Pupils at Gate Pa School will most likely be cooking dinner in their households very soon.

Each pupil will this year learn how to grow and cook their vegetables at school so they can take their skills from the garden to the table.

Gate Pa School and Oropi School have started the Garden to Table nationwide initiative which teaches schoolchildren how to grow, cook and prepare food.

Read more: Need for support growing at some of Tauranga's low decile schools, principals say


Principal Richard Inder said the initiative ensured the school had a substantial vegetable garden on school grounds, "which we have".

Inder said the initiative taught children how to grow food for the kitchen at school and home.

"The children will be able to learn skills, about the growing calendar such as raising plants from seeds to plants and using them for healthy recipes for eating," he said.

"We hope they will take their gardening and cooking skills home with them."

Each teacher would lead a cooking group in the kitchen and another in the garden, and there would be specialist teachers on hand to educate the children.

The principal said the initiative was already proving popular, with many pupils asking when they could enrol.

Inder said the school was asking the community to donate any spare utensils such as microwaves, pots and pans or knives and forks for its kitchen.

The pupils could start to use the kitchen once the room was fully equipped.

The Garden to Table initiative was one of the newest programmes the school had adopted in 2018.

But Inder said more aspects made the school cool, including student-teach-parent conferences which connected the children with their parents and teachers before school started.

"It is a chance for the students to share their goals and dreams for the school year and for the parents to tap into their child's learning," Inder said.

A highlight of the school year included the senior school camp - this year's school camp was at Waihi Beach.

"It is part of our Kiwi culture is school camp," Inder said. "It is great to be able to provide the children with that."

What do you love about your school?

Alex Hoath, 7.
"I like the bikes, the scooters and the kitchen."

Alex Hoath, 7. Photo/George Novak
Alex Hoath, 7. Photo/George Novak

Jorja Rayne Thompson, 8.
"I like the adventure playground."

 Jorja Rayne Thompson, 8. Photo/George Novak
Jorja Rayne Thompson, 8. Photo/George Novak

Tyreese Williams, 8.
"I like playing on the trees with my friends."

Tyreese Williams, 8. Photo/George Novak
Tyreese Williams, 8. Photo/George Novak

Maia Nathan, 8.
"It has everything I like. I like the teachers because they are nice to me."

Maia Nathan, 8. Photo/George Novak
Maia Nathan, 8. Photo/George Novak

About the school:

Location: Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number: 1992

School type: Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll: 275

Gender composition: Boys 54%, Girls: 46%

Ethnic composition: Maori: 48%, NZ European/Pakeha: 24%, Tongan: 9%, South East Asian: 6%, Indian: 4%, Samoan: 5%, Cook Island Maori: 3%, Other:1%

Special features: Two immersion Te Reo Maori classes

Review team on site: August 2015

Date of this report: September 14, 2015