Limehills School has been named as a finalist in the inaugural Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards, the only primary school in the country to be selected.
The awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievement in early childhood, primary and secondary schooling, in categories which include engaging, leading and teaching and learning.
There were 163 entries across the country, with 16 finalists selected across five categories.
Limehills is one of four finalists in the Excellence in Engaging Award and if successful could win up to $50,000 in prizes.
Other contenders are Otumoetai Intermediate in Tauranga, St Thomas of Canterbury College and early childhood centre Toybox on Rawhiti in Auckland.
Limehill's entry centres around the school's ground breaking Taste of Home programme designed and delivered by teacher Kirsty Rodger and English language assistant Melanie Logan.
The programme, which focuses on English language learners, looks at the whole child and the importance of celebrating their identity in the school community, Rodger said.
"When children have a place and are proud of who they are, that's great for their learning."
One of the initiatives of Taste of Home was a weekly Global Café where children cooked Kiwi food for parents and information and memories from home countries were shared.
The school had also built a website: http://limehillsshowmehow.weebly.com/ for videos produced by children for children teaching them everything from sports coaching tips, to strategies for maths and reading.
Principal Jim Turrell said to be selected as a finalist was an honour.
"We are just thrilled to have our efforts acknowledged in this way . . . it recognises the contributions from all of our outstanding teachers, our very supportive parents and most importantly, our talented and hard-working students".
A panel of education leaders will now visit Limehills to see the programme in action, with winners announced at a ceremony in Wellington in June.
- The Southland Times
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