Frimley Primary School, Hastings Girls’ High School and Henry Hill School have been announced as finalists in the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.

Nationwide, 19 finalists have been selected across five categories in the awards, which recognise and celebrate “innovative and effective teaching practices, and the positive outcomes that come from working with tamariki, rangatahi, whānau, iwi, hāpu and the wider community to support all learners to succeed.”

Final judging will take place between now and August.

Frimley Primary School is a finalist in Excellence in Engaging and Excellence in Teaching and Learning. The judging panel remarked that the school created authentic partnerships with whānau and iwi to transform school culture.

“They’ve had excellent engagement with iwi, good use of te reo and great cultural practice. Both students and teachers grew their knowledge and skills through their place-based curriculum, to improve learning outcomes in a way that is both authentic and culturally responsive,” the judges commented. 

Hastings Girls’ High School is a finalist in the Excellence in Leading category, being recognised for courageous leadership to address systemic racism. The school is commended for developing high-trust relationships with Māori and Pacific communities and “Undertaking changes to the school’s structures and systems to provide a learning environment to better reflects and honours the culture and identity of their students.”

Napier’s Henry Hill School is a finalist in Excellence in Health and Wellbeing. The school’s newly-implemented trauma-informed programme is responsive to the needs of students with learning support needs. The programme is supported by a resource also developed in-house at the school, which includes training for the principal in neurosequential modelling. The judges commented that this extra work showed real leadership.

Congratulations to all three schools, and good luck for the rest of the judging process!

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