Kindy takes top prize

Papamoa Kindergarten head teacher Gill Wright. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

Papamoa Kindergarten is one of 14 finalists shortlisted for the 2017 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.

More than 142 entries were received for the prestigious awards, which recognise excellence in education across the country.

Papamoa Kindergarten head teacher Gill Wright says they entered the ‘Excellence in Engaging’ category, with their work focusing on ensuring a bicultural perspective at the kindergarten.

“We’ve been engaging our community on developing a framework for assessment that was localised for our kindergarten. We were particularly interested in engaging with our Maori whanau.”

The application involved a 50-page written piece as well, to show how the kindergarten was achieving their engagement goals. Gill wrote the 10,000-word essay, while one parents used his editing skills to put together a five-minute supporting video

On Tuesday a film crew will come into the kindergarten, while in June three judges will come to spend the day before the awards ceremony on June 27 at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

“Obviously, the award acknowledges all the hard work we’ve done, but there is also a financial prize and a professional development opportunity,” says Gill.

It will be a tough battle for the kindergarten, because they’re up against two colleges and an intermediate in their category. But just getting the recognition at this stage is a reward in itself.

“I’ve really enjoyed it. We have a fantastic community here who are very supportive. It’s great to have others share their expertise with us on this project.”

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