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: http://www.schoolinterviews.co.nz 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 salisburyjo@yahoo.com.au 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
salisburyjo@yahoo.com.au 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 megan.martin@carters.co.nz 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.

October 8, 2010

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

Teachers are all back at work and the holidays are drawing to a close. I hope you all have had a lovely break and feel refreshed as we head into the final term of 2010.

This short newsletter just helps to inform you of some recent developments on our school website that you may be interested in.

Each month the school presents review papers to the Board of Trustees on key aspects of school life. Some recent papers have been posted on our website to further inform parents of the successes and next steps for the school. The following papers have been uploaded -

Our Muritai curriculum provides the structure around the learning and behavioural ecology at Muritai School. Included in the document is a one page diagram of our learning community, our learning journey from year 1-8, the components of Howie Learn, expected student attributes and how we will know that we succeeded with our teaching and learning.

The science review is an interesting read and follows from a discussion paper formed from last years parent survey. It seeks to understand student achievement in science and also discusses the contexts of science delivery at primary school within the Inquiry model of learning.

The e-learning paper is a progress report against our E-Learning strategy, which the Board receives annual updates on. It reflects on how teachers integrate e-learning alongside the NZ curriculum, discusses the use of hardware and software as well as covering support networks, professional development in ICT and future thinking for education.

The heart of the school paper is a comprehensive review of the school's learning and behavioural ecology. Produced annually it reflects on subtle (and occasionally substantial) changes we make as part of review to our school processes. This report looks at the senior school, catering for children requiring learning interventions - either learning support or extension; reporting student information to parents; using learning environments smarter; teachers using student data to inform learning programmes and next steps for learning; using community resources.

The National Standards report summarises a more comprehensive review of whole school and Maori student achievement from year 3-8. It shows how children's achievement improves as the children get older and have a deeper pool of skills to draw on in using the curriculum. What this paper shows is big picture achievement. It reflects general attainment and a summary of how children are tracking going forward. It is probably a good reflection overall of school wide performance but what is doesn’t offer is specific information of next step development for teaching which was shared with parents at interviews and is required to make a real difference in a personalised learning environment ‒ that comes from specific ‘criteria assessment’.

The Assessment Glossary paper helps parents and the community understand some of the assessment 'language' and tools we use to understand our children's achievement. It is comprehensive and informs those parents wishing to understand more about the systems used.

You can access all these papers by clicking here at our Information and Reporting page. I hope you will find these papers of interest. There is a LOT of information and detail but it all helps to inform you about why we do the things we do. It goes some way to explain about the things that are happening around your children, how we understand how well they are doing, and inform of next steps required to improve our performance.

Also we are required by legislation to let you know when the BoT meetings are each term. The dates are as follows - Monday 11 October at 2.30; Tuesday 26 October at 7.00; Tuesday 19 November at 7.00; Tuesday 7 December at 7.00.

Please enjoy your final weekend and we will see you all next Monday at 8.40 am.

Noho ora mai ra

Andrew Bird