Gisborne Boys’ High School has taken out the Supreme Award at this year’s Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.
Held last night at Te Papa, the awards are in their second year and recognise outstanding achievement in early childhood education, primary and secondary schooling.
According to the Ministry of Education, the awards “acknowledge people and practices that are delivering a better education to our children and young people, and help raise the bar for the profession by identifying and showcasing quality teaching.”
The awards were presented by Prime Minister John Key at a ceremony attended by the 11 finalists along with representatives from all parts of the education sector.
“The award recognises the school’s extraordinary success in defying stereotypes and transforming lives through a range of initiatives that enable boys to learn more about themselves and their culture,” explains Education Minister Hekia Parata.
The Ministry says strengthening the value and raising the status of the teaching profession is a key lever in ensuring the best outcomes for New Zealand students.
Two entries from the school were finalists in the awards with the school’s Whakairo programme winning the Teaching and Learning category.
The other category winners were the teaching team at Barnardos KidStart in Hastings (Excellence in Engaging), the lower North Island-based Central Regional Health School (Excellence in Leading) and Mangere Bridge Kindergarten (Education Focus Prize).
“The winners and all the finalists typify the very best of teaching practice in New Zealand,” says Parata. “We know that great teachers make a real difference and that is exactly what all the finalists have done.”
“While only a small number of schools and early childhood services can be finalists each year, every day principals, teachers, support staff, families, whānau and local communities are making a difference for children and young people,” the Ministry says.
The winning entry from each category receives $20,000 and a professional development opportunity.
As the winner of the Supreme Award, Gisborne Boys’ High School receives an additional $30,000 plus an opportunity to represent New Zealand education. Finalists also receive a financial award to acknowledge their contribution to education.