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Young Leaders Link Minds With Welsh Bilingual Teachers

Ministry of Education news release

Wednesday, 29 August

Young Leaders Travel To Wales To Link Minds With Bilingual Teachers

New Zealand and Wales both share a proud history of indigenous language revival and bilingual education.

So Wales is the appropriate destination for this year’s recipients of the Linking Minds Scholarship, a prestigious international award for emerging education leaders.

Four of these emerging leaders will travel to Wales for two weeks in the October school break, to link up with teachers and principals in language immersion schools.

“Linking Minds creates great opportunities for our future education leaders to develop their leadership potential and reflect on their teaching practice with their international peers,” said Rebecca Elvy, Group Manager Education Workforce at the Ministry of Education.

“They will have a tremendous opportunity to look at parallels between the New Zealand and Welsh education systems and to learn more about language immersion in Welsh schools,” she said.

British Council Country Director Ingrid Leary added: ‘’NZ and Wales share a unique interest in bilingual education and the scholarship provides promising teachers with a special interest in Te Reo to learn from the Welsh experience – and vice versa.’’

Following their time in Wales the Kiwi teachers will be involved in an extensive leadership development programme, including individual and group coaching, mentoring and support, along with webinars and “hot seat” sessions facilitated by specialist educational leaders to build on their international experience.

“We’re very proud of these four young New Zealanders, and congratulate them on winning this prestigious national award. We’re delighted to award these scholarships to teachers with such tremendous potential to help further their development as future leaders,” said Rebecca Elvy.

Notes for editors

Scholarship winners
• Vicki Exeter, teacher at Roslyn Kindergarten, Palmerston North
I am looking forward to researching how leadership is fostered in children and teachers in the Welsh context and using this knowledge to inform my practice. I am also excited to find out about how bi-lingual education is fostered in Welsh early childhood centres and how this is supported by Government policy and their early childhood curriculum”’

• Nichola McCall, specialist Classroom Teacher and Health and Physical Education Teacher, Manurewa High School, Auckland
“ The Linking Minds Scholarship will provide me with the opportunity to see how key people in communities provided the leadership necessary to cause positive change to occur and bring about a cultural and linguistic revitalisation. I want to learn from the strategies educational and community leaders have used to bring about change in their schools and communities that I could use in my professional career as a young aspiring leader. ‘’
• Stacey Reriti-Smith, teacher in the Immersion Maori Unit, Natone Park School, Porirua
“ ’Mā te kahukura, ka rere te manu’ – Adorn the bird with feathers so it can fly.

“The Linking Minds Scholarship will allow me to examine language immersion settings in Welsh schools and see first hand why and how these are successful. This will give me knowledge and skills of what to do when teaching in bilingual situations in New Zealand.”
• Piata Allen, Co-Leader Faculty of Maori and HOD Te Reo Mahana, Massey High School, Auckland
“As a Maori medium graduate and teacher, I am really looking forward to seeing another bilingual education system in action. I look forward to discovering Welsh strategies for strengthening their language and culture, raising student achievement and engaging families in the learning process”.

Linking Minds
• A biennial Scholarship jointly managed by the Ministry of Education, the NZ-UK Link Foundation, the British Council, and the New Zealand Teachers Council.
• Open to teachers who are aged under 35; in their first five years as an NZ fully registered teacher, and working in a state or state-integrated school or ECE centre.
• The scholarship covers all costs (travel, accommodation, interview and selection costs).

Scholarship sponsors:

Ministry of Education -

British Council -

New Zealand Teachers Council -

NZ-UK Link Foundation -


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