Regional Reports

November 2017


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 due to take place on November 17th.  All these events have been well attended and registrations had to be closed over a week prior to the Big Day Out, due to reaching capacity.  This event will feature a range of workshops from teacher practitioners as well as external organisations such as the University of Auckland English Department Auckland Libraries.  We are eagerly anticipating key note speakers Sophie Roberts and Dylan Horrocks. NARATE will be holding a Literary Quiz on Thursday 16 November, as their end of year event.

The Term 3 AATEL Twilight Session offered a choice between two fascinating workshops. Aaron Wilson spoke about his research around literacy teaching. Representatives from Auckland Libraries gave an overview of new books that are currently popular with teen readers, followed by an introduction to their new and improved website, including improved access to audiobooks.

In Term 3 the AATEL Committee farewelled David Taylor, a longstanding committee member and our representative on NZATE. New members Callum Grey and Patrick Lynch were welcomed. We are still on the lookout for new membership, so if you are interested in working with a fun and lively group to promote professional learning opportunities for English teachers in Auckland, please contact Susy Carryer ( or Phil Douglas (



2017 has continued to go well for the HBETA.  The Term 3 Meeting was hosted by Iona College, where we were able to prove our members with ‘A Taste of Conference.’  Mel McRandle, Katherine Kelsey and I all delivered workshops on something from the 2017 NZATE Conference, Weaving Words.  This was an opportunity for us to give the rest of the region a condensed look at some of the things our annual conference has to offer.  

In Term 4, Judith Findlay and her team at Central Hawke’s Bay College hosted the meeting and invited a local author, Aaron Topp, in to give us some insights into his experiences as an author of young adult fiction.  His primary focus is in engaging reluctant readers, often boys, so it was great to see how he was approaching this in his capacity as an author.

Due to a change in circumstance our chairperson for HBETA has had to stand down.  So we have coopted Mel McRandle, from Hastings Boys’ High School into the role of Chairperson and she is looking forward to this challenge.  

In addition to our quarterly meetings, HBETA also offered the Certificate in Best Practice – Middle Leadership (English) to its members in 2017.  The first two workshops have been run and this has been extremely well received.  There are 20 teachers registered for this training and this is made up of new, aspiring, as well as established department leaders.  This has provided not only a platform for learning, but also an opportunity for those who hold roles in middle leadership to meet and discuss their ideas.

Looking ahead, I would really like to see some more regional associations developed in the central region.  I am here to help in any way that I can and would like the opportunity to speak to teachers in other centers about the benefits and opportunities that come with setting up a regional association.  There are a variety of formats that have worked throughout the country, so it is simply a matter of working out what would suit your region.  Contact me at if you are interested in starting association in your center, and I will discuss how NZATE can support you.



Tēnā Koutou Katoa,

In Term 3 the focus for the WRATE committee has been the organisation of the Wellington Big Day Out. Registration is about to close with 85 people registered so far. It looks to be an exciting day with two keynotes confirmed – Mark Sheehan speaking on unlocking NCEA, and Louise Wallace on both writing and teaching poetry with use of her online youth poetry website (Starling). She will also be reading from her collections of poetry. Connor Baird is giving a talk on ‘Place-based education and Year 12 literacy’ after garnering much interest in the last WRATE cluster meeting at Naenae College. Louise Wallace is also one of many presenting workshops covering topics from course design in the senior school to unlocking  Scholarship. It looks to be a good day – and I look forward to reporting back next year.

Looking forward WRATE is planning a Pacific Poetry cluster for early next year and looking forward to reading feedback from The Big Day Out, in order to improve the experience for teachers and teacher students. I am very interested in speaking to teachers in the Greater Wellington, Kāpiti and Manawatu regions about starting a cluster closer to home – interest has been expressed so please feel free to contact me if this sounds like something your school would like to be involved in on

Nga mihi

Kalia Lautusi (Lia)

Term 4 was a busy term for CETA. A very successful ‘Teach Meet’ was hosted by Cashmere High School. Teachers from 14 schools attended and heard about a range of approaches and strategies being used by the English Dept there.
CETA also hosted a ‘ Girls’ Breakfast’ in September with Michelle A’Court – this was a fabulous Term 3 event. The morning was a huge success – the students loved it and asked some fantastic questions. They hung around afterward talking to Michele, and we’ve seen many photos being ‘Instagrammed!’


Thanks to CETA stalwart Steve and Kate Langley for hosting Michele A’Court, driving her around and setting up speakers and screens. Steve also organised the venue and the breakfast. Linwood staff used the breakfast as a fundraiser for Outward Bound – so it was goodness all around! Mel Anderson’s idea to organise and sorting the logistics of getting Michele to Christchurch grew out of our conference last year. You can see some of the event photos here –

The highlight of Term 4 was our annual Big Day Out, this year hosted by and held at Haeata Community Campus. 150 teachers were fed – both physically and intellectually – by a range of presenters and our hosts.
If you have any suggestions or requests for specific areas of interest or concern please make contact
Our recent OATE meeting at the end of Term 3 was hosted by St HIlda’s. St Hilda’s HoD Helen Almey shared about their experience having Poetry in Action perform. The performance was based around the idea that poetry can change the world and it really impacted the students who saw it. Judy Maw talked about the joys and pitfalls of exploring co-construction with her Year 13 class. She shared about how her students loved the freedom of choice that came with constructing their own course, however some of them struggled to meet deadlines and the inevitable end of year scramble occurred. Judy’s conclusion was that it was vital that the students be held accountable to deadlines, but that overall it was fun and that the results were outstanding as the girls were able to pursue their own passions.
Heading towards the end of Term 4 we will have our yearly Big Day Out at the beginning of December, this year hosted by John McGlashan’s. As a region we are already looking towards 2019 when we will have the privilege of hosting the NZATE conference.

July 2017


In the ever changing teaching world in which we live, the Auckland Association for Teachers of English Language (AATEL), and the North Auckland Regional Association (NARATE) endeavour to provide a forum for professional conversations and learning opportunities through the provision of workshop events each term.

In Term One this year AATEL ran a series of workshops in conjunction with the University of Auckland English Department.  This came about as a result of a concerted effort by both organisations to try and better understand the similarities and differences of learning English at secondary and tertiary level.  The workshops were: Professor Tom Bishop on William Shakespeare, Associate Professor Alex Calder on New Zealand Literature and Dr Paula Morris on writing fiction and creative non-fiction.  There was an excellent turn out for the workshops as there was for the NARATE workshops which focused on the best bits from four decades in the English classroom, Differentiation in the English Classroom and Reflecting on what makes an effective English Department.

Just recently the Term Two AATEL event featured a performance and poetry workshop by Apirana Taylor.  Those familiar with his work and music will understand that it was a special an inspirational evening.  Again, this was very well attended which was impressive for the last week of a tough term.  During this period NARATE presented evening workshops looking at Unit Planning Strategies, Approaches to Shakespeare and Teaching Evaluation at Level 3.  We will be in touch with members about our Term Three events and this year’s November Big Day Out in the next few weeks.

If you haven’t made it this year or are not yet a regular attendee at your local professional association you should try and check it out by the end of year – the benefits of sharing practice and expertise with colleagues are significant.  If you would like to offer a workshop, volunteer for the committee or have a professional learning need you would like help addressing please get in touch and let us know:


A small committee of very active eager teachers planned:

  • New and improved (developing) website with many options for resources and teaching and learning assistance for South Auckland teachers
  • Developing online chat forums for Q&A about things English
  • Conversational hubs at coffee shops locally to meet, greet and eat! (and discuss, moderate and share resources)
  • Termly twilight session of two workshops:
    • Nuts and Bolts of Writing at all levels (presented by Ivan Peter)
    • Let’s get digital! (presented by Desiré Truter)

Planning ahead is underway for workshop with national moderator and a bumper BIG DAY OUT at the end of the year


2017 has seen a lot of change for HBETA.  At the Term 1 AGM meeting, I stood down as Chairperson. Heather Read from Havelock High School was elected unopposed as the new chairperson of our association and is excited about working in her new role.  The AGM was hosted by Napier Girls’ High School and the association is in good health, boasting a good financial position for the start of the year.  Jo Morris, the outgoing President of NZATE, also presented at this meeting.  She presented a fantastic workshop on motivating reluctant writers, which was received enthusiastically and gratefully.  We wish Jo good luck in her new venture as the ‘write coach’. We thoroughly recommend her services to other associations around New Zealand, this was an extremely useful and informative workshop.

At the Term 2 Meeting, the owners of one of our local bookshops, Wardini Books, came along to present what is new in young adult fiction.  Gareth and Louise are both passionate and avid readers.  They are a fantastic resource for teachers within Hawke’s Bay and are able to help teachers and recommend books with simply a theme to guide them.  This was an entertaining and social meeting, concluding with a fun literary quiz.  The decision to change the meeting date form the end of term to the start of term proved a success as we had a great increase in numbers at this meeting.

As part of my role on NZATE I am working to offer a Certificate of Best Practice – Middle Leadership (English).  This training was rolled out in Auckland in 2015 and was extremely well received.   We now have a facilitator for the HOD Training and we are moving ahead to offer the PLD over the next four terms. The certificate is designed to help, existing, new and aspiring HoDs with their practice and it will even an experienced HoD support with their current middle leadership.

We have secured financial support for this course from the Hawke’s Bay Secondary School Principal’s Association and the Hawke’s Bay English Teachers Association.  It is my aim to provide this sort of support to more middle leaders across the wider region.  

We look forward to a positive end to the year and I welcome any questions, PLD suggestions or offers.  For those who are from the Central North Island Region and who are not currently involved in a regional association, or who would like to establish and association within their area, please do not hesitate to contact me at


Tēnā Koutou Katoa,

It is a pleasure to be on board the NZATE council stepping in for Cornelios Floratos.

After the success of last year’s Big Day Out the WRATE committee is underway planning for this year – scheduled for Monday 20th November back at St Mary’s. Keynotes and the outline of the day have yet to be confirmed but there are some exciting speaker suggestions. Workshops will run like usual with proposals to be put forward in Term 3. The first WRATE event this year at Tawa in May, on feedback and making use of Jennifer Glenn and Adrienne Alton-Lee Best Evidence Synthesis materials, was poorly attended due to time demands and sickness at the time. The next event will be at Naenae College in August and will focus on the authentic use of student voice.

There have been two Hutt cluster meetings this year. The first in Term 1 was hosted by Naenae College and reviewed Year 11 courses. The discussion focused on themed courses and how we can best engage our students at Level 1 NCEA. English taught through the lenses of sport, music, culture, imagined worlds and fame opened discussion up about the opportunity to include lyrics, opinion pieces, TV shows and biography in teaching written texts. The second was a highly informative meeting held at Upper Hutt College and focussed on best practice in feedback/feedforward for the Writing Portfolio, mainly at Level 2 and 3. This was a good reminder of how much feedback is appropriate to give students – and involved a useful discussion around what topics were encouraging engagement from students.

If you have any questions or queries or would like to let me know other events and opportunities happening in Wellington, Wairarapa and Manawatu please feel free to contact me at

It’s hard to believe that’s it’s been twelve months since CETA’s re:generation conference at St Andrews.
In November we held out annual  Big Day Out. 120 English teachers from Canterbury, South Canterbuty and the West Coast came together at Christ’s College and took part in a range of workshops and heard keynotes from outgoing national coordinators – Cynthia Orr and Nigel Mitchell. Their  knowlege and common sense approach to issues facing the English Comminity will he greatly missed.
In 2016 Our relationship with the Uni of Canterbury continued with Scholarship workshops offered to Yr 13 students. Sadly the is not continuing in 2017.
Earlier this year we farewelled long serving committee member Marie Stribling. It has been great to see new committee members joint this year – from a range of schools and experiences.
To date CETA has run our first, very successful Teach Meet – and this will be followed up with similar events in Terms 3 and 4.
As well as our Big Day Out later in the year, we are looking forward to a visit and presentation by Michele A’Court.
With our newly elected NZATE President being based in Nelson, there is likely to be a regeneration of that regional association.
If you have any suggestions or requests for specific areas of interest or concern please make contact

The first of our termly OATE meetings was a relaxed and encouraging conversation around the risks we’d taken recently in the classroom and the rewards that followed. Wine and nibbles helped the conversation to flow and everyone went away with something to think about trying in the classroom. Term 2 saw Jo Morris presenting an afternoon’s workshop on teaching reluctant writers. This was a hands on workshop that included a dabble in poetry writing for the teachers themselves and was very well-received. It followed a morning creative writing workshop with students that was also very successful.

March 2017


Our main focus for 2017 is organising our National Conference, Weaving Words, which will be in Waitangi from the 12-14th July. Things are progressing well with Conference planning and we are excited to have you all with us in Waitangi! The organising committee is still looking for people interested in presenting workshops at Conference. If you are interested please see our website for details.


Welcome back to another year in the fine profession of teaching English.  The start of the year always offers so much and the AATEL and NARATE committees are excited about the professional learning opportunities for the year ahead.

Last November saw another AATEL Big Day Out which, as usual was very well attended.  As always we like to know how best to support teachers in the Auckland region so if have a professional learning need you would like help addressing please get in touch and let us know:

If you aren’t a regular attendee at your local professional associations, you should try and check them out by the end of year – the benefits of sharing practice and expertise with colleagues are significant.


On Friday 11th of November 2016 HBETA hosted their first Annual Big Day Out.  This was held at Karamu High School.  There were eight workshops on offer in a variety of subject areas, including Creative Non-Fiction, Engaging Maori and Pacifica students, Sketchnoting and much much more.  They even had a representative from the NZSDC to present workshops on debating coaching and adjudicating.  They were also excited to have David Schaumann travelling from Dunedin to present a very practical keynote on unfamiliar text analysis.  He also presented a workshop later in the day on developing the sophistication of essay paragraphs.  There were over 60 people attending this event and the feedback was great and we hope to make this a regular occurrence on our annual calendar.

HBETA are looking at revitalizing their meetings this year, altering the meeting times and PLD opportunities. I am standing down as Chairperson in the Term 1 AGM so that I can concentrate on my role as Central North Island Representative of NZATE.  In 2017 I would like to assist in the development of more associations over the wider regions.

For those who are from the Central North Island Region who are not currently involved in a regional association or who would like to establish and association within their area, I am here to help.   If you have any PLD suggestions or workshop offers for the HBETA, I am here to help.  Please do not hesitate to contact me, Amy Price, at


The Committee have finally recovered from the whirlwind of the past 12 months – and are regenerated and ready for 2017. It has been great to see a number of new committee members join this year. At our AGM we farewelled and paid tribute to longstanding CETA member Marie Stribling.

As well as our regular activities such as the Peter Smart Writing Competition, a series of exciting new ventures  – included a ‘teach meet’  organised by new committee member, Donna. CETA are looking forward to an exciting year.

If you have any suggestions for PLD needs please contact me at


We had a very successful and well-attended Big Day Out in November 2016, run by our local organisation OATE. Kirsten Shaw was our keynote speaker and the teachers who came really appreciated being able to have professional conversations about moderation with Kirsten herself in person. Our second keynote speaker Ian McGilchrist was as entertaining as Kirsten was informative – he recounted hilarious tales of hard-won wisdom from the coal face of classroom teaching.

November 2016


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.