What’s your journey? The PM wants to know!

(Last Updated On: February 9, 2017)

The Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in education. And, this year, the Education Focus Prize puts the spotlight on the innovative use of digital technologies.


Winners in 2016: Rangitoto College won the
Education Excellence Award for Excellence in Governing.

Proud of what you’re achieving in your classroom? Could this be the year you share your journey and be recognised for what you have achieved? Entries are now open for the 2017 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.

These prestigious awards celebrate outstanding achievements in early childhood, primary, and secondary education, and provide an opportunity for the sector to share best practice and excellence to raise student achievement.

And, this year, digital technology is in the spotlight. The Education Focus Prize will recognise the design of responsive local curriculum, delivered through the innovative use of digital technologies to meet the aspirations of students, their wha-nau and communities, and achieve improved outcomes for children and young people.

So, how about it? Isn’t it time you shared your success in teaching? But don’t delay, entries close 17 March.

Credit to the teaching profession

“We had a record number of entries across all categories in 2016,” said former Minister of Education Hekia Parata last year. “The winners and all the finalists are a credit to the teaching profession. They showed the difference that great teaching and great leadership backed by strong governance make to kids’ lives.”

In 2017, there are four categories, plus the Education Focus Prize.

  • Excellence in Engaging Atah¯apara Award
  • Excellence in Teaching & Learning Atat¯u Award
  • Excellence in Leading Atakura Award
  • Excellence in Governing Awatea Award

The Education Focus Prize

The topic changes annually to match the aims and focus of the Minister of Education. This year, the 2017 Education Focus Prize is highlighting digital technologies and how they can be used appropriately and well to extend the options for innovative activity to enhance teaching and learning.

pm-awards-website-screenshotWhat is innovative teaching?

The guidelines state: Innovative teaching and learning uses new and adaptive means, including the use of digital technologies to meet the needs of children and young people, and enhance their learning opportunities. This should include working with educators, students, families and wha-nau and the community for better learning outcomes. It includes both different future-focused ways of working, incorporating digital pedagogies into existing practice within and across the curriculum, and innovative activity in relation to a new design and delivery of the local digital technologies curriculum.

“We know there are excellent programmes out there, it may be your ECE, school or kura. We are looking for entries that demonstrate how early childhood services and schools use digital technologies to best effect. And, in new ways, to enhance teaching and learning and raise levels of achievement.”  

To find out more, contact, call 0800 PM AWARDS (0800 762 927) or go to The site provides comprehensive information about the awards, including videos of previous winners to assist possible entrants.

Entries close at 4pm, Friday 17 March 2017.

Tips from previous winners:

Plan Ahead: Start your story as soon as you decide to enter and note down all thoughts and observations as they come to you.

Find your purpose: Be clear about the overarching purpose of your programme and identify the main strands.

Stay close to your story: Make sure your entry is put together by the people close to your case study or story.

Use your time wisely: you’ll need all you have and more,

Get some clarity: Ensure you have clarity around the entry for all stakeholders in your school.

Engage your students: The best advocates for your story are your students. Include them in your entry.

Gather your evidence: Data is important, so put as much in your entry as you can.

Look for the benefits: Give emphasis to the different feed-through effects for your school.

Keep it real: Your entry and what people say must be natural and not contrived.

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