“The awards, in just their second year, provide an opportunity to publicly recognise, celebrate and share the highly effective education practice we have in New Zealand and further lift the status of the teaching profession,” Ms Parata says.

“The entries highlight the importance of engaging with students and the wider community, collaboration between teaching professionals and basing decisions on evidence. They also showcase innovative and effective teaching practice.”

Members of a judging panel will undertake visits to finalists during May-June, and the winners will be selected by this panel on 13 June. The category winners and supreme award winner will be announced by the Prime Minister on 17 June.

The winners of the four categories will each receive a professional development opportunity.

The finalists are:

Excellence in Engaging

One Community, Two schools, 300 Whānau – Kāiti School, Te Kura Reo Rua of Waikirikiri. These two Gisborne primary schools dramatically increased whānau engagement, student attendance and achievement rates by employing Whānau Ora navigators to mentor and guide families.

Teaching Team, Barnados KidStart Childcare – Hastings. By building effective relationships with parents and the wider community, this Hastings early childhood education (ECE) service boosted students’ attendance and parental involvement which has enhanced engagement in learning and reduced the incidence of socially challenging behaviours.

Whakairo Course of Study, Gisborne Boys’ High School – Gisborne. By introducing culturally engaging curriculum-based achievement and Māori mentoring programmes this school changed attitudes and lifted the performance of its Māori students.

Tu Tane – Gisborne Boys’ High School – Gisborne. By focusing on identity, values, relationships and students’ places in the world, the Tu Tane programme significantly reduced the rate of detentions, stand downs and suspensions for Year 10 students and raised NCEA participation rates.

Excellence in Leading

Central Regional Health School – Wellington-based. By undertaking extensive professional development and developing individualised programmes for students, staff at this high health needs school have created effective systems for promoting whānau and student engagement and fostered students’ transitions.

Tui Hoiho, Kea and Kiwi Sections, Massey Child Care Centre – Palmerston North. By changing its organisational and learning culture, this Palmerston North early childhood education service enabled children’s voices to be heard which fostered the children’s interests, skills and abilities. The quality of programmes for children were enhanced by this process.

Primary Science and Mathematics Teaching Team, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. By enabling 300 primary teachers to improve the quality of their science and mathematics teaching while still working, the team has helped to build teacher capacity to transform children’s experiences of science and mathematics in the classroom.

Mangere Bridge Kindergarten Teaching Team, Mangere Bridge Kindergarten, Auckland Kindergarten Association. By building relationships between kindergarten and school, this ECE service smoothed the transition between kindergarten and school, built relations with a very diverse community, and caused a whole system lift.

Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Whakairo Course of Study, Gisborne Boys’ High School. Central Regional Health School.

Coastal Taranaki School Teaching Staff – New Plymouth. By working with students who were not achieving, and their whānau, staff at this composite school improved student attendance and engagement, lifted expectations and raised achievement levels.

Longford Intermediate School Literacy – Gore. By identifying and addressing gaps in their teaching practice, teachers at this intermediate accelerated writing progress for all students, particularly those who had been most at risk of underachieving.

Focus Prize

Anchorage Park Kindergarten with Anchorage Park Primary School – Auckland. By working together, this ECE service and primary school created a strong learning community, forged close relationships with parents and whānau, and smoothed the transition between kindergarten and school.

Mangere Bridge Kindergarten Teaching Team, Mangere Bridge Kindergarten, Auckland Kindergarten Association.

By building connections between the kindergarten and its local schools, the kindergarten’s children are prepared for their next steps in language and literacy learning. The kindergarten has worked to develop a seamless alignment between early childhood education and schooling.

Source: Education Review


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