George Street Normal School principal Rod Galloway stands among his pupils holding the school's New Zealand National Schools of Character Award. Photo by Linda Robertson.
When two Dunedin schools won prestigious New Zealand National
Schools of Character Awards, it was no surprise their pupils
were humble and gracious in their acceptance.
George Street Normal School and King's High School were among
seven schools nationwide given awards by the New Zealand
Foundation for Character Education, for demonstrating
outstanding character education initiatives that had yielded
positive results for pupil behaviour, citizenship, school
culture and academic achievement.
New Zealand Foundation for Character Education deputy
chairman and National Schools of Character selection panel
convener Warwick Moyle said each school intentionally taught
character traits such as respect, responsibility, honesty,
compassion, integrity and kindness.
Not only were they taught, but each school sought to advocate
and model them, and he believed the seven winning schools
would provide wonderful mentors for other schools and models
for the future.
''Each placed a strong emphasis on the school's culture, and
endeavoured to have the character traits they taught and
advocated inform and influence everything that happened in
"The quality of leadership, in terms of character formation,
provided by each principal is a significant factor in the
effectiveness of the school's approach to character
education,'' Mr Moyle said.
The range of school types, sizes, locations and decile
classifications of the winning schools showed these factors
were irrelevant to effective character education, he said.
George Street Normal School principal Rod Galloway said, as
chairman of the New Zealand Foundation for Character
Education, he stood down from the award selection panel so
his school could be considered for an award.
He was delighted the school had been selected.
''I think it's affirmation of the work of our teachers in
building good and strong character in our children.
''We're working to help children to make good choices,'' he
King's High School deputy rector Darryl Paterson said the
school was thrilled with the award.
''The award is specifically for initiatives that we've
created in the last four years.
''They include the establishment of the Oestreicher
Leadership Award for boys who show great leadership skills,
and the King's Man Society, which is a class that teaches the
essence of being a good man.
''This award [the Character Award] is great reinforcement for
the work we're doing,'' he said.
The awards are for four years and will be presented at
special assemblies this week as part of Character Counts Week
Both schools were awarded $1000 prize money.
Mr Galloway said George Street Normal School pupils would be
asked how they wanted to spend the money.
''We're looking at ways we can use it to pay it forward,'' he
New Zealand National Schools of Character Award winners. -
• George Street Normal School, Dunedin (decile 9)
• Kaitao Middle School, Rotorua (decile 2)
• King's High School, Dunedin (decile 6)
• Ohaeawai School, Northland (decile 2)
• Scots College, Wellington (decile 10)
• Spring Creek School, Blenheim (decile 4)
• Tauraroa Area School, Northland (decile 7)