Get ya geek on: Really useful resources for NCEA English

BooksFrantically trying to get back up to speed with NCEA English? These websites will help!

Wide reading and themed reading assessments

Our book lists and the Golden Bay High School Wiki are good places to start. You can also go to our Facebook page or ask a librarian for suggestions right here, right now on this blog. There are plenty of reading recommendations on our website, too.
Get together with your friends to talk about what you’re reading. This will help you become really skilled at identifying and discussing themes and characters when exam time comes around.

Looking for short stories?

Start your search in our Short Story index – you’ll need your library card number and PIN. Try LitFinder for poetry.

Want something written by a New Zealander?

The New Zealand Book Council’s website will come in handy, as well as the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre.


Let’s not forget about dear old Shakespeare! The Shakespeare Resource Center has his complete works. Can’t be bothered reading the play? Watch the DVD instead.

Other web resources

Stay tuned for more really useful resources for NCEA maths (and the rest)!

Words for Christchurch: Brian Easton

Public Library, Christchurch, N.Z.Brian Easton, economist and Listener columnist, wrote these Words for Christchurch. He tells us of his reading life through books, the special place the old public library on Hereford street holds in his heart, and his hopes for that site post earthquake.

Dear Richard,

I could not write to anyone in the Christchurch public library about what is happening after the Christchurch earthquake. The library is too integral a part of me. Not the new one on Oxford Terrace but the old one – on the site since 1863 – on the corner of Hereford St and Cambridge Terrace, opposite the police station (it is still the site of the old YMCA for me) and with the Canterbury Club on its north (never been in it).

It is so central to my Canterbury and to my growing up there. Both the university and the Royal Society had their first meetings there. My grandfather would cycle all the way from St Albans with my mother on the bar to collect books. I biked there by myself the five kilometres from South Christchurch – those were days when it was safe for a kid, and pleasant enough too; I can still describe the precise route (including the variations, some designed to moderate a head wind).

I am not sure when I started. I must have been very young, for I recall taking Enid Blytons and Biggles from the spacious children’s library on the left of the entrance. I was dismayed when they disappeared from the shelves. My mother, who became a librarian – Hilmorton High School has named its library the Thelma Easton Library for her years of service, in which she paid particular attention to encouraging children to read  – told me they were removed because children kept rereading them and didnt move on. (Years later I found a copy of Up the Faraway Tree, but the magic I remembered had drained away.)

Continue reading

Words for Christchurch: Emma Currie

Emma Currie is a second-year student at the Hagley Writers’ Institute.

State of Emergency

Hazy lazy skies
fractured terra firma, fractured people
bathing in dusted blood
while buildings play dominoes.

Candle wicks tired
lulled into foetal positions
ears to transistors
terror disseminated through airwaves
lives interrupted.

Electricity lies dormant
if tears could be bottled no one would want for thirst
hiding helps embroider the truth
as the death toll rises.

Hearts in hands
buildings on the ground
tarps billowing spinnakers
like basketballs rusty nailed planks
catch air.

Powerlines swing
inviting nimbus to play jump rope
dust twirls like khaki tutus
rubble quivers playing statues
in the whipped wind.

Anxiety is a hand held
trauma is hands and knees on the ground
destruction revealed
a scarlet red curtain raised
as dust and smoke settle
waiting, red sticker, yellow sticker, green.