Judging your entries
If your team has achieved outstanding results at your school, kura or early learning service, our judges will be excited to hear about your work.
Your entry will be judged on the extent to which it shows that a change in practice has resulted in improved and sustained outcomes for all children, young people and the broader community. The criteria for judging are drawn from the world-renowned Best Evidence Synthesis and supported by education strategies and curriculum documents developed in New Zealand. See the Resources section for more information.
Note that the judging process is completely independent. Neither the Ministry of Education nor the convenor has any influence on the judging panel’s decisions regarding the selection of finalists and winners.
Mēnā kua tino whai hua ā koutou ko tō tīma mahi ki tō kura, tō ratonga kura kōhungahunga raini, ka mate ā mātou kaiwhakawā kia rongo i ā koutou mahi.
Ka whakawākia tā koutou tono whakauru i runga i te āhua o ngā mahi i panoni kia puta mai tētahi painga mauroa mō ngā tamariki me ngā taiohi katoa me te hapori whānui. He mea ahu mai i ngā ariā rongonui o tēnei hanga e kīia nei ko Te Ariā Kete Raukura ngā paearu whakawā, ka mutu e tautokona ana ki ngā rautaki mātauranga me ngā tuhinga marautanga i waihangatia i Aotearoa tonu. Tirohia te wāhanga Rauemi mō ētahi atu kōrero.
Ka wehea atu kia noho motuhake te tukanga whakawā. He whakaaweawe kore tā te Tāhuhu, tā te Kaiwhakarite raini ki ngā whakatau a te Taumata Whakawā I ngā whiringa toa.
What the judges look for
We asked past judges how to write a successful entry. Watch the video to see what they had to say.
Tā ngā kaiwhakawā e kimi ana
I ui mātou ki ngā kaiwhakawā o mua mō te pēheatanga o tuhi tono kia angitu. Mātakihia te ataata kia rongo i ngā kōrero.
Green leaves on a bush shine on a sunny day as students walk along a path that runs between classrooms. A dark-haired woman wears a black top and large flower earrings with purple petals surrounding a yellow centre. A banner appears below her, reading: Steffan Brough, Expert — 2014 & 2015.
(Steffan): I don't think you need to start with a big idea to make an application. It could be something relatively small. For example, we had an application which involved a centre looking at how they were going to make the best possible provision for a child with a disability who was coming to join them.
A grey-haired man in a suit and tie sits beside a woman with short black hair who wears a top patterned in blue, green and white. A banner appears below the man, reading: Tom Parsons, Judge — 2014 & 2015. A group of school kids sit around a green table in a classroom, making circuits with wires, batteries and small light bulbs. A girl in a pink and white fleece hoodie smiles brightly as she attaches wires to her light bulb. A woman wearing glasses and a long-sleeve green jersey leans over a table, helping three kids with their circuit. A woman wearing black framed glasses and with her blonde hair tied back has a name badge on her navy blue top. She kneels down at a table between two boys in grey-coloured school uniforms. She shows them a work sheet and the boys smile and nod.
(Tom): I think the question that is often asked of the judges and the expert panel, ‘Do we need to get a professional scriptwriter to script the pages and the video?’ And that's not the case at all.
(Steffan): They need to look at multiple types of evidence, they need to think about student voice, parent/whānau voice and teacher voice. They need to look at outcomes for children – not just in terms of data, not just in terms of changes in achievement, for example – they need to look at outcomes such as changes in children's attitude, changes in the way that children engage, changes in skill and competency levels. All of those things need to be part of a picture that you paint for your entry.
A banner appears below the white-haired man in the suit, Tom, and the woman in the blue, green and white top. It bears her name: Arihia Stirling, Expert — 2015. Students in blue short-sleeved uniform shirts and ties wear safety goggles as they work with eye droppers and beakers at a science room table. Two of the students make notes as a woman in a black and white stripped top and a black vest speaks to them. The woman also wears safety glasses and one of the students cocks his head as he listens to her.
(Arihia): It's about any school that has a wonderful story to tell about how great their learning space is. That's what this awards is about – to make sure that those stories are told. And they do reside in all sorts of spaces – you know, rural schools, Māori schools, different types of ethnic environments.
In the early evening, a group of women sit around a table in a school staffroom. The table is covered in folders and laptops. A title page on the cover of a red folder reads: Waikirkiri School Reading Data Folder. The women all listen as a woman with short silvery hair and a moko on her chin speaks.
(Steffan): The connection between the Best Evidence Synthesis and an application really has to be made clear, and I think that's looking at what are those domains in the Best Evidence Synthesis? For example, you've really got to make a connection in your application between the ways in which teaching and learning have changed and the way in which that engagement with the child has changed.
A tiki design has been sketched on to some wood that’s ready to be carved. A man with a beard runs his hand over the wood, gesturing to an area where carving has already begun. A police officer stands at the front of a high school classroom. A pot plant sits on the desk in front of him. The rows of desks are populated by teenage boys in red and grey school uniforms. Outside, some students use blocks of wood to bang chisels into a pole that they’re carving.
(Tom): In the judging process, the importance of a variety of voices is very, very important. There has not been one instance a judge has gone out to a school and not wanted to talk to past pupils, Board of Trustees, Police, CYFs in some instances, past staff. It's all part of the package.
A group of adults sit around a table, talking and looking at their laptops. A woman with shoulder-length grey hair and wearing a grey scarf over her black top has a folder open and is looking at some brightly coloured pages with a boy in a red and grey striped hoodie. The pages in the folder contain photos of children setting up a toy racetrack in a classroom.
(Steffan): It would be a great idea if people actually look at those levers of learning and think about what they have done in relation to them. So looking at those educationally powerful connections, looking at ways in which leadership has either driven this or supported the development that you want and then looked beyond that to how have we sustained a cycle of enquiry so that we've got continuous real-time information that helps us shape our development in a way that's ultimately going to arrive at what it is that we want as outcomes.
(Tom): One of the things the judges look at quite closely is the sustainability. If you took a major player out in that whole excellence scenario, would it still be sustainable going forward?
Walls of a classroom are covered in photos, documents and pictures. Two women sit at a table, in discussion. Seen through a glass panel in a door, students in purple uniform polo shirts sit in chairs with two older women with grey hair. Inside the room there are other groups of students sitting with other older women.
(Steffan): When people are putting data into their entry, they need to show us the significance of it. Why is that data there and why is that data important and what is that data showing? It may be self-evident to them because they've been working with it, but we're new to that information. We need to be able to see how it connects through to the valued outcomes that they want for their children.
(Tom): The most important piece of advice I think I would give to any school would be to tell the story as it is. Don't dress it up, because the expert panel sees through that if it's cosmetic, and that's not what they're looking for. They did a great stocktake of how well you and your staff are doing against national criteria. It is a super innovation.
In a room with woven tukutuku panels on the walls, adults and students play a game where they have to keep rhythm while doing the correct hand movements. The adults laugh and clap as they mess up, ending the game.
(PEOPLE CHANT AND LAUGH)
The judging panel will review the entries to identify the extent to which each case study shows:
Ka arotakengia ngā tono e te paepae kaiwhakawā kia tautuhi i te meatanga a ia o ngā wānanga i:
- change that reflects best evidence of what works to improve outcomes for children and young people
- the use of curriculum and strategies developed in New Zealand
- clear improvement in outcomes for children and young people – social, cultural and academic
- that the improvements achieved are ongoing – i.e. that they were sustained over at least two years
- evidence that your team’s entry has integrated the three elements of the Education Excellence Framework.
- te kaha hiki i te whainga huanga ki tā ngā taunakitanga i kī ai mō ngā mahi whai hua mā ngā tamariki me ngā taiohi katoa
- te whai i ngā marautanga me ngā rautaki i waihangatia i Aotearoa tonu
- te huanga pai mai mō ngā tamariki me ngā taiohi katoa – ā-pāpori, ā-ahurea, āmātarunaga hoki
- te ritenga tonutanga o ngā tutukitanga – ana, ko neke atu i ngā tau e rua e tautīnei ana
- te taunakitanga e whakaatu mai ana i tā tō tīma whakaurunga pāhekoheko i ngā huanga e toru o te Papa Kairangi.