Dolls returned to Fendalton School after 90 years

 

 

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I had a lovely chat with Mrs Bobbity Murfitt last week. Mrs Murfitt has very kindly gifted two amazing dolls to our school. The dolls are dressed in our school uniform of the 1920’s and were part of the 50th celebrations of our school in 1925.
Mrs Murfitt’s grandmother,  Mary Ambridge made the dresses when her children, Margaret, Patricia, Joan, Audrey and Barbara were students here in the 1920’s. The dolls are amazing and we are so lucky to have them as they represent our past.   I love the little cap and hat with FOS hand embroidered on them. Very authentic.
We have decided to name the dolls Mary and Robert, after the Ambridge parents. The dolls are being kept safe but we will be looking at getting a special case to showcase them. They are in wonderful condition and we want them to stay that way. We have our 150th birthday in 2025 and it will be just perfect to have them on show once again.
So a massive thank you to Mrs Murfitt for your wonderful gift to our school. A real taonga.
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The opening of the new Te Hāpua Halswell Centre

What a wonderful day on Saturday. The sun was shining down as a large crowd gathered for the opening of the new Te Hāpua Halswell Centre. Well done to the Halswell School Kapa Haka team for their performance on this special occasion. Even a lonely monarch butterfly fluttered overhead giving us its blessing.

This is the new community facility with a swimming pool and so many rooms to have meetings and events but of course the best bit is the new library. It is stunning. The building is so light and fresh and seems to go on forever. It really is fantastic. We are so lucky to be living in this wonderful city where we have access to so many libraries.  Of course there are computers and free WiFi and pre-school programmes too and access to so much more. And yes! I did come away with a pile of books to read and a huge smile on my face.

It was lovely to see brothers, Sam and George  (past and current pupil ) flicking through many books and enjoying the atmosphere. Great choice of books there, boys! Their dad had a huge part to play in the design and building of this new centre and I have to say – it really is a wonderful place.

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I love the little spaces where you can hide away and forget about the world while you slip between the pages of a book into other worlds. This little corner looks out on to the swimming pool. (sorry about the reflection).

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We are very lucky to have our own wonderful school library but do take a visit to the new centre. I know you will all love it.  For more on our city libraries click here. If you are not yet a member I encourage you all to join.

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Our library tree decked out in a Christmas Winter Wonderland

Our library tree looks amazing. Our lovely caretaker has been hard at work again and the tree is looking very much like a winter Christmas. There is a train whizzing round the tracks in and out behind the tree. The secret cave has elves sitting around a camp fire reading books. Just delightful. Do pop in and have a look. As the children say – “it is awesome”.

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Maker Monday: Today’s challenge – spaghetti and marshmallows

Once again the library was buzzing with chatter and creative thoughts. Students had the challenge of creating any structure they wanted as long as it could stand up by itself. The only tools they had were dry spaghetti and marshmallows. Lots of thinking going on and I love how they shared their ideas. I especially love the Eiffel Tower from Phoebe and Lily.

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Noah and Tabitha’s 3D cube.

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Jasmine and her hanging structure.

Lots of fun. Look out for another challenge coming soon.

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Still a chance to support our school library with Book Island

Thank you to everyone who went on to the Fendalton Open-Air School Facebook page and shared our fundraising poster. An email did go out to parents but this is just a reminder that the idea is  by sharing the page with family and friends, others too might share the page so that we could end up reaching hundreds of people. Anyone at all up and down New Zealand buying books from Book Island up until 10th November will have 35 percent of the profits donated to our school library for new books. That would be awesome. Anyone in the school community buying from Book Island themselves, can save postage and have the books delivered free to school and I will hold them until you can pick them up. If you have not been on to our Facebook Page it would be fantastic if you could do it soon. If you are not on Facebook it would be great if you could just let people know to check out the library blog and read the poster below.

Many thanks to all who have done so.

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Piper is our special visitor in the library today

Today was a special mufti day where students dressed up with a Christmas theme and brought in a gold coin donation for charity.

Team 17 came into the library all dressed in bright Christmas colours but they didn’t come alone.

They brought a special visitor.  Piper came in with her teacher/owner to listen to stories.  Here she is listening to Nyah and obviously enjoying the pictures too by the look of things.

 

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Piper is a Standard Poodle and as you can see very keen on reading! She even wanted her own book out. Great to see that she wore her reindeer ears getting right in to the spirit of our special day.

 

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Our library OPAC has had an upgrade. Check it out!

Over the last two days I have been playing with the new upgrade from Access-it to our school library OPAC (Online public access catalogue).

You will see it has a whole new home page with lots of extra library news items for you to read and enjoy. You can still search for your books but there are a few tricks I will show you to make searching easier and more fun. You can always ask me to help if you are not sure but try having a look around here first. We will have sessions on this when you come to the library. You can find the link to the OPAC on the side bar of this blog under favourites. Or you can click on the image here to get started. This page will be moved along by other posts so it is always good to remember the side bar because that is going to always be there for you to find quickly.

There are some very cool book trailers you can click on too and watch. Enjoy and come and let me know what you think of the upgrade. There are still things I have to do and I am learning too but do just ask and maybe we can work things out together. Teamwork is always great!

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Juniors enjoying a lovely spring day under the blossoms

It is great to be back for term four. I hope you all had lovely holidays and read lots of good books.The grounds around our library are looking gorgeous. The trees lining the path are laden with blossoms and are simply stunning. The new library signpost looks as if it is in its own little wonderland with the over-hanging pink blossoms.

           One  of our junior teams decided it was just too nice to stay indoors today and spent time under the blossoms sharing ideas and enjoying the sunshine. Some of the children made up their own pretend games of how they would get to the places on the signpost. How cool would that be to travel to Hogwarts!

 

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Percy Jackson and the lightning thief 10th birthday celebrations in the library

To celebrate Percy Jackson’s 10th year of publication we held a Percy party at lunch time today. It was crazy with heaps of senior children answering questions about Percy Jackson and his books. You could tell straight away who the real fans were with their hands up constantly. Some children created posters, and one even wrote poem about Percy. It was a hectic, noisy library with lots of bookmarks given out as prizes for answering questions. I hate to admit it but they knew more than I did. I had to look at the answers. I will have to read my books again.
I want to thank our wonderful caretaker for creating such wonderful props to add to our display.

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Check out this awesome trailer for author Rick Riordan’s latest series, coming soon. Can’t wait!
Magnus Chase and the gods of Asgard

 

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Another wonderful Maker Monday in the library

We held another Maker Monday session in the library at lunch time today, this time for some year five students.

Their challenge was to create the tallest structure they could, using only pipe cleaners. No tape or glue was allowed.

They put themselves in to little teams and began some wonderful discussions. Midway through they were instructed to hold one hand behind their back and carry on. The next challenge was to be allowed two hands again but no talking. They had to find some other way to communicate.

This was a bigger challenge for some of them but it was fun. So much fun in fact that the children did the challenge several times.

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Maker Monday – our first Makerspace session in the library

What a busy lunch time we had today. We started our first Maker Monday with some year six students who re-purposed some old faulty books turning them into hedgehogs. It was a hive of activity and conversation. Unfortunately we ran out of time to add feet but the children were happy with their end product.  It was wonderful to see so many boys participating in the activity. Today’s effort was all about folding paper and maintaining a sense of shape and symbolism so not only fun but learning a long the way.

We will hold other activities for other year levels.

On some occasions we will have the year six students helping our young year ones. Some children have decided to paint the bottom of the hedgehogs and write special messages for Father’s Day.

 

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A wonderful celebration of popcorn and poetry to mark NZ Poetry Day

Today at lunch time was a feast of popcorn and poetry to celebrate NZ Poetry Day.

Children packed in to the library to recite old favourite poems. Many read their own creative poems which was just delightful. So many talented children.

It was lovely also to see so many children standing up and reading poems out loud together. For every poem read out children received a handful of popcorn and a bookmark. It takes courage to stand up in front of other students and read out your poems so I thank you all for making this another Fendalton School day to sparkle and shine.

We have heaps of poetry books in the library if you want to read more and you can check out the very creative Poetry Box where a number of children from Fendalton have had poems published online.

 

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Coming to the library prepared!

Mila Wood

 

It is always wonderful to see children coming to the library prepared to do research or to find a new book to read. Bringing pens and paper, books and devices always makes the library visits easier.

Milla was certainly eager and very prepared today, including bringing a big smile.

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Student librarians hard at work!

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Ryan and George hard at library duty today after our lunch time book club. They were totally oblivious to the other students in the library and also to having their photo taken. I don’t think I can see much work going on here today but it is so lovely to see the boys so involved with their books.

The book they both happen to be reading is

Little Manfred

By Michael  Morpurgo

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The most magnificent thing by Ashley Spires

The most magnificent thing

By Ashley Spires

 

We are moving towards making some fun changes in our school library. As part of the Makerspace movement we are hoping to have Makerpsace Mondays where children are offered the chance to be creative. We will have Lego challenges, chances to create stop-start animations, create artistic items out of old books and heaps of other activities, many science based. One of the main ideas of the Makerpsace movement is the idea of creating something new. This delightful picture book, just new to our library,  highlights the whole idea of making something from start to finish. Beautifully illustrated, this is a perfect example of how imagination and creative thinking can inspire some of the best things in life. Great for our key competencies of “thinker” and “sparkle”.

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Goosebumps official trailer @scholasticnz : Watch out for this scary movie coming soon from Sony Pictures

 

Do you want to be scared! Do you want goosebumps to shiver up and down your spine? If you do then you need to watch out for this movie when it comes out later this year.

We have plenty of the Goosebump books in the library so do come and read a few before the movie. You might need to reserve them as they are so popular they are always out.

Check out the author R. L. Stine’s website for lots of ideas and information about his books.

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New Zealand book awards for children and young adults

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults is happening in August. Up until July 31st children can vote for their favourite book in the Children’s Choice section.

There are four categories to choose from. As many of you will know my own book Canterbury Quake : My New Zealand Story is a finalist in the junior fiction category. In fact I feel very honored that children nominated my book which put it through to the finalists section. If you haven’t voted yet just click on the image below and get started. Thank you to those who have voted for my book as their favourite. It means so much.

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Awesome night in Christchurch with the very funny writer, actor and comedian David Walliams

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Last night I was one of 700 lucky people to witness David Walliams in action. He was here as a guest for the Word Christchurch  Writers and Readers Festival.

He was incredibly funny and entertaining. Very spontaneous and knew just how to make the crowd laugh. He was interviewed by the award winning writer Rachel King who kept the show flowing with ease.

He read from his books as well with heaps of expression.

He talked about his writing and how many of his characters come from people he actually knows. He even talked about his sister would dress him up in girls clothes when he was very little and parade him around the house. That inspired his book The boy in the dress which we have in the library, of course. Even his famous corner shop owner Raj is based on someone real. If you want to know more do check out his website.

Not the best photo sorry, but it was very difficult to get a clear shot. I waited in line for an hour to get a book signed. We were lucky to get two books signed for school.

 

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There are a few signed copies of Awful Auntie and Demon Dentist available to buy from The Children’s Bookshop if you wanted to get your own copy.

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A beautiful Autumn day here at school

 

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It is a glorious Autumn day here at school today. The children have been laughing to the sounds of the crunch and crackle of  fallen leaves as they run through them,  kicking them up in the air.

It is a delight to watch. The backdrop red classroom is of one of our historic open-air rooms.

Ray Blank was the headmaster of Fendalton School from 1922 until 1949. He was instrumental is opening up classrooms which featured much larger windows for more light and ventilation. The French doors open to the playground. This was to help combat influenza last century. It is wonderful that it survived the earthquakes and still stands proudly in our school grounds.

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