Popcorn and poetry – our annual celebration of poetry

Today was New Zealand National Poetry Day but we celebrated yesterday,  a day early, as many senior children would miss out because of Friday sports.

The library was buzzing with excitement as students read out their favourite poems by other poets. Many read out their own creative poems. Children read on their own or in pairs.

Taking part in the National Day of Poetry grows in number every year.

For their efforts, students received a bookmark, a bag of popcorn and this year they had the chance to take home a culled book of their choice. Lots of book and poetry discussions could be heard throughout lunchtime and continued even when they were leaving. Music to my ears.

Don’t forget about the poetry competition for the Whitcoulls book vouchers. There are six $30 vouchers to be won. These have been very kindly donated by Elliot and Oliver W. Your poem needs to be about a book character or what books mean to you. Bring them in by Monday 27th for your chance to win. Winners will be announced in the next whole school assembly.


Fantastic morning with Fifi Colston

What a fantastic morning here at school today. The year 4, 5 and 6 students all had a session with the wonderful Fifi Colston.

Fifi is a writer, illustrator and World of Wearable Arts winner. We loved her creativity and how she talked about the process of making her wearable works of art. Fifi offered us lots of ideas for how we can make our own creations using things around the house, especially things we can recycle and reuse.

Even though Fifi came down from Wellington she brought a suitcase with her loaded up with her creations. So much to see.

We have her books in the library but if you want to check out her website you will find other ideas too. You can click here to see some of her wonderful entries for the WOW.

Thank you so much to the NZ Book Council Writers in Schools program for making this visit possible.  Huge thank you Fifi!  Everyone is buzzing with excitment and keen to get started on their own wearable art.

Don’t you just love her dress! Zoom in and look at the cats. Awesome.




Book Week! Book Week! Book Week!

Yes. Only 10 more sleeps until Book Week.

Lots of new books from Scholastic to buy in the library. Stock up for birthdays, holidays or even Christmas.

Heroes/character parade Thursday 31 May 9.15 on the tennis courts.

Heaps and heaps of competitions to enter.

Make your own book trailer. (Like a movie trailer but about your favourite book)
Dustcovers. Redesign a dustcover.
Creative Biography: Present a biography of a New Zealand Hero in a creative way e.g an Interview, book trailer, Talking autobiography
Create Emoji book titles, eg Charlotte’s web
Colour in a picture of your favourite book or hero.
Make an altered tin or small diorama based on a story with a hero. The smaller the better.
Here we have repurposed a sardine tin to create a scene from Charlotte’s pig.
Write a 100 word story with a hero as the main character. 
Heaps of fun all week. 

Double amputee and mountaineer Mark Inglis visits and inspires students

Mark Inglis was at school today for a visit with everyone from year three upwards. Students were fascinated, enthralled, and inspired about his life and everything he has been through and everything he has achieved. As our students are focussing on heroes and what it is to overcome challenges, Mark was a perfect example as he has had many hurdles to overcome. He achieved success in overcoming the hurdles because of his positive attitude and because he was courageous, determined and focussed. He is still the only double amputee in the world to climb Mount Everest. That is one amazing achievement!

He is kind and generous and does so much to help others. 

We really were very lucky indeed to have him visit us.

Check out his website if you want to know more. 

His belief  sums up what we are learning here at school for our inquiry.

“Attitude Determines Your Altitude

Challenge is the essence of life”

Thank you for coming to share the story of your life.





Fabulous morning with writers Maria Gill and Anne Kayes from the Storylines Festival

The year four, five and six students were entertained and inspired by two very special author visitors this morning. As part of the Storylines Festival we were treated to sessions with Maria Gill and Anne Kayes. Both authors are award winning authors so we consider ourselves very fortunate to have had a visit from them today. 

Maria Gill won the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year in 2016 for her book ANZAC Heroes. 

Anne Kayes won the 2016 Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award. Anne talked about her novel Tui Street Tales about children in a street where the ordinary everyday life becomes strange and fairytales mingle about.

Maria told us of how she gets her ideas and how much time she sepnds writing. Eight in the morning until six at night and sometimes when she is trying to finish a book she will write every single day. That is an awful lot of writing and dedication. From the display you can see just how many of Maria’s books we have so do come and borrow them. Anne might only have the one book at the moment but we are eagerly waiting for the sequel.

So thank you Storylines Festival for our wonderful start to the week.



Thank you to CERT for our lovely new library books.

Once again we are indebted to the generosity of CERT for their very kind grant which is providing us with many new library books this year. The photo shows just the first books. They are all lovely, shiny and new and will be available to issue soon. We have novels, picture books and non-fiction books to enjoy. Thank you also to the PTA for making this happen. Reading for pleasure is one of the biggest gifts we can give our children so this is just wonderful for our students.

Thank you CERT from all of us here at Fendalton School.


Storyteller extraordinaire Stu Duval entertains the senior classes

Yesterday Stu Duval came to visit the senior classes. Stu Duval is a writer, illustrator and storyteller. 

We loved how creative he was. He had great expressions when telling stories. He had good plot twists and a great sense of humour. 

We laughed lots especially at the sound affects he made.

Stu Duval created this awesome painting using chalk. It is about a young convict boy coming to New Zealand in the 1800’s.

We were really inspired by Stu and so lucky to have seen his performance.

By Maggie and Emily

You can find out more about Stu Duval here.



David Walliams in Christchurch – a fun night for many.

It was lovely to see lots of FOS children at the David Walliams event run by Word Christchurch on Sunday night. David was  funny, witty and just a fantastic entertainer. He read from his stories and asked questions and had the audience laughing throughout the whole evening.

Some of our children from school getting right into the mood. And just for the record we do of course have multiple copies of all his books as they are always being issued out and reserved and in very high demand.

For those that missed out on this wonderful night you can still have fun checking out his books and activities on his website right here.



The two Kate’s




Jacob getting his prize after asking a question.



Perfect day for gardening


Lots of new plants arrived today thanks to our very supportive PTA. The boys are taking charge of delivery.  Next time you are in the school do take time to check out our much-loved garden. Chessa has been working with all of our children throughout the year to produce a thriving, natural space. There has been lots of learning about plants and where our food comes from and lots of excited children as they will soon get to taste the vegetables they have grown.

We have many books on gardening if you want to try growing your own vegetables and flowers at home.


Frank Worsely – Famous Past pupil, dream maker and explorer

As we move towards our very special Ra Whakahira day this week it is time to reflect on Fendalton School’s most famous past pupil Frank Worsely.

Frank Worsley entered our school when it was known as Fendalton Public school on the 9th October 1884 at 12 years of age. He was the 188th student enrolled at the school. He left at the end of 1887 having gained his Sixth Standard Certificate. He was Dux of the school in 1887 despite the fact that he was caned on many occasions. His photo hangs in the office foyer.

He was a member of Ernest Shackleton’s South Polar Expedition between 1914 and 1917. If it wasn’t for his bravery and his incredible navigation skills, many lives would have been lost after they hit ice and became stranded. He and his team endured many dangers and times of hunger over two years on ice and at sea but they all survived.

In 2000 an old flag and very old hand-written letter were found in an attic space. The flag once belonged to Frank Worsley and is now with the Canterbury Museum for safe-keeping.



You can check his name in the school register from 1887. It is a little hard to read but his name is the first one on the list.


I hope you all have fun on our special celebratory day.


Reading buddies in the library

We have a basket of soft toys in the library which are used as reading buddies. They are used everyday without fail. I love this photo of one of our girls who is so totally caught up in her reading that she didn’t even realise a photo was being taken. I love how the animals are all lined up listening intently. Perfect start to any day is time with a good book.


Fantastic afternoon with author Juliette MacIver

Friday afternoon was fantastic. The  junior classes were entertained by the wonderfully funny and very talented author Juliette MacIver. Juliette had us all laughing out loud and even dancing and quacking like ducks. Lots of fun.

Juliette has written many picture books and her latest book That’s not a hippopotamus won the NZ picture book of the year award this year.



We have almost all of her books so do come and check them out especially if you want to laugh out loud. If you want to know more about Juliette and what she does then check out her website here.




Chinese Language Week meets Dinosaur Rescue


Welcome back to Term 4. It is going to be a great term starting off with Chinese Language Week. Room 20 have made some posters, Chinese lanterns and Chinese fans for our library display. The highlight is the collection of author Kyle Mewburn’s Dinosaur rescue books written in Chinese. They will be available at the end of the week but don’t forget we also have them all in English as well. Huge thank you to Kyle for gifting the books to our school.

If you want to see a funny trailer for the series then click here

If you want to find out more about the author just click here.

We also have lots of other books in Chinese so pop in and check some out.


Little Golden Book library quilt

Our beautiful Little Golden Book quilt is now hanging in the library for everyone to see.

To celebrate Little Golden Book’s 75th anniversary, teacher Karen Brown and a group of children formed a small quilting group and created this gorgeous wall quilt. The fabric is a mixture of colours and characters symbolising story and togetherness. How many storybook characters can you see?

The quilt really is about community and sharing stories with each other, many of which were once published as Little Golden Books. The fabric, machine quilting and embroidery was paid for from the sale of old library books earlier this year making it a true school community quilt. So a big thank you to everyone involved.  Do pop in and see it sometime.


Relaxing way to end the day

Rooms 18 and 19 relaxing in the the library on Tuesday afternoon. The bean bags are always a favourite place to snuggle up and read. The children were so engrossed in their books that they didn’t even realise a photo was being taken. We have plenty more can’t-put-down books to choose from when you come in.


New Zealand Poetry Day with lots of fun and rhymes

What a fantastic day at school today. It was NZ Daffodil day so our students wore mufti with lots of yellow and green which perfectly matched the beautiful spring-like day we had. Their mufti day donations are going to the Cancer Society. Many children also made daffodil models from all sorts of recycled material.

AND as well as all this going on it was New Zealand Poetry day. We had our annual Popcorn and Poetry session in the library at lunch time. Not wanting to miss out on all the poetry, many children queued outside the library as they ate their lunch. Children read and shared their own poems, or poems they liked. It always amazes me how keen the children are and how supportive they are of each other’s creations. It is never easy standing up in front of others and for some of these children it was a bit scary but they all did an amazing job. Happy NZ Poetry day everyone.

Popcorn and bookmarks were shared as well.








Makerspace – making bristle bots in the library

What a busy lunch time on Wednesday. We were so lucky to have a visit form Amanda from Creokit who demonstrated one of her Makerspace activities. The children were delighted with their creations of little bristle bots. While it was certainly educational it was mostly a lot of fun. The children were totally engaged and eager to learn. This would be cool to try with bigger brushes. A great way to spend the lunch break.





A chance discovery in the school grounds.

A few weeks ago Mr Walker was working hard in the school grounds near the sandpit. He decided to investigate an old piece of timber that had been covered up for years. Just look at what he found. Hidden under an old wooden trap door was a toy box for sandpit toys.

No one seems to know for sure but we believe the toys were in school in the early 1990’s trapped for years underground. Very rusty but very cool. Thank you Mr Walker. 

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