2011 Unlocking, Exploring, Extending and Sharing … Our voices, Our words, Our stories
Woodstock Primary School Writing Programme
Writers’ Café 2011
m o n d
Mum shook me saying, “Maia, come on you don’t want to be late on the first day back.” I lay there for a few minutes, staring at the fog sitting on the icy grass, wrapping itself around the trampoline, looking like it was covering my backyard with a cold, white sheet. Everything quiet, beautifully quiet. The smell of hot chocolate drifted down the hallway, into my room and past my nose. It made my mouth water but I didn’t want to get out of bed, so I pulled the sheets over my head and pretended to be asleep. Once again Mum marched in and shouted, “Maia, what did I tell you before? Get up!” Without hesitating, I dragged myself out of bed and slid my feet into my slippers. I slowly walked down the hallway and flopped on the chair at the kitchen table. Then I looked at the clock. Only ten minutes left. Oh no! After gulping down my breakfast, pulling on my clothes and brushing my hair, I headed down the driveway on my way to meet the walking school bus. The sun had pushed the fog aside and shone on me, creating a spotlight as if I was a star and filling the air with joy. The walking school bus had arrived. The air came to life with noise and laughter. Everything alive, everything shining.
Written by Maia Barbuzza Year 6
m o r n
Game On In 2030 I wonder if soccer will still be my favourite sport?
Every Saturday morning, in the winter term, even if the rain is torrential, Mum or Dad drive me to the soccer field. It’s game on! My team and I take our positions and wait in determination. The ball, already muddy from our pre-game practice, sits on the halfway line. The whistle blows and the whole field comes to life. We kick, tackle, run, slip, everything. “Tackle him! Steal the ball! Don’t go off side!” a parent shouts from the sideline. Then it’s half time. Oranges are passed around the team and the coach gives us non-stop tips like a commentator; he’s aiming to improve our play in the next round. We’re on again. It’s much more intense than the first half – more goals, more slips, more everything. The ball, bouncing, flying and rolling, soars from one side of the field to the other. I do all I can to defend the goal. It’s great. With mud on our faces, sweat on our foreheads and pride in our eyes, the game finishes. We high-five, shake hands and cheer for the other team. Then we wait curiously to hear the player of the day. Who is it? Sometimes it’s me and sometimes it’s not, but I don’t mind as long as I’ve played hard. In 2030 I’ll be 29 years old. Maybe I might be a better soccer player and possibly I might be the one winning the player of the day. Either way it will always be game on! Written by Euan Safey Year 6
My Special Kingdom
While everyone lounged on the beach, I scampered up the old Pohutukawa tree; my special kingdom was waiting for me. I stood there for a few moments, listening to the waves smash down on the water’s surface, embracing the cool breeze blowing my hair, smelling the salty sea air, and watching the seagulls swooping and diving in all directions. This was my kingdom, my palace of tall branches towering over the world below, with an old swing as an escape route. The natural wooden surroundings made up my royal throne room. The small ledges on the sides made the perfect stairwell up the green corridor. I glanced left, right, up and down watching my leaf servants blow from side to side, desperate to finish their made up duties, before the wind blew them away completely. With a cool breeze fanning me, and the relaxing sound of waves behind me, I felt free. Wow, I thought. I’m always so busy playing that I never realised how nice it is when you just stop … “Grace, let’s go,” was the next sound that interrupted my thoughts. “Fine Mum,” I replied. “Hey, you there stick, you’re in charge while I’m gone.” But I knew I would never really be gone. My special kingdom would stay with me forever. Written by Grace Fowler Year 6
The Big Final It’s the final of the Rugby World Cup 2011; New Zealand verses France. Piri Weepu kicks off and it’s game on here at Eden Park. The black jerseys charge at the opposition with their shoulder’s down. Some of them move out of the way, some stand their ground. BOOM! Players are flattened. The boys re-focus on the ball, which is jumping around like it has burnt feet. The crowd cheers as Tony Woodcock scores the first try of this thriller of a match. The halftime siren squeals and the knackered players head towards the tunnel. Score 5-0, All Blacks lead. The teams sprint back onto the park and power into the second half. spectators’ roar like an All Black has scored or is it just Sonny Bill Williams?
The try line stretches in front of the players, waiting for the next man to score. The goal posts watch them running, tackling, kicking, passing, everything. The whole country holds their breath as Stephen Donald lines up his penalty kick. It goes in the air, brushes the goal post and … it’s over! What a kick! His teammates jump on him and he is buried at the bottom of a doggy pile. The French fans are disappointed. The teams play on. Finally 8-7! The mighty All Blacks win the game! The world is watching as Richie McCaw proudly holds up the Webb Ellis Cup in honour of the All Blacks. Kiwi fans cheer! This will be a moment to remember in New Zealand rugby history. Written by Sam Rowe Year 6
Black Sticks Player in the Making On Saturday morning, in the winter term, unless it’s pouring with rain, I play hockey. It always makes me feel awesome. I run on to the pitch and it’s game on! My stick, wooden and signed, clings tightly to the ball, giving me a good chance to receive the player of the day. I tackle, wack, dribble, push, everything. The ball goes racing and rolling across the Astro Turf; it’s like it is flying. Then it’s half time. Mandarins, as round as hockey balls, get passed around and eaten. The second half is way more intense than the first; both teams are desperate to score goals. Before long it’s my turn to go off. I cheer on my teammates from the sideline. “Lets go Chilly Peppers, lets go!” My coach tells me to ‘be quiet’ because she thinks I will make them ‘lose their focus.’ Finally the game is over and we can’t wait to hear the player of the day. Who is it this time? You guessed it … me! I dream of becoming a famous hockey player and maybe that dream will come true. I hope so. Written by Sarah Booth Year 6
My Colourful Sister Sara My 12-year-old sister Sara is special in her own way. Her teeth are crooked but shiny white like lights. Her hair is golden with tiny streaks of white blond and it clings to the side of her head when she wakes up. Sara’s denim shorts, thin shoes and purple sweatshirt are obviously her favourite clothes because she wears them most of the time. Caring for animals is what my sister loves doing. Sara has a dog, Maddie, but she calls her ‘Maddie Moo’. Maddie has golden, blond fur and is very fluffy. Sara cares for Maddie and feeds and exercises her. What does Sara dislike? That’s easy. She hates caves, cockroaches and spiders. Whenever she sees one she screams, “Aaaaaaa!” at the top of her lungs and smacks it with her shoe. Sara can be annoying, especially when she wakes us up in the middle of the night screaming because she has had a nightmare or seen a daddy-long-legs. It takes me ages to get back to sleep again. It’s so frustrating! Sara’s room is the one place I’m not allowed in. Endless certificates hang on the wall, proud to be there. Her dirty clothes lay lifeless on the floor. A messy desk stands in the corner of the room, used only to store stuff. Her wardrobe hangs open like a gaping mouth. “Tidy your room,” Mum says. “Okay,” says Sara, but she never does. I think Sara is better than any other 12-year-old girl, but that’s just my opinion. Although she can be annoying sometimes, she is bright and inspiring, and she stands up for me. Sara colours my world like a rainbow! Written by Matthew Pairaudeau Year 6
Paul Blyde Mall Cop My 14-year-old cousin Paul really colours my world. We call him Paul Blyde Mall Cop after the movie character because he is so funny. His hair, a ginger brown colour, avoids the hairbrush, is hidden from shampoo and conditioner, and is frozen stiff in a tall, spiky position. His right front tooth, crooked and bent, stands out a mile away thanks to its shiny gleam, and his face is covered with light brown freckles. His lips are usually buried beneath a sandwich or juice thanks to his HUGE appetite. Paul is usually found wearing old baggy clothes that are ripped, stained and colourless. At the beginning of the day his clothes look clean and spotless, but by the end of the day it looks like a mud bomb has gone off around him. That’s because he loves playing down on his Granddad's farm. What does Paul like most ? That’s easy - eating. Whenever I go to his house he’s always examining the food in the fridge, making the pantry lighter and lighter, or holding a piece of pizza in one hand, and in the other, a sandwich overflowing with Nutella. His favourite foods include cereal, sandwiches, cheese and of course pizza. Paul also loves watching television. He loves a little ‘Bear Grillz’ as a wake up call, a humorous pinch of ‘Comedy Central’ at lunchtime, and a colourful dash of ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ just before dinner. And that’s only on Tuesday; you should see him on Saturday! Paul’s dislikes? Well that’s simple too – blind wrestling. He hates that fun game. Whenever his 15year-old brother Craig and I start up a game he always says, “Oh not this game again! If you need me I’ll be in the lounge.” “Wait!” I say. “You’re not going anywhere.” In a flash I close the door, turn off the light and round one begins. Even though Paul’s a nice guy he can be a little bit frustrating. Once, last winter, I came over to his house for the weekend. I brought some clothes, underwear, my watch and my toy Nerf guns. We had Nerf wars all day in different areas of the farm, including the dreaded pool. It was the middle of winter and walking into that pool inch by inch was the last thing I wanted to do. I had shot Paul three times and he shot me twelve, which meant he was winning. Two minutes later disaster struck. Paul tripped and accidentally let my Raider cs35 Nerf gun sink to the bottom of the pool! “Noooo!” I shouted. Paul, embarrassed and guilty, said, “Well at least it wasn’t electric. Good luck getting it back.” I tried to laugh but it just wasn’t funny. Paul’s room is his man cave. Sets of Lego dominate the bookcase, clothes are spread all over the floor and in the left corner his stinky, unmade bed gives his room a bad reputation. Paul also has a little, old TV that he thinks is great. Paul might be frustrating sometimes; he may sleep in a man cave and have the appetite of an ape, but who cares because I think he’s cool. Written by Jordan Edwards Year 6
Smoking Should Be Banned Completely!! Completely Many people smoke and I think it stinks! Do you think smoking should be banned? I strongly think it should be. Why? It’s bad for your health causing diseases and even death, it’s also a total waste of money, and it pollutes the air and other people’s lungs. Who would want to be exposed to all this toxic tobacco? Firstly, smoking is bad for your health. It causes many health problems, for example, lung cancer and even death. Smokers are just burning their lives away. Did you know that more than 4500 people die from a smoking related illness every year? Furthermore smoking steals 14 years off your life. That’s really bad! I think this is the worst reason of all. Secondly, smoking is a total waste of money. On average a packet of smokes costs approximately $12. Shockingly, if you smoked a packet a day throughout the year it would cost around $4000!! That money could go towards so many other uses, for instance, education, healthy food and travel. No doubt about it, smoking kills your wallet. All that money burned up in a puff of smoke! Thirdly, smoking pollutes the air. Would you want to feel responsible for polluting other people’s lungs? No way! Smoking has a devastating effect on the environment. I’m sick and tired of cigarette butts on footpaths and in parks. If you smoke you’re polluting the earth so stop smoking and clear the air. Believe me when I tell you hundreds of chemicals are released from one smoke. Obviously if you smoke, you don’t have any care for the environment. Face it, smoking should be banned completely. It kills your health, your wallet and the environment. I urge you to give it up before it’s too late! Written by Jack Thompson Year 6
I will always remember the day on the 25th December 2010 when Ollie, Ben, Harry, Hugo, Monty and I decided to have a game of hide-and-seek at our bach. We played a game of Twenty-One to find out who was ‘it’ and Ollie ended up being the seeker. While Ollie was counting, the rest of us spread out in groups. The groups were: Ben and Hugo, Monty and me, and Harry was by himself. We all ran off to a hiding spot. My one was at the marae, tucked up in a corner, surrounded by bush. After a while, Monty and I got bored hiding and started piling leaves and making paths down to the beach. We were so distracted we didn’t even realise that Ollie had spotted us. He raced over and shouted, “Found you, found you!” All the others came running over to us. “Wow, mean hut!” said Ben. “What hut?” I said. “The one behind you,” said Harry. I turned around and looked at the hut Monty and I had somehow created when we were digging out paths. “Can we go in it?” said Hugo. “Of course you can,” said Monty. Trees surrounded us, leaves were scattered along the ground and the sun peeped through the gaps in the dark green bush in front of us. After everyone was inside, the final step was to close up the entry so intruders couldn’t sneak in. While Monty and I put branches in front of the opening, Ben came up with his own plan – to destroy our luxurious bush apartment. Before long, branches fell, leaves flew and Ben was running around laughing, mucking up all the paths Monty and I had made. Soon there was no hut left. I didn’t mind much but Monty did. “What on earth was that for?” Monty said. Ben shrugged his shoulders and said, “Because I wanted to have some fun.” Ben was always mucking up people’s plans. To smooth things over I said, “Anyone up for another game of hide-and-seek? And this time Ben, play nicely!” Then we were off on our next adventure. Written by Cameron Main Year 6
My Blue s Clues Puppy
“Laetham, Grandad’s here,” I heard Mum call. I walked into the lounge, after playing outside, and I saw Grandad holding a HUGE toy dog. “It’s for you!” he said. He put him on the ground in front of me. Blue, as I named him later, was as tall as me. He was light blue with navy spots, and he had huge sleepy eyes. His tail, long and fat, wrapped around his right side. Big, fluffy ears perched on his head, looking like two blue bananas. Our favourite game was pirates. We used pillows as the cannons, a paper plate as the steering wheel and my bed and spare bed as the ships. I would say things like, “Use the guns!” or “Take their ship!” Blue loved steering the ship and liked to be first on the bad guys boat. Mum always came in and told us to quieten down. Blue was even allowed to come to the shop and help me choose which ice cream to buy. Goody Goody Gum Drops was our favourite. Sometimes we ran down the steps off our deck, sat on the lawn and watched the sunset. On the first day of school I put Blue on my dressing table. Arriving home I guess I had forgotten about him and he has sat there ever since. Even though we don’t play together anymore, he still watches me every night, reminding me of all the fun we had. Written by Laetham Snowling Year 6
Samara Samara was my friend, before she moved away. I miss her. She wore her long, golden hair in ponytails, braids, waves, everything. Summery and round, her blue eyes always reminded me of a sunny morning sky, no matter what her mood was. I guess she must be about ten now because she was my age when I met her. Her smile, as charming as a girl scout selling cookies, made it almost impossible to not smile back. With her plaits flying behind her, she could never be beaten on a skipping contest. Clearly she was well practised at being skilled and cute. Although she was very comfortable in her denim jeans and her pink t-shirt, floral dresses were more her style. If the rules were changed she would come to school in high heels, makeup and jewellery. Needless to say, she could be a girly-girl sometimes. Imagining. I think that’s what Samara did to colour my world. “Shh! There are fairies in there,” she’d whisper in my ear, pointing at the circle in our little outdoor area where no one else went except us three – Samara, her friend Maria, and me. “Really?” Maria would ask, eyes wide. “Really,” Samara would answer, “and if we jump in we become fairies.” Samara was hooked on the Rainbow Magic Series. There was a game we played where we would try to stop Jack Frost from destroying Fairyland. We would become Samara the Sunshine Fairy, Maria the Magic Fairy and Daisy the Daffodil Fairy. And what was our reward for beating Jack Frost and the goblins? An upgrade. Before Samara left I had upgraded to Daisy the Disco Fairy. How cool is that? When Samara grows up I wouldn’t be surprised if she became an ‘imaginologist’! What does Samara dislike? I don’t really know but there was one thing she told us off for and that was choosing the same game everyday. “No, no, no,” she’d snap, “we played that game yesterday!” “What then?” Maria would argue back. This would go on and on until the bell rang and Samara and Maria would go back to class with smoke pouring out of their ears. Rain or shine Samara loved to go on the monkey bars, and when she did, it felt as though she was a spider monkey with rubber bands for arms, while I was a lazy dog glued to the ground. I used to watch in awe, as she’d flip her ultra-stretchy legs over the bars, and spring to the top. She was great. “Wow,” I’d murmur, “she should do gymnastics.” “Why don’t you try?” Samara used to ask me, pointing at the bars, but already knowing the answer. “No way,” I’d stammer. “I-I-I’ll get sore h-h-hands!” “Suit yourself!” she’d smile back cheerfully. That was her - always happy, always awesome. She didn’t have to ask if I was scared; she knew already and she made me feel great anyway. So that was my good friend Samara - stylish and girly with an amazing imagination, and a gymnast in the making. She certainly added colour to my world. Written by Daisy Bunting Year 5
Eg g s On Th e Me n u In 2030 I wonder if I will love bacon and eggs as much as I do now? I hope so. Most Saturday mornings, in the summertime, around 10 a.m., Mum and I make bacon and eggs for breakfast. It’s always delicious. “Can you turn the frying pan on?” asks Mum. Everything seems so calm and relaxed on a Saturday without all the rushing to get to school and work. We leave the eggs in the frying pan until the edges are as frilly as brown lace and the bacon is as crispy as crackers. “Breakfast is ready,” Mum calls and everybody races to the kitchen. We sit at the table eating streaky bacon and fresh, fried eggs; except Dylan, my big brother, he loathes eggs. I feel like a little kid again, spilling yolk down my t-shirt and left over bacon grease hanging around my lips. People say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but I think it’s the most special. It’s the only meal where my whole family sits together at the table, sharing stories from the day before. In 2030 I will be 28 years old. I plan to have a university degree, an awesome job and maybe, just maybe, a family of my own to cook at Saturday morning breakfast for. Written by Brooke Mahaffey Year 5
My Pa is Awesome! My Pa grew up in Samoa but now he lives in Brisbane, Australia. I think he’s awesome. I guess he is in his seventies but he’s got a smile like a five year old on Christmas morning. His hair, spiky and grey, sticks up like frozen grass in winter. His skin is brown, rough and stubbly; I tell him he needs to shave more. His chestnut brown eyes are always glued to the television. His slippers shuffle across the ground whenever he walks. Although he moves slowly, he can still get to places on time. With his tracksuit on, pants pulled up to his belly button, and his slippers off, we know when he’s ready to go out. Although Pa’s aging, he still has a good sense of humour. Laughing and smiling is what he loves to do; it makes him feel young. Whenever I get home from school he says, “Jazmin I found this awesome joke in the newspaper! You’ve just got to hear it!” Another big love of Pa’s is watching TV. With the remote in one hand and his feet up on the sofa, he’s set to watch his favourite programmes. He shouts, “Shoot ‘em boys!” when the cowboy movies are on. I leave the room immediately. What does Pa dislike? I have no idea. Nothing I think. He’s too cheerful and caring. When Pa watches me perform in the Pacifica group I feel happy and nervous at the same time. He always videos me and I want to do a good job. Although he growls us sometimes, he always plays with us and tells us the secret to his magic tricks. When we play fish he says, “Are you sure you don’t have an ace?” “I’m sure Pa,” I mutter. He also helps with the dishes and dinner. Pa is as brave as a warrior for surviving cancer. My Mum went over to Australia to look after him while he had major treatment. We knew he’d get through it and he did. Overall Pa’s big hearted, strong and loving. He’s rare, a one of a kind and he’s my world, my colourful world. Written by Jazmin Hotham Year 6
Bend It Like Beckham Sometimes on a Saturday morning, if the weathers fine, my Dad takes me to my soccer game. Bring it on! With my soccer uniform on and my boots laced up, I’m ready to play hard. I kick off and the game starts. We run, slip, slide, everything. We do all we can to score a goal. I get stuck in and before I know it we are half way through the game. I just can’t stop! Although we’re having fun we get really, really tired so the coach calls, “Come and get oranges everybody!” Then we are back in play and I put on my ‘game face’. The constant shouting and nagging from the sidelines is deafening. Finally the match finishes and I don’t mind if we win or lose – it’s still fun. Sometimes I’m muddy and sometimes I’m clean, either way it’s awesome. “What a game!” Dad says. “Bend it like Beckham!” I say. So that’s how I spend my Saturday mornings – running around playing hard. Written by Ethan Mackenzie Year 6
LITTLE CHOOKIE Sheâ€™s perched on her stick, holding on tight, putting together an escape plan in her mind. Her head jerks and swerves, changing direction every few seconds. Zig-zagging around the room, her beady eyes scan everyone and everything, desperate to be free. Like a necklace, her jowls bounce around, following wherever her head goes. She grooms her feathers, combing them with her big, grey beak. When she opens her mouth, the only sound that escapes is like a frog inside her tummy croaking away. The chicken â€“ quite possibly the perfect pet. Written by Liana Kirk Year 5
My Colorful Cousin Chloe Although my cousin Chloe is only ten, she acts like a professional farmer (and a bit of a show off!) With her tiny freckles she looks like a spotty cheetah. Her mouth, which is always talking, lets out her sweet, lolly smelling breath. I love it. Her ears, which are hidden away by her soft, blond hair, are round and crimpled up like the top of a question mark. Once Chloe has her farm gear on she’s ready for the day. She throws on her gumboots, an old t-shirt and shorts and she’s ready to go. In winter she wears woolly leggings, thick, fluffy socks and a long shirt. She has to be able to get dirty. What does Chloe like? That’s simple. She loves nature. When I want to stay inside she always says, “Come on, let’s go and play!” “Alright,” I sigh. She drags me down the farm and we end up having an excellent time playing safari games. I am always the elephant so I don’t do much. But Chloe is always the lion so she races about. I guess she likes being the king. Chloe is kind though, so if I want to go inside she doesn’t mind and comes with me. However after a few hours she convinces me to go on another adventure with her. Small rooms are not Chloe’s favourite place. She gets claustrophobic. When we stayed at Miranda Holiday Park my family slept in a bunk cabin and it was tiny. As we entered the bunkroom Chloe zoomed straight out to her cabin because it was a big house. I ran after her. “Chloe!” I yelled, “Come back!” but she wouldn’t go near our room. Chloe gets so frustrated with her little four-year-old sister Georgia but I think she’s adorable. Georgia always begs Chloe to play Barbies with her and Chloe spends all her time trying to get away from her. She says, “Barbies are for babies!” Chloe can make people feel a lot braver. If we are scared about going into the paddock with the cows, she will encourage us and say, “Come on, they can’t hurt you!” And in a few minutes we are in the paddock with the cows! Chloe really makes people have more courage. Chloe is mainly found down on the farm. With sticky, smelly cow poo all over her gumboots, she is in her natural habitat. The thick, green grass wraps around her dirty gumboots and the cows surround her mooing their heads off. She loves it. Chloe has an adventurous personality and she loves to get dirty, but by the end of the day she is just as sleepy and tired as Georgia and me. We snuggle up and watch a movie but by the end she’s ready to play more. “Not again,” we groan. Written by Pyper Kerr Year 6
The Earthquake That Changed Christchurch Foreverby Grace Fowler Year 6
The Earthquake That Changed Christchurch Forever The people of Christchurch were probably just enjoying a beautiful summer day, when out of nowhere a low rumble emerged and grew; screams broke out as the earth shook and the rumble grew louder and louder until â€Ś it stopped, just like that. Everything fell silent then the sound returned, just not a good type. Cries of relief filled the air as people were rescued from the rubble holding them prisoner. But for some families, the relief disappeared and was replaced by screams of sorrow. Rescue teams searched top to toe for survivors who might have been clinging on to the tiniest speck of life. Some were found; others were not so fortunate. Old buildings crumbled at the mercy of the gigantic quake. Family members rushed for safety as the earth shook and split, revealing its dark, mysterious underbelly. People wailed, knowing the places they called home would never be the same again. Buildings toppled, car alarms screamed and debris flew. Supermarket shelves shook, dropping their goods all over the place. What was the earth doing to itself? How would Christchurch pick itself up this time? I watched the terrifying images flicker on the television and I felt so sorry for all the trapped people. As rescue teams flooded into buildings, I was willing them to find someone. I really hoped this would be the end of all the disasters but I guess we will never know. Written by Grace Fowler Year 6
Someone Who Colours My World People say to me, “Your Mum looks like she’s in her twenties,” but really she is in her early forties. Although Mum has a little scar above her lip, she still looks pretty with lipstick on. Her skin is as smooth as a new leaf. Mum’s hair, which is short, blond, and straight, sits on top of her shoulders and she’s always curling and uncurling it with her fingers. Her ears are pierced and she wears small silver studs. Her eyes are green but sometimes they look hazel. Mum’s expensive, white handbag hooks over her shoulder. Her black boots make her look tall and her favourite blue skirt sits just above her knees. Mum buys lots of nice clothes; she adores shopping. Whenever she takes me shopping I say, “Mum, can we go now?” “Hold on, I just want to look at a couple more things,” she says. I sigh. Women always love shopping. Reading is what Mum does all the time. Her favourite room in the house is the living room and she curls up under the family blanket and buries herself in a thick novel. She doesn’t come out until she’s finished. Mum is a great writer and she would love to become a famous author one day. She sits for hours in the living room with her black laptop resting on her knees, typing away. Sleeping in on the weekends is another one of her most favourite relaxing activities and her new, green pillow snuggles her back to sleep. Mum cooks for us everyday and she is very good at it. I sit at the table waiting for dinner to be served and when a big plate of steaming hot food arrives, I take a spoonful and I feel like I’m dreaming. My Mum makes me feel special. If I walk past her she grabs me, hugs me and kisses me. It’s weird but cool at the same time. She loves to invite her friends over for a wine. They laugh so much and tell their stories. The way Mum speaks to them, they think it would be cool if she were their mum! Mum’s room smells unique. I like it. Books are piled all over her bedside table. Her black bike gazes out the door and down the hallway. The curtains, green and dusty, are pulled back to invite the sunlight in everyday. The small television plays her favourite programmes. The walls are like an ocean swirling around. Her fluffy bed waits to wrap her up. Although her room looks average, when you enter, it is like an adventure. I love my Mum and I always make her feel special. Although my Mum can be strict, she colours my world. Written by Sam Rowe Year 6
Hockey and Hot Chips Every Saturday morning, between 10 a.m. and 11.30 a.m., Dad and I head down to the Gallagher Hockey Centre. When we arrive we go straight to the practice field. Short games, dribbling around cones and rob-the-nest are our usual warm up drills. Next it’s game time. One morning the Woodstock Chilli Peppers played the Te Rapa Sharks. With the help of my hockey stick, I stole the ball off Te Rapa, passed it to Sita, ran, marked, received and scored a goal! Then it was half time. My team tried to listen to the coach’s instructions over all the racket. Oranges were chewed, sucked and swallowed. Beep! And we were back in the game again. Now I had a problem, a big, big problem. The coach of the Sharks put on the player that sent three of our best players off with either a hit in the face or a massively painful hit in the ribs. Through all the whistle blowing and cheering, I tackled this defender harder and harder, while my Nana, Poppa and Mum shouted, “Come on Jordy, get in there!” They cheered like a bunch of happy seals, while Dad refereed the game and gave me a thumbs up. Shara took the ball, side stepped, aimed for a goal, but suddenly … beep! The game was over. As we shook Te Rapa’s hands I thought how lucky I was for not getting injured. Then it was time for Shara’s Dad to award the player of the day. “As you know today was a hard game and you all played well. But the person who really got in there and was a great defender, was Jordan!” I walked up to receive my gold trophy and everyone congratulated me and said, “Well done.” Finally it was time for my favourite part of hockey – mouth-watering, irresistible, hot chips.
Written by Jordan Edwards Year 6
Children Should NOT Have To Do Chores! In many households throughout New Zealand you will find children slaving away, washing dishes, doing laundry, washing cars, dusting, polishing and scrubbing the loos. Doing chores gives kids less time to themselves, it’s like child labour and chores make children tired. It’s preposterous! Firstly, when kids’ lives are full of chores they don’t have anytime to themselves. Imagine missing your favourite television show because you had to do the dishes. STUPID! Imagine not being able to play with your friend because you had to do the laundry. CRAZY! I can’t believe parents would rather we mowed the lawn than develop important social skills. Secondly chores are like child labour. Some parents joke around, saying things like, “Oh I just had kids so they could be my slaves!” I’m starting to think these jokes might be true! Everybody knows children should be able to enjoy their childhood and not have to worry about adult work. Schools enough to worry about! Thirdly, chores are a major cause of distress and tiredness. Picture this, you just finished cleaning your room, then you lie down on your bed because you’re tired. Next your Mum comes in screaming our name. “Bob, Bob, where are you Bob?” You pretend to be asleep but she comes over and shakes you awake. “Time to wash the car!” she shouts in your ear. What would you do? I would try to stay in my pretend sleep. But if this doesn’t work or you, just do it and get it over with. Everyone hates chores, but it seems like they will always be there. Parents need to get their heads around the fact that if kids do chores they don’t have any time to themselves, chores are like child labour and they make kids tired. Come on Mums and Dads, do children really have to do chores? No way! Written by Sarah Booth Year 6
Nugget the Blue Tongued Goanna His legs, strong and suitable, creep across the newspaper, creating a scraping noise. His eyes, red circles against a charcoal body, swivel every now and then, as if to check that no one is watching him. He stares, a snake with legs. His skin, superb and scaly, grows and shrinks when he moves. Suddenly his head jerks up, sending us back in surprise. Climbing up the side of his box, he sniffs at me, then slips back down and crawls under his newspaper. Hidden, safe. Moving around under the newspaper, Nugget curls up and goes to sleep. Written by Matthew Pairaudeau Year 6
My Colorful Mother My 38-year-old Mum Rochelle has really dark brown hair, which she usually wears straight down, although she occasionally ties it in a ponytail. Her face has little spots of acne, which she’s always trying to fight off with her products. Mum’s skin has a light brown tan, and on her back she has a little tattoo of a kiwi saying ‘born here’. Her eyes are a beautiful hazel colour, framed by long eyelashes. Mum is always rushing about between work and Wintec, her legs taking long, quick strides. My Mum’s favourite outfit is her black cardigan, grey top and blue jeans. When she goes to work at the baby shop she wears a black top, camo three quarter shorts and black boots. And when she’s lazing about she loves to wear her grey jersey, grey track pants and her fluffy slippers. In the kitchen is where you will usually find my mother. She mumbles things like, “Three cups of flour, two cups of milk and four eggs.” These are some of the ingredients in her famous chocolate fudge. Mum also likes tidying up our garden. Hands on the hedge trimmer, finger pressed on the trigger, and legs ready and able, she can groom our hedge in two minutes flat. She also mows the lawns. Lifting – that’s my job when she has the demon lawn mower out. I have to lift it up, move it to the left, and down again. Then once she’s done, I have to lift it over the fence again! Although Mum’s pretty healthy, she is addicted to smoking. She tells me, “I hate doing this but I can’t stop.” She goes through smokes like a machine through oil. Mum also hates working. As soon as she gets home it’s dinner, pyjamas and then she flops on the couch. Mum and I always have arguments when we watch Junior Master Chef. It’s funny. She tells me, “Sienna will win!” I say back, “No, Jack will!” Other times we compliment their dishes and gape at their perfect presentation. We predict which person, or team will win the challenge. We also look at the screen dumbfounded, when they forget one simple, little basic step, or throw something important away. Sometimes Mum and I just sit in silence and that’s okay too. Mum loves to relax in our lounge. She sits on her couch, reads her book, and sooner or later our cat comes and lies on her lap. The one thing she admires the most is her clown. It sits on our computer desk and whenever I have a ball in there she tells me, “Get that away from my clown! It’s older than you, you know!” “I know,” I reply, “you’ve told me that ten times already!” With her big hazel eyes, delicious chocolate fudge, and New Zealand made clown, this makes her my kind of mum!
Written by Laetham Snowling Year 6
It’s Game On! Every Saturday morning, in the winter, when the sun has just risen, I get ready to play rugby. I can’t wait! One time I found out who we were playing and I said, “Oh no, not them again! You’ve got to be kidding! We’re not really going to play Old Boys 10th Grade Red are we?” Last time they beat us. But hopefully this time they will be going down! The whistle sounded and the ball came flying our way. It soared through the air like a hawk in the sky. It flew, bounced, twisted, spun, everything. Wait a minute, there was my mate Sam! But there was no time to talk now. Caleb caught the ball, side stepped and sprinted off down the field. The try line was only ten metres away when Sam came in and ankle tapped him. Sam jumped to his feet, scooped up the ball and sprinted like lightning. But he unexpectedly ran straight into a ruck. Then the referee blew his whistle because Luca was on the ground holding the ball. Tries and good passes dominated the first half. By halftime the score was 20-all but not for long. It was our kick-off and I was kicking. A few minutes later the ref shouted, “Try!” Later in the game the score started zigzagging but in the end it was 45 – 25 to us. Afterwards there was non-stop chatter about the game, like, “He did a good pass!” and, “That was a nice try!” stuff like that. My grandpa was an All Black and my goal is to follow in his footsteps and become a famous rugby player like him. Written by Cameron Main Year 6
My Mum Colours My World
With her smooth, olive skin Mum only looks about 25, even though she’s in her thirties. Her curly, black hair looks like a bush and once a fly got stuck in it! So Dad and I think she’s very useful in summertime when the flies are around; not that she isn’t useful in the other seasons! Mum has deep brown eyes that look like enlarged coffee beans. Her pointy nose twitches when there’s dust about – it’s like she’s going to sneeze any minute. I can guarantee you that as soon as you shake her hand and say, “Pleased to meet you!” a warm smile will be shining in your eyes. With her woolly, violet shirt and old, blue jeans, Mum dashes off to the supermarket to do the week’s shopping. Her clean, white socks wrap themselves around her feet and are always tucked into her black and pink sports shoes. Her shoelaces are black, long, and stretchy. She ties them in a bow but every now and then they come undone. “Really?” she says. “I just tied them up ten minutes ago!” Although Mum is usually very sporty looking, sometimes she dresses up in skirts, lipstick, necklaces, high heels, and girly things like that. Making pizza is what Mum does all the time. She pours the water in the middle of her pile of flour and then asks me, “Can you please fill this cup for me?” She mixes the flour with the water until a ball of stretchy dough lies in front of her. “Perfect!” she says. “Now we just put it in a bowl with a wet towel over it and leave it out here overnight.” Going shopping for clothes and shoes is another thing Mum likes to do. She can’t get enough of it. I get so bored. “Can we go now?” I ask. “Just ten more minutes. I’ll just look at these shoes and then we’re off. I promise!” she replies. Although Mum likes to go on the computer, when I use it she doesn’t seem too happy. She says, “I don’t understand why you have to play on the computer when you can play outside in the fresh air.” What does Mum dislike more than me playing on the computer? That’s easy. She gets really annoyed when we have to go out for dinner on weeknights. We always come back way past my bedtime and she never wants to wake me up in the morning when I’m still sleeping. She says that if she has to wake me up it means that I haven’t had enough sleep. Mum always makes people happy when they’re upset. If I fall over and start crying she hugs and cuddles me. Then she either tickles me or gives me chocolate to make me feel better. “Don’t worry, it’s alright. Here, have some chocolate,” she says. Sticky caramel chocolate melts in my mouth. “Ahhh,” I sigh, “it’s wonderful. The taste is glorious.” I love chocolate, but not as much as I love Mum. In the kitchen is where you will normally find Mum. Pans sizzle making it hard to hear, dirty bowls are stacked along the counter top, and her wooden spoon stirs the soup. Her left hand clutches a bowl and in the other hand, she holds an egg. CRACK! I hope she’s making her famous Italian dessert again, Tiramisu. My favourite. Mum opens the cupboard door and walks in. After a while she walks back out holding chips. “Want some?” she asks. “Sure!” I reply. CRUNCH! By now it should be clear that my Mum colours my world completely. She’s the best Mum and there’s no doubt about it.
Written by Maia Barbuzza Year 6
C H I C K E N She perches within her protective, metal cage, Confused and wondering about her surroundings.
Her beady eyes scan the room, trying to relax, but our human eyes are watching her. Her feet grasp the stick, keeping her from falling onto the stained newspaper. Suddenly her head jerks from side to side and she pecks urgently at an itch under her belly. She flaps her wings in excitement and her feathers rise as she tries to lift off but to no avail. Like a jewelled crown, her comb stands proudly on top of her head for her subjects to admire. Her feathers make a perfect golden robe, and our goldenfeathered queen demands to be let out, crowing over and over, “Take me home!” Giving up she closes her eyes, clutches her branch, breathes softly and tucks her head under her wing. Before we know it she is asleep.
Written by Jack Thompson Year 6
C H I C K E N
C H I C K E N
With no grass to peck, I guess she’s missing her home and her sisters.
My Little Sleepy Mobile I can’t remember a time when my little sleepy mobile wasn’t hanging off my light shade in my bedroom, making me feel comfortable. Mum told me it came from my Aunty who was once in Scotland, but that’s all I’ve been told. I used to gaze up at my ornament from my cot. The sleepy sun, wearing a dangling nightcap, looked at me with tired eyes. The small yellow bell tinkled whenever it was nudged or a breeze caught it, and the wooden rainclouds swayed gently all night. A green sphere hung under everything else on the mobile.
When the day arrived that I outgrew it, I sadly and reluctantly removed it from my light and hooked it in my overflowing wardrobe so I could at least see the sun. So now, whenever I open my cupboard, I see something that will bring back happy memories of when I was a baby - my little sleepy mobile. Written by Euan Safey Year 6
Touch, what a game! The sun shines its hottest rays through our thick, black, Waikato uniforms; sweat runs down the back of our legs and tension builds. The touch ball, frozen on the half way mark, waits for the signal. The whistle blows – it’s game on.
The opposition dives past us, swoops up the ball and scores; it’s time to play hard. Our team sprints, plants the ball, scoops, scores, everything. The golden cup finally glints in my hands as I wave it towards the cheering spectators. Victory is ours. Written by Jazmin Hotham Year 6
The Clubhouse It doesn’t really have a name, it’s just The Clubhouse. The fragile cobwebs shiver in the morning breeze, waiting to see what the day will bring. The sound of the cicada’s chirp brightens the abandoned meeting place, as if it was once again full of life. Misty dust settles like fog on the ground; it listens to the buzzing flies dancing around, celebrating the fact that they own this paradise. Overgrown lilies creep through the wooden door, wondering what’s going on. The scraped walls glimmer in the morning light. Crumpled leaves plunge from the oak tree, chasing each other down the matted path. Durable newspapers cover the wooden floorboards, stealing the sunlight from the foundations. The old path, overpowered by pansies, tulips, lavender, weeds, almost every type of plant, winds its way to the entrance. It’s just another normal day in The Clubhouse. Written by Daisy Bunting Year 5
The One Who Brings Colour To My World
Asri, my second cousin, brings colour to my world. To most people she looks like a normal 26 year old, but there is more to her than meets the eye. Asri has cancer. Although she’s sick sometimes, she is pretty, funny and caring. When you look into her dark brown eyes, kindness reflects back at you. Her hair, dark as the night forest, is styled into a perfect short do. Her skin is smooth and clear. Her body is tall, slim, perfect. Her long earrings, which she changes all the time, dangle beneath he ears and sit close to her shoulders. Asri’s shiny white teeth glow when she smiles. Even though Asri would love to wear her jeans and a jumper, when she’s in hospital she usually wears a special hospital nightie. At home she snuggles up with a blanket and puts on her favourite slippers. Asri is not allowed to be home alone, so she and her husband Darra live with her Mum in Huntly. They have pigs and she loves putting on her farm overalls and feeding the animals. She’s not really the fancy dressing up type although she does dress up when she’s told to, like when she was on the front page of Pink, the breast cancer magazine. She looked so pretty. Cricket is what Asri enjoys doing the most; it makes her happy. Head down, hands gripping the bat and a smile on her face. She loves playing cricket on the beach most of all. It’s so funny when the ball goes in the water and my uncle or Darra take turns swimming for it. No matter what the weather – foggy, sunny, rainy, anything – Asri always asks, “Who’s up for a game of cricket?” We say, “Not again!” but somehow she always persuades us to come and have a game. Asri enjoys visits from her family and friends. She knows that no matter how hard things get, she will always have good people supporting her. Everyone knows that she loves her family so much and wouldn’t be able to keep going without them. Although Asri is usually a cheerful person who is always joking around, sometimes she has mood breakouts. She says she just wants to be normal. But at the end of the day she is our funny Asri again. Whenever she hears a cheesy joke, she tells everyone and we laugh. Laughing is one of her hobbies. What does Asri dislike? That’s easy – silence. It makes her feel uncomfortable. Whenever it’s too quiet she says, “Break the silence please somebody!” and in the hospital she likes to play music. I don’t blame her. I think she feels uncomfortable because she’s afraid everyone’s murmuring and whispering about her. I love being around Asri. She’s calm and relaxed, except when she’s with our family, then she’s the one that makes us all laugh. Always laughing, forever giggling. For some reason Asri always has an answer for everything. If Asri and her friends are gossiping, and one of them blurts out, “I wonder why the All Blacks wear black?” or “I hate yellow cars, I wonder why they were invented?” Asri always has an answer to these questions. People listen to her. Asri loves hanging out in the lounge; it’s covered with her things. Her magazines are spread across the coffee table, a cosy blanket lies on the couch, and the TV remote is always within reach. It’s more like her bedroom than the lounge. A pile of folders sit in the corner of the room full of work sheets that Mrs Asri Parkerson is ready to give her primary school students. Asri has taught me that if you set your mind on something and keep your spirits up, you can get through anything. I think these are words to live by. Written by Brooke Mahaffey Year 5
The Hut The Hut “Hide!” Jayden shouted. “Ethan, duck!” Jacob yelled as a pillow flew past my shoulder. Before I tell you what comes next I am going to tell you the story from the beginning. We pushed the couches far enough apart to fit all four of us in our new headquarters and laid a huge blanket on top for a shelter. While I ran to find the pillows for the bunker, Trey filled the main room of our H.Q. with toys and pillows. For the entrance we used the small tunnel behind the couches. For protection, Jayden made the escape room using a mattress and his brother’s cylinder tunnel; it was small, but very useful. What we didn’t realise was that the girls had made a hut too. They wanted to play ‘Barbies’ and they wanted us gone. Before long the room became a war zone! Pillows flew and our H.Q. barely survived the bombs. Out of control missiles shattered one part of our bunker and a stack of pillows, hiding Trey and me, also got razed. We had to crawl to the main room. Then I had an idea - the ‘despicable potato’. This was a blue plastic grenade. I grabbed it and stood, ready to throw when … “Hide!” Jayden shouted. “Ethan, duck!” Jacob yelled as a pillow flew past my shoulder, making me stagger backwards. When I found my balance, I threw the ‘despicable potato’ at their hut. It hit the top of their playhouse and broke it. They screamed and scrambled with their things into the girls’ room. Victory! Mum stormed in and said, “Go outside and play, I need to clean up this mess!” “What will we do outside?” “I know,” I said, “we can build another hut.”
Written by Ethan Mackenzie Year 6
Nana Christine Christine, my Nana, colours my world. Her hair is curly like a pot of cotton candy. Although it’s mostly brown, sprinkles of grey are creeping through. I guess she must be in her sixties. Her skin is dull like a piece of blank paper but her smile fills me with happiness, and her hazel eyes make me want to yell out how much I love her. Her nails, well what nails? She doesn’t have any because a horrible disease took them away. So her fingers are just old, wrinkly skin, but I don’t mind. Although she has heaps of clothes, I always see Nana in the same old faded woollen blue trousers, and her old, flower patterned sweatshirt is basically stuck to her because she wears it so often. Solving crosswords is what my Nana loves. When I’m at her house she always says, “Liana, come and help me with my crossword.” “Okay, I’ll try,” I reply. But Nana is way better than me. Apart from holding a pen and puzzle book, you can also find Nana with her feet up in her recliner watching the tennis on television. “Wow Liana, you should have seen that shot! It was a beauty!” My Nana sure loves her tennis. I guess it’s just another thing that gives her company. The thing that my Nana dislikes is nose, lip and eyebrow piercings and bizarre tattoos. If I were her daughter and I got a nose piercing she would go bananas. Otherwise my Nana is the most warm-hearted person I know. When my family is at my Nana’s house, our mouths water while we wait for one of her famous home cooked meals. People come from miles to lay their taste buds on her steamed roast chicken, fresh from the oven. When she offers us some we can’t resist. I think she must have a special ingredient. We always make room for desert because that’s a real treat too! Nana can often be found in the lounge. Her ornaments sit neatly on her old wooden table, cushions are propped up against the couch and heavy, white drapes frame the sliding doors. My six-year-old brother loves getting into Nana’s toy box and toys end up scattered all over the floor. Visitors need to be careful that they don’t trip over! To me, my Nana is like Sir Edmund Hillary. She keeps trying different things and setting herself goals; she can do anything. She’s like a pack of crayons colouring my world. Written by Liana Kirk Year 5
I Can Ski in 2030! In 2030 I wonder if the mountains will still be covered in snow and will people still be skiing down their steep slopes? Once every year, in winter, on a Saturday morning, my family and I wake up in Te Rangiita and get ready for a days skiing on Mt Ruapehu. This starts with warm clothes. With my thermals on, three pairs of socks, a woollen scarf, beanie, ski pants and ski jacket, I’m ready for the runs. I look like a puffy marshmallow! It’s great heading up the mountain on Saturday mornings. My skis and poles hang over my shoulder and I try to reach the snow before I collapse. It’s awesome. I click my skis into place and I’m ready to glide over the thick snow. We line up for the chair lift and I hop on with my Dad. It takes a long time – swinging and stopping our way up the mountain. When we eventually reach the top Dad says, “I’ll race you to the bottom!” “You’re on,” I say. As we zoom down the mountain, I skid and tumble onto my bottom. Dad laughs. Standing up, I brush myself off, determined to keep going. I’ve got to beat him. I reach the bottom and guess who is waiting there. Dad, he won! How though? I was sure I was way ahead! As quick as anything, the days over and it’s time to go. I look down the steep road to the car. It’s a long way home. I know I will be struggling and sweating on the way down but I don’t care because I’ve had a great day. In 2030 I hope I will still be skiing on Mt Ruapehu. My Nana and Granddad are 70 years old and they still ski, so I don’t see why I won’t be doing it at 29. Bring it on! Written by Pyper Kerr Year 6
Children Should Not Eat Junk Food Some people think junk food should be banned but I think a life without junk food would be like a life without sunshine. There would be no treat waiting for you after a tough chore, fruit and vegies can’t compete with your favourite sugary lollies, and imagine what a boring life it would be without sugar. It would be torture. Who would like it? Not me! To start off, doing chores without getting a sugary reward for it would be the pits. Imagine you just finished mowing your giant lawn and your parent decides you shouldn’t get a lolly because it’s bad for you. How would you react? Would you snatch the lolly and gobble it anyway, or would you scream and storm into your room crying? Either way you would be pretty angry! Also no matter what they do, parents will never be able to make a vegetable more appetising than a lolly. What if where you have your supply of lollies becomes where you keep your supply of tomatoes! Or when dessert time comes you chill out and munch on some celery. It’s just not right! Healthy food sucks the fun out of dessert! Finally eating nothing sugary would make life boring. There would be a lack of sugar-based activities. The chocolate game would become the lettuce game. YUK! Pinatas would be internationally hated and the saddest, most heart wrenching two things that would disappear … No Easter!! No Halloween!! I want to cry! Sooner or later parents need to realise that kids will always love junk food. I would never get used to having no treats for chores, or instead of enjoying a sweet dessert, finishing a meal with an unappetising vegie. And as I’ve said before, the best games and celebrations EVER would disappear without sugar. It would be a nightmSare. A world without junk food? Never! Written by Grace Fowler Year 6
pop We call him Pop but his real name is Ron. Although he’s around 70, his love of rugby makes him seem like a teenager. The skin on his face is oily and rough from all the stubble. His nose, which is slightly too big for his face, has got hair escaping from it. His eyes are blue but they’re fading to a light green colour. Detailed wrinkles line his eyes, nose and mouth. He usually has a smile on his face, except when he’s telling us something serious, and his teeth are shiny and white, surrounded by a yellow rim. His usual clothes are suits, suits, tracksuits, and more suits. With his ironed shirt and ironed tie, he looks like a real gentleman. He also wears shiny, black shoes but his trousers are always creased. Grandma Sue says, “Put those pants in the ironing basket already!” “I will sweetheart!” he replies. Watching rugby on TV with a huge bag of peppermints in his hands is what Pop likes to do best. “Come on Chiefs, move you bloomin’ butts!” he shouts. “Even Popsicle sticks could do better than you!” That makes Grandma Sue start. “Oh be quiet!” she says. “I can’t hear my games on the computer!” Another thing Pop loves to do is travel. One of his favourite places in the world is Thailand. He loves the food there, especially spicy noodles. Pop’s one and only dislike is reading maps; he will not even set one eye on the corner of a map. One time we were driving to Hastings and we couldn’t believe it but we got lost. “We’re not lost!” he said. “We’re just driving in circles!” When Pop is out in his garden weeding, people stop and giggle at the sight of his ‘builder’s bottom’, but when he stands up and gives them a look they scatter in all directions like a bag of dropped marbles. He can be really scary sometimes, and I mean scary! Pop loves his garden. I think the dirt smells bad but he doesn’t seem to mind. With his gloves pulled over his hands and his hat sitting on his head, he’s ready to go! He weeds and weeds and encourages his seeds to grow. Trees tower over flowers and vegies crowd the planter box. Pop stops just for a minute to admire them, and then goes back to work. “Come and help me Sarah!” he shouts. Pop may not be famous or young but he really colours my world. Written by Sarah Booth Year 6
Te Kauri Lodge: Dirty Pillow Although I tried my best to carry my two bags, sleeping bag and my pillow, I lost my grip and my clean pillow fell straight into the garden. And that meant straight into the dirt. “Oh no!” I cried. It was only the first day of camp and my pillow was filthy already! Later that night, when we were all tucked up in bed, the lights were switched off but the moonlight shone through the window, casting a glow around the room. The top bunk, close enough to touch, looked as though it was going to drop on top of me. The other boys were fast asleep and it looked like I was the only one still awake. I was cold. My pillow was dirty, itchy, and uncomfortable, and it scratched my face every time I moved. Caleb tossed and turned above me. Oh how I wished I were back in my own bed, snuggling into my comfy, clean pillow! Zekiah, who was in the bed beside me, snored, coughed and rolled over. At the end of the dorm, I could hear the other beds squeaking and groaning as my classmates jostled around. I shrugged, kicked, tossed, turned, breathed, everything. Picking up my pillow, I sat up and threw it on the ground. “I’ve had enough!” I whispered to myself. “This is the worst night of my life!” I lay back down mumbling, “Why oh why did I have to drop my pillow in the mud.” I closed my eyes and listened to the clock. Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock … this night was going to go on forever. Written by Sam Rowe Year 6
2030?? In 2030 I wonder if soccer will still be my favourite sport? Every Saturday morning, at around 11 a.m., I get ready for my soccer game. As soon as I arrive, I jump out of the car and race over to meet my mates. We have a quick warm-up and then I sprint to my position. The referee blows his whistle and it’s game on. Oh no! The ball is coming my way! Quick as a flash, I boot it back up the other end of the pitch and someone else boots it into the goal. Wow! Teamwork! Throughout the game the ball flies and soars in the sky; it’s unstoppable. It’s such a fun game. “Go Woodstock!!” my Dad shouts from the sidelines. So that’s how I spend my Saturday mornings. In 2030 I will be 29 years old and by then I might be an even better soccer player than David Beckham. That’s my dream anyway. Written by Matthew Pairaudeau Year 6
My Dad Colours My World
My Dad is in his forties but I think he looks like he is his thirties. His hair – short, black, and scruffy – is still a great hair-do according to him. It often needs a brush but no one notices except Mum. Dad has black eyebrows, brown eyes and a medium sized nose. He is tall as well as strong. He has a little tan from all his hard work outside. Dad plays games with us like Spotlight and he is very quick and speedy. Dad wears shorts, trousers and worn out work shirts. His dirty denim jeans are full of holes but he doesn’t mind. His vest is warm like a piece of sheep’s wool. On his feet he wears jandals, boots and sneakers. He’s not really a hat guy – only for parties. He likes wearing sunglasses but watches aren’t his thing, and they’re not mine either. I think his taste in fashion is all wrong! The main thing Dad loves is watching rugby and cricket. With the remote in one hand and a beer in the other, it’s game on. Although my Dad is a practical joker, I also give him a laugh with my jokes. Dad teases me when we’re playing games. He says, “Don’t cry Jack, you know I’m going to win! You should give up now!” Most of the time I just ignore his comments. When he’s playing darts he sometimes gives me a turn and says, “Don’t give up, keep trying.” This time I don’t ignore him. Dad also loves watching my sports. He shouts from the sideline, “Jack you’re doing it wrong!” Sometimes I shout back at him, “Do you want to play?” Dad’s dislikes are very unpredictable. He hates cats but I don’t really understand why. Perhaps it’s because they ruin his precious garden. Dad loves his garden and he plants delicious veges like corn, tomatoes and potatoes. If you can’t find him that’s where he will be. The chooks peck leftovers from the dirt and clean Dad’s garden to perfection. His boots are always covered in mud and when he tries to sneak inside Mum shouts, “Get outside mister, your boots are filthy!” “Okay,” Dad grumbles, and he heads back out the door. The two foods my Dad hates are definitely olives and beetroot. He says, “Anyone who eats beetroot is strange.” My mother disagrees; she loves it. Every time we go to a restaurant Dad says, “I’ll have everything but leave the olives off.” That suits me because I don’t like them either. Dad loves doing hard maths with my sister and me, but when he’s in a bad mood, we better get it right. Sometimes this makes me very angry but he doesn’t care and tries to get an answer out of me no matter what. If I don’t answer he will shout, “Come on think! I know it’s in your head!” That puts me off thinking. It’s very annoying but I try not to blame him. Dad loves helping us learn. My Dad is a fun kind of guy. He can be funny and sometimes serious, but he teaches me a lot. Written by Jack Thompson Year 6
Christchurch The people of Christchurch didnâ€™t expect the devastating event of 2011â€™s massive earthquake. Towering buildings collapsed and innocent bystanders fled the falling rubble. Debris scattered along the ground and brown dust settled on everything. As red and yellow helicopters hovered over the scene, people screamed for their loved ones below. The injured hung on to strangersâ€™ shoulders and were carried to makeshift hospitals in the park; doctors mended those they could, but for some their injuries were too severe. Fire fighters and rescue teams dissected the rubble and tried their hardest to free people trapped inside collapsed buildings. Sympathetic media interviewed the survivors, while brown liquefaction seeped from the earth and swallowed everything in its path. Empty cars lay abandoned. And the century old cathedral crumbled to the ground; its priceless spire fell. I look on at the aftermath and think how sorry I am for all those people and how lucky I am to live in the Waikato protected by the hills. Written by Laetham Snowling Year 6
Margaret River The whole summer season, especially if it was hot, no matter what time it was, Mum and Dad would take me swimming at Margaret River. Well, it wasn’t a river really, that was only its name; it was actually a pool formed by rocks in the ocean. The sea around it was always rough and wavy but the pool was calm and inviting. I always hoped the weather would be hot enough for Mum to have a swim with me; she’d never swim in water under 20 degrees, ever! I didn’t care how hot the day was, I’d have a swim even if the water was freezing and at Margaret River it was always freezing. No matter how hard I tried not to slip I couldn’t; I would always lose my balance on the rocks and fall in. The frozen water would creep up my legs, then my stomach, until my whole body was numb. Goosebumps would prickle my skin; I would jump on my tiptoes from one foot to the other until I got used to it. Mum was the complete opposite. If she tried to get in slowly without getting wet before she was ready, she couldn’t; there’d be other kids splashing her so she’d give up and sit back on the hot sand. Then she’d try again. It was like replaying a scene from a movie. After a while Mum would shout, “Maia come on, it’s time to go home!” “Okay!” I’d shout back. I’d hop out and with no time to waste, grab my towel and wrap it around me. It always felt good to be warm again. Written by Maia Barbuzza Year 6
Books vs iPads
Now that we have iPads we no longer need books. Some people think that iPads have taken the place of books but I strongly disagree with this. Books still have a place in this world. Books will never run out of power, you can take a book anywhere, and books are way cheaper than iPads. Sure iPads are awesome but a world without books? No way! Firstly, books will never, ever ‘die’ or run out of power from too much usage, while an iPad will. Picture this – you sit down on your favourite couch with your iPad. You turn it on and start reading until one-hour later ‘ding-a-ling-a-ling’ the screen instantly changes into black, plain, nothingness meaning the battery has run out. With a book you receive endless hours of enjoyment with no interruptions or technical difficulties. Much better! Secondly, books are café proof, sidewalk proof, school proof, teacher proof, toilet proof, or in other words, everything proof. Imagine this, you’re at a school garage sale and have just bought an awesome book, but then your hips start wiggling and your head starts shaking, meaning only one thing … potty time! But no worries, like I said, books are toilet proof! Now imagine this, you’re at an electronic convention and have just won a new iPad when your hands start jingling and your feet start shaking. Obviously it’s potty time! Oh no! iPads are not toilet proof! Books are awesome because you can take them anywhere. Finally, books completely rule supreme over the price of iPads. The cheapest priced iPad is a huge $800! If you thought that was bad the most expensive iPad is around $1300! Books can cost as little as $5 or $10. It’s no contest. By now it’s obvious that books are equally as important as iPads, and just to make sure you weren’t line skipping here are some questions. 1. Can books run out of power from too much usage? No way! 2. Can you take a book anywhere? Absolutely! 3. Are books cheaper? Yes! iPads are okay but books are definitely here to stay! Written by Jordan Edwards Year 6
The Christchurch Earthquake
No one knew it was going to happen; it was completely unexpected. I guess itâ€™s all just part of nature. On Tuesday 22nd February, an earthquake struck Christchurch. It was TERRIBLE. Buildings collapsed, bricks crumbled and cars toppled over as if something had electrocuted them. Helpless people waited under crushed buildings, desperate to be rescued. Heavy bricks plummeted onto the earth. Tear-filled eyes stared at demolished buildings. Broken glass sparkled under the bright sun. The mighty cathedral, broken now, trapped innocent victims. Rescue teams searched for survivors as we all watched and hoped for a miracle. Written by Cameron Main Year 6
M E O W W O O F S Q U E A K
Have you ever asked your parents for a pet? I bet you have but if you haven’t, don’t bother because they will always say the same thing. “No!” But why? Pets are useful, comforting, they make kids exercise, and they help make us more responsible. Pets are perfect; there is no doubt about it. Firstly, pets are useful. For example, if you had a cat, mice and rats wouldn’t stand a chance. If you had a lamb, horse or goat, guess what? Free lawn mowing. And who could forget the classic ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse. Pets are very handy creatures to have around and parents wouldn’t want to turn down such opportunities would they? Secondly, pets are comforting. If you’ve had a bad day at school, you have nothing to do, or you just need to relax, your pet will purr, woof or squeak comfort. Trust me, 10/10 this always makes you feel better. Maybe you’d laugh as your guinea pig races on his stumpy feet to the lettuce you laid out for him. Maybe you’d smile as your kitten falls asleep on your lap. And I know you’d love it when your puppy wrestles you to the ground. The elderly and people who live alone find pets relaxing. They are constant friends who accept and give love. Thirdly, pets make their owners exercise. If you had a horse you could go for rides and if you had a dog you could take it for walks. Pets need exercise and so do people so it’s a match made in heaven! Most importantly, pets are a big responsibility. Everyone knows that pets need to be cared for. The responsibilities include grooming, brushing, feeding, watering, training, cleaning up its’ ‘business’, and giving it lots of love. I believe I could do all of that and I reckon you could too! Most people want to own a pet. By now we all know that they are useful, comforting, they encourage us to exercise, and most importantly they teach us to be responsible for something other than ourselves. I urge you to point this out to your parents and show them who is boss. The pets of course! Written by Daisy Bunting Year 5
The Person Who Colours My World Although my Mum only looks about 24 with all her makeup on, she’s actually in her 30s. Her eyes are white on the outside but the irises are a deep marine colour. Her hair is long, shiny and straight. Her fair skin, with only a slight tan, makes her more vulnerable to sunburn. Her wide smile stands out in a crowd like a highlighter mark. With her graphite denim pants, shiny jacket and black high heels, Mum’s ready for anything. Cutting hair is what Mum does best; it makes her feel good. She has a salon set up in the garage and it’s filled with everything to do with hair. Eyes focused, fingers nipping and metal blades clashing, she shapes and styles hair. Bouncy, spiky, curly, messy – you name it, she styles it. Because she’s always busy with her clients she says, “Ethan can you get the post and can you make two cups of coffee please?” “Alright,” I sigh. My Mum also makes the best hot chips in the world. Her yummiest batch was at my birthday party with garlic burning our taste buds and salt tingling our lips. Although she loves to cook, the thing she hates is loud noises. She dreads them. Whenever the volume on the television is over 20 she yells, “Turn it down to 17 or turn it off!” “I’ll turn it down,” I say. But whenever it’s lower than 20 it’s so soft I can hardly hear it. I love my Mum. She’s always dancing, almost all day. She never stops. It makes people want to join in. Sometimes people call Mum ‘Michael Jordan’ because she is so tall. When she went on a closed waterslide she had to lie on her back and be careful not to bump her head. My Mum loves to hang out in the kitchen experimenting with the food she puts in my lunchbox; there’s always something new in there. Knives and forks are scattered across the breakfast bar, peanut butter and jam sits open waiting to be used, and placemats are thrown across the table. The smell of buttery chips fills the room, the sound of the bubbling pan makes me hungry, and the warm oven cooks food like a furnace. I adore my Mum. She may be annoying when it comes to TV but she gives the best advice and she’s the best mother in New Zealand. My Mum colours my world. Written by Ethan Mackenzie Year 6
Videogames promote Violence
Some people think video games are just harmless digital fun but I strongly believe that video games promote violence. Young children copy the violent actions of characters, they’re often full of offensive language, and they have disturbing graphics. Do we really want kids exposed to this rubbish? Firstly, some children think it’s cool to copy the violent actions of their favourite video game characters. Obviously we don’t want younger children thinking about barbaric actions like fighting, shooting or even killing. Often playgrounds are filled with children throwing punches and chucking things at each other because that’s what the video characters do. It’s disgusting! Next, video games expose young kids to offensive language. Children learn these bad words and copy them. No one wants children calling each other names or swearing if something goes wrong. Sooner or later you would get sick of children yelling at the television if their characters die. Do you want to hear kids swearing in your ear? No way! And lastly, video games are full of disturbing graphics. Blood and dead bodies scattered all over the ground makes me sick! Many children actually think these graphics are real and become very scared. Imagine a four year old seeing a zombie crawling towards them with its guts rolling out of its stomach. Terrifying! Even if the cover says, ‘contains disturbing images,’ it doesn’t stop younger kids curiously watching their older brothers or sisters playing. Face it, not a lot of good comes from playing video games. Younger children copy the violent actions of the characters’; they’re full of offensive language, and have disturbing graphics. So I urge you to ban video games from your house because no doubt it, they promote violence. Written by Jazmin Hotham Year 6
Tree Climbing Banned
Woodstock School has many beautiful tall trees urging us to climb them. But are we allowed to climb these beautiful tall trees? No. I put my foot down and demand a change. Climbing trees makes you take risks and builds your selfconfidence, it makes you stronger and it’s great for your fitness, and most importantly it’s fun. So believe me when I tell you that being able to climb trees at school is a great idea! Firstly, climbing trees makes you take risks and builds your selfconfidence. Many kids haven’t climbed trees so they don’t know what taking a risk feels like. But when you reach a height you never thought your could, it makes you feel proud and builds your self-confidence. Now who would want to stop that? Surely confident kids that take risks are what our school is trying to develop? Secondly, climbing trees makes you strong and muscly and is great for your fitness. When you first start climbing trees there is always a branch just out of reach because you’re not strong enough. But if you climb trees often, like at school, it will make you stronger, leading you to reach great heights. Compare climbing trees to sitting around doing nothing at lunchtime. We get fit and healthy climbing trees and there’s nothing more important that that! Most importantly, climbing trees is fun! There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more entertaining than climbing trees at break time. Swinging your legs off branches, climbing higher and higher until you reach the top, and laughing with your friends. And anyway, sooner or later, tag gets boring. Sure you could play hide-and-go-seek but then what? You waste the rest of lunch deciding what to play that’s what. Climbing trees never gets boring. Face it, climbing trees at school is a great idea. The benefits speak for themselves. It encourages you to take risks and builds your self-confidence, makes you stronger, it’s great for your fitness, and it’s fun. This is bound to be one of the best ideas Woodstock School could ever have, so let’s make it happen! Written by Brooke Mahaffey Year 5
Bending the Truth Are you sick of people saying bending the truth or telling little white lies is bad? Well now you can prove them wrong! I strongly believe that bending the truth sometimes is okay. If we told the truth all the time then we could hurt other people’s feelings. If we bend the truth then we can get people to do what we want, and most importantly we lie to stay out of danger. Bending the truth can certainly be helpful sometimes! First of all, if you didn’t bend the truth then you could hurt someone’s feelings. Imagine telling a little girl that her picture is ugly and daft. I couldn’t bare hearing that! If you bend the truth then you could say, “It’s beautiful! I love it!” That would make her very happy; surely you can’t disagree with me! Secondly, parents want their children to do the right thing so they might say, “You have to be good all year otherwise Santa won’t come,” or “Eat your carrots and you will be able to see in the dark.” Another well-known statement at my house is, “Go to sleep or the Easter Bunny won’t come.” But it’s all lies, lies, and more lies! However, they don’t harm us and what parent doesn’t want their kids to do the right thing? Lastly, telling fibs is what keeps kids out of danger. For instance, if you are walking home from school and someone says, “Hop into my car and I’ll give you some lollies,” you could say, “I can’t because my Mum’s over there to pick me up.” If you didn’t lie in this situation, I’d hate to see what type of trouble you would get into! Face it, everyone tells little fibs and we don’t need to feel bad about it. Bending the truth stops us from offending people, it encourages us to do the right thing, and it can help to keep us safe. Bending the truth is okay as long as it’s done for the right reasons. Written by Liana Kirk Year 5
Crispy Leaves Hut While Mum and Dad were unfortunately dealing with sick baby Scarlett, I escaped to my Magnolia tree. It was my favourite place to be. As soon as I had grabbed a couple of old pillows, a blanket, some activity books and my chapter book, I was ready for a relaxing day in my jungle tree hut. I scrambled up the trunk, all the way to my spot - a couple of old branches with just enough space for me to sit on. There was a higher branch on the top for my back to rest on and a lower branch for me to sit on. A pillow resting on either branch made me feel a lot more comfy. Birds sung in the leaves around me as I read Alice in Wonderland; it was the perfect background music. My Santa Jumbo Colouring Book kept me entertained, and my pillows and blankets comforted me. After about 20 minutes of colouring in, my hand started to cramp, so I snuggled down with Alice and the Wonderland characters again. Just as I started to doze off, Dad wandered out to investigate why I was being so quiet. He shouted, “Pyper, it’s time to come inside! You have been up there for ages!” “Fine!” I groaned. I jumped down and said goodbye to my Crispy Leaves Hut. But it was never for long as another adventure was always just around the corner. Written by Pyper Kerr Year 6
The Most Colourful Mum in the World Although she looks like a typical mum, my mother is one of the most unique people ever. With the whites of her eyes as bright as lights and irises as blue as the sky, her eyes are like stars. Her hair is brown, smooth and straight and sits just above her shoulders, and her eyebrows are hidden underneath her fringe. Her skin is sprinkled with tiny wrinkles, but that doesn’t spoil her looks. Mum’s shiny earrings dangle from her ears like monkeys lounging from a tree. Her long black leggings seem to swallow up her legs. When it’s time for work, she wears her blue Braemar Hospital uniform, nursing badges and black sandals. What does Mum love the most? The answers easy cooking. Whether it’s for school fundraisers, Christmas dinners, or party food, she can make it. Sometimes I help her. One time we were making whipped cream and I had the beater in one hand, and the bowl in the other. Then three, two, one, whisk! Splats of half whipped cream flicked all over the bench. “Oh Euan,” Mum complained, “I just wiped around here five minutes ago!” Reading is another hobby of hers. Lying down, feet up on the sofa, and a coffee next to her, she looks as relaxed as can be. But just as she’s getting to the best bit there’s a sudden, “Mum, can I have some afternoon tea?” from across the house. “Alright,” she sighs. There’s not a lot of rest for Mum in our house.
What does Mum dislike? My Lego. It’s usually spread from one side of the lounge to the other. Colourful bricks cover the carpet and it makes her cranky. “Euan, please put your Lego away!” she shouts. “We’ve got visitors coming tonight!” “Okay,” I mumble. Mum loves to give my Nana home baking. Some afternoons, after school, Mum drives us to Nana’s house. “Here’s some yummy Ginger Gems, just for you Mum,” she says, passing Nana the plate. I stare at the food, almost hypnotised, wishing I had some, until Mum says, “You’re not getting any of Nana’s Gems you know!” “I know,” I reply, annoyed. Mum’s bedroom is the tidiest place in the house. A big double bed dominates the room. Hot water bottles are placed neatly underneath it, and pillows cascade over the top of the duvet. Ironed clothes hang on a hook behind the door, and a polished set of draws hold her books, papers, a television, everything. Although she wears a boring work uniform, hates my Lego, and has the tidiest bedroom ever, she is the best mum that I could have. She is the one that colours my world. Written by Euan Safey Year 6
N A B
SM OK IN G R E V E R FO
Far too many people smoke and it’s so disgusting. Smoking, for me, is one of the most revolting things anyone could ever do. It can cause disease and death, parents who smoke are role modelling bad behaviour, and it is such a waste of money! Firstly, smoking ultimately causes death. I know it doesn’t sound very nice, but it’s true. Over 4000 people in New Zealand die from a smoking related illness every year and I’m not kidding. Worldwide? 5.4 million. 27% of these 5.4 million die from lung cancer, 25% from heart disease, and 20% from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. That’s crazy! And get this: the youngest smoker in the world was two years old! If you don’t believe me, go on Google and take a look for yourself only two years old and at risk of these horrible diseases. Most parents who smoke find themselves being copied by their kids. Children look up to their Mums and Dads and think of them as role models. But honestly, smoking parents are not good role models and lots of children end up copying what they see their parents doing. Everybody hates the smell. Before my Dad lights his cigarette, he goes outside which is a relief. Some smokers don’t even go outside at all! Who would want to live in their house? No one that’s who! One other thing that is unbelievable about cigarettes is the price. One pack costs around $12! If someone smokes a pack a day, that means they are wasting over $80 a week, which equals thousands of dollars every year. So it’s not only bad for your health, but it is also robbing your bank account! Why would you throw your money away on an unnecessary murderer when you could save your dollars? You’ll soon see how many things you can buy if you quit smoking – birthday presents for your kids, or a new bicycle to ride around the park, or what about a new dog to make your life a bit bouncier? Instead of just sending money up in smoke, spend it on things you actually need. Keep the packet closed and quit! By now it should be clear that smoking is disgusting and that every cigarette packet should be swept off the shelf. It deletes quality years of living, it turns parents into really bad role models and the price is unthinkable. So ban smoking forever! Written by Maia Barbuzza Year 6
Nugget the Blue Tongued Goanna He strolls, a mini crocodile in his cage, Vulnerable, He presses his belly on the newspaper, And licks. His blue tongue flicks the air then goes shrivelling back into his small head, He curls it in his mouth. He is curious. Black and white skin stretches from head to tail. His back, strong and protective, feels like glad wrap. Curly and burnt looking, his long tail plays follow the leader wherever he goes. Like an All Black, his webbed feet scurry here and there. Suddenly he tries to climb out of his basket, We rush to keep him contained. His eyes swivel, Full of concentration. Quickly, desperately, he dives inside his rock home so not all twenty-two eyes are gazing down on him. He closes his eyelids and shuffles into the corner. He thinks about the day he has had until finally â€Ś He sleeps. Written by Sam Rowe Year 6
The innocent people of Christchurch were just eating lunch, when suddenly the ground churned, buildings toppled and roads cracked. Flying debris smashed windows and cars. Dying people lay under rubble hoping to survive this awful, awful disaster. Trapped victims fought for their lives, while others cried tears of sadness for their loved ones. Piercing screams interrupted the uncomfortable silence. Brown dust settled on tear-filled eyes. Suddenly the silence was broken by the sound of helicopters, landing on cracked roads. Rescuers rushed out with spades and other tools, desperately searching for victims. Christchurch may never be the same again. I feel that Iâ€™m lucky to live in a safe place like Hamilton, away from all the disasters that Mother Nature has laid upon the world. Written by Matthew Pairaudeau Year 6
Sleeping in the Kingfisher Hotel Although I was exhausted from my fishing trip, I was still wide-awake and I could see on the alarm clock it was 11.30 p.m. It was very hard to calm down and fall asleep. The faint city glow drifted through the window and shone on the wall next to me. I could just make out the corner of the room and there were flies, dead and lifeless, lying upside down like people in a coma. My little sister, who was lying next to me, snored loudly. The electric blanket burned my arm despite the fact it was on level one heat setting; I switched it off. I was still for a moment. Then I wriggled once, twice, again. The pillow danced, bounced and jumped. I could hear the ticking noises of the clock, the chirping of a cricket and muttered voices coming from the television in the next room. I tried to stop listening and wriggled further under the blanket. Poking my sister gently, I forced her to roll over. I shuffled, wriggled, sighed. “I really wish I could go to sleep,” I whispered and forced my eyes to close. I’d have my own bed back anytime! Written by Ethan Mackenzie Year 6
I strongly agree with this statement. I say this because kids aren’t prepared to lose their phones, they could get them wrecked, and it could annoy the class. As you can see, school just isn’t the right place for cell phones.
Children Should NOT Be Allowed Cell Phones At School
Firstly, kids aren’t prepared to lose their cell phones. Children like to show off, so they tell everybody they’ve got one, and then there is a high change of it getting stolen. Another thing is they could lose it and get all worked up about it. Whose fault would that be? That’s right, their own. And when a kid is crying all day about their lost phone, no work will be done. Lost learning all because of a phone! Secondly, children could get their cell phone wrecked and I mean completely broken. When kids are playing on a wet day, the phone could slip out of their pocket and splosh straight into a puddle. Or, in another scenario, they could trip and land on it, crushing it under their weight. Wrecked phone = sad kid = expensive to replace. Lastly, having a cell phone at school could cause a big annoyance. Let’s say the class is having a test and … beep, beep, beep … a child’s phone goes off, causing everyone to go off task, ending with one thing for the kid – detention. Or while sharing news … click, click, click … someone could be texting right in the middle of the lesson. Also, if two friends have their cell phones they could be texting to each other and laughing, instead of concentrating on their learning. So believe me when I tell you, nothing good can come from having cell phones at school. In conclusion, you must surely agree that cell phones should not be allowed at school. One, kids get very upset if they lose them, two, phones are easily destroyed, and three, a cell phone could really annoy the class. Face it, phones at school – not the way to go. Written by Laetham Snowling Year 6
the Rainy Day of doom ! It was 6.55 a.m. and already Mother Nature had cranked the storm-o-metre up to full throttle. I lay there gazing out the window, watching the little rain drops plummet to their death, sounding like repetitive rounds of light gun fire, giving the sun a grey coat. This could only mean one thing, school had returned. Da, da, da! I dragged myself to the kitchen to find two pieces of butter and Nutella toast sitting next to a glass of Ribena. Yummy. Too bad it was all Mollys. I pulled out the toaster, plugged it in and headed to the bread pantry, only to discover all the white bread had also been finished by Molly. Just my luck. After my breakfast of half-frozen toast and runny vegemite, I grabbed my bag and headed down the hallway, out the door and into the car. Although it was still raining, the sun was slowly filling the sky with happy blue light and it looked like there was a small chance of playing Octopus at school today. As I arrived at school Mother Nature turned the storm-o-metre off completely. I jumped up and shouted, “Wahoo! It’s not raining anymore!” The only problem was, as I did this, I hit my head on the car roof, fell out of the door, tripped on my bag and stumbled into a puddle. Awesome, wet socks. Written by Jordan Edwards Year 6
My Colourful Nana These days Nana is big, round and chubby but years ago she used to be an athlete. That’s right, my Nana was the best long jumper in New Zealand. Her longest jump was about six to seven metres. Now Nana is about 72 years old. Her hair is grey, tidy and short, and she has wrinkly, white, soft skin. Although she has arthritis she really loves going swimming and watching the tennis. With her smart black dress and her smart red shoes, she is ready to go to Showcase, the shop where she works in Cambridge. At Showcase, there are all sorts of things like kazoos, picture frames, statues and lots more. But soon Nana is going to lose her job because the shop isn’t making enough money. Sometimes when I go around to Nana’s house we watch the tennis. When Roger Federer is playing she can’t stop cheering. Then after a while, she makes so much noise she can’t even hear the TV so she turns the volume up full-bore. Whenever I stay the night at her retirement village we watch lots of movies and eat lollies. Obviously she gives me lots of cuddles too. Nana makes me the best toasted sandwiches. I love the ones with cheese, ham and pineapple; they’re delicious. What does Nana dislike? That’s easy. She hates getting her hair wet in the pool. Whenever I say, “Hey Nana watch me dive,” she always moves to the back of the pool, puts her hands over her head and closes her eyes a little. We love Nana, but sometimes my Dad gets so frustrated with her. She rings us up and says, “So how do you send an e-mail John, tell me, tell me fast!” “Alright,” Dad says, rolling his eyes. Most of the time he doesn’t really mind but sometimes he gets annoyed because Nana rings up when he is really busy. Nana’s garden is filled with brand new grass. When she’s gardening dirt is scattered across the lawn, flowers dance, and garden tools are stuck in the ground; it all looks great. Someday I wish to be an athlete like my Nana, and that’s what’s going to happen. She is my role model and the person who colours my world. Written By Cameron Main Year 6
My Cooking Skills Sometimes on a Saturday morning, when I feel like getting out of bed early, I head downstairs and find our recipe for how to cook pikelets. They’re delicious. I zip around the kitchen and grab all the ingredients. Although the bowl is often in the dishwasher from the night before, I pull it out and pop everything into it – flour, baking powder, milk, eggs. I give it a big stir, so big that it makes my arms ache. While it’s cooking Mum always storms into the kitchen and says, “Liana, what are you doing? “I’m making breakfast,” I say. “Well make sure you save some for me. And don’t make too much mess!” This is one of our regular Saturday morning discussions. Once they’re out of the pan, everyone gathers around the table and says, “Please may I have some Liana?” Well not everyone, my sister is usually still in bed. My brother doesn’t know the difference between my pikelets and other peoples so he just says they’re yum and walks away. But my Mum says, “Wow, pinch me I must be dreaming! These are fantastic, thank you Liana!” I save a couple of extra good ones for myself. “Mmm, I am good!” I say. Junior Master Chef here I come! Written by Liana Kirk Year 5
New Zealand is the Best Country in the World Most people would say that their country is the best. But I’m here to tell you why New Zealand is by far the best country in the world. New Zealand has great food, beautiful landscapes and lots of amazing outdoor activities. Sure other countries may be great, but New Zealand is awesome! Firstly, New Zealand has the best food ever! Kiwifruit, Pavlova, kumara and of course our scrumptious hokey pokey ice cream are just a few of the delicious foods on offer here. Who doesn’t love a fresh marmite sandwich? My teacher loves them! And what about when you hear the song of the Mr Whippy ice cream truck? Us kiwi kids grab some spare change and run up the road for a creamy delicious treat. Everyone loves a traditional ham roast. With all of the juicy vegetables and classic gravy over top, of course we’re in heaven. And then there’s kiwi lamb, fish and chips, summer barbeques, popsicles … it’s never ending! Secondly, New Zealand is famous for its beautiful landscapes. Magnificent blue lakes stretch out, tall mountains touch the sky and green bushes extend out for miles. Who wants to live in a dull flat land? Not us! We love our golden sand beaches, snow covered valleys and our lush native bush, which is perfect for amazing hikes. Last but not least, New Zealand has lots of adventure activities to do outside. Do you love fishing? Then come to New Zealand! And if you love fun all year around then buy a plane ticket and get over here. Where else in the world can you play on the beach and ski on a mountain in the same weekend? Parachuting, white water rafting, bungy jumping, cycling, hiking, camping … New Zealand is the place to be when you want outdoor fun. Everybody knows that New Zealand is the best country in the world! We have excellent food, a beautiful landscape and lots of outdoor kiwi adventure sports. Obviously there can be no doubt New Zealand rocks! Written by Pyper Kerr Year 6
I Was A Barbie Girl I don’t remember where Stacey, my fun loving Barbie came from, she was just always stuck to my hand. Her purple-streaked hair, long and frizzy, camouflaged her two little plaits. Her bubblegum lipstick made her smile stand out wherever she was. Having dressed Stacey in her favourite clothes, she was ready to go to kindy. Now and then I would give her a bubble bath, especially when she was going on a date. “I love you Ken!” she would say at the end of a perfect night out. Her Barbie bumper car zoomed past Noah’s hot wheels cars in our drag races, and her favourite thing to do was shopping. I would lie out all her clothes and she would pick the perfect outfit. Her best clothes were a fluorescent jumpsuit and pink high heels. Her wardrobe turned my room into a rainbow and she even had enough high heels to open her own shoe shop! This was our world. When I started primary school Barbie would sit next to Ken and their baby in their large dollhouse and wait for me. Eventually when I got into sports and other things, she was thrown into a box and stored in the cupboard. Years later I found the small box tucked away. And in that box were Stacey, Ken and the baby who I never named. It was great to see them all again! Written by Jazmin Hotham Year 6
The igloo “Help the Yeti has got me!” “I’ll save you Stella,” I said. I smashed the Yeti in the stomach and dragged Stella back into our igloo. This was not your everyday igloo; our one was made out of four chairs, a thick white blanket top, pegs (lots of pegs) to hold up the roof, and pillows for the door. “Is the Yeti still out there?” Stella asked. “I don’t know,” I said. “Can you look?” As quiet as a mouse I tiptoed outside. “Sarah,” Stella said, “Sarah.” But I couldn’t answer. I sat frozen as two little eyes stared down at me. “Ahhhhh Yeti!” I cried. Stella came crawling out. “That’s not a Yeti, it’s just Mum!” “Oh,” I said, feeling rather embarrassed, “sorry!” “I thought you mountain climbers might be hungry up there all on your own so I brought you some gumballs.” “Thanks Mum!” said Stella excitedly. “Yum!” I said. We climbed back into our igloo. While I pigged out on gumballs, Stella was fixing up a big hole in the wall. “Bedtime mountain climbers!” called Stella’s Dad. So we climbed into our sleeping bags and said our goodnights. What a fun day. Written by Sarah Booth Year 6
The Acrobatic Chicken She shivers, A feathery prisoner in her cage. Curious, frightened by the unfamiliar noises around her, Her head jerks this way and that, checking that she can trust this new environment. The golden-orange queen crows, Tasting the air with care, her grey beak opening and closing. She decides to explore, Like a circus acrobat, she steadies her tight-rope stick and smirks. Suddenly she shakes her feathers, Sending misty dust hurtling out of the cage. Her branch swivels, shaking under her weight, She carelessly leaves it unsteady and unsupervised. Nervously she staggers, Waiting for her branch to stop, slowly, slowly. Then her beak nips and carefully grooms her feathers, Balanced with her talons grasping the stick once again. She settles, shuffling her thin feet, She smiles and relaxes down to roost. Written by Daisy Bunting Year 5
The incredible egg The eager pilot flicks the ignite switch and the propane burners roar into life. The Incredible Egg ascends into the morning sky. Dogs bark furiously at the raging sound of the flames. Children shout and point in delight, while others chase the balloon through the streets and watch as it drifts over buildings. Other balloons crowd into the skies but The Incredible Egg is still the centre of attention. The balloon is so far away now that its golden colour fades and all I can see is a vague shadow in the clouds. Written by Euan Safey Year 6
World Of Our Own “Choose one,” Mum said. “It’s a birthday treat.” My eyes, hardly above the counter, stared up at all the teddies. Most of them had fancy bow ties and flash button eyes but none of those appealed to me. In the corner of a shelf was an octopus with fluorescent green and purple tentacles. On his back there was a little hole that you could put your hand in but I never used it. He didn’t need me controlling him; he had enough imagination for himself. A Hi-5 back pack rested on his shoulders. He had bulging eyes and a welcoming smile. Chop-Chop, as I later called him, was the right one for me. From then on Chop-Chop and I lived in a world of our own. We did everything together; we were inseparable. Chop-Chop liked climbing trees with me and we pretended that we were lost at sea. He didn’t get scared though because we were together. Chop-Chop liked hiding in my closet and we pretended that we were in a haunted house. He didn’t get scared because I held his tentacle. When we went shopping he sat in the trolley with me. I reassured him that heights weren’t scary and he trusted me. He knew all my secrets. We were best friends. Now Chop-Chop sits on my bed and waits for bedtime. We don’t play as much as we used to but he still listens to all my secrets. I know they are safe with him. Written by Brooke Mahaffey Year 5
Soccer Rules Every Saturday, on chilly winter mornings, my Dad and I rush to the frost covered soccer field. It’s awesome. My teammates and I take our positions on the field. One time, our coach flipped a coin and we won the ball first. Sending the ball up and down the muddy field, we all tried to score. “Come on and kick it!” the spectators shouted. Eventually our team scored and it felt great. I was huffing, puffing, and kicking, doing everything I could to keep the ball away from the opposition. Suddenly a spark of energy grew in the other team and the score was three-five; we were only just in the lead. The whistle blew and it was half time. “Half time means oranges so dig in!” our coach said. “Can I switch position to midfield please?” I asked. “Okay, go score some goals Jack,” my coach replied. The whistle blew and once again it was game on. Before long we earned our first penalty shot. Our coach shouted, “Now is your chance to shoot and score!” Yes, we won a goal. The score was three-six to us. The ball twisted and turned around the opposition and jumped over players as if it was a kangaroo. It passed through the defence, up to the midfield and into the strikers. Their goalie tried to do everything he could to stop it but he didn’t succeed. We had a good chance of winning. Finally the whistle screamed, piercing my ears, and it was all over. We cheered for the other team and shook hands. “Who’s the player of the day?” we asked. It was me! What a day! What a score - three-seven to the Wolverines! Written by Jack Thompson Year 6
Te Kauri Lodge Camp Out... Although I could tell it was really late, I was not feeling sleepy at all. The lights were out but the torch beside my bed showed enough light to let me see around our small corner of the dorm. Across from me, my friend was fast asleep and so was everyone else. The open window next to her looked like the perfect spot for a possum to poke its scrawny head through. I turned over, eager not to look back in case it did. I was hot. My jumper was zipped up tight under my puffed up sleeping bag. I looked like an Eskimo. The clunk of Mrs Bull’s tramping boots patrolling our dorm was the only sound, apart from the occasional snore from Sarah-Snoring-Booth. “This is so annoying!” I groaned. “WHO WAS THAT?” came the warning growl of Mrs Bull, who reacted to even the tiniest sound. Danger is coming, play dead, I was thinking. Mrs Bull was coming closer. I froze. Soon the blinding light of the teacher’s torch shone through my closed eyes. To my relief the light pulled back and disappeared. Sneaking one eye open, I realised danger had passed. I glanced to the left, right, up and down. I twisted, coughed, wriggled and moaned. Slowly I sat up and whispered, “Mrs Bull, can I go to the toilet?” “No! Now shush or you’re sleeping outside!” she replied. I sighed. I buried myself into my pillow and willed myself to go to sleep. Anything was better than the deck!
By Grace Fowler Year 6
ABOUT THE AUTHORS NAME: AGE: YEAR: ETHNICITY: INTERESTS:
MAIA BARBUZZA 10 years 6 Italian Riding my scooter, jumping on the trampoline, gymnastics, playing with my friends, cooking, reading My favourite piece of writing is Monday Morning because I managed to describe everything that happened without making it sound boring. The best thing about going to Writers’ Café is that it’s given me a chance to express my opinions clearly in interesting ways. In terms of writing, my goal is to write a simple - but complex - piece of writing and have it published. NAME: AGE: YEAR: ETHNICITY: INTERESTS:
SARAH BOOTH 10 years 6 New Zealander Hockey, dancing, reading, singing, playing with Lego, making huts, running around My favourite piece in the book is The Igloo. I like it because it has lots of writing techniques in it like dialogue and complex sentences, and I enjoyed writing it. Writers’ Café has helped me in writing by teaching me new things like how to activate the noun, write complex sentences and lots more. In terms of writing my goals are to stay in the same tense in a piece of writing and to use all the techniques I have learnt on my own. NAME: AGE: YEAR: ETHNICITY: INTERESTS:
DAISY BUNTING 10 years 5 New Zealander / Danish Swing-ball, writing, drawing, T-ball, playing on the computer, reading My favourite piece of writing is my chicken poem, The Acrobatic Chicken, because it has fantabulous metaphors like, ‘A feathery prisoner in her cage,’ and ‘The goldenorange queen crows.’ Writers’ Café has helped me by introducing me to brand new writing techniques like insert sentences, how to start sentences in different ways and lots more. In terms of writing, my goal is to write an awesome science fiction series. NAME: AGE: YEAR: ETHNICITY: INTERESTS:
JORDAN EDWARDS 10 years 6 New Zealand European Cooking, playing rugby, using my iPod, listening to music and building things with Lego My favourite piece of writing would have to be Paul Blyde Mall Cop because I was able to write about my favourite cousin Paul. The best thing about Writers’ Café would have to be learning something new every week, like a new sentence structure or a new type of writing. My writing goal is to write a well-written speech for my Dad’s fortieth birthday in the year 2013.
NAME: GRACE FOWLER AGE: 11 years YEAR: 6 ETHNICITY: New Zealander INTERESTS: Skiing, scootering, biking, watching television My favourite piece of writing this year is My Special Kingdom because I successfully described what the place looked like, I used dialogue and I wrote with feeling. Writers’ Café has given me a chance to put my writing skills to good use. It has helped me develop writing techniques I never knew about like insert sentences and activating the noun. My goal as a writer is to start a book series about a tiger shark. Writers’ Café rocks and I wish I could do it again!
NAME: JAZMIN HOTHAM AGE: 11 years YEAR: 6 ETHNICITY: Samoan / Fijian INTERESTS: Playing touch, athletics and knitting My favourite piece of writing is my story called I Was A Barbie Girl because it’s a story that I have used personal voice. I have also used lots of sentence structures like a ‘Having …’ sentence. My favourite sentence I used was, ‘Her bubble gum lipstick always made her smile stand out.’ Writers’ Café has helped me make my stories scrumptious by teaching my how to use lots of literary devices. My goals in writing are to elaborate and use complex sentences.
NAME: AGE: YEAR: ETHNICITY: INTERESTS:
PYPER KERR 10 years 6 Irish / New Zealander Cooking, reading, biking riding, going to the beach, baking, listening to music My favourite piece of writing is New Zealand is the Best Country in the World because I used a lot of elaborate sentence techniques and activated nouns. Coming to Writers’ Café has showed me what a great writer I am because I never knew that. In terms of writing my goal is to extend on my ideas more.
NAME: LIANA KIRK AGE: 10 years YEAR: 5 ETHNICITY: New Zealander INTERESTS: Netball, writing My favourite piece of writing is my character description about my Nana because it is a really descriptive piece that I worked hard on and I love my Nana. I like going to Writers’ Café because it has improved my writing and I have learnt lots of techniques like activating the noun and how to use different sentence structures. My goal is to use lots of techniques in my writing all the time.
NAME: AGE: YEAR: ETHNICITY: INTERESTS:
ETHAN MacKENZIE 10 years 6 South African Playing video games, biking, skateboarding, laughing with my friends My favourite piece of writing is my story called The Hut because I used lots of language techniques like, an insert sentence, a ‘While …’ sentence and dialogue. The best thing about Writers’ Café is it helped me learn how to use literary devices like activating the noun and metaphors. I liked how the models showed me how to use different techniques. My goals for writing are to put more detail into my stories. NAME: AGE: YEAR: ETHNICITY: INTERESTS:
BROOKE MAHAFFEY 9 years 5 Australian / New Zealander Writing, running, swimming, soccer, gymnastics, reading, walking my dog, Flippa-ball One of my favourite pieces would have to be Eggs on the Menu because I have elaborated and used lots of sentence structures and techniques like insert sentences, simple sentences, similes, activating the noun and more. I also like A World of Our Own because it’s a very special story to me about my childhood toy. Before I came to Writers’ Café my mind was blank when it came to writing, but now it’s filled with lots of writing ideas and I know how to use things like activating the noun, complex sentences, and onomatopoeia. Writers’ Café has helped me learn how to elaborate and it has taught me that I am an author with something to say. My goals would have to be sorting out my paragraphs and staying in the same tense.
NAME: AGE: YEAR: ETHNICITY: INTERESTS:
CAMERON MAIN 10 years 6 New Zealand / Pakeha Rugby, touch, tennis, gymnastics, swimming, cricket, athletics, reading, origami, playing with teddies, travelling My favourite piece of writing would have to be My Colourful Nana because it is a wonderful description about her and it has fantastic detail. The best thing about going to Writers’ Café is that you can write stories that you never thought you could write. Writers’ Café has improved my writing by teaching me new writing techniques like activating the noun, using a semicolon and starting sentences in different ways. My goals in writing are to use better vocabulary than what I am using and to keep extending on my ideas. NAME: MATTHEW PAIRAUDEAU AGE: 11 years YEAR: 6 ETHNICITY: New Zealander INTERESTS: Playing Minecraft, watching television My favourite piece of writing is Christchurch Catastrophe because I have added descriptions and it is heart felt. The best thing about Writers’ Café is that I got to learn lots of writing techniques like how to use similes and activated nouns. Writers’ Café has improved my vocabulary and overall my writing is much better now. My goals for writing are to write a book series. A book that has inspired me is Young Samurai: Way of the Dragon.
NAME: SAMUEL ROWE AGE: 11 years YEAR: 6 ETHNICITY: New Zealander INTERESTS: Rugby, drums, magic, swimming, drama My favourite piece of writing is Te Kauri Lodge: Dirty Pillow. I liked it because I had a lot of techniques in it and Mrs Porteous said it was so good that I should show Mr Ostermann. The best thing about coming to Writers’ Café is learning new techniques because it’s made me write better stories. They help me write better in class and my teacher likes them too. My writing goal is to use the techniques I’ve learnt, every time I write. NAME: EUAN SAFEY AGE: 10 years YEAR: 6 ETHNICITY: New Zealander INTERESTS: Lego, soccer, piano, going on the computer My favourite story in the book is Game On because I used many descriptive writing techniques like complex sentences, similes, activated nouns, dialogue and many others. I think that Game On is the best memoir I’ve ever written. Writers’ Café has helped me improve my writing by teaching me new writing skills like how to use different types of sentences, literary devices and punctuation. Writers’ Café has also helped me by giving me sensational models to learn from and to borrow things from. In terms of writing, my goal is to improve on my character descriptions. NAME: AGE: YEAR: ETHNICITY: INTERESTS:
LAETHAM SNOWLING 11 years 6 Scottish Video games, biking, skate boarding, fishing, and fireworks My favourite piece of writing is My Colourful Mum because it is one of the best character descriptions I have ever written. Writers’ Café has helped me to improve by teaching me new techniques like onomatopoeia, good repetition and metaphors. It’s also helped me to improve how to order my sentences like having short sentences and longer complex sentences together. In terms of writing, my goals are to have one of my short stories published. NAME: JACK THOMPSON AGE: 11 years YEAR: 6 ETHNICITY: New Zealander / Pakeha INTERESTS: Swimming, maths, biking, writing, running, soccer What a year of fun writing! One of my favourite pieces is my character description about my amazing Dad because I’ve used a lot of descriptive techniques like similes and different sentence structures. The best thing about Writers’ Café is all the techniques I’ve learnt. It’s helped me learn to add more detail and made me more confident about writing. My goals are to stay in the same tense and remember paragraphs.
‘Writers’ Café 2011,’ was written by a group of students in Years 5 and 6, who took part in an enrichment writing programme. The students, who met once a week, were given the opportunity to work in depth on their writing in a small group, exploring different styles of writing, analysing models, discussing and learning how to use a range of language techniques. Throughout the year they have really developed their ‘personal voice’ – the way they express themselves in writing – and have become skilled at using a range of vocabulary, sentence structures, literary devices and punctuation. Most significantly, the students learnt that they all have stories to tell – pieces of their lives that are valuable and worthy of recording.
The students compiled their best pieces of writing for the year into this book, a wonderful collection of their memoirs, poems, character descriptions and arguments.