The Very Last Bird's Eye View

 I though I would resurrect the Bird’s Eye View one last time.

I have arrived back from my fellowship – an incredible experience of 11 weeks of growth, reflection, and professional observation. It was an eye opening experience and I feel all the stronger for the opportunity. My heartfelt thanks to the Woolf Fisher Trust for selecting me to this experience.

My time is up at Muritai and I head to Kelburn next term. Maureen has clearly done a wonderful job as Principal and the board are moving closer to making a permanent appointment for 2017.

I arrived at Muritai over 15 years ago in term 2 at the tender age of 34. It has been quite a journey but I am proud of where the school is at in 2016 with a bright future ahead. Muritai had just got the internet back then and a few of us were on email, most correspondence / communication was posted. Most of the jobs people did 15 years ago don’t exist anymore in this ever changing world.

Over the years I have had incredible support from a loyal and highly skilled staff and a community that has a strong interest in the success of the school as a lever for realising the potential for their children. I frequently talk about the essential triangle of children, parents and staff working together to enable success and to ultimately progress the good name of the school. Muritai has long had a great reputation in the educational community and continuously works hard to be recognised as an outstanding school.

Our children have always been our focus and as I reflect on what our kids do today to what I experienced when I was at school (or even first teaching) I see a skillset that is different now. The influence of technology and increased and instant speedy access to knowledge, the levels of creativity, independent learning habits of our children is remarkable. Neither process is necessarily better than the other, as the world inconstantly evolving and change is necessary. The key factor for education is timeless however-  is to create life long learners who have the ability to adapt and grow within the world as change occurs around them. Our kids today can do that so well.

The spirit of Muritai children is what I will miss the most and the way the entire staff devotes itself in enabling every child to do their very best – to be the best that they can be. Things aren’t always perfect all the time but the joy they have together, as learners, colleagues, classmates and friends reflects the wonderful community that they are getting to grow up in.

Just like for our children, Muritai School has enabled me to grow as a person and provided an environment and opportunity for me to be the very best that I can be.

When I was in Scotland I saw a wonderful quote on the side of the bus shelter. I thought it fitted the aspirations of our children at Muritai. It was from Mother Theresa. Ironically I was then in Rome at the same time as the canonization of Mother Theresa…I think it is pertinent.

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies
Succeed anyway
If you are honest, sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
When you spend years creating, others could destroy you overnight
Create anyway
If you find serenity and happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway....

I wish the entire Muritai community, our wonderful staff and our children (past and present) all the very best as you all go forward into the future.


Tena Koutou katoa
Naumai e te whanau o te kura Muritai

Outstanding, incredible, super, impressive, awesome are just some of the adjectives that have been uttered by people in the audience attending the Production this week.  It has indeed been an amazing week where I have been so proud of the efforts of everyone! All of our 410 students have worked tirelessly either behind the scenes or overcome nerves to shine on stage in their wonderful items. They looked so happy and had lots of fun. They were stunning in their colourful costumes and their singing and dancing was tremendous. The growth in confidence was such a pleasure to see and the whole production will certainly be a memorable experience for them that they will look back on with pride in the future.
For the whole production to all be student led is absolutely a major feat. I want to acknowledge our fantastic teaching and support staff who have gone the extra mile to ensure that the production was an outstanding success for everyone. It is indeed a privilege to work with such incredibly talented and passionate people.

I personally want to acknowledge Lisa Allen for undertaking and leading this huge event. She has put in absolute hours and the accolades that she has received are so richly deserved.

Special thanks to all the parents who have given up their time to help with all manner of things from costuming, makeup, supervision, dance routines, music, lighting, listening to lines being rehearsed and hearing those same songs being practised over and over at home.  

We are so lucky to have a great team from the Home and School who co-ordinated the hotdogs and popcorn so a huge thanks to them for all the work that they did.  We are also grateful and thank our sponsors and really appreciate the support that they have given us.

A huge amount of photos have been taken and you will be able to see them playing on the screen in the school office. DVD’s will also be available of the show and orders will be taken for these early next term. The students are also involved in the filming, editing and producing of these DVD’s.

Next week will continue to be busy with Year 7 and 8 debating finals (Tuesday afternoon) along with the Junior School ‘Jump Off’ Jump rope on Tuesday morning (weather permitting), a Financial Literacy speaker, Year 5 and 6 Zone Hockey as well as parent conferences for students in rooms 1,3,4,5 and 6. Please go to and enter the code m54hk if you have not already made an appointment.
Have a lovely weekend.

Nga mihi nui
Maureen Buckley

Thanks to all who responded to our consultation as the board seeks a new principal for Muritai. Although there were a variety of views, some clear messages emerged. In brief, the desire for a friendly, caring and approachable principal with a genuine passion for education and children was paramount, along with great communication, collaboration and inspirational leadership skills.

The consultation also highlighted the huge respect and appreciation the community has for Muritai's teaching staff, who were described consistently in glowing terms like "amazing", "fantastic", "hard-working" and "passionate". We love our teachers!  Many took the chance to thank Andrew Bird for his dedication and hard work over the past 15 years, noting he would be a hard act to follow.

You also love Muritai's family-like feel, inclusive culture and broad approach to learning with all the creative arts, music, science, sports and leadership opportunities on offer alongside our rigorous academic core.

But a desire for a more proactive approach to bullying was expressed, with positive behaviour systems and a social and emotional learning focus. Many wanted more extension opportunities for students, more emphasis on social and community responsibility, creative arts and critical and creative thinking skills to take Muritai into the future.

All  key messages will form a critical part of board discussions and principal search which is in full swing with applications closing on September 23. Interviews are planned for early October. We will keep you posted.


It’s time to order your children’s art calendars, cards and diaries - all orders need to be into the office next Wednesday, 28 September at the latest.  If you haven’t already seen your child’s artwork, please take a look at the school office. They are amazing!  These make wonderful Christmas presents for family or keep them for yourself.  You can pay using EFTPOS or cash or on-line (bank details can be found on the school website, on the Noticeboard) but if you do, can you please ensure we also receive the order form at the office?  We cannot place your order without this.  

Yesterday, on 15 September, a group of Year 7 students were invited to the GNS Isotope Centre by some of New Zealand's leading environmental scientists.
They were taught about the importance of air quality and were introduced to 'Air Quality Eggs', portable devices that can be used to measure the quantity of harmful gasses and particles in the air.
The Year 7 and 8s will be conducting their own experiments using these Air Quality Eggs over the coming months, so we can see how healthy the air is in our community.  Thanks to Mr Woodhams for supervising the students.
The Senior School have been holding their debating semi finals this week!  
There are 2 teams of five Year 7 students and 2 teams of five Year 8 students who will be battling it out in the finals next Tuesday, 20th September in the hall at 1.40 pm.  The Year 5/6 syndicate will be joining the senior school and any families who wish to join them are invited to come along too.
Congratulations to our Year 7 students who made it through to the finals: Oscar Zuijdewijk, Millie Watkins, Chloe Bothwell, Molly Mathewson, Luke Thompson, Lily Sambrooke, Angus Flynn, Cella Connell, Halina Smith and Miles Futter.
Congratulations also to our Year 8 students who made it through to the finals: Emily Braithwaite, Lea Pummer, Nina Owles, Charlotte McFarlane, Katie Beevers, Yasmin Kerr, Emma Littlefair, Mia Lowe, Tom Griffiths, Ethan Hester.

The school recently received a couple of traps from the Sustainability Hui attended by students with Sally Bain.  If you would like to borrow a trap, please contact Carol Algar via email,

Gastroenteritis reminder from Regional Public Health
The winter increase of viral illnesses causing diarrhoea and vomiting has occurred later than usual this year, with outbreaks being reported towards the end of August and beginning of September.
This is a reminder about the need for children and staff who are sick with diarrhoea and vomiting to stay at home until 48 hours after the diarrhoea or vomiting has stopped; and to encourage good hand washing and drying.
More information on what to do to stop the spread of viral illnesses can be found in the pamphlet available on (Public Health Topics > Foodborne Illness > Gastroenteritis pamphlet).

DIARY DATES (staff may contact you with more details about these events)
Mon 19 Sept Y1-2 Parent Conferences
                                Y1 visiting San Antonio school
Tues 20 Sept Y1-2 Parent Conferences
Y1-2 Jump Rope for Heart ‘Jump Off’
Y5-6 Zone Hockey
Thur 22 Sept PP Y5/6 Zone Hockey
                               PP Y1-2 Jump Rope for Heart ‘Jump Off’
Fri 23 Sept LAST DAY OF TERM 3

Term 3 = Monday 25 July - Friday 23 September
Term 4 = Monday 10 October - Friday 16 December

We have a teacher only day at Labour weekend.
Teacher only day two = Tuesday 25 October

Term 1 = Thursday 2 February - Thursday 13 April (Easter)
Term 2 = Monday 1 May - Friday 7 July
Term 3 = Monday 24 July - Friday 29 September
Term 4 = Monday 16 October - Tuesday 19 December

We have a teacher only day at Queen’s Birthday on Tuesday 6 June


Jim Hobbs lost his black MacPac puffer jacket, size 10, on Thursday at school. Could you please check your children's jacket label in case it's Jim's?
Eastbourne Junior Cricket Club
2016/17 Registration Open for Year 1-8 players
Online Junior Cricket Registration has opened for the 2016/17 season. All the details and online registration can be found at

Calling all budding film buffs!

These school holidays Staglands will be running a cool new competition to see who can make the best video at Staglands!
The video can be about anything you like – just as long as it is filmed at Staglands!
It doesn’t matter either if it’s shot using a professional camera or your smartphone – it’s all about the ideas.
The competition runs from Saturday 24 September to Sunday 9 October 2016.  To enter you need to upload your video to Facebook, and use the hashtag #StaglandsSprogs.
There are fantastic prizes on offer. Winner will be announced on Friday 14 October.
Visit website for further details

Fun French for kids ​at Muritai School for ages 5-12
  • Experience French learning the fun way!
  • Lots of interactive activities, role play, crafts, active games and music, and cooking
  • Free trial lesson
  • To register your interest please contact Stefi  on or phone 562 8211
visit the website

Wanted - Before School Care
Are you able to offer before school care from 7.20 a.m. for a six year old girl and then bring her to school starting in Term 4? If so, can you please phone Kirsten on 0274580870 to discuss this with her.