Bird’s Eye View
Friday 15 April 2016
Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai
Tena koutou katoa
Welcome to Jack Harrison who started at Muritai yesterday.
Well, that is the end of term 1 - 25% through the year already! It would be fair to say that the batteries across the school are due for a recharge, and a couple of weeks rest should see the energy of Muritai return to full power!
We have achieved a lot this term and as I shared with the Board last night it seems it have been without the frenetic pace of previous years first term. Staff and children are to be congratulated for this - packing so much in but making it possible to get everything done and to complete a good body of work. There is much to look forward to going forward and next term will be just as busy.
Last night the Associate Principals shared with the Board the aggregated student achievement analysis from term one. This extremely thorough presentation informed the Board where our children are now, and what the teachers and children will focus in on to make sure they all have made accelerated progress and are in the right place at the end of 2016.
If I was to quickly simplify it, and summarise into a short paragraph, we are looking for high levels of competency in the fundamentals of reading, writing and maths - for children to read and understand what they have read; to develop and accurately write a variety of pieces of writing genre; and to understand concepts and work with accuracy in maths. Very easy to write, but stage wise, a bit difficult for our children to put into practice … so we just continue to work on, and practice the basics to get those cornerstones of learning right. This enables the children to extend out across the curriculum to enhance their general knowledge and develop more sophisticated learning skills that are needed for high school and the big wide world.
While we have a holiday break the children can still maintain their skills by accessing the web for maths games or Mathletics, or read (anything at all) for consistent periods of time. It just helps for the children to keep their skills current. One thing that was noted and well received by staff at the interviews was how many parents said they still read to their children. This is powerful - research is quite clear that active reading lifestyles in the home is one of the most powerful forces to supporting student achievement for children.
So thank you to the whole team - children, staff and parents for your support this term and we look forward to another successful term at Muritai starting on the 2nd of May!
Thank you so much for attending the interviews on Monday and Tuesday. Staff thoroughly enjoyed catching up with you and feeding back the good progress the children are making. We had an 82% attendance rate for the Monday/Tuesday, which was down on our usual high percentage, however I acknowledge that some parents have organised other times for interviews or were unable to make these times and were catching up later. Good teacher / parent relations are at the heart of enabling good student achievement so we do encourage you to stay in touch as the year progresses.
It is important to know that you can meet with your child’s class teacher to discuss progress at any time. Please arrange contact via email.
As advertised previously, the current Board of Trustees 3-year term is coming to an end and we will be holding elections early next term. This is an opportunity for elected parents of the school to ensure that the direction of the school is best meeting the needs and aspirations of our children and their families. This very important role is crucial for our school to maintain its excellent reputation and long history of success. Muritai has consistently had stable governance over the years from very capable trustees and this is always recognised by the ERO office. Please give thought if you think that you have the skills and the time to make a difference for our school, our children and staff.
The order of upcoming Board election events goes like this –
o Main roll closes on Wednesday 4 May
o Call for nomination on Friday 6 May
o Supplementary roll close Wednesday 18 May
o Nominations close Friday 20 May
o Voting papers issued by Wednesday 25 May
o Closing poll election at NOON on Friday 3 June
o Votes counted and results declared on Thursday 9 June
SENIOR SCHOOL WORKING BEE
Kate Brownsword has kindly suggested a working bee to have “a Senior School garden/playground tidy up"! We would love to rally up as much support as possible to get this happening so if you are keen please meet on the Senior School playground on Saturday 7th May between 1pm - 4pm. Please bring your own gardening gear and tools and we will see if we can put even more 'Mmmmm...' into Muritai!
SENIOR SCHOOL PASSION PROJECT
We were so impressed with our year 7-8 students sharing of their Personal Passion Projects today. The children have worked in a self-directed way on something that they love to study while the teachers have guided them through the planning process to enable them to reach their intended outcome. The school and many parents visited and saw topics ranging from dress design and construction, virtual reality, photography, original music, animation, science exploration, statistics and the start up plan for a novel (and many more). There were some extremely innovative and ambitious projects and the kids are to be congratulated for displaying their level of expertise. The sharing process, where the children shared their process, ideas and ambition was extremely impressive.
HOT DOGS VOLUNTEERS
We are still looking for volunteers to help with the hot dogs the Home and School Committee would like to offer for the children on Wednesdays during Terms 2 and 3. Being on duty is very simple. There are detailed instructions, and volunteers with less experience are partnered with someone who has done it before. The time commitment is minimal from 11:30am to 1:30pm.
If you would be willing to volunteer during Terms 2 and 3, please see Jo in the school office.
MURITAI SCHOOL BOOK FAIR
Thank you so much for supporting our annual Book Fair recently. Your support means that we have raised nearly $1000 in books for our school library collection. Thank you to Sue and her team of parent helpers Susan Kirkham, Lesley Lowe and Michelle Fisher for making sure the event went so smoothly.
WORKING BEE COMING UP
In the next month mums and dads will be able to dust off their tools as we need to do a couple of maintenance jobs to enhance our school. We have 3 jobs that need doing…
- The playground is now 10 years old and some parts and componentry need replacing and reinstalling.
- The decking on the fort is over 40 years old. It has been patched up over the years but overall is overdue to replaced.
- We need to build a more permanent and aesthetically pleasing fence around our orchard.
We will alert you to the date once we know when the playground parts are arriving.
This year Anzac Day falls in the holidays. Our kapa haka roopu will be leading the welcome to the parade as well as singing the hymn He Honore. Despite the school holidays we have a team of 31 which is impressive. Please meet at the senior school at 9am - boys be in PE gear and girls school shirt and Kapa haka skirt. We will issue jackets on the day (and have spare equipment to ensure we meet dress code.)
YEAR 7-8 TRIP TO PARLIAMENT
Our senior students have been very busy and yesterday went into Wellington to visit Te Papa to see the Gallipoli, Slice of Heaven and Art exhibitions and then onto Parliament to visit the Beehive. Our local MP Trevor Mallard talked about how parliament, the government and MPs work. They even sat in on question time in the debating chamber.
TERM 2 SLIPPERS AND HATS
Next term we would like the children to bring slippers for inside wear. As the weather turns shoes (in particular sneakers) get wet when the children go outside so it is nice to be able to wear something dry and warm when they come back to class. Children may like to wear caps/beanies outside in the winter to help keep their heads warm.
Our Y3-8 cross country is on the Tuesday 24th May between 11am and 1pm. Children may like to take advantage of the holiday break to get ahead on their aerobic fitness so that on race day they are able to powerfully last the distance.
DIARY DATES (staff may contact you with more details about these events)
Mon 2 May Term 2 begins
Tues 17 May Y5-6 Zone football
Tues 24 May Y3-8 Cross country race
Mon 6 June Queen’s Birthday - school closed
Tues 7 June Teacher only day and Central Zone cross country
Fri 1 July Mid year reports go out
Wed 6 July Celebration of learning 3pm - 6pm
Fri 8 July Last day of term.
TERM DATES FOR 2016
Term 1 = Monday 1 February - Friday 15 April
Term 2 = Monday 2 May - Friday 8 July
Term 3 = Monday 25 July - Friday 23 September
Term 4 = Monday 10 October - Friday 16 December
We have 2 teacher only days this year at Queen’s Birthday and Labour weekend.
Teacher only day one = Tuesday 7 June
Teacher only day two = Tuesday 25 October
Eastbourne Field Hockey Coaching Clinic
Get ready for the Hockey Season......or give Hockey a go at the Eastbourne Indoor Sports Centre – Tuatoru Street.
9.00 am – 11.00 am Wednesday 13 April and Wednesday 20 April
Sticks provided...but bring your own if you have one. Bring Mouth guard (good idea!), soft shoes and water bottle.
See you there!!
Derek Wilshere (Level 2 Hockey Coach)
Jennian Homes Mother’s Day Fun Run/Walk, Sunday 8 May, Wellington Waterfront.
Run, walk or have a leisurely stroll with your Mum, daughter, sister or a group of girlfriends this Mother’s Day. Nominate your primary school and they could win a share of $50,000 Rebel Sport vouchers to purchase sport equipment. Register at http://www.jennianmothersday.com