March 30 2011

Volume 5
Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents / Caregivers,

Welcome to our newest additions to the Muritai family - Amelia Cave and Robert Goddard.

One of our initiatives this year is to introduce Peer Mediation into our school. This initiative comes from conversations with our children and feedback from community surveys about the challenges that our children face in their relationships, either with their friends or with others at school. As we always look for positive experiences for our children, over the past term, the children and teachers in Year 5 and 6 have been taking part in Peer Mediation training. The Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programme teaches students and teachers how to use conflict scenarios as an opportunity to build positive relationships with others. Non-violent, constructive, co-operative, WIN/WIN solutions to a problem are negotiated. Agreements are made which are mutually acceptable to all parties concerned.

The Cool Schools Programme: -
• Helps individuals develop life long conflict management skills.
• focuses on building positive relationships with others.
• Creates win/win situations for students, teachers, parents, caregivers and the wider community.
• Provides life skills for school, home and the workplace.
• Empowers students to help other students
• Is proactive, helping to prevent bullying and other levels of conflict.
• Provides a better learning environment.
• Fosters the development of self esteem and leadership skills.
• Enhances inter-personal and intra-personal communication skills.

The Cool Schools Programme develops key skills such as:
• Active listening
• Using "I" statements and affirmations.
• Recognising different types of responses to conflict.
• Effective questioning.
• The role of the mediator.
• The mediation process (including a process for junior students).

After completing the training Year 6 students have been invited to apply for a position as a Peer Mediator in the school playground. We are pleased to announce the following students have been accepted: Uma Cheyne, Gabriella Turner, Monica Sullivan, Kobe Luke, Bridie Sheedy, Imogen Lee, Oscar McClelland, Ella Littlejohn, Mason Pendrous, Harry Crawford, Emma Kelly, Jessica Taylor, Amber Rose Sales, Olivia Seymour, Hannah Moffat, William Bahler, Billy Richardson, Amy O'Shannessy, Oscar Sykes, Ella Schroder, Greta Brown, Frankie Middleton and Amy Flynn.

These students will work with classes and teachers on mediation processes and with duty teachers out in the playground.

We held an earthquake drill recently during playtime. Children were able to practise the 'turtle' to protect themselves. Our plan was executed smoothly and we were able to all congregate and be accounted for in around 3 minutes which was our aim.

In the afternoon of Monday 4 April we have Year 1 and 2 Grandparents Day. Grandparents will share their memories of their early days with our youngest children as part of the year 1 and 2 Inquiry. Visiting Grandparents may like to attend the powhiri.
Next Monday morning we are hosting 9 principals from Rotorua who are visiting Wellington to view some best practice schools - Muritai being one of their choices. We will begin with a powhiri at 9.15 to which parents are most welcome. Visiting grandparents may like to be welcomed to Muritai School as part of the powhiri.

If you would like to find out how your child is progressing at school, please feel free to make a time to meet with your child's teacher. We have an open door policy so please do not feel this is a burden for us - it is part of what we do. Interviews and reports are set down for the mid-year.

Assembly is tomorrow at 1.40. The school band are hoping to make their debut performance.

Please make sure that you have in your family diaries that school will be closed on Friday 3 June as staff will be having a teacher only day. This makes an extra long weekend for your family.

Recent additions to our school website include an updated section called School Information, under OUR SCHOOL. You will find useful information there including our 2011 Charter, Muritai Curriculum, Prospectus (small version), ERO report; Assessment Glossary. It also has a growing list of 2010 Board of Trustees review reports and our evacuation policy.

In addition to this, Matt Skilton has started The Gateway blog, to communicate and inform how we cater for children with gifts and talents. This blog works in partnership with our learning support teacher Sarah Richardson's blog to help inform our parent community. Click here to access The Gateway.

Muritai TV has posted some short articles recently with the latest being the Forest Lakes Camp Photostory. Click here to view.

There arealso plenty of classes to visit and activities that you can view that constantly change by scrolling down OUR LEARNING.

WEEK 11 WORKING BEE (from the Enviroteam)
In week 11 Muritai School are inviting you to be part of a community-working bee. It will be on Tuesday 12th, Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th April evenings from 4pm to 7pm. Come and go when you can on any day/s. Children are welcome, however supervision will be up to you.

We’re looking to revitalise the garden areas around the school by pruning, weeding, mulching and planting. Specifically, we will be creating a walkway through the poems near Room 2, weeding and mulching garden entrances and painting the new posts in the Senior school .

Many hands make light work so bring your own tools: shovels, spades, trowels, gloves…etc. Be great to have lots of bodies mucking in. If you have questions, feel free to email Hayden Ray:

The ICAS Assessment programme is an independent assessment programme for schools.
Every student who enters an ICAS exam receives a detailed diagnostic assessment, measuring their progress and acknowledging their level of achievement in five areas. Science, Spelling, Writing, English and Mathematics.

The competitions take place every year in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region and are completely voluntary.

The competitions and dates for 2011 are:
1. Science – Wednesday 8th June
2. Spelling – Tuesday 21st June
3. Writing – Tuesday 21st June (Persuasive text)
4. English – Tuesday 2nd August
5. Mathematics – Tuesday 16th August

A notice has gone home with your child. If you are interested in your child being involved in one or more of these assessments please complete the form and included payment by the end of the term 15th April. Late entries will not be accepted.

Fri 1 April – Assembly 1.40; Home and School mtg Beach cafe 2.00
Mon 4 April - Y1-2 Grandparents Day; Rotorua ICT cluster visiting
Wed 6 April - Y4-6 Inter-zone swimming
Thur 7 April – Visiting artist Eddie Quansah
Fri 8 April - Year 7-8 Literacy Quiz at Muritai
Mon 11 April – Y5-6 Swim sports; Y7-8 Zone swim sports; BoT mtg
15 April – Final day of term; Assembly 1.40

Muritai After School Care will be running a Holiday Programme these holidays with lots of exciting events to keep your children occupied. The programme includes: Movie Day, Muritai Master Chef, Recycled Wearable Arts and Treasure Hunt, Walk to Lion Rock and Picnic, Ten Pin Madness, etc. If you would like to book your child onto the programme, please complete the brochure and return to the school office, with payment, before the end of this term. Unfortunately, After School Care cannot take bookings on the day. Click on the school website / noticeboard (page2) to see the programme

Muritai Year 7 and 8 students were treated to a wonderful drama performance, ‘Shakespeare As You Write It’ from New Zealand Playhouse recently. Wellesley were hosting this event and our students walked round to Days Bay to watch it. There were 3 outstanding improvisers who collaborated with the audience to create a brand new Shakespeare play based on the ideas of the students. They introduced us to Shakespeare’s building blocks – similies, soliloquies, iambic pentameter and sword fights! They were incredibly clever and entertaining.

Once again our lost property bins are over flowing with clothing, hats, towels, etc. Please take the time to look through the lost property which will be on show outside Rooms 7 - 9 and take anything that belongs to you. Could you also please label all your children's clothing - it makes it so much easier for us to return clothing to the rightful owner. Any lost property remaining at the end of the term will be given to a charity.

The Health Nurses were at the school yesterday to talk to the Year 7 students about the Boostrix immunisation due to be given in May. Parents of Year 7 students will receive a pamphlet regarding the Boostrix immunisation with a tear off sheet which needs to be returned to the school this Friday 1 April. These forms need to be returned regardless of whether or not you give permission for your child to receive the immunisation.

Two of our Muritai students took part in the recent Wellington Primary School Sailing Championships in Plimmerton. Congratulations to Moss Grenfell who came 2nd and Harry Quinn who came 3rd. A great effort, well done!

COMING SOON: Year 4 20/20 Cricket Match - Muritai vs Wellesley at Muritai School next Friday at 12.30
Recently, the Year 4 cricket team challenged the Year 5/6 team. The Year 5/6s won the toss and batted. The Year 4s fielded tightly but could only restrict the big hitting Year 5/6s to 136 runs after 20 overs. The Year 4s batted bravely and with the help of quick running and smart batting almost chased down the target of 137, finishing with a total of 120 after 20 overs.

A game against Wellesley has been organised for the Year 4s who will play on Friday of next week (8th April). The Year 4 team will consist of: Tom Fynn, Callan Hughes, Lincoln Moffat, Alexander Cox-Turk, Ben Cass, Paige Schroder, Tom Griffiths, Max Hahn (reserves = Tobias Knight and Tomas Pajo). The two teams will eat lunch together at 12noon, before starting the 20/20 match at 12.30pm. Parents are welcome to come and enjoy the friendly rivalry. Go Muritai!

Zone Swimming Sports
The Zone Swimming Sports took place on a beautiful autumn day at Naenae Pool. Muritai took 32 swimmers ranging from year 4 children through to year 6 children. Competition was tough as Wellesley, Chilton, Eastern Hutt, Boulcott, Waterloo and St Peter and Pauls also attended. Muritai did very well and the children represented the school brilliantly. We are unsure just how well we did at present, but we will hopefully find out by the end of the week.

The Inter-Zones take place next Wednesday, so if your child makes it through, there will be quite short notice. Once again, thanks to the parents who came and helped out and the the parents who came in support. But especially well done to the swimmers who did a marvellous job.

We have had a fantastic number of children take up the opportunity to play netball this year with 72 children already signed up to play. At the present time we have a full Year 3 team. However, an ideal number for a team is 9 which gives the team a couple of reserves for rotating on the court or sickness. To make two full teams in Year 5 and 6 we need another one or two players and the same for Year 7/8 teams. If your child would be interested in playing, please see Carole or Sue in the office for a form.

The school will be holding trials in the next week or so to organise all the teams and then it will be over to the coaches to decide on practice days. It's all go from here on with grading games in Taita starting on 7 May.

Experienced Nanny
Experienced Nanny/Teacher Aide available for school holiday work. Please contact Abby on 027 739 6594 or

The Great Milk Run 2011
The Great Anchor Milk Run starts on Monday 4 April and over 80 days they will be giving schools and consumers the chance to win their share of $500,000 cash by simply purchasing any specially marked Anchor milk. Every litre of milk equals 1 entry into the draw, eg 1L = 1 entry, 2L = 2 entries. To be in to win, enter the unique code on the reverse of Anchor milk bottles by texting to 311 or enter online at

One lucky winner will be drawn each day to win $2,500 cash and $2,500 for the school of their choice. All entrants go in the draw to win the grand prize of $50,000 and $50,000 for their nominated school.

Home is where the art is
Art auction at the Lifeboat on Saturday 9 April from 5.30pm. Auction starts at 7pm sharp. Proceeds for Christchurch 'quake victims. Raffle tickets for prizes are $5 each, 5 for $20. Available from Catherine phone 562 7623 or email: Artists: Jacky Pearson, Annie Hayward, Stacey O'Neill, Janet Andrews, Lindsay Mitchell, Sue Allman, Alan Collin, Southlight Studio, Hillary Tipping. Raffle Prizes: Chocolate Dayz, Kevin & Ruby, Chocolate Hair Co, The Beach, The Eastbourne Deli, Sorrento, Gelissimo Gelato, Montage, For more info go to Facebook: Home is where the art is.

16 March 2011

Volume 4
Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents / Caregivers,

Welcome to Brodie Parker and Harrison Allen who are our latest additions to the Muritai family.

In the next day or so you will receive some communication from the Board of Trustees. In the correspondence you will find a letter about the additional teacher subsidy, activity fee and Technology fee for year 7-8 students, the corresponding invoice for these, a summary of the recent ERO report, emergency contact details that need reviewing and an internet permission form.

The recent events around the Pacific Rim have many people very concerned and unsettled. Over the next 3 weeks we will be conducting two earthquake drills, (one at class time and one at playtime) and a tsunami drill. I will also post our extensive emergency procedures on the website so parents can all view our plans for the various emergencies that may occur. Muritai School is a civil defence centre so we are well stocked to cope in an emergency. As mentioned in the last newsletter should an emergency occur children will be retained at school and we will ensure that -

• Students will be instructed to stay at school
• The school will begin contacting parents/caregivers with a priority given to those parents/caregivers who are known to work out of the Eastbourne area. The school has the facility to text parents, as well as inform parents by email. The message will contain information around collecting children from school as soon as conditions allow by reporting to the school office. Parents will be informed that students are accounted for and are currently being looked after by school staff.
• School emergency food supplies will be used if needed.
• School facilities will be used to house and care for students.
• Staff will stay with all students who are not able to be placed in the care of the parent/caregiver or family emergency contact.

What a successful fundraiser this was with Muritai School raising over $2,400 for the Christchurch earthquake appeal. The sock dude raffle, organised by Karen Chao and room 11, raised $750 alone which was a fantastic effort. The staff XI v Christchurch XI football game resulted in a very hard fought victory to the Christchurch XI by 4-3.

Last week, on a beautiful sunny day, the year 3-4 team held their swimming festival at Eastbourne pool. What a wonderful event, the children tried their very best, things ran very smoothly and it was a nice way to finish the swim programme.

At Muritai we provide opportunities for students to support their learning at home through 'homework'. Our focus is very much on providing an opportunity for parents to be part of their child's learning experiences, to encourage and provide support for their children as they grow with their learning. The aim of homework is to embed the learning done at school and generally homework should not be a struggle at all.

We are very realistic and we believe strongly that children need to be able to pursue activities out of school and we understand that the home is a busy place with families already doing many activities after school. The risk of burn out or combustion is high but if you look at our suggested outline we are mainly encouraging children to read at home - this can be done together or individually by the child. We also suggest that visiting the Eastbourne library is by far the best place to support a home reading programme and a very good habit to get into. At the same time being able to spell key words and recite basic facts quickly are essential to access writing and maths successfully.

A suggested guide of how much time is spent is the following
• Year 0-2 - 10 minutes a night - mainly reading and spelling
• Year 3-4 - 20 minutes a night - mainly reading, spelling, basic facts
• Year 5-6 - 30 minutes a night - mainly reading, but also spelling, basic facts, current events
• Year 7-8 - 40 minutes - mainly reading but also maths, inquiry and spelling

We welcome our year 5-6 team back to school after their ‘week away’ at Forest lakes in Otaki. The 2011 camp was just superb with a great team of adults and a group of enthusiastic, vivacious children giving 100% to all the activities. We know this because many children are still exhausted. A huge thanks to the teaching team of Stu, Melissa, Lisa, Ruth, Pete and Matt for coordinating the week.

TRIPS AND VISITSOur children have been out and about recently taking part in various events associated with the Wellington Arts Festival. There was great excitement for the year 3-4 and year 1-2 teams who were collected for their trip to Capital E by a double-decker bus! Our year 7-8 team thoroughly enjoyed a visit to view ‘As you write it,’ a Shakespeare improvisation show which was an extremely humorous performance by all accounts.

As part of our emergency procedures, we have taken up the ability to text parents in an emergency. This also enables us to text parents if we have a child absent from school with no explanation. We will be trialling this over the next few weeks. If you have not advised the school office when your child is absent then you will receive a text requesting that you contact the school. If we do not receive a reply from you within half an hour after the text has been sent, we will endeavour to contact you by other means.

Our out of school care programme manager, Cath Barker, is going on maternity leave and we are currently seeking someone to take on this role. This is an excellent opportunity for a creative, enthusiastic person to lead our out of school care programme (before/after care and holiday programme) based at Muritai School. Hours of work are 1.00-6.30ish.

An information pack is at the school office and for further information please contact the school on 562 8409 (office) or email

The Home and School group are meeting in the staff room on Wednesday 23rd March to discuss fundraising and social events for 2011. The Home and School are a fun and enthusiastic group of parents and are always keen to welcome new parents. Please feel free to come and join us.

This year the school will be using Sue Allman, a professional photographer and parent of school. Samples of the packs and class photos are displayed in the school foyer and are shown on the information sent out with students recently. You should have received an envelope for each of your children with sibling envelopes available in the school office.

Photo envelopes and payment should have been received at the school office, however, there is still time for you to put an order in. We would ask that you please complete your order by Friday at the very latest).

Photos will be taken over six days being Monday 21 to Wednesday 23 March and Monday 28 to 30 March. The schedule will be as follows:-

Mon 21 March Rm 5, Rm 7, Rm 13
Tues 22 March Rm 21, Rm 22, Rm 23
Wed 23 March Rm 3, Rm 9, Rm 10
Mon 28 March Rm 6, Rm 11, Rm 12
Tues 29 March Rm 1, Rm 4, Rm 15
Wed 30 March Rm 2, Rm 8, Rm 14

A Year 4 cricket team is being put together to challenge the Year 5/6 team. They will play on the field on Friday 18 March, starting at 11 am. It will be a fun match with 8 players per side using a soft 'incredi-ball'. Hopefully later in the term the Year 4's will be playing against a Year 4 team from Wellesley

Year 5-6 - Muritai Vs Waterloo
On Thursday the 3rd of March the year 5 and 6 cricket team took on
Waterloo first 11 in a 20/20 match. Waterloo batted first and posted a very challenging score of 214 runs to win. While Muritai fielded tightly, the boys could not get the breakthrough they needed. Muritai started the run chase very well with Gabriel Barber and Louis Rutherford looking in great form. Unfortunately, Waterloo were too strong on the day and Muritai fell short by about 80 runs. All in all it was a great experience and the boys had a fantastic time.
Many thanks to the support we had from parents, and a very special thanks to Martin Richardson who scored the game and provided a lot of the equipment for the team.

Milo Cricket - Muritai Vs St Bernard’s College:
Muritai lost the toss and were sent in to bat; Gareth and McLeod got the team off to a good start with some great running between the wickets. They were well supported by Liam, who hit four 4’s in a top score of 37 not out. Muritai set St. Bernard’s a target of 101 runs. A good bowling effort, including a maiden each from Gareth and McLeod, Rupert, Dorian and Kieran claiming one wicket each, and an excellent catch by Piri and a run out by McLeod restricted St Bernard’s to a total of 60 for 5. With Liam’s great wicket keeping and Xavier and Jared’s focussed effort in the field, it was a super contribution by the entire team. Well done to all the boys on a great effort, excellent sportsmanship and for being great ambassadors for Muritai School.

Touch rugby is going very well and the teams are having a blast. The results for round 3 have not yet been published, but here are the round 2 results:

Muritai Storm won 8-1
Muritai Eagles won 7-3
Muritai Sharks won 4-1
Muritai Flyers won 4-3
Muritai Hurricanes lost 5-3

The draw for this Friday the 18th of March is as follows -
• Muritai Storm play EHS Kings on field 4 at 4:30pm
• Muritai Sharks play EHS Diamonds on field 7 at 4:30pm
• Muritai Flyers play Chilton Gold on field 1 at 4:30pm
• Muritai Hurricanes play Randwick Dragons on field 7 at 6pm
• Muritai Eagles have a bye this week

Good luck to all teams!
Check out the Muritai Sports blog for weekly results and draw -

Wed 16 March – Starting school at 5 - 7.30pm in the school staff room
Fri 18 March – Junior school beach trip; Assembly 1.40
Wed 23 March – Home and School mtg 7.30
Tue 29 March – Y8 Girls immunization, Y5-6 Zone swim sportsFri 1 April – Assembly 1.40
Thur 7 April – Visiting artist Eddie Quansah
Fri 8 April - Year 7-8 Literacy Quiz at Muritai
Mon 11 April – Y5-6 Swim sports; BoT mtg
15 April – Final day of term; Assembly

Springboard/Platform Diving
Wellington High Performance Aquatics have 2 upcoming events to introduce students to the sport of Springboard/platform diving this term and upcoming holidays.

Big Splash Day – Introduction to Springboard/platform diving Sunday 20 March
Springboard and Platform Diving - 3 day school holiday camp 19 – 21 April

Orphans of Nepal Trust
The Orphans of Nepal Trust was established in 2003 to provide support for orphan children located in the Kathmandu Valley. Over the past eight years more than $170,000 has been raised, mostly from the Eastbourne area. These funds have made a material difference to the lives of the children and we are keen to see the support continue. However, to sustain the work, we need 2-3 new trustees, to join the exisiting Board. If you have an interest in improving the lives of children in Nepal, could help with some fundraising activities and would like to become a trustee, please call or email Chris Bryan (ph 04 5760498/ email chris.bryan@xtra. for more information.

Missing Scooter
A child's grey and red Razor scooter went missing from school last Thursday. Could you please check to make sure you have not got an extra scooter at home. Many thanks

Kindy Wheel-a-Thon
East Harbour Kindegarten are holding a fundraiser on Sunday 20 March. Any preschooler can participate. Children not attending East Harbour Kindy will pay $5 entry fee which will get them a licence and medal. Sausage sizzle, old fashioned lemonade, bouncy castle and fire engine rides all part of the fun. 10am start - Funds raised are being donated to Fairleigh Kindy in Christchurch.