September 23, 2010

Tena koutou te whānau o te kura Muritai.
Dear Parents / Caregivers

Welcome to our new students - Eva Oliver (R8), Esme Daley (R1), Sarah Caddis (R1), Blaine Knapman (R1) to our school community. Thank you for settling into our school so quickly.

Well we are nearly 75% through the 2010 year. We have a very busy term planned for term 4. Much of the initial work for staff next term is processing key assessments in reading, writing, spelling and maths to inform National Standards, measure improvements of children from the beginning of the year to the end of year. This enables us to report to the parents and children about achievement growth as well as to the Board about meeting our strategic targets.

The key of course is to keep the children at the heart of the matter and all our organisation focuses on ensuring our children grow in their learning environment. In the interim we all hope that the holiday season will be pleasant for all our families and children return well rested and ready to face the challenges ahead.

There has been some change at Board level. We have received 2 resignations of late - Krista Huber and Peter Schroder who have served on the Board for 5 and 4 years respectively. We thank them for their commitment and enthusiasm towards governing Muritai School. Krista's resignation has seen Stuart Stock assume the Chairperson's role. Stu will have a Board newsletter out shortly informing the school community of the recent achievements and about the opportunity for parents to be on the Board.

In week 2 next term we will host the Education Review Office. ERO visit schools every 3 years or so to review the quality and value of education provided through our teaching and learning environment. At the conclusion of the review they will report their findings to the Board and then publish this report for the school community. Muritai has a history of successful reviews and we are approaching our next audit with confidence.

Our production is over and I think it would be safe to say we all enjoyed the show. It was a wonderful example of the school working together to achieve a quality outcome. Thank you to the Home and School for organizing the drinks and nibbles. Ex-parent Stephen Press filmed the show and we will have the DVD for sale next term once we have printed off copies.

We have just heard from Hanmer Springs where Gus Reece, Matthew Sutcliffe and Maya Hahn are competing in the NZ Primary School cross country champs. Gus and Matthew finished 6th, with Maya finishing 12th in their respective grades. What an amazing achievement - congratulations to all involved.

Georgia Crawford who is representing Wellington in gymnastics in Hamilton this weekend along with Natalie Dunn, who left Muritai last term.

The Board is currently conducting its annual survey. We would appreciate it if you could take the time to share your thoughts about the school with the Board - it all helps to form trends and patterns around the school community. You can complete the survey by clicking here!

Next term we welcome our new new entrant class into room 16 with Margs Mills-Smith. We will also welcome Annabelle Capper into room 2 as a replacement for Mikaela Cody who will be going on maternity leave in week 3.

We have been very fortunate to have a succession of excellent teacher trainees at Muritai this year. Our last group - Melissa (R15), Gina (R1) and Aaron (R22) have been superb. We thank them for their contribution, especially being part of the Muritai School production - not easy at any time.


We are fundraising money for Ferndale School in Christchurch which had severe structural damage during the recent earthquake. Looters broke in and stole laptops and other equipment which was used for special needs children. In talking with Ray Farrelly, principal of Ferndale, he has suggested we may be able to purchase special eating and drinking equipment as the children are significantly disabled. You can find out about the school by clicking here.

Mr Chadwick (Room 21, Senior School) has said that he will cut off his dreadlocks if the school can raise more than $1,000. He has been growing his dreadlocks for 9 years! Some of our senior students have also agreed to shave their heads in support.

We have had approximately $400 donated from parents so far and Kadima Furniture - big supporters of Muritai School have donated $100. Children are also encouraged to come to school with whacky hair on the last day of school, Friday 24 September. Please help us by donating as much money as you can to this worthwhile cause. We have estimated that we need at least $2 from each child to help get over the $1,000. We are hoping that some of the Ferndale children will visit Muritai when they come to Wellington as part of their EOTC programme next term.

Holiday Programme brochures are available from the school office, the green room and on our After School Care blog, on the school web site. Please fill out your enrolment forms and take to the school office with payment to secure your child's place on our fun filled Holiday Programme. Great staff, awesome activities.

Limited spaces are available and, unfortunately, we cannot accept bookings after the end of term this Friday, 24 September.

The organisation of this year's Carnival is well under way with our wonderful Home and School Carnival Commitee working hard behind the scenes. Keep your eyes open for notices coming home with requests for help from our parent community.

Plant and Vegetable Stall
The Carnival will be running their successful Plant and Vegetable Stall again this year but need your help. David Williams especially needs people to grow some vegetable seedlings or, if you can spare some from your gardens, he would love to receive them. Vegetables and flowers are good sellers including Rhubarb, Strawberries, herbs etc.

David needs seedling trays, pots, old or unused garden tools, anything garden related he is happy to pick up or they can be dropped off anytime at 185 Muritai Rd. Please contact David on 027/5565981 or by email

The Carnival Couch
Our good friends at Kadima have once again donated the Carnival Couch for auction. You can view the couch in our school office and if it is of interest to you it will be part of an online auction. Thank you again to Kadima for their generous support to our school.

Yesterday was the last day for hot dogs this year. Thank you to everyone who has supported the Home and School hot dog fundraiser these past two terms, by ordering a hot dog on a Wednesday for lunch. We would also like to particularly thank the following parents who gave their time to organise and prepare the hot dogs this year: Barbara Griffiths, Silva Noakes, Gudrun Fegert, Louise Goble, Gabrielle Heath, Lynne Simnett, Aliman Aiychi, Jo Salisbury, Robyn Flynn, Libby Palmer, Rachel Armstrong, Ester Cova, Ali Brown, Dawn Statham, Kathy Juriss, Julie Parker, Karen Cochrane and Fiona Blacker. Without your tremendous support we wouldn't have been able to offer hot dogs each week and we are truly grateful for your time and commitment.

To help you plan your diaries this year we are holding the year 3-8 athletic sports at Petone Rec on Tuesday 9th November (with postponement Thurs 11th). This helps us to keep all the children together.



Mon 11th – First day of term
Mon 18th – ERO arrive – here til Thursday
Fri 22nd – School assembly
Tues 26th – BoT mtg

Fri 5th – School assembly
Tues 9th – School athletic sports
Tues 16th – BoT mtg


Fri 19th – School assembly
Sun 28th – Eastbourne Village Carnival

Fri 3rd – School assembly
Sun 5th – Y8 goes to Abel Tasman
Tues 7th – Y7 to Mt Holdsworth

Eastbourne Library
Vikings and Dragons - These school holidays read the book 'How to train your dragon' by Cressida Cowell, then join us for some Viking and dragon adventures! Go on a dragon quest, play whacky ball, create a Viking ship or a dragon and much more!
Eastbourne Library Tuesday 28 Sept 11am, Tuesday 5 Oct 11am. For more details see or phone 570 6633.

Piano Lessons with Vanessa Tindle (ATCL, BSc, dipTchg)
Vanessa teaches at school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s during the school term. She has vacancies for Term 4.
If you would like your child to learn piano with Vanessa please contact her directly to discuss. Ph 562 7663.

Kick Start Music Studio is currently taking enrolments for lessons in Guitar Bass Drums and Ukulele for term 4, Enrolments due by 1st October ph 0800 ROCK ME or go to

Hutt Valley Gymsports Open Day
Hutt Valley Gymsports are holding an Open Day on 10th October 2010 (last Sunday in the holidays) from 11am to 2pm. We will have coaches to take groups of children on the equipment. Lots of fun activities on the floor. Invite your friends and family. It is FREE, so come along and enjoy the fun. Hutt Valley Gymsports, 31-33 Bell Road, South Seaview.

Childcare required?
Local girl available to look after your children during the school holidays and/or babysit in the evening. (Was a nanny overseas and has local babysitting experience). Trained lifeguard so has first aid training. Call Caiti Hanson on 5627430 or text 027 4658783

EHock is coming - a new game!
Family fun - try it. All you need is a pair of soft shoes. Anyone can play. Tuesday 28th Sept, 10.30am - 12pm for Children and Youths; Thursday 7 October 2pm - 3.30pm for Children and Youths, Wednesdays 7.30pm - 9pm open to All. At Eastbourne Indoor Sports Centre, Tuatoru Street. Contact: Derek Wilshere 562 7920 or Generously supported by Pak'NSave (Petone).

Child care needed for 5 1/2 year old after school wed till aprox 10pm or over night, and every second friday same deal, while mum works. Suit confident and capable teenager in my home or anyone else if they don’t mind in their own home. Phone Kirsty 04 589 2494 or mob 027 3709071

September 9

Tena koutou te whānau o te kura Muritai.
Dear Parents / Caregivers

We welcome Abigail Miller (Rm 1), Lachlan Buchanan(Rm 1), Lyndon Murray (Rm 13) and Sam Fraser (Rm 5) to Muritai.
Our thoughts go out to the people of Canterbury at the moment. Many of our colleagues in schools have difficult challenges ahead, especially working with children who are very scared after experiencing over 130 sizeable aftershocks. Despite the extensive physical damage we are immensely thankful that no loss of life was recorded. It gave us the impetus to hold an earthquake drill on Tuesday which went very well. Charity organisers - Alana and Sarah will be organizing a Wacky hair day on the last day of term to raise money for the Ferndale School who were affected by thieves after the quake.

Staff and children have been working extensively on producing the Life of Riley for next week. We are very grateful for the parent support that has added to the finishing touches. Kirsten Berry has coordinated the show and I have been so impressed with the collegial support she has received from her fellow staff.


Yesterday we were extremely lucky to host the New Zealand company. An ex Muritai student and teacher Caroline Dinniss (nee Summers) now works with the NZ Ballet Ballet Company and she brought the group out to Muritai School. The visit was high class, just wonderful and a tremendous experience for the children to see that level of quality. Mr Ray has posted some photos on his class blog whcih you can see by clicking here and Muritai TV has produced a story and you can view this here.

A reminder that the world premiere of Colin Thompson's book 'The short and incredibly happy life of Riley', is NEXT WEEK with Wednesday evening SOLD OUT already. Performances are on Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 September at 7pm and the matinee at 1pm on Friday 17 September. Tickets are going fast, and people traditionally leave it to the last minute so please ensure you buy yours as soon as you can. This year we have placed the matinee on Friday as parents/caregivers who work may like to take the afternoon off!

The Home and School will be selling nibbles and drinks at the evening performances, so bring along some money, buy a drink and relax before the show begins. Home and School are also looking for some volunteers to help make nibbles and serve drinks on the evenings. If you are able to help, please contact Lisa Langley on 562 7784 or leave your name with Carole and Sue in the school office. All help greatly appreciated.

On Wednesday the 25th August, Muritai hosted 55 teachers from around Wellington as part of the Wellington Literacy Association’s Magical Literacy Bus Tour. Barbara Ryan and Karen Chao were organisers of the event on behalf of WLA. Muritai was the last stop on the tour and teachers shared ideas while feasting on pizza in the staffroom after a tour of all areas of the school.

The tour visited four Lower Hutt schools with quality practice such as Belmont, Eastern Hutt and Wellesley to view classrooms and areas of excellence at each school. They saw how other teachers are teaching literacy and examples of student work and wall displays.

The quality of art, information literacy, wall displays, classroom environments and integration of inquiry learning were particularly commented on by our visitors. It was a very successful event and Muritai teachers shared their time and classrooms very generously.

We are missing a couple of our lovely sports jackets. They are very distinctive with their green and blue colours and the Muritai logo on the front. They are quite thick and would be difficult to miss. If you have either of them, could you please return them to the school office. Please also check your children's rooms for t-shirts or shorts and return them as soon as possible.

All children in years 4 to 8 have the opportunity to participate in the ICAS exams held each year. Our students have performed well with the following children winning awards as follows: -

Year 5
Distinction: Margarita Montes de Oca, Amy O'Shannessy, Matthew Sutcliffe
Year 6
Credit: Caleb Hewson, Isaac Ulusele
Year 7
Distinction: Molly Hancock, Sean McElwain-Wilson
: Clara Lafont

Year 8
Credit: Nick Bielby

Year 4
Distinction: Sally Bird
Grace Allan

Year 5
Credit: Harry Crawford, Amy O'Shannessy
Year 6
Distinction: Caleb Hewson
Year 7
Distinction: Abby Barclay, Lucy Bird, Henry Broadbent, Clara Lafont, Sean McElwain-Wilson, Eva Poland
Finn Janssens

Year 8
Distinction: Nick Bielby, Kenzy Cooper, Georgia Crawford, Zoe Lovell-Smith, Grayden O'Connor, Jessica Woodnorth
Daniel Pinfold, Thomas Rodgers

A special mention to Sofija Cvitanovich who achieved a High Distinction in her Writing exam which puts her in the top 1% of Australasia. Congratulations Sofija and well done to all the students who took part in this year's exams.

Next week is conservation week. There is a particularly good website with
a set of activities here. Classrooms will be running theirown programmes around conservation, with many involved in the local beach clean up.

Muritai School is to be assessed next term to have the honour of being the first Dyslexia aware school in New Zealand. Hopefully the assessors will agree that we have policies and practices in place to open the learning landscape for children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. Sarah Richardson has been leading this journey and you may like to look at her latest blog entry which encompasses sample of dyslexia friendly practice across Muritai School. Click here to enjoy!

Twenty students represented Muritai School at the NIWA Wellington Science Fair last week. Congratulations to Oscar Connor who received the Measurement Standards Laboratory award for his Science Fair titled "Message in a Bottle". Congratulations to the following students who were Highly Commended for their exceptional Science Fair investigations.

Sofija Cvitanovich; Isaac Pajo; Marit Bruhn; Jack Griffiths; Kenzy Cooper

Well done the Mathswell team, who competed in the prestigious maths problem solving competition at Newlands Intermediate on Wednesday night.

The team comprised of: Jessica Woodnorth, Kenzy Cooper, Nick Bielby, Georgia Crawford, Meg Sykes and Hazel Sissons.

Regional Public Health have issued an update notice regarding H1N1 Influenza A. The main symptoms are high temperatures, chills, headache, nausea and some vomiting and diarrhoea. Younger children are more likely to experience vomiting and diarrhoea with the flu. To help reduce the spread of illness, Regional Public Health recommends the following actions:

  • Students or staff with flu-like symptoms should not be at School. Children can still be infectious even when they appears well and need to stay home from school until 2 days (48 hrs) after all signs of flu have gone.
  • Prevent the spread of terms by ensuring everyone covers their mouth and nose with tissues when coughing and sneezing and put used tissues in a covered bin or plastic bag.
  • Encourage children to wash their hands regularly
  • Regularly clean surfaces that are touched a lot, eg door handles, bench tops, toilet and bathroom area.
You can find more information about influenza and resources on the Regional Public Health website, or the Ministry of Health website

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s the Muritai School Holiday Programme:
An exciting programme is in store these School Holidays. Be sure to book your children in. Limited spaces avaliable. Payment must be received with bookings, to the school office to secure a place.
The brochure will be available from the Greenroom or School office this Friday. Email Cath Barker, for a brochure. You can also access the brochure on the After School Care blog on the school website. The MASC Team.
We are the champions: Flipperball and Waterpolo
Both our year 5/6 Flipperball team and year 7/8 waterpolo team have finished as champions of their grades for the 2010 season. It has been an exceptional outcome for what were relatively novice teams to start with. It is a credit to the teams that they learnt the skills, rules and team play required to finish the season on top. My congratulations to both teams.
Underwater Hockey
Last weekend year 7/8 students participated in the year 7/8 mini underwater hockey tournament at Huia Pool. Both teams played exceptionally well with the two teams finishing 3rd and 5th. Another successful achievement.
Central Zone Hockey Tournament
What a success the Central Zone Hockey Tournament was on a wet and windy Thursday the 26th of August. We had 2 Muritai teams (1 boys and 1 girls) who played so well together and thoroughly enjoyed the day.
The girls team played 5 games, won 2 and lost 3. The boys team also played 5 games, won 4 and narrowly lost 1. A very special thanks to the players who played so well and did not complain once about being wet and cold! You represented our school beautifully!
Also a huge thank you to the parents who helped transport players and stayed around to supervise and support the teams.
Well done Muritai!! That was the last of the sporting events for the term. Thanks to all of the children who have put their hands up to play a sport and to all of the parent support.

Noho ora mai ra (May you stay well)

Andrew Bird
Eastbourne Volunteer Fire Service
Our Volunteer Fire Service is in crisis as there are insufficient volunteers to run the service. If people do not come forward the community risks losing the Service and then Eastbourne becomes more vulnerable. Pencarrow Rotary works with the Service in many ways and is currently supporting its efforts to find 6-8 volunteers. Volunteers need to be living/working in the Bays and are needed not only to man appliances but to carry out other auxiliary tasks.
If you can be of help in this vital matter, please contact Geoff Martel, Pencarrow Rotary (562-7415).

St James Sea Scouts - Cubs
Would you like to go to cubs? Well if you do then you can go to St James Sea Scouts. Eastbourne cubs would be great but the waiting list is huge! I'm Louis Rutherford and I go to St James Sea Scouts. It is very fun, we do really good activities like in summer we go kayaking, swimming - all kinds of stuff. I started in early winter last week. We made a ladder and we climbed it right to the top and we ran to these huge trees and snaked back to the scout hall. On my first day we made bird feeders and did a bird quiz and brain teasers (which were tricky) and we got life jackets, tied a rope to each one and tried to run to the chalk line (kind of like on What Now). So please join St James Sea Scouts because it's fun and they need more children. You can see me (Louis Rutherford) in Room 11. (Contact St James Sea Scouts, Boatshed, Hutt River, Petone - 568 6389).
Have fun and play cricket this summer!
The new season is coming and registration is now available online at . The club is also holding two registration days - this Saturday 11th Sep 2-4pm, or Thu 16th Sep 7-8pm both at the Clubrooms, HW Shortt Park. Cricket is available to all Muritai students - boys and girls, any age, any ability or experience. For years 0 to 2 there's Milo fun on a Friday night. For Year 3 onwards there are teams available and free indoor pre-season training from year 5 onwards.

Girls Only Sundays - Cricket @ Eastbourne Indoor Sports Centre, HW Shortt Park
Year 5 - 7 Girls Only Sunday Cricket! Come down for free introductory cricket coaching and games at the Eastbourne Indoor Sports Centre at HW Shortt Park, 2-3pm on Sundays 19th & 26th Sep, 10th, 17th & 31st Oct, and 14th Nov. Coaching is provided by Cricket Wellington School of Cricket, free of charge from Eastbourne Cricket Club. No previous cricket experience required, just bring a friend, come and have some fun!
Register via email to, online at , or call Phil Sisson 562 8771, 027 470 8079

Junior Tennis at Muritai Tennis Club Sunday 12 September 12 noon - 2pm. Come and meet the coaches, play some games and sign up for Inter-Club.

Cricket Holiday Programmes
Wellington School of Cricket (WSC) holiday programmes are now open for enrolments. Please visit our website:
Click on WSC and then on Holiday programmes for more information and easy online enrolments. Feel free to contact Glenn Pocknall on 233 9627/021 409 864, or Ivan Tissera on 566 2075/021 894 338 or Sach

Piano Lessons with Vanessa Tindle (ATCL, BSc, dipTchg)
Vanessa teaches at school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s during the school term. If you would like your child to learn piano with Vanessa please contact her directly to discuss. Ph 562 7663
Mamma's Maids
Too busy to bake? Fresh home baking made here in Eastbourne and delivered to you. Cookies, slices and cakes $10 to $20. Ring Kassie 027 318 8182 or Georgie 562 8870.
School Holiday Creative Writing Workshops at Katherine Mansfield Birthplace
Developing a Personal Voice – Writer, Majella Cullinane will work with Year 7 and 8 students to develop their ideas and skills in creative writing.
Venue: Katherine Mansfield Birthplace, 25 Tinakori Rd,Thorndon
Date: Wednesday 6th October 2010 // Workshop 1: 9.30 – 12.00, Workshop 2 (repeat): 1.30 – 4.00pm // Fee: $25.00/student // Space is limited so reservations are essential.
Ph/fax: (04) 473 7268. Email: