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Oct 252012
Bella Goode - Kuranui College - Highly Commended in 2012 BNZ Literary awards

Bella Goode – Kuranui College – Highly Commended in 2012 BNZ Literary awards

When Kuranui Year 9 Student Bella Goode was asked if she would like to enter the Young Writers category of the 2012 BNZ Literary awards by her English teacher Claire Singer, she jumped at the chance.

“I write short stories quite a lot and I do quite a lot of actingn especially screen acting in short films outside of school.” said Bella. “When I write stories I like to observe people around me. I did that a bit with this story. I saw people who are around me, it could be family and friends, and I looked at their behaviour and character and I put this in my writing.”

Bella received one of the four Highly Commended awards in the Young Writers category for her short story ‘Down Stream’.

“It’s a simple story and I tried to put lots of character into it,” she explained. “It’s about a girl and her grandmother, and it’s about connection, growth, relationships and taking responsibility and about the fact they can’t really do the same things they used to do because her grandmother is getting older. The girl is having to learn to help her grandmother out.”

The judges commended her for her “visual and sensual” imagery. This competition is a huge deal and has been the starting place for many of New Zealand’s top contemporary writers. “This is a good start for Bella,” acknowledged Miss Singer.

My skipping rope whips and whizzes through the sky, which is now pink icing blobbed with yellow candy. My cheeks burn as hot blood rushes into them, and my breath comes in white puffs. The silver river glistens and winks below.

– from Down Stream by Bella Goode

Bella continued, “I didn’t really try and describe anything that wasn’t true or something that I didn’t know about. I thought of something like a skipping rope and thought how can I make that more real so it comes alive. I had this pink and yellow skipping rope, how could I make it go through the sky, so it was like “whizz” and it looked like candy.”

“I usually write as the character. What I like about acting and writing is that you can be other people and you can see it from their point of view,” she added. “Writing is something I enjoy doing. I’m going to continue English onto Level 3 and I’ll just keep writing stories and see where it goes.”

Oct 232012

Kuranui Board of Trustees Student Representative Dan Carlisle

Kuranui Board of Trustees Student Representative Dan Carlisle

“I think students more than anything like to be treated more like adults not as children,” explained Kuranui Board of Trustees Student Representative Dan Carlisle. “They like being heard, listen to and considered as opposed to them saying something, people hearing it, but then nothing comes of it.”

Dan has just returned from a challenging three day Youth for Youth programme run by the YMCA at Camp Kaitoke. “The programme was centred on being an active citizen in our community. They asked questions about what it means to be an active participant in our community and what does a person like that look like?

“At first I was thinking it’s just someone that’s out there putting themselves forward, going out of their way to make a difference to the community and now I think that it’s more than that. It’s more about involving other people and helping other people to make the community a better place for everyone,” added Dan.

At this time of year, Kuranui Year 12 students traditionally put their names forward for Year 13 leadership roles such as Head Boy, Sports or Events Leader. The Youth for Youth programme offered the students the chance to examine their motives and develop their key leadership skills.

“The Youth for Youth Programme continuously promoted that we need to have more of a voice out there. One of the things I found really interesting was that principals and teachers say that they want more of the student voice, but then the students would say that they find that they’re not being heard. It was quite interesting that the two sides are going for the same thing, but neither of them seem to hear each other,” he acknowledged.

Dan has already taken up a very important role at the college as the student representative on the Board of Trustees and feels that the course has given him new ideas that he can bring forward. “I think I’ll be in a good position to help give the student voice more sway,” he said. “I can try and promote more students to move forward and take a more positive role to become active citizens in the school community. I would love to try and get more students to get involved in the school, rather than them just coming here in the morning doing their work, eating lunch doing the rest of their work and going home again.”