Wednesday 28 March 2012

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Kia ora koutou

Dear parents/caregivers

Welcome to our new children Harriet Wilson, Rufus Conrad and  Lachlan Wallace who have started at Muritai recently.

We are having an extra assembly next Wednesday because we have lots to share. The band will be playing, some children are singing and the ukelele is back in action in amongst lots of extras. Come along and be amazed at our very talented children - 1.40 on Wednesday 4th April.

Next Thursday we will be hosting Wellington schools for the annual Wellington Literacy quiz. Best of luck to our two year 7-8 teams in this popular competition.

Last week eight Year 8 students represented Muritai School at the national PCT Challenge (Physical Competency Test) at Petone Rec. This is an event organised by the New Zealand Police and provides an opportunity for students to take part in a  series of physical tasks as a relay team. Xavier Manson, Freijah Hawes, Zara Costello and Cahon Holden took out first place in the competition and are now preparing for the National competition at the Royal Police College this weekend. All the best guys, we are very proud of you!

For those of you that have not seen the Forest Lakes movie please click here to view.

Congratulations to our swim team in the recent zone swimming at Naenae Pool. An excellent team effort saw Muritai placed 2nd behind comprehensive winners St Peter and Pauls. Well done to the following students who placed in the top 3.

Year 4 
Flynn Healy - 2nd 50m Free; 3rd 25m Free; 2nd 25m Back
Hamish Dalziell - 3rd 25m Breastroke
Samantha Woolley - 3rd 25m Free; 2nd 25m Back
Georgie Allan - 3rd 50m Free

Year 5
Helena Cvitanovich - 1st 50m Free; 2nd 25m Free; 1st 25 Breastroke
Grace Olsen - 3rd 25m Breastroke

Year 6 
Matt Dalziell - 2nd 50m Free;
Grace Allan - 1st 50m Free; 1st 25m Free; 1st 25m Back
Milly Griffiths - 1st 25m Breastroke
Charlotte Wilson - 3rd 25m Free

The following students were selected to represent Central Zone at the interzone swimming champs:
  • Flynn Healy (50m freestyle, 25m backstroke)
  • Matthew Dalziell (50m freestyle)
  • Grace Allan (50m freestyle, 25m freestyle, 25m backstroke, relay-25m freestyle)
  • Helena Cvitanovich (25m freestyle, 25m breaststroke, relay-25m freestyle)
  • Milly Griffiths (25m breaststroke, relay medley-25m breaststroke)
  • Samantha Woolley (25m backstroke)
Congratulations to Moss Grenfell who won the Wellington Primary Schools Optimist competition held at Plimmerton recently.

Last Thursday, Andy Jones, a musician from Sydney, came to Muritai to perform in two shows: one for the Year 1 to  6’s, and one for the Year 7 and 8’s. He played lots of beats on his drum machine- the octopad-  including hip-hop, disco, Indian, Arabian, African, and more, and had us all dancing to them- even the teachers! He also showed how he could  disguise and distort the human voice using highly sophisticated technology. Some of us got to sing, dance, and play guitar or drums on stage with him! Andy was most complimentary about the high standards of musicianship here at Muritai. Rupert McRae, Louis Sutherland, Gus Reece, Jared Baines, Harry Crawford and Rose Scott-Billing got to jam with him and he was blown away! Overall, the show was a brilliant success and everyone enjoyed it. If you’d like to see him in action the MTV team will be uploading some footage onto the Muritai TV blog. (Margo Montes de Oca)

Trilogy has built a beautiful wood-framed, acrylic-covered greenhouse to host the launch of a new skincare product and, once the launch is over, the Wellington-based company will donate the Greenhouse to a local school.

A competition is being run to decide which school will win the greenhouse, the winner being the school which receives the most votes.  Pop in to the Trilogy Greenhouse to cast your vote and sample the products while you’re there.  The greenhouse will be on the Wellington waterfront beside Te Papa for five days at the end of this month so please do visit and cast your vote for Muritai School.  You’ll also be able to vote online for a very short time once the greenhouse has closed (details will follow)

Find it here:
12pm Friday 30 March to 4pm Tuesday 3 April
Te Papa Promenade (near Waitangi Park)

Notices were sent out a couple of weeks ago with an order form for Stacker Cups.  If your child/ren are interested in owning their own Speed Stacks equipment, please complete the order and return to the office.  The last day for orders is this Friday, 30 March.  For more information, go to

This year we are offering the Writing Mathematics and English International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (formerly the Australasian Schools Competitions) tests to our Year 4-8 students plus Spelling and Science tests for our year 5-8 students.  Notices were sent out with children last week.  Please complete and return to the school office by 4 April, together with payment.  If you would like another form, please see Sue or Carole in the office.

Payroll giving is a voluntary initiative that enables employees to make donations to charities, schools and other community groups through their employer’s payroll system.  In other words, you can give as you earn.

Employees that donate via payroll giving receive an immediate PAYE credit of 33% of the donation amount.  This means if you donate $15, it actually only costs you $10.  You can pay your School Donation, receive your tax credits immediately and you don’t have to complete IRD forms at the end of the year.   No more obtaining receipts and waiting to file an annual claim form!

Muritai School is approved by Inland Revenue and has been granted organisation status.  If you would like to know more about Payroll giving, go to

We will be holding our bi-annual School Carnival again this year in November (date to be confirmed shortly).  The Carnival Committee met at the beginning of this week.  This is our big fundraiser, usually making around $50,000.  We need help from all families at the school to make this a great day for everyone. Please keep your eyes open for notices coming out shortly.

The new 2012/2013 Entertainment Book features many of the area's best restaurants, cafes, hotel accommodation, attractions and activities.  Books are packed with hundreds of up to 50% off and 2-for-1 offers.  Books will be sent home to families on 26 April.  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.  You can pre-order a Book online by going to

Nanny Available
Experienced Nanny/Teacher Aide Available week one of school Holidays for childcare. In your home or mine. Please Call Abby 567 6596 or 027 739 6594.

Nitsy Pixies
Having trouble with head lice?  In-Salon Treatments or do it at home oil packs all 100% Natural and highly effective!  All Muritai School Families receive 10% off salon treatments and 5% of any products.  Please visit for any queries 

Hutt Indoor Sports
Junior League Netball Years 1 - 13.  If interested, please contact 589 4888.  Hutt Park Complex.

Capital Coaching Tennis Holiday Camps and Coaching
Venue:  Muritai Tennis Club.  Enrol Online.  Mobile 027-4599-321; Ph 499-8190; Email

Week 1 Tuesday 10 April to Friday 13 April
Full day 9am - 4pm      $210/week
Half day 9am - 12pm   $125/week
Half day 1pm - 4pm     $125/week
Individual half day        $35

Week 2 Monday 16 April to Thursday 19 April
Full day 9am - 4pm     $210/week
Half day 9am - 12pm   $125/week
Half day 1pm - 4pm     $125/week
Individual half day        $35

Kids Bike Jams
Thanks to Sport NZ and Bike NZ, the popular kid's mountain bike events are back on again in May.  These are a fun, participation based mountbain bike event specifically for primary/intermediate aged children aged 5 - 13 years.  They are all about kids giving it a go and getting a sense of achievement.  Have bike, can do - courses are all off-road on flat or rolling terrain, flash mountain bikes are not needed, kids just need a two wheeler with brakes and a helmet.  PLUS there are skill areas for kids to play on. 

Event - Wellington - 13 May at Trentham Memorial Park. 

Early Bird - 30 April.   For more information contact is or fax 04 389 4754

Laserforce at 133 Tory Street at the end of the Warehouse in the Tory Street Complex. We have the same phone number and email so get in quick to book the amazing $10 per player sessions every week day of the school holidays. Session times are 10am-12.30pm or 1pm-3.30pm. That’s 2 ½ hours of entertainment for the crazy price of $10 per player! We have a new custom built Laserforce maze and new targets to find.

Also plenty of video and arcade games to play inclusive of the $10 price! AMAZING VALUE  Bring in a group of friends or your family for some fun at the New and Improved
Laserforce. Look forward to hearing from you to book your session. Phone 3844 622.

Does your child want to learn another language?

  • Fun French at Muritai, Tuesday lunch-time - taking registrations now for term 2.  A few places left.  Lots of games crafts, fun activities, to help us learn.  
  • Fun Mandarin for 5 to12 year olds, starting next term in Eastbourne.  After-school session.  Come to the trial class.  For more information ring Stefi Plimmer-Blattner on 562 8211, email              


Thursday 15 March

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Kia ora koutou

Dear parents/caregivers

Welcome to our new children Presley Williams, Rachel Aislabie, Clara Maxwell-Lamb and Jessica Park who have started at Muritai recently.

The children are well settled as we begin our run to the end of term. Although we are still very busy, and there are lots of opportunities available, teachers are committed to keeping the focus on the learning. The children should be well tuned into their teachers by now and if you have any concerns or worries please do not hesitate to contact your teacher in the first instance.

Forest Lakes camp was a huge success last week. The children excelled in their challenges and had a wonderful time.  Camp has many opportunities for children to learn in an environment outside the classroom.  Gradually over the 3-4 days the children had to tune into the rigours of really looking after themselves; in particular actively using the key competencies in our NZ curriculum - relating to others, participating and contributing and managing self. 

You will be aware that invoices have gone out recently for school donation, activity fee (including mathletics), year 7-8 technology fee. We are so appreciative of your commitment to your children's education, especially the prompt payments so far this year. If there are any financial issues/pressures in your family please feel comfortable to talk to Carole in the office, myself or Stuart Stock, our Board chairperson in confidence.  We are very aware that education is supposed to be free in New Zealand, however, the level of funding received by Muritai School is not appropriate for what, as a community, we desire for our children.  Therefore, we all have to contribute to make the difference. I wrote about this recently on my Principal's blog.

There was  a very interesting article on Radio New Zealand last week which I have added to my Principal's blog on the summer reading slide. Research done by Massey University has shown that children not reading over the summer holiday break drop at least 6 months on their reading age while children reading (doing any reading) can improve up to 4 months.  It just reinforces how important it is for children to have some quiet time to read every day. It really makes a difference.

Our Out of School Care will be running a school holiday programme during the Easter holidays.  Highlights include a walk to Days Bay with games and a picnic, a day at Kilbirnie Recreation Centre, visit to Parliament, Bake Off Challenge, Rock climbing and Flax Weaving.  Brochures are available from the office or are down-loadable from the After School Care blog.  Brochures must be completed and returned to the school office, together with full payment, by Monday 26 March.  Be in quick to secure a space for your child/ren.  Unfortunately we cannot take children on the day as we need to plan our days and confirm staffing.

One of the activities offered in the  Year 7 and 8 technicraft programme is Ukulele . A group of our Year 7 and 8  students visited the children at our local  Barnardos Early Learning Centre recently and performed some of their repertoire of Ukulele songs. As well as playing rock n roll and favourites of theirs, they also played some songs suited for the young children and led them in the singing and simple actions. It was a delightful outing and the pre schoolers loved having the big kids there to show around. Afterwards, our students mixed and mingled with the wee guys. It was so lovely seeing them working at the woodwork table side by side – hammering and building, reading books together and playing outside. The staff at Barnardos were most complimentary of our students and are keen for us to return and entertain them again in the future.       Ruth Hooke

Fri 16 - Muritai hosting School Gen cluster day
Tue 20 - Kapa Haka starts 
Wed 21 - Y4-6 Zone swim sports; Visiting performer - Andy Jones / Starting school at 5 - 7.00p.m
Fri 23 - Assembly 1.40
Tues 27 - Vision and hearing testing NE and Y7/ Board meeting in staff room
Wed 28 - Y4-6 Inter-zone swim sports
Thur 5 - Wellington Literacy Quiz at Muritai and last day of term

Lucky Book Club orders are due back to the school office Friday 30 March.  Please note that we have to send these orders through the post and are therefore unable to take any cash - only cheques or complete the credit card portion of the form.

Thanks to a grant from the Bayer Primary School Science Fund, butterfly gardening has become a major focus for our year 1 and 2 pupils.  A group of interested parents, teachers, school caretaker Mark and local builder Tracy Smith (who donated labour) dug out old hedging, planned, built and painted the garden plots and filled them with topsoil, garden mix and compost. Special thanks to parents Karen Lloyd, Kate Brownsword and Liz Lander for their gardening expertise and hard work!

Each of the 6 junior classes is now responsible for the care and maintenance of their own garden plot. They are currently investigating and observing butterfly and plant life cycles, planting seeds, caring for seedlings and transplanting these into their class garden.  The older students are regular observers of the caterpillar and butterfly activity in the junior playground and the younger ones see themselves as the “experts,” enthusiastically passing on their knowledge. Almost all the junior students have observed a caterpillar changing into a chrysalis and, later, watched as the butterfly emerged. 

The garden area is bright and vibrant with flowers and Monarch butterflies. It is at the initial stage, with lots of colourful nectar producing annuals designed to attract butterflies quickly.  These will need to be supplemented with perennials and larger growing plants. Over the next few months more planting will be added, including numerous swan plants to provide host planting for next season’s butterflies.  We are trying to obtain a buddleia bush, a favourite, (but no longer sold) nectar plant for the Monarch. We would appreciate any donations of cuttings, seedlings or compost for this ongoing project. Please contact Barbara Ryan in Room 1 if you are able to help at

The Year 5/6 camp at Forest Lakes was 'ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!'  We had great weather throughout the four days that we were there.  This enabled the students to participate fully in all of the activities organised.  There were some challenges for many of the students and it was great to see them overcome these.  I would like to thank all of the parents, full-time and day parents, who took some 'timeout' of their busy lives to come and experience the JOY of camp life.  I would also like to acknowledge the work that all of the teachers put in to the preparation, organisation and running of the camp.  We look forward to doing it all again in 2013!!!

Mathletics is now up and running in all classes from Year 2 to Year 8. Room 7 placed 43rd out of all New Zealand classrooms in mathletics for the week of 5th-9th March.

For those of you who have signed in already, you'll know the website is a fantastic resource to assist your child in mathematics. All children should be familiar with the 'Live Mathletics' site which allows students to compete against others from around the world on basic fact drills. Students can view the progress they are making and teachers are awarding them with certificates when they meet milestones. Classroom teachers are now starting to set homework tasks for math classes using Mathletics. When your child signs in they will be asked to complete the set task which relates to the learning happening in the class. They will need to complete the set task before they can enter the 'Live Mathletics' site.

If you have any questions regarding the Mathletics programme, please contact your child's classroom teacher.

Teachers around New Zealand are introducing something unique to students called Sport Stacking. Sport Stacking is an exciting individual and team sport where competitors stack and unstack 12 specially designed cups (Speed Stacks) in predetermined sequences at lightning speed! You truly have to see it to believe it!  You can watch Sport Stacking videos online at

Teachers are excited about Sport Stacking because it promotes hand-eye coordination, ambidexterity, quickness and concentration – skills needed to excel in both sports and academics. When students are Sport Stacking, they’re using both sides of their bodies and brains to develop the skills necessary to dribble and shoot a basketball, throw and catch a baseball, play a musical instrument, type on a computer and more.

Dean McKay, our Year 5/6 AP, demonstrated Sport Stacking to the children at our recent assembly.  Dean is keen to encourage children to become involved with this sport.  If your son or daughter is interested in owning their own Speed Stacks equipment, you can order them through the school at a reduced price.  We are sending out brochures which should be completed and returned to the school office, together with payment either in cash, cheque or EFTPOS.  This also enables Muritai to earn free Sport Stacking equipment for use at school.

New Zealand Book Month is a non-profit initiative promoting books and reading – and as a result, literacy – in New Zealand.  NZ Book Month is aimed at encouraging the joy of reading and the power of literacy.  Four million $5 vouchers are being distributed nationally and a voucher will be coming home with every child at Muritai School.

Vouchers can be used towards any book purchase of $10 or more and are accepted at most book shops in New Zealand throughout March. 

The National Library are supporting New Zealand Book Month with resources to encourage young people to become engaged and motivated readers.  Resources can be downloaded from their website   Check out their Reading Superheroes competition which acknowledges the impact of reading role models and also, this year, outstanding student entries.  

Muritai Munchies now have new healthy 'Heart Foundation' pies.  You can order Mince or, as a special treat, Spaghetti Potato Top pies.  The Spaghetti pies have a bread base.  To view the Muritai Munchies menu, click on this link.


Learn a new language - Fun Mandarin for 5 to 12 year olds in Eastbourne
LCF Clubs Fun Languages is offering children the opportunity to learn Mandarin. We use a relaxed approach with lots of games, songs crafts and lively activities. The children have fun and speak from the first lesson, and they just love it. We can start as soon we have enough interest! Free trial lesson once we get going.   Also: French for years 7 and 8 starting as soon as we have enough kids and Lunch-time French - some spaces left.  Pre-school French, Mandarin, 2-4 year olds, 45 minutes once a week, time to be confirmed, waiting to start.

For more information, to register your interest please contact Stefi Plimmer-Blattner on email:, phone 562 8211 website: 

astbourne Football Club
It's not to late to join or register your child to play football in 2012.
The Eastbourne FC provides junior football/teams for local children aged 4 and upwards.
All kids interested welcome. Parents can register their child by following this link:
Any queries contact Carl McRae (junior convener, EFC) 562 6261 or 027 318 7738

Mid-Week Tennis
Take some time out for yourself!!  Mid-Week Tennis at Muritai Tennis Club.  Tuesdays 930am at 356 Muritai Road.  Summer and winter!  Primary School Terms.  Women and men welcome - Beginner to Advanced.  Regular or casual.  Dress informal.  Small playground for pre-schoolers.  Lessons available through club.  Just turn up!  Morning tea supplied.  Enquiries:  Merryn 562-0236 or Carol 568-5360.