An article in the NZ Herald recently pointed out that nationally, senior school exam pass rates have dropped slightly. At Thames High School we have seen the reverse of this trend in 2018, with student achievement at NCEA Level 1 increasing to 84.6% (compared with the national rate of 71.8%), and student achievement of NCEA Level 2 increasing to 88.9% (compared with the national rate of 77.4%). What was also pleasing was the number of our students who achieved excellence endorsements, and who also achieved excellence grades in their external assessments. It is because of their strong performance in NCEA, particularly at Level 2, that our students have been so successful in recent years in attracting scholarships from universities and polytechnics. In 2018, our year 13 students were offered 17 scholarships ranging from $3000 – $30,000 in value.