Writing Competition Term 2 2019

There has been a lot of discussion about changing the age rule for the swamp.  This term students tried to persuade Whaea Stacey to change the rule.  There were some great arguments in the writing.  Our winning pieces are below:

Dear Whaea Stacey – I think I can go in the swamp because it is fun!  I should bring a spare change of clothes.  Then I can get logs and stuff and get people on my team.  Then I can make my hut!  I would be safe because the big kids would be there.  By Ink

Dear Whaea Stacey – I think I should be allowed in the swamp because it is fun to build houses in the swamp.  I think I need to bring a change of clothes, gumboots, jacket and a big kid to look after me.  By Mckyla

Did you know if there was too many people we would have to extend the swamp?  I think people could help others make huts.  In conclusion I think everyone should be allowed in the swamp because we could make more friends.  By AJ

Did you know that if everybody went into the swamp there would be more muddy kids?  I think that only children from Huatea up should be allowed in the swamp because the little kids would get too muddy.  I think they will also fight over sticks.  In conclusion I think only Huatea and up should be allowed in the swamp.  By Neave

Everybody knows Year 2’s and over should be allowed in the swamp.  Firstly I am certain we can teach them the rules, like to keep away from the wasp nest and to not steal sticks.  Secondly, I am positive they will have as much fun as we have and maybe more, like building huts and collecting things.  Thirdly, they would be like little helpers.  They’re not like a pack of wild elephants that stomp on everything!  They’re fun to play with and they make good friends.  As you can see some parts of the swamp are dangerous, but we’ll guide them.  A sensible idea would be to let the Year 2’s and over in the swamp.  I bet they would die to go in the swamp!  By Evie

I think Huatea shouldn’t be allowed in the swamp.  If you don’t agree – read on!  First of all there just wouldn’t be enough sticks to go around.  Even now people are arguing that there aren’t enough, as you may know.  Next the people in Huatea might not know how to build huts safely and could fall on them.  Next thing is, Huatea kids might not follow the rules and not wear shoes, go out of bounds and steal sticks!  Fourth of all we had to wait until we were Year 4 and they would only have to wait until Year 2.  It would be unfair on us.  My next argument is when new kids come to this school with a younger brother and the older one goes into the swamp the younger one goes and makes new friends.  This clearly shows that the Huatea kids shouldn’t be allowed in the swamp.  Surely you agree with me now?  PS – if this doesn’t work, say if you do something wrong in the swamp you can’t go back in for a week.  By Robert

The swamp. What great moments,like when you finish your hut off, or find a great climbing tree , its awesome. I can understand why the Huatea children would want to go and play in there, but what about foxglove, wasps, lack of teacher supervision, sewage, the river and barbed wire. These are all things to take into account. I mean don’t fix what’s not broken right? Plus it’s always been a year four and up privilege and I don’t think that should change. With all this in mind I will  persuade you as to why we should keep the swamp the way that it is :

Danger. This in my opinion is one of the more concerning points. There are so many risks that come with playing in the swamp and where I think they are much less of a concern when the older children are playing the swamp. The river is one of the biggest risks as it is out of the way from the rest of the swamp there is no one there to supervise the children. As the children are a lot younger they may not realize the risks that come with playing around the river. In winter when the ground starts to get muddy and the children playing there will get wet and muddy which is fine if they have spare clothes but to be honest they usually don’t. When it’s summer there are wasps which the little kids don’t know how to deal with.

Teacher supervision. When Huatea is playing in the swamp during powerful play they have teacher supervision. However there’d be no one to watch the children during lunch and/ morning tea, even if there is I would be surprised if they could look after everyone at once.

Then there is the farmers land, I see children jumping the fence all the time. The farmer has said that he does not want children to go on his property. There are barbed wire fences which the children could get cut on. I’m not saying that the Huatea children will definitely go onto his property but it’s always something to take into account.

A year four and up privilege has always been to be allowed in the swamp and there has never been a problem with this. Over the past few months there has been a couple problems with the breaking of people huts and so forth. Having more people in the swamp might just make this problem escalate. We all had to wait to go in the swamp, so why shouldn’t they?

In conclusion I don’t think that Huatea children should be allowed in the swamp and I have covered many reasons as to why, such as the farmers land, dangers, how it always been a  senior privilege and more. The rules have always been like this and there has not been any problems, so let’s keep it that way.  Disclaimer: I don’t really care that much about this topic so this is just the opinion I would go with. – By Niila


My opinion is pretty neutral but here you go: I think we should keep the rule that only years four and ups have access to the swamp.  Having the swamp only accessible to the older kids helps them to learn that privileges are given to them as they get older and more mature. Its shows them that they are trusted and therefore will take the responsibility more seriously, being more mature with their decisions, in this case regarding being safe in the swamp. It makes sense to keep the year four and up rule because of this. I for one really looked forward to being allowed in the swamp, and having to wait made me appreciate the experience even more.

One important reason only the older kids are allowed into the swamp is there are multiple hazards including rusted metal, rotted trees and barbed wire. Younger kids aren’t as good at evaluating the risks of, say, using rusty barbed wire to guard the entrance of their hut, and so if they aren’t exposed to these risks they won’t get hurt. I know from experience that these materials are excellent resources for building huts and are crucial to the excitement of the swamp so I am not proposing that we remove them. I also want to make you aware that a cut from rusted metal can give you tetanus/lockjaw, a serious disease that causes painful muscle contractions in the jaw and neck, and in severe cases stopping breathing or permanently prevent speaking. Do you really want to expose younger kids, who can’t calculate dangers well enough to stay safe, to these risks? The younger kids in Huatea and Maponui are given the chance to explore the swamp during their powerful play sessions, closely supervised by teachers there to prevent any mishaps. At lunch time they won’t have that supervision or safety.

The swamp, as a swamp, can become quite wet. Younger kids are less likely to make a sensible decision when it comes to playing in the swamp or not on a wet day. Teachers don’t want cold, sick kids in their classes or wet, moldy carpets. I guess you could argue that a spare change of clothes would help but not every six/seven year old is gonna remember to bring one.

Our swamp contains harakeke, a stream and native trees and plants, all of which need to be protected and neutered. If there is too many kids going in there on a daily basis then these plants won’t get to the stage where they won’t accidentally be trodden on. If more kids are constantly trampling on the muddy banks of the creek the sides will begin to erode. The creek is in itself an ecosystem, with koura, (freshwater crayfish) small fish, and all sorts of algae. The creatures need to be left alone in order to flourish, not handled by small children, oblivious to the harm they are doing.

In conclusion, even though it would be cool to give more kids access to the swamp, we should keep the year four and ups out of the swamp because of safety issues, the water causing sickness, the environment and because it shows them that they are trusted with more responsibilities as they get older.  By Hazel


Book Character Dress Up Day – 17 May 2019



Term One Writing Competition

We have had a sneaky Pukeko stealing apples from the trees.  Mrs H took a video of the culprit and we had a writing competition about it.  Below are the winning pieces of writing – it was very difficult to choose!

The Pukeko’s Argument – by Macey Gibson (Age 6)

In the morning the Pukeko family went to the green, yummy, delicious garden.  Everyday the Pukeko family went to the beautiful garden to get a yummy delicious apple.  But one day there was not enough apples for the kids and pukekos.  The kids wanted more apples than the pukekos.  But the pukekos wanted more apples than the kids!  They had an argument.

The Principal wondered what was going on outside her office.  They all loved apples.  The Principal wanted to stop the argument.  But she didn’t know what to do!  The next day she called a meeting between the pukekos who could magically talk!  The Principal came up with an ideas.  It was to plant more apples trees in the swamp.

The pukekos and the kids agreed.  “This is  great idea!” said the kids and the pukekos.  Finally the Principal could stop the argument and then they all lived happily ever after.

The Pukeko Thief – by Courtney Young (Age 6)

This is a story about a pukeko.  One night there was a robbery at Waitati Shcool.  No-one was there and no-one knew who did it.  I wonder who did it?  Stay and find out who did it!  In the morning Sally the gardener saw some missing apples.  Sally raced to all of the classrooms.  She asked all of the children if they knew anything but they didn’t.  They kept on saying that different types of birds like ducks and fantails stole the apples.

One day a kid saw a pukeko heading to the school garden.  The kid followed it.  The kid was very clever.  It was a girl.  She carefully looked at it.  The pukeko made his claws come out and started to climb to steal the apple.  The pukeko saw the girl.  The pukeko ran and ran.  All the children chased it.  They shouted at the poor wee pukeko.  They shouted so loud that the teachers could hear them and even the Principal.  Then all the teachers started to run, even the Principal!  Then the Principal shouted to all the kids and said “Stop!”  All the kids stopped.

They all watched the pukeko run to his family.  The children saw some cute, fuzzy babies and then they shared all of the apples and they lived happily ever after.

PS – the little babies grew up into adult pukekos.

Pukeko – by Isla Liddy (Age 7)

Once upon a time, no, no, no, we’ll make it…….

I’m out burying something and there is moving coloured dots chasing me!  So I ran to a building in a tree.  I hopped up the stairs and the ladder, across the branch and onto the roof!  Then a horrifying sound rang out…..ring!!

Then all the dots ran away.  There are more coming out of the swamp!  When they stopped, I took my chance, I flapped my wings and jumped!

The Pukeko – by Olivia Dickson (Age 7)

Hi, I’m  the most cheekiest pukeko in the world, but my mum says I’m not.  Anyway, let’s get on with the story.  I was lost.  I was alone in the swamp.  My mum never told me what was out of the swamp, but I did know that there was something I wanted to explore, so I did!

It was very light out of the swamp, but I got used to it when I got better at seeing.  I noticed something that had round stuff on it.  I was very hungry so I looked around for something to eat.  Soon I came to an apple tree, I tried to get up but it was too hard.  Soon I found a low hanging apple.  It was a lot easier for me to get down, so I got down ate it.  It tasted yummy.  It was very nearly morning, so I had to get back to the swamp, I was very sleepy.

Apple the Pukeko – by Lara Wallace (Age 8)


The Sneaky Swamp Thief – by William Reid (Age 8)

In Otago there was a small town called Waitati and in that small town, there was a small school called Waitati School.  In Waitati School there was a beautiful, mucky swamp with wet, dewy grass, but that great swamp belonged to a thief!  Only a few people had seen the thief and told of a dinosaur-like bird stalking silently across the mucky, wet dirt.

I wanted to find that thief so I could take an amazing picture of it and figure out why it was stealing apples.  So in the afternoon, when mainly everyone had gone home, I went out to the mucky swamp with a camera hanging around my neck.  I looked around but it was all mucky dirt and dewy grass.  I looked around again, but it was the same.

I started to walk back when I saw something in the flax bushes.  Two small oval shaped dark red eyes were staring at me.  I started to move closer.  The thing moved back.  I stammered “who….are….you?”  The thing didn’t answer.  Suddenly it zoomed away.  I ran after it.  As I ran I saw the thief.  It was a beautiful, blue and black pukeko, running swiftly across the field and into the green garden.  It oddly jumped into the apple tree, nipped one of the apples and clumsily jumped out of the tree and guiltily ran away.  I quickly followed.

The pukeko started to slow down and walked onto the dewy grass.  I silently bent down onto the ground and got my camera ready.  I saw the pukeko put the apple on the ground and make a loud screech!  I covered my ears, ready for another screech, but I only heard soft little chirps.  I looked up and saw tiny, cute pukeko chicks.  They waddled over and started eating.  Happily I picked up my camera and took a few pictures and quietly ran out.

The next day I told everyone about the chicks and how the pukeko stole the apple and that it was the real thief!

Pukeko Poem – by Ethan Des Fountain (Age 12)


Apple Orchard – by Stella Howe (Age 12)