Thursday 28 November

Kia ora koutou,

Welcome back to Grace Manson and a big welcome to James Cowley who have started at Muritai recently. We are now at 476 with 3 more to come!!!

Approaching the end of the year
As we come to the final 3 weeks of the year we are starting to wind up proceedings with teachers completing documentation requirements. I am enjoying reading the children's reports and working with the staff to put our annual report together showing the progress we have made as a school in 2014. It has been a very smooth year (touch wood) and the school at the moment is in a very good space - classrooms are vibrant, the art work is beautiful with many, many fine examples and the children are getting on well with each other.

At this time of year we can hear the sound of the formal dancing which means our year 8 students are getting ready to move on from Muritai. They are in great shape - confident, bright, enthusiastic and really enjoying the environment they are in. Our year 8's are always a great measure of how successful we are as a school - we get to know them very well over the years and have seen them fly and have been there for the bumps along the way. What always impresses me in the last month of their time at Muritai is how close they are as friends. They have healthy respect for each other, and even though they are opposite gender there is genuine respect and friendship among the group. We are very proud of them.

A reminder that school finishes on the last day (Friday 20 December) at 1.00pm

Enrolment Zone is in place
Muritai School now has an enrolment zone in place.  From now any new enrolments at Muritai must come from inside the enrolment zone. Twice a year the Board will advise if there are any out of zone spaces available and these will be published in this newsletter and the Hutt News. The details of our zone are on the school website here.

End of Year Interviews for year 1-3 students
As part of our end of year reporting requirements we will be holding parent interviews for our year 1-3 group to show how the children are either progressing towards or achieving against the end of year National Standard. These interviews are next Wednesday and Thursday from 3.15 - 7.30 and you can book by clicking here and entering the code - Q2QYZ

Year 4-8 Learning conferences
Next Tuesday afternoon is an opportunity for you to visit your child's class and let them take you through their learning journey for the year. Our children have done some lovely work in the last 6 months and we encourage you to enjoy seeing what they have done. The class teacher will be there to facilitate proceedings.

A reminder that teachers are always available anytime to meet with parents about student progress.  If you feel the need to do this please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher of your child to set up an appointment.

Sue McCormack
At the end of the school year we will be saying farewell to our beloved Sue McCormack at the front office. Sue has been here since 2005 and is the heart of our school. She has been our first impression for 8 years and been a huge asset to our school, in particular her kind and caring nature with the children. She will be sadly missed by our community. Sue and Warwick have bought a property on Waiheke Island and are off on the next adventure in their lives. 

Replacing Sue will be Jo Bentley. Jo has extensive experience in this role, including front office at a school. She is a parent of the school and is a well respected member of the Eastbourne community.  

Zone sports
Last week our Year 4-6 Athletics team performed with distinction at the Hutt Rec against other schools in our cluster. The whole squad were fantastic and we managed to get up to 3rd place - 3 points behind the winning school Waterloo. We are the smallest school in the group so again a Muritai team has "punched well above its weight" in sporting competitions.

Those that placed at the event and have qualified for the Inter-zones are:

Relays - 
Y6 girls - Phoebe Evans, Macey Caughley, Grace Olsen, Helena Cvitanovich
Y5 girls - Charlotte Humphries, Tessa Treadwell-Burke, Samantha Woolley, Charlotte McFarlane

1000m - 
Y6 girls - Macey Caughley (1), Y5 girls - Charlotte Humphries (1), 
Y4 boys - Henry Evans (2)
Long jump
- Y6 girls - Phoebe Evans (1), Macey Caughley (2)
- Y6 boys - Andrew Sutcliffe (3)
- Y5 girls - Charlotte McFarlane (2), Samantha Woolley (3)
- Y4 girls - Evie Wilson (2), Chelsea Summers (3)
- Y4 boys - Henry Evans (2)
High Jump
- Y6 girls - Phoebe Evans (1), Rosie Owles (2)
- Y5 girls - Tessa Treadwell-Burke (2)
- Y4 boys - Jack Evans (2), Ryan Swift (3)
- Y6 boys - Lincoln Moffat (3)
- Y4 girls - Chelsea Summers (3)
- Y5 girls - Tessa Treadwell-Burke (3)
- Y4 girls - Chelsea Summers (2)
- Y6 girls - Macey Caughley (2)
- Y5 boys - Tom Griffiths (3)
- Y4 girls - Chelsea Summers (2)

Congratulations to Maya Hahn, Macey Caughley and Ella Giles who were selected for the Wellington/Hutt Football Federation Talent Centre.

School structure/ Composite classes
We are very close to confirming our final school organisation and staffing profile for 2014. What we do have next year is that we will start with around 415 children and our starting lineup looks like this - 

Year 7-8 - 3 year 7-8 composite classes of 26
Year 5-6 - 4 year 5-6 composite classes of 25
Year 4     - 3classes of 24
Year 3     - 3 classes of 22
Year 2     - 3 classes of 22
Year 1     - 1 class of 20 and 1 class of 7 (and growing quickly)

This indicates that we will have no spare teaching space in the school for 2014 as by the end of the year we will be operating 4 more classrooms than MOE funding expectations provide for. 

A reminder that composite classes work just as well as straight classes. They enable us to organise children into even class group numbers and also provide children a chance to work with older and/or younger children and splits long term combinations up for fresh starts.  This is healthy and a good challenge as children get older.  The NZ Curriculum and class learning programme is not based on the year level the children are at - it is organised around the learning needs within the room. Teachers are highly skilled at planning and preparing learning programmes that best fit the children in front of them and so the learning is appropriate to each classroom.

Bare feet
We have noticed that some children are coming to school in bare feet. This is not appropriate. We do our best to keep the surfaces clear of debris but there are significant hazards around the school that require footwear. The biggest challenge is the significant asphalt area where seagulls drop shells to open them and the shells fragment into quite sharp pieces.

There is NO assembly this Friday afternoon.

Health and Physical Education Curriculum consultation
The Board of Trustees are required to consult with the community about the delivery of the Health and Physical Education Curriculum at Muritai School. We are interested in what you see as priority topics and welcome your ideas about how we might be able to do things better. Can you please complete the survey by clicking here.

Term dates for 2014
The Board has settled on its term dates for 2014.

Term 1 = Monday 3 February - Thursday 17 April
Term 2 = Monday 5 May - Friday 11 July
Term 3 = Monday 28 July - Friday 26 September
Term 4 = Monday 13 October - Thursday 18 December

There are 2 teacher only days in 2014 at Queen's Birthday and Labour Weekend

Diary Dates for Last 4 Weeks of Term 4
Monday 2 December - Friday 6 December - Year 1-2 EOTC week.
Wednesday 3 December - Learning celebrations - 3.00 - 5.30
Wednesday 4 Dec - Year 1, 2 and 3 national standard parent interviews, 
Thursday 5 Dec - Year 1, 2 and 3 national standard parent interviews, BOT mtg 7.30
Sunday 8 Dec - Year 8 go to Abel Tasman
Monday 9 December  - Friday 13 December Y3,4,5,6,7,8 EOTC week
Monday 9 Dec - Year 7 go to Mt Holdsworth
Tuesday 10 Dec - Year 5-6 2014 camp mtg
Wednesday 11 Dec - Y1, 2 Christmas concert
Friday 13 Dec - Student reports and class lists go home
Monday 16 Dec - 2014 classroom morning 
Wednesday 18 Dec - Year 8 Leavers dinner
Thursday 19 Dec - Year 3,4,5,6 Christmas concert
Friday 20 Dec - Last day - final assembly at 11am. School finishes at 1.00pm

Technicraft Visits
This year for Technicraft, Year 7 and 8's have been learning ukulele as one of their five rotations.  After completing the sessions, Mrs Hooke organises for us to go and visit rest homes for the elderly, kindergartens, playcentres or early learning centre.  Our particular group went to Petone Beach Kindergarten.  We played a selection of songs we'd learnt and then five songs suited for young children so they could join in with us.  The kindergarten staff and parent helpers were also entertained.  The kindergarten supplied snacks for us and then we played outside with the children till it was time to say farewell. It was great fun - we loved having a chance to play at the kindy!  We would like to thank the parents who provided transport for this trip.
Written by Blair Kuchenbecker and Harry Crawford.

During our technicraft sessions some Year 7/8 students give up their time to spend an hour and a half at East Harbour Kindergarten.  Around 4 - 5 students walk down just after the end of morning tea to play and help out with the little children.  We have lots of fun dressing up, reading them stories, playing in the sand pit, pushing them on the swings and eating lunch with them.  Most of the older students that go down used to go there when they were younger and its nice to revisit their childhood kindergarten.  The kids really enjoy our company when we come down on a Wednesday and always look forward to seeing a new set of pupils next time.  A lot has changed since 2004 when Monica, Frankie and I attended East Harbour Kindy but its always nice to get to know some of the future students that might attend Muritai School.
Monica, Frankie and Ella

Room 24 
Today we had the exciting task of picking up the painting that Jason Kelly kindly did for Room 24.  We love it!  A few of us from Room 24 took a trip to Ripe on Waione Street.  Their logo ‘Nice Coffee, Nice Guys’ is certainly true!  Jason Kelly has been spending a bit of time there painting.  They kindly invited us in and Jason shouted us all a hot chocolate.  Scrummy!  Definitely a place to visit for a yummy treat.  After Jason Kelly showed us his work, Clint the Head Coffee Roaster showed us how to make coffee.  We were all amazed that coffee beans were a greeny colour before they got roasted.  Thanks heaps Jason!  We think you are the best!  As for the Ripe Crew… you are pretty cool too.  Thanks for a great visit!


Senior School Garden
Over the last few weeks we have been hard at work transforming the garden at the back of the Senior School.

Check out the before and after photos!

San Antonio Book Fair
Book fair this week and next at San Antonio school ...  Pop in for your Christmas gifts!

Fun Lunch time French
Now taking enrolments for Term 1 2014
Classes held once a week at lunch time, on Tuesday or Thursday
Lots of games, fun activities, crafts, and music to help learning.
The best way for kids to learn a language is through play.
For more information or to register ring Stefi Plimmer-Blattner on 562 8211
or email me:

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai 
Tena koutou katoa

Welcome to our new students - Kieran and Halina Smith, Oliver Bennett, Amelia Cathie, Amelie Bull and Lucy Hawthorne who have all recently joined the Muritai School community. Our school roll is sitting on 474 children at present.

As we approach the mid term phase of term 4 it is hard to believe that we are closing in on the end of the year. There is much to be done and when you walk through the classrooms you see the children still very focussed and engaged in their learning. 

Teachers are hard at work preparing class programmes.  They are also required to complete important work to close off the year with reports being written, assessment folders completed, class lists assembled and preparation for 2014.

Our enrolment zone is now in place so it is important to let us know if your circumstances are changing for 2014. It is important for the management team in constructing class lists but also very important for the Board as it works through our budgeting and staffing plans for next year. 

We had a very enjoyable (but windy) athletic sports on Monday. The children were superb in their endeavour and there was some very close competitions to be year group champions in each event. Congratulations to the winning house relay team from Cook. Thank you to Mr McKay for his excellent organisation. It was nice to be able to use our new outdoor sound system that was funded by the Spellathon!

The Junior syndicate have been very busy planting new flowers to attract butterflies to our gardens.  Swan plants will be added to the gardens shortly to attract monarch butterflies and children will be following the life cycle of the butterflies, checking for eggs and watching them develop into chrysalises and then into butterflies.   

Recently we held a Tsunami drill that went particularly well. We managed to evacuate the school and get up to the top of McKenzie Road without too much fuss and within the ten minutes time frame from 'event' to being safe. I am impressed at how sensible the children are at confronting the whole concept of evacuation. 

Rotary International decided to direct their focus on eliminating polio worldwide and making polio only the 2nd disease wiped off the face of the earth.  Around the world when children receive their oral polio vaccine, their little finger on their left hand is marked purple.  This prevents double dosing.

The Rotary club of Pencarrow will be visiting Muritai School on Wednesday 27 November to raise funds to help eradicate polio throughout the world.  Children can wear purple for the day and are encouraged to bring a $1 coin to make a coin trail.  Children's pinkie fingernail will be painted with purple nail varnish.  For every dollar donated, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will donate another $2.

Congratulations to the following ex Muritai students who have been awarded leadership positions at Hutt Valley High School next year. Ned Grenfell who is Deputy Head Boy, Marcus Noakes (service captain) and Lucy Stotter (sports captain). 

Sadly last week I attended the funeral of one of our ex students, Kyle Sturgess who was tragically killed in a car accident . Kyle was a kind and unassuming young man with a bright future and he will be sadly missed by his friends and family.

Last Tuesday on the 5th of November Jason Kelly; a Kiwi artist who focuses on working with wood and acrylics made his debut at Muritai in Room 24.

Mrs Allen had convinced him to come and share his knowledge and he accepted the offer. However after paying for paint and a couple of dozen book sized pieces of MDF (a wood with fibres similar to plywood) and giving us his time, we offered to repay our debts. Mrs Allen organised for us to bring in a donation and use that money to buy him some beers if we wanted to.

We couldn't wait until after lunch. Everyone was excited and enthusiastic and were ready to get creating.  At approximately 1:30 Jason Kelly walked through the door. Mrs Allen introduced us and Jason began to talk about his life.

After the inspiring story he handed out two dozen pieces of MDF and we went outside. Jason told us that we had make the MDF look fatigued and antique. We hammered and scraped, thrashed and smashed and once we had unleashed our anger we went back inside.

Covering the MDF in black paint and sand finally the MDF began to look antique and like metal; our objective. We left them to dry and then it was already 2:55; home time. We gave him his beers and our thanks and grabbed our bags to go home.
Seth Patel (Room 24)
Yesterday, as last years winners,  Muritai 'hosted' the Wellington Intermediate Battle of the Bands competition at the Little Theatre in Lower Hutt. This is an amazing event with the overall level of talent quite stunning. Our band represented the school very well but did not place on the day. Thank you so much to Carole Lowe for her organisation on what was an amazing day.

Congratulations to Rebecca and Andrid Saker who are new parents, a wee girl Arla Jane. Everything is going well so far. 

We had a surprise visit from the Office Max team today with an enormous box of presents for Kirsten Berry. Kirsten was nominated as an outstanding teacher by some of her children and a colleague and was chosen as one of 15 teachers across the country to be recognised. This was lovely recognition of her talents and hard work in our school.

Touch Rugby
Touch Rugby has started and is on each  Friday with nine teams from Muritai School.  We are looking forward to our children doing so well in this popular competition.  The Muritai Sport Blog lists the teams and all players.  Children need to wear their sports t-shirt and blue shorts.


Thursday 14 Nov - Year 5-6 cricket v Waterloo
Friday 15 Nov – Assembly 1.45
Tuesday 19 Nov – Year 4-6 Central Zone athletic sports
Wednesday 20 Nov – Kia Kaha show for Y5-8
Thursday 21 Nov – BOT mtg 7.30
Monday 25 Nov – Swimming starts, Road patrol training for Y5 students
Tuesday 26 Nov – Y4-6 Inter-zone athletics
Wednesday 27 Nov – Starting school at 5 mtg

Friday 29 Nov – Assembly 1.45
Monday 2 December - Friday 6 December - Year 1-2 EOTC week.
Wednesday 4 Dec - Year 1, 2,3 national standard parent interviews, BOT mtg 
Thursday 5 Dec - Year 1, 2,3 national standard parent interviews
Sunday 8 Dec - Year 8 go to Abel Tasman
Monday 9 December  - Friday 13 December Y3,4,5,6,7,8 EOTC week
Monday 9 Dec - Year 7 go to Mt Holdsworth
Tuesday 10 Dec - Year 5-6 2014 camp mtg
Wednesday 11 Dec - Y1, 2 Christmas concert
Friday 13 Dec - Student reports and class lists go home
Monday 16 Dec - 2014 classroom morning 
Wednesday 18 Dec - Year 8 Leavers dinner
Thursday 19 Dec - Year 3,4,5,6 Christmas concert
Friday 20 Dec - Last day - final assembly at 11am. School finishes at 1.00pm


Wanted to Rent
Long-term Eastbourne rental property required by local family.  3 + study/4 bedroom, garage (Eastbourne and Bays). Please contact Kate Salisbury 562 8594 or 021 134 3221.

Eastbourne Junior Swim Club – Register Now
The Eastbourne Pool is about to open, and that means it’s time to get ready for Thursday night

Registration for the junior swim club is open at the Eastbourne Library from 1-15 November. Get in and register your family now. Minimum age is 5 years.  Registration night is Thursday 14 November 5-6.30pm. There’ll also be a free swim for the kids on the night.  Swim Club coaching starts on Thursday 21 November.    Email with any queries.

Calling all stallholders.... The Eastbourne Christmas Market is on Sunday 8 December 11am to 2pm.  Start planning your stall now!   Stalls cost $30 - share with a friend, and children $10.   Pre-register your interest by email   Application forms inside the foyer of the Eastbourne Library  or upload from

Rona Gallery - White Cloud Worlds Gallery Show Nov 7th to 25th

The White Cloud Worlds Rona Exhibition showcases stunning science fiction and fantasy artwork from leading New Zealand artists.  Selected works from both books will be on sale alongside never before seen new works.

White Cloud Worlds Book-signing Sunday 10th Nov, 2pm to 3pm
Meet the artists from Volumes I & II for a book signing and personalised book sketches.

Live Life Drawing Demonstration Sunday 17th Nov, 2pm to 4pm
Drop by for a drawing demonstration, where artists will sketch a costumed model.  There will be discussions for approaches to figure drawing.  Adults and children are welcome to attend and sketch alongside the artists.

Gallery Exhibition Tour with Paul Tobin (Weta Workshop) Sunday 24th Nov, 2pm to 3pm
Join White Cloud Worlds creator Paul Tobin for a guided tour of the exhibition talking about artists backgrounds, influences and work processes.

Save the Loft! Trustees desperately wanted for Eastbourne Youthworker Trust (EYWT).
EYWT is the committee responsible for overseeing our two Eastbourne youth-workers and the running of Friday night activities in “The Loft”.   These activities are hugely popular, with 25 to 50 young people attending weekly. The current Trustees, long term members who no longer have children in the target age group,  have indicated a desire to retire at the end of this year.  Unless a new committee can be found, Friday Night Youth Group activities will cease. If you can spare a couple of hours per month, please contact us urgently.  Email Julie Small on or phone 5626207.

Fun Lunch time French
Now taking enrolments for Term 1 2014
Classes held once a week at lunch time, on Tuesday or Thursday
Lots of games, fun activities, crafts, and music to help learning.
The best way for kids to learn a language is through play.
For more information or to register ring Stefi Plimmer-Blattner on 562 8211
or email me: