May 19 2010

Tena koutou te whānau o te kura Muritai

Welcome to Tilly Potter (R6) and Myles Caughley (R1) who have joined the Muritai family recently. Congratulations to Vanessa and Glen MacPherson who have expanded their family following the safe arrival of their son Hadleigh MacPherson. Hadleigh was born last week. Mother, father and child doing very well. Great news!

Our 'new' Board had its first meeting on Monday with Krista Huber elected as chairperson unopposed. A very positive first meeting and there will be a BoT newsletter posted shortly.
Assembly is this Friday at 1.40. There are lots on display, especially from the TGIF programme from year 5-6.

Parent to do list -
  • Return the last few entertainment books (immediately)
  • Return the photo envelopes by May 28
  • Search under beds for missing Muritai School junior readers
  • Organic solutions for ridding white butterfly for cabbages room 8!
Dates / Upcoming events

Fri 21st May - Assembly 1.40
Sat 22/ Sun 23
May - Forty Hour Famine
Mon 24th May - Young Leaders Day (Year 8 students)
Wed 26th May - Year 4-6 Zone cross country and next newsletter out.
Fri 28th May - Junior School - Heart Jam (gold coin donation).
Wed 2nd June - Starting school at 5 mtg - 7.00
Fri 4th June - Visiting performers - Jungle Bungle - year 1-6;
Mon 7th June - Queen's Birthday (school closed)
Tues 8th June - Year 4-6 INTER Zone cross country; Muritai hosting Enviroschools hui
Wed 9th June - ICAS Science exam (Y4-8)
Fri 11th June - School assembly 1.40

We are so impressed by the state of the year 3 and 4 garden and thank you to everybody for not ruining or destroying the children's learning - we are very lucky out here in Eastbourne! For those of you who haven't seen it you can view the results so far at room 8's blog here. If you know how to 'organically' get rid of white butterflies eating cabbage please leave a comment on the blog. Room 8 would be very pleased and I can't wait to see 8 year olds eating cabbage......

We have raised $1300 from the sale of Entertainment Books to date, so a big thank you to everyone who has bought or sold books. If you feel you can sell any extra books, please see Carole or Sue in the office for additional copies. If you still have your book and would like to keep it, then please return the envelope to the office with payment or, alternatively, return the whole book.


News from the Carnival Team
The Eastbourne Carnival is ON! A fabulous Carnival team is already underway, so mark your calendars with the date. Sunday the 28th of November. As always, we will be needing help from the entire school community in order to make this a success. Thanks to all the people that have already put their hands up for jobs on the day! If you have not yet let anyone know, but would like to do your old Carnival job again, or alternatively saw a different job/stall you'd really enjoy doing this year, could you please email Julie Parker on Always difficult to commit to things 6 months in advance - but seeing as your calendar now says "CARNIVAL" on the 28th of November anyway, you might as well!

Jars for the Deli Store
The Deli Store are looking for more jars to put their yummy sauces, chutneys and pickles into. If you have any small jars with lids, preferably with their labels off, Mandy Holmwood would love to have them. You can drop them off at the office for pick up by Mandy.

The Muritai School whanau group will meet next Tuesday in the staffroom at 7.30.


Sadly this was postponed on Tuesday and is looking VERY unlikely to go ahead tomorrow. We are still determined to go ahead with the event but it is unlikely that it will operate in the whole school festival as per usual. It most probably will operate on a team by team basis. Details will be shared when decisions are made.

The Year 4/6 Zone Cross Country is next week on Wednesday 26 May. The teams will be selected before Monday and parents notified for transport accordingly.

Thank you to...
Eastbourne Lions for the apples for the children last week.
Margaret Sarginson, a long time supporter of Muritai School, who had a 'whip' around amongst her friends at the St Ronans sing a long and raised $220 for music instruments at Muritai School.
Our teacher trainees
- Sabe, Leah and Elizabeth who have given their all in their 6 weeks at Muritai. We have loved having you here and thrilled with the extra time and effort that you have made to make your teaching practices so successful.

This weekend is the 40 hour famine. Many of our children have chosen to be involved with this and you can see much of the detail of why they have chosen to do this excellent challenge by visiting here.

Many of our year 7-8 students are off to Wellington next Monday to attend the national Young Leaders Day. This excellent programme is about building leadership for the future. Confirmed speakers include Pero Cameron, Melissa Clark-Reynolds, Rob Harley, Nick Tuitasi and Dayna Vawdrey.
What a great opportunity for our young leaders of tomorrow. More details of the programme are here.


The Junior School are taking part in Heart Jam next Friday 28 May. Potentially it could be New Zealand's largest Aerobics class with schools taking part throughout New Zealand from 10 -10.30 am, to raise money for the Heart Children NZ’s appeal week, (Sunday 23 May – Saturday 29 May). It is designed to promote participation, discussion and foster a greater understanding of how heart conditions affect children.
“Heart Jam is all about kids helping kids,” says Heart Children NZ’s Event Manager Liz Beck. “It’s an excellent resource for schools, adding value to the school curriculum and of course it’s a lot of fun too. We’re extremely grateful to the staff and pupils of Muritai School for their energy and commitment to help children living with the daily challenges of a heart condition.” There are 12 babies born every week with a heart defect, that’s 600 additional children affected every year. An additional number of children will develop a heart condition often through rheumatic fever. For many it will be a lifelong challenge. Heart Children NZ is the only organisation dedicated to supporting these children and their families from birth through to adulthood and beyond. Pupils from Muritai's Junior School can bring a gold coin donation when they participate in Heart Jam. All monies raised will go directly to Heart Children’s Child & Youth services to support children in the community. For more information please visit here.


School photos are being taken on Wednesday 2 June. You should have received an envelopes with your child's name on showing all the different options. Please complete and return these to the office by Friday 28 May.

Our learning support teacher, Sarah Richardson has set up a 'sister blog' to her learning support blog that is specific to addressing issues with dyslexia. Click here to go to the blog. This will be of interest to the many parents whose children may find reading and writing particularly difficult and not easy to grow with. The blog will grow over time as Sarah publishes more tools to help people. Both blogs are excellent resources set up by Sarah to provide support for children who find learning a struggle through no fault of their own. Staff are working hard to improve our systems around dyslexia awareness and we are determined to be the first school in New Zealand to be recognised by 4D as a 'dyslexia friendly school'. Parents can find out about our plan by viewing our dyslexia awareness policy.

ART (click here for the School Art Blog)
The Year 5 and 6 students have been studying drawing self portraits. They have been focussing on tone and drawing what they see, not what they think they see. Come and see some of the wonderful self portraits they have drawn using pencil. We have set up a display in the school foyer and you can view room 14's on this slideshow.

.....some of our junior reading books. We are missing 118 readers from across our junior sets (which will cost $944 to replace). Consequently These may be under beds and or in bookcases and will be labelled with a colour and stamped Muritai School.

YEAR 7 IMMUNISATIONS - information session for parents.
The Health Nurses are holding a session on June 17 at 9.30 for year 7 parents in regards to the year 7 BOOSTRIX immunisations that are occurring next term. The vaccinations for children are on 9 August.

SPORT (click here for the school sport blog)

Congratulations to a two of our students who have recently won
cups for sailing. Harry Quinn won ‘1st on Championship and 1st on Handicap’ for the Muritai Yacht Club 2009-10 season for the Optimist B sailors.
Moss Grenfell came 7th in the 2010 NZIODA National Championship for the Green Fleet held in Whitianga at Easter. Our Muritai sailors continually show enormous amounts of resilience, talent and adventure. Well done Harry and Moss.

Hutt Valley Basketball run a program every Thursday night for Y5/6 Basketball. The Muritai Monsters Year 6 boys won their game 26 - 12 over Eastern Hutt recently. Hutt Valley Basketball Association are holding trials for U13 Boys and Girls on Saturday 22 May, 4 to 6pm at the Walter Nash Stadium.

Year 5 and 6 Zone Soccer
The Year 5 and 6 Zone Soccer Tournament held at Sladden Park on Tuesday the 11th of May was awesome! The weather was spot on and the pitch was nice and green! Muritai had 5 very enthusiastic teams, here's how they did...
  • Muritai Storm - 11th place in the boys 'A' grade. The storm were not meant to be in this grade but were placed there to make up team numbers. These players did so well.
  • Muritai Lizards - 4th place in the boys 'A' grade. What a star team these players were! So eager and very skillful!
  • Muritai Bears - 4th in the boys 'B' grade. These guys went right through their games undefeated! They had so many draws! Well done!
  • Muritai Eagles - 1st place in the boys 'B' grade! These guys were awesome! They just played so passionately! It paid off too! They also went through undefeated.
  • Muritai Candy Canes - 6th place in the girls 'A' grade. These girls were having so much fun and a lot of skill was involved! Amazing players!!
A very special thanks to the players and to the parent support. Again, without the parents we just could not do these activities, thank you so much for your time and effort! Check out the photos.....


Toy Library - New members sought and Part-time Position

Are you new to the Eastbourne area? Or perhaps you have recently welcomed a new infant into your household? Eastbourne Toy Library is looking for new members. We specialise in toys for pre-schoolers and offer a wide selection of puzzles, games and indoor and outdoor toys for borrowing. Annual family membership fee is from $60. Come along to our Thursday session (8.00-9.00pm at St Ronan's Church during school terms) to see what we offer or phone Susan Robertson for more information (ph 586 0303 in evenings).
Eastbourne Toy Library has an immediate vacancy for a toy librarian for its Friday session. 2 hours per week (school terms only), including Friday 9.00 - 10.30am. $15 per hour. If you are a parent or caregiver, you are welcome to have your pre-school children accompany you. Phone Susan 586 0303 (evenings).

Swiss Ball Class for Beginners

New class starting soon on Tuesdays at 9am. Contact Lynne Plimmer 562 8889.

Piano Lessons with Vanessa Tindle (ATCL, BSc, dipTchg)

Vanessa currently teaches at school on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Next term she will be at school on Thursdays also. If you would like your son or daughter to learn piano with Vanessa please contact her directly to discuss. Ph 562 7663.

Heatpumps for schools
Wasabi Air are Wellington based installers of Fujitsu heat pumps. They are currently running a promotion for schools in wellington area that for every 20 Fujitsu heat pumps sold to friends and family of the school they will provide and install one free heat pump for the school.
If you want to check out the finer points of the deal call Nathan at 0800 492722 or visit

May 4th, 2010

Tena koutou te whānau o te kura Muritai

I trust the month of May finds you all in good heart as the winter months fast approach us. Winter sports are well underway with our netball teams having their grading games last weekend and the cross country event at Williams Park under a fortnight away.

We are well and truly into the 21st century because we now have EFTPOS installed in the school office to make it easier for parents and the community to pay for activity fees, donations, stationery packs, etc. This means that you now have the option of making payments to the school through your on-line banking, eftpos, cheque or cash. Details for on-line banking can be accessed here through payment details.

Entertainment books returned by Friday.

Dates / Upcoming events

Monday 10 May
Home and School AGM
Tuesday 11 May
Year 5-6 zone soccer and Year 7-8 at Carter Observatory
Wednesday 12 May
Year 7-8 Zone cross-country
Monday 17th May
BoT mtg 7.00
Tuesday 18th May
Cross-country; Eastbourne Carnival team meeting
Friday 21st May Assembly 1.40
Sat 22/ Sun 23
May Forty Hour Famine
Monday 24th May Young Leaders Day (All year 8 students)
Wednesday 26th Year 4-6 Zone cross country and next newsletter out.


Congratulations to Olivia Paterson, Arini Poutu and Stuart Stock who have been elected to the Board of Trustees. With just 3 nominations there was no need for an election. Olivia, Arini and Stuart join Krista Huber, Peter Schroder, Lisa Allen (staff) and myself to form the Muritai BoT until the next mid term election in 18 months.

Recently we had the final board meeting for the outgoing Board of Trustees and I have been reflecting on the work of the Board over the last 3 years. Working with our Board has been a very productive, supportive and entertaining experience and I am very grateful to the members of the Board for the dedication and enthusiasm that they have all brought to the role. Highlights of this Board have included some very successful building projects, a full review of all school policies, working through strategic development to form our School Charter, the implementation and the introduction of our new curriculum and building a new understanding of the National Standards.

I take this opportunity to thank two of our current Board members who have recently stepped down : Steve Bielby and Sharon Wilson. Steve has been a Board member since 12 May 2004 and was elected chairperson the following year. Steve has been an outstanding leader of the Board and the I thank him for his commitment to the governance role during this time. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sharon Wilson for her work and strong support during her time on the Board, particularly work around health and safety and surveying the community.

PARENT INFORMATION - Charter, Annual report etc
Recently, as a Board, we signed off on key 2010 documentation for the community and the Ministry of Education. You can find all this information by clicking here. Information available on this page forms the basis of our strategic planning documents such as 2010 Charter; 2009 Annual report; 2009 Community survey summary; 2009 Student target achievement report.

As always if you have any queries about your child's learning please check in with the class teacher. Matt Skilton is continuing to
update his blog that shares information on how Muritai will meet government expectations with National Standards. We have a lot of interest from others, especially the Ministry of Education, about the path we are taking and it is nice to receive the praise about managing something potentially as tricky as this. This year written reports will be issued on Friday 25 June. Teacher / parent interviews are the following week where portfolios and work samples will guide information sharing about your child's National Standard level and what their next learning step will be.

The Carnival team met last week and the organizing team looks strong. Julie Parker and Penny Stock will be coordinating the carnival this year. All key roles have been filled and the respective leaders will be looking out for people to commit to being part of the best little carnival in Wellington. There has been a strong mandate to keep the carnival similar to previous years so most of you will know what lies ahead...many hands make light work! The date is confirmed for the 28 November.


Phoebe brought this trophy to school last week.This is the Andrew Currie Memorial trophy for the most outstanding contribution to the Mid Valley Athletics Club.
Of interest to the school is that the previous winner was been an ex Muritai pupil, Jackson Smith, who won this trophy 3 years in a row. Well done Phoebe.

Last newsletter I alluded to this term's Inquiry having a science focus leading our contexts of study. An area of interest in the last survey was raised by a few parents wondering about the hands on science in the school. At the moment there is plenty going on and you can clearly see what is happening by visiting class blogs.

Year 7 and 8 parents will be well aware as they help their children prepare for the School and Wellington Science Fair later this year. Some across the school samples include junior school; middle school ; senior school. Of particular interest is seeing what Mrs Ryan is getting up to on her science sabbatical, which by the look of it is a fantastic experience.

This year 3-4 extension programme run by Priya Gain is intriguing. These young children are doing some pretty interesting (and heavy) work as they undertake their role as a team of scientists who work for NZ COSSA on the research vessel, The Aumoana. They are working very hard and you can see how their journey is unveiling by visiting them here. This is a good example of 21st century learning in action.

Last Friday 2 teams headed off to Seatoun School to contest the prestigious Literacy Quiz. Our top team finished in 10th place out of more than 50 teams, a credible effort. Sofija has published a very detailed report on the experience for the team and you can read that here.

TGIF (year 5-6)
In year 5 and 6 the first cycle of our 'Thank Goodness it's Friday' (TGiF) programme has started. We have a great selection of activities on offer in the first cycle including Art, Spanish, Music, Science and even Bollywood dance! This year there as been a slight change to the structure with students selecting the modules they want to participate in. Each cycle lasts for 4 weeks which gives the students long enough to grasp some skills and concepts in the specific areas.


Last Wednesday Rooms 5 and 6 as part of their Changes Inquiry investigation, explored the wildlife and exhibits at Zealandia/Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. While there the children:
- explored the sanctuary for endangered NZ animals

- asked (Educators Brian and Tracey) questions about extinct and endangered animals of New Zealand
- investigated and explored the fabulous new exhibition hall for ‘changes’
that have occurred in New Zealand’s history since the settlers and introduced animals arrived by ship.

The children found out a lot of information about changes in wildlife and plants that have occurred in New Zealand in the past and present times.
They also learned of the impact these changes have had on our native animals, such as the introduction of non-native animals like the opossum, rats, mice and cats; the burning of trees and clearing of the land and introduced plant life.To find out more and to see photos of our trip, check out Room 5's Class Blog and Room 6's Class Blog.

We had a wonderful time at Zealandia and wish to thank the fantastic
educators: Brian and Tracey for showing us around, telling us amazing stories about our animals and answering all of our questions. We would definitely recommend exploring Zealandia with your family. The new exhibition hall is interactive, informative and very entertaining! You can find out more about Zealandia here.

Hot dogs are on sale again on Wednesdays through Terms 2 and 3. If your child would like a hot dog, please place $3 in an envelope marked with your child's name, how many hot dogs they would like and whether they would like sauce or not. Children should hand these into their teacher, not the office.

On Sunday 25th April Muritai School was able to reinforce its strong links with the local RSA with some of our students contributing to the ANZAC ceremony. Some of our year 5-8 students performed as part of the school kapa haka group. As the parade marched towards the memorial it was welcomed and challenged by the students performing a haka powhiri (welcoming haka) and then a haka. At the end a stirring waiata karakia (prayer song) was sung to mourn those who had made the ultimate sacrifice.
Sofija and Zoe laid the wreath at the memorial to honour Muritai School servicemen who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice.


Staffing news this fortnight is a big congratulations to Sarah and Sean Drinkwater ( teacher room 9) who are expecting their first child later this year. Sarah will be going on maternity leave around term 4. Congratulations also to Sandra Blair who walked her first marathon last week in Rotorua.


Students are once again pounding the pavements around the school in the mornings preparing for the annual Cross Country race. Weather permitting, the Cross Country will take place on Tuesday 18 May at Williams Park. Children have walked the course with their syndicates and will continue practising at school. Could you please ensure they wear suitable clothing and shoes for this training.

Did you know that for every letter of the alphabet there is a country beginning with that letter? There is a whole lot more to Sarah Richardson's blog in terms of supporting children's learning.
CLICK HERE and you will find out all sorts of amazing ideas about learning!


The year 3-4 vegetable garden is looking fantastic. Many of the children were in during the holidays to tend and water it. It was nice to hear Molly, Becky and Ellie spent most of their Sunday tending the
vegetable garden in the senior school of their own volition. Thanks girls. Another group have today prepared a bed for planting garlic. Thanks also to the Seaview Recycling Station who have donated 15 bags of compost

We are impressed with our three trainee teachers who are currently working at Muritai. Leah Thompson (R22), Elizabeth Radich (R11) and Sabeshan Gnanam (R14) have thrown themselves into their work and are really making the most of their opportunity to be part of our school. The children are very lucky to have them working here. You can expect to see them on Muritai TV shortly! In the meantime you can view Sabe's contribution through Bollywood dancing here (or to the lefft of this newsletter)

Entertainment Books need to either be returned or paid for by this Friday, 7 May. Please ensure you return the book to the office or the envelope with payment inside. You can pay either by visa, cheque, on-line or by EFTPOS. Cheques should be made payable to Muritai School. The school receives a donation of $12 from each book sold.


Table Tennis

Yesterday, eight year 6 children (4 boys and 4 girls) went to a table tennis tournament at Waterloo School. The other schools competing were: Wellesley, Waterloo (obviously), Eastern Hutt and Sts Peter and Paul.
The competition was hot! We were also fortunate enough to have two ex-professional players giving us help and an amazing show of their skills - wonderful! What is even more amazing is that one of the ex-pro's is going to come to Muritai to do some skills work with some of our children.The children that attended the tournament were: Xavier, Ryan, Flynn, Ben M, Zara, Daisy, Maddy and Lucy.

Mum’s free at Staglands on Mothers Day
At Staglands we know how special mum’s are so we’re letting all mum’s in for free on Mothers Day. Bring your mum up for a visit - have a picnic or relax in our café and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
* Mothers must be accompanied by their children or grandchildren to be eligible. The offer isn’t available in conjunction with any other special rate or offer.

New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards Party

Discover the stories that are finalists in this year’s New Zealand Post Book Awards and decide for yourself what book should get the top award. Listen to stories, enjoy a hot chocolate, play games and you might get some great spot prizes. FREE -
Friday 7 May 7pm at the Eastbourne Library.

Piano Lessons with Vanessa Tindle (ATCL, BSc, dipTchg)

Vanessa currently teaches at school on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Next term she will be at school on Thursdays also. If you would like your son or daughter to learn piano with Vanessa please contact her directly to discuss. Ph 562 7663.

St Bernard's College Open DaySt Bernard's College will be holding an open day on Saturday 15 May 2010 from 10.00am until 2.00pm. Prospective students and their parents are invited to visit during these hours to findout more about St Bernard's College and what it can provide. St Bernard's College is a Year 7-13 Catholic boys' college. For further information, contact the office at: 183 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt, Ph 560 9250. Website Email:

Pumpkin Contest at the Eastbourne Village Market.
At the next Eastbourne Village Market, Sunday 23 May, we will be holding the Pumpkin Contest. Please bring along your best efforts to be judged. Drop off by 11am - Judging will be at 12.30. There will also be a prize for the ugliest pumpkin.