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.
"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," says the judging panel.
"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.
"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.
"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.
Winners of the 2019 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
Excellence in Engaging:Holy Family School, Porirua
Excellence in Leading: Rotorua Boys’ High School, Rotorua
Excellence in Teaching & Learning: Te Kōhanga Reo ki Rotokawa, Rotorua
Excellence in Health & Wellbeing Education: Tiaki Early Learning Centre, Rotorua
The 2019 Education Focus Prize - Excellence in Māori-medium Education: Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi Marae, Auckland
Supreme Award Winner:Rotorua Boys’ High School, Rotorua
The Prime Minister’s Supreme Award - Rotorua Boys’ High School
This award is selected from the winners in the four Award categories and is determined by the extent of improvement and impact on education outcomes.
Excellence in Leading Award category - Rotorua Boys’ High School
This award celebrates leadership and its influence on strengthening professional capability and creating a change in conditions, leading to improved and sustained outcomes for all children and young people.
Rotorua Boys’ High School, Rotorua
Rotorua Boys’ High School supported achievement of their students in the school’s hostel through effective leadership and culturally responsive teaching and learning.
The school and Tai Mitchell Hostel set out to remove the disparity of educational achievement by focusing positively on Māori potential.
Teachers as housemasters created a learning and supportive environment for the students’ holistic development. Strong whānau involvement has provided increased educational opportunities for the students.
As a result, there have been significant shifts in outcomes for the students and they are thriving in this environment.
Excellence in Teaching & Learning Award category - Te Kōhanga reo ki Rotokawa
This award celebrates teaching that transforms the learning of all children and young people, and achieves improved and sustained outcomes.
Te Kōhanga reo ki Rotokawa, Rotorua
Te Kōhanga reo ki Rotokawa developed Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho, an assessment approach grounded in kaupapa Māori principles and which utilises wānanga. The approach empowered kaiako to document, analyse and present progress and achievement in a Māori way. There was also strong involvement and contribution from whānau.
Tracking progress through Ngā Kōrero Tuku Iho has enabled mokopuna to become more confident, creative and connected in te reo and tikanga Māori. Connections with whānau have also been strengthened, and they now assume a shared role in identifying and analysing learning for all kōhanga reo mokopuna.
Excellence in Health and Wellbeing Education Award category - Tiaki Early Learning Centre, Rotorua
This award celebrates practices that enhance the health and wellbeing of all children and young people, and achieves improved and sustained outcomes.
Tiaki Early Learning Centre, Rotorua
Tiaki Early Learning Centre has built close connections with their local community and its history and culture, so that their children are able to access the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional benefits these connections offer.
They worked with their whānau and local marae, and made connections with their local schools. They wanted their children to benefit by having a strong relationship with the land to enhance their health and wellbeing and that of Papatūānuku. The programme includes environmental activities with an aim towards zero waste. They also provided plant-based meals for their learners using ingredients from their vegetable gardens.
The centre, which values place-based education, initiated a Tangata Whenuatanga day in the community involving all the children, and a visit to their marae every week.
Their efforts have significantly improved the health and wellbeing of the children. Learners have also developed respect and appreciation of Papatūānuku. The children have gone on to display these characteristics when they start school.