Awards recognise that schools do amazing things

Issue: Volume 96, Number 12

Posted: 10 July 2017
Reference #: 1H9dV3

A diverse mix of schools and kōhanga reo have been recognised in this year’s Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.

The Prime Minister’s Excellence Awards ceremony took place in late June, with Manurewa Intermediate winning both the Supreme Award for education excellence and the Excellence in Engaging category.

Manurewa Intermediate School won both the Supreme Award for education excellence and the Excellence in Engaging category.

In 2008 the decile 1 Manurewa Intermediate School set out a plan to “upgrade every aspect of the school to become the heart of the community and instil within their students a love of learning”, says principal Iain Taylor.

“We started with no computers, no technology and no nothing and this is amazing recognition for the staff who have worked so hard for our kids in our school. We had to be the teacher or the leader we would want our own kids to have in our school.

“A leadership structure developed that built on our strengths and challenged us to grow our skills, which created great leaders.”

The programme has seen seven deputy principals go on to be principals at other schools.

Iain says that the Ministry doesn’t always get the plaudits it deserves but has done a good job in supporting schools like his.

The diverse mix of schools and kōhanga reo received their awards from Prime Minister Bill English at a special ceremony with representatives from the 14 finalists.

Education Minister Nikki Kaye says these schools have radically changed the lives of students by engaging them in learning across the board.

“The staff, students and families at each of the schools and kōhanga reo should be very proud of their achievement.”

For the first time the judges gave an additional commendation, awarding it to Halswell School for the particular focus the school has had on introducing a modern learning environment, new approaches to teaching and learning, and its use of digital technologies.

“In their fourth year, the Awards continue to showcase the very best practitioners across the education sector. We expect others to learn from the practices that have been celebrated here tonight,” the Minister said.

The winning entry in each category received $20,000 and a professional development opportunity.

As the winner of the Supreme Award, Manurewa Intermediate School received an additional $30,000, plus an opportunity to represent New Zealand  education.

Finalists also received a financial award to acknowledge their contribution to education.

List of winners

  • The Prime Minister’s Supreme Award
    Takiri Ko Te Ata – Manurewa Intermediate.
  • Excellence in Teaching and Learning/Atatū Award – Invercargill Middle School/Waitakere College.
  • Excellence in Leading/Atakura Award  –
    Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa/William Colenso.
  • Excellence in Engaging/Atahāpara Award – Manurewa Intermediate.
  • Judges’ Commendation/He Iti Pounamu – Halswell School. 

Māori educational icons given lifetime achievement awards

Two Māori educational icons, Distinguished Professor Graham Smith (Ngāti Porou, Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Kahungungu) and Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou) were recognised with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.

Distinguished Professor Graham Smith has dedicated his life to education, and particularly the education of young Māori. He is an internationally renowned educationalist who has been at the forefront of alternative Māori initiatives in the education field and beyond. In acknowledgment of a lifetime’s work in education, Graham received the insignia of a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014 for services to Māori and education.

Professor Linda Smith’s relentless focus on Māori education, health, and wellbeing has earned her recognition across New Zealand and internationally.

She has served on a number of other national advisory committees, and until recently she was a joint director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, hosted by the University of Auckland.

In recognition of her outstanding career working in the field of Māori education as an educator and researcher, Linda was made a Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013 for her services to Māori and education.

Te Rōpū kapahaka o Raukura opened and closed the ceremony.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 6:00 am, 10 July 2017

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