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Schools in the Bay of Plenty have won four of the 10 prizes in the Herald's Make a Newspaper competition.

Three Bay schools share the four prizes, worth $5000 each. The result was especially rewarding for Opotiki School, which has won a prize every year since the competition started, and Ashbrook School, which is set for a $10,000 cash injection after winning two prizes. Both are decile 1 schools.

"We're a small area, and this gives us the self-belief that we can compete with everyone, everywhere," said Ashbrook principal Graeme Gandy.

Now in its fifth year, the programme challenges North Island primary and intermediate schools to make their own 12-page newspaper, each page with different sponsors and themes.

It aims for students to work on curriculum subjects while also learning about current affairs, teamwork and the role of newspapers in society.

This year saw 133 entries. Cash prizes went to the top five schools in each of the intermediate and primary categories.

One of the four judges, APN National Publishing deputy managing editor Shenagh Gleeson, said the content and design of the entries were outstanding.

"It's great to see primary and intermediate students using their talents so effectively to communicate the news, views and ideas from their schools and their communities," she said.

The winners:

Primary: Ashbrook School, Opotiki; Te Puke Primary School; Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Whakawatea, Hamilton; Marian Catholic School, Hamilton, and Manakau School, Levin.

Intermediate: Ashbrook School, Opotiki; Opotiki School; Kamo Intermediate, Whangarei; Hill Top School, Auckland, and Baverstock School, Auckland. Toko School, in Stratford, received a special mention in the intermediate section.