Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards: entries now open

Issue: Volume 93, Number 22

Posted: 8 December 2014
Reference #: 1H9cs4

The Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in early childhood education, primary, and secondary schooling. Do you have what it takes to be one of our 2015 winners?

If your group or team is doing great things and you think your work has what it takes to be recognised among the finest achievements in New Zealand education, you are encouraged to enter the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.

The awards focus on the work of groups, teams and partnerships in English, Māori, or Pasifika-mediums and culminate in a national ceremony that profiles finalists and their achievements.

Categories for the awards are engaging, leading, teaching and learning, and governing.

An additional prize will recognise an area of particular education focus. For the 2015 awards, the focus is collaboration that creates learner-led pathways from early childhood to schooling.

Criteria for judging are drawn from the world renowned Best Evidence Synthesis and supported by education strategies and curriculum documents developed in New Zealand. Entries will tell the story of each group as a case study that explains:

  • what they set out to improve and why
  • the actions they took to bring about change and,
  • the changes they achieved and sustained.

Successful entries will need to be supported by evidence of a positive change in outcomes for children and young people.

To get an idea of what it takes to succeed at the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards, view the stories behind the 2014 finalists(external link) and winners(external link)

You can also read the Education Gazette two part profiles of previous winners - part one(external link) and part two(external link)

The categories

Entries will be accepted in four award categories, as well as an Education Focus Prize, the theme of which will change every year:

Excellence in Engaging / Atahāpara Award

This award acknowledges and celebrates those who are working together as a community to transform relationships and achievement, for all children and young people.

The 2014 winner of this award was St Thomas of Canterbury College, for their innovative Social Enterprise Hub, which embodies a philosophy placing humanitarian values at the centre of the school’s participation in the Young Enterprise Scheme.

Excellence in Leading / Atakura Award

This award celebrates leadership and influence that has strengthened professional capability and created a change in conditions, leading to improved and sustained outcomes for all children and young people.

The 2014 winner was Makoura College , staff, whānau, and Board of Trustees. In 2008, Makoura College was destined to close. Under new leadership, the school has focused on transforming relationships to ensure students are better served by the school and prepared to succeed in the wider world. Outcomes have proven that this change has made a big difference.

Excellence in Teaching & Learning / Atatū Award

This award recognises teaching that transforms the learning of all children and young people and has improved and sustained outcomes for them all.

The 2014 award was won jointly by Kerikeri High School, in recognition of their ability to encourage the concept of ako into the life of the school; and Otumoetai Intermediate School, who were finalists in an astonishing three separate categories, and also won the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award.

Excellence in Governing / Awatea Award

This award acknowledges groups whose effective and collaborative governance creates the conditions for leading and teaching in order to improve educational outcomes and helps to ensure that positive change is sustainable.

The 2014 winner was Nōku Te Ao, an immersion Māori early childhood centre, who have made great strides in embedding Māoritanga into the management of their institution.

2014 Education Focus Prize / Takatū Prize

In 2014, the focus for this prize was on learner-led pathways through collaboration amongst secondary schools, tertiary providers and employers.

For the 2014 awards, the Focus Prize winner was Top of the South Trades Academy who focused first on students, transforming how they were taught, what they were taught, and the environment.

Prime Minister’s Supreme Award / Takiri ko te ata

The Supreme Award winner will be selected from the winners of the four categories. The 2014 winner was Otumoetai Intermediate School, a finalist in three categories, and a joint winner in the Teaching and Learning category.

2015 Education Focus Prize / Takatū Prize

The 2015 Education Focus Prize celebrates a focus on collaboration that creates learner-led pathways from early childhood to schooling.

Prizes and acknowledgements

The awards seek to recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in New Zealand education. To do this they will acknowledge the strengths observed in each entry and find ways to share these stories of success.

Recognising finalists: All finalists will receive certificates, and a financial award to acknowledge their contribution to education.

Recognising winners: Winners of the four categories and prize will each receive a package that includes a trophy, certificate, a financial award and a professional development opportunity.

Supreme Award: The winner of the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award will receive a package that includes the supreme award trophy, a certificate, an additional financial award and an opportunity to represent New Zealand education.

How to enter

Entries are now open for the 2015 awards. Groups, teams or partnerships can enter the awards if they meet all of the eligibility criteria. To find out if you’re eligible, please visit the website.

Entries close at 5pm, Friday 20 March 2015. For more information and to enter(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 11:45 pm, 8 December 2014

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