Happy with the reading results
Although Hinuera School did not win at the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Award, their principal says there’s still so much to celebrate.
"Even though we didn’t win, in making a finals category we received a $3000 prize, and since we were in two categories we won $6000 overall for our entry,’’ Dean McDonnell said.
The award finals took place on June 14.
He thanked the ‘‘special friend of the school, Mayor Jan Barnes, for being with us at the dinner’’.
McDonnell said the school would have to loved to win even just one category, as it would have been great for the school and the community.
But he was grateful Barnes was there as she was still so positive about what the school had achieved in being named a finalist.
As part of being a finalist, Hinuera students and staff had previously been videoed at the school.
The school had the challenge of being up against one of the biggest schools in the country, Rangitoto College, who won the Excellence in governing award.
And Rotorua Boys’ High School won the other category Hinuera were a finalist in, the Excellence in leading award.
The awards had a lot of meaning for the literacy leadership team and the Board of Trustees.
They had to get out pen and paper after issuing their Waikato school a writing challenge as part of a mission to improve pupils’ writing ability at the end of 2011.
"The board even went to the lengths of getting into the classrooms and actually seeing what the writing was like.
"We even got the teachers to come to a board meeting and have a bit of a writing session with them, and make them actually write.’’
It paid off, with the 165-student school being named amongst the 14 finalists from more than 200 entries for the awards.
The school’s drive started after 2011 results showed most kids were working above national standards in reading and maths, but the figure was about 60 per cent for writing. By the end of 2015 just over 90 per cent of students at Hinuera were at or above national standard level for writing.
The Hinuera School Board of Trustees, the literacy leadership team and the principal Dean McDonnell celebrated being a finalist in two categories of the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Award with mayor Jan Barnes.