Regional Reports

November 2016

AATEL – David Taylor

It has been another good year in the Auckland Region with a series of Twilight Events running in terms 1 to 3 and the annual AATEL Big Day Out taking place on November 11th.  All these events have been well attended with 140 participants at the Big Day Out.  This event featured a range of workshops from teacher practitioners as well as external organisations such as the Auckland Art Gallery, the University of Auckland English Department and the National Library.  Key note speakers David Riley and James Napier Robertson proved very popular.

The Term 3 Twilight Session focused on ‘Greatest Hits’ from the NZATE conference in July as well as an AGM where Ngaire Hoben was awarded a life membership of NZATE in recognition of her long and outstanding service to English teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This term sees the final session in the NZATE inaugural Certificate in Middle Leadership for English course which has been running in Auckland for the last two years.  The course has covered a range of middle leadership skills including data analysis, junior and senior course design, developing careers, facilitating difficult conversations and culminates in the presentation of a middle leadership inquiry.  If you are a middle leader or aspire to be one keep an eye out for information on when this course will run again.

Central North Island Report: Belinda Develter

We are hoping to gain momentum in our area starting with a BETA ‘Small Afternoon Out’ to celebrate the end of the year on the 24th of November.  A big thanks to Karen Guise from Aquinas College for getting us together at Lone Star, The Strand, Tauranga from 4.30.  NZATE hopes to have a Tauranga hosted national conference in 2018, so conversations about this idea can kick off at this event.

Our goal is to host our first Big Day Out in term 1 of next year.  We hope teachers from our surrounding area can make it to Tauranga to connect with fellow English teachers and get some great English specific PD.  Let me know if you’re doing something awesome that we can showcase at this event.

If anyone in the BOP, Coromandel, Taupo, Taranaki or Waikato area wants to start up a local association where there isn’t one currently, get in touch as NZATE will put money towards drinks and nibbles for a first event as well as provide a guest speaker.  We want to support groups of teachers to connect with each other as well as reach out to our national subject association.

HBETA – Central Region Report: Amy Price 

HBETA have continued to meet quarterly throughout the year.  We have enjoyed some fantastic PLD, thanks to our host schools.  Term 3 was a busy term for us.  We held a moderator’s workshop with Kirsten Shaw.  The feedback from this meeting was extremely positive.  We had almost 60 teachers present and almost every school from Central Hawke’s Bay to Wairoa were represented at the workshop.

This was then followed up with our Term 3 meeting at Iona College.   Karen Beaumont presented a workshop on Creative Nonfiction that she offered at the 2016 NZATE Conference.  You can find out more about this workshop in April’s English in Aotearoa:  Delving into the Fourth Genre.  The workshop was well received and Karen has agreed to represent at the Big Day Out for those who missed it.

Looking ahead, we are now working toward our first Annual Big Day Out.  This will be held at Karamu High School on Friday 11th of November.  We have eight workshops on offer in a variety of subject areas.  We even have a representative from the NZSDC to present workshops on debating coaching and adjudicating.   We are also excited to have David Schaumann travelling from Dunedin to present a very practical keynote on unfamiliar text analysis.  He will also present a workshop later in the day on developing the sophistication of essay paragraphs.  Registrations are still going strong for this day.

In Hawke’s Bay we suffered a huge loss this month.  The English Teaching Community were shocked and saddened to hear of Rod Dowling’s passing.  Rod was a huge part of our community for many years and has had a huge influence on us over the years as a teacher, mentor and colleague.  He taught at Te Aute College and Taradale High School.  He then went on to lead the English department at Lindisfarne College.  On top of this he also established and developed the BBA company where many of us purchase our benchmark exam resources.  He was a committed member of the HBETA and many of us will pay our respects and celebrate his life at a Memorial Service on the afternoon of Friday 11th of November at Lindisfarne College.

WRATE : Cornelios Floratos 

In Term 3 the focus for the WRATE committee has been the organisation of our inaugural ‘BIG Day Out’.  We’ve had a surge of excitement with registrations now closed at 105 attendees.  Martyn Reynolds, Te Kahu Rolleston, Nicky Hager are all confirmed as keynotes as well as Anna Smaill (The Chimes) who is running a workshop.  It promises to be an enriching experience and I look forward to reporting back on this early next year.

The Hutt Cluster had two productive meetings in Term 3.  The first held at Hutt International Boys’ School was an open discussion with shared best practice on feedback/feedfoward – what forms this takes and how much is too much?  The second session was held at St Pats Silverstream which focussed on best practice in preparing students for the Level 2 Written Text, Visual Text and Unfamiliar Text exam standards as well as Scholarship.  This was a good reminder of the opportunity Scholarship gives students to read widely and use a range of texts for exam.  Lyrics, TV shows and sophisticated games with a narrative are becoming increasingly popular alongside the classics.  Section A of the Scholarship paper continues to be the make or break section for many students.  The advice is to give added emphasis to this section of the exam.

All the best as we race towards the end of the year and happy holidays.

Ngā mihi, Cornelios

Canterbury and Upper South : Alison Cleary

The focus for this year was the highly successful national conference held at St Andrew’s College in July. We certainly felt regenerated after that! The highlights of the conference can be found in this month’s NZATE journal, English in Aotearoa.

Despite suffering from ‘conference fatigue’ the CETA committee organised our second ‘Big Day Out’ on November 18th. Hosted by Christ’s College, 139 teachers from Canterbury and the West Coast attended the day. National Co-ordinators – Cynthia Orr and Nigel Mitchell presented key-notes and 8 workshops ran over two sessions.

A busy and successful year for CETA. Looking forward to next year!

OATE – Idoya Munn

Since NZATE conference in Christchurch we have had a conference ‘Mash Up’ meeting at Taieri College where four teachers presented on workshop they had been to. This was great for those who had not been able to make it to conference itself and generated some great round table discussion.

Planning is well underway for this year’s OATE ‘Big Day Out’ on 2nd Dec at John McGlashan College. Our main keynote speaker is the national moderator, Kirsten Shaw, who will be talking to us about the writing standards at Level 1 & 2 and personal reading responses at Level 1 & 2. We have easily found twelve eclectic workshop presenters, from mindfulness to SAMR.

A small rejuvenated OATE committee has been formed; Jo Mullenger, Idoya Munn & Liz Hurst. We hope to quiet recruit more members and perhaps even manage an AGM.

July 2016

South Auckland/ Tai Tokerau: Cynthia Orr

The very exciting focus for TTATE is the 2017 NZATE conference “Weaving Words” to be held at the Copthorne Waitangi. Therefore has made the decision not to offer any regional professional learning in 2016 as we invest our energy weaving the ideas for the conference together. The conference committee have met a couple of times already and while planning is well underway we would welcome any one else who wants to join us. We will certainly be looking for local volunteers closer to the event. Changes in the professional roles of many of the members of the TTATE committee also mean that it needs some new members.

For any further information please contact your new NZATE council rep Heemi McDonald.

SAATE has run two very successful twilight sessions already this year. Kirsten Shaw, the NZQA English moderator spoke at the first on effective assessment practice and TaniaLinley-Richardson from Team Solutions presented around the Information Literacy standards at the term two session. The great news is that after a few years with only a very small but enthusiastic committee, numbers have grown this year. Another Big Day Out is planned for November and then Ivan Peter, who has been a mainstay of the committee for a number of years intends to step down. As this is my last regional report I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge all of Ivan’s hard work. It has been a pleasure working with him and I have admired his determination to keep SAATE alive. A determination from which the English teachers of South Auckland have truly benefited.

AATEL: David Taylor

The Auckland Association of Teachers of English has run two twilight sessions so far this year. In term one we ran a session with NZQA moderator Kirsten Shaw which covered internal assessments patterns from 2015. Kirsten unpacked the latest clarifications and conditions of assessment for all internally assessed standards before running a Q and A session. This was invaluable and offered important insights in how to reduce assessment loads of students and teachers. In term two the focus was on the use of digital tools in the classroom. Workshops covered Google basics for effective classrooms, Microsoft 365 ins and outs, web-based learning solutions and a session from Mindlab. Both evenings were very well attended.

Keep an eye out for the term three evening which will feature greatest hits from the NZATE conference in Otautahi Christchurch. The Big Day Out will also be back in term four.

The NZATE Certificate in Best Practice for English Middle Leaders continues to run each term with the aim of supporting HODs, AHODs and aspiring HODs to develop the skill sets required to be an effective leader of a secondary English department. As always, any questions, suggestions or feedback are welcome:

Central Regions: Yvette Krohn-Isherwood

The Central North Island has various regional associations that have all been quite busy this year. Some of the regional associations and their activities include:

HBETA– Hawkes Bay English Teachers Association.

There have been a number of professional learning opportunities throughout the first half  of the year. This started with the Relaunch John Mackenzie writing competition in term one and was followed by a workshop on ‘Creating character in creative writing’, run by Charity Norman. There was also a session on modern learning environments at the Westmount campus. A moderator’s workshop facilitated by Kirsten Shaw is planned for Term 3.

BETA– Bay of Plenty English Teachers Association

A workshop on unpacking unfamiliar text for the external examination was run by Yvette Krohn-Isherwood in Term 1. This was well attended by over 30 teachers. An HOD day is planned for term 3.

WELTA– Waikato English Language Teachers Association

Two successful PLD sessions were organised by Jo Thom from St Peter’s College in Cambridge. The first was a Visual literacy workshop in collaboration with WINTEC School of Media Arts, and the second was a workshop on Ways into Shakespeare with Jonathan Tynan-Moss.

Wellington: Cornelios Floratos

In 2016  WRATE has undertaken a different approach to the hosting of term events.  Rather than having all events at Wellington Girls’ College we have made the decision to spread the events around the Wellington region.  Four schools put their hands up to host this year – Wellington Girls’ College, Naenae College, Tawa College and Wellington East Girls’ College.

The Term 1 WRATE event was hosted at Wellington Girls’ College.  We had an NZQA moderator come in to discuss two Level 3 standards – Critical Texts and Writing Portfolio. She focussed on the tasks and exemplar signposts for each grade boundary. The aim of building on teachers’ confidence in giving students guidance, feedback and internal marking was well met.  The Term 2 WRATE event was held at Naenae College.  Louise Wallace, editor of online literary magazine Starling ( discussed the purpose of the online journal and how it can be used in the classroom.  Creative writing submissions of any genre to the journal are open to writers 25 years and younger as the aim is to promote the young writers of Aotearoa.  Louise Wallace, a writer herself and 2015 Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University, shared several of the creative writing strategies she uses with her university students. This was another very useful meeting, we walked away with writing strategies that could be implemented the next day.  The Term 3 meeting will be held at Tawa College.

The Hutt Cluster of English Departments continue to meet once or twice a term.  In Term 1 the cluster was hosted by Heretaunga College with the focus being on best practice for BYOD in the English classroom.  In Term 2 we met at Naenae College where Martyn Reynolds (SCT at Wellington College) shared the findings of his PhD on the Samoan relational concept of Va.  Our next meeting is at Upper Hutt College where we will be sharing new texts that have been successful in class. Further up the road over the Rimutakas, Angela Richardson from Makoura College has taken a lead role in setting up a Wairarapa cluster of schools with the aim of meeting regularly.  The first meeting is set for Term 3.  Email Angela ( for more information about this.

With the memories of last year’s conference still fresh we have put together a committee to organise an English teachers’ ‘Big Day Out’ for the Wellington Region.  The day will have two sets of workshops to choose from as well as keynotes and will act as a ‘mini’ conference.  Mark Edgecombe, Julie Weir, Paula Devery, Meg Davies, Kalia Lautusi and I are currently working on this and plans are coming along well.  The day will be held at St Mary’s College in early November, we’ll have more information coming out to teachers in the Lower North Island in the next few weeks.

Canterbury and Upper South : Alison Cleary

The focus this year has obviously been on getting the conference sorted. Our connection with Canterbury University continues to develop and students and staffattended a series of workshops in Term 2.

A Big Day Out will happen later this year.

Touching base with Nelson, Timaru and the West Coast is a priority for the rest of the year.

Otago/ Southland: Jo Mullenger

The 2015/16 year has seen the growth of our termly meetings, with them being well- attended and we are about to widen the number of schools who host these events. At the end of last year we had a hugely successful ‘Big Day Out’ with 80 attendees and planning for this year is well underway. For conference this year we decided to offer our own scholarship for teachers in their first five years and this has been well-received. Looking forward our goals are to have at least one other big event a year, outside of our termly meetings and Big Day Out. This will be in response to our members’ needs in terms of professional development.

March 2016

Tai Tokerau

Our main focus of 2016 will be organising the 2017 conference Weaving Words,which will be in Waitangi from the 12-14 th July. Things are progressing well with plans in place for the venue and keynote speakers. However, would love some more people to join the conference committee. Please contact Monique Vanstokkum if you are interested (


The annual Big Day Out on the 11 th November was extremely well attended and was incredibly successful.

Ivan is currrently a bit of a one-man band trying to organise workshops throughout the year and then the term 4 Big Day Out. Events are very well attended, which showsteachers in South Auckland really value what is offered but in order to keep the association alive we are still desperately looking for a small group of people tojoin the committee. Please contact Ivan Peter if you can help.


The main aim for this year is to once again attempt to connect the English teachers of theSouth Waikato, Piako-Matamata and Plateau zones, in the hopes of establishing acollaborative community. Unfortunately the meet and greet was a bust in November,therefore a newsletter was sent out to all schools with information about their representative, what NZATE and CREATE could offer and this years conference in Christchurch. Looking forward to any responses this generates.

Things on the horizon include a big day out at some stage for school’s in the wider area.

Canterbury / Upper South

It’s full on for conference 2016 – keynotes booked; dinner almost sorted; venue sorted ….In fact it’s been a remarkably smooth journey so far – mainly due to the organisational skills of our convenor, Helaina.

The conference team of: Helaina, Alison, Julie, Steve, John, Anita, Megan, Mel and Marie are meeting fortnightly to work through the fairly comprehensive and detailed job list.

See you all in July!

November  2015

WRATE (Wellington)

WRATE underwent a change of leadership over the Term 2/Term 3 period with Mark Edgecombe from Tawa College stepping in as president of the association.  In Term 3 we met at Tawa College where John Dennison (published poet and poetry scholar) ran a highly engaging and thought provoking workshop under the umbrella heading: “Who are we becoming when we learn to love poetry?”  John took the group through a journey encouraging us to re-configure our relationship to poetry and developing new understandings around the power of the poetic medium.  We discussed the essence of poetry – “the greatest poems begin in delight and end in wisdom” – and how playful rhythm or rhyme can communicate wisdom.  

John challenged the idea of a text being ‘relatable’ (a word many students use these days to describe a text they like). What are students thinking when they use the word?  What does this suggest?  That it does not disturb my sense of who I am.  That it does not challenge me, it fits into my current worldview and therefore I can relate to it.  It’s easy.

The Hutt Cluster of schools had two meetings in Term 3.  In the first half of the term we met at Upper Hutt College where had a highly informative session run by Jonathan Martin on the Create a Visual Text standard across the three levels.  We looked at student work which had been externally moderated, which was highly useful.  Our second meeting was held at Hutt International Boys School where we had a sharing session of useful exam revision strategies.  A great collaborative atmosphere, ka pai.  Our meeting this term is focussed on developing meaningful end of year learning activities with juniors.

Tai Tokerau (TTATE)   

The term 3 workshop, which had a focus on writing, and was held at Kamo High School, was well attended.  Our main focus of 2016 will be organising the 2017 conference, which will be in Waitangi in the July holidays. We are very excited (but also a little nervous) about this and would love some more people to join the conference committee. Please contact Monique Vanstokkum if you are interested (

South Auckland (SAATE)

Again the term 3 workshop was well attended. We will be having our annual Big Day Out on the 11th November. The numbers for this are looking very strong and it looks likely to be another successful day. What’s great about this year’s day is the number of people from South Auckland who have volunteered to run workshops, however, none of this great stuff happens magically and we are still desperate for committee members and someone to manage the website. Please contact Ivan Peter if you can help

CREATE (Central Regions) 

With fresh blood at the helm, the main aim of the region for Term 4 is to connect the English teachers of the South Waikato, Piako-Matamata and Plateau zones, in the hopes of establishing a collaborative community. To aid in this objective C.R.E.A.T.E will be holding its first meet and greet event in the area for all English teachers to attend on November 26th (with further events to be planned.)

Heading into the new year, plans have been made to take a road trip down to the Wanganui area to continue the positive efforts already started, as well as to develop our online connectivity within the area as well.

July  2015


Canterbury has had a pretty busy 12 months. In August we celebrated our 50th Anniversary with a social evening attended by over 50 current and past members. Two of the foundation committee were in attendance. In December we held our first ‘Big Day Out’ – following the SAATE and Auckland model. This was attended by over 80 teachers and is an event we will continue to run. This year’s AGM was held in May and we were fortunate to have Apirana Taylor perform for us and share his thoughts on poetry and writing in general. For the second year in a row the University held a series of Friday afternoon workshops for Scholarship candidates and this continues to prove to be very popular with the students. This year we also farewelled our chairperson, Marie Stribling and welcomed Anita Yarwood into the role.

Future plans include a post conference ‘mini conference’ in August – where David Schaumann from Otago will present his conference workshop, this year’s BD Out  – and of course planning for next year’s NZATE annual conference  which is now being held in Christchurch!


There have been two well-attended twilight events so far this year.  In Term 1 there was a Writers and Readers focus with workshops on ‘Writing Without Tasks’ and ‘Titles for Teens: New and Popular Fiction from the Auckland Public Library’.   In Term 2 we had our AGM and workshops on the theme of Equipping the Educators!  These included ‘Survival strategies for new English teachers’ and ‘Effective feedback for formative essays’.

This year has also seen the commencement of the NZATE Certificate in Best Practice Middle Leadership (English).  This is a modular certificate which aims to support the leadership development of English middle leaders at all stages of career and experience from aspiring HODs to those with a great deal time in the job.  Up to 25 teachers meet for a morning once a term to focus on a different aspect of the role.  If you are interested please get in touch.

The AATEL Big Day Out will be running again this year – a one day mini-conference of cheap as chips professional learning after the seniors have left.  Keep an eye out for registration information later this term.


The North Auckland Association continues to offer excellent professional learning opportunities to those working and/ or living north of the bridge.  In Term 1 there was ‘Did You Hit the Bulls-eye?’, which was an opportunity to share successful NCEA strategies from 2014.  In Term 2 there were workshops on ‘Level 1 Unfamiliar Texts’ and ‘Slam Poetry and Philosophy – Encouraging Student Thinking and Writing’.  If you spend time in the area make sure you’re signed up to get information about these events.

Both these associations also provided sponsorship for several teachers to attend the NZATE Conference in Wellington.  Look out for these opportunities again in Term 2 next year.

Kia ora koutou katoa.  The focus for the Wellington region has been the organisation of the conference.  I’d like to acknowledge and thank the team made up of Kathy Ryan, Julia Woods, Jessica Athukorala, Jane Dewar, Helen Benson and Julie Weir who did an outstanding job of organising such a big event.  They put countless hours into making Capital Letters a special gathering.


In Term 1 we had our first WRATE meeting of the year held at Tawa College where we had Rebecca Feerick from Hutt Valley High School facilitate discussion on scholarship English.  It was a highly useful session where strategies and experiences about scholarship English were shared.  Many of us left the session with new scholarship strategies added to our kete but also feeling reassured that what we were already doing was good practice too.

We also held an AGM at the same meeting where Kathy Ryan announced the sad news that she was stepping down as president of the Wellington Regional Association.  Mark Edgecombe from Tawa College was voted in as president.  On behalf of the Wellington association and NZATE I want to thank Kathy for the enormous amount of voluntary work she has put into our professional association.  Along with Mark, the rest of the team remains unchanged.  Looking ahead to Term 3, we have lecturer John Dennison from Massey University running a session which will consider the importance of exploring literature in a classroom context.

The Hutt Cluster of schools met at Naenae College in Term 2 where we had a discussion around culturally responsive pedagogy.  Useful strategies to be implemented both at a classroom level and structural level were shared.  We will be meeting at Upper Hutt College in Term 3.  Please be in contact with me if you are in the Lower Hutt/Upper Hutt region and have not attended a meeting yet, we are keen to get more schools on board and continue building our professional network.   I would also like to extend an invitation to colleagues in the Wairarapa region to get in contact with me.  As the theme of Capital Letters (shift your thinking) suggested we live in times of rapid change in education with expectations to implement changes big and small.  Strong subject associations are integral in supporting teachers through these exciting times.

If you have ideas about PD you would like to see in our region or you need help with a particular matter please feel free to contact me, my email is on the NZATE website.

Tai Tokerau / South Auckland 

As a result of the ‘meet your rep’ session at last year’s conference a TTATE meeting was held in Term 4 last year, a committee was established and a roster of twilight meetings for 2015 was created. Two very successful workshops have run this year.

A 2017 conference committee was also established at the Term 4, 2014 meeting. The committee has met once already and at that meeting a few important decisions were made and jobs allocated. Although the committee would still really needs further volunteers.

Speaking of volunteers, SAATE continues to struggle to create a committee and relies on Ivan Peter to organise twilight meetings. There was not a twilight meeting in Term 1 this year but a very successful meeting was held at Edgewater College in Term 2.

SAATE continues to offer a very well received Big Day Out in Term 4.

March 2015

Otago-Lower South Island March Report

We had a fantastic Big Day Out at the end of 2014 what we ran as a mini conference with two keynote speakers (Tamara Yuill-Proctor and Helaina Coote from St Andrew’s College) and three sets of three workshops that teacher could opt into on the day. We had about 60 teachers from across Otago and Southland and the feedback was excellent.

This term we began our termly hosting of a presenting on a standard/theme/idea. St Hilda’s Collegiate will be first up, followed by John McGlashan College. We hope to get a school who hasn’t hosted before to do session this year.


Hello, my name is Cornelios Floratos, new Lower North island representative on the NZATE council. I started my career at Newlands College and am now at Naenae College as Head of English and Languages.  Wellington is excited to host the annual NZATE conference in 2015.  The conference team have done an excellent job of organising Capital Letters 2015.  On behalf of the conference team, I would like to extend an invitation to teachers and all other interested parties to put their names forward and run a workshop at conference.  Workshops can vary in length from 45 minutes to one and a half hours.  This is a great opportunity for you to share your ideas with colleagues.

2014 was a successful year for WRATE with workshops being well attended.  Of particular note was Bernard Becket’s workshop where he discussed key premises behind creative writing, particular strategies and likened editing to “an aggressive exercise of removal”.  His creative writing carving metaphor resonated with many attendees:

“Your first draft is like finding a piece of wood.  It has a beauty within which the exterior hides.  The process of chipping away at it to find the beauty within is what’s important.”

WRATE is also kicking into action for 2015. The first workshop is being held on the 18th of March at Tawa College. The workshop is focused on ideas around how to set up scholarship courses but also intends to explore what skills need to be developed at junior levels to support scholarship level thinking in the senior years.  It would be great to see some of our colleagues from up the coast attend.

Please feel to contact me with ideas about what professional development or other events you would like to see happen in the region.  My email is  I look forward to representing the Lower North Island on the NZATE council and hope to see you all at the different events around our region.

November 2014

Tai Tokerau

TTATE had an end-of year barbecue and AGM in Term 4. The event was well attended with 20 people from schools from around the region. At the AGM a small committee was formed and firm plans were made for the Term 1 and 2 events for 2015. If you would like to get on the mailing list to find out more about these upcoming events then please contact the secretary, Monique Vanstokkum <>. The AGM was followed by a presentation from Cynthia Orr and Heemi MacDonald about the work that they have been doing, along with two others, on curriculum mapping for Years 9 and 10.

South Auckland

As always the SAATE Big Day Out was a well organised and well attended affair with about 40 people from around the region coming together at Ormiston Senior College to experience a wide range of workshops and to spend valuable time networking and talking English. The SAATE committee is really keen to get some new members on board and also to make sure they have an update contact list so please contact Ivan Peter <> if you are interested in being involved.

Central Region – North Island West

It was very good to be able to make contact with teachers in New Plymouth and the wider Taranaki Region at the end of Term 3. While it is obvious this sub-region enjoys fantastic teachers and resources, and that they do meet from time to time, they are interested in improving collaboration. Alan Elgar was gracious in his hosting of the evening event at New Plymouth Boy’s High School. A number of the teachers from the wider area were interested in collaborating on developing resources and sharing new ideas, particularly of some of the shared practice at the ‘Myths and Magic’ English Conference held in July. The push in this region was seen as assisting each other in the development of Year 9 and 10 curriculum as well as attempting to get more people attending the NZATE Conference.

We were less successful in the Manawatu with only Fielding High School showing any interest to meet. As such the meeting was postponed. It is hoped that a different model of contact may stimulate more collaboration in this sub-region.

For the first time in a long time, contact was made with schools in the wider Wanganui Area. A number of people travelled considerable distances to meet at Rangitikei College to share ideas on Portfolio Writing during the final days of Term 3. A very useful afternoon was spent sharing ideas and looking at student work. There is a plan to increase the frequency of these meetings.

Although there is still a great deal to do, I am pleased with the progress made to date, and hopeful for the future that we may increase our collaborative involvement between the various schools in the region.

Canterbury English Teachers’ Association (CETA)

This half year has been an interesting and refreshing one for Canterbury English teachers – with a number of opportunities to get together in both a social and literary environment.

In August, as part of the Canterbury Writers’ Festival, CETA hosted ‘Conversations with Eleanor Catton’. The morning was hosted at St Margaret’s College, and teachers were able to hear Eleanor talk about her writing process and how she uses this to then teach her creative writing students in Auckland.

Shortly after this, CETA celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary with an evening sponsored NZATE. Joe Bennett entertained us with further thoughts on teaching and the winning senior student SLAM poets performed their amazing words. Two members of the very first CETA ‘team’ of 1964 were present, as was the inaugural minute book!  You can see photos of this event in the October ‘English in Aotearoa’.

Scholarship workshops were once again held in conjunction with the University of Canterbury and upwards of 40 students attended these three after school sessions

CETA’s first ‘Big Day Out’ takes place in December 1st. A range of workshops  from ‘Boys’ English classes’ to ‘Comedic Texts’ are being offered.

2014 has been a good year for CETA!

Otago-Lower South Island Regional Report   (OATE)

Our first OATE meeting after conference was a ‘Conference Mash-up’ where five conference attendees presented on one workshop they had been to that struck a chord with them. We had two PRTs attend conference so asked them to be part of the presentation group. This put a new ‘spin’ on conference for some of us and many HODs in attendance spoke about the importance of sending those in their first 5 years of teaching to such an event. The most discussed topic was Julie van Ries information from the workshop on secondary students’ readiness for tertiary education. Some good reflection and ideas. This evening was hosted by St Hilda’s Collegiate.

Our next key event is out ‘Big Day Out’ on November 25th. This is hosted in conjunction with the Mal Thompson at the Dunedin College of Education . Although open to all schools, we have differentiated the cost based on NZATE membership. The keynote speakers will be Helaina Coote and Tamara Yull-Proctor from St Andrews. We are styling the day as a mini conference with eight ‘bite-size’ sessions covering a range of topics.

Going forward the focus is going to be on increasing our membership and surveying our members as to what events/professional development they would like to see for next year.