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Marlborough kids take top prize in online art competition

16th August 2011

For Immediate Release

Marlborough schoolchildren take out top prize in online art competition

A group of children from Renwick Primary School in Marlborough has taken out the top prize in the nationwide on-line School is Cool art competition.

The 27 Year 3 and 4 students from Room 10 were the overall winners in the competition for their mixed media video featuring “Gary and the Rock”. They also won first place in the video category. The win means their school will receive a set of five iPads and an iPod.

The competition, believed to be New Zealand’s largest ever online art competition, attracted more than 2500 entries from hundreds of childcare centres and schools around the country. The entrants ranged in age from 3-13.

The second overall winner was Kjirsti Pedesen a Year 6 student from Kauri Park School on Auckland’s North Shore. Kjirsti also won the Year 6 Category for her poster and has won a set of 3 iPads for her school and an iPod for herself. The third place overall winner was four year old Leah McConnon from Stoke Kindergarten, who also won the Early Childhood Category and has won a set of two iPads for the Kindergarten and an iPod for herself.

There were also ten category winners from schools in Hamilton, Christchurch, Porirua, Auckland and Hawkes Bay (see full list below).

Competition judges - award-winning children’s author and illustrator Gavin Bishop, and Wellington art teacher Gretchen Buwalda - say they were very impressed with the standard of entries.

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Gretchen Buwalda says she was looking for an imaginative approach and while the ‘School Is Cool’ theme had to be obvious she was drawn to entries that contained something memorable and different.

The competition was sponsored by the education sector union NZEI’s quarterly magazine Education Aotearoa, with prizes sponsored by Auckland-based education technology provider Edtech.

Education Aotearoa Editor Jane Blakie paid tribute to “the amazing teachers” who supported and encouraged children to enter the competition – many of them putting in extra time uploading entries onto the website.

All the art can be viewed at


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