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 www.myschool.co.nz 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 www.headlicetreatment.co.nz

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: stefi@lcfclubs.co.nz, phone 562 8211 or visit the website www.lcfclubs.co.nz

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 (http://www.greengeckoproject.org) 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 eastbournemarket@yahoo.co 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:  stefi@lcfclubs.co.nz, phone 562 8211 or visit the website www.lcfclubs.co.nz