English and Media Studies Department News

By Kristan Mouat | Posted: Wednesday January 1, 2014

Weve had another exciting and rewarding year in English and Media Studies classes and in all the related extra-curricular areas.

We were really proud of students’ achievements in NCEA and especially pleased with the 7 national NCEA scholarships awarded. Connor Seddon won an Outstanding Scholarship in English, and Meg van Hale, Mathew Scadden and Sean Stenhouse English Scholarships, with Oscar Parker, Peter Barnett, and Charlie Ruffman awarded Scholarships in Media Studies.

Highlights include:

George Sabonadiere winning Top Speller in New Zealand.  Four teams competed in the ODT Spelling Quiz, with 2 of our teams coming 3rd equal.   Check out the full Spelling stories and competitions elsewhere in the magazine. 

A number of keen writers won competitions and were published in various publications from the Otago Daily Times and Extra, to national secondary publication Re-Draft.  Josephine Devereux won a number of competitions including the Dunedin Secondary Schools Poetry Competition with Jacobi Kohu-Morris placed third and Abigail Nardo highly commended.  Their poems are published with the relevant articles in the magazine. 

Our enthusiastic writers enjoyed our weekly Writers’ Group organised by Mrs MacTaggart.   Events you can read about include hosting an ebook publisher, participating in the Speed-date an Author event and Ava Straw winning the Dunedin Writers Week, Murder in the Bookshop event.  

We are now the 2014 Dunedin Scrabble Champs thanks to Ms Liesbeth's enthusiasm for entering this year.  Our teams came first and second and we're keen to defend the title next year. 

Lots of juniors and seniors appreciated regularly competing in the Dunedin Interschool Debating competition again this year, tirelessly coached and supported by Ms Robins and Ms Ashby. Our senior team; Connor Seddon, Helen Prime, Jacobi Kohu-Morris and Meran Campbell-Hood were the second team in Dunedin. And our junior team are now the 2014 Dunedin champions. Congratulations to Oscar McGuire, Ben Clayton and Clair Caird.

Our Library programme with Mrs Millar continues to breed success. For the 7th year, at the NZ Post Book Awards Quiz this year we topped all the other schools with the Year 9 team of Sofia Barriga, Libby Guthrie, Rikke Kikkawa-McLeod and Cuba Rust taking first place with 31.5 points out of a possible 40 points after a very close contest.

Our two Year 10 teams also placed, Clair Caird, Ben Clayton, Siobhann Quinn and Oscar McGuire were in second place with 30 points and in third place with 27 points were Jenna Mcnaughton, Simone Millhouse, Rachel Molteno and Pania Throp.  Students always enjoy the Fiction Presentations, Biography Parties, and the University Book Shop sponsored Reading Challenge, as well as the focus on personal reading. 

 Our Peer Reading Programme matching up juniors with seniors was again a worthwhile experience for all concerned and we all appreciated Mrs Cameron’s and Ms MacTaggart's positivity about reading with a buddy.

In the ICAS (International Competitions and Assessments for Schools) students continue to achieve great results.  Results this year:

  • George Sabonadiere — Distinction
  • Danny Barton — Distinction
  • Oscar McGuire — Distinction
  • Katherine Woolrych — Distinction (on the Year 12 paper as a Year 11 student!)

On the Public Speaking front, Jacobi Kohu-Morris spoke persuasively in the Otago final of the Race Unity Speech Competition, placing second.  He was also second in the Otago RSA Speaking Competition. Connor Seddon won the Dunedin and Otago-Southland final of the Rotary Club 4 Way Speech competition. 

And Jake won the English section of the Otago Southland Nga Manu Korero Speech Competition for the third year in a row. Jake competed in the national final in Napier with wonderful support from the Kapa Haka group. Jake was invited to speak at the New Zealand First Conference and gave a 30 minute State of the Nation Address.   

Oscar McGuire won Best Junior Speaker in the our school competition and came second in the Dunedin Junior Secondary Schools' Competition, against 14 other schools with his entertaining speech on Human Devolution.

In the Media and Film area, our Film Club run by film-maker Craig Storey continues to be a source of inspiration and is always well attended. Several crews entered the 48 Hour Film Competiton with Cerbus and Oscar the Walrus, receiving the genres Fantasy Adventure and Time Travel respectively.

Results wise, Cerebus did very well this year, being selected as one of the top twelve Dunedin teams and winning the Regional Award for Best Wardrobe, Hair and Make up.

Ex-Logan Parkers did well with team "Seventh Time Lucky" comprised of old students ending up in the Top Twelve in Otago as well as winning the Rising Talent and Best Musical.

Our Media Studies Film night featured over 20 short films, trailers, claymations, stopmotions, and documentaries, and was appreciated by a packed out auditorium of supportive friends, parents and whanau. Thanks to Ms Hazelwood who spent many weekends and week nights helping students edit their films.

The Animation and 3-D Modelling Club continues to be popular with regular Sunday afternoon workshops with animator Greg Wyatt.

Our The Edge Radio Interns, Ella Dodd and Malakai Maamaloa gained valuable industry experience with their regular scripting, voicing and presenting the radio ads for Logan Park as well as organising a number of events. 

Year 10 talents, Naomi Ashby-Ryan and Ruby Harris were selected in the top 20 short films in NZ for the third year in a row in the Outlook for Someday, sustainability film competition.

And there are lots of other happenings and events covered elsewhere in this year's mag. English and Media classrooms continue to allow our students to imagine, create, learn and explore language and communication in all its forms.  

Thanks to the inspirational and committed teaching team this year of Suzanne Robins, Morag MacTaggart, Jennifer Ashby, Lara Liesbeth, Arnika Hazelwood, Hana Fahy, Duncan Trickey and Marcelle Nader-Turner for all their efforts both in the classroom and supporting students outside the classroom. 

Thanks also to our amazing students and whanau who continue to inspire, delight and challenge us all.

Image Gallery