Our Granting

To apply

Grant applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Trust’s Granting Strategy, Our Granting Principles and Our Granting Approval prior to completing the Funding Application.

Apply For A Grant

Application deadline 1 September 2017.

Interested grant-seekers are strongly encouraged to contact the Executive Officer to discuss the proposed project and if it meets the CET's granting objectives prior to completing an application.

Granting Strategy

Granting Strategy Graphic

The CET invests in:

  • Initiatives, interventions and projects and associated research to develop dispositions and competencies for living and learning from birth - 3, because evidence shows that children need language confidence to engage and learn with teachers and their peers, and social and emotional connectedness in order to participate in learning and establish learning behaviours.
    We accept the compelling evidence of the importance of early years development and the crucial influence of parents, caregivers family and whanau as first teachers.
  • Initiatives, interventions and projects and associated research to increase teacher effectiveness, because the evidence shows that excellence in teaching is the single most powerful, influence on student achievement (Hattie et al). Teacher effectiveness is more specific than teacher excellence; teacher effectiveness is always evaluated in terms of the impact teachers have on maximizing the potential of learners.

Our focus is on developing learners’ social and cognitive skills, including the academic outcomes and key competencies valued in our society.
Evidence of teacher effectiveness can be demonstrated by:

  • The evidence-informed use of play as learning In early childhood settings
  • Integrating a robust process of teacher inquiry
  • Building teachers’ capacity to know the impact of their teaching and to use that knowledge 
to continuously improve student learning
  • Raising student engagement in their learning against high expectations of them in which 
they believe
  • Increasing student agency in their learning
  • Enhancing student learning capabilities
  • Teachers collaborating to improve student learning

Our Granting Principles

  • We grant to projects that raise student engagement in their learning, enhance young people’s dispositions and competencies, are responsive to students’ individual aspirations and needs, and improve students’ learning outcomes.
  • We support research that is focused on building dispositions and competencies in the early years and/or increasing teacher effectiveness and is well aligned to our granting strategy.
  • We support projects that develop both social and cognitive skills and dispositions including the academic and key competencies valued in our society.
  • We look for projects that address inequality in Education in New Zealand.
  • We seek to work collectively and in collaboration with other funders and will support purposeful collaboration between schools and other interested stakeholders.
  • We have a preference for multi-year grants.
  • Projects we fund must be replicable and/or scalable and must provide evidence-based findings for dissemination to our beneficiaries.

Our Granting Approach

We fund initiatives, interventions and projects and associated research to

  • Develop dispositions and competencies for living and learning from birth – 3; and/or
  • Increase teacher effectiveness

Who and what we Fund

  • Projects that benefit students in New Zealand schools
  • Initiatives, interventions, projects, and associated research that increase teacher effectiveness and practice
  • Initiatives, interventions, projects, and associated research that build young people’s dispositions and competencies
  • Purposeful collaboration between teachers, schools and other interested stakeholders

What we don't generally Fund

  • Retrospective projects
  • Capital projects including equipment and computers
  • Fundraising costs
  • Projects that focus solely on the provision of Professional Learning and Development including an individual’s professional development
  • Requests for funding for research or educational costs to further one’s qualifications or position
  • Requests for overseas research and/or project funding unless there is sufficient evidence of how the activity would provide tangible benefits to the Trust’s beneficiaries

Successful grantees will be able to demonstrate

  • The ability to produce evidence-based findings that can be disseminated to the Trust's beneficiaries
  • That their projects are replicable and/or scalable
  • An evaluation component in the project that will ultimately demonstrate the impact of improving outcomes for learners

* refer http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum/Key-competencies

University of Auckland Faculty of Education Research Grant

University of Auckland Faculty of Education Research Grant

Doctoral researcher Maree Davies recently completed two highly successful intervention studies on providing not only a big shift in opportunity for Student Voice, but for students to learn how to use their voice for deep learning. The second study sought to consolidate what specific aspects of talk seemed to generate complex and high level discussion and thinking for high stakes assessments in NCEA, Year 11.

An emerging research area is the use of technology as a tool in aiding the positive impact of Student Voice. Technology provides additional options for dialogic discussions over and above face-to-face contact. Teaching can be powerfully enhanced if teachers can use technology tools to communicate with their students.

The Cognition Education Trust is funding a research project with lead researcher Maree Davies to better understand how technology can play a role in facilitating Student Voice in New Zealand classrooms. The research project’s goal is to understand the value of dialogical discussions and flipped learning apps in New Zealand classrooms.

Stewart Germann Grant

Stewart Germann Grant

The Trust wished to honour the decades-plus service of past Cognition Education Ltd chair, Stewart Germann, by funding an annual grant named after him in perpetuity. The Stewart Germann Grant’s focus and criteria have been developed by staff at Cognition Education Ltd who also oversee it annually.

Presently this grant supports Unicef's Map Your World programme in the Far North.

About the Grant Project

Unicef NZ

UNICEF Map Your World Project (Whangarei)

Map Your World is a social mapping tool that enables children and youth to identify issues within their school and or community that they wish to change. The social mapping process is closely aligned with the inquiry process, however a key difference is that students are learning about an issue that leads to a specific action that brings about positive change.

Map Your World empowers children and youth as agents of change; specifically communicating knowledge and developing skills to improve child agency in our communities. This project introduces students and teachers in Whangarei to Map Your World through a training workshop, and then to provides support to students and teachers as they implement their learning to identify needs, design solutions, and undertake projects in their own community.

Teach First New Zealand

Teach First New Zealand

Teach First NZ is an independent charitable trust, that operates a teaching and leadership development programme in partnership with the University of Auckland, engaging New Zealand’s future leaders in tackling educational inequality. Teach First NZ is supporting a vision of an Aotearoa New Zealand where all young people achieve their full educational potential, regardless of their background.

Teach First NZ attracts highly-qualified and well-rounded individuals – often those who may not have otherwise considered teaching – to teach for at least two years in schools serving lower decile communities. Through a unique school-based teacher education model, participants concurrently teach classes and study for a postgraduate teaching diploma. After the two years, Teach First NZ supports its alumni, who have developed a rare first-hand understanding of teaching in low-decile schools, to remain engaged in advancing educational opportunity and achievement over the long-term. Read more about the outcomes Teach First NZ has already achieved at http://teachfirstnz.org/organisation/our-impact

About the Grant Project

Cognition Education Trust is supporting Teach First NZ to expand its "Te Ahowhai" curriculum, which lies at the heart of the two-year Teach First NZ programme. Teach First NZ is seeking to broaden this initiative to deliver a customised leadership development programme to an additional 25 experienced teachers, utilising the existing curriculum platform that has been built for new teacher trainee participants. This new offering will include access to Teach First NZ resources, trainings, experiences, and networks -- which are focused squarely on the needs of priority learners in low-decile communities.

Storytime Foundation

Storytime Foundation

Storytime Foundation strengthens vulnerable young children and their families by enhancing the bond between parent and child early in life.

A strong bond between a caregiver and child during the first 1000 days significantly improves outcomes in life for the child and the wider family unit. It also has positive effects on literacy.

A caregiver taking time to read to their child—especially as a baby—is a key driver of early attachment. While ongoing experiences of neglect, stress or trauma can seriously impede development, early attachment can return children who have experienced adversity to normal biological function, creating equal opportunities in life for all Kiwi kids.

Storytime Foundation is the only agency delivering books and information, free, into New Zealand’s most deprived homes through Well Child providers, to enhance early attachment, build cohesive families and improve social outcomes.

About the Grant Project

Having invested (2014) in Storytime Foundation’s pilot programme to extend their deliver of their Books for Babies (‘B4B’) programme for children 14-24 months, Cognition Education Trust is now contributing to Storytime Foundation’s replicating this successful programme in other areas of New Zealand – notably in Porirua and Christchurch.

Whangarei Boys’ High School

Whangarei Boys’ High School

Over the 134 years of its existence, Whangarei Boys’ High School has established itself as a place of learning for day boys and boarders. It has earned its reputation from the thousands of young men it has nurtured – young men who have contributed to its great traditions.

In 2016 the school roll is over 1250, with students coming from all over the Far North to attend Carruth House (boarding hostel), as well as serving the wider Whangarei area. The school demographic is 40% Maori projecting a very rich and diverse community.

The school has always maintained a basic thrust for excellence and the values expressed in the 2011 E.R.O report confirms this. Changing circumstances often call for changing approaches. Whangarei Boys’ High School is flexible and has continued to meet the needs of our times. In its buildings, its equipment and its methods, the school is modern and is fitting its young men to confront the challenges and the growing technology of the workplace.

Whangarei Boys’ High School has its sights firmly focused on improving outcomes for all students so that all students move on from school with qualifications and choices for their future. Whangarei Boys’ High School has strength in sports and culture places strong value on encouraging boys to reach their full potential in the classroom, on the sports field and on the stage.

About the Grant Project

This project is a partnership between Whangarei Boys' High School and Dr Ian Hunter and the "Write that Essay" team designed to be a school wide transformation project to lift academic writing performance.

The project has different strands including deep and detailed analysis of student writing at the beginning and end of year year 9. This is designed to identify actual writing needs and build teacher capability through staff PDL writing workshops.

Through targeted faculty work there will training in use of the online writing tool and improvement in the assessments task for internal assessments.

The aim is to have improved student performance in writing and heightened teacher skill in the area of teaching writing. The intention is to share the expertise developed at this school across the Primary and Intermediate schools in our local area.

Student Voice Impact Project

Whakatupuhia te reo, whakatupuhia te tamaiti
(Enhancing Student Voice to influence school-wide decision-making and accelerate student progress)

Student progress and achievement is enhanced when schools make deliberate use of student voice to inform their decision making. The student voice rubric provides indicators for the collection, analysis, and use of student voice with regard to three closely related dimensions of practice.

Summary of learnings from network of four schools to assist educators considering the use of student voice to inform decision making for teachers and school leaders.

Jesse Lee, Gladstone School, demonstrates the web portal
Julie Schumacher, Clevedon School, explains how Clevedon School uses student voice and the web portal

Whakatupuhia te reo, whakatupuhia te tamaiti
(Enhancing Student Voice to influence school-wide decision-making and accelerate student progress)

The Cognition Education Trust believes there is a lack of New Zealand evidence about the role and use of Student Voice to inform strategic planning within schools.

Our definition of “Student Voice” is the intentional collection and use of students’ thinking and feedback on their learning and using these voices to inform and improve teaching, learning and school-wide decision-making.

The Project focus of Year 1 (2014) was to understand and encourage the Power of Student Voice to Influence Teachers’ and School Leaders’ Decision-Making. A small cluster of Year 1-8 schools in the Auckland region was established to work together to better understand how to use Student Voice to make decisions about lesson planning, success of lessons, classroom practice and development of self-regulation in learning. The participating schools had each either commenced or had clear and immediate plans to commence programmes or interventions to use Student Voice to feedback to teachers and school leaders to mediate the teaching and learning decisions for students.

The cluster of schools attended a series of professional learning workshops in 2014 designed and facilitated by Cognition Education Ltd. The schools worked together, informed by the guiding principles of Collective Impact to develop their own Student Voice impact programme.

The Trust summarised the learnings from the first year (2014) of the project with the network of four schools to assist other schools who might be considering the use of Student Voice to inform decision making for teachers and school leaders. The summary can be downloaded here.

Year 2 (2015)’s edition focused on school wide, strategic uptake of Student Voice and again comprised professional development workshops for the initial four schools, to develop change projects within each school with on-going support from Cognition Education Ltd.

Year 3 (2016) was the consolidation of the project’s findings to be published and shared with educators of the Trust's beneficiaries via a web portal accessed here.

Participating Schools

Clevedon School

Edeh-Nobami-240x220 Edeh Nobari
Deputy Principal

Edeh Nobari is the Deputy Principal at Clevedon School. She joined Clevedon School in 2012 and has worked in a variety of roles in education in Auckland, Asia, and the Middle East.

Gladstone Primary School

Jesse-Lee-240x220Jesse Lee
Year 6 Teacher

Jesse Lee is a Year 6 teacher who has a passion for teaching and learning. He is interested in developing independent learners behaviours in his students to improve the adaptability of their own learning and thinking in a changing educaLon world.

St Johns Mairangi Bay

Laura-Vincent-220x220Laura Baddeley
Year 1 Teacher

Laura just moved to Saint John's in Mairangi Bay and she is currently teaching a year 1 class. She is passionate about collecting student voice and seeing how she can use this information to change her classroom teaching. She's looking forward to learning new ways to collect student voice with junior children.

Rhode Street School

Shane-Ngatai-240x220Shane Ngatai

Shane Ngatai (Principal and Proud of it) has 16 years experience as a principal, has 3 of his 6 children currently attending Rhode Street, and is married to Deborah a front line police officer. Shane is also on a reference group for the Children's Commissioner and an advisor to the Ngai Te Rangi Education Authority.

We are a quiet achiever that shares and disseminates the excellent work undertaken by our grantees and beneficiaries.