Kuranui College year 13 student Caelum Greaves and former student Amberleigh Rose have been awarded NCEA Scholarships for English, placing them in the top 3% of the country for the subject.
“Caelum was a year 12 student when he passed this paper, which is nothing short of remarkable,” explained Kuranui Head of English Kathryn Homes. “We haven’t had Scholarship English at Kuranui for a very long time. The results demonstrate the fact that we are producing the very best academic students at Kuranui.”
Students need to answer three questions in three hours, including an unfamiliar text comparison, a prepared genre study and a wider literature question. “Sitting a Scholarship paper can be a great way of extending students to think of literature in a wider context,” added Homes.
Greaves believes his two favourite librarians were crucial to his recent scholarship success. “It’s crucial to have a good librarian. Mrs Rance in the school’s library has been absolutely amazing, and Penny Griffin from Featherston Library was so lovely back when I was at primary school.
“I was a voracious reader when I was young. My parents always encouraged it because they both enjoyed reading. My name Caelum is one of the characters from one their favourite books, BattleAxe, (part of the Axis Trilogy by Sara Douglass). At primary school I was going through three or four novels a week.
“Mrs Rance has just managed to procure me a copy of The Call of Cthulhu by H.P Lovecraft, which has just replaced Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss as my all-time favourite book,” said Greaves.
“English has been my passion for quite a long time. It’s what I love doing, so I felt I was ready for extension work as I had already been working a year or so ahead in my English classes.
“Mrs Holmes was very pleased with the results I was getting with all my work and I was easily obtaining excellences in everything for Level 3.
“Both Amberleigh Rose and I studied together for the scholarship. We did handwriting practice, scholarship questions and a lot of extended reading so we were pretty set.
“The scholarship means you get a monetary payment of $500 towards your tertiary education and other than that, it’s just something nice to put on your university application.”
Geaves is still weighing up his options about what he wants to do as a career and is deciding whether he stays in New Zealand or goes overseas. “For my final school year, I’m working on doing scholarship Chemistry and Biology and an outstanding scholarship for English. If you do really well in three subjects you receive quite a substantial monetary reward. These are my three strongest subjects and the ones I enjoy doing the most.
“I would love to do science journalism. But for now, Mrs Homes and I are working on me writing a short story or novel and getting that published.”