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NaNoWriMo begins!

NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month has officially begun in the OC! Students have started the month of November brainstorming lots of interesting ideas to create a novel or collection of short stories. They can log in to the NaNoWriMo YWP website at anytime to add to their novel and can also use this for homework points. Can’t wait to share their masterpieces at the end of the month!

Happy Halloween!

To celebrate Halloween, we continued the OC tradition of writing some 2 sentence horror stories.

CAUTION: Don’t read before bedtime.

Most people would be terrified to find fresh blood and scratches on the inside of their locked bedroom door. Me, I got used to it. – Callum

The trees seemed to shy away from the house as the screaming comes from within. I should never have left her in there. – Will

Death used to fascinate me until I saw it at its best. – Norah

Every morning I hear my mum get up and make breakfast. She died last year. – Jules

I swing my Tier 57 megablade deep into the enemy’s side. The doorbell rings and I take off the VR headset, only to see the bodies strewn across the floor. – Will

I got used to ignoring the screams just like everyone else living in my street. You can’t blame them for ignoring the screams when they started coming from my house. – Chelsea

I used to love writing horror stories, until they started coming to life. – Grayson

I forced the doll into the container full of water. Its lifeless eyes stare back at me. My lungs start filling with water and I can’t breathe as I start to drown. – Annabelle

I was walking to my friend’s house when I heard a scream, but when I turned there was nothing. I kept walking but I heard it again and when I turned around there stood a man with a knife in his hand dripping with blood. – Noah

My husband stared at the red roses he’d just given me, confused. “I thought they were white?” He said, holding a hand to the deep gash in his side.  -Emma

While watching Friday the 13th I thought I heard a chainsaw revving up outside my door. It was only when the movie ended and the revving continued that I started to get really worried. – Julian

I don’t feel pain. Pain only feels me. – Hamish Ma

My husband passed away yesterday. I wake up and hope it was just a dream but there’s someone else sleeping in my bed. – Henry

I used to joke about someone hiding in my sister’s closet. It was funny until it really happened. – Luisa

I dream about dying every night. But now I know it’s not a dream. – Sam

One day I ordered duct tape from eBay. That night I woke up to find Phil Swift saying ‘now that’s a lot of damage’. -Dexter

The clock chimes 12 and the lights turn out. The crunch of footsteps without doubt. – Rowan

I lay in bed with the screams of my family’s death filling my ears. I heard a bang at the door so I stumbled down the stairs of my rickety old house to find my worst fear at the door… the truth.- Fin

The clothes are washed but they bear fresh crimson stains. Every time I touch them I feel great pain. – Amira

I think about what it would be like to be dead. Now that I’ve invited my friend over I don’t have to wonder anymore. – Hamish Mo

Mum went to dye her hair and never came back. I can’t say what happened. – Amie

Last Halloween we carved Jack-o-lanterns. This year we carved me. – Amie

I stare outside from my bedroom window and I can just make out a figure holding a knife. Then I realise I don’t have windows in my room, only mirrors. – Coco

It’s the middle of the night and I hear Jack scream. I run into his bedroom only to find a knife through his heart. Finally, my plan had worked. – Ellen

My village is familiar with the constant screams of the people bound by chains, floating down from the mental asylum up on the hill. One day they all went quiet. – Raquel

I stare at the knife I hold in my hand. That was the night my mother died… what had I done? – Callum

I used to love Halloween, that is until the blood wasn’t fake. – Callum

Every night my parents come in to say good night. I’m an orphan. – Grayson

I can’t feel pain, but I can feel death. It’s with me all the time. – Grayson

The teacher turns around slowly and says, ‘it’s time for NAPLAN!’ – Edie

I used to like to going on long camping trips alone to take pictures of the scenery. When I got home and I looked through the pictures I had taken, they were all of me sleeping with a shadow looming above. – Edie

My dog stares at me with his human-like eyes. My husband walks in with his hands covering his face, then reveals his eyes are missing. – Annabelle

My friend used to be a coal miner and would always have the dark coloured coal dust caked under his nails. I never used to worry about it until the day he came home with blood staining his fingertips. – Mika

I complain to the owner of my apartment about the voices I kept hearing at night. “Don’t you know,” he asked, “They’re the voices of the people who were murdered in that room, just like you!” – Chelsea

I’ve never been scared of death, until he came knocking. – Zali

Being a butcher, you get used to seeing blood. It’s different when it’s your own. – Luisa

It was normal when my brother would bring back lollies from trick or treating. Not so normal when he brought back fingers. – Luisa

The little girl next door loves playing tag with me. Tomorrow, her mum is taking me to see her grave. – Emma

Frightened, I run into my parents bedroom, padded feet silent on the smooth wooden floorboards. The gloved hand that grabs me, belongs not to my mother, nor the eyeless face that peers back at me. – Amira

I never wanted to murder anyone. They made me do it. – Will

 

I lift my head up and step out of bed only to realise there’s a faint shadow on the wall in front of me. I turn and look back and see a man with knife in hand for a split second, then nothing. – Norah

I plunge the knife deep into my victim, blood seeping out. It felt good. – Dexter

I took out my worry dolls so my nightmares would go away. I wake up to find all my nightmares are back and the worry dolls shivering uncontrollably. – Hamish Ma

I used to get good marks at school, until I told them my father’s job. – Oliver

I used to have an old cupboard. I threw it away when I heard the voices coming from inside. – Oliver

I bought a sausage dog and the next day it wasn’t there. That’s because I ate it for dinner. – Kynan

My brother was playing handball with me until the ball went down the sewer drain. IT dragged him in. – Julian

Feeling fire is normal, but not when it runs through your veins. – Julian

I always lock the front door and side gate when I leave because I get back late. When I arrived home just after midnight, the gate was wide open. – Henry

Every Halloween I carve a face on a pumpkin and put it on the front lawn. I returned home to find a head inside. – Henry

My walls are filled with porcelain dolls. At night time the hallways run with them. – Rowan

My urge to look downstairs is strong. But not as strong as my memory of what happened last time. – Rowan

Creepy, right? Vote for the best one in the comment section!

 

 

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.

ZHOOP!

 

“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!

Memories

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

 

Hopeless

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