Students and staff at Manurewa Intermediate School are over the moon today after taking out the Supreme Award at the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards last night in Auckland.
Principal Iain Taylor shared the news with students at an assembly this morning.
"They were pretty excited to think they were the best school in the country," he said.
As the winner of the Supreme Award and also the Excellence in Engaging Award, Manurewa Intermediate School received $50,000 for their efforts as well as an opportunity to represent New Zealand education.
The school's success came from their efforts in building and strengthening relationships deep within the community and embedding their “stand up, stand tall” mantra. Taylor puts their success down to the sustainable changes they've made in this area and the collaborative approach they've taken to get there.
Education Minister Nikki Kaye agrees.
“Manurewa Intermediate School has radically changed the lives of all their students, engaging them in learning across the board,” she says.
Minister Kaye was impressed with the wide range of finalists and winners. Invercargill Middle School and Waitakere College won the Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award. Te Kōhanga Reo Ki Rotokawa and William Colenso College won the Excellence in Leading Award. The winning entry in each category received $20,000 and a professional development opportunity. The award for Excellence in Governing was not awarded by the judges.
For the first time the judges gave an additional commendation, awarding it to Halswell School for the particular focus the school has had on introducing a modern learning environment, new approaches to teaching and learning, and its use of digital technologies.
“The winners come from right across New Zealand, covering education in early learning, primary, intermediate and secondary schools," says Kaye.
“The staff, students and families at each of the schools and kohanga reo should be very proud of their achievement. To win one of these awards means they really are the best of the best in education in New Zealand.
“Even getting through to be a finalist is hugely significant, and this year the calibre of the entries meant the judges had some difficult decisions to make.”
“In their fourth year, the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards continue to showcase the very best practitioners across the education sector. We expect others to learn from the practices that have been celebrated here tonight.”
Finalists also received a financial award to acknowledge their contribution to education.
The winners’ stories will be shared across the sector so that others can benefit from their experiences.