December 16, 2010

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents / Caregivers
A reminder that school finishes tomorrow at 1.00pm. For those children who usually catch the bus home, you will need to be collected as there will not be a special bus at the end of school.
The first day for next year is Wednesday 2nd February. Welcome powhiri is at 10.00 on this day.

Term dates for 2011
Term 1 – Wednesday 2nd February to Friday 15th April
Term 2 – Monday 2nd May to Friday 15th July
Term 3 – Monday 1st August to Friday 7th October
Term 4 – Monday 25th October to Friday 16th December

Last night we had a special celebration for our year 8 students and their parents. It was a lovely occasion and the sharing of happy memories. We wish our year 8 students every success as they go onto their respective high schools next year. Many families have their last child leaving Muritai School and we say goodbye to them and thank them for their many years association with the school. Tomorrow we have a leaver’s assembly at 11.00 in the school. All the students who we will farewell tomorrow have contributed immensely to our culture at Muritai School. Our leavers have many diverse qualities and strengths but above all, they should feel that they have tried to be the best that they can be and leave with an appreciation for their peers, their teachers, their school and themselves. We congratulate them and thank them, and their parents, for the contribution they have made to Muritai and wish them all the best for the road ahead.

At last night’s prize giving the following cups and certificates were awarded -
Abel Tasman Cup – Iman Holden
Improvement in year 8 award – Harry Heath and Lisa Hanschke
Board of Trustees Cups for 'Endeavour' – Georgia Crawford and Thomas Rodgers
Board of Trustees Cups for 'Academic Excellence' – Sofija Cvitanovich and Grayden O’Connor
Jacobson Cups for ‘Mathematics’ – Nick Bielby and Jessica Woodnorth
Debbie Bertaud-Gandar Memorial Cup for ‘Commitment to Science and Technology’ – Finnegan Fahey
Swain Cup for ‘Leadership and contribution in sport’ – Iman Holden
Beck Family Cup for ‘Best all round sportsperson’ – Kenzy Cooper and Scott Manson
Mills Family Cup for ‘Contribution to the Arts’ – Oscar Connor
Eastbourne Community Trust Cup for ‘Leadership’ – Jack Griffiths and Sofija Cvitanovich
Principal’s Prize – ‘ The quiet achiever’ - Maddy Hesketh
Teachers Cup for ‘Being a joy to teach’ – Zoe Lovell-Smith
Stotter Cup for ‘Dedication and commitment’ – Kenzy Cooper
Clarke Cup for “Positive contribution to Muritai School” – Alana Lai
Newton Family Cup for ‘Service to Muritai School’ – Zoe Lovell-Smith
Class of 61Cup - “Outstanding Contribution to Muritai School” – Sofija Cvitanovich
Booth Family Cup ~ “The Student’s Student” – Ryan Sheridan
Fortescue-Willis Environmental Leadership - Earthcare Award - Verity McRae

The year 8 students had a marvellous time in the Abel Tasman National Park and successfully survived their week away. Stephen Eames, Raihania Chadwick, Carole Lowe and Chris Galvin reported a wonderful week’s experience and praised the children who were energetic and outstanding, both in accepting the challenge of the expedition and in their behaviour. A huge thanks to those parents who gave up their time to spend a week with their children and allow them the opportunity to enjoy the experience.

The teaching teams put in a HUGE effort to enable the children to have some wonderful learning experiences in the last fortnight. Children ventured far and wide as well as enjoying the benefits of living in such a wonderful community. As part of their inquiry programme the year 3-4 team held a market last, organized and run by the children and raised $927 for the Orphanage in Nepal.

A wonderful touch season!  All teams did so well, with two teams coming in at 1st place!  Thanks so much to all the amazing parent support.  Also, a reminder about returning touch uniforms to the office.

Sharks          2nd overall
Eagles          1st overall
Bears            5th overall
Vipers           3rd overall
Rockets        4th overall
Storm            1st overall
Hurricanes    6th overall
Flyers            6th overall

This is the final newsletter for 2010 and I take this opportunity to thank the children, staff and the Muritai community for what has been another very successful year.

Through the regular newsletters and blogs parents will have gained an impression of school-life throughout 2010. The newsletters has been available by e-mail, the website and through the school office. We have used email this year as the main process to communicate with the school. School-life is always “full on” and the website and blogs certainly capture the moments of the many activities and exciting events your children have been involved in. Parents who have been keeping track of the school’s webpage will also have gained an understanding of the beliefs, values and curriculum focus areas the school has promoted throughout the year. Through the newsletters, celebration assemblies, performances, and the school’s website the school has celebrated and recognized the many successes of our children who have achieved in a variety of academic, sporting and cultural activities. The positive celebration of our successes throughout 2010 reflects the school’s vision statement “be the best that we can be”. It is certainly a pleasure to say “thank you” to the large group of parents who regularly support the school and who have been actively involved throughout the year.
The children have been showing signs of excitement as they share their anticipation of what Christmas will mean to them. The Christmas season is indeed one of excitement and joy for them as they begin to dream about everything that sparkles and of course the gifts that are shared by families and friends! Christmas means many different things to each of us and our preparations take many paths as we reflect on our own personal understanding of Christmas and anticipate visitor arrivals, plan summer beach holidays or simply look forward to relaxing and enjoying time with our families.

Many families are leaving the school as they move on to different schools. Thank you for your support and commitment to Muritai and best wishes for the future.

We farewell Vita Collier and Holly Edwards tomorrow from our teaching staff after 2 years at Muritai. Both are heading to the UK – Holly is heading home to Edinburgh with her fiancé James and Vita is heading to Oxford to join up with her partner Dan at Oxford University. Holly and Vita have been excellent staff members at Muritai – very popular and good team players.
Muritai runs on people and we are very lucky with the team we have here. I would like to thank –
Our DP’s - Matt Skilton and Maureen Buckley and team leaders Stephen Eames, Stu Devenport and Richard Dobson for their tireless organization of the teaching and learning for staff and students.

Our teaching staff and specialist teachers, who every day, do their very best for our children with skill, organization and enthusiasm.

To our teacher aides and support staff, who often do the most difficult work, and finally a huge thank you to Carole and Sue at the front office who do such a great job and for accommodating, with a smile, the numerous extra requests we get from parents on a daily basis. We are very grateful for your service to Muritai.

To our after school group, in particular Cath and Chrissy who put in many hours to look after our children before and after school– we say thank you. Not an easy job but one that is always done with a smile.

Our children are very lucky to have such a great team working with them and we really appreciate the nice thoughts, comments and gestures from parents received recently, in appreciation of the contribution we make in your children’s lives.

Our 6th Eastbourne Village Carnival was a huge success raising over $50,000 for the school. Thank you to the entire carnival team, and the home and school team for their hard work and determination to create experiences for our children and families at Muritai.
To the Board of Trustees - you have a huge job and many responsibilities, and you have had another successful year. Recent ERO feedback, yet to be confirmed, shows that Muritai is in good heart and governed extremely well. We are blessed to have such a supportive team that enables so many opportunities and developments to come to fruition, at our side.

All the team joins with me in wishing you all a very happy and safe Christmas with family and friends. Enjoy spending time with your children.

Kindest regards and Mere Kihirimete
Andrew Bird
Principal/ Tumuaki

Christmas Lights
The Hutt Heat Water Polo elves have been very industrious at the North Pole with the unique 2010 Christmas Light Display all fired up and blazing each night through to 23 December.
It’s our 10th Anniversary, so come along and visit up soon, soak up some Yule from the Pool - gates open 8.30 pm each night at the North Pole aka 27 Hathaway Avenue, Lower Hutt. (off High Street close to Hutt Hospital, turn into Military Road, turn left into Hathaway with ample car parking on right) Check out the Christmas Lights video on You Tube using the link on the Hutt Water Polo Club web page It’s the warmth that comes to our hearts when the Christmas spirit returns again. Spread the word, spread the cheer, keep the Christmas light burning, friends make Christmas Merry! Entry: $2 cash per head. Kids under 5 Free Hutt Water Polo Club

Bike-a-Palooza! Kids Bike Open Day at Karori Park Saturday 18th December, 10am-3pm Come on down to check out the new Karori Kid's bike track! This event will provide a great environment for kids to explore these tracks for the first time and learn some new skills. Thanks to a collaborative effort by WCC, The Kennett Bros, the Outdoor Participation Trust, the Makara Peak Supporters and local volunteers, the Karori Kid's Track is up and running! The short loop in the pines behind Karori Park was specially designed with the safety and enjoyment of younger riders in mind, and is one of few such facilities in the universe!
10am-12 noon for 11 years and under, or those inexperienced at riding on rough surfaces or hills 1-3pm for kids 12 and over, or confident young'uns For more information please contact John Randal at

Experienced Nanny/housekeeper/aged elderly care available. 12 years experience with all ages of children. Reference available from Eastbourne families. Please call or email Abby 0277396594

We also farewell Ann Gibbons, who has been teacher aiding in our student support team. Ann has been here since 2006, and has been a valuable member of our team.

December 8th, 2010

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai tena koutou katoa,

Dear parents / caregivers,

A special welcome our new arrivals to Muritai School - Daisy Hemmingson-White (Room 23), Mason Pendrous (R13) and Olivia Seymour (R14).

This newsletter aims to give some background to the reports that will be issued on Friday along with classes for 2011.

This Friday each child will bring home an envelope that will contain an explanation around the national standards processes, your child's 'grading’ against the national standard in reading, writing and maths, the curriculum achievement report and finally information showing their class and teacher for 2011. The children will also bring home their portfolio which will display some of their class work from this year.

Our aim this year has been to develop as clear a process as possible for implementing the National Standards and sharing them with parents and children. Children receive information and feedback on how they are doing at school, specifically related to their next steps for learning. To read, write and do maths well the children have to show many different skills at various times of the year. To summarize children into a simple box that indicates whether they are well below, below, at or above - against a very wide standard - is quite tricky. The curriculum achievement report gives richer information about some specifics within the disciplines, as well as commenting on work, class conduct and study skills. The general comment concluding this report provides a brief commentary of how the children - have performed, what they have done well or struggled with, and what they may focus on next year.

In our view, at this stage, our visual presentation of the national standards, and the school report is the clearest way to inform you of how well your child is doing against firstly the national standard, and secondly the NZ curriculum. Most schools have struggled with the process around judging the national standard - it needs to be acknowledged that there are considerable flaws with the standards due to the skill set required to master and use effectively the 3 disciplines of reading and writing and maths. We have found that the standards and the curriculum are not truly aligned across the 8 years of primary school. This makes moderation between and across groups of children very difficult. It also makes moderating across schools to form a national standard extremely difficult. Generally, at best though the national standards provide a ‘snapshot’ position of your child within the disciplines of reading, writing and maths. The table format of the report (from well below to well above) reinforces this as well.


Class placement notices will be coming home this Friday. We have some final modifications to make at this stage but we are well advanced in the process. Generally, no changes can be made after placement notices are sent out. Any concerns should be directed to me (Y7-8), Matt Skilton (Y3-6) and Maureen Buckley (Y1-2), not to classroom teachers.

It is always a juggling act to fit 400 children into classes. One change can have significant ramifications for many other children's placements. Moving children after the placements have been made is only possible in exceptional circumstances and only after I have considered all the implications from talking to the teachers concerned. Only social or emotional reasons will be considered in a move. We take the process very seriously and I’m confident that you will all be happy with the result!

With a starting roll in 2011 of 404 (375 this year) we essentially will be running an extra class through the year! Muritai will start with 18 classrooms and grow to 20 through the year. I commented last week about forming classes and again there has been some movement this week with new enrolments coming in daily. However in establishing classes - we have had take into account -

  • the expected children (46) coming to Muritai through the year.
  • the need to have learning spaces available for these children.
  • the available additional funds to pay teachers required to be in front of these classes.
  • the fact that year groups do not fit nicely into small groups of even sizes, with a number of bulges in year groups and gender imbalances. So some give and take HAS to be accepted.
  • our geography, with a split site, also prohibits even classes.

The Ministry funds the school on the following ratios - 1 teacher to 15 children for new entrants, 1 teacher to 23 in years 1-3 and at 1 teacher to 29 at year 4-8. In addition to this, due to our decile rating and extremely high student achievement performance, the school receives limited funding for learning support, reading recovery and extension programmes – this has to be allocated out of operational funds. What the school is able to provide in 2011 is class sizes of 18-23 in year 1-4 and 22-25 in year 5-6 and 27-29 in year 7-8. At the same time the Board is committing all parent donation funds to additional teaching resources and not into the general running of the school.

So the 2011 line up looks like this –
3 year 7-8 classes of 28 - Stephen Eames, Kirsten Berry, Raihania Chadwick
2 year 6 classes of 22 - Stu Devenport, Peter Hull,
2 year 5 classes of 25 - Lisa Allen, Melissa Coton
3 year 4 classes of 20 - Richard Dobson, Karen Chao, Hayden Ray
2 year 3 classes of 23 - Jess Savage, Pippa Grant
2 year 2 classes of 21 - Karen Jones/Morag Roberts, Annabel Capper,

1 year 1-2 class of 21 - Sheena Naik
2 year 1 classes of 21 - Barbara Ryan, Sally Ingram,
3 new entrant classes starting with Maureen Buckley; Margs-Mills Smith (term 2)

What is on in the last 8 school days -

9th – Y0-2 Xmas concert; Y5-6 triathlon; 2011 Y5-6 camp meeting; Y7 at Mt Holdsworth;
10th – Y5-6 at Days Bay; Class lists/ Portfolios/ Reports go home
13th - Children visiting new classes (Pippa and Melissa are here); Thank you parent morning tea; BOT mtg
15th – Year 8 Formal dinner
16th - Year 3-6 Xmas Concert
17th – Final assembly (11.00) and last day. School finishes at 1.00.

EOTC week

Over the last fortnight the children have been out and about enjoying things in their local communities. We have relied on parent support to help us get through and we really appreciate this. The kids appear to have had a wonderful time.

On Monday 13th staff will be hosting a 'thank you parents' morning tea at 10.30 in the hall - all parents welcome.


Many people like to attend our final school assembly where we farewell people leaving the Muritai family. This will be at 11.00 on Friday 17th.


School finishes at 1.00 next Friday the 17th December. Our after school care team will supervise a 'movie' in the library until 2.30 for after school care children (or any casuals that need care next Friday).


It is finals day this Friday and we have -

  • 3 teams playing for 1st place - the Storm, the Eagles, the Sharks
  • 1 teams playing for 3-4 place - the Vipers,
  • 1 team playing for 5-6 place - the Bears

Sadly the year 7-8 teams - the Rockets, the Flyers, the Hurricanes have had to default due to Abel Tasman and Mt Holdsworth trips.

All teams have had great parental support through coaching, cheerleading and transport. Thank you to Mr Hull for his coordination of this terms touch rugby.


Our after school team are running holiday programmes until Christmas Eve and again from January 17th - February 1st. Details are in the Noticeboard' section of our website click here or email Cath at


This is on this SUNDAY 12th December. Starting at 4.30 with the Community Christmas Carols in the Muritai School Hall and at 5.00-8.00 there are Eastbourne Village Market Stalls and Entertainments in Rimu St (rain or shine) - plus buskers, music, mechanical bull (donated by Bruce Mills 2000 Ltd) and more stalls than ever before.


Karen Brown's amazing Christmas House is open again this Saturday 11th December (2pm -9pm) at 2 Waeranga Rd, Days Bay (just up the hill - please park on the waterfront). Come and enjoy the Christmas House with its wonderful array of decoration, and the very large Christmas tree wit decorations that have been collected from all over the world. The kids (and adults) will love it. Entry is gold coin donation for charity.

Friday 3 December

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents / Caregivers

We welcome our new arrivals to Muritai School - George Walker, Pania Rolfe, Kieran Kerr, Barney Cass and Lily Heath (all room 16). I am sure your time here at Muritai will be enjoyable, enriching and full of fun. Lily is our 100th new enrolment this year!

What a fantastic day on Sunday. The weather was just wonderful and there were some tired and sunburnt faces that rolled into school on Monday morning. It appears that we have raised in excess of $50,000 for our school library, which is a stunning achievement. It was so neat to see the parent and children community out and about working together to make the day such a success.

It is time to regroup and thank our wonderful team for making the day happen – Penny Stock and Julie Parker who along with a wonderful support crew have worked tirelessly through the last 3 terms to make sure everything was in place. Thanks also to our wonderful Sue and Carole at the front desk who continue to manage things in a smooth and efficient way.

Along with the organizing team, many of you put your hands up to go the extra mile on Saturday and Sunday and support the team and school to make it such a success. It was a great day for the school and very productive

We have finalised our class structures for 2011. With a starting roll in 2011 of 401 (375 this year) we essentially will be running an extra class through the year! Muritai will start with 18 classrooms and grow to 20 through the year. However in establishing classes - the year groups do not fit nicely into small groups of even sizes, with a number of 'bulges' in year groups and gender imbalances. We have had to plan for the expected children coming in and also the need to have learning spaces available. Our geography, with a split site, also prohibits even classes. These are real issues that the Board quietly confronts and tries to resolve as best it can for the benefit of student achievement.

Muritai School uses the parent donation to fund additional teaching resources. Most of this donation is used to provide smaller classes. The school also provides a strong learning support programme through Sarah Richardson, a reading recovery programme for 6 year old children through Karen Jones and various extension and remedial programmes provided through additional teachers and teacher aides. At the same time the school is confronted by a shrinking funding source as costs go up (specifically wages) against a relatively static operational funding source.

The Ministry funds the school on the following ratios - 1 teacher to 15 children for new entrants, 1 teacher to 23 in years 1-3 and at 1 teacher to 29 at year 4-8. In addition to this, due to our decile rating and extremely high student achievement performance, the school receives limited funding for learning support, reading recovery and extension programmes – this has to be allocated out of operational funds.

What the school is able to provide in 2011 is class sizes of 18-22 in year 1-4 and 23-24 in year 5-6 and 27-28 in year 7-8. At the same time the Board is committing all parent donation funds to additional teaching resources and not into the general running of the school.

So the 2011 line up looks like this –
3 year 7-8 classes of 28 - Stephen Eames, Kirsten Berry, Raihania Chadwick
2 year 6 classes of 23-24 - Stu Devenport, Peter Hull,
2 year 5 classes of 23-24 - Lisa Allen, Melissa Coton
3 year 4 classes of 20 - Richard Dobson, Karen Chao, Hayden Ray
2 year 3 classes of 23 - Jess Savage, Pippa Grant
3 year 2 classes of 21 - Karen Jones/Morag Roberts, Annabel Capper, Sheena Naik
2 year 1 classes of 21 - Barbara Ryan, Sally Ingram,
3 new entrant classes starting with Maureen Buckley; Margs-Mills Smith (term 2)

Please note that Hayley Skilton will be taking a year’s leave from early in the year for 2011.

These will be coming out next Friday 10th December. We have used our parent information and teacher observation throughout the year to form classes that look as though they will be very successful. There will be some changes for some children as we look to expand their friendship groupings and make sure that the classes are even and have a workable dynamic about them. Generally there are limited surprises and lots of fresh starts and opportunities. If I may ask that you be supportive of the school through this process. What may seem as a disappointment to some children needs to also be seen as an opportunity for them. They have all been placed with lovely children and excellent teachers. Fresh starts are often the best and with a positive attitude nothing should stand in the way of the children having another successful year at Muritai.

On Monday 13th children will have a chance to spend some time in their new class with their new teacher - Pippa Grant and Melissa Coton will be here at Muritai on that day.

Our children will be out of Eastbourne over the next week or so as part of their EOTC weeks. We wish our year 8 group well for their week at the Abel Tasman next week. Year 7 are off to Matiu/Somes Island next Tuesday and Mt Holdsworth next Thursday/ Friday. Year 5-6 are pottering around Wellington next week with a trip to Masterton next Wednesday and the triathlon next Thursday. Year 3-4 have had their mini carnival to raise money for Orphans of Nepal, are at the zoo today and a walk to Butterfly Creek next Thursday. The year 1 and 2 group have been busy this week with Zebong the storyteller this Monday, Capital E on Tuesday and a trip to Avalon park.

The Central Zone athletics meet was a huge success on Tuesday the 23rd of November. Along with the 7 schools attending the event, a film crew shared the field with us, adding to the excitement. Muritai did very well, having 12 students get through to the Inter-Zone event. A special thanks to the parents who turned out to support the athletes.

Through to Inter-Zone:

Hillary Sheridan – Vortex; Xavier Manson – Vortex; Emeline Gray – Shot Put; Beth Brodie – Long Jump; Milly Griffiths – Long Jump; Ben Grenfell – Long Jump; Frankie Middleton – Long Jump; Caleb Hewson – Long Jump and Sprints; Rupert McRae – Long Jump; Elliott Hawes – Discus; Piri Bradshaw – High Jump; Mathieson Lamb – High Jump

The Inter-Zone athletics was held on the 30 November at the Petone Rec. Central Zone did very well (results out soon) as well as Muritai having two students coming first place in their event:

• Caleb Hewson came first place in Year 6 sprints
• Ben Grenfell came first place in long jump.

Well done to all athletes, you represented Muritai and Central Zone very well. Again, a special thanks to the support we had from parents who helped with transport and encouraging the athletes.

Term 1 - Wed 2 February - Friday 15 April
Term 2 - Monday 2 May - Friday 15 July
Term 3 - Monday 1 August - Friday 7 October
Term 4 - Tuesday 25 October - Friday 16 December

3rd - School assembly ; Year 3-4 Zoo
5th – Y8 at Abel Tasman
7th - Y7 to Matiu/Somes Island; Y5-6 to Masterton;
8th – Y7 - Hangdog climbing
9th – Y0-2 Xmas concert; Y5-6 triathlon; 2011 Y5-6 camp meeting; Y7 at Mt Holdsworth;
10th – Y5-6 at Days Bay; Class lists/ Portfolios/ Reports go home
13th - Children visiting new classes (new teachers); Thank you parent morning tea; BOT mtg
15th – Year 8 Formal dinner
16th - Year 3-6 Xmas Concert
17th – Final assembly and last day. School finishes at 1.00.

On Monday staff will be hosting a 'thank you parents' morning tea at 10.30 in the hall - all parents welcome.

It is always nice to see our ex-students doing well at Secondary School. Recently at the Wellington Young sportsperson of the year award Rachel McJorrow was awarded the female underwater hockey player of the year award, while Anita Trudgen was awarded the female yachtsperson of the year award. Emily Stotter was a finalist in the football category. Rachel, Anita and Emily, along with Stella Beck (basketball) and Rory McJorrow (waterpolo) have all represented New Zealand this year at age group level.

Carnival Deli Store
A huge thank you to all of you that helped with the Deli store items, it really was a great day and our produce was exceptionally delicious!If you missed out and wanted to get some chutneys we still have some left to sell, these are great Christmas gifts. Prices: $4.50 for 1 jar, or $16 for 4:Tomato relish, Old Fashioned Tomato Sauce (better than Watties), Lemon and Green Chilli Chutney, Spicy Beetroot Chutney, Ginger and Beetroot Chutney, Lemon Ginger and Chilli Chutney, Pumpkin and Ginger Pickle, Nigella's Xmas Apple Chutney, Spiced Orange Slices, Marmalade, Carrot Cardamom and Orange Jam and Banana and Brandy Jam.Send me an email or call and I will get them to you asap!
Regards Mandy

Some of our Year 2 children have been taking lessons with Jan Avison on a weekly basis. Recently ten of them took exams with the results as follows:-

Distinction - Evie Richardson and Rachel Vass
Highly Commended - Rufus Rusholme-Cobb, Sophia Cave, Scott Langridge, Hugo Blair, Mika Simnett
Commended - Lea Pummer Ruby Wells Sophie Van Rooyen

Piano Lessons with Vanessa Tindle (ATCL, BSc, dipTchg) If you would like your child to have private piano tuition with Vanessa at school next year, now is the time to put your name down on a waiting list. All enquiries are welcome. Please phone Vanessa directly to discuss. Ph 562 7663.

Youth Worker Trust
Karen Sisson, from The Eastbourne Youtb Worker Trust has designed a tea towel and cards (set of 10) to raise money for the Eastbourne Youth Worker Trust. This raises money to provide the Friday Night Youth Group and funds a Youth Worker for Eastbourne young people.
The tea towels and cards are $10 each and available from Karen or at Harcourts, Rimu St.

Helen O'Grady Drama - Holiday Programme January 2011 Wellington
The Helen O'Grady Drama Academy, Wellington, presents Holiday Stage School for 8 - 14 year olds in the theatrical disciplines of singing, movement and drama; Commences Tuesday 25th January to Friday 28th January 2011; Limited spaces available. Explore performance in a fun way. Contact Denise Wakem 04 388 9710 or email

Wednesday 17 November

Tena koutou te whānau o te kura Muritai.

Dear Parents / Caregivers of Muritai School

This week we welcome to the Muritai School family, James Hadfield (R23), Grace Manson (R4), Alistair Curtis-Walcott (R13), Shona Curtis-Walcott (R15), Fionn Theobald, Max Bird, Orlagh Riden, Daniel and Tom Brownsword (all room 16).

On Tuesday 9th November Room 16 and Years 1 and 2 participated in the annual junior athletics day. We were very fortunate to have fantastic weather, which along with the children’s wonderful attitudes towards having a go, made the day a great success.

Special congratulations need to go to all those students who placed in the top three for each event and to the parents who came to cheer the kids on. The athletics competition was finished off with class relays with room 4 taking the year 1 title and room 6 winning the year 2 race. Certificates for all first place getters will be presented at tomorrows assembly.

Last Thursday the 11th November our Year 3-8 students competed at our schools senior athletics competition at Petone Rec. The day was a wonderful success as we were able to host all the activities in the one area and provide all the children with the opportunity to experience being part of an authentic athletics meet. Special thanks needs to go to the Lower Hutt Athletics Club for lending us their equipment. Also congratulations to our relay winners this year:

• Winners of the Y3/4 class relay = Room 8

• Winners of the Year 5/6 class relay = Room 14

• Winners of the Year 7/8 class relay = Room 22

• Winners of the House Relay = Cook

The results from the day are being used to select a Muritai School team to represent us at the upcoming southern zone athletics meet on Tuesday 23rd November. (Certificates for all first place getters will be presented at tomorrow's assembly).

As we approach the end of the year our staff remains stable for 2011. We say farewell to twovery valuable staff members, Vita Collier and Holly Edwards, who will both be in the UK for 2011. Vita will be joining her partner Dan who is currently in the UK as a Ph.D candidate at Oxford University. Holly, and her fiance James, are returning to Edinburgh to get married and settle back around their families and friends.

This creates two opportunities for new staff and we have appointed Melissa Coton to year 5 and Pippa Grant to year 3 at Muritai School. Melissa worked in room 15 earlier this year and was a popular and well respected trainee teacher performing exceptionally well. Pippa, is a 'Wellington girl' who has just returned to NZ from working at an International School in Japan. Both Melissa and Pippa are terrific additions to our school.

Congratulations to Craig Griffiths who was the only candidate to stand at the recent Board elections and has been duly elected. Craig stood for the 3 year term and is elected until 2013. The Board will have a newsletter out shortly.

With just over a week to go Julie, Penny and the organising team of the carnival need to be congratulated for their wonderful dedication and hard work to put this year's carnival together. It looks as though it will be a fabulous day and we too need to support it to help make it as successful as ever. As always they are looking for helpers and you can access the carnival website to find details as to how you can play your part.

Our kapa haka roopu had their first performance trip this week performing at Maungaraki School. I felt very privileged to see this - and their performance will be on Muritai TV shortly. They were excellent and full credit to the team and Mr Chadwick for their hard work. They have a big week next week with a powhiri on Monday, at Days Bay wharf to powhiri Newlands College children with special needs on Tuesday, visiting Days Bay playcentre on Wednesday and opening the carnival on Sunday. I am sure they will perform with disctinction.

Staff are putting the finishing touches to their plans for the EOTC weeks. These will be in week 8 for year 1-2; week 9 for year 3-7 with the year 8 group heading to Abel Tasman on Sunday the 5th December. Team leaders will share details shortly and identify ways that you can be part of these fun events.

The Disco was once again a great hit with the students. This year the Home and School Committee sold extra glow bracelets, finger lights and flashing rings together with mini chocolate bars and juice. Children were glowing and had a great time!

As we go forward onto next year's event we need to reinforce that children need to be picked up from the school disco. Parent helpers and supervising staff feel the risk is too great to release children at night time, some as young as 6, to walk home or make their way to the Lifeboat Tavern, where their parents are waiting for them.

Huge thanks to our Home and School team who organized and ran the disco and to the parent and teacher volunteers who helped out on the night.

Room 1 and Room 16 New Entrants will be having their photos taken on Wednesday 24 November. If your child is in either of these classrooms and you would like to receive a class or individual photo, please complete the form sent out recently and return to the office by Monday 22 November. Extra forms are available from the office.


19th – School assembly
23rd – Y5-6 Zone athletics
24th – Starting school at 5/ New Entrant Photos
28th – Eastbourne Village Carnival
29th – Y0-2 EOTC week

3rd - School assembly
5th – Y8 at Abel Tasman
6th – Y3-7 EOTC week
7th – Y7 at Mt Holdsworth; BoT meeting
9th – Y0-2 Xmas concert
10th – Class lists/ Portfolios/ Reports go home
15th – Year 8 Formal dinner
16th - Year 3-6 Xmas Concert
17th – Final assembly and last day. School finishes at 1.00.

Stationery packs for next year are available for purchase via the school office. Forms have been sent out with all children and are due back in the office by Friday 26 November. These packs include good quality items at very reasonable prices. The school orders them at the end of this year with packs being delivered to children's classrooms ready for their first day back in 2011. One less thing for you to worry about buying over the Christmas holiday period!

Touch Rugby Wellington Reps Teams
Congratulations to Iman and Cahon Holden and to Ryan Sheridan who have recently been selected to the Wellington Reps Touch Rugby Teams. Iman will be playing for the Under 15's and Cahon and Ryan  for the Under 13's. Well done!

Eastbourne Swimclub registration night is tonight - Thursday 18 November, 5.00-6.30pm. $25 per swimmer for 2010/11 season (Thursdays term 4 and term 1, excl school hols). Swimming lessons for 5 year olds up, in a relaxed, social environment. Free swim on registration night. Contacts: Hayley Crawford 5627729; Meg Moffat 5626339; Karen Wilson 5682624

Strummer and Drummers
Steve Wren currently teaches Muritai students drums and guitar during school time. He will have vacancies next year for beginner music pupils. Any parents that are interested in their children taking up drum kit or guitar should email Steve at for more details.

Wednesday 3 November

Tena koutou te whānau o te kura Muritai.

Dear Parents / Caregivers of Muritai School

This week we welcome Seren Lewis to Room 16 and the Muritai School family.

From the Principals desk...

Next week we reach the mid point of term 4. Time is certainly flying by and as the weather is warming up, the school gears up for a strong finish.

The school is calm and focussed at the moment and in my travels around the school I see many wonderful things that the children are up to. Many of these things are posted on the classroom blogs, especially the use of experts to work with the children - some examples of this are the visit in year 7-8 by Jason from Industrial Research - view here - working with the children on 'Future Thinking'. Also year 3-4 had guest speakers Ross and Kathleen talk about life in Nepal - view here, as well as making animations showing how the Himalayas were formed - click here. Very interesting stuff as the children get well into their inquiry learning and do many things in different ways.

Last newsletter I commented on sharing your plans for 2011 if you are not returning. We think we have everyone covered going forward at this stage but please let us know if your circumstances change. In addition to this I encourage you to meet with your teacher if you would like to discuss any aspect of your child's achievements at any stage. There is no formal interview this term BUT teachers are always available to meet with you to give you feedback on student progress.

Like the teachers I also keep a blog. My latest posting may interest you as Sir Ken Robinson, an advocate for creativity in education, speaks on 'Changing Paradigms of Education', and inadvertently puts some of New Zealand's recent educational policy against a global context, (not in a positive way). It is very interesting and the amazing animation makes it a very easy watch. His message is very relevant to the challenges facing schools today. Click here to view.

I hope you have all read the recent Board newsletter. Some things to remember are:-

  1. Board election nominations for the 3 available positions close this Friday.
  2. School survey closes this Friday - we have had 98 surveys so far - that is a 35% return rate.   Click here to complete the survey.
  3. School donations - Muritai has 3 extra teachers in place funded by the parents school donation to ensure class sizes are smallish. Currently we are short of our budgeted figure for the year. A reminder that the donation carries a tax rebate of 33%.
  4. Make sure you are playing a role at the Carnival and supporting the team.

Thur 4 Nov - Y0-2 visit to Ballet
Fri 5 Nov - School Assembly - 1.45
Tue 9 Nov - Y0-2 Athletics at Muritai School
Thur 11 Nov - Y3-8 Athletics at Petone Rec (postponement is Monday 15 November)
Fri 12 Nov - School Disco
Tues 16 Nov - BoT meeting
Fri 19 Nov - School assembly 1.45
Tues 23 Nov - Y5-6 Zone athletics
Wed 24 Nov - Starting school at 5 mtg 7.00
Mon 29 Nov - Fri 3 Dec - Y0-2 on EOTC week
Fri 3 Dec - School Assembly 1.45
Sun 5 Dec - Year 8 go to Abel Tasman
Mon 6 Dec - Fri 10 Dec - Year 3-6 EOTC week
Tues 7 Dec - BoT mtg - 7.00
Thurs 9 Dec - Year 5-6 Camp mtg for parents
Thurs 9 Dec - Y0-2 Xmas concert
Wed 15 Dec - Year 8 formal evening
Fri 17 - Final school assembly - school finishes at 1.00

Term dates for 2011
Term 1 - Wed 2 February - Friday 15 April
Term 2 - Monday 2 May - Friday 15 July
Term 3 - Monday 1 August - Friday 7 October
Term 4 - Tuesday 25 October - Friday 16 December

 POTATO GARDEN AND POET'S WALK (By Emma Beevers, Samantha Morphew and Georgia Barrand.)
In room 10 we are growing potatoes in car tyres. First we found a place to put the tyres, [we are planting them near Room 2’s toilets.] Secondly we filled the inside of 2 tyres with soil and then put the potato seeds in. Then we covered the potatos with 5cm of compost, soil and lots of yucky stuff like: Rotten eggs, [shells]; plant seeds; baby worms and normal worms. When we are finished with the potatoes and they have grown high and strong we will have a Poet's Walk around the potato stacks when they are growing!

We are doing this because we want to make potato chips to eat in week 10! And also to make the school look like an even better Enviro school and to make it a more brighter and happier place for new entrants to be welcomed by!!!!

All our children are once again practising events for Athletics at the moment. Our junior sports will be at Muritai next Tuesday the 9th November and the year 3-8 sports will be held at Petone Rec on Thursday 11 November. Please note that children will travel to and from Petone Rec by bus and will need to wear appropriate clothing. If you are in the area, please take some time to come and cheer on your child/ren as they love to show their families what they can do.


It’s sleep, eat, breathe Carnival issues for the Committee and they really need our help. With just over 3 weeks to go to the big day we all need to get behind them and assist in any way we can. Please take time to read the notices posted in the school foyer or sent via e-mail.

Mandy Holmwood needs help with the Deli Store:-

Deli Store Update
Having just made some sweet smelling Lemon and Ginger Chutney and an outrageously delicious Carrot and Cardamom Jam, I am now off to buy aubergines for Brinjal Pickle and mint for Herb Chutney!!

How are yours going?? Need recipes or jars or any onions? Haven't heard from many people to date so would love to know what you are planning on making or have made. Call me, 5628102, for any of the above. Don't forget to add an item to the box at the school office for the Deli Raffle.

Happy cooking and thanks for your efforts.

Children have been making beautiful pieces of art to put on their calendars/diaries again this year. Order forms were sent out to all families recently. Please ensure that a separate order form and payment is made for each child (not per family) - it makes our ordering so much easier. Orders need to be returned to classroom teachers by Friday 5 November.

Room 16 and Room 1 will be having photos taken on Wednesday 24 November. If you have a child in either of these rooms and would like to order a photo, please ensure your order forms are returned to the office by Monday 22 November.

Year 5/6 Zone Cricket Tournament:
Superb weather and superbly behaved Muritai children (with excellent cricketing skills) made for an outstanding Zone Cricket Tournament. The tournament was held at the Petone Rec on Tuesday the 2nd of November. Muritai entered 3 teams who were so fantastic that they managed to secure the 'fair play trophy'.

The 3 teams were:

Muritai Flame (Year 5 and 6 girls). The Flame won 1, lost 1 and had a bye.
Muritai Strikers (Year 6 'B grade' boys). The Strikers won 2 and had a bye. These boys also came first in their grade.
Muritai Shooters (Year 6 'A grade' boys). The Shooters won 2 games and lost 1 game. Their last game came down to the last ball!

Many thanks to the parents who helped transport and support the teams. And a huge thanks to the players who represented Muritai very well.

Representative Training Squads
Congratulations to Molly McFarlane, Tessa McFarlane, Jack Griffiths, Georgia Crawford, Kenzy Cooper and Clara Lafont. They have all been selected for various representative training squads for football from District to Regional Rep Sides.

New Zealand Cricket
New Zealand Women’s Cricket National Development Officer Sara McGlashan and Wellington Blaze and White Ferns cricketer Lucy Doolan have been taking the White Ferns Roadshow throughout the country over the past weeks.

The Roadshow visits Wellington schools on Thursday, followed by an open invitation gala event for all primary, intermediate and Year 9 and 10 girls at Rongotai College from 4.00pm-5.30pm. The Roadshow visits Hutt Valley schools on Friday with an open afternoon at the Hutt Recreation Ground from 4.00-5.30pm. Both gala events will have a bouncy castle, spot prizes and giveaways and a sausage sizzle to finish. If wet, alternate venues will be posted on the Cricket Wellington website.

Experienced babysitter available to help look after your children - 15 years old. Please give Millie Hooke a call on 562 7003.

26th October, 2010

Tena koutou te whānau o te kura Muritai.

Dear Parents / Caregivers of Muritai School
We welcome our new arrivals at Muritai School - Calvin McIntyre, Artemisia Walcott, Amelia Swift, Amelia Lomas, John Warman, Petra Tilley, Ben Drummond, Gala Montes de Oca, Elodie Bain, Abby McPhee (all in R 16), Florence Lander (R 1), Oliver Jones (R 3), Bruno Penney (R 5) and Tayla Rogers (Rm 23). Our roll has risen to over 400 for the first time this year and we are currently sitting at 412 with 17 more children to come. As we prepare for 2011 it is very helpful if you could let us know if your children are not returning to Muritai next year. Many have already done this and it all helps with budgeting and school structure as we try to plan ahead.

In term four, as well as children being engaged in learning programmes, teachers will be assessing and testing to gather information for the next steps for learning. These 'tests' are in reading, writing, spelling and maths and follow the testing completed in March. This information serves a number of purposes:
  1. It helps us to prepare for 2011 by identifying strengths and weaknesses in students' achievement.
  2. It helps inform the children/parents about how well the children are attaining and contributes to the portfolio and written report.
  3. It helps to contribute to the students' achievement against the National Standard
  4. It helps inform the BoT of school-wide student achievement trends
  5. It helps us understand how successful our teaching has been in relation to targets set at the beginning of the year and the learning needs of the children.
As we go forward through this term it is important to note that our reporting to parents will be in written form at the end of the year (report and portfolio). Many parents prefer face to face contact with the teacher and this is available as well. If you would like to meet with the teacher to discuss your child's progress please feel comfortable to contact them to make a time to meet across this term.

We hosted the Education Review Office last week. This is always an interesting experience, (a bit like a box of chocolates really!) - but the school received extremely positive feedback last Thursday about how the school is operating. The formal review will be published and available for the community before the end of the year.


Tomorrow some of the staff will be attending a teachers' union meeting at 1.30. We are well organised with cover and school will continue with business as usual.

We welcome Margs Mills-Smith into room 16 as our next new entrant class has begun. We also welcome Sally Ingram into this class later this term when the numbers of this class increase. Sally is an experienced NZ teacher who has just returned from teaching at Hillhouse International School in the UK. Next Friday is Mikaela Cody's last day before heading off on maternity leave. We wish her the best of luck on her next journey. Annabel Capper takes over in room 2. We are very happy to announce a new member of the Muritai family - Sarah Drinkwater safely delivered a baby girl - Paige. Mother and child all well, father coping OK.


Deli Store Update
Thank you to the parents who are going to join me in a chutney making frenzy! I have just whipped up 28 jars of Caramelised Onion Chutney and it is delicious and so easy!! Great with cheeses and meats. I'll barter the recipe for produce!!

How about asking in-laws, parents and friends to make up their old favourite chutneys, jams etc, as a contribution? We are always so grateful for these people who contribute. Remember that jars and lids are in the school office. I am off to buy some carrots for the Carrot and Cardamom Jam recipe a friend has given me to make!!

If anyone has some christmas fabric in reds and greens for the lids it would be greatly appreciated. Call 5628102. I will keep you updated on progress! Mandy

Carnival help required!

Still haven’t signed up for your job at the carnival – what are you waiting for?

We’ve made it easy – get online and go to this link: use the code ZRBGW and you will be able to book in for the job of your choice.

If we don’t have your name down on our list of volunteers already you can expect a phone call this week to discuss which job will suit you. The carnival may seem like weeks away but we need these jobs filled now! If you have family members or friends in the community that you think would like to help us out at the carnival please let us know. If you have any problems going online to book a job simply pop into the school office and make a booking there or contact Jo Salisbury at or phone 589 8090.

There are still plenty of jobs for both before and after the carnival such as pick up and delivery of tables or being part of the set up/clean up crew allowing you to enjoy the full day at the carnival. We also need someone to install signage around the carnival site which would be started on the Saturday and finished on Sunday morning. If you prefer being part of a fun team running a stall on the day, no prep work required, check out one of the many stall jobs on offer. We also still need one Santa – suit provided!

A huge thanks to all those parents who have already signed up for their carnival job. We really appreciate your support of this fundraising event.

Thank you to those that have responded. We have had 92 surveys completed so far which is about 33% of the school community. Obviously many families have more than one child at school but when we align the responses against the year groups of children we get the following information - Year 1 - 32 (out of 71 children) - 45%, Year 2 - 16 (out of 47 children) - 34%, Year 3 - 24 (out of 58 children) - 41%, Year 4 - 15 (out of 50 children) - 30%, Year 5 - 9 (out of 42 children) - 21%, Year 6 - 15 (out of 51 children) - 29%, Year 7 - 11 ( out of 48 children) - 23%, Year 8 - 9 (out of 33 children) - 27%,

Please make a contribution to our school survey - please tell us the things that you like as well as the things that you don't like - even if you think Muritai is the best school in the universe please make a contribution so the Board gets a reasonable response to work from. Click here to complete the survey.

Get glammed up and get your dancing shoes ready - the disco is on it's way! The home and school are organising this year's school disco on the 12th of November. It will be a great night that your kids won't want to miss out on, so put it in your diary now. More details to come closer to the date. If you are available to help with decorating the hall or supervising on the night please let us know. You can email Jo Salisbury at or call on 589 8090. We would love to hear from you.


Tue 26 Oct - Board of Trustees mtg 4.00 (staffroom)
Tue 26 Oct - Y0-2 Ballet workshops
Wed 27 Oct - Teacher's Union mtg 1.30 - school continues as normal

Fri 29 Oct - World Teachers Day
Tue 2 Nov - Y5-6 Zone cricket
Wed 3 Nov - Y7-8 Duathalon
Thur 4 Nov - Y0-2 visit to Ballet
Fri 5 Nov - School Assembly - 1.45
Tue 9 Nov - Y0-2 Athletics
Thur 11 Nov - Y3-8 Athletics at Petone Rec
Fri 12 Nov - School Disco
Fri 17 December - Last day of school year for 2010

Our wonderful After School Care team are wondering about the demand for running a programme in the week before Christmas from Monday 20th December to Thursday 23rd December. If you have an interest in this and it suits your family then contact manager Cath Barker by phone at 562 7718 after 3pm or
by clicking here.

The recent earthquakes in Canterbury is a reminder to us all to be better prepared in our own community. The school is Eastbourne's Civil Defence Centre and we keep supplies of canned food in the event of any disaster. We need to ensure that we replenish our supplies and would ask that each child please bring the following:-

Y7-8 Can of baked beans
Y5-6 Can of spaghetti
Y3-4 Can of fruit
Y1-2 Can of baked beans

Congratulations to Kia Jewell who has been selected by the Royal NZ Ballet to perform in the current production of The Nutcracker. Just reward for some very hard work and dedication - well done Kia.

The Otago Problem Solving exam is sat by all our Year 6 - 8 children. Results for this year are as follows:-

Merit - Matthias Goble, Kieran Cotter, Rose Barrett, Hailey Griffiths, Daisy Statham, Liam Abercrombie, Isaac Ulusele, Kieran Redpath, Casper Tilley, Sean McElwain-Wilson, Finn Janssens, Liam Brandwood, Sam Mitchell, Caleb Anderson, Jordy Lloyd, Mia Harrey, Eva Poland, Maddy Hesketh, Zoe Lovell-Smith, Finn Small, Finnegan Fahey, Lucien Beck

Excellence - Marit Bruhn, Molly Statham, McLeod Harrison, Meg Sykes, Hazel Sisson, Georgia Crawford, Nick Bielby, Kenzy Cooper, Grayden O'Connor, Jessica Woodnorth

Jessica Woodnorth scored 22 out of 25 and as 'school champion' receives a book voucher for her achievement. Well done to all the children who participated.

ICAS exams are optional for Year 4 - 8 students.

ENGLISH - Overall the children received 1 high distinction, 7 distinctions and 15 credits. Results for the ICAS English exam recently sat are as follows:-
High Distinction - Henry Broadbent
Distinction - Kieran Cotter, Caleb Hewson, Abby Barclay, Finn Janssens, Eva Poland, Hazel Sisson, Sofija Cvitanovich

Credit - Harry Crawford, Emma Kelly, Margarita Montes de Oca, Amy O'Shannessy, Liam Abercrombie, Matthew Anderson, Matthias Goble, Ryan Skene, Marit Bruhn, Thomas Fraser, Mackenzie Gordon, Ryan Buchanan, Finnegan Fahey, Jessica Woodnorth,

MATHS - Overall the children received 8 distinctions and 13 credits. Results for the ICAS Maths exam recently sat are as follows:-
Distinction - Lauren Redpath, Ella Tait, Harry Crawford, Ryan Skene, Hazel Sisson, Kenzy Cooper, Georgia Crawford, Jessica Woodnorth
Credit - Ruby Brandwood, Amy O'Shannessy, Matthew Sutcliffe, Liam Abercrombie, Matty Goble, Isaac Ulusele, Lucy Williams, Annie Brodie, Mia Harrey, Nick Bielby, Finnegan Fahey, Zoe Lovell-Smith, Grayden O'Connor

Year 7-8 Golf
We would like to thank Pelorus Trust and Shandon Golf Club for creating an opportunity for 15 of our year 7 and 8 students to receive coaching on Tuesday afternoons.

The year 7 and 8 Girl's Tennis team played last week in the Hutt Valley Primary School Championships. Kenzy Cooper came 7th. The boys play today.

Touch Rugby
We have 80 children enrolled in 8 teams and competition begins this Friday at Hutt Park.

Recently at school we switched our IT provider to a local company SOLVED!. Run by one of our parents, Suzanne Levy, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Suzanne for her recent efforts. If you need IT support at home give her a call. Click here for contact details.

Carters Kids Gone Fishing Day
Carter would like to invite you and your kids to a fun filled day of fishing! When: Saturday 30 October (Rainy day Sunday 31 October). Time: 9am to 12pm. Prizegiving at noon! Where: Queens Wharf (Outer T - by helipad). Free sausage sizzle and drinks, Heaps of spot prizes, Meet Carters Fishing Guru Graeme Sinclair, Fun prizes for best and strangest fish.

Bait and hand lines available. Bring along your own rod and don't forget sunscreen! Register at your local Carters Branch or by phoning Megan on 238 0541 or email Great FREE day out with your kids. Bring the whole family.

Midvalley Athletic Club meets on Monday evenings from 5.30 to 7pm. Ages 4 - 14 years. If you are interested in joining or finding out more, call Rachel Evans on 589 2089 or 021 144 3049.

Families needing accommodation in Eastbourne
My inbox has received enquiries from a family wanting to shift to Eastbourne and looking to rent a 3 bedroom house. If you can help please
phone 021 114 9790 or email Carol Hocking.