Ministry of Education

Gifted Learners

Tukuna kia rere

Awards for gifted learners or groups of learners and learners with exceptional abilities

What are the awards about?

These awards are for gifted learners or groups of learners who identify as gifted or have exceptional abilities. They provide money to support you to take part in something you are really interested in, will extend and challenge your learning and support your wellbeing.

It is open for gifted learners from early childhood to school leaving age. There are three awards categories available – early learning awards, primary school awards and secondary school awards.

All learners are unique and the types of skills and abilities that are thought of as a gift or exceptional talent will vary from culture to culture.

More information about giftedness and exceptional abilities can be found at Conceptualising Giftedness - Te hiringa i ngā pūmanawa

What sort of award opportunity can I apply for?

Gifted learners and learners with exceptional abilities have wide ranging skills and interests so the types of opportunities you want to take part in will also be unique to you and your whānau, hapu or iwi. It can mean you are working alone or with a group of gifted peers.

Opportunities will probably be above and beyond what happens in your usual learning environment. Examples could include a cultural opportunity. This could be something oratory, for example Ngā Manu Kōrero, or performing arts like Kapa Haka. Your opportunity might involve the arts, design creating something digitally with an expert or researching something in depth with a scientist.

Applications for an award need to set out how the award will help you or your group.

Some examples could be how it will:

  • extend and challenge your learning
  • enable you to further develop an exceptional ability
  • support your wellbeing
  • complete a particular project, task or activity.

Who can apply?

These awards are for:

  • Gifted learners from early childhood to school leaving age
  • Individuals who are gifted or have exceptional abilities.
  • Groups who are either gifted or have exceptional abilities (or be influenced or lead by someone who is)
  • New Zealand residents, New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand.

As an applicant, you will need to have the backing of an adult who knows you and understands your abilities and is able to support you to access the opportunity your award will provide money towards.

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How do I apply?

Applications are open from 26 July to 30 August for the October 2019 award.

To apply: please complete this online form.

Awards will be made on 31 October 2019.

You can provide your application in writing or you might prefer to submit a video – however you can best tell your story.

Written applications should not exceed 5 pages of an A4 document. Video clips should not last any longer than 5 minutes. The panel will not consider material that is outside of these limits.

Please contact us with any questions about the application process by email to our awards mailbox: gifted.awards@education.govt.nz

Awards are made twice a year; once in April and again in October.

The dates for the October 2019 awards are:

Applications open: 26 July
Applications close: 30 August
Awards made: By 31 October

Dates for the 2020 awards will be confirmed at a later date.

What does my application need to include?

It is important your application provides information about the following:

  • What the award is for. Include as much information as you can about the opportunity you want to take part in – who it is run by, when, where, and if others will also take part. If appropriate, how you’ll be supported and cared for.
  • Why you want to do this and how it will positively impact your social and emotional wellbeing.
  • The benefit for you and others.
  • The overall cost of the opportunity you want to pursue and the award amount you are seeking.

It also needs to tell us how the award will enable you or your group to:

  • extend and challenge your learning
  • complete a particular project, task or activity
  • support your wellbeing
  • enable you to further develop an exceptional ability.

Check you have included your name and contact details and have a parent or guardian who has signed your application.

Important things to consider for your application

Consider asking someone who understands your abilities to look over your application to make sure you’ve included everything we’ve asked for.

We want to get a good sense of who you (or your group) are. Tell us about your interests and things you might have been involved in already that give us an idea of what you are passionate about.

Remember to let your passion and enthusiasm shine!

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Video presentation guidelines (if applicable)

Please make sure your video is clear, concise and easy to view. We don’t expect you to have professional filming equipment, so using your phone or computer is absolutely fine. But we recommend you review your footage before submitting it, to ensure the sound and image quality is sufficient to get your message across. Avoid submitting anything that’s too shaky, loud or inaudible. We suggest asking a friend or family member to help you with the filming so you can concentrate on telling us your story.

Support for your application

Your application will need to be supported by someone who knows you or your group’s gift or exceptional ability best. This could be a teacher, kaumatua or specialist in your area of interest. Their support of your application should be included with the information you provide.

It would be helpful if they could cover these points:

  • How they consider you or your group to be gifted or have exceptional abilities.
  • How they consider the opportunity will help you. This could be things like how it will:
    • extend and challenge your learning
    • complete a particular project, task or activity
    • support your wellbeing
    • enable you to further develop your exceptional ability.
  • Their confirmation that you’ll have the necessary support to participate in the opportunity you’re applying for.
  • Clarify what support you will need to participate in the opportunity and how this will be provided if your application is successful. For example, supervision, transport, access to technology or other support.
  • It must be clear that the opportunity will be an appropriate environment for you and if there are any measures in place to ensure you are supported.

Contact for queries or more information

For any queries or more information please email gifted.awards@education.govt.nz

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What happens after I submit my application?

We will confirm we have received your application. If necessary, we will ask you for more information or to clarify some parts.

A panel will then meet to review all of the applications and decide which will receive an award.

We will get in touch with everyone who has applied to confirm the outcome of their application, approximately 4-6 weeks after the applications close.

Frequently asked questions

Can I apply if I don’t have a report that says I am gifted?

You don’t need a report to show that you or your group are gifted or have exceptional abilities. Your application does need to set out what you consider to be your gift or exceptional ability, and include the support of a suitable adult who can testify to your application.

How much can I apply for?

There is no fixed amount because the types of opportunities are often very different. Awards can be made to either contribute to the cost of an opportunity or to fund it completely. They can range anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. All applications are assessed by the panel based on how well the opportunity will:

  • extend and challenge your learning
  • complete a particular project, task or activity
  • support your wellbeing
  • enable you to further develop an exceptional ability.

My application is longer than recommended, what should I do?

Look over the suggestions in the application information about things to consider when making your application. The panel can’t consider material that’s beyond 5 pages of typed A4 or 5 minutes video time.

I’m under 18 do I need someone to sign my application?

Yes you will need a parent or guardian to sign your application.

Is there any other information or support for gifted learners and learners with exceptional abilities? This website Gifted Education/Tukuna kia rere includes lots of information and links to further support.

Who is eligible to apply for these awards?

It is open for gifted learners from early childhood to school leaving age. This award is for gifted learners or groups of learners who identify as gifted or have exceptional abilities. It provides money to support you to take part in something you’re really interested in – to extend and challenge your learning and support your wellbeing.

What types of awards are there?

There are three awards categories available – early learning awards, primary awards and secondary awards.

How much can I apply for?

You can make an application for up to $5,000 per award. The money should contribute to or fund the cost of what it is you want to take part in/do. Your application will be looked at by a panel who will assess how well it will extend and challenge your learning, support your wellbeing and allow you to develop the exceptional ability you have.

When do the awards open?

Open 26 July, close 30 August. Awards will be made on 31 October.

How often do the awards run? We have two rounds of awards per year – one in April and another in October.

How do I apply? You can provide your application in writing or by video – however you can tell your best story. Written applications shouldn’t exceed 5 pages of an A4 Word doc and videos shouldn’t last longer than 5 mins.

Can I apply on behalf of my child or a child in my school/kura?

The awards are open to gifted learners and can be applied for by the learners themselves, their parents, whānau or teacher. You are more than welcome to make a submission on behalf of your child or a child/group within your early learning centre, school or kura.

You can apply for whatever it is you think will provide your gifted learner with an opportunity to extend their learning beyond what is normally available to them. Applications by anyone under the age of 18 will need to be signed by a parent or guardian.

What sorts of things can I apply to do for this award?

The last round of awards saw gifted learners being able to engage in a wide range of interests including robotics, music, problem-solving, languages and science research. You can apply for anything – as long as you can tell us how it will extend your learning, develop your exceptional ability and support your wellbeing.

Why is it called an award? Do I have to compete for this?

It’s an award because we want gifted learners (or their parents, teacher, whānau) to be able to tell us why this area would be important to you. We will consider giving awards to anyone who can tell us about their exceptional ability or area of interest and how money will help to extend and challenge your learning in that area, how it will support your wellbeing and help you to develop your exceptional ability.

Who can I contact if I have more questions about the awards?

gifted.awards@education.govt.nz

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