Category Archives: Uncategorized

Static Images – I am Not Esther

You should all have received your grades and feedback for your Static Images by now.  You did a great job and I was really impressed with the ideas that you came up with and the way that you presented them.  I have picked out a few to display here.   Please add a comment to say what you think about the images you see here.


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Hugo – Your Review

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We have now watched “Hugo” all the way through and you have started to work through the activities to explore the film. Please add a short review below.  Use the Review Preparation document to help you that has been shared in our Google Classroom.   Here is a brief checklist of things to include;

  • A star rating
  • What type of film it is
  • What happens in the film?
  • Who are the main characters and what are they like?
  • Did you enjoy the film? Why/why not? What were its good and bad points?
  • Write about a scene you particularly enjoyed or remembered. Why was it good/memorable?
  • Would you recommend this film? Who would enjoy it most? Why?

Questions, questions, questions

quotation from I am not Esther, a book by Fleur Beale with a bird feeding on flax in the backgroundSo we have finished reading “I am not Esther” and you have come up with some really insightful questions. The discussions you had in class today in your groups were interesting to listen to and some of you had some deep discussions about the themes. Here are some of the questions. Please can you choose two of the questions and answer them using the comments below.  I would also like you to comment on other people’s answers – ask them questions about what they mean for clarification or ask them to delve a little deeper into the themes.

Chapter 1: Why did Kirby’s Mum lie to her?

Chapter 2: Will Esther ever settle into the new religion?

Chapter 3: Why didn’t Kirby’s Mum write to her?

Chapter 4: Why won’t anyone talk about Miriam?

Chapter 5: Why do the Children of Faith say you have to marry at 16?

Chapter 6: Why did Uncle Caleb not want Aunt Naomi to have any medical care when she was having the baby?

Chapter 7: Why did Uncle Caleb not let the kids visit the baby or Aunt Naomi?

Chapter 8: Do you think Daniel will marry Damaris? Why? Why not?

Chapter 9: Why didn’t her mum tell her that she was not going to Africa?

Chapter 10: Will Esther and her Mum actually live happily ever after?


Poets one and all!

Our term of poetry is over and we move onto our novel study.  However, I couldn’t just move on without celebrating some of your amazing poems.  There were so many great ones to choose from and I can’t post them all here.  Why don’t you share some of your poems with each other on Google Docs and comment on them?

Here are a couple of my favourites.  The first one is from the activity to explore personification:


Personification Poem by Olivia

Dawn awakes
Splashing colours all over
The blank canvas
Creating an oasis
That smears itself across the sky
Like an artist blending all sorts of colours
With just one simple stroke

The morning sings
As the birds
Their well-rehearsed song
Tweeting peacefully
Splitting silence
Lingering in the air

As the heat of the day increases
The sun dances across the skies above
Shining it’s rays down
Over the cities below

The waves smash themselves forcefully
Yet so softly
Against the damp sand
Leaving a splash
Of cold salty spray
Clinging onto particles
Of the dusty golden goodness
The sea whispers softly
Words of encouragement
Filling the ears
Of scared little children
Taking their first steps into the water
Liquid licking their toes
Parents clutching their tiny hands

One mountain
Stands tall
Looking over the green countryside
Like a king overlooking his kingdom
The sky brings a beautiful bright blue
Contrasting with the trees
Dotted over the mountain

A stone sleeps
After a long day
Of hopscotch
As the sun gently melts away
Into darkness
Enveloped by long grass
Slightly swaying in the cool air

Night takes over
Shadows forming
A pitch black darkness spreading
Only once being brightened
As the moon comforts
Murmuring campers
As they await sleep to fall upon them

Stars guide the way to the morning
Leaving a sparkling trail
Like a snail
Twinkling against the black duvet of the sky

This one is Rosie’s final poem.


The Llama who thought He was a Man

Stop! Wait. Go back.
Eating grass!
Cut some slack
you’re nuts

I’m not a llama
I don’t eat grass
At least, I don’t think
I have in the past

I am a llama?!
Seriously, cut the joke
You’ve said nothing but tosh
since first you spoke

Oh stop it!
I’m quite sick of this game
You don’t know a thing about humor
You’re jokes are laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame!!!!

Nope, I’m not listening
What childish behaviour
I’m going away now
See you later!

Stop following me, I say!
Please go away!
Can you not hear me at all?

I do believe
You don’t understand
Your listening skills are poor

But perhaps, I wonder
If you do understand
Then why do you insist

On insisting
I have a fury coat
Which my eyesight
Has somehow missed!

Fine, I shall prove it!
Come here to this puddle
I’ll prove I’m no animal
Your brain’s in a muddle

You see, you nutcase
My reflection is fine
I am a huma-
Wait! That face is not mine!

How can it be?
Things shouldn’t be as they are
Something is wrong!
Something is- AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

I’m a llama! I’m a llama!
What a dreadful sight!
I’m a llama! I’m a LLAMA!
Goodness help me, YOU WERE RIGHT!!!!!!

And finally, Sophie’s poem about camp is full of energy and paints a great picture of what camp was all about.

2014-03-21 22.25.30

Year 9 Camp 2014

In bushcraft we made manuka tea
Which I had to skull down on 1, 2, 3
At archery we aimed to hit a bulls eye
But I did not I just hit nearby

In rock climbing we had to climb a big wall
While trying not to think what would happen if we’d fall
If your group didn’t work as a team in ABL
You would realise you were going to be unstable

Mountain Biking had its ups and downs
Which made some of us end up with the browns!!
At raft building we had to float our team
Which in some cases was a bit extreme

You had to be good at mountaineering
To complete the challenge of orienteering
Waka Ama was a race
And we had a hard time to chase

In kayaking falling into the muddy water
Was like watching a lamb at the slaughter
I finished my week with the tramp
Which was a great way to finished such a good camp!

I am Not Esther

Image“Who was I now? Who I used to be was disappearing and there were only bits of me left that sometimes I caught sight of in puddles or dark windows.”

By now you should all have read “I am not Esther”.  Please write a comment below in which you write your review of the book. Consider the following:

  • What is your personal opinion of the book?  
  • Did you like it or not?  Why?  
  • Briefly describe Esther’s character.  
  • Who is your favourite character in the book?  Why?
  • Who do you like least?  Why? 


Poetry – what a lot of fun!

image of footprint in the sand with quote from Robert Frost, poet.  Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words"

We have been writing poetry this term and I have loved the poems that you have written either on your own or in groups. I thought that this poem from John Hegley was a great way to get you writing and you seemed to enjoy it if the results are anything to go by.

“I need you..” 

I need you like a bully needs to boast

I need you like an ocean needs a coast

I need you like a dog needs a lamppost

Their additions were fantastic!

I need you like peanut needs butter

I need you like speakers need not to stutter

I need you like I need my mother

I need you like how babies need to cry

I need you like birds need to fly

I need you like I need wi-fi.

I need you like an ant needs a nest

I need you like east needs west

I need you like a nerd needs a test

I need you like an athlete needs his toe

I need you like a clown needs a show

I need you like an old man needs his mo

I need you like a princess needs her tower

I need you like a bee needs its flower

I need you like an engine needs power

I need you like a magnet needs metal

I need you like a flower needs a petal

I need you like Hansel needs Gretel

I need you like a backpacker needs rest

I need you like Kanye needs North West

I need you like a lemon needs zest.

The next poem was a little more complex; “I want you…”

I want you like my crumpled trousers want a


I want you like Rumpelstiltskin

wanted the princess

to guess

I want you like a naked somnambulist

out walking on a cold winter’s night

on waking wants to dress

But we looked at the poetic elements and you commented on the offset rhymes and the lengthening lines, you also noticed how the poem was laid out and how it sounded when we read it out loud  I asked you to have a go at writing their own poems in the same sort of style and you had a really good go.  Here are some of the best ones.

i want you like the sheriff wanted the thieves
i want you like a tree wants its leaves
to cover the breeze
i want you like the dog that receives the bone
likes to tease                                                              Steph G

I want you like a heart full of love
I want you like the bully wants to shove

the kid wearing the black leather glove 
I want you like the magician wants its dove

to appear out of nowhere from above                        Katie M

I want you like a brother wants a sister
I want you like a quiet person wants to whisper
I want you like a Mrs needs her Mr

who can tell her a tongue twister.                              Alyssa B

I want you like a damsel wants her hero
I want you like a Roman 
used to dream 
of being ‘Nero’
I want you like a nerd 
dreams of no longer 
being a zero                                                               Kate W

I want you like a bee needs a flower 
i want you like a princess needs power 
to rule a tower 
I want you to show my heart how not to cower      Emily W

I want you like an athlete wants to run 
I want you like the sunset needs the sun 
I want you like a father needs a son but sometimes more than one     Jaime B

I want you like a fire needs a spark
I want you like a jandal likes to leave a tan mark

when you come out of the dark

I want you like the oven needs to start
to bake the Apple tart
when you come back from the park.                               Jess W

What have you read this term?

Quotation in Spanish from Francois Sagan which says " My only regret is that I will never have the time to read all the books that I want to"
“My only regret is that I will never have time to read all the books that I want to”

Some of you have asked where you can share the books you have read so far.  I would love to hear what you have been reading so please post a comment below to let us all know. Write a brief review and include the title and the author.

You also need to log the book on your Wide Reading log sheets.  You can download these and print them out from our Edmodo page, or if you prefer to fill them in online, make a copy of the document and add it to your Drive and share it with me. 

What shall we read?

a libraryI have two suggestions at the moment.  They both have teenage girls as the main character but are set in completely different places:

ImageI am not Esther by Fleur Beale

Imagine that your mother tells you she’s going away. She is going to leave you with relatives you’ve never heard of – and they are members of a strict religious cult. Your name is changed, and you are forced to follow the severe set of social standards set by the cult. There is no television, no radio, no newspaper. No mirrors. You must wear long, modest clothes. You don’t know where your mother is, and you are beginning to question your own identity. I am not Esther is a gripping psychological thriller written by popular children’s writer Fleur Beale. In Esther she creates an enthralling and utterly compelling portrait of a teenager going through her worst nightmare.

ImageThrowaway Daughter by Ting-xing Ye

Throwaway Daughter tells the dramatic and moving story of Grace Dong-mei Parker, a typical Canadian teenager until the day she witnesses the Tiananmen massacre on television. Horrified, she sets out to explore her Chinese ancestry, only to discover that she was one of the thousands of infant girls abandoned in China since the introduction of the one-child policy, strictly enforced by the Communist government. But Grace was one of the lucky ones, adopted as a baby by a loving Canadian couple.

With the encouragement of her adoptive parents, she studies Chinese and travels back to China in search of her birth mother. She manages to locate the village where she was born, but at first no one is willing to help her. However, Grace never gives up and, finally, she is reunited with her birth mother, discovering through this emotional bond the truth of what happened to her almost twenty years before.

Please comment below to vote on which you would prefer to read this term.  Next term we will vote on your suggestions.

What do you like reading?

Dr Zeus' quote - the more you read the nmore that you will know, the more you learn the more places you'll goHi girls!

I have a couple of ideas of books we could read this term and you will be able to vote on which you prefer.  I would also welcome your suggestions of books to read for later in the year.  We have to think of something that most of us will find interesting.  It is probably impossible to find something that EVERYONE will like.  And the book needs to have some good themes that we will be able to discuss.  So get your thinking caps on.

However, first up, I would like to you to write a comment below to let me know what sort of books you like.  What have you read over the summer holidays?  Where do you like to read?  How much do you like reading?