Shelfies not Selfies 3

Can you match the following students to their bookshelf?

MacDonald, BeauParish, JasmineBaker, BlairLongworth, JazabelHolmes, Hannah

A few clues to help solve the mystery.

Beau          –        Prehistoric

Jasmine   –         Click, click

Blair         –         DVD2

Jazabel    –         Ban TV

Hannah   –         Get Reading

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Shelfies not Selfies 2

Can you match the following students to their bookshelf?

McDonnell, ChloeHolmes, HeathMacDonald, MatildaIuliano, AishnnPunch, Miles

This might be very difficult without a few clues.

Chloe       –     Dancing on the ceiling

Heath       –    Hippity hop

Matilda    –    Fairy tale

Aishnn     –    Tribal

Miles        –    Locked box


Lunch with the Stars

Last week it was my pleasure to accompany six stage 3 students to ‘lunch with the stars.’ We travelled to Wallsend Library and joined students from nine other local schools to spend the day with 12 authors and illustrators. We were welcomed by Katrina McKelvey, local author and President of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Newcastle who coordinated this event. Each of our ‘stars’ then introduced themselves and spoke about their craft and what motivated them.

We were seated with Lizzie Wilcock, author of Give Me Four Reasons, Losing It, Grieve, Thirst, and the Extinction series which students have been busy reading. We had a very lively and interesting discussion about the the choice of characters, settings and the plot. Our students thought it would make a great action packed adventure movie. Lizzie shared many helpful tips with students about writing.

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Award winning author Libby Hathorn gave an inspiring keynote address. She spoke passionately of her love for poetry; reading it, being inspired by it, reciting it, teaching it, writing and dreaming about it. She recalled her very first published piece at the age of nine was a poem called Daffodil which bore a remarkable resemblance to a poem by Wordsworth of the same name. We took part in some readers theatre as she recited one of her latest picture books, Outside. She left us with the message that we should “believe in ourselves” and to always “hold fast to dreams,” the title of a favourite poem by Langston Hughes.

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Three illustrators, Kirrili Lonergan, Gwynne Jones, and Liz Anelli then set us a challenge. Selected students randomly picked a noun, verb, and adverb from envelopes. We then had one minute to sketch the result. This was loads of fun!

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After lunch students had the opportunity to mingle with the stars and get their autographs. Each student was also presented with a signed copy of Libby Hathorn’s book Thunderwith thanks to the James Patterson grant and MacLean’s booksellers.


‘Amazing Babes’

I LOVE what I do! I was tempted to say ‘my job’, but that makes it sound like work and it’s so much more than that. I get to spend my day with wonderful children who enrich my life in so many ways, dedicated colleagues, AND… I’m surrounded by an amazing, ever growing collection of children’s books. What could be better! When a new delivery of books arrives it’s like opening presents at Christmas. Last Tuesday I opened a box and discovered a new gem. It’s called Amazing Babes and it should have been an omen as this was also the day Michelle Payne etched her name in history and became the first women to win the Melbourne Cup.

amazing  Amazing Babes - Mum Shirl - credit Hilary Walker

Amazing Babes written by Eliza Sarlos is simple yet powerful. It features 20 amazing women who have inspired the author. The book was written as a gift to her son on his birthday after the realisation that there were few books for children that had strong female role models. The 20 world-changing women featured are from around the globe and across generations, many familiar, but a few that were unknown to me. The book concludes with a short bio of each woman and then pays tribute to the wisdom, knowledge, and brilliance of all the women who have come before us, especially our grannies. I never knew my grannies as both my parents lost their mothers when they were very young, but I’d like to pay tribute to the amazing woman who came before me, my beautiful mother who was a loving, hard-working, and resilient woman who showed me that as women we are capable of extraordinary things.

Two of the women featured in Amazing Babes have been in the news in the last week. Hedy Lamarr,  known to me as the very beautiful, glamorous film icon of Hollywood’s Golden Age was the subject of the Google Doodle on Monday as it would have been her 101st birthday. I now know that she was also a brilliant mathematician and inventor. Along with a neighbour George Antheil she helped invent the frequency-hopping spread spectrum, a technology that is used today in Bluetooth devices, Wi-Fi connections and cordless phones.

Hedy  Aung_San_Suu_Kyi

Another inspirational woman  Aung San Suu Kyi, the human rights activist on Monday made history leading the NLD (National League for Democracy) to win a landslide election victory in Myanmar. She spent more than 15 years under house arrest for opposing the brutal military dictatorship that ruled her country. Like Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi, she will be remembered for her strong belief in the power of non-violent protest.

A discussion with a colleague this week also reminded me of another inspirational lady, Janine Shepherd. Janine was a champion cross country skier in training for the 1988 winter Olympics when her life changed forever after being hit by a speeding truck during a training bicycle ride in the Blue Mountains. Although being left a partial paraplegic she defied the odds learning not only to walk again but gaining her license to fly. If you have time I’d recommend watching this TED talk that Janine gave in 2012.

 Keep your eyes peeled for Amazing Babes in our library. It has caused me to reflect on the women who inspire me. Who inspires you? Who would be on your special list and what qualities do they possess?

Shelfies not Selfies

Do you have a collection of books at home?

I believe our bookshelves are a reflection of who we are. A mirror to our sometimes secret, sometimes not so secret, selves. There you will find new friends, clever companions and often old acquaintances that we could never bear to part with.

How well do you know your teachers? Do you know what their interests are? What do you think would be on their bookshelves?

Gaffney, BrianbecDuncan, Katriname

Can you match the bookshelves below to some of your teachers?

1. Katrinas shelf 2. image

3. bs 1 4.bec

How did you go? Did you guess correctly?

What’s on your bookshelf? Send in a picture of your shelf and I’ll create a quiz to see how well your teachers and fellow students know you.

Send to:

Miss Morris’s Holiday Reading Pics

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As I travelled around England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France with my partner last school holidays I always made sure I had a book on hand to read when things were getting a little dull.

My partner took some sneaky shots of me reading in front of Big Ben in London, sitting on a park bench in Paris with Notre Dame in the background, and reading amongst ancient castle ruins in Ireland.

Reading is so much fun; you can do it just about anywhere.

As a child my favourite books were written and illustrated by a lady named Beatrix Potter. She is the creator of the very popular Peter rabbit book series. My love for these stories drew me to a place called Windermere in the Lake District of England. Windermere and the Lake District is where Miss Potter wrote many of her stories. Whilst here I visited Miss Potters house, and many of the locations that inspired her.

Speaking of Potter, no not Beatrix Potter a different Potter. Harry Potter! I am also a Harry Potter fan (books before movies always!) I was lucky to come across the famous Hogwarts Express Bridge in Glen Coe Scotland.



Everyone needs to belong! We all need to feel connected, loved, appreciated, and know that our lives have meaning and purpose.

Stage 2 explored this concept after reading the book My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald and Freya Blackwood. It tells the story of a little girl called Cartwheel who together with her Aunty, flees her wartorn homeland to settle in a new and strange land, somewhat similar to Australia. She feels isolated and alone until another small girl reaches out, shows kindness and compassion, and draws her into her circle of friendship. I love the gentle symbolism in this story conveyed through both the text and beautiful images. It’s an inspiring and thought provoking story.  I can’t help but think of the current situation in Syria, and the many people across the world who are fleeing violence and persecution. I would hope that all of our students at Tenambit Public School would go out of their way to make any new comer to our school, community or country feel welcome and accepted. It also causes one to reflect on  the  similar situation faced by our deaf students at Tenambit school. They too experience everyday, the isolation that comes with not understanding the language being spoken. They too must at times feel like Cartwheel, under that ‘cold waterful of strange sounds’. We must do whatever we can to make them feel included and wrapped in a blanket of warmth, love and understanding.

Stage 2 discussed the many groups that we belong to. Students chose one group and thought about what belonging to that group meant to them and how it made them feel. They illustrated one small piece of a quilt and used a thesaurus to find words to describe their sense of belonging. Below are the results of their efforts.

Sorry unable to caption this one.


Last term a small group of students from Years 2 to 6 were invited to participate in workshops with local artists, Lorraine Tindall and Kay Sparkes. The students created self-portraits for entry in an exhibition titled Face2Face which runs annually at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery.

Tenambit School joins over twenty local primary and preschools in the area to showcase the work of our talented students. The exhibition runs from Saturday the 26th of September until Sunday the 29th of November. I would encourage everyone to visit the gallery and enjoy this wonderful display of local talent from across our region.

james  bennett Self-Portrait by James E. Year 2

jasmine  Jasmine and Jasper by Jasmine P. Year 3

olivia Proud to be Aboriginal by Olivia M. Year 6

Dylan Thomas Portrait Poems

Earlier this term I shared the amazing book by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley titled ‘Fire’. It is full of rich language and beautiful imagery. As a response, students in Stage 2 chose a subject and in groups created a Dylan Thomas Portrait. This type of poem is named after the famous Welsh poet who used words experimentally in his poems. Each portrait focuses on the senses and begins with the question: ‘Did you ever…?’ The question is then answered with a description.

Below are a selection of the poems written by students. They have tried to capture the essence or basic nature of their chosen subject.