Friday 20 November 2015

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Kia ora koutou

Thank you for your continued support for Muritai School. We gave the community the opportunity for feedback and contribution to our strategic planning process and it was very pleasing to see how overwhelmingly positive this interaction was. Through meetings and community survey it is so affirming to the Muritai team that you think so positively about the way that we do things and how the school is operating. It corresponds nicely with the affirmation we received from the ERO team late last year with a 4-5 year review. We welcome the suggestions contributed.  While we are always trying to improve and refine our practice.

One area the management team were particularly pleased with was the consistent comments about how well the children get on with each other. With 442 children at school this is a huge challenge to keep going but we are really impressed with our children this year. We are working hard with them to ensure others are OK, that we have a culture of children looking out for children and to make sure their spaces are operating safely. While not perfect we feel good about the progress we are making.

Having said this I want to thank all the parent helpers that spend their time in our school. We have over 30 volunteers coming in across the week listening to children read or do maths, sharing their talents and expertise and just helping us get extra things done. These people see first hand how lovely our classes and our children are.

With Stu Devenport moving on at the end of the year to be principal of South Makirikiri School we have found the right person to lead our senior school. Annette Borgonje applied for and won the position of AP in our senior school for 2016 and beyond. Annette has made quite an impression in her short time at Muritai.  It needs to be recognised that Annette was a senior manager at her previous school for 8 years and so is already a vastly experienced leader and an extremely well respected member of staff.  Annette will continue Stu’s leadership working with our oldest children preparing them for high school.

At the moment the government is consulting the community on updating the Education Act 1989. Whilst there have been various amendments over the last 26 years, some change is necessary to reflect the more flexible and different times we live in. This may be of interest to the parent community and you can have your say by accessing this website -

The Monarch Butterfly Trust is aiming to raise awareness of New Zealand’s native butterflies, their numbers and spread.

When:  Any one day between 10 and 30 November, for one hour.

They want everyone to participate up and down the country including Schools, scout groups, gardening clubs, conservation groups, walking groups, anyone and everyone.  Do your bit and also invite others you know who may be interested.
Our final catalogue for the year should have come home this week. Please make sure your order is either done online or handed into the office by Friday the 4th of December. Payment can be made by credit card or cheque (made out to Scholastic NZ), sorry we cannot accept cash payments. If you wish to make an online order, this is delivered to the school and can be made using this link:

An important date for your diary is Monday 30 November. The children from year 1-6 will be hosting you for their celebration of learning that afternoon from 3pm until 6pm. Please place this date in your diary so you can join in the celebration.

Years 7-8 do not do celebration of learning but if parents would like to meet with their child’s class teacher then please do not hesitate to contact them directly.

As part of our end of year reporting requirements we will be holding parent interviews for our year 3 group to show how the children are either progressing towards or achieving against the end of year National Standard. These interviews will be held on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th of November from 3.15pm and you can book by going to   Enter the code Z8MPA and follows the prompts.

Our athletics team performed with distinction at the zone athletics sports on Tuesday. They displayed high levels of skill, a real determination to succeed and showed a strong pride in their school. A strong team effort saw us just into second place behind the much bigger Waterloo School. Twenty of our children qualified to represent Central Zone at the Inter-zone athletics sports next week.

These athletes placed in their event -
Y4 girls - 1st
Y4 boys - 2nd
Y5 girls - 3rd
Y5 boys - 1st
Y6 girls - 1st
Y6 boys - 2nd
Long Jump
Y4 girls - Rosa Blair - 1st; Mia Campbell - 2nd; Lola Campbell – 3rd
Y5 boys - Fraser Bellis – 2nd
Y6 boys - Jack Evans – 1st
High Jump
Y4 girls - Rosa Blair - 1st; Lola Campbell - 2nd
Y5 girls - Alex Irvine - 1st
Y5 boys - Fraser Bellis - 3rd
Y6 girls - Emily Jones - 1st
Y6 boys - Henry Evans - 2nd
Y4 girls - Rosa Blair - 1st (60m & 100m); Lola Campbell - 3rd (60m)
Y5 girls - Elodie Bain - 2nd (80m)
Y5 boys - Joe Dickson - 2nd (80m & 150m)
Y6 girls - Grace Manson - 3rd (80m)
Y4 girls - Rosa Blair - 1st; Mia Campbell - 2nd
Y5 boys - Jack Roche - 1st; Fraser Bellis - 3rd
Shot Put
Y4 girls - Rosa Blair - 1st; Lola Campbell - 3rd
Y4 girls - Rosa Blair - 2nd
Y5 boys - Rory Moffat - 2nd
On Friday 27th of November the Charity Group will be holding a Muritai Mini Market day. This will be a fundraiser for the charity So They Can. So They Can helps children in Africa live a better life by giving them clean water, cows, goats and education.

Our Mini Market will be on at the Senior School from 11.30 to 1 and will have a variety of stalls set up such as face painting, games, baking and arts & crafts. Children will be invited to the Senior School to look at the Year 7 and 8’s Passion Projects and then to go through the Mini Market.   Could children please bring along a small amount of money so they don't miss out on the fun! (All the money we raise will be going to So They can).  We hope you enjoy!
Neve McKay

We are very proud of the four students from Room 22 who were finalists in the Wellington Breeze 400 Word Story Competition. Well done to Ethan Hester, Emily Daymond-King, Callan Hughes and Kieran Smith.
A huge congratulations to Callan Hughes who was the over-all winner of the competition. His story is below:
The Book
By Callan Hughes
Are you really going to do this, he asks himself. It is a crystal-clear night, the hustle and bustle of a New York Friday night is all around him. Yelling fills his ears. Right then someone calls his name, “Caleb, Caleb is that you?” It was his Auntie. He quickly ducks into a dark alleyway, not wanting to be seen. Once he sees her walk past he comes out of the dark secluded space. Only when he feels like he’s not being looked at he turns the handle of the dirty, rusty door, and slips in, like a lion on its prey.
Inside the old, dark library he turns on his torch, at once illuminating the whole room. He knows immediately where to go. The last aisle. How to live with odd people, was the name of the book. The ancient floorboards creaked under him. Once he was at the back of the damp room he started to look for the book. The importance of this book was unknown to him, all he knew was that someone very important wanted the book, and there was a reward for the person that could retrieve the book successfully. There, right there, poking out like a sore thumb, was the book. Immediately he rushes over to it, not a care in the world. Holding the book tight he whispers, “Thank you.” Just as turns around to leave, the worst thing happens, the lights in the dark room, turn on with a loud BUZZ.
His instincts tell him to duck down, so he does. He could hear the creak of the librarian walking over the floorboards, coming closer and closer. He didn’t dare to move, in case he makes a sound. Then he sees, like a light forming towards an exit, just 10 meters away is his escape. Waiting for the perfect moment to leap free, right before the lady arrives around the corner, that’s his time. In his head he counts himself down, 3, 2, 1. A cry of “Stop, Stop!” comes from behind him. Grasping the cool, crisp metal handle, he turns it, but it won't budge.
With the librarian looming large above him he surrenders in defeat. “You’re in trouble young man.” She says with an evil grin. With a surprising amount of strength she picks him up and leads him out onto to the streets, wHere a police car is already waiting for him. What will happen next?

The Senior School students have been writing poetry recently.  Below is an example - a fun poem written by Ben Cass.

I see the glistening glaze
Chocolate dripping
A carefully crafted masterpiece
Of chocolate layers
Screaming with delight
I smell melted sugar crystals
Overpowering the stripy chocolate
Heaven in the air
Hunger kicks in
I hear the sticky pastry
It is calling out to me
“You know you want me”
“You can’t resist…”
I can’t resist…
Pastry sticking to my fingers
Spongy texture
Chocolate teeth
Chocolate lips
Chocolate strips crumble away
Dissolving, melting, cracking
The battle of savoury and sweet goes to war
Sweet comfort!
A chocolate croissant at Cotti!
By Ben Cass

23 Nov Swimming at Eastbourne Pool begins
24 Nov Y4-6 InterZone Athletics
30 Nov Junior School EOTC begins of the week
30 Nov Celebration of learning evening - 3-6pm
1 Dec Y4-8 Regional Athletics
1 Dec Junior School Athletic Sports
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
16 Dec       Y3/4 Christmas Carols
17 Dec Leavers Assembly and Last Day of Term 4
17 Dec EARLY FINISH - 1.30pm

After 20 years of having lived in Europe, we are returning home to Eastbourne with our 3 young children aged 8, 6 and 3. We are looking for a house to rent as of February 1st for 4 months. As our furniture is in Europe, we are preferably looking for a furnished home.
Could you please contact us if you hear/know of anything? We are desperately trying to find something in Eastbourne as it is the only place we feel we can truly call home.

Jasmine Henwood.  I live in the Eastbourne area.  I am available to look after your kids.  I am 33 years old.  Please give me a call on 021 066 0536 or 562 7009.  My hourly rate is $10 per hour.  

6-a-side Indoor Netball has made it's way to Eastbourne!
Yes in your very own Community!  Want to get involved?  Give Nadine a call on 021 0281 6358
Played: Tues Night
Where: Community Hall, End of Tuatoru St, Eastbourne
Cost: $60 per Team
How many players: 6-8
How long are the games: 40 minute games, split into 4 1/4
Can I come on down to watch: Of course you can and bring a friend or 2
Coaching available throughout all matches
It's fun, keeps you fit and active…  We look forward to seeing you soon..
Yours at Eastbourne Indoor Sport
Nadine and Laine
Sport Coordinator

Private Occupational Therapy Services
If you have any concerns about your child’s development such as fine motor and gross motor coordination, handwriting, sensory integration, emotional regulation or attention skills, please visit or contact

Friday 13 November

Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Kia ora koutou

It is hard to believe that we are at the end of week 5, term 4. This is always a milestone in that we are 90% though the school year and the Eastbourne Pool opens this weekend which signals that summer is upon us. We welcome Helene Buckley and Rory Maxwell-Lamb into room 2, Grace Manson into room 15 and Fletcher Tornquist into room 23. Welcome to our Muritai family.

Sadly we have received the resignation of Sarah Richardson. Sarah is leaving Muritai at the end of this year to pursue her Masters in Education Psychology and further her career. These are very 'big shoes' to fill. Sarah has been at Muritai for the last 8 years leading our learning Support programme and working with learners who find accessing the curriculum difficult. She has also worked extensively with staff to improve their teaching, and with parents as a support as they try to unlock reasons why children might be struggling as school. Sarah has been a very important part of our learning landscape.

Replacing Sarah in the Learning Support teaching role for 2016 onwards will be Lisa Allen. Lisa has shown, in her time at Muritai, a high level of expertise at working and accelerating the progress of children with learning needs. Lisa has strong, close relationships with the children she works with, excellent relationships with parents of children, as well as high levels of community respect. With over 20 years of teaching from new entrants to year 8 students she has the skill set and all the qualities of the person we need to take over from and continue Sarah's excellent work.

We have begun the difficult task of creating draft lists as we try and fit our beginning 2016 school roll of 406 into 18 learning spaces. One factor that is often referred back to me is the friendship flower. We do not do the friendship flower anymore and haven’t for 2-3 years. Some teams (middle school) ask children to identify others they work well with and who they don’t work well with. There is a subtle and important difference in this and the focus is on creating an effective learning environment, not who the children choose to be with. It comes back to the fact that sometimes being with your best mates may not be the best thing for the learning environment for the children (or indeed other children in the class). Having said this we aware that our children know each other very well (most from kindy / playcentre days) so have good working relationships with most children.

Thank you to all the children who made a scarecrow and bought it to school last week.
As many children were away at the All Black Parade on Friday we will be having the Scarecrow parade next Friday instead.That means if you are still making your scarecrow you are not too late!  We are looking forward to seeing your wonderful creations next week.
Thank you Ms Algar.
This week were were lucky enough to have Oliver from the Sustainable Coastlines come to talk to us about the harm that single use plastics are causing to the world’s beaches and sea life.  We followed this up with a beach clean up.   Although we thought our beach looked pretty clean, we managed to pick up  30 Kgs or 240 litres of plastic rubbish.  WE WERE SHOCKED!   

This follows very nicely on from our Nude Food and plastic free lunch boxes last term.  Keep up the good work by choosing non single use plastics for lunches and keeping as much plastic as we can out of our waste.   Our 'sea life' is too important to risk loosing to a plastic lifestyle.
An important date for your diary is Monday 30 November. The children from year 1-6 will be hosting you for their celebration of learning that afternoon from 3pm until 6pm. Please place this date in your diary so you can join in the celebration.

Years 7-8 do not do celebration of learning but if parents would like to meet with their child’s class teacher then please do not hesitate to contact them directly.

As part of our end of year reporting requirements we will be holding parent interviews for our year 3 group to show how the children are either progressing towards or achieving against the end of year National Standard. These interviews will be held on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th of November from 3.15pm and you can book by going to   Enter the code Z8MPA and follows the prompts.

It was great to see publicity about Mr McKay’s speed stacking. If you missed the Dominion Post article you can read it here..

Ensemble Music Classes for Children
Next year Priya Gain is offering itinerant music classes for juniors, middles, and senior school students at Muritai School on a Thursday morning.   Classes will be based on the Orff approach to music education.  The Orff approach is rooted in rhythm and integrates experiences of singing, movement/dance and ensemble playing experiences.  It is centred on the playful exploration of the elements of music and opportunities to improvise.  Classes will be taught to small groups and are a good support for students already learning instruments as well as for students who have not yet had the chance to learn music formally.  For more information please email:

Come and be a part of the Cigna Kids Waterfront Fun Run on Wednesday 16 December at Frank Kitts Park.  Personalised race bibs, certificates, spot prizes and a Cigna Carnival including a BBQ, face painting and much more.  Races for pre schoolers through to year 8s.  First race starts at 4.30pm.  Only $7 to enter at or contact Jo Murray for more info at  Enter before 8 December for your personalised bib and certificate and the chance to win spot prizes.

The Jackson Street Programme (JSP) is bringing the spirit of Christmas to Petone. After two very successful years, we're pleased to present this programme of fun activities for families and for those who love the magic of Christmas-time!  There will be a Christmas Parade and Turning on of the Lights, Santa’s Grotto, Mail a letter to Santa (special red “Santa Mail” box) and Treasure Hunts.  For more information go to

Eastbourne Football Club is looking for additional players for its 9th/10th grade team in Capital Football’s girls only, five-a-side soccer competition.
If you have a daughter in Year 4 or 5 (9/10 year old) who would like to play please get in touch. There is no requirement to have played before, and is a good opportunity for girls to try the sport outside the normal season in a smaller sided game format.
Games are on Sunday mornings (approx. 10am) until 6 December and then start up again in mid-February and run to 20 March.     
To find out more, email Andrew at    Further information can also be found at:

This fantastic local opportunity is available for children aged 5-12.  Weekly 30 minute swimming lessons from trained coaches on Thursday night (between 5-6:30). Starts  during the school terms from 19th November to the pool closure in mid March. The cost is only $30
Register now by filling in a form at the Eastbourne library or come along to pool this Sunday, 14 November from 10 am - 12 pm.
We look forward to seeing you at swim club. For more info email