Tag: Literacy

End of Year Eight Letter

WALT write in a variety of ways for a range of purposes.

We had to write a letter to the staff and students of Karoro School. This was about our schooling years and memories.


Kia ora staff and students of Karoro School


My name is Emma Newton and I am a year eight student at Karoro School. I am writing this letter to thank all of the staff and students who have helped me throughout my schooling journey here at Karoro School. I can’t believe this is my last year at this school and I am really going to miss its welcoming atmosphere.


I have always remembered signing into Room Four and publishing our names with bright felt pens. I also loved having sticker charts and being excited to choose out of the treasure box. We also had a show and tell on Friday and we were able to bring in something to show the class.


In Room Three Ms Ewen always pretended to faint whenever seeing awesome work. She always said “You’ve blown me away” to the person whose work was great. I also experienced my one and only time on the lino in Room Three which I didn’t enjoy. 


I was in Room Two for two years and I really enjoyed baking with the class. I also remember looking through my reading box for the books I wanted to read and doing phonics. Everyone all had their own designated spot on the mat and had a chance to get their name in the top workers picture on the whiteboard. Charlotte arrived in Room Two as well and Casey and I helped her settle in. 


During my year in Room Six I really enjoyed the cooking and baking that we did for writing and creating instructions. Miss Hanley even found toothbrushes, which we wrote instructions on how to use. 


We got our Chromebooks in Room Five which was very exciting! I liked experimenting and learning how to do things on them. Learning about the digidig and kawa of care was also talked about alot in that class. Room Five was my class for two years and I really enjoyed doing drama and art interchange. 


In Room Seven we got to go on a three day camp to Arthur’s Pass. We did awesome day walks and played some really fun games. It was definitely one of my favourite camps with school and I really enjoyed it.


This year in Room Eight we have had the opportunity to do the William Pike Challenge Award which has been fantastic. We have done day tramps, bike rides, overnight tramps, rafting and even a beach cookout. This year has definitely been one of my favourites.

At Karoro School I have really valued the welcoming atmosphere and the lovely staff. I have thoroughly enjoyed my years at this school and have learned and developed so much. I think that this school can be for anyone and I am so proud to be a student here. I also value the wonderful outdoor space and classrooms that this school has to offer.


My message for younger students is to take all of the opportunities you have been given and to enjoy the experiences you get to go on. Karoro School gives you so many awesome opportunities and even if you aren’t sure about them, give them a go, you can’t say you dislike it if you haven’t tried it. 

Once again I would just like to thank everybody who has made my schooling journey great. Thank you! 

Tom Trueheart Narrative

We had to create a narrative about Tom Trueheart. It was really enjoyable, choosing the characters and settings.


Tom Trueheart and the Wild Voyage 


Once upon a time, a long time ago during the medieval times in England, there lived a young man named Tom Trueheart. Tom really did have a true heart, always believing in himself and others. Tom and his community had a few differences; you might say, they were all the size of the average thumb. When the chance came for him to go on a wild voyage to save his brother, William the Wonderful and William’s wife, Poppy Powerful, he was in! 


That Morning

During the early morning, Tom was woken to loud wailing and shouting. 

“Oh William and Poppy have been taken” one said. 

Tom couldn’t believe his ears.

“It can’t be,” he thought to himself. He jogged wearily towards his brothers cottage and sure enough not one of them was to be seen. The only thing left was a single pearl ring. 


Tom sank down onto his brother’s mattress, asking himself, 

“Where are you brother?”. Tom knew he had to help, he had to go looking for William and Poppy but he had no idea where they could be.


He knocked on many oak doors and gates, hoping someone would know where William and Poppy had been taken. Yet no one seemed to know! Until finally when he was knocking on the last oak door, a small girl answered, her name was Lily Laughing. She was a small town girl with plenty of knowledge and humor, strangely she knew exactly where his brother had been imprisoned. 

“You will find him amongst the tallest trees and slimmest swamps in a fortress’ dungeon.” Lily whispered, sounding very mysterious indeed. 

Tom took her advice and asked a kind man if he knew where a large forest was, 

“There is only one large forest, my boy, it is called the ferocious woods, beware!”


There was no time to waste, he packed his gear, this included: water, a small amount of food, sword and spear, a map and a few bandages. He knew he didn’t have much gear but he had to begin his wild voyage!


Trudging through fields, towards the woods with grasses tall as skyscrapers. He didn’t know how long it would take but he knew he had to get into the woods and find shelter before nightfall. Light drizzle began to fall and the valley clouded in. The situation had become extremely gloomy. On and on he walked, his tiny legs aching. Being so miniature he felt like he had been walking for hours. Some time later he stumbled into the woods. Strange noises filled Tom’s ears hoot, hoot! The sounds of breaking twigs and the creaking of old oak trees, scared small Tom. Hollow, rotting logs covered the forest floor.

 “Perfect!” Tom cried as he clambered in and snuggled up inside the damp, dark tree.


He had only slept for a few hours, when he was woken, a worm was squirming over him. 

“Eww” he said trying not to scream. He decided that was enough sleep for him and set off. He wasn’t sure that he was heading in the right direction but something told him he was. After walking in the dark for about three hours Tom suddenly tumbled into a soggy, slimy swamp! Pulling himself out he gagged noticing he was covered in slime but not just that, he was covered in teeny tiny leeches!

 “Ouch!” he pulled the blood suckers off screeching in pain. His arms and legs were red and bleeding. Limping forward he noticed an outline of a building, through the fog, he had found the fortress.


Crouching down low, he could see search lights scanning the area. One guard was standing at the gate accompanied by a bulldog. Tom wasn’t completely sure how he was going to get in, but he could see bars over some of the windows meaning they must be cells. Tom tiptoed towards the building wall away from the guard. The smell of blood and carcasses filled Tom’s nostrils. Through a barred window he could see a man and a woman huddling in the corner. It was William and Poppy. Sadly the only way in was the main entrance. 


Tom calmly walked up to the tiny guard and dog and asked kindly if he would be able to pass.

“Nobody passes me,” grunted the guard. 

“You are a very kind and handsome gentleman, what is your name?” Tom greased. 

“My name is Paul Proud and this is Bella.” he continued pointing towards the bulldog. Tom had to come up with a plan, how was he going to get in? 

“Oh I do need to go to the toilet, may I come in and use yours?” Tom asked politely. 

“Since you are so delightful, I will show you the way,” Paul said, very proudly. Tom followed Paul towards the toilet block but when seeing a narrow alleyway he ducked inside, without Paul Proud noticing and set off looking for his brother’s cell. On the way he nearly got caught, if he hadn’t heard the guards laughing, he would have collided with them.


Tom could hear William’s voice echoing throughout the fortress, he had found them! 

“My darling Poppy, we are going to escape, someone will come looking for us.” William said. 

“What if nobody does!” Poppy wailed. Tom turned a corner and right in front of him behind bars were William and Poppy. Signaling for them to stay quiet, he snuck up behind the guards, knocking them out with the hilt of his sword. The key was in his grasp, he thrust it into the lock, turning it as he went. He pulled the weighty door open and ran towards his brother enveloping him in a bear hug.

 “You are a very brave and loyal brother, Tom, thank you.” murmured William.


Together they snuck out of the cell, knocking every guard to the ground. In the end Bella the bulldog was the only one left standing and Tom knew she hadn’t had a good life. Tom had to give Bella a better life, so she escaped with them. Suddenly someone called out 

“It won’t be that easy, boy”. Paul Proud had survived, Tom didn’t like that one bit. Paul shot an arrow, hitting Tom Trueheart in the leg. Pain and agony filled Tom’s body. His vision blurred and went dark…


Tom awoke lying in a hospital bed, his brother nowhere to be seen. A lovely nurse walked over to him 

“You gave us quite the scare, Tom.” she announced.

“Where are Will and Poppy?” Tom croaked, his leg still searing with pain. 

“Both of them are safe, they are very worried about you though, you have been out for nearly two days.” the nurse explained. Tom couldn’t believe it, he had been sleeping for two days. A few hours later William and Poppy visited him, 

“You are my hero.” William said. Tom’s heart lit up, he had never felt so good in his life.


By Emma Newton

Lake Daniells Poem

We had the opportunity to participate in an overnight tramp for William Pike! I really enjoyed the experience, it was so much fun.


Overnight in the Outdoors


Beautiful beech stretching up tall towards the clouds

Looking very similar indeed we all thought 

Packs on our backs tramping together


Walking across bridges, gravel and creeks 

Playing fun games to fill in the time,

like I Spy and guess who?


A balanced bench marked half way 

We cheered as loud as fireworks,

when It came into sight

Resting our legs we nibbled on snacks

and guzzled some water


Everybody chatted,

Then we continued our trek

Soon we could see Lake Daniell

Everyone was thrilled

Sprinting down the twisting trail


Reaching our destination well before tea

We unlaced our shoes and entered the hut

Manson Nicholls was its name,

because of three men who lost their lives there


The lake was so tempting

We put on our togs

And dashed toward the luring water

I stepped into the lake

 It was like a sheet of ice


Target practice with slingshots followed,

creating utter chaos throughout the forest

Molly hit a bullseye and I was close


The dads chopped rounds of firewood,

Which we carefully loaded into the woodshed 

A tiny mouse was hiding in a tree stump

Poking its face through the gaps


We started making our meal

Which seemed to take as long as a century

The sausages were fantastic

A ten out of ten 


The sun was disappearing 

Ms Kemp took us outside into the woods

We told stories, 

Either scary or funny


Mine wasn’t great

But Ms Kemps was a cracker

We all walked back towards the hut

Shivers moved down my spine because of the stories


Climbing into my snuggly sleeping bag

I tried to fall asleep

Bang! Bang! Bang! 

Someone was knocking on the window

“Dad!” Pippa yelled


We awoke the next morning and started breakfast

Pancakes and bacon were top of the list

We cleaned the hut and said our goodbyes

Then set off back towards the cars


We talked and talked the whole way back

Light drizzle started to fall 

We reached the bench 

Sliding into our rain jackets

To keep out of the wet


We crossed the sluice box 

We were nearly done

The cars were in view 

We kept moving forward bit by bit

We had made it



Rimu Villanelle Poem

Writing Goal

I will be tying to write a villanelle and include: alliteration, simile, metaphor, te reo, symbolism and rhyme within my villanelle.

Success Criteria 

I will be successful when I have used alliteration, simile, metaphor, te reo, symbolism and rhyme within my villanelle.


Radiant Rimu


Vibrant greens parading branches in view                          

Raging rimu old and strong standing tall                             

Memory holder, elder of forests


Lengthy branchlets drooping gracefully through

forests, amongst grand Aotearoa bird call

Vibrant greens parading branches in view          


Endemic to Aotearoa wild rimu

Raging rimu old and strong standing tall

Rough reddish-parauri bark housing wood, grew


allowing its beauty to keep out of view

Snake roots twist their way down starting off small

as a worm growing in size breaking through


Vibrant greens parading branches in view

Raging rimu old and strong standing tall

Grateful manu happy and full flew


Vibrant greens parading branches in view            

Some reaching the fifty metre mark all

growing fairly tall reaching for the blue 

Raging rimu old and strong standing tall


By Emma 




  • Rimu – endemic New Zealand tree
  • Manu – birds
  • Aotearoa – Land of the long white cloud (New Zealand)
  • Parauri – brown

Rafting Recount

Rough Rapid Rafting 


Nervous condensation covered the vans’ windows and excited chatter filled the air.  We were on our way to the beginning of an adventure!  Ruma Waru was lucky enough to have an opportunity to go rafting with Tai Poutini Polytechnic. Two groups went on separate days. My group rafted on the second day. It was such an awesome experience. 


Wednesday the 27th of June, it was our turn to go rafting with Tai Poutini Polytechnic on the Arnold River. Many excited girls and I arrived at school around 8:30. Before our pickup arrived (one of the Tai Poutini Polytechnic vans), there was a quick talk and gear check. All of the girls practised a favourite waiata which the girls would be singing as a thank you at the end of the trip. 


When the polytech van arrived Cameron and tutor Nathan (also known as Reefton) jumped out. Everyone hopped in and drove to a giant outdoor activity gear storage shed.  The girls and I were all so thrilled to meet the other polytech guides: Maria, Felix & Ruby. 


Our first activity was getting to know each other; this was called The Name Game. Every person had to say their name and perform a dance move for something they love doing. Another game followed after that where you had to become a master baker through a series of games of Paper-Scissors-Rock. You started off as a muffin then progressed to a cake then to strudel and after that you were the master baker! 


Next all of our safety gear was collected: helmet, splash jacket, wetsuit & lifejacket. Getting ready was almost as big as the rafting event itself. Putting on our plain black wetsuits proved to be a challenge as they were very tight and squeaky and needed a lot of pulling. I was covered in red gear as I had a red helmet, lifejacket and splash jacket. All of the safety gear got made into a gear baby which is a way to make sure all of your gear is together. Our lunch got placed into a separate bag that would come with us on the raft. I piled into one of the two vans.


When the vans arrived at the Arnold power station some people went for a quick walk where Felix told us some history about the river and power station. I helped carry our bulky raft closer to the river. All of the rafts taken were made out of sturdy rubber and comfortably seated 8 people but only had 4 or 5 people in each. Two rafts were tomato red and the other banana yellow. The raft had many textures; sides were smooth to allow the raft to glide through the water but the seats and rope were rough for much needed grip. All of the rafts also all had holes in them. I know that sounds weird but the holes were self-bailers because if water comes in, it needs somewhere to go out. The paddles were wooden with a special T grip at one end to hold onto and they could even be used to save a life if someone found themselves in the water. 


A safety briefing and raft talk followed in our rafting groups; Charlotte, Danica, Ruby, Cameron and I were in a raft together. Our group discussed the possible hazards in the river including: holes (the space behind a rock), sieves (in our case sprawling willows lining the edge of the river), rescue (someone finding themselves in the water and how to help them back into the raft or what to do if it was you) and how to avoid the big rocks that you wouldn’t want to hit. Other things that were covered included: the correct and safest way to sit in the raft, paddling language, and paddle stroke techniques. 


Pulling and pushing the rafts down the steep slippery bank towards the river. When everyone was seated comfortably in their rafts and, ready to go, rafts departed the river’s edge. The river was grade 2 and was pretty calm at the start but after a while loud splashing sounds started being heard; white water and rapids were near. On this trip the girls and I learnt the importance of being part of a team.  Everybody worked hard to paddle in time, singing and laughing a lot along the way! Water splashed into the boat many times, mostly soaking Danica and Charlotte at first, but the raft turned and it was my turn to get wet. Our rafting group did lots of forward and backward paddling and even followed the command “Hold on!” at some points. 


Reading the river is a very important part of rafting because you need to be able to see dangers in the river as well as opportunities to do something fun, which I discovered when each raft got to ride a rock! Paddling hard out in forward paddle hitting the rock with speed sending us soaring up the rock, then back down towards the 

blue-grey water of the mighty Arnold. After many more awesome rapids and small rock jumps our group paddled into an eddie (slower bit of water) to where every group had lunch. Everbody ate and played games such as Wink Murder and one where you had to catch someones finger when a certain word was said by the story teller, while ensuring your own finger was well out of the way of being captured. 


After a bit more river paddling our raft pulled easily into another eddy to prepare for the rough and treacherous Pyramid rapid. Ruby led a series of body warm up games to get ready for the challenging rapid including doing  little circles with your body, slowly getting bigger,  and arm warm ups and stretches. This rapid tested everything that I had learnt so far. For this rapid our group chose to hug the left side, which had more waves and rapids compared to the right side which was slightly calmer. Of course all rafts chose the left side for the fun and challenge. Our smooth wooden paddles were rapidly digging into the water and moving us to the other side of the rapid. 


Jumping into a safe part of the river was even allowed and it was extremely freezing at first being the middle of winter!. Having layer upon layer of thermals, plus the wetsuit, it was pretty warm. Swimmers had to hold firmly onto the rugged rope along the edges of the raft at all times and had to be on the upstream side of the raft. Throughout the whole trip there were quite a lot of water fights between rafts and our raft made a truce with Lucy and Harper to only get Molly, Casey and Pippa’s raft. Ms Kemp was promising many bad school reports due to some significant splashing that she had received! After around two and a half hours on the river the vans and trailer were in sight.


Students and guides soggily climbed out of the rafts as it started to rain. Everyone hauled the rafts closer to the fence while some guides drove to pick up the other van. A challenge of getting the 3 huge rafts over the fence and onto the trailer appeared. 

“Three, two, one” I yelled and hoisted the raft up above our heads to carry it more easily. 

The carriers passed the raft over the fence to another group of people; then it was carried over to the trailer and slid on. This was done 3 more times but the last time was far harder because with two rafts already on the trailer throwing the last raft onto the very top was the only option. 


While waiting for the vans to arrive another game was played,  Toilet Tag; when you got tagged you had to be a toilet, then someone flushed and freed you.Running during the game was great because it kept us warmer as the rain started getting heavier. The vans eventually arrived and all the kids rushed inside to get out of the spitty rain. driving back to the shed with condensation on the windows again. Arriving back around 2pm, everybody was relieved to be getting out of our wet gear into some lovely warm clothes. Once everything was all unpacked our day was completed with a game of Charades about our fears and favourite moments on the trip. 


The rafting trip was an absolute blast and such a great opportunity to learn new things. I enjoyed every single part of it, from the calm spots to the gnarly rapids.  My friends and I all came home with something ticked on our bucket list and another wonderful experience to talk about with whanau and friends. I loved having a quick swim in the river even though it was chilly. I also really enjoyed meeting so many awesome and inspirational people. The games were hilariously fun. The Pyramid rapid was wickedly amazing because of its rough rapids, it was definitely one of my many favourite parts of the trip! I was so glad to have this incredible opportunity.


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