Extension Activities

Writing Mentoring

Writing provides young people with agency. At Write On School for Young Writers, we guide young writers to express their ideas and we support their voices through publication, performance and podcasting.

We are extremely grateful to Copyright Licensing NZ and Plains FM, for their support with our next big venture to give voice to young New Zealanders – Write On Speak Out: Lockdown Voices 2020.

The Write On team of tutors will nurture young people’s written responses to the 2020 Lockdown and Pandemic, providing inspiring prompts and taking them through supported redrafting to online publication, podcasting and broadcasting. This mentorship is open to young writers, ages 6 – 18.

For further information and registration please see the information on our website.


Ethics Olympiad

Here is a link to the presentation and some extra resources for teaching Ethics which you should find useful. https://ethicsolympiad.org/2020SeniorSchoolOlympiads/OnlineTraining/OnlinePD.html

Academy Conference Free Lesson

Does a Snail have Consciousness – Bryan B Rasmussen



Word Christchurch Extra Activity Suggestions


Fun Things to do…

Check out the Christchurch City Libraries online resources to keep reading, learning and playing! If you’re not already a member, you can join here.

Take a look at Story Box Library, which you can log in to with your library account. It’s the best place to watch celebrated stories read aloud by favourite storytellers. A fantastic literary resource for preschool through to upper primary-aged children, a range of actors, sportspeople, authors, illustrators and more share their unique voices in an ever-growing library. It’s Storytime, anytime!

Poetry Box is a new Zealand poetry blog for children run by fabulous Auckland poet Paula Green, author of many books for children and adults. On this website Paula shares poems by and for children, with lots of interesting activity ideas and writing exercises for lockdown.


Fun Things to listen to…

David Walliams, author of The Boy in The Dress and Gangsta Granny, is sharing an audio story from one of his best-selling World’s Worst Children short story collections every day! The whole family can tune in for a tale elaborately told by the TV presenter, actor and comedian.

University Bookshop Otago is also doing a story time nearly every day on their Facebook page.


Fun Things to write….

Why not give the National Flash Fiction Day Youth Competition a go? The competition, celebrating short short stories, doesn’t close until the end of April, so get those creative juices flowing!

All young writers up to 19 years old are welcome to submit stories of up to 300 words, with three submissions allowed per writer. There are prizes for the top three places, and an online celebration is being organised, with young voices reading from around the world.

Could you write a monologue from the point of view of an interesting character? They could be human, an animal, or perhaps even a monument or landmark. This competition is open for children in years 4-10 at school, and there a lots of book vouchers to be won!
Enter here.

There’s a different short story competition open every week at Fabo Story This week they provide the beginning of the story and you write what happens next!



Academy Conferences Challenge

Here’s our first challenge and a brilliant resource for teaching and learning about Plato’s Cave!


The Challenge
There are 5 famous philosophers trapped in a cave… solve the puzzle to find who they might be.Rearrange and join together the word fragments below to reveal who they are!



Resource: The Allegory of the Cave

In the Allegory of the Cave Plato claims that we are all like prisoners in a cave.
This link https://ed.ted.com/on/BlQXoKFn  is a short video with a series of ready made quick questions  to complete.


Don’t forget to share your favourite resource:

E: BigIdeas@academy-ltd.com

Twitter: @A_Conferences
Snapchat: conferences
Facebook: Academy Conferences

Roundtable Discussions

Back by popular demand! Following the successful March roundtable discussions, we’re offering another round in April.

With the NFFD competition open through 30 April, we are very happy to support the creative community with these free online discussions.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

There are four discussions, with past NFFD judges, winners and other flash fiction enthusiasts. Contact nationalflash@gmail.com to register for a discussion, or click on the links below for the Facebook Event pages:

Saturday, 18 April
Contact fingerscommatoes@gmail.com or see the Facebook Event page for more.

National Flash Fiction Day Submissions

Get creative during lockdown! Send your best 300 words by 30 April to the NFFD comp! See how to enter on the competition page.

And for the youth competition: go here to find out more about the 2020 competition, free entry and international!


Academy Conference Material

During the pandemic we are committed to you and your students and WELCOME any ideas and resources which you may also like to share. The best way to get through this is to work together, so please get in touch and share by contacting us at:


Students can take part in our Big Ideas, Silly Questions and Mind Stretching Adventures on:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AcademyConferencesGiftedTalented/

Snapchat – aconferences

Twitter – https://twitter.com/A_Conferences

We want to see students getting out of the cave, with Big Ideas, Silly Questions and Mind Stretching Adventures.

Lecture available

This is a fantastic watch! You don’t have to be a Harvard student to access this Harvard lecture, and it will sure make you think.

Can there be a moral side to murder? Would you push the fat man onto the track?



2019 Smart Alex Creative Writing Competition for Secondary Students

Would you like to enter an exciting creative writing competition? Entry is free and there is $3,000 in prize money!

For a second year, the Friends of the Turnbull Library are running the Smart Alex creative writing competition. This is open to all secondary school and secondary home-educated students in New Zealand and the South Pacific.

The aim is to celebrate the centenary of Alexander Turnbull and his remarkable legacy.

Secondary students are required to respond to or interpret an image from the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library and produce either:

·        a piece of creative writing

·        an illustrated graphic story, or

·        a written song/waiata.

Entries can be in English or te reo Māori.

Read Dylan Owen’s blog post for details on the competition along with tips for finding images and kick starting your creativity.

The competition opens 4 March 2019, and final entries must be received no later than 5pm Sunday 21 July 2019.

Winners and highly commended entries will be announced Thursday 19 September 2019.

The official entry form can be found on the Friends of the Turnbull Library website where there are also more details about the competition.




The Zoological Writing Challenge.

Writers from Years 4-10 have just over a month to develop and refine stories
Winning stories will be published in Issue 50 of Write On Magazine and winners will receive great book prizes from Scorpio Books.
All of the details for entry are on this website here: https://www.schoolforyoungwriters.org/competitions




2018 Poster – RUC




Education website:






Canterbury Explorers
Canterbury Explorers – An Evening with Jim Delisle
Gifted Education – Parent and Teacher evening 
The Canterbury Explorers are excited to bring internationally renowned gifted expert, Dr Jim Delisle, to Christchurch in March.  There will be an evening for parents, teachers and others interested in gifted children and gifted education at which Dr Delisle will present on Learning to Exhale: Meeting the intellectual and emotional needs of gifted children. 

Date: Wednesday 21st March
Time: 7:00pm for 7:15pm sharp start
Location: The Medbury Centre, Medbury School
Cost: $15 for members or $25 for nonmembers.  All welcome

Please book here

If you have any questions please contact: 



The 2018 Liam and Frankie Davison Award for outstanding achievement in literary writing on an issue in women’s health:

The award is open to students resident in Australia or New Zealand who are in their final three years of secondary school. Applications open on 31 January and the deadline for receipt of applications is 30 April 2018. $1000 for the winner!

Click this link for more information: LFD Award – Information Pack_2018



Justice Speech Competition: http://justtalk.org.nz



The UC Connect free public lectures held in October are now live on the UC Connect YouTube channel.

Head online to watch ‘How product designers will shape the world’ with Professor Conan Fee and ‘Protecting Taonga’ with Dr Tammy Steeves and Professor Sally Gaw. You can also watch other UC Connect lectures from throughout the year.



Readers and pupils interested in history would enjoy these topics:


David Riley (https://readingwarrior.com/)

Books & teaching materials for young people & educators. Helping young people learn about literacy, their cultures & stories of inspirational role models.


David is a teacher at Tangaroa College (Auckland) and an author of a range of books.  His series on “Heroes” would be of particular interest to our gifted students. I also believe that 2E students would enjoy his style of writing.


Another resource of interest is the BBC Witness podcast.  There is a wide range that would appeal to gifted students with an interest in history.



Testifying Against OJ Simpson. Thursday. Ron Shipp was a close friend of OJ Simpson’s but decided to testify against him in court.
Adam Summer School for Chamber Music
In Nelson, 10-18 February 2018
“The whole week is an incredibly rewarding experience… Looking back, it seems amazing that the brevity of a single week could contain the depth of what feels like months of learning.”
The Adam Summer School for Chamber Music, founded in 1995, has become a firmly established event on the NZ chamber music calendar. It provides aspiring young musicians with the unique opportunity to work in depth on repertoire and gain valuable insight throughout an intensive week of tuition and masterclasses.  Students will be tutored by members of the New Zealand String Quartet, and guest pianist, Stephen De Pledge.  In a new initiative, Feldenkrais instruction will also be introduced to the School schedule in 2018.  
Open to string players and pianists, applications for the 2018 Adam Summer School are now open.  Click here to apply online.  Applications close Friday 3rdNovember 2017.  
A limited number of scholarships for financial assistance with course fees are available. More details on application to nzsq@nzsq.org.nz
Year 8 – 13 pupils: Summer Writing School for Teenagers 2018
See flyer in attachment below: