Wednesday 26 February

Kia ora koutou

Welcome to our new children who have started at Muritai recently...Scott Barlow, Layla Meredith, Luca Marshall in room 3, and a new family who started today from Argentina.-.Inaki (R5), Francisca (R13) and Isabella Zabella (R22). I am sure you will love your time here at Muritai.

We are halfway through week 4 and the children have settled extremely well into the school year. Classes are ticking over nicely and both teachers and children have worked hard to establish their class treaties and agreements to ensure they have strong guidelines to work from. We did a lot of work as a staff before school started on some of our review information from last year for children and parents and we looked at behaviour patterns and systems from 2013.  I am particularly pleased with how hard members of staff have worked to create classroom environments that reflect our values - commitment, respect, self-confidence, resilience, curiosity, excellence, kindness and integrity.  We are keen to keep things as positive as possible so children feel really good about being part of Muritai, but we need children to really step up to the mark in terms of doing the right thing, looking after each other and supporting all to be the best they can. 

Thank you so much for attending the meet the teacher interviews in week 2. This was an opportunity to touch base and share some thoughts and goals for your child. Please keep in touch with your child's class teacher and remember they are always available to discuss any concern that you may have. 

As construction on the new school library is about to start we have moved the playground. I am sure you will all agree this is a positive change and a fresh start for a wonderful resource. The shift has allowed us to pre-empt some upcoming repairs as well as add a couple of new parts to improve the challenge that the playground offers. Thank you so much to BOT member Nick Brownsword and his team of helpers for seeing this project through to completion. 

STUDENT LEADERS (Stu Devenport - Associate Principal Y7-8)
Each year we allocate leadership roles to our year 7 & 8 students. These positions are held in high regard by the students and are keenly contested. For a student to be considered for a leadership role they must first write a letter to the Senior School teachers, expressing their interest and explaining the qualities they can bring to the role. Once all letters are received, the teachers spend a great deal of time considering the best student for each role based on leadership skills they have developed throughout their time at Muritai.

We were incredibly spoilt for choice for our school captains this year. Over fifteen Year 8s applied for these roles which show we have a strong team of confident and motivated seniors for 2014.

After seeking feedback from the Senior Management Team and our Board of Trustees we are happy to congratulate our newly appointed Head Boy and Girl - Jake Murphy and Sally Bird and Deputy Head Boy and Girl - Henry Hart and Mia Treadwell-Burke. We appreciate that they have been excellent role models during their time at Muritai School and are sure they will continue to lead the school well. 

Supporting them will be the 8 House Captains -

Charters - Hannah Moffat and Fabian Chumko
King - Milly Griffiths and Andre Forrest
Sanson - Charlotte Barclay and Todd Wellwood
Cook - Mary Heath and Blair Kuchenbecker

Stu Devenport - Associate Principal Y7-8

Messages from our Head Boy and Head Girl:

Hi I'm Jake Murphy and I'm proud to announce that I'm the 2014 Head Boy.  When head boy was announced I felt like I was going to take off because my legs were shaking like crazy!  Although this has been only my third year at Muritai, I have picked up the importance of the values of our school.  I love sports, although some people may say I love art.  I have met lots of kind people and I hope I'll meet some more.  I can't wait for the opportunities that will be presented and I hope to do a great job as Head Boy.  This year will be a fantastic year for Muritai.

Hello Everyone.

I'm Sally, the Head Girl of Muritai School for 2014.

I used to look up at the "big hairy year 8s'" as Mr Bird sometimes refers to them, and think; 8 years is a LONG way away.  A long time to listen to the teachers’ instructions, a long time to sit still and a very, very, very long time to get along with your peers - a long time to wait.  As I got older, it still seemed like reaching year 8 would take forever.  Now I look back on it, it seems it was worth the wait.  I look forward to being a leader of this incredibly colourful, bright school and I can't wait to get to know you guys better.  I will finish with a quote.  "Sometimes I pretend to be normal.  But then it gets boring, so I go back to being me".  I don't think normal exists.  We are all unique in our own special way.  Always strive to do your best.  And always, be the best that you can be.  Thank you.

Recently we sent out the school information forms. We do this annually to ensure our records are up to date. Please complete these and return them to the office. 

The Associate principals, Stu Devenport, Deane McKay, Jess Savage and Maureen Buckley will no doubt keep you informed of events relevant to your children. They do this through regular blogging as well as regular emails.

Next week the year 5-6 children are off to Forest Lakes for their annual camp. This is a wonderful experience for all concerned and I am sure the children will thrive with the challenge. Three nights away from home is a big trip for some of the younger children but they will be stronger for the experience at the end of it. Thank you to Mr McKay for all his organisation.

Deane McKay is competing in the Ironman NZ in Taupo this weekend. For the record this involves a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride and a 42.2km run. Staggering....All the best Deane!

Home and school are about to launch for 2014. We would love to see new and old faces to help us out over the year.

We are a casual group of parents who enjoy a catch up, meeting new people and helping Muritai School access new resources.

If you would like to be involved in any way, we would love to see you on Tuesday 11 March at 7.30 pm in the school staff room.  Alternatively if you are unable to make the meeting, but want to still be a part in some way, please fill in the Friends of Home and School form attached or at the school office.

We are only into week 4 but we have already accumulated an awful lot of lost property.  If your child is missing something, it may well be under the stairs leading to Room 10.  Please come and check out the lost property and take anything that belongs to you.

Monday 3rd - Junior Swimming Sports - Eastbourne pool
Tuesday 4th - 7th - Year 5-6 School camp  
Monday 10th - BOT mtg 7.30pm staffroom
Tuesday 11th - Year 7-8 zone athletics
Thursday 13th - Year 3-8 swim sports at Huia Pool - 12.00-2.30pm
Friday 14th - School assembly 1.45

People are always interested in our senior school. Tucked away across the road it is an unassuming place which is a hive of incredible just gets on with the job! Have a look at the beginning of the year that describes the energy, commitment to learning and the make-up of our senior school ...

Once again room 14 will be leading a winter shoe and coat drive for children less fortunate than themselves.  Stay tuned for further details later in the year.

Congratulations to the winners of Sue Allman's recent school photo competition:-

Rose Peddie-Burch         Room2
Grace Manson                Room13
Olivia Morphew               Room14
Pra-Wa K                        Room23
Amelie Adair                   Room11

These lucky families will receive a refund of $16 off their school photos and will then go into a draw to win a free family photo sitting worth $200!  The prize includes the sitting and a large photo-block of your chosen image and can be used by the winning family or gifted to a friend. There will be a total of 50 names in the draw which will take place on 1st December 2014.


The 6th Annual Eastbourne Local Wild Food Challenge is being held at the Days Bay Pavilion on Saturday March 15th 2014. This year there is a special addition to the event with a Local Wild Food Challenge Children's Contest!!!

This junior event is for kids 13 yrs & under, held between 3 and 5pm with a separate prize giving following. The Main LWF Challenge will be running at the same time, but with a different judging panel. The Challenge is to create the best dish with at least one wild ingredient and the judges will be looking for effort, ingredient, taste & presentation. There are some fantastic prizes to be won from over 30 sponsors.

We're encouraging kids to register before March 7th to go into a draw for two cooking lessons with the head chef of Blue Carrot Catering, Adrian Hornsby, and take part in a Wild Food Demonstration at the Local Wild Food Challenge with Adrian.

We're hoping to encourage the next generation to understand & appreciate their local environment, precious resources & community.

Entry is free for contestants, more details at or email us -

Help Carter Observatory’s Astronomy Box Outreach Programme 
Schools have been lining up to use Carter Observatory’s new, free resource, the Astronomy Box, but there’s a catch. They currently have to cover the cost of shipping. So Carter have organised a fundraising event at Lighthouse Cuba Cinema at 6pm on Thursday 20 March to make the programme completely free. Come and see a screening of the multi-Academy Award winning film, Apollo 13, and support this excellent educational programme for Greater Wellington schools.

The Astronomy Box is a remarkable resource for schools who wish to spend up to four weeks doing more in depth study of space phenomena. It is designed to inspire, explain and develop students’ thinking on the topic of ‘ the Earth and beyond’. The box includes a telescope, solar glasses, books, activity cards, a model solar system and other resources schools may not have easy access to. The Astronomy Box is particularly valuable to schools who might not be able to travel to Carter Observatory easily due to cost or distance.

Book now through Lighthouse Cuba Cinema,  Phone (04) 385 3337, or for further information please contact:  John Field, Programmes Officer, Carter Observatory, Ph +64 4 815 8302

We will be celebrating Children's Day on Sunday 2nd March by offering FREE ADMISSION into the Reserve for ALL CHILDREN. In addition to our usual attractions we will be putting on extra activities down at The Barn. So if you are looking for a great Children's day outing why not gather your friends and connect with nature at Staglands on the 2nd March.

Tamatoa Dolphins
Open Evening 6.30pm to 8.30pm on Tuesday 18 February
Tamatoa Dolphins are a maritime and marine focused youth group for boys and girls aged between 10 and 13 years old.  We run activities including snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, water safety and rope skills. Our aim is to have fun while making new friends, gaining confidence, and developing leadership skills. Please come long to our open evening to see what we do and to find out how to become a Tamatoa Dolphin.  We meet at the TS Tamatoa Sea Cadet Unit on the Petone Esplanade Close to Petone Wharf on Tuesday evenings.

Free Sunglasses for New Entrants
Visique is giving away free sunglasses to new entrant students for the10th year in a row. Muritai School has been given vouchers for these free sunglasses. Simply take the voucher with your child to Visique CapitalEyes Optometrists at 245 Jackson St, Petone, to be fitted. Visique also looks after the eye health and vision of older students, visit Visique CapitalEyes to find out more

Take some time out for yourself!!  Tuesdays 9.30am at 356 Muritai Road, summer & winter during the  Primary School TermsWomen & Men welcome - Beginner to Advanced, Regular or casual. Dress informal.  Small playground for pre-schoolers and lessons available through club  Just turn up! Morning tea supplied - Enquiries: Merryn 562-0236 or Carol 568-5360

We have now confirmed our creative arts courses for Term 1.  We have two courses running this term, starting in March.  A paper art course for 5-8 year olds and a handsewn handicrafts course for 8-12 year olds.  All details are now posted at:

All enquiries and bookings to Priya, Days Bay Play

Eastside Fitness Gym
Eastside Fitness Gym in the village is offering 6 month memberships for only $600! This includes programme set up and a half hour personal training session.
The gym offers the latest cardiovascular equipment, along with top of the line weights training equipment and all only a few minutes from home!  Owned by Eastbourne locals Brett & Debbie Turner, along with trainers Teresa Walton & Yvonne Webby, we look forward to welcoming you for a no obligation visit to discuss your exercise needs and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Phone Debbie on 0274800561 or Teresa 02102349153 or send us an email for more information.

February 3 2014

Kia ora koutou,

Welcome to the school year for 2014. I hope you and the children all had lovely holiday breaks. We start the year with 410 children and 18 classrooms in action - this is an extra class than last year! 

We started the year with an assembly and talked about the year ahead, in particular discussing our school values and how they heavily influence our ability to work together, do well at school and make Muritai School a happy place to be. Our school values are - commitment, respect, self-confidence, resilience, curiosity, excellence, kindness and integrity. Our goal is to show high levels of commitment to seeing these values in place.

We also talked about obstacles and how they are tough to overcome. They can overwhelm us at times but we all know there are things we are good at, and not so good at; or things we enjoy or don't enjoy. We talked about being determined to do our best and be courageous in the face of adversity.  

Many of the children would have been very nervous on this morning. Much of this year will be a challenge to all our children and the next few weeks are very much a settling in process where the children develop relationships with their new classmates and teachers.

Next week parents will have the opportunity to meet their child's new teacher at Parent/Teacher interviews.  

We have 15 new children joining the Muritai family today. Welcome to our new children - I hope your time at Muritai is a huge success :-
Year 8 - Meike Pummer, Megan Meates
Year 6 - Lea Pummer
Year 4 - Zara Matthews
Year 3 - Taylah Stevens, Ethan Baxter, Felix Pummer, Emily Ebskamp
Year 1 -  Nicholas Walcott, Cooper Young, Fletcher Clench, Flynn Mitchell, Marina Nadilo, Mila Emerson, Meg McIntosh, Rose Peddie-Burch

We have 5 new staff starting at Muritai School today. Welcome to Carol Algar (R9), Anand Ranchod (R23), Lesley Lowe (teacher aide room 15)  and Imogen Wallace (teacher aide room 13).  Welcome also to Jo Bentley at the front desk.

At the end of last year our caretaker Mark Sawyer secured a new job at Karori Normal School. He will be finishing up this Friday. Mark has been terrific keeping the school nice and tidy and systems functioning over the last 5 years. We wish him well.

Our new caretaker will be Roger Edwards and he will start next Monday.

Meet the Teacher Interviews
Next Tuesday, 11 February, we will be holding Meet the Teacher Interviews for parents to share information about their child. Parent/teacher partnerships are vital for the success of our children so we invite parents, who feel that it is necessary to discuss issues or share information with their class teacher, to make an appointment.  You can click on enter the code UJSWV and follow the prompts.  Alternatively, contact Sue or Carole in the office who will make an appointment for you.

Muritai Munchies
Muritai Munchies will be available on Fridays only from next week.  You can pick up a copy of the menu from the school office or download one from our website under the ‘Noticeboard.

Food for Thought
Food for Thought will be back on board from next Thursday 13th February for lunches.

We will have a new 'whole term' menu and a new 'whole term' pre-pay system to make things easier for everyone!  Look out for an email this Friday with all the details.
Megan and Carmen

School Photos
Photos will be taken during the week Monday 17 to 21 February.  Envelopes will be coming home with children shortly.  Please ensure these are returned to the school office before Thursday 13 February as late returns may not be processed.

This year, Sue Allman is running a competition where you can win 5 regular class photos.  To enter, simply get your photo order in to the school office by 9am on Thursday 13 Feb.  A refund of $16 will be given to the first five names drawn. 

The five names will then be put in a draw to win a free family photo sitting worth $200!  The prize includes the sitting and a large photo-block of your chosen image and can be used by the winning family or gifted to a friend. There will be a total of 50 names in the draw which will take place on 1st December 2014.

All children need to have a hat at school in term 1 and term 4. This provides some protection in our intense summer heat. Please make sure hats are named.

Swimming starts next week with our KiwiSwim coaches. Teachers will notify you of your child's swimming days and this information will be on the class blog which I suggest you visit if you haven't already. 

You will have noticed that the playground has been taken down. This is being reinstated in its new position next week.

School term dates for 2014
Term 1 - Monday 3 February - Thursday 17 April 
Term 2 - Monday 5 May - Friday 4 July 
Term 3 - Monday 21 July - Friday 26 September 
Term 4 - Monday 13 October - Thursday 18 December 

Easter holidays this year are in the school holidays. 
Teacher only day 1 - Queen's Birthday Friday 30 May
Teacher only day 2 - Labour Day Friday 24 October

Term event dates for your diaries
Thursday 6th - Waitangi Day
Tuesday 11th - Meet the teacher interviews 3.00-7.30; school finishes at normal time.

Tuesday 4th-Friday 7th  Year 5-6 camp at Forest Lakes

Community Notices

Eastbourne Junior Rugby Registration
Eastbourne Rugby Club is a great club with a fun year planned which is very social for kids and parents alike.  We cater for all ages from under 6 to Under 13.  In 2013 we had 109 juniors making up 8 teams.  We have 6 girls playing as well.  We welcome all boys and girls.  Any Mums and Dads keep to help out as either Coaches, Manager or just supporters are very welcome. 

Junior Rugby Registration night is on Wednesday 12 March from 6pm to 7.30pm at the RSA (HW Shortt). 

Fencing at Hutt Valley Swords Club for all school age students, and for adults as after-school classes.  Holiday sessions are also offered.  Contact Susan Tel: 04-9383090, Mob: 021-0276 1922, Email:  Susan is an experienced teacher and fencing coach.  The sessions are fun and participants always achieve growth in personal development while developing excellent fencing skills.

Fun Lunch time French
Now taking enrolments for Term 1 2014, starting in week 2.
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:

St James Petone Keas - Sea Scouts
Places are available for boys and girls in years 1-3 to join our Kea Scouts Group in Petone. This is the first level before progressing to Cubs and then Scouts and beyond.

We meet every Monday evening during term time from 5-6pm at the Sea Scouts den by the river mouth.  Lots of outdoor activities, educational outings/visitors, challenge and award badges, team work and games.  Children are welcome to come along for a session or two to see if they like it before joining.

Please contact Kate if you are interested in your child coming along.  Web site: