Wednesday 10th December 2014

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai 
Tena koutou katoa

Welcome to our new children who have started at Muritai lately...Morgan Donnelly, Sebastian Thompson, Levon Anderson, Finlaeic Forde, Silas Brunskill, Noah Turner, Akhil Chittenden, Lucy Wray.

We are nearly into the last week of the year. 

I have enjoyed the busy hum of the school over the last 2 weeks watching the children changing from traditional learning to more outside the classroom based learning. Seeing children moving from one thing to another with big smiles on their faces in anticipation of their next learning experience is a real treat. 

We enjoyed sharing our school with the Education Review Office a fortnight ago. The review officers were very impressed with what they saw and were able to look closely into our practice, how well our children are engaged in their learning, and what we are doing to enable Muritai students to be the best that they can be. Feedback to the Board of Trustees was extremely positive and summary details will be in the Board newsletter out next week.

As already notified we say goodbye to Raihania Chadwick and Murray McMillan at the end of this year. Replacing them at Muritai in year 5-6 is Carl Woodhams, who joins us from Waitomo Caves School, and Shelley Frith, who joins us from Karori Normal School. Janelle McKay will continue as a classroom teacher in year 2 next year. Richard Dobson returns to teaching in year 3-4 after a year doing reading recovery and Gabrielle Heath takes on reading recovery/release teaching for 2015. Carol Algar moves through from year 4 to year 5-6 and Mikaela Cody moves from year 2 to year 3. Jess Savage and Annabel Smith are on maternity leave for 2015.

Staff have worked through class placements for 2015. This is an enormous task and takes a huge amount of time and effort  to get the best fit for your child.  There are many variables relating to the teaching and learning needs of every child that require careful consideration when making these placement decisions. The reality is that we have placed 414 children into 18 rooms and so it is impossible to realise an individuals preference of a teacher or friendship group, while needing to allocate all children into classrooms across the whole school.  Please trust our professional judgements regarding class placements.

As we approach the end of the year we have confirmed our 2015 plans. As always we have some subtle changes that were required but still maintain the strength of the school. 

Senior leadership team – Andrew Bird, Maureen Buckley, Hayley Skilton, Deane McKay, Stu Devenport

Year 7-8 – Melissa Coton (22), Lisa Allen/Ruth Hooke (24), Anand Ranchod (23), Stu Devenport
Year 5-6 – Carl Woodhams(15), Annette Borgonje (14), Deane McKay (16), Shelley Frith(13), Carol Algar (12)
Year 4 – Richard Dobson (Y3-4) (7), Karen Chao (8), Briana Lee (11)
Year 3 – Mikaela Cody (10), Hayley Skilton (9)
Year 2 - Morag Roberts/Jo Salisbury (6), Janelle McKay (5), Margs Mills (4) 
Year 1 – Maureen Buckley/Liz Sullivan (3), Barbara Ryan (1) 

Additional teaching staff – Sarah Richardson (learning support), Gabrielle Heath (reading recovery, learning support, release), Ruth Hooke (performing arts / release)

Nina Schneider
This Friday we say goodbye to Nina Schneider who has spent the last few months at Muritai School. Nina is heading to Teachers College in Germany in 2015 and has taken the opportunity to come to New Zealand and work in a school in preparation for her professional career. We are so grateful to Nina for getting in touch with us – she has been absolutely wonderful in her time at Muritai and we know that she will make an outstanding teacher back in Germany.

Although it is pouring with rain today it has been a wonderful experience for the children to be involved in the education outside the classroom challenges over the last fortnight or so. The teachers have done well to mix learning, fun and teamwork together and the children have just been superb in their enthusiasm to make the most of these opportunities. As always we have relied heavily on parental support to help make things work and for that we are particularly grateful. There are numerous photos on class blogs or our school Facebook page of each groups experience.


After completing 5 sessions of learning the ukulele, a group of Year 7 and 8 students went to the kindy to give them a concert and what a truly lovely time everyone had! We played selection of songs from our repertoire then played some songs that the wee guys knew and got them to sing along with us. They then performed for us, which was incredibly cute! It was delightful to see our big children interacting with the kindy kids - they didn't want to leave! We plan to keep this relationship going with the kindy in 2015 and develop it further.


Congratulations to our athletes who competed in the Wellington regional athletics competition. Our participants produced an outstanding performance and concluded what has been another excellent year for sport 
at Muritai. 
Those who managed to place -
Long sprint - Macey Caughley - 1st
1000m - Macey Caughley - 2nd
Year 4 boys relay team - 1st - Luca McKay, Harry Rookes, Fraser Belliss, Tom Brownsword, Joe Dickson
Year 7 girls relay team - 1st - Macey Caughley, Helena Cvitanovich, Angelina Hardy, Sofiya Dickson

Last Thursday the seniors were treated to a concert from a group of Hutt Valley High Year 10, ex Muritai boys and they just blew us away! Gus Reece, Dorian McRae and Louis Sutherland were all in a band in their final years at Muritai and have continued to play together at Hutt High. Tane Rolfe who left at the end of Year 6 also played and sang for us and we all agreed they were a bunch of super talented young men. Their passion for music is huge and it was wonderful to see how far they've all come. I am certain we will be hearing more from these boys in the future! Grace, their music teacher, does this every year and gets the students to return to their Primary schools and perform. She spoke to our students about the importance of signing up for groups and clubs and trying out as many things as you can.

A group of Year 3 and 4 students will be performing a couple of numbers at the Eastbourne Community Carols service on Sunday 14th at 5.00pm. This concert is held annually at the Muritai Hall and is always a lovely occasion for families with young children. There will be a sausage sizzle and a surprise visit from Father Christmas. Many thanks to the students who will represent our school.

The Board of Trustees have set the term dates for 2015. Please note the following - 

Term 1 - Monday 2 February –Thursday 2 April – 43 days
Term 2 - Monday 20 April - Friday 3 July - 53 days
Term 3 - Monday 20 July - Friday 25 September   - 50 days
Term 4 - Monday 12 October - Thursday 17 December – 47 days  

There are 2 teacher only days in 2015 - these are the Tuesday of Queen's Birthday and the Tuesday of Labour Weekend.

Please note in 2015 Anzac Day has been ‘Monday-ised’

You can access a full calendar on our website under 'Noticeboard' on our website

Thurs 11 Dec -  Junior school Xmas concert 1.30
Fri 12 Dec -   Reports go home
Mon 15 Dec -     2015 classrooms meet together
Tue 16 Dec -      Y8 leavers dinner
Wed 17 Dec -     Y3-6 Xmas concert
Thurs 18 Dec -   Last day of the school year / Final assembly 11.00 - School finishes at 1.00


Last day of Muritai Munchies will be this FRIDAY 12 DECEMBER.


EASTBOURNE MARKET - Christmas Market
This Sunday 14th December at Days Bay Pavillion from 11.00-3.00
Handmade crafts, food, plants, clothing, jewellery, cards, stocking fillers and much more - check out

Matahiwi Wine Fundraiser
Hi, I am helping to organise a fundraiser for my son, Harry, and his college music group who have a school trip planned for next year. With the help of Matahiwi Estate, we are able to offer some delicious premium Waiarapa wine at great prices....just in time to stock up for the festive and holiday season! There is a choice of Matahiwi Chardonnay, Savignon Blanc or Pinot Gris @ $14.00 and Pinot Noir @ $18.00 a bottle - all $5-7 under RRP and you won't find them in the supermarket! You can check out wine details/awards etc at  Minimum order is 12 bottles (can be mixed), and I am happy to deliver to anyone in the Eastbourne/Bays area. Please email me with any queries or to place an order - if
 . Delivery will be mid Dec & of course you must be 18yrs or over. Thanks, Hayley Crawford.

Fun French for kids at Muritai School in 2015 for ages 5-12
  • Experience French learning the fun way
  • Lots of interactive activities, role play, crafts, lively games and songs,
  • Free lesson offered
  • To register your interest please contact Stefi  on or phone 562 8211
  • visit the website
Plus Fun after school Spanish waiting to start - Contact Stefi at 562 8211 or

NEW BALLET SCHOOL in Eastbourne next year! Enrol now to secure a class place for 2015. Also taking enquiries for Grades 1&2 (7&8 year olds) Please check out or phone Hannah Ross ARAD RTS on 021 207 6757 or 934 1420