December 15th

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents / Caregivers
The first day for next year is Tuesday 7th February.

Term dates for 2012
Term 1 – Tuesday 7 February to Thursday 5 April
Term 2 – Monday 23 April  to Friday 29 June
Term 3 – Monday 16 July to Friday 28 September
Term 4 – Monday 15 October to Thursday 20 December

On Wednesday evening we had a special celebration for our year 8 students and their parents. It was a lovely occasion and I am sure the children and parents will remember this event for years to come. 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 thank them for their many years of support for our school. 

At our leaver’s assembly we  farewell those students who 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 their very best and leave with an appreciation of their peers, their teachers, and themselves. We congratulate them and thank them, and their families, for the contribution they have made to Muritai School. We wish them all the best for the road ahead.

At prize giving the following cups and certificates were awarded -
  • Abel Tasman Cup – Daisy Hemmingson-White/ Clara Lafont
  • Improvement in year 8 award – Mia Harrey and Taylor Snow
  • Board of Trustees Cups for 'Endeavour' – Lucy Bird and Charlie Heath
  • Board of Trustees Cups for 'Academic Excellence' – Meg Sykes and Finn Jannsens
  • Jacobson Cups for ‘Mathematics’ – Hazel Sisson and Casper Tilley
  • Debbie Bertaud-Gandar Memorial Cup for ‘Commitment to Science and Technology’ – Hazel Sisson
  • Fortescue-Willis Environmental Leadership - Earthcare Award - Molly Hancock
  • Broadbent/O'Brien Literacy Prize -Excellence in literacy Eva Poland
  •  Swain Cup for ‘Leadership and contribution in sport’ – Liam Brandwood
  • Beck Family Cup for ‘Best all round sportsperson’ –Tess and Molly McFarlane and McLeod Harrison
  • Mills Family Cup for ‘Contribution to the Arts’ – Abby Barclay
  • Eastbourne Community Trust Cup for ‘Leadership’ –Hazel Sisson and Liam Brandwood
  • Principal’s Prize – ‘Character’ - Taylor Snow
  • Teachers Cup for ‘Being a joy to teach’ – McKenzie Gordon
  • Clarke Cup for “Positive contribution to Muritai School” – Molly and Tess McFarlane
  • Newton Family Cup for ‘Service to Muritai School’ – Lily Andrew 
  • Stotter Cup for ‘Dedication, commitment and all round achievement’ – Clara Lafont 
  • Class of 61Cup - “Outstanding Contribution to Muritai School” – Hazel Sisson
  • Booth Family Cup ~ “The Student’s Student” – Troy Kokich
Jaiwei and Caitlyn Leong who passed  their  ABRSM Associated Board of the Royal School of Music practical piano exam with high distinction and their theory exam with distinction. A tremendous achievement.

This is the final newsletter for 2011 and I take this opportunity to thank the children, staff and the Muritai community for what has been another very successful 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 the opportunity for time spent with families and friends!

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 2011 reflects the school’s vision statement “to 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.
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 Stephen Eames from our staff today. Stephen has been at Muritai in 2 phases, his most recent stint of 8 years has seen him lead the senior school for the last 7 years and done a wonderful job. The senior  area has flourished under his direction and innovative teaching. Pukerua Bay is very lucky to have him on their team.

We also farewell Darren Scott (Eastern Hutt), Hayden Wyllie (Tawhai) and Pippa Grant (Khandallah) and we wish Sally Ingram all the very best for her next step - parenthood. We thank Clare Leniston for her support teaching in year 7-8 this year.

Muritai runs on people and we are very lucky with the team we have here. I would like to personally thank –
Our leadership team of  Maureen Buckley, 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, passion and enthusiasm.

To our teacher aides and support staff, often confronted with difficult and complex tasks, and do so with enthusiasm and compassion. 

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

Finally a special thanks  to Carole and Sue at the front office who do such a great job and for accommodating, always with a smile, the numerous extra requests we get on a daily basis.

To our Home and School and Board of Trustees who work tirelessly  to do their very best to help make Muritai grow, develop and be better equipped to meet the challenges of school life. You have put in many, many hours and carry a huge responsibility. We are very grateful for your service. 

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 that we make in your children’s lives.

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

13 December 2011

Naumai te whanau o te kura Muritai
Tena koutou katoa

Events schedule for the final 3 days
Wednesday 14th  - Year 8 formal evening 6.30pm
Thursday 15th  - Y3-6 Xmas concert 1.45
Friday 16th   - Final assembly 11.00; Last day – school finishes at 1.00


Often a popular event this will start at 11.00 sharp. We will say a fond farewell to our school leavers and celebrate the year that has been.

It is the time of year to thank many of our people but I just wanted to say a huge thank you to our support staff at Muritai. These people work around our teaching staff, either with children who have high or moderate learning needs or in administration to make sure things are functioning smoothly. We have many additional staff at Muritai and they all play a vital role in our school. Many have been here for a while and I am continually impressed with how well respected they are by our children, as they play a key support role in their lives as well. 

Thanks to Abby, Sarah, Romy, Carolyn, Hillary, Francie, Sandra, Diane, Ann, Narelle, Katja.

From all of us here at Muritai we say a big thank you for all your efforts to help make our children do their very best.

With the additional layer of administration required in schools we are very lucky to have a highly skilled, experienced part-time teaching staff to maintain consistency when staff are attending to their release needs. Most of these teachers have been at Muritai for a very long time and it is lovely to have them as part of our team.

Thank you - Vanessa, Clare, Sally, Ruth, Liz, Hayley, Sue.

Tonight we have our year 8 leavers formal dinner and prizegiving at which we celebrate their achievements. The year 8 students had a wonderful week down at Abel Tasman in what was Stephen Eames' last trip as camp leader. I just wanted to pay tribute to the staff - Stephen, Stu Devenport, Raihania Chadwick and Carole Lowe for their extra efforts to make this camp go smoothly; to Chris Galvin who has made her last trip as 'camp mother', and the wonderful parents who spent a week away from home working very hard with their children. What a success!

We would also like to thank Leo O'Sullivan, Pak'N Save Petone, who gives us enormous assistance with all our food requirements for both Abel Tasman and the Mt Holdsworth camps.

This term the Year 3's and 4's have been learning about the causes and effects of child labour.  To get involved we held an art auction to help the kids at the Green Gecko School, Cambodia.  These children are all ex-street kids who had to work, beg or busk to support their families.

From the art and donations, our school raised $3,702. The children in Year 3 and 4 found out what the Green Gecko kids needed to help them stay in school and to break the poverty cycle.  We decided to buy micro-businesses for the parents for $200 each, shoes for $12, school uniforms for $18 each, home repairs for $500 and a week’s worth of nutritious food for the Green Gecko team which cost $1,000.

Thank you to all parents and wider Muritai Whanau for coming and getting behind this project.  It was a wonderful evening and a very meaningful way to end our Social Science inquiry.

Written by Eva, Paige, Callan, Tom and Alice 

Next year the school will not be operating a Before School Care programme. To meet OSCAR compliance we need to have 2 staff and we do not have the numbers to continue this program. Current attendees have been notified but be aware in your planning for next year that Before School Care will no longer be available. We will continue to offer After School Care and Holiday programmes.

The children had a chance to meet their next year's teacher yesterday and things went smoothly. This experience breaks down some barriers for children as they move from what is a familiar group into a different group of people they will be with in 2012. There will be challenges, but that is what school is about.

The very short season has come to a close with most teams finishing mid table with the Blaze the best placed in third spot overall and the Speed picking up best and fairest award. Thank you to parents and coaches for keeping the Friday Touch programme up and going, and we look forward to a longer, more productive touch season next summer. We do need those uniforms back quickly please!

At present we are missing 100 library books. Children are looking in every corner at school for these ...I suspect that some of them may be in book cases at home.  Please have a thorough look in bedrooms and return to the office or library as soon as possible.

If you have any Muritai School sports uniforms please return them as soon as possible to the office.

This goes to charity on Friday so if you are missing those jackets, sweatshirts (60% of lost property) please check our lost property. We will place everything outside for the next 2 days so everyone can connect with their lost items.

Next year is Carnival Year.  David Williams will be running the Plant Stall again and would like any of your plastic plant pots.  Can you also start thinking of cuttings you would like to grow-on for the Carnival.  Any pots you may have can be left at David's house, opposite the school at 185 Muritai Road.


Eastbourne Library - Summer Splash Reading Challenge 2011/2012
For 5-13 year olds.  Join up between 12 December and 6 January at your local Hutt City Library.  Make a splash this summer!  Read inspiring books of your choice, complete exciting activities and be in to win fun prizes!  For more details see the website or phone 570 6633.

Guinea Pigs - Free to a Good Home
Sam and Geoff are cute 3yr old guinea pigs. They are nice guys - the best of mates!  They need a new home – ideally before Christmas. Or a one month ‘summer holiday’ over the Christmas period is also possible.  They come with everything they need except love & feeding. (cage, water bottle, some food).  Sam is brown and has an outgoing personality, Geoff likes a quiet night in - he has black and grey hair. Please contact Jake or Sarah 04 562 6231 

Reliable local mum available over Christmas summer holidays to feed the cat/water garden/clear letterbox, etc.  Rate negotiable.  Please contact Angela - work hours - 562 7002, after hours 027-477-3396.

Christmas Light Display
The Hutt Heat Water Polo elves have been very industrious at the North Pole with the 2011 Christmas Light Display all powered up and blazing each night through to 23 December.
Come along and visit us soon, soak up some Yule from the Pool - gates open 8.30 pm each night at 27 Hathaway Avenue, Boulcott, Lower Hutt(off High Street slightly north of Hutt Hospital, turn into Military Road, turn left into Hathaway with ample car parking on right).  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

December 7th

Wednesday 7th December

We welcome Oliver Sanderson (16), Patrick Nugus (21) and Shona Nugus (13) to Muritai School.

Events schedule for the final 8 days

Thursday 8th  -  Y3-4 fishing rod challenge; Y6 road patrollers fun day at McKenzie pool, Y7 first aid training
Friday 9th    - Y3-4 fort building at beach, Y7 Hang Dog climbing experience; Y8  return from Abel Tasman; Reports, portfolios, class lists issued
Monday 12th  - Visit new class day
Tuesday 13th  - Parent helper’s morning tea
Wednesday 14th  - Year 8 formal evening 6.00pm
Thursday 15th  - Y3-6 Xmas concert 1.45
Friday 16th   - Final assembly 11.00; Last day – school finishes at 1.00

Art Auction
Last Friday we held a very successful art auction to raise money for the green Gecko school in Cambodia. We raised a total of $3700 for the school. The art was tremendous and the children and teachers need to be congratulated for producing work of such high quality. Many teachers brought in ‘experts’ to help and the children benefited from this experience. Our thanks to Hayden Ray and Kirsten Berry for driving this project and special mention to Adrian Ormsby and Blue Carrot catering for the wonderful food on offer.

New classes
Children will be eager to find out who they will be sharing a classroom with in 2012 and who will be their teacher. Over the years “Class List Friday” has settled down dramatically and we appreciate this and a pragmatic approach to this organization. 

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.

Putting 400 children into classes is extremely time consuming and many variables go into constructing the classes. A particular challenge will be for the year 4 and 5 classes who go into year 5-6 composite classes and so their class make up will be quite different from what they are used to. The classes have a very balanced look to them however with a nice cross section of personalities, skills and attributes.

Reports and reporting
With the class list will be the achievement reports and portfolios. We hope that you will take the time to sit down with your child and allow them to share their portfolio of learning and talk about strengths and weaknesses in the achievement report. The report also informs parents of student achievement against the National Standards and teachers have provided general commentary of classroom performance.

Our year 5-6 choir performed recently at St Ronan’s for our elderly community. Ruth Hooke tuned them up nicely with some of the classics from times gone by and they were very well received.

EOTC programmes
Thank you so much for your continued support for our EOTC programmes over the last fortnight. Our year 1-2 and year 5-6 had a wonderful week last week and really appreciate the parent support to help these programmes operate. I would like to praise our teaching staff for positively making a difference at such a busy time of year. A summary of events were–

Year 1-2 – art and folk dancing; cross country; Avalon park; beach day and athletic sports;
Year 3-4 – football tournament; something different day; beach technology; fishing rod challenge; games and picnic
Year 5-6 – Inter-zone athletics, Days Bay beach day; Amazing race; Maori sports; Triathlon;
Our intrepid year 8 group are experiencing a damp adventure down south but remain in very high spirits. Year 7 returned last night from their Mt Holdsworth experience.

EOTC is a very valuable programme and enables the children to experience something different and challenging in the wider community.

Christmas concerts
Today we had a very successful Christmas concert for the junior school. Next Thursday the year 3-6 children will be having their concert starting at 1.45.

Holiday programme
School breaks up next Friday. Our holiday programme is running up until Christmas and again from the 24th January. Details of what is on offer can be found by clicking here

Inter-zone athletics
Our year 4-6 children who qualified for the inter-zone continued to achieve outstanding performances at Naenae Park last week. Our place getters were –

Year 4             Macey Caughley – 1st  sprints and long jump;
                        Phoebe Evans – 1st high jump, 3rd shot put; 4th discus; 4th sprints
                        Andrew Sutcliffe – 1st long jump
Year 5             Charlotte Wilson – 3rd high jump; 3rd long jump; 3rd sprints
                        Relay team – 3rd  (Charlotte Wilson, Milly Griffiths, Mary Heath, 
                                                      Ruby Brandwood)
                        Ben Grenfell – 1st long jump, 2nd sprints
                        Relay team – 1st (Ben Grenfell, Jack Healy, William Langley; Liam Lamb)

New teacher day
On Monday the children will spend an hour or so with their new teacher until morning tea. Sadly Deane McKay is not able to be here but Murray McMillan and returning teacher Mikaela Cody will. Hopefully many of our newly enrolled children will be able to attend.

Parent morning tea
Next Tuesday at 10.30 we will host a ‘thank you morning tea’ for parents, in particular those parents who have helped out in 2011. We are lucky to draw on a committed group of caregivers and so this is just a small token of our appreciation.

Community Notices –

Eastbourne Community Carols and BBQ – This Sunday 11th December, 5pm at Muritai School with special guests the Hutt City Brass Band.

Nitsy Pixies - a magical cure for nits

Friendly, chemical free Head lice solution! 100% natural and highly effective Nit treatments. Highly effective and safe. In Salon Treatment (no mess at home). Call 0800 nitsypixies (648 797) or visit

French and German and Italian for kids in Eastbourne

Register now for a class after school! Or inquire about our Muritai French lunch time class. LCF Clubs Fun Languages is offering primary children in Eastbourne the opportunity to learn French and German and Italian starting 2012. Free demonstration lesson available. Heaps of fun while learning with lots of different activities. Older Beginners class available for ages 10 to 12. To register your interest please contact: email:, phone 562 8211 or visit the website

23 November 2011

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Tena koutou katoa

We welcome Ruby Barton-Vivian, Alastair and Shona Curtis-Walcott, Sophia Turner, James Hobbs, Patrick and Shona Nugus to Muritai School.  Next week our roll peaks at 450!

We have lots of events happening over the final 3 weeks.  With the EOTC weeks unfolding you will have been well advised already of the details for each group which have been listed below.

Last Tuesday 56 Year 4-6 students represented Muritai School at the annual Central Zone Athletics tournament at the Hutt Rec. We made an excellent start to the day with outstanding results in the 4x100 relay with both our Year 5 boys and girls gaining first place. The success continued throughout the day with Muritai coming second overall in the tournament. We performed consistently well in long jump with a top 3 placing in each age group. Overall, 19 students were placed in the top three in all events and will now represent the Central-Zone at the Inter-Zone tournament at Naenae Park.

Congratulations to those children who qualified for the Inter-zone – Ben Grenfell, Phoebe Evans, Maya Hahn, Lincoln Moffat, Pablo Montes de Oca, Macey Caughley, Mia Weber, Charlotte Wilson, Helena Cvitanovich, Dylan D’Armes, Matthew Sutcliffe, Andrew Sutcliffe, Liam Lamb, Olivia Seymour.

Two relay teams qualified – the year 5 girls team of Charlotte Wilson, Grace Allan, Milly Griffiths and Mary Heath; and the year 5 boys team of Ben Grenfell, Jack Healy, Liam Lamb and William Langley.

Congratulations to Harry Crawford, Ella Schroder, Oscar Sykes, Amy Flynn, Margarita Montes de Oca, Greta Brown, and Gabriella Turner who have achieved their gold library awards.

This Friday we are holding our first art auction from 6.00 - 7.30. The children have produced some stunning work that will be available for sale under silent auction format. This will be a lovely evening event, with the year 7-8 children working with Blue Carrot catering to create tapas for nibbles, there will be a cash bar and some of our students will be providing music. There is a koha at the door to cover the tapas and other operational costs.

On Friday 9 December each child will bring home an envelope that will contain a report showing your child's end of year placement against the national standard in reading, writing and maths, their curriculum achievement report and finally information showing their class and teacher for 2012. The children will also bring home their portfolio, which will display some of their class work from this year. 

We have continued 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 on every piece of work they do. 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. We feel these reports give a good general summary of the children’s attainment. A reminder that at any time you can gain any additional information from the class teacher by making an appointment.

Some exciting news – we have been awarded a Bayer Trust Science Grant of $2000 to develop a garden to attract butterflies into our school playground.  We are hoping to start developing our butterfly garden later this term.

On Tuesday 13th December we invite parents to the school hall for our annual ‘thank you very much’ morning tea at 10.30.

Ella Burton-Wood, Sofya Dickson and Suzanne Taylor performed in a hIp hop performance at the Opera House recently to two very large houses.  Sofya won best in her class and was also chosen to present flowers to the Eastbourne teacher.  Congratulations girls!

Our final assembly this year starts at 11.00 on Friday 16th December. 


30th     Year 5-6 at Days Bay; Years 1-2 at Avalon Park

1st        Year 5-6 Amazing Race and Maori sports afternoon; Y5-6 Interzone athletics; Year 1-2 beach day
2nd       Year 5-6 Triathlon at Eastbourne pool; Year 1-2 athletic sports; Art auction
4th       Year 8 leave for Abel Tasman (Stephen, Stu, Raihania, Carole)
5th       Year 7 at Mt Holdsworth; Year 3-4 soccer tournament (am); Year 6 soccer tournament (pm); room 15 first aid course;
6th       Year 7 at Mt Holdsworth; Year 3-4 something different rotations; room 15 First aid course, parent evening for year 5-6 Forest lakes camp.
7th          Year 3-4 beach technology challenge; Year 5 soccer tournament; Year 6 first aid course; junior school Xmas concert
8th       Year 3-4 fishing rod challenge; year 6 road patrollers to Mackenzie Pool; year 7 first aid training
9th       Year 7 hang dog climbing wall here; Year 8 return from Abel Tasman; reports, portfolios and class lists out
12th     Visit your new class day for the children.
13th     Parent helper’s morning tea
14th     Year 8 formal evening
15th     Year 3-6 Xmas concert 1.45
16th     Last day and final assembly; Staff BBQ

You should have by now received a letter regarding Back to School Stationery. This year we are trying to make life easier for you by utilising the OfficeMax on-line ordering system. To order stationery for your child, you simply go to choose Muritai School and follow the instructions. 

Most of you will require the full pack, however, there is the option to remove items you already have. Please note that the teachers have spent a lot of time working out what your child requires and it is important they start the year with all these items. Please ensure you select the correct pack for your child. If you are unsure which year group they will be in next year, please check with your child's teacher. 

Year 1 and 2 children need extra items which can only be purchased from the school office. These will be available from the beginning of next term.

Should you have any queries, please see Carole or Sue in the office. 

School finishes on Friday 16 December, a week before Christmas day. If you would like to enrol your child in the Christmas Holiday Programme, please pick up a brochure from the school office and ensure it is returned by Friday 9 December at the very latest.

The holiday programme is packed full of interesting Christmas crafts, water activities and outdoor fun. 

Mel Dowdall is also developing a holiday programme for the end of January/beginning of February.  Please pick up a brochure from the school office if you are interested in placing your child in this programme.  This needs to be completed and returned to the school office, with full payment, by Friday 9 December.


Eastbourne Youth EDGE
Eastbourne Youth Club will be holding a Youth Awards Night on Friday December 2 at the Eastbourne Croquet Club.  Times are:

Year 7 and 8 – 7pm to 8pm
Year 9 and up – 8pm to 9pm

This is a free event with drinks and nibbles provided.  All ages welcome.  Performances of local bands during the night.  Vote for candidates on EDGE Facebook or @ centre on Friday nights.  Contact Gina Sinclair for more info on 027 246 6546.

Nitsy Pixies - a magical cure for nits
Friendly, chemical free Head lice solution! 100% natural and highly effective Nit treatments. Highly effective and safe. In Salon Treatment (no mess at home). Call 0800 nitsypixies (648 797) or visit

French and German and Italian for kids in Eastbourne
Register now for a class after school! Or inquire about our Muritai French lunch time class. LCF Clubs Fun Languages is offering primary children in Eastbourne the opportunity to learn French and German and Italian starting 2012. Free demonstration lesson available. Heaps of fun while learning with lots of different activities. Older Beginners class available for ages 10 to 12. To register your interest please contact: email:, phone 562 8211 or visit the website

23 November, 2011

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Dear parent's and caregivers,
As the year draws to a close, like any other organization, the school reflects on how it has performed over the past 12 months. We feel we have achieved a lot, it certainly has been very busy and a well-earned break isn’t too far away.  It's also been a time to plan for the year ahead, establishing targets and objectives and making decisions on teaching staff and classes for 2012.

School life over the remaining weeks will be about finalizing our achievement reporting, reviewing curriculum goals, confirming our strategic plan for 2012 and of course the important task of setting class placements for 2012. With swimming starting proper next week, teams are preparing for the education outside the classroom programme in weeks 6 and 7; and the year eight’s are preparing for their end of Muritai schooling with a trip to Abel Tasman and their final week leaving ceremonies.

The school’s 2011 overall student achievement report that is presented to the Board, the community and to the Ministry of Education through its Annual Report procedure, is an impressive read and will be posted on the school’s website in December. Student achievement data collected across the school over 2011 affirms that the school overall is a very high performing school against the New Zealand curriculum and the national standards.

Of particular interest is the performance level of our Year 7-8 classes, as this group can provide a picture of a child’s learning journey over eight years of schooling at Muritai. Many of these children started slowly in the early years and have flourished with time and maturity. Achievement indicators provide excellent evidence that this group of children achieve well in advance of the national norms for literacy and numeracy.

Staff are working through class placements for 2012. This is the responsibility of the senior management team in consultation with current classroom teachers.  There are many variables relating to the teaching and learning needs of every child that require careful consideration when making placement decisions.

We will say goodbye at the end of 2012 to Stephen Eames from our teaching and senior management team. Stephen, who is moving his family up the coast, has secured a job at Pukerua Bay School as the Assistant Principal. Stephen has been leading the senior school for 7 years and is much loved by the children and parents in the senior school. He will be a huge loss for Muritai but is keen for a new chapter in his life. We are also sad to have to say goodbye to Hayden Ray (who is traveling to teach in Cambodia in 2012), Sally Ingram ( having a baby), Pippa Grant and Hayden Wyllie.

Replacing Stephen as associate principal is Deane McKay. Deane is an impressive teacher with great credentials and joins us from St Josephs School where he is currently leading the year 5-6 team. He is a family man with four children, and alongside classroom teaching has a passion for sport - he is just about to complete his first half iron man. In addition to Deane we have one more new teacher – Murray McMillan - who joins the year 5-6 team. Murray joins us from Clifton Terrace School, and is an experienced teacher who will add to the school with his skills in ICT and sports.

Stephen’s departure enables us to change things around a bit and provide some new opportunities for our teaching staff.

In 2012, the current year 5-6 teaching team of Stu Devenport (AP), Lisa Allen and Melissa Coton, will be transferring across into the senior school to teach year 7-8. Stu Devenport will be the leader of the senior school.

Deane McKay (AP) will lead the year 5-6 team with Kirsten Berry and Raihania Chadwick coming across from the senior school and Murray McMillan will join them.

Richard Dobson (AP) will lead the year 3-4 team with Karen Chao (Y4), Annabel Capper (Y3) and Sheena Naik (Y3)

Maureen Buckley (DP) will lead the year junior school with Morag Roberts (Y2), Mikaela Cody (Y2 and back from maternity leave), Karen Jones (Y2), Barbara Ryan (Y1) and Maureen Buckley (Y1) with Gabrielle Heath. Margs Mills will start the first new entrant class of the year.

Based on the information we have about our roll next year we are starting at 393 and going through to around 435. It is anticipated that classes in the Y1-2 area of the school will have an overall lower pupil/teacher of around 1:21; year 3-4 around 1:25; Year 5-6 around 1:28 and the year 7-8 to have a ratio of 1:24.

Year 5-6 will move from straight level classes to mixed level classes in 2012. We believe that in year 5-6 a composite structure is the best composition, and it continues to work particularly well in year 7-8 where it is now the norm. Our teacher’s focus much more on a student’s learning needs rather than a student’s age. Structurally it helps balance the class size numbers, provides a useful challenge to both the 2012 year 5 children who will be required to step up quickly to meet higher expectations, and to the year 6 group who can provide leadership and an older buddy type relationship as they push on further with their learning. It also provides social enrichment through developing different types of relationships than what they are use to. In year 5-6, at level 3, there is a very open, self-directed curriculum in literacy and inquiry where learning is developed around student needs and not from a set year level ‘textbook’ type arrangement so there will be no learning differences for the children. Maths will continue to be streamed across classes.

We are very pleased with the structure for 2012, in particular the balance of the skills and experience of our teaching staff and the new challenges for the children.

Andrew Bird

10 November 2011

Naumai te whanau o te kura Muritai
Tena koutou katoa

Welcome to our new students who have started Muritai recently - Flora Ingoe, William Hester, James Rotherham, Scarlett Tito, Hugh Diederich, Amy Geldermans, Elijah Turner and Risha Smuts-Kennedy.
The school is ticking over, albeit with many absences. Six staff and many children are away with 'The Cough' and we are relying on our relieving staff to help keep things going. We appreciate your understanding and support. It is important  to keep going with the learning, which we are very focused on at present. Teachers are just putting the finishing touches on children's reports and portfolios will be dusted off soon for the children and teachers to put best work samples together soon. The year 8s are practicing formal dancing and the programme for the Christmas concerts was being discussed the other day so we must be near the end of the year!

We have had a number of confirmed cases of whooping cough at school. Whooping cough is contagious and is affecting children who have been vaccinated, in particular the children around year 5-6 who are due for their booster shots at year 7. It is important that if the children are coughing that you see a doctor for treatment, which is a course of antibiotics and 5 days off school. If you choose not take antibiotics, Regional Public Health recommend you stay away from school for 21 days. The cough will continue for a period of time but the 5 days with antibiotics allows you to become non-contagious. This helps ensure families with those that are most vulnerable - small babies and the elderly - are not effected.
Carole also emailed out today a Public Health notification regarding measles.

On Friday 2 December you are invited to a silent art auction at school.  The art auction serves two purposes. To empower our children at Muritai to make a difference in their gobal community and to celebrate our children's collective hard work and talents.The classrooms are collaboratively creating works for the art auction to entice different parties to bid.
While you socialise and browse the art works you will be offered freshly made tapas. Our vegetable gardening team have joined forces with our budding year 7 and 8 chefs, and under tutelage of local chef Adrian Hornsby of Blue Carrot catering, they will create fresh, delicious tapas. Wine, beer and juice will be on sale through the Home and School.
Proceeds of the art sales will go for a school of 70 ex street children at Green Gecko School in Cambodia ( as an action from the year 3-4 social science inquiry on child labour. You can see some additional information of Green Gecko on the room 10 blog.

Nominations for the 2 vacancies on the Board of Trustees close this Friday 11th at noon.  

The year 3-4 athletic sports are this Tuesday and are being held between school and the Eastbourne Rec starting at 9.30 and finishing at 2.30
Our summer swimming programme starts on Monday 21 November. Timetables to be advised.

Thank you to the Home and School and their group of parent helpers for the recent disco and movie night. The kids loved the opportunity to dance the night away in their flouro bangles etc. The movie night was also a success  and was well attended.

A reminder to all that outstanding bills and accounts need to be settled with the school as soon as possible. Although we are a state school there are various things that are user pays and the school is just not able to underwrite additional services for parents. please make sure your accounts are in order.

The school band were fantastic at the recent Battle of the Bands in Masterton. I was so impressed with the overall talent on display and all day, a succession of amazingly talented 11-13 year olds took to the stage, playing quality live music. A stunning event and highly recommended. Although the band did not place this year they shook the house down with their Queen song and you can view their performance by clicking here.

Please note the later start date for 2012
Term 1 - Tuesday February 7 - Thursday April 5
Term 2 - Monday April 23 - Friday June 29
Term 3 - Monday July 16 - Friday September 28
Term 4 - Monday October 15 - Thursday December 20

Upcoming Events (details to follow)
Tuesday 15 - Y 3-8 Athletic sports; Room 16 photos
Thursday 17 - HVHS deans visiting Muritai year 8
Monday 21 - Swimming starts
Tuesday 22 - Y5-6 Zone athletics
Friday 25 - School assembly 1.40
Monday 28 - Choir singing to retired persons association; vision and testing for Y0 and Y7; BoT meeting
Tuesday 29 - Junior school cross country
Wednesday 30 - Starting school at 5 mtg 7.00
Friday 2 - Junior school athletic sports; Silent art auction
Monday 5 - Y8 to Abel Tasman; Y7 to Mt Holdsworth
Wednesday 7 - Junior School Xmas concert; Y6 first aid training
Thursday 8 - Y7 first aid training
Friday 9 - Report and portfolios go home
Monday 12 - Meet the new classroom morning


Eastbourne Market
The next Eastbourne Market is on the 27th November, the day after the election in the senior school grounds. Stalls are $10 for children and $30 for adults. All details are in the ED library foyer or email the and we'll send you the rules and application form.

East Harbour Kindergarten Open Day
Sunday 13th November 10am - 12pm
Come along and see our wonderful outdoor redevelopment, which will be officially opened on Sunday.  We would love to see lots of ex Kindy attendees.

Old Batch for Rent
Beachfront old batch for rent in Days Bay.  Available from 27 December to 26 January.  Only $200pw!  Sea views.  Must like cats.  Must book before December.  Ring Clare on 021 853 386.

To celebrate the Akatarawa Road re-opening, Upper Hutt City Council are organising a Celebration Day on the 19th November, with lots of fun family activities.
We are joining in the celebrations by offering all our visitors HALF PRICE ADMISSION INTO STAGLANDS WILDIFE RESERVE BETWEEN 19th – 30th NOVEMBER.  To view the Staglands newsletter click here.

French and German and Italian for kids in Eastbourne
Register now for a class after school!  Or inquire about our Muritai French lunch time class.  LCF Clubs Fun Languages is offering primary children in Eastbourne the opportunity to learn French and German and Italian starting 2012.  Free demonstration lesson available. Heaps of fun while learning with lots of different activities.  Older Beginners class available for ages 10 to 12. To register your interest please contact:  email:, phone 562 8211 or visit the website