Thursday, 15 November 2018

An inspiring spot to write

Our Russley Writers found a lovely, shady spot to sit outside and write on this beautiful Thursday morning.

We have been working on adding detail to our writing, to help the reader imagine they are right there, in the story. Choosing specific nouns, strong verbs and creating surprising similes and metaphors are just a few of the skills our writers are mastering.

The Sunny Past

Another Summer poem... from Robbie:

The Sunny past

I remember all the salads with crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes.

I remember the salty sea at Taylor's mistake.

I remember the whack of a ball against a cricket bat.

I remember the hot fireball shining down on us.

I remember ice cold water spraying on my face

and a water gun in my hands.

But, putting on sunscreen always annoys me.


Summer is on it's way...

by Kyla Holmes

I remember trees with leaves like pounamu

I remember Mum cutting up the juiciest watermelon
I remember playing What’s the Time Mr Wolfie with my family
under the sun.

I remember the sound of the birds chirping like flutes

I remember the pen writing in my book under the maple tree

I remember splashing in the river at Rai Valley

I miss wearing my blue jandals

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Writers' Walk panels

Mr Griffiths has been busy nailing the Writers' Walk panels to fences around our school and community. Check them out at the below locations, and enjoy reading these amazing poems and stories from our Russley authors.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Writers' Walk Assembly

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Russley School Writers' Walk!

Here are a few photos from this morning's assembly, some of the winning authors receiving their panels and being congratulated by one of our esteemed judges, Bill Nagelkerke.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Being inspired by peers' writing

Our Russley Writers' Club are hard at work on some descriptive pieces about a special place. Here they are being inspired by the amazing poems and descriptions in Toitoi 13.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Here at last!

These amazing writers have had their poetry published in Toitoi 13.

Robbie de Groot-Tsuji's poem 'The Strangest Art Gallery' describes the Christchurch Art Gallery in wonderful detail, with the "windows like a patchwork quilt" and the "bull, about to jump from the piano and crush it into a million pieces".

Rebekah MacClure's poem 'Waiau' captures a wonderful moment of fluttering fantails and secret ice creams.

Kayla Raadgever's poem titled 'Hanmer Springs'
is a feast of similes with "hot pools like blankets" and "slides as slippery as soap".

Congratulations to our published authors, we are so proud of you!

Words by Rebekah MacClure, Pictures by Ariana Ala'ifiva

Words by Kayla Raadgever, Pictures by Marne Le Roux

Words by Robbie de Groot-Tsuji, Pictures by Vickie Jiang

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Nearly here!

We await the next issue of Toitoi with great excitement! Toitoi 13 is nearly here!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Poets Make History

Two Russley Writers attended Poets Make History, a Poetry Workshop with award winning Canterbury poet Gail Ingram. The workshop was held at Ferrymead Historic Park and the writers used the surroundings as inspiration for their poems.

George and Mekhi created some awesome poems inspired by The General Store and the Old Schoolroom. Scroll down to see the photos (most taken by Mekhi) and read their poems.

The General Store

My fingers touch the carvings on the coin
New Zealand one penny, 1943
with a tui

milk chocolate scorched almonds
I wonder how many there are
in a box?

Colman's mustard
five shillings per tin
a basket of wooden pegs
like little sleeping people

wooden drawers slide open
with dill, curry powder, thyme,
nutmeg and all the spices

parcels wrapped in brown paper
tied up with string
in a bicycle basket
I wonder what’s in the parcels?

Upright iron grand
Ask What Thou Wilt
Brown October Ale

Remington typewriter
keys in random spots
like natural disasters

by Mekhi Tauakume

Ferrymead General Store

I hear the buttons on the cash register clunk in despair.
I stare at jars of vibrant, shining, lollies (that will not last).
I absentmindedly scrape my hand across
the master crafted piano, causing a hideous tune.
I wonder at the tins of peacock jam,
its blues and pinks positively shining.
I flick my fingers against the pots, jars and
barrels, the sound resonating throughout the room.
The hand sewn clothes hang like thieves
above the domes, hat pins and lace.

by George Grundy

How to Have a 1950’s Lesson

by singing
God Save the Queen
click click
smooth feeling of wooden
chairs on your back
bunch of holes and dents
on the desk
hands aching
of the teacher’s ruler
chalk scraping across
the blackboard
squiggly words
ink stained fingers

By Mekhi Tauakume

1860’s Child

Gaze upon the rustic woodwork
Smell the crackling fire
as it devours clumpy coal
But fast!
equip the quill
The teacher patrols
in the dim glow of the lanterns
belt in hand
so squiggle rapidly
as not to anger
The One in Power

by George Grundy

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Spring Inspired Poetry

Last week on a glorious Spring morning, some of our Team Awa Nui writers explored the Russley gardens for some inspiration.

We collected specific nouns, vibrant verbs, sights, smells and sounds...

We selected the best words and played around with them until we had them in the best order.

Check out the finished products below.

Buttery Daffodils and Freshly Mown Grass

Daffodils as buttery as the yolk of an egg
Blossom tree like a wedding
pink as candyfloss
petals stuck on a web like they’re floating

Trees shredding and growing back like sheep
Seeds like caterpillars
Sweet peas like beanstalks
Broccoli growing like trees

Grass freshly mown
Warm noise of bees
Blackbirds chirping like they’re in a choir
flying as low as the bright orange flags

by Cooper


thorns sharp like knives
pink ballerina flower dresses

sun growing lettuce
and other vegetables

snow-like flowers
everywhere I look

by Finn D

Spring is Back

stars in the garden
bees in hot pink blossom
creamy caterpillar sliding on the branch
smell of mown grass
freshly painted 100m track
I want to run in the sun

by Kyla

A Perfect Day for the Bees

song thrushes making melodies like a choir
daffodils bright like egg yolk
five layers blooming with joy

crocus yellow like lava
bees buzzing warm and tingly
blossoms perfectly pink


by Leah

I Love Spring

broccoli, puffs of green
daffodils, yellow stars shining in the night sky
garlic, waving green tentacles
sparrows happily chirping

tree with tiny grape-like seeds
hanging from its branches
sakura, pink flowery foam
and a petal on my page

by Robbie

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Image result for talk like a pirate day 2018

Pirate Ghost

It was just like another normal day. My parents were taking me to visit my Grandpa. He was a very wise man.

After we had lunch, I asked Grandpa if I could play in the attic. Grandpa didn’t reply, so I just took it as a yes. When I opened the hatch to the attic I saw something very strange, extremely strange. It was a small chest in the middle of the attic. I slowly took a step towards the could-be-treasure-chest. As I stared at the big wooden box, I wondered what was inside? I took a deep breath as I was about to open the chest, then Grandpa burst through the attic door and said, “Don’t open that chest!”

But it was too late. I had opened the chest. I glanced upon a pile of gold. I thought I was rich. But then, out of nowhere, a ghost came and said, “Whoo be takin’ me gold?”
The ghost looked more like a pirate than an actual ghost. he had a big, green vest which looked like it was made out of crocodile skin. And he had a big, brown hat.
“Are you a ghost?” I replied.
“I be a pirate ghost,” he said. “And you be stealing me gold.”
“Ah no, I wasn’t… I was… ah… wasn’t expecting the treasure…”
But he didn’t fall for it. The so-called pirate-ghost pulled out his sword and chased me and Grandpa all around the house and into the sunset.

The End.

And remember, if you ever have the idea to go treasure hunting, make sure it’s real gold, and not haunted gold!

by Finn Davie

Roto Writing


His soft pink paws are gripping rocks
He sounds like ticking clocks

His thin, brown tail is flicking water
His slimy tongue is licking shiny, strawberry shells

His floppy ears are flapping in the wind
He is sprinting on the sand by the sea

by Team Roto Writers, Room 9 (Years 3 & 4)
Tiana Knox
Daria Morales
Brendon Renwick
Evrin Moses-Taylor


circular nests resting in a tree
wind barely moving
tree trembling

pinky-white blossoms drifting and blowing
around the basketball court
like a tornado

by Tiana (age 7rs)
and Brendon (age 9yrs)

Spring Day at Russley School

fresh air blowing above the children
shining sun shimmering

Mrs Hull’s whistle blowing loud as a lion
cool kids running

white blossoms twirling from the trees
like helicopters

brown birds chirping
my friend is calling my name

by Demi Folesi
and Isaac Kang
Year 4