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     Deadline is Wednesday 21 February 2018.

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.

Watch Video

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.

Watch Video

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

Watch Video

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.

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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.

Watch Video

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.

Whanganui Learning Centre Trust

Whanganui Learning Centre Trust

The Whanganui Learning Centre Trust serves the needs of the Whanganui Community and has its roots in the Adult Reading and Learning Assistance (ARLA) movement that grew from a community need 40 years ago. It is known locally, regionally and nationally as a quality provider and is a regional and national award winner.

WLCT has a history of successfully delivering Adult and Community Education, literacy, numeracy and technology programmes throughout the Whanganui community. It is a research-based organisation that is working collaboratively with a range of local and national providers to enhance the foundational skills and well-being of adults and their whanau—especially Maori and Pasifika with low-or-no skills.

About the Grant Project

The WLCT has formed a collaboration with partners in the lowest decile communities in Whanganui to assist children and whanau to improve their oral language skills. The schools, the Kindergarten Association and other agencies have provided evidence for the need for an intensive intervention that targets the children and their parents. The focus will be on improving the relationships and communication (oral literacy skills) between hard-to-engage parents, their teachers and children.

Given that WLCT is championing the roll-out of “Talking Matters” in Whanganui, a special focus will be on the 4-year-olds plus (because of the needs among many of the children transiting to school) and for other age cohorts in primary schools that are identified most in need.

University of Waikato

University of Waikato

The Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research (WMIER) and associated Video Lab is located across the Hamilton and Tauranga campuses of The University of Waikato. These groups work with local communities to undertake meaningful pedagogical research. It has a reputation for high quality research ranging from collaborative case studies to gather comprehensive data using video and researcher-participant observations to national surveys. Together, the Lab and WMIER have access to the technology, software and personnel with the expertise needed to conduct a video-informed study that takes account of the emotional and social experiences of very young children in their earliest encounters in formal educational settings outside of their home.

For the project the team will comprise educational researchers and teacher-researchers from early childhood education services (ECE) in both Tauranga and Hamilton. ECE services cater for children aged birth-five years. The services are well established in their respective communities and respond to national trends concerning the placement of infants in ECE across a variety of ECE contexts.

About the Grant Project

Given that many NZ children start out-of-home education and care in their first year of life, the infants in the project are likely to make at least three transitions during their ECE experience. These transitions occur when children move from home to infant room, from infant room to preschool and from preschool to school—and/or when they change location or circumstance. The policies, practices and beliefs of teachers who plan and promote these transitions are central to the transitions’ impact on children’s emotional and social well-being.

The project will generate data at key transition points: observational written and video recordings of infants’ activities, emotional] states and interactions on the first day in a new setting; individual interviews with a parent and the teacher who has the main responsibility for the infant in the new setting; and the collation of ECE service documentation involved in the transition process). Data from all these diverse sources will be analysed independently and together by researchers 
and teacher-researchers to determine the nature and impacts of different kinds of transition experiences (and associated practices and policies) on young children as they move through their ECE programmes and on to school.

Havelock North Intermediate School

Havelock North Intermediate School

Havelock North Intermediate is a melting pot for the six contributing schools and is a part of a Kahui Ako – with a direct feed through to the local high school that is adjacent to its grounds.

It is exploring the reasons for lower achievement amongst their Maori boys including examining philosophy, teaching practices, 
relationship with community and transition places. HNI has collected student voice, whanau voice, liaised with its kaumatua and others in the community and thus, has made several changes including a mentor programme that was piloted last 
term. This programme identifies a group of boys and works with them to forge links between home and school, between their 
culture and school culture, to enhance relationships and to build pride in self and school involvement.

About the Grant Project

The programme, run by Inspire in Education, mentors six students at a time: forming a bond between them, the mentor, 
the school, the whanau and community. The boys explore their backgrounds, complete pepeha, meet local community members, discuss issues and problems and set learning and behavioural goals - such as greater participation in school or community activities, specific goals around maths achievement etc. Wellbeing is at the centre of the programme: health, fitness, kindness to self and others, self-management, participations, restorative practice.

Paekākāriki School

Paekākāriki School

Paekākāriki School is a small village school with 150 children, years 1-8, on the Kāpiti Coast, supporting a diverse socio-economic population. Tūrangawaewae (belonging), whanaungatanga (connecting), whakatōmene (exploring) and whakapuāwai (thriving) are its 4 guiding principles. They strive to provide their students with experiences that will give them the skills and knowledge to step out and make a positive difference in this world. The school has a distinctive 
connection to its surrounding environment which grounds them and makes them aware of their unique culture and the strengths in being a strong connected community. Paekākāriki School is proud of their history and are thriving as a sustainable and resilient community into the future. They recognise Paekākāriki as a place of connected leaders and call their tamariki Barefoot Learners.

About the Grant Project

Get Stuck In takes disengaged boys years 4 - 8 and gives them time outside the classroom, guidance and resources to learn a new craft (building, kitemaking, whakairo (carving wood) etc), with the aim that this will increase their engagement with school in general by boosting their confidence and competencies. They will work with a dedicated male teacher aide, with support from classroom teachers in the tuakana (senior) syndicate and advice from local craftspeople.

Alongside the boys’ learning, their teacher aide and teachers will have professional development aimed at informing their 
own inquiries into teaching priority male students. Working together, they will reflect on the process, and then share their 
learning of working with this important target student group with the wider teaching community to other schools.

Get Stuck In has been partly inspired by work done by the likes of Menz Shed. What makes this programme unique, however is that it not only imbeds the project in the local community, making connections with local craftspeople, but it facilitates valuable learning to happen around disengaged boys for the teachers and teacher aide delivering the programme. And because it is delivered inside the school, it allows the boys to have stable, trusting and ongoing relationships with staff who would be there throughout their time in the school.

University of Auckland Faculty of Education

University of Auckland Faculty of Education

Professor and researcher Christine Rubie-Davies’ work pertains to teacher effectiveness, specifically, 
teacher expectations. Her early research allowed her to identify teachers who had high expectations 
for all their students. These teachers had marked positive effects on their students’ learning and social-psychological outcomes. That led to investigating the practices and beliefs of high expectation 
teachers to identify how they structured their classrooms and student learning in ways that resulted 
in such large gains for their students (effect sizes above 1.0 overall). In turn, the Teacher Expectation and Equity 
Project showed that when teachers in regular classrooms were trained in the practices of high expectation teachers, their students made large academic and social-psychological gains as well compared to students with a control group of teachers.

About the Grant Project

Recent research, with 17,000 New Zealand students, shows that teachers struggle to accurately 
judge the achievement of many of their students, particularly from priority learning groups 
(Māori, Pasifika, boys, special needs and English Second Language students). These students are being underestimated by their teachers (up to two years below actual student achievement). This means that students are given much lower level learning opportunities when they could be achieving at much higher levels. The current project is designed to teach teachers to work with students in mixed and flexible forms of grouping in order that all students are provided with challenging learning opportunities enabling them to achieve at the highest levels.

The Expectations and Equity Initiative, has been designed to implement the high expectation 
principles described above across the schooling sectors from primary to intermediate, to secondary 
and into tertiary. It is a very large project and CET is providing funding towards the first six months of 
the project to enable collection of baseline data

Manurewa Community of Learning

Manurewa Community of Learning

The Manurewa Community of Learning (“CoL”), based in South Auckland, is the only CoL with ECE through tertiary members; they have quickly drawn together to become a high-functioning CoL.

This CoL has identified that the transitions (ECE to Year 1, Year 3 to 4, Year 6 to 7, and Year 8 to 9) is the most critical area of need in the Manurewa CoL schools, a situation compounded by a high degree of transience in the community. Ongoing National Standards data since 2011 identifies the transitions are the most critical from Year 6-7 and Year 8-9 as these children are at their most vulnerable developmental stage and they have to make two transitions in quick succession. Attendance, retention, engagement and performance rates decline during the transitions and often the targeted children that are most vulnerable are the most impacted.

About the Grant Project

A 4-year project focusing on Years 6-9, thereby covering the two critical transitions within the Manurewa Community of Learning between Year 6-7 and Year 8-9, hence addressing issues for all schools types in the CoL. The duration of 4 years’ commitment will see the first cohort matriculate (successfully one hopes) into high school with foundational support and the formation of good behaviours.

The educators within the CoL will address the specific pedagogical and assessment elements, but their ability to positively influence students and families is greatly restricted outside the school gates. The programme includes the engagement of a fulltime educator from within the community to serve as a community liaison with and between whanau and school personnel. This position will be called “Arataki (“Pathway Guardian”) Coordinator”.

Bruce McLaren Intermediate School

Bruce McLaren Intermediate School

Bruce McLaren Intermediate, in Henderson, caters for Years 7 and 8 students. The multicultural student roll is representative of the local community. Pacific students make up 50 percent of the roll with the largest group being Samoan. Māori students comprise 29 percent of the school roll.

Classes consist of groups of students from both year levels. Specialist teachers provide additional expertise and opportunities in technology learning areas. A Samoan language enrichment class opened in 2015.

Many teachers and school leaders are long serving in the school. The recently appointed principal brings relevant experience and expertise to the school.

About the Grant Project

The 2018 project will be a Teacher-as-Inquirer activity that will research the benefit of implementing a new Identity Language and Culture Class (“ILC”) specifically for Samoan students led by an existing teacher. This class will be more holistic than just a bilingual class. This teacher will examine the benefits of having the dedicated ILC Class on site by comparing it to a control group of Samoan-culture mainstreamed students. The enquiry is whether the dedicated ILC class is making a positive impact on learners. Funding will be used for the teacher’s upskilling, her release time to measure the mainstream students and to connect with Waimahia (formerly Weymouth) and Kowhai Intermediates to investigate other existing practise and to understand what Bruce McLaren will need to do differently for their community of students.

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.