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 bi-cultural 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 of the parents used his editing skills to help 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, as 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.”
Education Minister Nikki Kaye says each of the finalists has shown innovative and effective teaching practice.
“They demonstrate how important it is to work with students and the wider community to ensure every child succeeds, and for teachers to work together and base their decisions on evidence.
“Every finalist and their community should take pride in what they're doing and know that they are great examples of innovation and excellence to others throughout New Zealand and internationally.”
Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller is thrilled to see Papamoa Kindergarten selected as a finalist.
“This is a real achievement and Papamoa Kindergarten should be extremely proud. To be selected as a finalist for this award they must have demonstrated excellence in education to a panel of education experts.
“I wish Papamoa Kindergarten all the best for the final awards evening. Win or lose they have done our community proud.”