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