Wednesday 25 June

Kia ora koutou,

As term 2 draws to a close we are very excited about the commencement of the construction of the school library. This is a 3-stage project that involves a new library, the conversion of the old library into a teaching space with break out rooms, and a large ‘learning deck’ off the lower floor of the middle block. You can see the plans of the project by clicking here. The expectation is the new library will be up and running by the end of November with the new classroom and deck finished by the beginning of term 1 next year.

We are very proud to congratulate Barbara Ryan who has been awarded a Primary School Teaching Fellow Alumni Award. The award is worth $10,000 split between some PD opportunities for Barbara and some science resources for the school. This is the culmination of some outstanding leadership from Barbara at Muritai to promote and drive science curriculum learning opportunities across the school. Well done Barbara.

We are just putting the finishing touches to our reporting to parents and on Friday mid-year written reports will be issued for all students (except Mrs Ryan's class). Children in year 1, 2 and 3 who are around their anniversary/birthday, and therefore have completed 1 year, 2 years or 3 years, will receive an anniversary report indicating their overall attainment below, at or above the national standard.  Most of our children will receive a progress report indicating how they are tracking toward achieving the National Standard for the year that they are in.

The written report identifies your child’s progress and achievement using a 5 point scale ranging from well below to well above against the expected year levels of the NZ curriculum. Rather than just focussing on reading, writing and maths, we aim to cover all areas of the curriculum, including work and study skills and the key competencies. The report gives you feedback as to how well your child is tracking towards meeting the end of year national standard.

Next Thursday from 3:00-6:00 we have our ‘Celebration of Learning’.  Children will guide their parents through their learning journeys. Teachers will be on hand for any clarification required. These sessions take place next Thursday 3 July from 3pm until 6pm.  Children's day-to-day learning and class work is a very important part of reporting improvements for the children. It gives them a chance to share their achievements with you, to reflect on their own growth and helps them self-review their own progress  together with the teachers report.  

The key thing however is to continue those ongoing conversations about your child's strengths and weaknesses and understand future learning goals for the next phase of learning. So far we have a 98% parent contact rate throughout the year and this frequent contact is appreciated. As always, if at any time you would like to meet your child's teacher to discuss any issue or progress, please feel comfortable to contact them directly to set up a suitable meeting time.

Congratulations to Murray McMillan and his partner Kate who welcome their new daughter Rose to their family last week .

The Senior School will be holding an open afternoon next Thursday from 1.30 to 3pm. This is an opportunity for parents of Year 5 and 6 children (or parents at other levels) to come along and get a taste of what goes on in our Year 7 and 8 area. For this afternoon session our students will be involved in their 'Multi-Curriculum' rotation, which involves Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Science and Physical Education. 

Just after 3pm we will be running a short presentation in Room 21 which will give you further insight into our programme.  Our bi-annual Science Fair will also be on show in the school hall on this afternoon. You are more than welcome to attend any or all of the events outlined above. Here is a summary of how the afternoon is set out :-

1.30 - 3pm: Senior School classes open for you to visit.
3 - 3.45pm: Senior School presentation with Stu Devenport and school leaders

From here you can go on to the 'Celebrations of Learning.'


Next Monday to Wednesday from 3pm to 4pm we will be holding our Scholastic Book Fair and Thursday, the book fair will run to coincide with our Celebration of Learning - 3pm to 6pm.  This is a great opportunity for parents to browse and purchase Scholastic books with the school receiving 30% of all sales.  Last year the school sold over $3,000 of books and received almost $1,000 worth of books for our Library.

We are looking for volunteers to help run the Book Fair between 3 and 4pm.  Please call the office and leave your name with Carole or Jo if you are able to help.

Today the Year 5/6 syndicate are hosting their annual Speech Competition semi-finals.  This marks the conclusion of a long process where every child was required to plan, prepare and deliver a 3-5 minutes speech to their class.  Finalists have been selected from each class and will present their speeches to the whole syndicate.  We look forward to letting you know the results in our next Bird's Eye View.

After an excellent performance in assembly on Friday the Muritai School Kapa Haka roopu went to Randwick School on Monday for another performance in preparation for the Polynesian Festival. It was great to see another school’s group in action and to see our students rise to the occasion. We now have a much better idea of the standard expected of us and will make sure we shine at ‘Polyfest.’ 

The Polynesian Festival is a 2-night festival at Walter Nash Stadium celebrating the wide variety of cultures within schools in the wider Hutt Valley. Muritai School will be performing alongside 8 other schools on the second night, Wednesday 2nd July, 6:00-8:00. 

On Friday 20th of June, the Senior Enviro Ambassadors and a small handful of year 3 & 4 Dune Leaders went down to the beach near San Antonio School and weeded a small patch of dunes that we have “adopted”. We met up with Judith, who is a member of the Eastbourne Dune Protection Society, and we weeded around the dunes. It was a fun and educational experience. Over the next few weeks we will be planting more native dune plants in our patch. 

If you have the chance to go to the beach down that way, please admire the hard work and effort put in by the students

Willow Forbes - Enviro Group Leader

Our students did a fantastic job representing our school and the Central Zone at the InterZone Cross Country event yesterday at Sladden Park. We had some awesome results.  Congratulations to our place getters:-

Year 4 Girls - Greta Woolloff - 2nd Place, Esme Daley - 12th Place
Year 4 Boys - Harry Rookes - 5th place
Year 5 Girls - Chelsea Summers - 5th place, Emily Jones - 6th place
Year 5 Boys - Jack Evans - 6th place, Henry Evans - 10th place, Ryan Swift - 12th place
Year 6 Girls - Charlotte Humphries - 1st place, Samantha Woolley - 4th place, Zali Young - 10th place
Year 6 Boys - Theo Jones - 10th place.

The following students have been selected to represent the LHPSSA at the Regional Cross Country event, in Waikanae, next week:
Greta Woolloff, Harry Rookes, Chelsea Summers, Emily Jones , Jack Evans, Henry Evans , Charlotte Humphries , Samantha Woolley , Zali Young, Theo Jones.

We have received notification from the Regional Public Health that there has been a worrying increase in the number of measles cases in the Waikato region, with a large outbreak of 53 cases at Fraser High School anc cases at other schools in Hamilton.  There have been 182 measles cases in New Zealand this year; 33 of these people had to go to hospital.  There are no cases of measles in the Wellington region at the moment.

Before people develop the measles rash they are very infectious and can pass the illness on to others.  Outbreaks of measles in other regions of New Zealand could start quickly.  Parents should be mindful that travel to and from Wellington in the July school holidays could means families and children are in contact with measles, especially if:

·       People are traveling to Auckland and Waikato, or have children from these areas coming to stay
·       Your child is involved in inter-school sports touranments and events or going to ski field
·       You are planning travel to Vietnam or the Philippines where there are on-going measles outbreaks.

More information can be found at PublicRegional Health.

There are limited spaces available for the up-coming holiday programme.  Hangdog Indoor Rock Climbing  and Indoor Rollerskating, Gross Out Day and Dynamic Drumming are just a few of the events.  You can book on-line or pick up a brochure from the school office.

Upcoming Dates
Friday 27 June          Assembly 1.45; Reports go home
Monday 30 June       Matariki
Tuesday 1 July         Kapa haka roopu walk through at Walter Nash
                                  Year 4-6 regional cross country in Waikanae
Wednesday 2 July    Kapa haka roopu perform at Lower Hutt Polynesian Festival 7pm
Thursday 3 July        Year 5-6 Speech finals
                                  Year 7-8 Open afternoon
                                  Celebrations of learning 3pm – 6pm
Friday 4 July             Last day of term

Next terms dates -
Term 3 =  Monday 21 July - Friday 26 September
Term 4 =  Monday 13 October - Thursday 18 December

The next teacher only day in 2014 is at Labour Weekend


California Dreamers presents "The Fabulous Swingers Party"

Saturday 28 June - 7pm at the Days Bay Pavilion.  Sexy Cocktails, Fab 60's Food, Groovy Music.  Tickets $55pp for a Champagne Cocktail, Fondues, Horse D'oevre and a World-Class Show!  Tickets Strictly Limited.  Book at the Pavilion, Ph 04 562 775.

Learn to Play Tennis - Holiday Programme For Primary School Children, supported by HVTA.

Dates: Monday 14, Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 July, 2014. (wet or fine)
Venue: Mitchell Park (Mitchell Street, Lower Hutt)
Timetable:     9.00am-10.00 am- Girls from 5-8 years old
                      10.00am-11.00 am- Boys from 5-8 years old
                      11.00am-12.00 noon- Girls from 9 years +
                      1.00pm-2.00 pm- Boys from 9 years +

Cost: $32-00 for the 3 days. Money to be paid on the first day.
Registration: Contact Gary Nelson –Ph. 5897178 or Email -
Note: Enrolments must be received by- Monday 7 July, 2014. EARLY ENROLMENT is advised as this programme is very popular and the first 12 enrolments in each age group will be accepted.

Babysitter Available
My name is Jasmine Henwood.  I am available to look after your kids anytime.  I am 33 years old.  Please give me a call on 562 7009 or text me 021 171 6721.  The rate is $10 per hour.

Fun Lunch time French
Now taking enrolments for Term 3 2014, starting in week 2.
Classes are 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:

Wednesday 11 June

Welcome to Ben Park and Lexi Hulbert to Muritai School. It is lovely to have you as part of our Muritai family.

We welcome Briana Lee to the Muritai staff as room 7 class teacher. Thank you to Barbara Ryan for teaching the children in room 7 for the last fortnight. Barbara stars her new entrants class next week in room 1.

This week is National Support Staff week and we are pleased to say a huge thank you to our wonderful team who support the school and the children in being the best they can be. Our support staff are much loved by our children and play a critical role in our continued success. They do all sort of jobs at Muritai but they are essential to making the school run smoothly. So a huge thank you to…Jo and Carole, Roger, Sandra, Lorna, Pauline, Carolyn, Narelle, Lesley, Dianne, Fiona, Romy, Hilary, Sue, Felicity, Imogen and Francie, Mel, Chrissie and Dan and the cleaning team from Crest Clean.

I am enjoying reading draft copies of the mid year reports. Teachers have worked hard to put these together, they are moderated and a fair reflection of how children are achieving against the NZ Curriculum and they come with next steps and things to focus on.  As always there are nuances with the ‘system’ with some children who move from even years (say Y4) to odd years (Y5) maybe not achieving the same high rating as the previous year. This is because despite being in a chronological age year level they work across two years in a curriculum level. Essentially though performance against the curriculum tends to be stronger in the even years.

Reports will be issued in week 8 on Friday 27th June. Our Learning Celebrations are on Thursday 3rd July between 3:00 and 6:00 and this give the children a chance to showcase their learning experiences to the parents for the first half of the year. Teachers will be in class and available to chat about anything. If you would like specific feedback on children’s progress please contact the teacher and make an appointment with them at a time that suits you.


Our peer mediators are hard at work dealing with a few little niggles between children in the playground. Mr. McKay has trained the year 6 children and they are enjoying making a difference. Although we want the school to be a peaceful, happy place there are times when children cannot agree, or children feel that someone else’s behaviour is unfair, and so our peer mediators assist children to a resolution or pass on the problem to a teacher for assistance if necessary. It is working really well and the peer mediators are growing on confidence knowing that what they do helps improve our school surroundings. It is just another part of our children’s community.

We had a wonderful science week last fortnight. We culminated in a blast off with the water-powered rockets and the judges needed hard hats to protect them such was the vulnerability of steering. It was great fun and there was a clear winner in room 15 who managed to power a rocket from one playground to the next!  During the week we had a total of 9 scientists visit the school to share their expertise with the children. At present we have the year 7-8 children working hard on their science investigations and these will be completed by the last week of this term and on display in the senior school.


Our year 7-8 leaders enjoyed their time in Wellington last week at the Young Leaders Conference. It was an incredible experience, with fun activities and videos, and of course the inspiring speeches made by some amazing people. The focus for the day was "", and each speaker made motivational speeches about the qualities of a leader, or a hero.  The speakers there included Jamie Fitzgerald, Cam Calkoen and of course the Laughing Samoans. The children fed back that these people were from all walks of life and all had encountered obstacles in their way, but they achieved great things because they aimed high and had faith in themselves.  Our leaders all had an amazing time and came back inspired and excited about their own potential as leaders.


Well done to all the children that took part in the 40-hour famine in our support for the World Vision campaign in Malawi. It looks as though the children will raise over $2000 overall. Well-done kids (and sponsors).

We welcome back Vani to school next week. Vani is our financial literacy tutor who will be working with year 1-2 and year 5-6.


The year 1-2 team have enjoyed the Fun Ferns netball programme this week.

On Tuesday the 3rd June 31 Muritai School students, from Year 7 and 8 travelled to Trentham Memorial Park to compete in the annual HRSA 3k cross country run. It was a nerve-racking day but a lot of fun. The year 7 girls ran first followed by the year 7 boys, the year 8 girls and finally the year 8 boys. Many schools within the Hutt Valley competed with approximately ten people from each school in their teams. The top ten students from race on the day then go on to compete in the Wellington Regionals event. Congratulations to Macey Caughley who won the year 7 girls run. Mia Treadwell-Burke came 9th in the year 8 girls’ run and will also be going to the Regionals later in July.

By Mia Treadwell-Burke

At present we have the team upgrading our School Network. They will be here for another fortnight re-cabling and future proofing the school for technology developments.


As part of our Home & School fundraising plan, we are once again selling the Entertainment Book membership. This year you have a choice of the book or the new digital membership (can be downloaded to your mobile phone). The cost is $60 per membership. For each membership sold we get $12, so this is a great fundraiser for our school. If you do not wish to purchase a book, please return it to the school office as soon as possible.

The multi talented drum and percussion group, Strike came to perform at Muritai last Thursday. It was a great show and full of variety. Teachers and children were invited to go up on stage and play along on cook island drums, snares and high hat. It sure was loud but heaps of fun! It's been two years since we last had Strike here and they commented on how much they enjoyed returning to Muritai to perform for such an enthusiastic audience. We have a lot of children learning drums from Steve Wren here at school and it was fascinating watching them drumming on the floor, picking up the rhythms and being so engaged.
A great show!!!!


The Muritai School Kapa Haka roopu has an upcoming kapa haka performance in Polyfest 2014. Polyfest is a 2-night festival at Walter Nash Stadium celebrating the wide variety of cultures within schools in the wider Hutt Valley. Muritai School will be performing alongside 8 other schools on the second night, Wednesday 2nd July, 6:30-8:30. Tickets will soon be available to purchase from the office at a cost of $5 each if you wish to see the group perform. Come and support our kids. 


Maureen and her team ran a successful parent evening for children learning to read last week.  Tonight (Wednesday) it is a learning to write workshop and in week 8 (25 June) it is maths.


Wednesday 11 June           Junior parent writing evening 7pm
Monday 16 June                  ICAS writing test
Tuesday 17 June                 ICAS spelling test
Wednesday 18 June           Starting school at 5 mtg 7pm
Thursday 19 June               Bard of Trustees mtg 7.30pm
Friday 20 June                     School assembly 1.40
Tuesday 24 June                 Y4-6 interzone cross-country; Y7-8 zone football
Wednesday 25 June           Junior parent maths 7pm
Friday 27 June                     Mid year reports go home
Monday 30 June                  Matariki
Tuesday 1 July                     Kapa haka roopu at Lower Hutt primary festival 7pm;
Y4-6 regional cross-country; Y3-4 football in schools
Thursday 3 July                    Y5-6 speech finals; Celebrations of learning 3pm-6pm
Friday 4 July                          Last day of term 2


Term 3 = Monday 21 July - Friday 26 September
Term 4 = Monday 13 October - Thursday 18 December

The next teacher only day in 2014 is at Labour Weekend


Does your child have a learning difficulty?
Arrowsmith is an internationally recognised programme that has proven effective for students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. The focus of Arrowsmith is to address the underlying mental processes that cause the learning disability, rather than aiming to manage the symptoms. The Arrowsmith Programme is founded on neuroscience research and over 30 years of experience demonstrating that it is possible for students to strengthen the weak cognitive capacities underlying their learning dysfunctions through a programme of specific cognitive exercises. 

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, founder of the Arrowsmith Programme and author of the book “The Woman Who Changed Her Brain” is visiting Wellington in June.  Details: Samuel Marsden Collegiate School hosts An Evening with Barbara Arrowsmith-Young - Tuesday June 24, 2014 7:00 – 8:30 pm at Samuel Marsden Collegiate School Auditorium, Marsden Avenue, Karori, Wellington.

For more information about Arrowsmith please see the website: 

Eastbourne Plunket
Clean out your bookshelves and toy boxes for Eastbourne Plunket! We would love any pre-loved, good quality preschool toys and books for our Plunket rooms. We would like to update and freshen our collection so if you have anything your children have grown out of playing with or reading, please donate them to us. Contact Virginia to arrange collection on 04 562 7394 or Anything surplus to our requirements will be donated to a local charity.

Babysitter Available
My name is Hasmine Henwood.  I am available to look after your kids anytime.  I am 33 years old.  Please give me a call on 562 7009 or text me 021 171 6721.  The rate if $10 per hour.

Old School Piano for Removal
We have a Daneman piano spare. If anyone would like it, they are more than welcome to take it. Please come and see Carole or Jo in the office.