Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Kia ora koutou

I hope you enjoyed the long weekend. This week of course has flown by and next week we are already up to week 4. Staff are currently working on ‘end of year’ assessments with the children to measure progress and spent much of Tuesday working on moderation processes for school reports and Ministry reports. November is very much a time where we find out how we have done this year.  The school feels great, the kids are working hard, the teachers report excellent progress so it is nice to match it with ‘data’.

We are putting the finishing touches to our plan for 2016. Our numbers look secure and we are starting to allocate children to classrooms. Thank you for keeping us informed of any movements out of Muritai at the end of the year. We talked about the processes of forming classes at Board level earlier in the year and enhanced our Student Placement Policy which is attached to the newsletter.  Classroom allocation is always a hot topic of conversation and placing 400 children into 18 classrooms for day 1, 2016 isn’t an easy task. Teachers work really closely on creating fair, cohesive groups with an even cross-section of skills and attributes.

The Board, in developing the policy, asks parents to respect the complexity and equity of the class construction process, but invites parents who have particular educational concerns on their child’s placement and can inform the process, to put the concern in writing, explaining their reasoning, and address it to Andrew Bird, Principal before Friday 13th of November.
“Parent concerns will be seriously considered. It must be clearly understood, however, that no definite guarantees can be given regarding parents and that the Principal, after appropriate consultation, reserves the right to make final professional decisions regarding the placement of children. It is not possible to realise all individual’s preference of a teacher or friendship group, given the number of children placed into classrooms across the whole school.”

We are thrilled with the opportunity given to Melissa Coton that was announced last week - a 6 month sabbatical with the Royal Society of New Zealand. We have been growing our science opportunities with the children and example of this is our link with Hutt Science. This valuable resource sends us out a box of science equipment and corresponding teaching, learning and curriculum links to the school, with everything ready to go.   Room 7 have posted the experience on their blog -

Next Monday, 2 November, we have our Year 3-4 athletic sports. This is based at school and the Eastbourne Rec. This is always a fun event which swings between participation and competition.  It is great to see our children trying their best, and for their House as well.

The Muritai School Board of Trustees invites applications from parents who wish to enrol an ‘out of zone’ student at Muritai School for 2016. Enrolment at Muritai is governed by an enrolment scheme, details of which are available from the school office. Applications are to be made on the official enrolment form, which is also available from the school office. The deadline for receipt of applications is Wednesday 4th November.
The Board has determined that up to 10 spaces are available at year 7-8 and 6 spaces are available at year 3-4 level. if the number of out of zone applications exceeds the number of places available, students will be selected by ballot.  If a ballot is required it will be held on Friday 6 November. Please call the school office 562 8409 for more information if required.

The Muritai School Board of Trustees are developing a strategic plan to take the school forward for the next 5 years towards the end of 2020. The Board has gathered information from the staff, the students and the community to inform them of the current priorities. It has read widely on current education trends, researched the government priorities for education, listened to parents in the community and visited other schools.

The Board are keen to further gather information from our community before finalising the school strategic plan and invite you to make a contribution. At this stage the Board has identified 7 key areas to guide the development of Muritai School for the next 5 years.
These 7 key areas are -
1. Achievement and success for all students.
2. Using our local environment and local environmental issues to support our learning.
3. Enhancing and developing the teaching and learning in science, technology and mathematics.
4. Use the key competencies of developing self, respecting others, participation, contribution, thoughtfulness and creativity to drive our school culture and relationships.
5. Engage with the community to utilise local expertise to enhance our teaching and learning.
6. Using ICTs effectively to support skill and knowledge development, and communication.
7. Develop our teaching spaces for a better learning environment.

We invite parents to share their thoughts on the next steps for Muritai School on the survey provided. Please click the link to access the survey.

We are continuing with our fundraising for the Tournament of Minds team’s recent trip to Australia.  The TOM raffle has four fantastic prizes:

  • A stereo with ipod dock from Dick Smith
  • Massage Oil, Print, Coffee Beans, Pet Portrait, $10 voucher Giselle Kitchen, Mixed Fruit Drops
  • Mustard and Jam, Coffee Beans, Regular Coffee, Holiday Tea, $10 Voucher for Giselle Kitchen, Travel Glass Mug, Whittaker’s Chocolate
  • Vinaigrette and Dressing Pack, $30 Voucher for Sorrento, Molly Woppy Gingermen, Coffee Beans, Regular Coffee, $10 Voucher for Giselle Kitchen, Travel Glass Mug

The raffle will be drawn next Friday with tickets at $2 each or $10 for 6 tickets.  

Many thanks to the Muritai parents, families, friends and, of course, students for their generous support of last term’s Fact-a-thon.  We raised over $8700 which is an amazing effort and will go towards the development of a science room.  Congratulations to all prize winners and a special mention to Room 16 who won the Class Award - we will be arranging lunch for you all shortly!
Home and School

Friday 23 October 2015

Friday 23 October 2015

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Kia ora koutou

We hope you enjoy the long weekend with family. A reminder that we have teacher only day on Tuesday the 27th. Staff will be working together on our student achievement information as they begin the process to of finalising reporting to parents on student progress and meeting Ministry requirements. It will be a busy day.

Over the coming months, the service will be opening six new dental hubs across the Wellington Region and closing old style dental clinics situated in some local schools.  During this time the service will remain open and fully operational.  

If you as a parent/caregiver need to contact Bee Healthy Regional Service, have concerns about your child’s teeth or your child has dental pain, you can arrange an appointment by calling 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583).  You can also call this number to update your contact details.  

If your child is school aged, he/she will be examined on a new dental mobile van (the ‘spokes’) which will visit schools annually.  The important change for you as a parent/caregiver is that if your child is identified at their examination appointment as needing further treatment, such as a preventive coating or filling, he/she will require this treatment at a dental hub.  As a parent/caregiver you will need to ring 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583) to arrange a suitable time and attend this appointment with your child.

Further information about Bee Healthy Regional Dental Service is available at

Last week our Tournament of Minds Maths and Engineering National Champions flew across the ditch to compete in the Australian Pacific Grand Final. What an experience! The competition was a huge step up from the New Zealand Nationals with over 450 students competing from all over New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and Hong Kong. After a couple of days of sightseeing, checking out Sydney's attractions and eating ice cream, our team headed to the University of New South Wales to compete against 10 other teams. Each team was put in 'lock down' for 3 hours to create a solution to a problem. The problem this time was based on Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity... not an easy task! Within the 3 hours they were also asked to solve a 'spontaneous challenge' where they needed to think on their feet and come up with a solution in less than 5 minutes.
The competition was tough and after overcoming a couple of hurdles the team delivered a quality presentation. At the conclusion of the Tournament the team were awarded the 'Spirit of the Tournament' award which is given to the team that persevered during challenges and demonstrated great sportsmanship. This is an outstanding achievement and something the team can be incredibly proud of.
The team would like to once again thank everyone who supported them in their fundraising efforts to get them to Australia. They still need to raise more money so look out for more fundraising initiatives in the near future. In the meantime, don't forget to get your tickets for the raffle in the school foyer. There are some quality goodies up for grabs!

After School Care are hosting a Halloween Party on Friday 30th October from 4pm-6pm.
Children of all ages are welcome to attend.
If you are interested in bringing your child/ren please fill in a form on our blog so we can cater for the right amount of children   More details about what is happening can be found on the form.
Please contact Mel at or on 0275311772 if you have any questions.
Muritai school was well represented at the primary school tennis tournament at Mitchell Park on 20 October.  
The tournament attracted players from seven primary schools from around the Hutt Valley and 28 boys and 13 girls played in the tournament.  Muritai school had the strongest representation with 15 boys and 4 girls.
Congratulations go to Sam Baird from Muritai who won the boys competition and will be representing the Hutt Valley at the regional primary tennis tournament in Palmerston North on 6 November.  Evie Wilson and Marcus Ruane also got through to the semis and Johnny Baird was runner up in the consolation.  Overall there was great participation and enthusiasm from all our players.


26 Oct Labour Day


2 Nov Y3-8 Athletics Day

9 Nov Sustainable Coastlines

12 Nov World of Maths Years 3-8

13 Nov World of Maths Years 3-8

16 Nov Swimming at Eastbourne Pool begins

17 nov Year 4-6 Central Zone Athletics

24 Nov Y4-6 InterZone Athletics

30 Nov Junior School EOTC begins of the week

1 Dec Y4-8 Regional Athletics

1 Dec Junior School Athletics

2 Dec Year 3/4 EOTC begins

6 Dec Year 8’s at Abel Tasman camp for the week

7 Dec Year 5/6 EOTC week begins

9 Dec Christmas Concert and Party for Juniors in the afternoon

9 Dec Y7 Mt Holdsworth camp

14 Dec New classrooms and meet your teacher

15 Dec Leavers Dinner

17 Dec Leavers Assembly and Last Day of Term 4

17 Dec EARLY FINISH - 1.00pm

Caterer Required for Big Trig
Call for family or small group to look after food at the Big Trig rogaine on Sat 28 Nov. Payment for services: to provide barbeque, to do buying of food, and to organise/pickup pizza. Finish time is 5pm. Location is Muritai School, Eastbourne. Reply to   Enquiries 04 566 2645.

NZ Post Tennis Hot Shots Leagues are here!!
Grab your friends from school and enter a team of 3 (mixed gender) in the Red, Orange or Green Stage competition. Held afterschool at a location near your school- Renouf Tennis Centre, Mitchell Park, and Tawa Lyndhurst Tennis Club. Battle it out against other schools in your area! For more information or to register contact Amelia Harris or on 04 2809370.
See you on the courts soon!

Cardio Tennis
When: Mondays 7:15-8:15 pm (starts on Monday 26 October)
Where: Muritai Tennis Club
What: A fun, social, group session for all ages and abilities. Participants wear heart rate monitors, exercise to music, use Cardio Tennis balls and a variety of equipment including agility ladders. The workout consists of a warm-up, cardio segment (drill-based and play-based activities) and a cool down. We highly recommend trying out this exciting initiative.
Registrations are essential. To register or for more information, contact us on 479 1386 or

SPRING into Spring Yoga!  
**New class for Age 10-13 on Wednesdays 4:15-5:15
and still space in  Age 5-9 on Wednesday 3-4 (school pick  up available)

Kula Kids' Yoga is a creative and fun yoga class just for kids!  Your child will develop strength, balance and flexibility and simple mindfulness through story, song and games.  Email Jeanne at for inquiries and check us out on Facebook!
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, USA and Year 5/6 at the wonderful Muritai School in Eastbourne!  References available.

Friday 16 October 2015

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Kia ora koutou

Welcome to our new students who have arrived at Muritai at the end of last term and this week ...Sophie Olliver (R12), Eric Yang (R3), Logan Coby (R4), Guy Marshall (R3), Lucia Jurgens (R3), Archie Valladares (R1), Nixon Frost (R2), Isaac Beckett (R2), Dilyan Kusnadi (R2), Eli Wylie (R2), Elodie Dent (R2). Our current roll stands at 437 with 17 children to come before our final day seeing the school finish nicely at 450.

We also welcome Liz Sullivan and her new class in room 2 that has just begun. Because Liz is now full-time we welcome Sue Steele into room 3 for Maureen Buckley’s release and we welcome Sally Ingram into some junior school part-time teaching. In the holidays we sadly received the resignation from Margs Mills, teacher in room 4. Replacing Margs through to the end of the year is Ruth Vaughan. We will celebrate Margs time at Muritai later in the year but we recognise her wonderful service to Muritai School over the last 21 years.

As we begin the run to the end of the year we have a big plan to make it as beneficial as possible for the children. There is a lot to get through in term 4 as we try and close off the year and feedback on the progress the children have made over the last 10 months. The term has begun quietly and the children are straight back into their learning with teachers and children setting goals to achieve this term. This nice atmosphere reflects how well the students are focused, organised and into a nice rhythm from their previous terms. The school is very settled and in good heart.

Term 4, and the run through to the end of the year, is always very busy. Our term plan looks very manageable but the teaching staff  do have a number of administrative requirements to attend to as we close off 2015 and prepare the school for 2016. The senior management team is putting the finishing touches on our school structure for 2016 so if your plans are changing for next year, please let us know as soon as possible. We really appreciate those that have informed us of change already - it helps us enormously for our budgeting and employment.

This term often passes very quickly. There is much to be done and over the next few weeks the children will be required to continue to do their best work to show that they deserve a good quality report at the end of the year. This should not be too tricky as we always try hard to ‘be the best that we can be'. As always the work will be a little bit tougher, and a little bit faster, to keep up with the momentum of progress and growth. There will be a healthy dose of fun, exploration, creativity and interest mixed in with it all to keep the children engaged with their schooling.

One thing remains important however and that is to keep in close contact with your child's class teacher. Our next reporting round is at the end of the year with learning celebrations and written reports but you may feel that it is necessary to touch base as the term progresses to get feedback on your child's progress. Our doors are always open for this to happen and we note that it is actually a regular occurrence.

I received a message from the principals’ group yesterday about a child approached on the way to school by a man in a car in Wellington. The child did all the right things in response but it serves a reminder to us all about how important it is for our children to be empowered to stand up to unsafe situations such as this. These reports are very few but show that there is always a risk. In this instance... if they do not know the person then they should say ‘no thank you’ and move on heading towards their ‘safe’ place. The home and the school need to work together to ensure children have the power to do the safe thing.

Yesterday, along with much of New Zealand, we simulated an earthquake and evacuated the school up McKenzie Track. The practice went very well. We sent 2 texts as part of our communication strategy, which we hope you received. One thing we found was that our text messaging system only went to one caregivers’ cellphone, where ideally it should go to both contacts. We will rectify this for when it it is required.

The Muritai School Board of Trustees invites applications from parents who wish to enrol an “out of zone” student at Muritai School for 2016. Enrolment at Muritai is governed by an enrolment scheme, details of which are available from the school office.
Applications are to be made on the official enrolment form, which is also available from the school office.

The deadline for receipt of applications for ‘out of zone’ places is Wednesday 4th November, 2016.
The Board has determined that up to 10 spaces are available at year 7-8 level and 6 spaces are available at year 3-4 level. If the number of out of zone applications exceeds the number of places available, students will be selected by ballot. If a ballot is required it will be held on Friday 6th November, 2016. For enquiries please phone Andrew Bird, Principal, 562-8049

Term 4 signals warmer weather (hopefully) and the return of hats at school.  Can you please ensure your child comes to school with a wide brimmed hat to be worn at all play times.  You may also like to consider putting sunblock on them before they come to school.  

On Wednesday room 3 celebrated their 100 days at school by taking part in a wide range of curriculum activities involving the number 100. As part of this day each child brought in their collections of 100 items. They were also really lucky as Jagger Lissette's nana, Sandra, brought along her uncle to meet the children. Her uncle, Cyril Maylor, is 100 years old and he talked and answered questions about his days at school and his life.

Issue 7 is now out. You can make your orders either online at  or by filling in the brochure form your child has brought home and returning this to school by Friday the 6th of November. Sorry we cannot accept cash orders however you can pay by cheque (payable to Scholastic NZ) or credit card.

Muritai School has a Teacher Only Day on Tuesday 27 October.

After School Care will be running a programme for on this day.  If you are interested in enrolling your child/ren, you can pick up a brochure from the school office or enrol online at

WHEN:  Tuesday 27th October, 1pm-2pm (TEACHERS ONLY DAY)
WHERE: Muritai School Hall
You can swap books by doing any of the following:
1. Bring books to Muritai After School Care any day between 4pm and 6pm.  We are located in the Green Room at Muritai School (door next to the picnic table at the end of the netball courts)
2. Contact Mel at or 027-503-7484 if you cannot drop books off and she will be happy to collect them from you.
3. Come along on the day with a book/s to swap and see what we have.
We will record each child’s name and the number of books they have given.  On the book swap day they will be given tokens which they can swap for an equal amount of books.
NOTE:  Please ensure that books brought in to swap are appropriate for children aged 5-12 years old and are in a good readable condition.  We will not be swapping magazines.
Children attending must be accompanied by an adult if they are not part of the After School Care Teachers Only Day programme that day.
On the day there will be a free little book cafe set up so children cat sit, browse through books and enjoy some light refreshments.

Hosted by Muritai After School Care.
WHEN:  FRIDAY 30th October anytime between 4pm & 6pm.
WHERE: Muritai School, Green Room / Hall / Netball Courts
WHO:  All children are welcome to attend.  
Children must be accompanied by an adult if they are not part of the After School Care Programme that day.
Come along and join in the fun!
·       Freaky face painting
·       Halloween themed games, Halloween Piñata & Mystery Sensory Boxes.
·       A special Glow in the Dark room with awesome Halloween decorations and a spooky maze.

With many parents now on Facebook you can access information and school news events via Facebook. Presently we have had about 330 'friends' which we would like to increase.  You can sign up to Muritai School's Facebook page and therefore get regular updates of events.  Click here to join up.

Alternatively, if you are not on Facebook you can also receive these updates straight to your cellphone via Twitter. Simply text 8987 and type in follow MuritaiSchool and you will receive updates, simple messages, reminders and cancellations direct to your cell phone.

The enviro team has been working on several initiatives over the past term.

Firstly, thank you for reducing your lunchbox waste by choosing non-plastic wrapped items, and taking any rubbish home.  We will be carrying out another lunchbox survey this term to ascertain how our behaviours are changing.  There are many alternatives available instead of lunch wrap and individually wrapped items for lunch.  How does your lunch box look?
You will see the completed mural on the sandpit which was created by a team of year 5/6s under the guidance of Mrs Borgonje.  This represents Eastbourne with its connection to the sea and the bush and features Tane Mahuta (God of the Forest) and Tangaroa (God of the sea) with hands joined.  It is a magnificent addition to our playground.  Thanks particularly  to our team of able parents who sealed and painted the back wall of the sandpit in preparation.
Our greenhouse is also up and running now with a collection of seeds housed here.   There are baby Swan Plants which are being grown to support our Monarch Butterfly tagging programme,  seedlings which will soon be transplanted into the Bee Garden behind the intermediate, and new Spinifex and Pingao  seedlings  we hope will take off over the next few months for transplanting on the beach next spring.   You are welcome to visit our green house and orchard but please treat all plants with care.
Feel free to water them if it is a hot day and they need a drink.
Finally, we will be having a scarecrow building  competition in the next few weeks.  Hopefully in time to keep birds away from our newly planted fruit trees.   Create your own scarecrow at home and bring it to school on November 6.  So start gathering up some old clothes and see what you can create at home.    
Keep thinking green!

After two whole term's work, our new mural is finally up!  
The project began as an Enviro-School / Art venture aiming to give a small group of keenly creative students an opportunity to get involved in a big piece of work which would be on display permanently. The Enviro-School brief was to include a Māori theme, while celebrating Eastbourne's unique location where the bush meets the ocean.
The group of students met every Monday lunch time.  They began by brainstorming ideas and putting together a design, over six boards, which included ideas from all of them.  Then it got messy!
Terms 2 and 3 were spent priming, sketching, painting background and then details to
create the desired effect.  The students worked tirelessly!  The wall also needed preparing and a wonderful group of Mums gave up their morning to paint the wall by the sandpit at the end of Term 2.  Finally, at the end of Term 3 the border went on and we were finished!  A shared lunch was enjoyed by all 'murallers' to celebrate and Roger and the Menz Shed got it all up perfectly during the holidays so everyone could enjoy it on their first day back. With a little help from a lot of kind volunteers the wall by the sandpit has a new lease of life!

Today Cassie and Andrew from So They Can came to talk to us about One Heart Day.
So They Can is a committed group of philanthropists empowering communities through education, so they can break the poverty cycle, realise their own potential and meet their own needs.
We heard about how we can get involved in One Heart Day to connect with, learn about and help children at Aberdare School in Kenya.
One Heart Day is about students coming together, from around the world, to learn about each other and understand the importance of connecting with each other. The day celebrates the African concept of Ubuntu, that when you give you also receive, that we are all one and that we can all help each other.
As part of our One Heart Day celebrations we will 'fill our hearts' by completing a heart sheet to show the things that matter most to us. We can then compare our hearts with the ones completed by children at Aberdare Ranges School to see what we have in common and what is unique.
We'll also be contributing to 'Grow Our Story', an activity that all the classrooms taking part in One Heart Day will contribute to. Students at Aberdare Ranges Primary School in Kenya have started the first part of the story. During each round a different school will provide the next exciting paragraph to share with students in Kenya and New Zealand. At the end of two weeks we'll have created an entire adventure together.
After looking at what money can buy to support children in Africa, we have set ourselves the goal of raising $1500 in the next two weeks to buy a 1000 litre water tank for a So They Can project. Please consider donating to our give-a-little fundraising page to help us meet this goal.

Athletics Days
We have the year 3-8 Athletics Day on Monday 2 November with the Juniors holding their Athletics on Tuesday 1 December.  Please ensure your children come to school with appropriate clothing and footwear to be able to practise their athletics.

Each Wednesday children in the Junior School take part in a movement programme.  This programme is run by the coaches from Hutt Valley Gymsports and the children and improving their physical skills.  

Weetbix Tryathlon entry
In 2016 the Weetbix Tryathlon will be holding an event in Lower Hutt on Tuesday 22nd March 2016 at the Hutt Recreation Ground, Lower Hutt ( We hope to have a 'school team' attend.
You can register online NOW! I have created a school group and you will be prompted in the registering process to choose our school. If you also enter before the early bird cut off, 12 noon Monday, 22 February 2016, you will get a further discount.
The Weetbix Tryathlon event will sell out quickly as there are limited numbers and if your child is keen to be involved it would be best for your to enter as soon as possible.

Caterer Required for Big Trig
Call for family or small group to look after food at the Big Trig rogaine on Sat 28 Nov. Payment for services: to provide barbeque, to do buying of food, and to organise/pickup pizza. Finish time is 5pm. Location is Muritai School, Eastbourne. Reply to   Enquiries 04 566 2645.

Children's Athletics

Lower Hutt Athletics Club is currently taking registrations for the 2015/16 summer season. Based at Hutt Rec, the club provides competitive athletics for 7-14 year olds, plus a development programme for younger children. The club's season opens 28 October, and runs until mid-March.

For enquiries or to register, go to and click on the 'Join Us' tab. Or contact for more information.

Weekly Indoor Netball League "Right Here" in "Eastbourne"
Indoor Netball is a fun and exciting way to exercise, meet new people, hang/bond with your friends or learn a Sport that you have only heard of...
What Night: Every Tuesday
Time: 6pm onwards
Address: Tuatoru Street (End of street), Eastbourne
To Enter:Email: or Phone: 021 0281 6358
Questions: Nadine can I have some information about the League, Rules etc?
Can I enter as an individual player? YES! Contact me and I will sort you out!
Plant Sale - Pauatahanui School- Sun 25 Oct
Pauatahanui are holding their annual plant sale on Sunday the 25th of October from 9am to 3pm.  Hedging ,Flaxes, Grasses, Veges, Perennials, Shrubs and Ground cover will all be for sale at bargain prices.  Free parking available at top of school driveway.  Bring the trailer!