18 May 2011

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents / Caregivers,

We had a lovely assembly on Friday welcoming our new children and staff with a powhiri. It was a good opportunity to remind the students, as we enter the winter months of the year, how we can seemlessly have over 400 children working together in a harmonious way. This is a tricky task and like all aspects of growing up - is not without a few bumps along the way. Being in a school or community is similar in a way to being in a family - although we are our own person, we all rely on each other and have a responsibility to respect a common ground so that we can all thrive in that environment.

Historically this time of year is when teachers and school leaders dip into their toolbags to make sure our classrooms and our school achieve high standards of behaviour and interactions. On Friday we reinforced with the whole school our code of conduct - which is a high trust, high expectation model, based around the 4 key words of courtesy, cooperation, common sense and consideration. In everything we do, these 4 key words guide our actions. We expect our children to be courteous, be cooperative and to cooperate, to use their common sense in their decision-making and to consider others and personal actions at all times.

Courtesy, consideration, commonsense and cooperation (the 4C's) help drive our behavioural culture and our expectation is that we all at Muritai, make the effort to make this a great place to be.

We are sad to be saying farewell to Mr Peter Hull for the rest of 2011. Peter is travelling to Cambodia for Kate Donnelly's (ex Muritai teacher) wedding, and then taking some time to travel with his wife Anna. We look forward to Peter's return in 2012.

Taking Peter's place in room 12 will be a job share arrangement between Matt Skilton and Sally Velvin. We all know Mr Skilton and the key role he plays in the school and Sally is an experienced teacher who taught at Muritai, leaving in 2004. Some of the parents of older children may remember her as Sally Clouston.

We would like to express a big thanks to our trainee teachers, Ruth Vaughan (Room 7) and Anna Baldwin (room 11) who have been at Muritai for the last 7 weeks. They have been wonderful 'additions' to our school and we appreciate the way they have committed to their classrooms and being part of the school staff.


Barbara Ryan has been doing a sterling job supporting classes and their science programme. To kick of our 'Science' term we celebrated National Primary Science Week in style. We began Science Week last week with water rocket blast off on the field - which was more a fizz rather than a bang but science often promotes more questions than answers and much of the following discussion centered on what could be different?

Classes participated in a variety of practical experiments during the week. Staff enjoyed the same experience with science activities each day at morning tea time, lunchtime and after school in the staffroom. If you haven’t already done so, check out your child’s classroom blog for a closer look at investigative science in action! Photo shows some teaching staff ("The boys") experimenting with magnets in the magnetic “sandpit” at morning tea time!

Upcoming events
  • Monday 23 May - Year 8 leaders to Young Leaders day (Wellington)
  • Tuesday 24 May - Year 4-6 Zone soccer
  • Thursday 26 May - Kapa haka group perform at Eastbourne library
  • Friday 27 May - Assembly; Days Bay PlayCentre visit am
  • Monday 30 May- Year 7 immunisations
  • Monday 30 May - Y8 Girls Gardasil immunisation
  • Tuesday 31 May - Year 7-8 Zone cross country
  • Thursday 2 June - Visiting show 'Jump to it' for year 1-6
  • Friday 3 June - Teacher Only day
  • Tuesday 7 June - School cross country Williams Park.

The latest school disco was a great hit with the students again this year. The Home and School Committee sold extra glow bracelets, finger lights and flashing rings together with mini chocolate bars which went down a real treat. The children were glowing and had a fantastic time! A huge thank you to our wonderful Home and School Committee for their excellent organization and supervision disco and to all the staff who helped on the night.

We have a Teacher Only Day on Friday 3 June. Please make sure you have this in your diary.
Our Out of School Care will be running a programme on this day for anyone who would like to use this facility. Amanda O'Brien, our new manager, has organsied a trip to the Zoo for the day. The programme is to have all children at school before 9am when they will jump on the bus to arrive at 10. Once at the zoo they will meet their guide and explore the zoo, have lunch there and return to school by 3pm. From there Out of School Care runs through to 6pm. The cost for the day is $40 with brochures available in the school office for completion. Please return enrolments to Amanda O'Brien by Friday 26 May.


Pupils from our Senior School have taken up the task of helping Rotary improve the profile of our Fire Department in order to recruit new members. John Stevenson, President of Rotary has met with the children and encouraged them to think about the impacts on our community and they themselves if we lose our Fire Department. Students visited the Fire Station recently and have produced a film for Muritai TV. They will be working with Rotary and the community to promote the fire service.


The Regional Public Health Newsletter recently published the following article:-

Winter Vomiting is On the Rise

Norovirus causes unpleasant vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea and stomach cramps. The illness is very infectious and can spread rapidly in schools. Currently, norovirus is circulating widely in the general community. The main differences are strict exclusion of any child or adult who has diarrhoea and / or vomiting for 48 hrs after these symptoms have stopped (as the person can still spread the disease at this time) and thorough hand washing. The virus is most commonly transmitted as a result of poor hand hygiene, so it is particularly important for people to thoroughly wash and dry their hands after using the toilet and before preparing food. Please help us to keep all our children as healthy as possible by keeping your child/ren at home for 48 hours after any diarrhoea and / or vomiting and encouraging good hygiene practices in your home.

Strep ThroatIt has been brought to our attention of a diagnosis of Strep Throat in room 1. If you have any concerns about sore throat symptoms for your child, please consult your GP.


Georgia Barrand (year 4) has recently been invited to sing with the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul (Anglican) choristers. This is a great honour since Georgia will be the youngest person singing in the Cathedral choristers. Last Sunday Georgia sang her first Sunday service to farewell the Cathedral Director of Music and choirmaster Michael Fulcher.
Georgia began singing with the Chilton Cherubs after school on Mondays last year, which she has continued to do. Georgia was specially awarded an internal Chilton music award at the end of last year. Well done Georgia! We are all very proud of your achievements, and hope your singing continues to go from strength to strength!

Teachers work hard on providing up-to-date information on their classrooms blogs and showing what the children have been up to during their time at school. Check out what they have been doing this week.
They love to receive comments from parents, grandparents and the community. The following explains how you can make a comment.

Many of our students are playing guitar at school. We would appreciate some 3/4 sized (or half sized ) guitars for our students to practice on or play. If you have a smaller guitar that you are no longer using, we would be very interested in using it at the school.


Do you have any games sitting in your cupboards that you no longer use? We would love to have them for children to use during wet break times. If you have any that aren't being used then please ensure they have all their pieces and drop off at the office, or straight to the classrooms..


Entertainment books have been sent home with the eldest child in each family and are due back at the office by Friday 27 May. If you would like to purchase your book, please send a cheque made payable to "Muritai School Home and School" or write out your credit card details on the blue form inside and return the envelope to the office as soon as possible.
You can also pay by credit card for your book on-line, and order extras if need be. Just click on the link below and follow the instructions: https://www.entertainmentbook.co.nz/orderbooks/104094
Please return the book in its envelope to the office as soon as possible if you do not wish to buy one.

Every year Lions clubs across Wellington region distribute to food banks, schools, churches
and marae hundreds of bags of late-season apples, which otherwise would have been left to rot. The apples have been trucked down from Hawke's Bay for 18 years by Takapau Lion Tony Drummond. Muritai School received 40 bags of apples, enough for every child in the school to receive a nutritious, delicious treat. A big thank you to the Eastbourne Lions Club for delivering our apples recently.


Our Year 7/8 Basketball team played Avalon last week with the score being Muritai 48 - Avalon 8 - fantastic win by the team. Also a big welcome to the new men on the team - Moss Grenfall and Henry Broadbent who scored their first baskets.

We have 7 teams playing Saturday netball this year with all teams currently completing grading games, with a variety of wins and losses. Once these games are complete teams will be graded appropriately and the season will start. We are very grateful to the many parents who have volunteered to coach teams this year. The teams and coaches are -

Year 7-8 - (Fiona Donnelly)
Year 6 (Hilary Beadle)
Year 6 (Ali Brown / Robyn Flynn)
Year 5 (Milly Carter)
Year 5 (Claire Allan)
Year 4 (Kat McLelland, Hayley Crawford, Louise Goble)
Year 3 (Lisa Caddis)

The Saturday 21 May the Eastbourne community is coming together in a progressive dinner to 'Dine out for Christchurch', culminating at Muritai School. It is hoped to have raffles and possibly some auction items at each school hall. The theme and emphasis of the evening is on emergency awareness and preparedness.

There are four venues for nibbles – St Ronans Hall, St Albans Hall, the Scout Hall and the Women’s Club and then at Muritai School Hall for the main and desserts. Tickets are $40 each – i.e. people can pay more if they wish. The entrée will be from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and then everyone will move on to the main course and dessert.

A number of different groups are involved – the main ones being the churches, Red Cross, Lions, Rotary, the schools, the Women’s Club, the Fire Brigade and Civil Defence. Red Cross, the Women’s Club and St Ronans and San Antonios are taking care of the nibbles and dessert courses. If anyone wishes to offer help with supplying items for this, they should contact Margaret Campbell on 0274577784.

St Albans and the Fire Brigade will be looking after the main course for both venues. Raj and Chandra are preparing a vegetarian dish option.

It is hoped that the community of Eastbourne will get behind this venture and that it will be a sellout.

Let us show the suffering and shaking people of Christchurch that Eastbourne is reaching out to them. If you would like to attend then tickets can be purchased from Harcourts and Techdomain.


St Bernard's College Open Day

St Bernard's College will be holding an open day on Saturday 28 May 2011 from 10.00am until 2.00pm. Prospective students and their parents are invited to visit during these hours to find out more about St Berndard's College and what it can provide. St Bernard's College is a Year 7-13 Catholic boys' college. For further information contact the office at: 183 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt, Ph 560 9250. Website
http://www.sbc.school.nz/ Email: office@sbc.school.nz


A holistic creative movement class, Nia combines dance, martial arts & healing arts (yoga etc). Fantastic music & heaps of fun! Watch:
(YouTube clip here) or visit http://www.blogger.com/www.nianow.com Class starting for (approx)9-13 yr olds Wed afternoons. Adult classes run Mondays 10am in boardroom above library. Contact Amanda 021 316692 amanda.scarletmusic@gmail.com

Wellington SPCA is desperate for fosterers. Fostering involves having a cat and/or litter of kittens or puppies/dog or sick or injured animals live in your house in either a spare room, warm garage or bathroom until they are old enough or well enough to be adopted. The SPCA provides all bedding, food and free vet care. As a fosterer you may need to care for an animal for a few weeks or a few months at a time ­ until they are either old enough or well enough to go back to the SPCA to be adopted. The majority of the animals in need of foster parents are kittens, with or without their mothers. Although October to May can often be their busiest time, they need temporary homes all year round. To be able to foster an animal you will need: * a separate warm and secure room that's not used by any other animal. A bathroom or laundry can be suitable. * your own vehicle to be able to bring your foster animals in for routine checks with the vets at the SPCA in Newtown or to transport them to the after hours vet in case of emergencies. * lots of love and time - you can be a fosterer if you work full-time, part-time or not at all! They can match the right animal to your circumstance. If you think you can give your love and time to a foster animal the SPCA want to hear from you! If you have any questions please feel free to pop in and talk to or email Karen Jones at school or ring the SPCA on 3898044 or email them at info@wellingtonspca.org.nz.

May 4, 2011

We welcome Ella Szikszai, Alexa Knowsley, Maija Berry, Felix Pummer, George Baird, Amber Reid, Toby Burton-Wood, Theo Thompson and their families to the Muritai School family. I am sure you will make the most of all that is on offer.

Upcoming events :
Friday 6 - School disco
Monday 9 - Y5-6 Carter's observatory
Friday 13 - Assembly
Monday 16 - BoT meeting

Term 2 is a gritty term with 11 weeks. Teachers are thrilled to have the children for that length of time and we see this term as very much a 'progress' term. Staff are well prepared and have used the break to consolidate, regroup and prepare learning programmes that match the children's needs, abilities and interests (as well as the essential things they have to learn!), under our learning umbrella of 'Standing Strong.'

This term there is a science focus to our integrated learning. Students will be investigating their scientific world and each team will be communicating to you specifically about their learning through their blogs.  This week is primary science week with syndicates making new and exciting observations.

At the end of this term we will be reporting student progress to parents. We are still working to develop time efficient reporting to parents using the National Standards. It would be safe to say there won't be much deviation from our normal reporting portfolio, written report and interview. What is key to this process is developing improvement strategies going forward and this is where the parent-teacher-student partnership really kicks in. By working together we can achieve so much more and often time spent by parents playing a game, reading a book, talking about science, or even exploring is the only 1:1 attention they will get during a day - the power of this is immense and can make a real difference to a child's achievement.

If you would like information on your child's progress as always you are most welcome to make an appointment with your class teacher to discuss any concerns. It is appropriate to do this through appointment instead of arriving and requesting information. The parent community is generally very respectful of this.

The School Disco is on this Friday 6 May in the School Hall.  Times are as follows:
New Entrants - Year 3     5:00 to 6:00
Year 4 - Year 6                 6:30 to 8:00
Year 7 - 8                          8:30 to 10:00

Tickets will be available in the school foyer on the night for $5 each (includes glowstick and iceblock).  Extra glowsticks, glowrings, finger lights and mini chocolate bars will be on sale and water will be available.  Unfortunately only children from Muritai School can attend and all children must be collected from INSIDE THE HALL by their parent/caregiver.

Next Monday the whanau group is hosting Karepa Wall from the Ministry of Education in the staffroom at 3.30. Karepa is a Maori Liaison Adviser ki te Whanganui-a-Tara and is meeting the whanau group to help develop a deeper understanding of what we are looking to achieve in tikanga and te reo as a school.

Sarah Richardson's learning support blog is a real smorgasbord of ideas about helping children to learn. You may like to view this to get great ideas about supporting the learning at home.

We welcome Hayden Wyllie into room 9 as a replacement for Jess Savage who has returned to the UK.

We welcome Amanda O'Brien to Muritai as our after school care Manager. Muritai TV interviewed Amanda last term and you can 'meet' Amanda by viewing here.

Priya Gain, who ran the year 3-4 enrichment program The 'Mantle of the Expert' last term has written all about this interesting program and what the children got up to on the Mantle of the Expert blog.

We welcome Ann Harris who will be working with students on literacy development in the senior school this term.

Many of you would have attended the rather wet Anzac Parade service last Monday. As always it was a very moving service and I was particularly pleased with the efforts of our senior children
involved in the haka and the closing waiata, He Honore.

Muritai School is pleased to announce the Entertainment Book fund-raiser. The brand new 2011/2012 Entertainment™ Book features many of the area’s best restaurants, cafes, hotel accommodation, attractions, and activities for families… all with valuable 25% to 50% off and 2 for 1 offers.
Purchase an Entertainment™ Book and receive over $15,000 in valuable offers that you and your family can use all year – from now, until June, 2012! The Book is filled with leading businesses including: ٠Logan Brown ٠The White House ٠Arbitrageur ٠Boulcott Street Bistro٠Wagamama ٠Chocolate Dayz ٠The Tasting Room ٠The Flying Burrito Brothers٠McDonald’s ٠Burger King ٠Co Bar ٠Bordeaux Bakery٠The Hurricanes ٠SkyCity Cinemas ٠Wellington Zoo ٠N.Z.S.O. ... and hundreds more! The best part is that for only $60.00, you’ll be helping us fund-raise, with $12.00 from every Book sold contributing towards school sports uniforms. Books will be sent home to families on Wednesday 11 May 2011. Entertainment™ Books provide important funds for our school and valuable savings for our families. Please take the time to look through the Book when you receive it, and take as many orders from your work colleagues, friends or relatives. For further details, please contact the school office.


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

We have a full roster of parent helpers so thank you so much for offering to help coordinator Claire Allen with this fundraising initiative.

Thank you to parents and caregivers who responded for our call for volunteers to help with this fantastic reading programme for students in Years 1 to 4. We still need more people to help. If you have some time this term and would like to work with our youngest children upskilling them in reading, writing and spelling, please email or contact Maureen Buckley as soon as possible.

The whole school cross country is on Tuesday 7 June at Williams Park. Children will be practising over the next few weeks so please ensure they wear comfortable clothing and shoes to school. The postponement date for this event is Thursday 9 June.

It's that time of year when we ask that all students bring slippers to keep at school.  They will be asked to wear their slippers inside during the day to help keep our carpets and floors clean.