Kia Ora, Talofa Lava, Greetings, Malo e Lelei, Kia Orana, Bonjour,
FROM THE PRINCIPAL
It’s hard to believe that the end of the year has arrived and that this will be my last Maureen’s Musings. What an amazing two weeks we have just had - It’s certainly been full on, but lots of fun and fabulous learning has also taken place.
We’ve welcomed Bec and her family with a lovely powhiri and our Kapahaka group did a wonderful performance for this. Our Year 8’s have been to Abel Tasman for an amazing adventure and have enjoyed a wide range of farewell activities on their return culminating in the fantastic formal evening held in their honour. Thank you very much to those people who gave up their time to decorate the hall, which looked magical and for making and serving the food and refreshments.
The following prizes were awarded to our Year 8 students.
Class of 61 Cup - “Outstanding Contribution to Muritai School” - Yasmin Kerr
Kirsty and Isabella Clarke Cup - “Positive contribution to Muritai School” - Emma Littlefair
Abel Tasman Cup - “Risen to the challenge” - Nina Owles
Booth Family Cup - “The Student’s Student” - Nina Owles
Newton Family Cup - ‘Service to the School” - Shannyn Thompson
Beck Family Cup - ‘Sporting successes” - Boy - Tom Griffiths Girl - Laura Hardy
The Mills Cup - “Contribution to the Arts” - Nina Owles
Swain Family Cup - “ Leadership and Contribution to Sport” - Fletcher Tornquist
Environmental Leadership - ‘Earthcare award for endeavour in environment” - Auriel Lewis
Debbie Bertaud Memorial Cup - “Commitment to Science and Technology” - George Travers
Stotter Family Cup - “All round student who excelled in the sporting and cultural life with a smile and positive attitude” - Charlotte McFarlane-Karl
Jacobsen Cup - “Excellence in Mathematics” - Boy - Ethan Hester Girl - Emily Braithwaite
The Broadbent Cup - “Excellence in Literacy” - Mia Lowe
Principal Cup - “Determination, resilience and loyalty” - Saxon Forbes
Eastbourne Community Trust Leadership Cup - Emma Littlefair
Teacher’s Cup - “A joy to teach and an asset to the Senior School” - Fergus Hart
Board of Trustees Award - “Improvement in Year 8” - Boy - Daan Tokeley Girl - Holly Fahey
Endeavour Award - “Tried their best in everything - academic, sports, the arts, conduct” -
Boy - Tom Griffiths Girl - Nina Owles
Kyle Sturgess Cup - Music - Nina Owles
Academic Prize - ‘Consistent academic excellence across a range of subject areas”
Boy - Joshua Toomath Girl - Lea Pummer
Nicholas Bahler Award - “Empathy and Kindness to others who have physical, mental or social challenges” - Boy - Daan Tokeley, Girl - Shannyn Thompson
The Malama Cup - “The inspiring visionary - strives to be the best they can be through hard work and determination” - Tilly Potter
Reliability Cup - “Pou Whirinaki” - Tilly Potter
Kapahaka - Tom Griffiths
Pointin Cup - “Speeches and debating” - Mia Lowe
Overcoming Difficulties with enormous success - Tim Michael
Creative Flair - Laura Tucker
Personal Growth - Katie Beevers
The rest of the school have been involved in a fabulous array of Education Outside the Classroom activities - The Year 7’s had a wonderful camping experience at Mt Holdsworth, while our Year 5 and 6 students were involved in triathlons, bumper ball, fencing, a talent show, Master Chef, the Amazing race and activities at Day’s Bay.
The Year 3 and 4 team did a bike and ride day, a ‘smarts’ day, played water games, made sunhats and healthy sandwiches along with doing some fun craft activities.
The Junior School did their athletics, had a lovely Christmas concert, made Christmas crafts, visited and had fun at the new Avalon Park playground and also had a party.
Our students are so lucky and a huge thank you goes to all the parents and other adults who have helped out with any of these activities.
The reports, class lists and stationery have gone home and the students have met both their old and new friends who will be in their 2017 classroom as well as meeting their new teacher. Our classes may be organised either as a straight class or as a composite class. This is due to uneven numbers of students at each age level. Research shows that composite classes, which are two year levels, e.g. Year 5 and 6 together in one classroom, achieve as effective learning as those in single level classes. A child works at their ability level, irrespective of their age. Next year room 4 will be a Year 1 and 2 composite class and all students in Years 5 to 8 will also be in composite classes.
The senior management team presented the Achievement data in reading, writing and mathematics to the Board of Trustees at their recent meeting. I am extremely delighted with the strong results in each of these curriculum areas right across the school. The teachers and students have worked extremely hard and have raised the achievement to an even higher level than last year, which is absolutely incredible. Thanks also goes to the parents and families who have continually supported the learning of their child at home on a daily basis. Please ensure that your child continues to practice their skills over the holidays.
We had an amazing leavers assembly for both staff and students who won’t be returning to Muritai next year. We send our best wishes to all the students going onto other schools whether local or overseas. Special thanks to those parents and caregivers, particularly those whose last child is leaving us - thank you for your contribution to Muritai School over the years in whatever capacity that has been - fundraising, on the stalls at the Carnival, a Home and School committee or Board of Trustee member, playing taxi to your child and their team mates for the arts or sporting events, adult help on camps and class trips, baking, making props etc - the list is endless. It has been very much appreciated.
Staff members that we farewelled and thanked were Mr Richard Dobson, Ms Imogen Wallace, Mrs Lesley Lowe, Mrs Robyn Wellwood, Mrs Alison Furminger, Mrs Liz Knowles, Mrs Carol Algar, Mrs Fiona Ranchod, Mr Carl Woodhams, Mrs Barbara Griffiths, Mr Brent Skinnon and Mr Jack Griffiths for their commitment and work undertaken that has made a difference to our students. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours.
We welcome the return of Mrs Heather Mawby, Ms Nicolette Fisher, Ms Jessica Cowley, Mrs Christa Pitman and Mrs Raewyn Roberts who joined us during this year. We are also looking forward to Ms Melissa Coton coming back after her six month Science Fellowship.
It is also my pleasure to announce the appointment of a new teacher, Mr Anton Norman who will be teaching a Year 5 and 6 class in room 12 not room 14 as previously stated.
Anton has a bubbly personality and is passionate about teaching. He particularly enjoys teaching science, inquiry learning, extension mathematics and drama. He loves the theatre and music and is an accomplished opera singer. He is also interested in psychology, both brain and behavioural along with international cultures and speaks Swedish fluently. We look forward to him joining our teaching team next year along with Bec.
The Menz shed are currently building a boxed garden for our Sensory Garden. This will be planted early in the new year with thanks going to the Brownsword family for their donation of the design plan, plants and time. The finished garden will be on the field next to room 17 and be of benefit to all our students.
I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank all the parents, caregivers, staff and students for your support this year and especially during the past six months while I have been acting Principal. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it has been a pleasure to work alongside you and get to know more students from the wider school. I feel very happy at what has been accomplished this year and look forward to teaching in room 3 again next year. Thank you so much for the lovely words, generous gifts and your kindness. I have really appreciated it. I am available by email over the summer if there is anything you wish to discuss. Thank you also to the Board of Trustees for all the work that they have done this year too. They have done very well, as they are all new to their roles. It is a huge responsibility and extremely time consuming. Last but not least, I give my sincere thanks to Carole and Jo in the office who are absolutely outstanding and have been wonderful to work with.
Best wishes to all our parents and families for Christmas and 2017. I hope you manage to have a wonderful holiday with your children and that they come back refreshed ready to start on Thursday February 2nd.
FROM THE BOARD
Many thanks to Maureen Buckley for her steady hand over the past five months as acting principal through earthquakes and floods. Also huge thanks to Carole and Jo in the office for stepping into the breach & leading a vibrant carnival despite weather challenges - along with the wonderful carnival committee of volunteers.
Thanks also to all teachers, aides, learning support teachers, support staff and parent volunteers who work so hard to support our school and children's learning, you are so very much appreciated.
Learning support and reading recovery have been particularly effective this year, supporting more students than ever to successfully progress their learning.
Student achievement in 2016.
Muritai students continue to achieve at a high level across reading, writing and maths - those areas which must be tracked against national standards. Of course they also achieve wonderful things in sports, arts, science, engineering and caring for each other and our environment too.
In 2016, our school-wide aspiration was to have 95 percent 'at' or 'above' national standards in reading; 90 percent 'at' or 'above' national standards in writing and 90 percent 'at' or 'above' national standards in maths. These were higher targets than previous years and do reflect very high aspirations when measured against the New Zealand-wide average of 78 percent at or above in reading; 75.4 percent at or above in writing and 71.4 percent at or above in maths.
This year, Muritai students achieved:
Reading: 91 percent at or above the standard (compared to 90 percent last year)
Writing: 84 percent at or above the standard (compared to 81 percent last year)
Mathematics: 85 percent at or above the standard, (compared to 83 percent last year)
Maori students achieved high equity across these areas.
It is also worth mentioning that 100 percent of year twos achieved at or above national standards in reading.
This is a great result, especially as behind these statistics lie complex realities involving a range of learning needs. While our aspirational targets have not always been met, there have been significant shifts across all year groups particularly in junior reading and writing, and the results reflect a very high-performing school.
The broader progress of individual students during the year is captured in their class reports.
Next year, staff are planning to introduce a wider range of teaching techniques around writing, particularly for boys who continue to lag behind girls generally in this area. Teachers have expressed desire to develop their teaching skills with ongoing professional development in many areas.
Professional development in mathematical problem-solving approaches using Numicon will include teacher aides next year as well as teachers, to better reach students with special needs.
Learning support teacher Lisa Allen, who works with more than 50 Muritai students, is being supported to undertake SPELD training for dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities such as ADHD, dyspraxia and dyscalculia in 2017 which is a huge commitment for her and will be of great benefit to Muritai.
Science is also a big focus next year, with the return of senior syndicate teacher Melissa Coton from her Royal Society fellowship at Zealandia, Along with junior syndicate teacher and leading science educator Barbara Ryan, also a previous Royal Society fellow, she will be running workshops for other Muritai teachers, supported by the society, using the new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) room.
Firstly a huge thank you to all who have paid their donations this year. We have received to date 76 percent, or $92,568. As a decile 10 school we receive little government support and rely heavily on the support of our community - that's you! For the 24 percent yet to pay, we would hugely appreciate receiving it in the new year - that's another $30,000 we can invest in teachers, aides, professional development and other resources.
Next year, we will be investigating more convenient options for payment.
Keeping classes sizes down and inclusiveness continues to be a priority for this board. However, with carnival income down by more than 50 percent on 2014 due to poor weather, lower donation rates than previous yeas and the high number of teacher aides required to support all students, small classes have not always been possible in 2017, particularly in years 5 & 6.
Facing a tough financial position, the board opted for four classes in the late 20s rather than five in the early 20s. Some late arrivals have also bumped up the numbers. Maureen is available to discuss any issues with parents.
Finally, your views on Muritai - the good, the bad & the ugly - have been shared with the incoming principal and will be addressed in the year to come, once Bec has had a chance to settle in. We will keep you posted. Have a fantastic break, and - in the words of acting principal Maureen Buckley - "stop the summer slide". so keep those children reading and writing - and maybe even doing maths - while they laze at the beach, pool or bush!
FROM THE SCHOOL
HOME AND SCHOOL COMMITTEE
Muritai Home and School committee is an enthusiastic, energetic group of parents who support Muritai School throughout the year.
Our objective is to provide a link between the children, the home and parents/caregivers, the school and Board of Trustees. We also support the school through fundraising and social events.
Joining the Committee is a great way to meet new friends, particularly for those who are new in school or the area and who have an interest in the activities of their children at
It is a fantastic way to support your school and become involved in your children's education.
We are looking for a new chairperson for 2017 and some additional new members, there will be a meeting at the beginning of term 1 next year.
Please contact Hannah Watkins via email at email@example.com or mobile 0221306640 if you are interested or would like more information
Do you have experience applying for grants? maybe you have applied for a grant through a Playcentre , Kindy or School.
Muritai Home and School Committee are looking for you!
If you are interested in this role please contact Hannah Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile 022 1306640.
Many Thanks, Home and School
Please be aware that there have been a couple of cases of children with scarlet fever at Muritai School. Scarlet fever is an illness that sometimes occurs when your child gets strep throat. Kids with scarlet fever have a sore throat, high fever, rash, and a ‘strawberry tongue’. Kids from five to fifteen are most at risk for contracting scarlet fever. Scarlet fever was once considered a life-threatening illness, but antibiotics have made it far less intimidating.
Scarlet fever can be prevented with thorough hand washing and by avoiding people who have the illness. Teach your children to wash their hands often and don’t share drinking cups and eating utensils.
Scarlet fever is a serious condition so please see your doctor immediately if your child has any of these symptoms. If your child has scarlet fever, keep them home until they are better to prevent the illness from spreading.
TERM DATES FOR 2017
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