that reflect and celebrate their diversity, while recognising the unique place of Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Type of School

Single Sex Urban State Secondary School for Girls

Decile: 8