Welcome to William Nelson, Connor Johnstone and Luke Sherwin to Room 1 recently.

As we approach the last fortnight of the term we are starting to reflect on the usual busy hustle and bustle of school life. No day is a dull day at Muritai and I take my hat off to the staff for enabling the children to enjoy the learning experiences of today's school life as we continue to embrace the wide scope of learning these days. The children are right into their stride though and the classrooms are building with colour as the teachers really get the learning momentum going.  With swimming finished, cross country training has begun and we look forward to seeing our children trying their very best at the school event on Tuesday 31 March.

Next week we have parent teacher interviews. This is a chance to teachers to feed back to parents on achievement and progress of the first term. As we approach the 'gritty' autumn and winter terms 2 and 3 we can inform you on our focus goals for learning for the children. As usual school will finish at 2pm to allow the interviews to begin at 2.10pm and they are for 15 minutes each so that we can get through all parents and allow staff some breathing space through the afternoon and into the evening. You can collect your children at that time or arrange a play date and if you can't we will be supervising children until 3pm in the hall.

Please sign up a time by accessing this web address and enter the code 3TGMX and follow the instructions. Contact Jo or Carole in the office if you need support.

Last week year 5 and 6 team thoroughly enjoyed the Forest Lakes experience. The children did so well to be involved in the high energy programme and are to be congratulated for their enthusiasm, tenacity, confidence and 'stickability' to achieve so much in such a short time. They had a real 'can do' attitude. It would be fair to say there were some very exhausted children (and adults) heading home of Friday afternoon. A camp wouldn't be possible without the generous support of our parent volunteers who gave up their time to support the children and assist the teachers in the day-to-day operation of camp. I need to thank and congratulate the teachers Deane, Annette, Shelley, Carl and Carol for their organisation and dedication to the Forest Lakes experience and for Rachel Evans for her role as the medical officer.

The Board of Trustees issued a letter last weekend with information on school donation, activity fee and technology fee. Thank you to those that have paid so quickly but we have had some feedback from parents as to the clarity of the invoice. It is important to note, but we were just following what was recently stipulated in circulars to schools by the Ministry of Education. We will be reissuing the statements today and putting the voluntary donation and activity/technology fees on the same page to help you better understand the financial commitments to the school.

Please take extra care when travelling past the school during the day and especially around the crossing on Muritai School.  We have children using the crossing at all times of the day.  Last week a car stopped to let a child cross over and two cars coming the other way DID NOT STOP.  The child was already on the crossing when the second car crossed and if they had run across instead of walking, they very well may have been run over. We are urging our children to take extra care on the crossing when not patrolled as we just can't rely on drivers these days to look out for our children.

Come and join us for a garden working bee at the Oroua St entrance to school on Saturday 21 March, 9am-12noon. Tasks we would like to do: - clear up the windblown rubbish around the Oroua St. side of the school, including behind the new library - tidy up planting on the Oroua St entrance, take out dead leaves and dead plants - prune back overgrown plants and take out any that are dead/ too big/ self-seeded - fork over some of the soil behind the library prior to planting next term. All help much appreciated even if it is just half an hour around weekend sports commitments. Thankyou! Please contact Kate Brownsword on 027 562 0177 if you have any queries.

Year 7&8The team started well with a win over Fergusson Intermediate.  This set up a must win game against Wellesley which the team lost after falling just short in the run chase. The team played well with stand out performances by Paige Shroder and Lincoln Moffat

Year 5&6
The team started well with a convincing win over Hutt Central and followed up with a loss to Wellesley winning in the next round against Karori Normal School.  A semi final has been organised against St Peters & Paul’s tomorrow. See the next newsletter to see how the boys did.

Touch Rugby
This is well under way now and all the teams are enjoying participating and competing for the school. We have playoffs and finals next Friday.

Our top athletes (a team of 29 in total) recently competed in the Year 4-8 Regional Athletics with the following students placing in the top 3:

Macey Caughley - 1st long jump / 2nd 1000m
Year 7 Girls Relay - Macey Caughley, Helena Cvitanovich, Angelina Hardy and Sofya Dickson - 1st
Year 4 Boys Relay - Luca McKay, Harry Rookes, Fraser Belliss, Tom Brownsword and Joe Dickson - 3rd

Congratulations to all the team.

Wellington Schools Triathlon Championships 
Ben Cass finished 2nd in the Y7/8 boys race at the Wellington Schools Triathlon champs at Scorching Bay on Thursday 5th March.  This is an amazing result for Ben...well done!

The Juniors were extremely busy last week with visits to Pataka Museum, their Swimming Festival and Festival of the Arts.

On Monday morning the Junior syndicate visited the Pataka Museum in Porirua where children experienced life as it was in New Zealand 100 years ago.  They had a go at washing with a mangle, ironing clothes with old irons and then dressing up in period clothing.  They compared household technology today with that of 100 years ago and finished the day with a visit to the Art Gallery where they listened to and acted out an animal legend.

Tuesday was a stunning day for the Juniors Swimming Festival held at Eastbourne Pool.  The children used noodles, flutter boards and balls for their races.  It was all about having a go, being in a team and experiencing success.  We had a wonderful turnout of parents and family members to cheer on their children in their amazing swimming skills.

To cap it all off, on Wednesday they travelled into Wellington to experience three performances as part of the Festival of the Arts - Carnival of the Animals, Squaring the Wheel and Orchestra of Spheres.  All great shows.

A very busy and exciting week for our junior students who were extremely tired by the end of it all.

The Junior School is looking for parents, grandparents or other adults in the area who would be willing to help with our valuable 'Hooked on Books' programme.  This entails coming to the Junior School once each week Monday to Thursdays, preferably afternoons - 1.30 to 2.40 p.m. to listen to children read.  Can you please email Maureen Buckley if you are able to help and let her know which days you would be available.  Maureen is hoping to start the programme from the beginning of Term 2.

Neils Meyer-Westfield, a parent of the school, is a graphic artist and has kindly donated a copy of his new book "Land of Birds".

The school offers to students the opportunity to partake in the Inetrnational Competitions and Assessments for Schools test for year 4-8 students. Tests are in Science (Y5-8), Writing, Spelling, English and Maths. An email has already gone out and information is available at the office if required. Close of dates for entries and payments are Thursday 2 April.

These are 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  

Please note that 
Monday the 27 April is a holiday as Anzac day has been Monday-ised.
Tuesday the 2 June is a teacher only day (this is the day after Queens Birthday.
Tuesday the 27 October is a teacher only day (this is the day after Labour Day)

Diary Dates
  • Thursday 19th March - Year 3-4 and Year 7-8 Festivals of the Arts
  • Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th March - Parent Interviews - student progress (school closes at 2pm
  • Wednesday 25th March - Y4-6 Inter-zone swim sports
  • Friday 27 March - Year 8 girls Gardisal immunisation
  • Friday 27th March - School assembly 1.40
  • Tuesday 31st March - Whole school cross country at Eastbourne Rec
  • Wednesday 1 April - Junior school Grandparents day
  • Thursday 2 April - Term 1 ends at 2.55pm
  • Monday 20 April - Term 2 begins
The Senior Charity Group are organising a Pyjama Day on Tuesday 24 March to raise money for Vanuatu after the devastation of Cyclone Pam. Come to school next Tuesday wearing your pyjamas and bring a donation. The money we raise will be donated to the Red Cross.

The last day for the scholastic orders is Wednesday the 25th of March. Please ensure you pay either by cheque or fill out your details for your credit card as we post the orders and cannot accept cash.

Kids' Yoga in Eastbourne! 
Kula Kids' Yoga is a creative and fun yoga class just for kids!  We weave story, song and games into the ancient art of yoga.  Classes include the physical poses that develop strength, balance and flexibility and simple mindfulness activities while we move from stillness to activity and back.  Email Jeanne at to book or for more information, and like us on facebook.  See photos, links and weekly postings

Thursdays until April 2
Ages 5-9, 3:45-4:30 pm
Ages 10-13 4:45-5:45 pm 
$10 per class
51 Oroua Street, Eastbourne, just down the street from Muritai School! 

Jeanne Balding-Weinstock is certified through Yoga Alliance with specialty training in Kids' Yoga.  She has teaching experience in Early Childhood, and teaching Yoga in private schools, clubs, and studios in California, US.  References available

Sustainable Home & Garden Show 2015
Don’t miss this year’s Sustainable Home & Garden Show on 21 and 22 March.

There will be a huge range of eco-friendly products on display from over 95 vendors, talks in the No8 wire workshop and cooking demonstrations, vibrant school gardens, electric cars, a treasure hunt for kids and plenty of activities for them to try. Something for everyone.

Back by popular demand, a giant Lego® model of what Paraparaumu town centre might look like in 2035 will also be on show to enthral young and old alike!

Plus, great food will be available and entertainment will run throughout the weekend.

The event runs from 9am to 4pm on both days at Kapiti Primary School, Rimu Rd, Paraparaumu. Gold coin entry.

More information go to:  

My name is Jasmine Henwood.  I am 32 years old and am available to look after your kids.  Please give me a call on 021 066 0536 or 562 7009.  Hourly rate $10 per hour


Kia ora koutou katoa,

We welcome Willa Velvin who has joined Muritai School in room 1.

As we enter week 5 the school has a very busy feel to it. Classes have really settled into a nice momentum. Time is ticking on with year 5-6 heading off to Forest Lakes camp next week which always indicates that the run into the first holiday break is here. There is much to do before then.

Towards the end of this term we have our first reporting to parents phase. For parents in year 3 - 8 we will share results from term 1 'assessments' and feedback progress the children are making this year. For the year 3 children requiring anniversary reporting on national standards this will be done at this time. These will be held in week 8 and are set for Monday the 23rd and Tuesday 24th March.   Booking times will be available in the next newsletter.

We are pleased with how much dialogue we have with parents on student progress. This is a key issue nationally - parental engagement. While Muritai has plenty, some schools have very little. Evidence shows that when parents show a strong interest in their children's education, children progress well. Some staff receive daily emails from parents, which is probably a bit too much engagement, but generally the odd touch base here and creates a team approach to enabling our children to be the best that they can be and helps you be informed as to how they are progressing and how together we can continue to make gains. 

We appreciate the children being well prepared for school and keeping up the other aspects of learning after school, such as playing sport, doing things as a family and being active in their community. Please keep an eye on their tiredness. Kids do get tired very easily and we need them fresh and focused at school to progress in their learning. School is very busy and the children do a lot during the school day.

As you can see from this newsletter the event schedule is starting to build up.  A date to book into your diaries is the Muritai School Cross Country which we are holding at the end of this term on Tuesday 31st March at the Eastbourne Rec.  With swimming finishing this week we move into cross-country training soon. For many children these special events are the things they love the most and provide a good chance for the children to 'grow' in different ways. We do try to manage opportunities so they don't impinge too much on classroom learning.

Overall we are thrilled with how the children and the school is sitting after the first half of this term and we look forward to a successful run through to the holiday season at Easter.


We are pleased to announce that for 2015,  Helena Cvitanovich and Callan Hughes have been chosen to be our school leaders and they will be supported by Eva Oliver and Tom Flynn. These four students have been excellent role models in their time at Muritai and we are confident they will represent the student group with distinction.

Across the senior school all our Y7-8 children have put their names forward for many roles to provide leadership across the school. This programme works well and enables our oldest students to share their ideas in further developing the school and allows them to give back to the younger students before the head off to secondary school. We have been so impressed at how committed our oldest students are this year and are making the most of putting this real life extension opportunity into action.

Photo order forms were given to all children in the school last week.  If you haven’t seen your child’s, please have a good look in their school bag.  Orders need to be returned to the school office by next Wednesday 11 March and photos will be taken in the week beginning 16 March.  A timetable will be sent home from

This was a very busy and successful event. We managed to complete over 100 races in such a short time, so while it was a squeeze and a bit frenetic at times, we got there in the end. Congratulations to King on winning the house relay this year. The quality of the swimming was excellent and families and children are to be congratulated on developing this life skill amongst the Eastbourne community.

Our school champions were -
Year 4 - George Baird and Rosa Blair
Year 5 - Ted Woolley and Ella Young
Year 6 - Kahu Rolfe and Emily Jones
Year 7- Tom Griffiths and Zali Young
Year 8 - Arie Rasmussen and Helena Cvitanovich

Next Tuesday we have the junior school sports at Eastbourne Pool.

So far this year we have successfully raised over 100 Monarch butterflies in the enclosure outside Room 3.  From March onwards we tag the butterflies with a numbered sticker and record their details on a national data base before we release them. Some of these late season butterflies winter over in trees and delay laying their eggs until next Spring. We want to track where they winter over.

Please do not let the butterflies out of their enclosure before they are tagged. They have all the nectar and water they need. If you see a tagged butterfly outside the school grounds please let Mrs Ryan know via email or register your sighting at

We raise our swan plants from seed and we collect from the enclosure so it is important the swan shaped seed pods stay intact and are not touched.  

We are looking for someone to work as part of a team providing Teacher Aide assistance for a child with autism.  This job share position begins on 20 April 2015.  Ideally you would have a positive attitude, be fit, energetic, flexible, have a sense of humour and a love of children.

Please email your details to

You may have heard through various sources that the National Library announced at the end of last year that they will be transforming their services. Click here for the details on the change.   

Each term, as part of our inquiry/topic study we request a box of books on each topic for each classroom. Students can use these to browse and for part of their inquiry study. As part of this transformation the National Library will be cutting their print curriculum topic loan services to schools at the end of Term 2 this year. This will mean that when classes of students are researching topics we will no longer be able to request boxes of books on the topic. This is a service we have used extensively over the years to supplement our library collection when we have many students needing material on a specialised topic at their level of understanding. The reported cost savings are minimal (approx. $390,000). 

How will this impact on learning at Muritai and the services that we provide? When teaching students how to conduct effective research we encourage them to use a variety of sources (print and digital). Studies show that not all students are successful at processing and evaluating information from websites. We believe that relying solely on online resources is detrimental to the quality of the completed research. We will continue to use our budget to buy quality non-fiction at the levels required but will not be able to match the service we have become accustomed to. We already focus on reading for engagement and do not need the new book service they are offering. Print based topic loans are our main use of the National Library Services to Schools. 

What can you do? Join the voice of school librarians, teachers and the wider community who have been signing a petition by clicking here.. Or please contact your local MP or Peter Dunne, the Minister of Internal Affairs, to discuss these cuts.

Ben Cass, a year 8 student, came second in the Intermediate Schools Fleet Racing Regatta at Paremata recently, representing Muritai School.  Well done Ben!

We enjoyed hosting Maoribank School yesterday from Upper Hutt for their 'out of school' day in Eastbourne.  

“Once upon a time….in a galaxy far, far away….a group of children sailed the sea….to a land of adventure and excitement….Capital E!
Last Wednesday, Mrs Hooke’s technicraft group were lucky enough to have the opportunity to hop on the ferry over to Wellington, and spend the day at Capital E in the city, to find out what it was really like to be involved in the making of a T.V news program, and have heaps of fun along the way!
Capital E is at the heart of Wellington's creativity, it bases itself on expanding and enhancing the minds of young people in our quirky little city.   

It was a really hands on experience, some of us worked behind the camera, in roles such as director, studio manager, floor manager, visual effects and the camera man, and then there were the people in front of the camera, like the reporters, characters, weather girl, and the presenters. We weren’t a big group, so we all had to work pretty closely to make sure we had everything down to plan.  There was only one rehearsal, and after that we all met to talk about what we thought we could change and improve on, then it was time for the real thing!

I think we all expected it to be a bit manic, kids running round at the last second trying to find something to wear, or maybe a problem with the microphones,(after all we're not professionals)  but we all worked really well together, every single one of us were playing our part, and at the same time, making sure everyone else knew what they were doing. The teamwork was awesome, we pulled it together, not as easy as you might think, considering we had to record different sections in different studios, but the end result was a polished production that we are all proud of.

Thank you Captain Hooke (Mrs Hooke) for taking us on this creative adventure!
By Eva Oliver

The Muritai After School Care Holiday Programme will run from Tuesday 7th April - Friday 17th April. The schedule for the programme will be out next week and brochures will be available from the school office. Contact Mel if you have any enquiries.-


2 Mar               Seaweek
9 Mar               Year 1’s visiting Pataka
10 to 13 Mar    Year 5/6 camp at Forest Lakes
10 Mar             Junior School Swimming Sports at Eastbourne Pool
11 Mar             Festival of the Arts – Juniors
13 Mar             Assembly
16 to 20 Mar    School Photos
18 Mar             Year 4-6 Central Zone Swimming Sports
                        Year 2’s visiting Pataka
19 Mar             Year 7/8 Festival of Arts
                        Year 3/4 Festival of Arts
23 Mar             Parents Interviews for Years 1-8
24 Mar             Parent Interviews for Years 1-8
25 Mar             Year 4-6 Interzone Swimming Sports
27 Mar             Assembly
                        Year 8 Girls Gardasil Immunisation
                        Year 7 students Boostrix Immunisation
31 Mar             Year 1-8 Cross Country
1 April              Juniros school Grandparents day
2 April             LAST DAY OF TERM 1

20 April           FIRST DAY OF TERM 2


Life Flight Open Day
Life Flight’s Open Day is a unique and fun educational opportunity.  There will be exciting demonstrations and emergency teams will be onsite to give a firsthand experience of what it takes to save lives in our community.  Plus, 12 people will win a flight on Life Flight’s Westpac Rescue Helicopter on the day!  It’s a kid’s dream, features include a helicopter, airplane, fire engine, ambulance, and sniffer dogs.  Food stalls, and loads of kids’ activities including face painters, and a dress up competition for children make this the perfect family event.

When:  Sunday 22 March 2015, 10am to 2pm
Where:  Life Flight Air Rescue Centre, 17 George Bolt Street (near the Warehouse, Lyall Bay)
Entry:  Children free, Adults $5 suggested donation.

Sing - Dance - Act classes for children
Children from 5 to 12 years old
Different aged group classes
Thursdays from 3.30 to 5.30
St Marks Church
Muritai Children could take Classic Coaches bus to Secret Heart and we pick them up from there.
Beauty and the beast auditions coming soon

Infinite Dance Crew presents ‘Lady Liberty’ 
An urban legend straight from the streets of New York City tells the tale of the real Lady Liberty. A woman who inspired the famous statue in the 1880’s and who still roams around the city she adores and protects, never growing, never changing and never seen.
Documentary photographer, Frankie Nichols, has been given the challenge to weave the streets of New York, track down the real Lady Liberty and capture her on camera.
Infinite Dance Crew present an original hip hop and contemporary dance performance combined with interactive projections and projection mapping.
With an inspiring cast of 50 Wellington dancers this high-energy show is an absolute must-see for all ages. 

***Infinite shows always sell out quickly so be in quick to secure your tickets!

Dates and Times: 

Monday 2nd March: 7pm show only.
Tuesday 3rd March: 7pm show only.
Wednesday 4th March: 7pm show only.
Thursday 5th March: 7pm show only.
Friday 6th March: 7pm show only. (SOLD OUT)

(Show runs for approximately one hour)

Venue: Whitireia Performance Centre Theatre, 25 Vivian Street, Wellington. (Unallocated seating)

Ticket Prices:
Child (12 and under) $10
Concession (with ID) $15
Fringe Addict $15
Full $20

Tickets available at or by calling 0800 BUYTIX
(Please note that tickets are not available through the Infinite girls or Pump Dance Studios, it has to be through Event Finder)

Friday 13 March 6pm-7.30pm
ERFC Clubrooms, HW Shortt Park, Tuatoru St, Eastbourne
Junior rugby is for all boys and girls under 13 years old (as at 1 January, 2015).  The under 6 and 7 grades play rippa rugby (non-tackle), the under 8 grade moves to tackle during the season, and the under 9 and above grades play tackle. In the tackle grades children are graded by both weight and age.

Junior rugby is really fun and simple to pick up, and it helps you with ball-handling and passing skills. So get your mates together and join up for 2015. It’s a great way to learn ball skills, have fun, and be part of a team.
Enquiries email:
Give it a go - you’ll love it!

Local Wild Food Festival
The 7th annual Local Wild Food Challenge is back on Saturday March 7th at the Days Bay Pavilion.

The kids section grows every year & we're so happy to see young people so involved in the harvesting & preparing of good food & spending time in their natural environment.

The junior event is for kids 13 yrs & under, held between 3 and 5pm with a separate prize giving following.
The main Challenge will be running at the same time with a different judging panel.
The Challenge is to create the best dish with at least one wild ingredient, although the more wild ingredients the more points!
The judges will be looking for effort, ingredient, taste & presentation.
There are some fantastic prizes to be won from over 40 sponsors.
Entry is free for contestants & children.

For more details or email Bill Manson at