the ruyton reporter
Vivid Storytelling
In July Ruyton Girls’ School was fortunate enough to be host to a wonderful and
exceedingly talented fantasy author: Isobelle Carmody. Isobelle is a world-renowned
author of children’s and young adults’ fantasy novels. Growing up in Geelong, she
was the oldest of eight siblings, and unofficially began her writing career by
entertaining her younger siblings with various games and stories revolving around
monsters and other fantastical elements. She began working on the now highly
Obernewtyn Chronicles
at the age of 14 in high school, and the manuscript
was instantly accepted by the publisher and went on to win an award. She acquired
a Bachelor of Arts, and won the 1993 CBC Book of the Year Award and the 1994
Children’s Literature Peace Prize. She currently lives with her husband and daughter
in the Czech Republic, dividing her time between the Great Ocean Road and Prague.
Isobelle commenced her visit to Ruyton by visiting the Year 7 and 8 students.
She engaged her audience with many interesting and humorous examples of her
experience as an author, saying that, for her:
Writing has a lot of levels without
us knowing it … fantasy is based upon reality. Editing helps bring out the levels of
sub-conscious ideas … editing is absolutely part of the creation of a story. Computers
make something look perfect before it actually is. Computers do not have a creative
mind, they are programmed a certain way. Spell-check is an example; people
become unmotivated to redo the piece of writing that has been typed up.’
The Senior School Lit Club was given the exciting opportunity to have lunch with
the author, and listened as she recounted the incredible story of her recent visit to
Iceland (found on her blog,
) and presented
photographs of the amazing scenery she saw.
To finish off her visit, the entire
Senior School gathered in the
Royce Theatre to hear Isobelle
explain various writing
techniques and the inspirations
and ideas behind her own
writing. Our students really
appreciated Isabelle’s visit and
it was an exciting day for all.
Year 9, with assistance from
Year 9 and
Elizabeth Scarlett,
Year 10
Small Business,
Large Profit
As part of their studies of VCE Unit 1
Business Management, students were
required to create, develop and
operate a Small Business Activity.
Working in groups, the students
needed to identify a product or
service which they felt could be the
basis of a short-term business activity.
After several days of lively and
animated discussion, a range of
business ideas soon bubbled to the
surface and the students began to
investigate the potential profit that
these ideas could deliver. It was
pleasing to see some diversity in the
business concepts:
the artistically designed
iPhone cases
a session of incense fuelled,
relaxation-oriented massage
home-baked cup-cakes
individually created icecream treats
barbecue burgers with all the
The students were required to
organise all their products and
equipment and liaise with other
businesses and Ruyton staff to turn
their idea into a viable business.
Students worked co-operatively and
delegated tasks and responsibilities
between themselves. Once the
projects were completed, the students
turned their attention to a critical
evaluation of the project.They
considered the good and bad points
and also the various aspects of the
task which could be improved or
avoided if they were to do the whole
project again.This very practical
introduction to the world of business
is intended to stimulate an interest
in the variety of tasks required for
any business to be successful. It has
always proved to be a very exciting
and rewarding way to put theoretical
ideas into practice. As a result of the
commendable work of the Business
Management students and the
support of the Ruyton community, the
Year 10 Unit 1 Business Management
class was able to donate $768.00 to
the Year 10 charity, the Bulleen
Heights’ Special School.
Mr Christopher Moloney,
Management Teacher
Literature Tour 2014
Following the success of the first Ruyton Literature Tour of
England in 2011, a second tour is planned for September 2014.
This tour will include visits to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre,
the Tower of London, Oxford, and other sites of literary interest.
Girls in Years 8 – 11 will be eligible to participate.
Ms Julie Hoskins,
Special Programmes Co-ordinator
Isobelle Carmody Visit
It is now 20 years since the inaugural Isobelle Carmody CreativeWriting Competition
at Ruyton and we were honoured to have the original judge, Isobelle Carmody
herself, return to speak to the girls during her visit to Ruyton in July.While the whole
School was fortunate to hear Isobelle’s stories of how she became a storyteller,Years
and 8 were treated to writing workshops during her visit. She entertained and
educated with a focus on how to direct emotion in writing, the importance of editing
and structure, and provided some tips on how to combat writer’s block.The girls were
amused by her tale of how she trains both her observation skills and focus on the
importance of detail by taking her daughter on tram trips in Prague (where they live).
The aim of the trip is to take notes while sitting at opposite ends of the tram until they
reach the end of the line.They then get together over something to eat and are
amazed at the differing observations noted. She calls this ‘impressionist writing.’
Hopefully all the students were inspired by her enthusiasm and expertise, and that
this is then translated in their writing.
Ms Georgina Canty,
Dean of English
Many Guises of Creativity