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BOP Regional Finalists in PM’s Education Excellence Awards

Media Release

For Immediate Release

Friday 5 May 2017

Bay of Plenty Regional Finalists in 2017 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

Two Bay of Plenty early learning services and one secondary school are among the finalists at the 2017 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.

The finalists are Papamoa Kindergarten (Papamoa), Te Kōhanga Reo o Rotokawa and John Paul College (both in Rotorua).

Ministry of Education Acting Deputy Secretary for Early Learning and Student Achievement, Karl Le Quesne, says the commitment and dedication the finalists have shown towards their children and young people is to be commended.

“This year’s finalists demonstrated passion and drive to ensure best possible outcomes for all their children and young people. We wish them all the best.”

Now in their fourth year, the Awards celebrate the best of teaching in New Zealand.

Papamoa Kindergarten

Papamoa Kindergarten has been selected as a finalist in one Awards category:

· Excellence in Engaging - Atahāpara Award.

Papamoa Kindergarten established whānau groups so that all members of the community had opportunities to lead in the kindergarten areas of interest and strength. The Assessment Whānau Group set out to develop a framework for bi-cultural teaching, learning and assessment, that would guide conversations between teachers, parents and children. The framework and language developed by this Whānau Group has led to a positive improvement in the culture within the kindergarten and wider community.

Te Kōhanga Reo o Rotokawa

Te Kōhanga Reo o Rotokawa has been selected as a finalist in one category:

· Excellence in Leading - Atakura Award.

Based in Rotorua, this Kōhanga Reo recognised that whānau leadership is critical to empowering whānau in education so that outcomes for tamariki would improve.

In 2011, the kōhanga reo embarked on a journey to empower whānau, but realised that this would need the support of good leadership. They established a distributed form of leadership based on the principles of traditional Māori society and supported by two generations of the same whānau, one associated with the kōhanga since it was established. The goal was to see whānau remain in the kōhanga movement long after their children move to school, giving back by sharing their knowledge and expertise.

The focus on whānau engagement and empowerment has led to deeper participation and the emergence of new intergenerational leaders, as graduates of the kōhanga return with their own children, bringing and sharing new skills.

John Paul College

John Paul College has been selected as a finalist in one Awards category:

· Excellence in Engaging - Atahāpara Award.

In 2016, John Paul College set out to increase engagement and achievement for their year 7 science students. Staff attribute their success in achieving this goal to the strong connections with parents that are focused on students’ learning and wellbeing, together with rich opportunities for real-life experiences in class and alongside science professionals in the wider Rotorua community.

Awards Information

The Awards celebrate some of the best of teaching in New Zealand. This year saw 14 finalists selected from more than 140 entries.

Members of the judging panel are visiting finalists during May and June. Winners from each category will be awarded $20,000 and a professional development opportunity.

Winners will also qualify for the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award, which is presented to the school or early childhood service that has had the greatest influence on education outcomes for children and young people.

The Supreme Award winner will receive an additional $30,000 and an opportunity to represent New Zealand education.

Winners will be announced in late June. For more information on the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards, please visit their website:


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