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Bay of Plenty wins big at 2019 PM’s Education Awards

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

It was a big night for the Bay of Plenty region as three of its finalists each picked up a Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Award at a ceremony held in Parliament.

Rotorua Boys’ High School took home the top prize, the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award, and also won the Excellence in Leading Award.

The school focused on supporting students in the school’s hostel through expert guidance and whānau support. Teachers as housemasters and strong whānau involvement have provided more educational opportunities for the students.

The judging panel said: "This entry was impressive in that the school had established a boarding hostel which is growing in numbers and is meeting the needs of the students. Having teachers as housemasters is innovative, creating a learning and pastoral environment for the students’ holistic development.

The school demonstrated that there have been significant shifts in the outcomes for these students and that the hostel provides 24-hour learning opportunities. There is a strong element of whānau infrastructure and involvement with the hostel. The entry shows the students are thriving in this environment."

Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa in Rotorua won the Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award. The kōhanga developed and used Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho, an assessment approach that’s grounded in kaupapa Māori principles.

The judging panel said: "This kōhanga’s focus on authentic assessment has broad application and impact outside the kōhanga. The alternative framework used is innovative and a significant contribution from whānau has resulted in a relevant assessment for Māori. There is a clear framework which is strong and flexible.

This entry demonstrates the use of whakapapa and whanaungatanga being used in a simple and practical way, and strong engagement with whānau. The innovation with the provision of professional development for whānau was noted."

Tiaki Early Learning Centre received the Excellence in Health and Wellbeing Education Award. The centre focused on connecting their learners with their local community, history and its culture. Children benefited from having strong relationships with the land to enhance their health and wellbeing, and that of Papatūānuku.

The judging panel said: "This early learning service was commended for its close connections with its local marae and the environment. Tiaki ELC demonstrated that the programme is embedded in the centre. The revegetation of the wetland is making a significant difference in the community and enabling children to become active community members.

Connections with local primary schools are evident and the development of learning stories make visible the learning from this programme."

Ministry of Education Acting Deputy Secretary for Early Learning and Student Achievement, Pauline Cleaver, congratulates all the winners and says they are a testament to the great teaching that’s happening around the country to support children and young people to succeed.

"Their hard work and dedication to education excellence have changed the lives of children and young people, and will have a lasting impact not just to learners, but to their whānau and the community they belong to," she says.

Each of the winners receive a prize package that includes a $20,000 financial award and professional development opportunities. Rotorua Boys’ High School get an additional $30,000 for winning the Supreme Award and will represent New Zealand at an international education event.

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