Palm Oil Persuasion

Friday 22 June, was World Rainforest Day, which was all about a collaborative effort to raise awareness and encourage action to save one of Earth’s most precious resources… our rainforests. A major environmental issue is the unsustainable production of palm oil. Health Ministers from each state and territory met last week to make decisions about whether there should be laws about labelling palm oil in our food. Our class wrote letters to our minister to persuade him to make this mandatory. At our assembly. our top 3 most persuasive letters were shared by Archie, Will and Emma. Congratulations to Emma, whose letter was voted as most persuasive. You can read our letters below.

Amie   Amira   Annabelle   Archie   Chelsea   Dexter   Emma   Fin   Hamish Mon   Henry   Jules   Noah   Norah   Will   Zali

Emma & Mr Rang-Rang

Touchdown Writing!

Students have created some amazing sizzling starts for this month’s Touchdown School Magazine Writing Competition. The challenge was to write the opening to a story beginning with the line ‘If only I’d listened to Mrs Scruttlescromp…’ and they also had to use the following 10 words: scales, monster, dreary, ammunition, slimy, hissed, sunlight, complexion, farewell and clouds. Have a read of our work by clicking on the links below. Enjoy!

Dexter – Jormangandr       Amira – Detention      Annabelle – Big Buck
Archie – The Creeps       Coco – On the Verge of Tears   Callum – The Cave Beast

Chelsea – The Mansion   Will – The Monster   Zali – The Cupboard   Raquel – Appearances can be deceiving    Norah – Teacher Knows Best   Noah – Sad Song

Mika – The Screaming Continued   Luisa – The Back Storeroom   Kynan – No Way Out   Julian – The Monster   Jules – The Afterlife   Henry – My Terrible Sin   Hamish Mon – The Monster  Grayson – By the blade of my sword   Fin – The Monster   Emma – If Only   Edie – Doomed



Congratulations Chelsea!

Congratulations to Chelsea who has won the recent FABO Writing competition by children’s author Melinda Szymanik. Using Melinda’s story starter below, Chelsea created an ending that “was well written, had some fresh, interesting language, used the World War One setting, and felt complete, taking us back to the shed for the next adventure.” Well done, Chelsea!

Melinda’s Story Starter: Lost in the PE Shed Vortex: Episode Two

“Whew!” David exclaimed. “That was a lucky escape.”

They’d made it back to the shed. David held a squirming ratty firmly in his left hand.

“All we need to do is step back through the hoop,” Ella said, chewing at her bottom lip nervously. “Folk dancing is the worst. I thought I was going to die of boredom. And …. that person you were partnering with for the Hokey Pokey…”

“You mean Karen? She seemed really nice. And it’s the Hokey Tokey,” David corrected.

“That person you danced with, is my mum,” and Ella burst in to tears.

“Eww!” David twisted his mouth in a grimace. “Gross!”

“Don’t say that! Let’s not talk about it,” Ella sniffed. “I just want to go home.” And she grabbed David’s right hand because the thought of going alone frightened her more than the thought of holding his hand, and stepped into the circle of the hoop.



“We’re still here,” David said.

“No we’re not,” Ella said, pointing at the black gym smock now hanging from the hook on the back of the shed door, her eyes wide.

David swallowed. He looked around at the uncoloured, leather rugby and netballs done up with laces like a boot, at the metres and metres of thick ropes in snaking coils, and the pile of hoops just like theirs, but made out of bamboo cane, stacked in a tangle in the corner.

Ella stepped towards the door and opened it an inch peering out onto the court. David joined her and they goggled at the two rows of children standing out on the asphalt, the girls in gym smocks and the boys in grey buttoned down shirts and black shorts.


“What are they doing?” David asked. “Is … is that Mrs Satterworth?”

“It can’t be, can it?” Ella breathed.

They both strained to hear what the lady in charge was bellowing at the students.

“Our brave boys are fighting for our freedom in Gallipoli and across Europe, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing for us to do here. First, some marching to warm us up. Then boys, you will be filling sand bags and girls, you will be knitting socks.”

“It must be World War 1,”David said. “Hey!” he exclaimed. Ratty had bitten his hand and David let go, the animal popping out onto the floor and scurrying out the door. “Hey,” he said again. “What are you doing?”

Ella was pulling the gym smock on over her head. “I’m blending in. We have to save ratty. Maybe he’s the key to all this.” And she stepped through the doorway.

The Winning Story by Chelsea Young

“Wow,” David muttered under his breath as Ella snuck out of the sports shed and ran silently after Ratty. “What are the odds that we’ve traveled back in time, and a rat could be the cause of our problems.” Shaking his head, he slinked out of the dingy, dark shed after Ella. He hoped he could catch the rat before Mrs Satterworth or any of the other students saw it. But it was too late. The girls were shrieking and the boys were trying to thump it with sandbags. Above all the chaos, Mrs Satterworth’s voice could faintly be heard, trying unsuccessfully to restore order. David shook his head and tried to slip into the crowd unnoticed. That didn’t work. He was worried that he would might be beaten, or punished in some other horrific way, but all Mrs Satterworth barked was “You’re late!”

“Yes, Miss,” David replied sheepishly.

“Well, catch the rat and set it free, our boys in Gallipoli don’t need to see rat guts on the sandbags.”


Ratty was darting around the girls ankles, and avoiding the grasp of some of the older boys. David leant down and swept him up, much to the amusement of the boys who had failed before him. Ratty buried his head in David’s hands, as though it would protect him from the mean kids and heavy sandbags. He saw Ella poke her head out from behind a wall, and he put Ratty on the ground. Ella scooped him up in her hands, and hid back behind the wall. Mrs Satterworth kept encouraging the children to do their best work for the brave boys in Gallipoli, but David was distracted by


 a soft rumbling that began to get louder. Mrs Satterworth noticed it too.

“Bomber planes!” She yelled. “Everyone get into the shelters!”
There was hysteria all around, but not from David and Ella. Seizing their chance, they bolted for the sports shed. Mrs Satterworth ran after them, yelling out to them. Ella knelt down and held Ratty in her hands.

“Ratty please take us to our time.” She said. They both jumped inside the hoops. The shed was modern and machinery was flying around.

“David…” Ella said cautiously. “I think this is after our time.”
David looked at her.
“You’re saying this is the future?”


Remembrance Poems

Have a read of students’ beautiful remembrance themed poems to commemorate ANZAC Day.

Newcastle Writer’s Festival

The OC had a fantastic time on Friday attending the Newcastle Writer’s Festival. We enjoyed a session with author, Tristan Bancks, who spoke about his inspiration and writing process. In the afternoon we took part in writing workshops. Year 5 worked with local writer, Jess Black and Year 6 worked with Paul Russell. We also enjoyed visiting the amazing book shop! Thanks for a great day OC and thanks to Mrs Derricott for coming along with us. 

Wow Writing!

Students were given the challenge to write a sizzling start using the image below as their prompt. We voted for the best 5 which will be displayed on our school writing wall in the downstairs foyer. Enjoy!


My feet crunch along the sandy ground as I make my way towards the deep-blue carpet of water in front of me. In the distance, a barge floats weightlessly along the water, two ferries at its side. I sigh as I watch it slowly crawl its way along, its monotonous journey as gradual as ever. I come here sometimes, to remember her, how much she loved the ocean. At times I think about that moment, what I could have done, how I could have helped her. But, I know, there was nothing either of us could have done to prevent that dreadful day…

by Emma 


“How do you lose a boat?” I exclaimed, throwing my hands up in frustration.

“It was a small boat,” he mumbled sheepishly, tugging on the drawstrings  of his raincoat.

“Yeah, but a boat!”

The waves towered ominously above our heads before crashing down onto the rocks and spraying our faces with salty water. We were surrounded by the ocean, and the rocky crevices of the island did little to protect us from the rain.

“When we get back I’ll buy you a new boat,” he offered.

“It won’t be the same as Jessie!” I sobbed.

“You named your boat?!” He turned to face me cautiously.

“Don’t judge me! It was a good boat!”

by Mika



The three of us sat on the rocks, eyes closed, channelling our power into the waves. The black clouds overhead let loose a barrage of cannonball-sized raindrops that splattered against our already soaked bodies, making concentration nearly impossible. But despite our situation, we all felt the surge of core power, the water’s energy surging through us all. A battle of steel and magic raged behind us, the noise drowned out by the hum of our power. Then, without warning, a tidal wave burst from the depths and engulfed the island, drowning all those who were not protected by a charm. When the last puddle had ran back into the sea, we heard cheering. The soldiers were celebrating. They thought they had won the   battle. How little they knew.

by Noah


The soggy wood felt brittle and old under my feet as I trudged along the deck of our sad little fishing boat. Another wave rocked the vessel and my hand flashed like lightning onto the rusty handrail which bent and snapped under my weight. My hand scraped along the wet floor as I plunged into the dark depths below. My head throbbed as I painfully opened my eyes. “Where am I?” I muttered.

by Jules 


“Do you think he’ll be found?”

Mum turned to me look at me, her face a mixture of sorrow and sympathy. Her long butterscotch hair was contained and tucked safely away from the wind by her luminescent yellow hood of her raincoat.

“Probably not, honey,” she replies in gentle tones.

“I was talking to Sammy, Mum.”

I turn to my older brother, but I’m greeted with empty space, harsh waves, and jagged rocks covered with wooden planks from the boat we loaned from the lab. It had smashed through the towering waves and on to the rocks, before collapsing into a thousand pieces on to the rocky mound of land.

“Sammy?!”  I called out, but my voice was swallowed by the sound of the crashing waves. He had been stolen by the ocean, swallowed, just like many before him.

by Chelsea


Blogging Challenge T1 Wk 7

This week we’re looking at how we can use the 5 senses to make our writing more descriptive and engaging. Using the image below as your stimulus, write a paragraph (or a whole story if you’re feeling enthusiastic) that evokes the senses! Good luck – can’t wait to read them. 

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Sizzling Starts!

This term we’ve been learning how to engage the reader by using a sizzling start followed by backfill in our imaginative writing. Today students worked collaboratively in groups to create some writing using picture prompts. Have a read of their fantastic efforts below.

Trigger – by Chelsea, Edie, Amira, Mika, Luisa and Emma

My fingers flew across the game controller, punching the animated characters on the screen. Today was the Interschool Gamer’s Championships and all I had to do was beat the opposition and have my dream or fail and crumple into a heap of dirt. No pressure, right? My palms dripped with sweat as my imaginary enemies fell before me, grimacing realistically as they lost their lives. I got lost in the game… literally. My arms and legs slowly disappeared before my eyes. I let out a terrified scream and scrambled away from the game, but it was no use. My finger grabbed the trigger one last time before I was swallowed by the game… Stuck in the game with nowhere to go, I was trapped. My enemy advances towards me and this time I have no trigger to push.

The Ransom Note by Emma, Mika, Luisa, Amira, Edie and Chelsea

The white glove enveloped his face like it was a mere handball. I watched his eyes slowly droop lower and lower, descending into the darkness that is unconsciousness. He woke up in a white room, beeping machines all around him; he tried to move but he couldn’t… I watched from above. I stared silently at him from my hiding place in the ceiling. Suddenly the manhole cover snapped, rust descending into the room. ‘Stop, that’s me!’ I yell as the little boy, me, is buried under all the debris. The boy muffles a scream. Silence. Soon, his family will receive the ransom note, the one that is pointless now that he is gone.

A Random Story by Edie, Emma, Luisa, Amira, Mika and Chelsea

The vast beach made a perfect background to promote the new Nike shoe. My camera clicked as I snapped picture after picture, checking each one after I took it. Even though the shoes looked dull, this was the fate of my job. I snapped picture after picture, but none of them seemed quite right. My camera soon ran out of film. Will my boss notice the lack of skill and quality? I sincerely hope not. I decide to angle the camera differently. Perfect! I’d never wanted to be a photographer, I wanted to be a chemist. But the universe would choose otherwise. I should quit my job!

Sneaky Sneakers By Rowan, Callum, Oliver & Henry

I look down upon the lone shoes and swallow hard. He was here. I grab the shoes and run. I hear explosions. I can’t decide whether I should run and try to save the innocent people or run to the safety of my home? I should probably mention, I have recently encountered alien life.

Empty by Mika, Edie, Amira, Luisa, Emma and Chelsea

My breath hitched as I surveyed the scene before me. The school bus that had just been bustling with students was now entirely empty. And on the day of the school trip to San Diego! I rushed up front to the bus driver. “Where is everybody?” I look at him, his shirt is covered in blood. His eyes are completely white and his head lolls back. Gunshot wound. I start hyperventilating, panic seeping into my thoughts, my brain, until all I see is my best friend, the one that would be here right now if it weren’t for the incident. I felt panic surge inside of me, my hands shaking violently. I bolt from the bus and run as my anxiety drains away. I feel nothing. Empty.