19 December 2019

Kia Ora, Talofa Lava, Greetings, Malo e Lelei, Kia Orana, Bonjour, Nǐ hǎo, Hallo, Hola, Kon'nichiwa, Namaste, As-salāmu ʿalaykum

A warm welcome to Soraya Farndale and Xavier Adsett-Gibson to Room 1 and Emma Kitchen to Room 9.


Tena koutou Muritai families, this is our final newsletter for 2019. 

The final term of each year is always one of energy, excitement and events - we have had a feast of events over the past two weeks with our many and varied syndicate EOTC activities, senior camps  and outdoor challenges as well as our Kororā Christmas Concert, our Tūī cookbook creation and collection, our Kererū talent quest and Masterchef evening,  and our Year 8 Formal.  It’s no wonder that some of our children are looking a little weary and ready for a well deserved rest!

Today is our final day of the school year and with our final day, we annually farewell some of our students who are graduating Muritai school, and leaving us for their next educational journey at High School.  

We farewell this week 50 of our Year 8 learners, and with them many parents and families too.  Many of these families  have been a part of  our school community for over a decade, and I must mention the Bird family who together with Andrew’s time serving as our previous principal, today end their formal connection to the school after 18 years, wow!
We thank you all for your support and for being an important part of our school community.  If your child is the first to graduate from your family we congratulate you, and if the last from your household we sadly farewell our formal association, however as we have heard many times over the past week - once you’ve joined us at Muritai, you're forever a  part of our Muritai school family. 

The Year 8 formal was an incredible evening with so much joy and celebration - amongst the odd sniffle of nostalgia and pride (from parents and teachers alike!)  A special mention must go to the staff and parents who made this evening such a phenomenal success - especially our Kahū teachers for the organisation, our volunteer parent ‘formal committee’ who decorated the hall so beautifully, and also our year 7 parent volunteers who continue the ‘pass it on’ tradition running the kitchen for the Formal dinner each year. 

As part of the evening we presented the following Year 8 awards - these awards will be re-awarded as we traditionally do in front of the whole school at our final leavers assembly today starting at 11am.  

Class of 61 Cup
 ~ “Outstanding Contribution to Muritai School”             
Awarded to that pupil who has consistently excelled in a variety of activities and challenges during their time within Muritai School
Theo Thompson
Kirsty and Isabella Clarke Cup
 ~ “Positive Contribution to Muritai School”
Awarded to the child who has consistently made a positive contribution to the peer group to ensure a positive environment at Muritai School.                 
Scarlet Tito
Abel Tasman Cup
~ “Awarded to that pupil who has risen to the challenge of the Abel Tasman Experience and made the most of the opportunity to show teamwork, optimism, enthusiasm, and to be inspired by the challenge
Fraser Neilson
Booth Family Cup
~ “The Student’s Student”                                      
Awarded to that pupil who the year 8 students group feel has displayed outstanding qualities in leadership, academics and school culture as well as playing a major role in contributing to the success of the peer group as a whole.
Theo Thompson
Newton family Cup
Service to the School
Awarded to the pupil who in their time at Muritai School has continuously served the school to the highest quality – taken on challenges, volunteered their time, helped others, been noticed for their quality conduct and used their initiative.

Petra Wilson
Beck Family Cup – Leadership and contribution to sport & Sporting Successes
Acknowledging sporting success throughout the year. 
Issie van der Wilt
The Mills Cup for Contribution to the Arts 
Awarded to the student who has shown commitment and dedication to involvement across all areas of the arts including, visual, music, Kapa haka, movement/dance, singing and throughout their integrated studies.
Clara Maxwell - Lamb
Swain Family Cup for Leadership and Contribution to Sport
James Littlefair
Debbie Bertaud Memorial Cup for Commitment to Science and Technology
A cup and book voucher in memory of Debbie Bertaud, pupil, parent, tutor, mentor, awarded to the student who has made the greatest commitment to science and technology during her or his time at Muritai School.

Sage Pettus
Stotter Family Cup.
An all round student who is committed and dedicated to contribute and perform with excellence to new challenges in the environment, sporting and cultural life of Muritai School with a smile and positive attitude. 

Emily Ebskamp
Jacobsen Cup for excellence in Mathematics Girls & Boys
Awarded to that pupil who has consistently excelled in the area of Mathematics.
Luke Barlow
Rio Salisbury-Metcalfe
The Broadbent Cup for excellence in Literacy. Awarded to that pupil who has consistently excelled in the area of Literacy ~ 
Phoebe Tait 
Boy / Girl Endeavour award
Awarded to those students who have tried their best in everything they have done at their time at Muritai School – academic, sports, the arts, conduct
Anna Jamieson
Lochie Cook
Kyle Sturgess Cup - Music 
Awarded to that pupil who has consistently excelled in the area of Music, both in exhibition and leadership.
Theo Thompson
Ned Sykes
Academic Prize
Awarded to those students who worked hard in their academic studies and have consistently shown academic excellence across a wide range of subject areas
Sage Pettus
Fraser Neilson
Nicholas Bahler Award Empathy
Given to the student who has shown care, empathy, consideration and kindness to other students who have physical, mental or social challenges. 
Emma Burke
The Malama Cup – 
The inspiring Visionary
This award acknowledges someone who is a true asset to Muritai School. A person who strives to be the best person they can be through hard work and determination.
Reihan Kusnadi
Kapa haka- for inspirational leadership of  Kapa haka.
Maisie Stock
Pointin Cup - 
For speeches or debating
Maisie Stock

Alistair Blair Trust:
We are so fortunate at Muritai School to be the holders of the Alistair Blair Trust.  Alistair was a past pupil of Muritai School who sadly passed away in a tragic accident after completing his schooling at Muritai School.  His family keep his memory alive annually by supporting the children and families of Muritai school who may be facing financial hardship.  The Trust Account is managed by our Board of Trustees and all recipients are highly confidential.  If you or someone you know are unable to take part in a school opportunity due to financial constraints, you may like to be considered as a recipient.  Please direct all queries to myself by emailing me at Principal@Muritai.school.nz
In 2019 the Alistair Blair Trust donated $200 to enable a child to attend the Abel Tasman camp, and $200 for a child to join the Makahika Camp.  We as a school community once again thank the Blair family for their ongoing generosity to the children of Muritai School.   

PlaySpace Judging
Five winners were selected by our judges - Kaye from the Board, Tots from our Home and School, Kate Males a playground designer from Wraight and Associates (designer of Waitangi Park play space in Wellington) and myself, selected an aspect of the below designs to be put forward to the Playground design company, to be included in our final play-space. 
We acknowledged these winners in our last whole school assembly in week 8. Congratulations to our winning designs!
These will continue to be displayed in the foyer in term 1, so feel free to pop in and take a look anytime.

Syndicate Bird images/names

Sounds of Native Birds & the Taniwha ideas

Tree Designs - Dendroglyphs, also the koru designed pathway

Large orbs (to sit on)
The Pencarrow lighthouse and slide


This term we have been focussed on our new behaviour values B E S T in our playground - which are of course linked to our school vision - ‘Be the BEST that we can be’.  Teachers have been aiming to hand out 2000 Gotcha tickets over the term, for the students to earn a school wide PB4L ‘fun event’ which was held yesterday afternoon. These tickets are tracked and analysed by the House Captains and when a child earns a Gotcha for all four behaviour values, they have also received a certificate in our whole school assembly.  


Thank You
Thank you to all of you - to our parents and whānau who are all so dedicated and supportive of the joint educational relationship for your children.  This support and connection is an important and key factor in what makes Muritai such an outstanding place to learn and to work. 

 I’d like to especially acknowledge our Home and School team who drive all of our fundraising.  They are a small yet dynamic and highly effective group of Super-parents! Thank you to the whole H & S team for all you have done in 2019. 
Thanks also to all of you who have supported our many fundraising events over the year and thanks also to the generous donations we receive from parents - financially and in time donated to the school.  

We hosted our parent helpers morning tea yesterday , and it was difficult to acknowledge just how many things you our parents had helped us all out with - assisting in classes, fundraising, class trips, overnight stays, road patrol, returning learning resources and books to shelves, volunteering time in classrooms, EOTC helpers and much much more!

Farewell also to our staff who move on from Muritai - our Kahū teacher Steph Lamborn, and two support staff, Brenda and Steffi - all the best for your new adventures, and we all thank you for your hard work, and the support you have brought to the students of Muritai School. 

Finally to our whole Muritai staff - congratulations on another outstanding year at Muritai school. Thank you for your never ending energy, efforts, and for the dedication you bring as a member of our Muritai School team.  

I always feel so proud to work alongside these brilliant educators and thank each of our staff for their commitment to our school, our students and our wider school community - in many and varied ways. A very well deserved school holiday break is just around the corner! 

I wish each and every one of you all a fantastic holiday break and  look forward to seeing you all back rejuvenated and relaxed in 2019.  School begins again on Wednesday 5th February in 2020. 

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all, 

Ngā manaakitanga,

Bec Power, Principal

Trustee Vacancy
The results are in and we are going to a by-election to fill the current board vacancy.
The process will begin just prior to the start of the new school year (unfortunately we are subject to quite tight time constraints in order to comply with the legislation so much of this is out of our control) with the election being held at the end of February.  The following is our timeline:
30th January call for nominations
13th February nominations close
18th February voting papers sent
27th February voting day
4th March voting papers counted
5th March new Trustee takes office
Any parent or guardian of a student at Muritai is eligible to become an elected member of the board.  We encourage you to consider this fantastic opportunity to help shape the direction of the school.

Education Review Office  (ERO) 
The Board are delighted to announce we have received our final report from the Education Review Office (ERO).  We are very pleased to share our recent review with you, our school community.  We are very proud of this comprehensive review into our school and wish to share in the celebrations with you.  

We would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding work our entire staff have put in over the last year and their hard work and commitment is clearly reflected in our excellent ERO review. To this effect, the board look forward to hosting a BBQ for all our wonderful staff early in the new 2020 school year to say well done and keep up the good work.

This very positive report did have one item in the "Areas for improved compliance practice" which the board can confirm the policy & practice has been reviewed as recommended. 

We have selected some key statements that we felt particularly proud of, however there are certainly many more examples of outstanding statements within our report that you can read in its entirety here: 

·  In 2018, almost all students achieved at or above expectations in reading, and the majority achieved at expected levels in mathematics.

· The school is effectively responding to the small group of targeted students whose learning and achievement need accelerating. Information for 2018 and mid-year 2019 shows that many students, including Māori and the school’s targeted students, made accelerated progress.

· Each student’s progress and achievement is carefully tracked, monitored and responded to. 

· Trustees are well informed and carefully scrutinise data to support decision-making about strategic priorities, programmes and resourcing.

· School leaders work collaboratively with staff to create a positive learning environment that is inclusive, values diversity and promotes wellbeing.

· A robust and meaningful appraisal process is well implemented. Leaders and teachers are effectively supported to build their capability through relevant internal and external PLD ( Professional Learning and Development)

· A strong, relentless focus on improvement effectively supports learners to progress and develop their potential. Senior leaders work cohesively to create the conditions that promote the school’s valued outcomes.

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:
· a strong and relentless focus on improvement that effectively supports learners to progress and develop their potential 
· staff collaboration to create a positive learning environment that is inclusive, values diversity and promotes student wellbeing
· positive, respectful relationships and strong links with the local community that support children’s sense of belonging.

The ERO report is a strong acknowledgement of the school and staff, and the Board look forward to working with Muritai staff and students and continuing to focus on providing an environment where Muritai students can be the best they can be.

We know you’ll share in our celebrations and with us, our pride in our great school.
From your Board - Jeremy, Kurt, Kaye, Andrew, Deane and Bec

End of Year Board Message
As the school year comes to a close we wish to finish our final newsletter segment of 2019 with a few highlights of the year, for several of us - our first on the Board of Trustees. 

We have really enjoyed getting to know the finer mechanics of governing the school, and have certainly had a crash course in educational jargon! We have been impressed with the structures and processes left in place by the previous trustees, with excellent policies, robust assurances and effective practices ably led by Bec and undertaken by her and the team at Muritai School. 

We have learned so much about children’s progress and achievement, and are amazed at just how much goes on behind the scenes with collection of testing and achievement data, the analysis and the tracking of all students individually, as groups, and as a whole school in order to ensure our children make progress and achieve.  

At Muritai School we position the learner at the centre. The growth and development of the learner is carefully nurtured by those around them. We focus on what matters most in improving student outcomes. We continue to work towards achieving excellent outcomes for all students and effectively respond to all students whose learning and achievement needs accelerating.

Each child’s progress and achievement is carefully tracked, monitored and responded to. Our wonderful teachers use a range of assessment tools to gather achievement data, analyse this and create tailored learning programmes to suit all learners.

We are very pleased with the achievement outcomes in 2019. 92% of children are reading at or above their years curriculum expectations, 80% of children are writing at and above their years curriculum expectations and 77% of children are working at or above their years curriculum expectations in maths. We are seeing growth across all year levels and improved achievement towards our aspirational school targets. 

ERO identify that Muritai School has a strong and relentless focus on improvement that effectively supports learners to progress and develop their potential. 

Some of our overall academic progress and achievement highlights from 2019 are:

  • There was an average improvement of 20% of learners achieving their years curriculum expectations from our mid year to the end of year overall teacher judgements. 

  • There have been improvements in all cohorts achievement from this time in 2018. 

  • At the end of 2019 our Maori learners are now achieving equitable results to their non Māori peers.  

  • An average of 38% of our target students made accelerated progress. This means that these target students' learning and progress show a noticeably faster movement towards NZ Curriculum expectations, and made more than one years progress within a year.  It's impressive! 

From your Board - Jeremy, Kaye, Andrew, Kurt, Deane and Bec


Spring Netball
A great end to the year for Muritai's netball teams.  

Tactix and Swifts - Kororā Netball
We have had lots of enthusiastic newcomers to the sport this term with two fantastic teams from years 1 and 2 running, dodging, jumping and passing their way to some exciting wins. 
Tino pai to mahi !
Year 4s
6 players from year 4 were keen to take on the challenge of playing in the year 5 and 6 netball
spring competition, a great way to work on the new skills they will need to apply next year.  The team were undaunted by the size and speed of the opposition. Dedicated to their training, they quickly developed to finish off an amazing year with three blistering straight wins. 

Great attitude and always with big smiles.!

Huge thanks to the supportive parents and caregivers and a special thank you to new coaches Brooke Davis,  Jenn Gellatley and Jo Day as well as Jane Lloyd-Evans who has co-ordinated so much of our netball this year.  

Touch Results:

The results for the first 6 weeks of Touch competition were:
Finishing first - The Year 5/6 Boys Stags team!!

Finishing Second - Black ferns and Hurricanes.

Finishing Third - Chiefs,Lightning Bolts and Flyers

Finishing Fourth - Harlequins and Lions

Finishing Fifth - Highlanders, Storm and Crusaders

Finishing sixth or seventh - Warriors, Turbos and Speed demons.

Thanks to all the coaches and managers. We start again in Term One!!

Looking forward to it!

Term Dates 2020

Term dates for 2020 have been confirmed by our Board of Trustees as follows:-

Term 1   Wednesday 5 February to Thursday 9 April
Term 2   Tuesday 28 April to Friday 3 July 
Term 3   Monday 20 July to Friday 25 September
Term 4   Monday 12 October to Thursday 17 December

Our Teacher Only days in 2020 will be advised early next year


Speak Again 2020
Performance Development classes are run each week at Muritai School. These lessons cover many aspects of drama as well as a wide range of presentation skills. We focus on confidence and creativity. Enrolments are now open for Years 4 - 8 in Term 1, 2020. Classes are half-hour, small group sessions held during the school day at Muritai. For more information please contact Emily Keddell on 0211885106, emily@speakagain.co.nz or head to our website: www.speakagain.co.nz

Hutt City Libraries Summer Reading Challenge 2019-20

·         International research shows the 'summer slide' (where reading gains slip over the long summer holidays) is a major barrier to ongoing literacy achievement
·         Tamariki who have access to books and learning experiences during the long holidays show less of a decrease (or even an improvement!) in their reading levels when they return to kura/school
·         The Big Read motivates tamariki to read books and participate in activities. Our friendly librarians are always available to provide support

Any child aged 0-12 years can sign up for the challenge at any of our eight Hutt City Libraries from 1 December.

The entire whānau can join in, this year we have The Little Read for ages 0-5 years; The Big Read for ages 5-12; and Explore, Read, Relax for rangatahi and adults. It’s a great way to support your child’s reading and help them maintain the reading achievements they have made throughout the school year, even while on holiday!

More details at library.huttcity.govt.nz and at all Hutt City Libraries.

Struggling with reading & spelling…. 
Is your child struggling to crack the code for reading and spelling, despite your best efforts to support them at home?
Holiday help is available with specialist reading and spelling teacher, Brenda Larkin, who successfully works with children with dyslexia.  This is a great opportunity to get 9 x 45 minute sequential lessons, which is basically a terms worth of lessons, with one on one tuition.  Learn specific skills and spelling rules in a creative way.  Evidence based research techniques used.  
Keep your child moving forward over the long summer break and, re-ignite their passion for learning.  
“Regan really loves you and is always keen to do his homework.  We've noticed such an improvement in his confidence and last term he went up 4 spelling groups and 3 reading groups.  I think you might have become his teacher for life!” 
Book your place today:   Brenda Larkin 0274 546 915  
Course Dates:  Monday 13th – Friday 24th January (excluding Mon 20th Wellington Anniversary Day).

Days Bay Wharf
Please remember this is still a construction zone.  We understand that you (or your kids) are probably missing jumping off the wharf, but there are some worrying hazards to consider. 
The site is an active construction area – with many of the beams and piles being replaced and a number of submerged objects such as rotting wood, nails and bolts etc. This increases the likelihood that you (or your kids) might have a serious accident and we don’t want that to happen. 
So, please don't jump! Let's work together to keep our community safe.