Extension Activities

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: