Tag Archives: matarau school

saying thank you

There are many ways to say thank you. Sometimes I get cards in the mail and sometimes I get very lovely emails. In this busy busy world I still think it is important and lovely to say thank you.

It is something I try to do.

I really appreciate it when children thank me for a book I sent. But some children thank me for picking their poems or just for giving feedback when I didn’t pick their poems. That is pretty special!


I always feel like thanking teachers and Principals who work so hard in schools trying to make school a fabulous place to be. Such good ideas. Such hard work.

I just wanted to share this card I got by email as it felt very very special. I loved visiting Matarau School and doing Skype sessions. Amy and Brendan gave me permission to post this thank-you poem. It really moved me that they took the time to do this and to do it so creatively! Thank you so very much.




Northland Tour: Let’s get Skyping – this is a great way for authors to have sessions with schools throughout NZ

For the next few weeks I am doing follow-up Skype sessions with some of the schools I visited in Northland. I have done this before with Ngaio School in Wellington but this is on a bigger scale. Each school has come up with something different. All will be workshops but ranging from 16 to 75 in a session!

Yesterday I kicked it off with a writing workshop at Matarau School (just out of Whangarei). I was over the moon with how well it went. The only technical hitch was when the children spoke, it sounded like they were in the ocean (or a swimming pool) and I needed a dolphin interpreter (the teacher). But that worked! Every single student hooked into their own private poetry zone with supreme focus. Once they were into the process, one by one they, held their drafts up to the camera, and I was able to give feedback and mini challenges as I do in a classroom.

The poems were so good. I can’t wait to share at the end of the Skype season.

This is just amazing to me as it seems with support from people like The NZ Book Council (and on this occasion UNESCO) I can now work in rural out-of-the-way schools that hardly ever get writer visits.

w  o  n  d  e  r  f  u  l

excuse the fuzzy photo of my screen  you can see me in the right hand corner taking the photo


Northland Tour  three fabulous winter poems from Matarau School

It is cold up here. I am glad I packed my scarf! But my motel is cosy.

Yesterday in a workshop with 16 students from Y5 to 8  at Matarau School we did Northland winter poems.

The clouds float like

cotton balls

water drips

on the perfect leaves

the frost is beautiful

clear water turns

clouds drift through the


Billy and Topaz argue

in the paddock

water creeps up my gumboots

mud swirls in the stream

the bush us comfortable and cosy.
Amia Year 5



Lightning strikes the town

wind howling

like a siren

rain like bullets

flooding the drains.

Ollie Year 8

Northland tour Matauri poems

What a wonderful morning I have had. Such terrific ideas bubbling in our poetry sessions. Northland schools are filled with the joy  of poetry.  Classes heading back and writing. Wow!

Here are three poems we made up together:

Long stalky legs

chocolate feathers

pot belly

running and flapping

storms and sneaks,

caught by the tribe. 

Fluffy brown

feathery brown 

hiding in the cave

running wobbling chasing



prowling bird, crouching down

pecking eating worms

little feathery face

puffy native kiwi. 













Northland Tour at Matarau School

Room One  have only been at school two days. They came to my poetry session, went back to class and wrote this – their very first piece of writing. wow!


Year One went back and wrote this:

rain puddles

rain falls
rain washes

rain pours

rain splashes


Northland Tour Day 2 

I am at Matarau School today which is a gorgeous little country school. Driving through the country lanes everything was gleaming and green. I even saw something surprising I want to turn into a poem. 

Two lovely hosts, Megan and Jacob, waited to meet me but I got confused and went in the back gate and walked up the steep hill.  Which was perfect exercise. They were excellent hosts. 

And how lovely to see the PG display!

Thank you for the welcome Matarau School!