Sacred Heart School teacher aide and artist Ruan Barton (right) explains the inspiration behind the school’s award-winning mural to (from left) project co-ordinator Emmeline Kendrick and pupils Bella Anderson and Seva Solomatenko (both 9). Photo: Peter McIntosh, courtesy of the Otago Daily Times.

Sacred Heart School, North East Valley, Dunedin: Won the primary school section of the national “Keep New Zealand Beautiful” Wall Worthy Mural competition.

Middleton Grange School, Christchurch: Tournament of Minds team Michael Phillips, Mackenzie Hoskins, Emily Coleman, Emma Gree, Trinity Chevelle, Bethany Connor and Madeleine Bakker placed 2nd in the NZ National Primary Language Literature section. Maths teacher and eLearning Coordinator Stephen McConnachie received a Jim Campbell Award for Teaching Excellence from the NZ Association of Mathematics Teachers. In recognition of her excellence in Chinese teaching and commitment to promoting and supporting the learning of Chinese at MGS and across NZ, Annelise Borger received the 2017 Distinguished Chinese Teacher Early Career Award.

Nga Tawa Diocesan School, Marton: Victoria Haig will attend an International Youth Leadership Conference to discuss world politics, international relations and justice. She will visit the United Nations in Geneva, World Trade Organisation, CERN and the International Red Cross.  Lucy Forgesson will visit top medical schools to meet pioneers in various medical fields and will travel to New York, San Francisco, Boston and Baltimore, visiting Harvard, Stanford, John Hopkins and the University of California, San Francisco. She will also work with community health volunteers in Haiti.

St John’s College, Hastings: The St John’s College Young Enterprise team, with Hawkes Bay Prison youth, won Regional and National YES Awards – runner-up for the Regional Trade Award) and winner of the Hawkes Bay Regional Business Commitment Award Jake Dunn won the only national excellence award announced so far, the National CEO of the Year.

Francis Douglas Memorial College, New Plymouth: Greger Forrest, Jakob Erb, Samuel James, Quinn Scouller have been invited to the international finals of the Community Problem Solving (CmPS) project in Wisconsin, having come second in a division of the Future Problem Solving New Zealand competition. They will present their 12-month project raising awareness of the endangered little blue penguin, to a panel of educators.

Aquinas College, Tauranga: The shooting team won the intermediate section of the McMillan Cup junior air pistol competition run by the New Zealand Pistol Association. Elise Oxenham won trophies for best new shooter, first Intermediate shooter (325), and Rookie Intermediate (325).

John Paul College, Rotorua: PE teacher, Mark Chapman was named the Skills Active Apprentice of the Year.

St Columba’s Catholic Primary School, Hamilton: As part of their learning, this year the three Year 2 classes at St Columba’s have focused on how to plan an event. All year, students have run the process of preparation for their end of year learning showcase.  Tasks included preparing tickets, painting the set, creating a safety video, and writing and performing a welcoming speech and prayer. “The kids organically had to figure all this out,” said teacher Rachel Rowe. Students have chosen to donate funds raised to families in need.

Campion College, Gisborne: The college recently introduced Impact Projects, which are highly-structured, project-based learning experiences developed in teams or individually with guidance from mentors at school and in consultation with experts in the community. Projects must support the community in some way.  For Imogen McGuinness, Year 9, her year-long project led to her personally delivering over ten boxes of sports equipment, books and individual bags of items for the 85 students at Pele School on Pele Island in Vanuatu.