Friday 15 April 2021


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


Tena koutou Muritai families, 
The end of Term 1 is upon us and there is so much to celebrate as we head into our term break! 
Learning Conversations Term 2:
Early in Term 2 we will hold our ‘Learning Conversations’.  These are meetings booked to meet with the teacher to  continue to build a connection between whanau and school,  and to share beginning of the year achievement and progress, share any celebrations and needs,  and together come up with goals for the year. Pop a note in your diary  for the dates  - an invitation will come out to you in Week 1. The conversations will be held in Week 2 Wednesday 12th May and Week 3 Wednesday 19th May.  

Teacher Only Days
We have two teacher only days in 2021 which we’ve lined up with HVHS teacher only day which may be of help to you as well as being the Friday prior to Queen’s Birthday holiday and Labour Day enabling a long weekend for everyone.  

During these two teacher only days the staff will be working together on the Muritai curriculum and current pedagogy in teaching. 

Our teacher only days this year are:
Friday 4 June
Friday 22 October
Kelly Club will very likely have holiday programmes for these Fridays for people who need care for their children.

We are the World Inquiry 
Over the past 5 weeks the children have been learning about the diverse cultures and identities of people within our community, and exploring their own cultures and cultural practices in our first inquiry called ‘We are the World’. As a school we are learning to share ideas, our customs and culture, and respect others' way of being, and how we are moving forward as culturally capable students. 

Some of the big questions the children have been exploring this term are 
“Who am I and where have I come from”
“How are we the same and how are we different?”
“Are we responsible for our ancestors’ decisions and actions”
“Does culture have to be related to where you come from”

Across the school children have been exploring shared cultural kai, looking into cultures around the world, sharing their cultures traditional clothes, art, languages, celebrations and a whole lot more! 
Next term we'll be continuing this inquiry for another 4 weeks and making connections with other people’s culture and how people connect to it, looking into how we celebrate the diversity in NZ and contributing to the diversity of Muritai School/Eastbourne and beyond. 
The teachers are really impressed with how open the children are at accepting that we have cultural differences and acknowledging and celebrating the diversity within our school. 

Home Learning Review 
As part of our annual policy review we are looking into Home Learning at Muritai School and what this means for us moving forward. When we talk about home learning we are referring to what used to be known as ‘homework’, and not what we called Lockdown learning - which of course is quite different indeed. If we should again return to Covid Alert Levels 3 or 4, learning would of course continue to be offered for all students at Muritai School.  

I have been chatting to quite a few parents and hearing from teachers too, that there are growing numbers of parents who prefer home learning focused on learning and living capabilities and dispositions, rather than task style activities to complete, and also many who request no home learning at all.  This has caused us to reflect on home learning  ourselves,  and we have begun exploring research that has really got us thinking.  This term the staff and senior leadership have started looking at a range of current research, reflecting on current practices and discussing what is best suited to our children, their learning and behaviour needs and goals. 

I’ve attached one of these readings below, John Hattie and his Visible Learning Research, a synthesis of over 800 Meta analysis relating to what adds to children achievement. Professor John Hattie (NZ), ranks homework 95th out of 150 factors that influence student achievement.  He rates its effect size as 0.29.  By contrast self-reported grades/ student expectations scores the highest effect size of 1.44. A Study of 18,000 school children finds 'no relationship' between working hard at home and better results.

Currently at Muritai School each team sets a range of learning tasks that mirror the learning happening in class. We continue to use learning grids that we set up last year during Lockdown, and will communicate this through Seesaw Year 1 - 4 and Google Classroom 5 - 8. 

We are looking forward to digging deeper into Home Learning, gathering staff, student, parent voice and looking at current research to assist in developing our new Policy. 

Please keep your eye out for further research links and a parent survey coming home early next term where you are able to share with us your thoughts about Home Learning, our current practices, and ways we can move forward together to ensure our children are the ‘Best that they can Be’! 

ANZAC Commemorations 2021
This year the Eastbourne ANZAC Commemorations will once again be at the Muritai Memorial Gates.  The commemorations begin at 10am on ANZAC day (Sunday 25th April) as the parade arrives at the Memorial Gates at Muritai School. 

Over the past weeks our Kahū syndicate has been preparing for our annual ANZAC day commemorations.  They have been preparing our haka to respond in challenge to the official Eastbourne ANZAC parade at the Muritai Memorial Gates, and a beautiful waiata ‘He Hōnore’ to be sung by our children to the crowds attending. Our Head and Deputy students will also be laying a wreath on behalf of all of the children of Muritai School. 

As part of the learning around the commemorations, Kahu have completed some learning artefacts in response to the significance of the poppy.  Some of these pieces will be on display  at the RSA on Sunday the 25th of April and I have selected some excellent examples to share with you below.  Please also read two moving pieces of writing that are shared at the bottom of this newsletter for you to enjoy. 

Soldier and Poppy Art - AJ Durant

Lest We Forget Mixed media on canvas - Giselle Hotop

Crocheted Poppy and Words - Max McHugh


New Muritai School members: 
I am so excited to introduce you to two new members of our Muritai whanau - our teachers Whaea Hilary and Mrs Maritz have both had their babies this term! 
Congratulations to Hilary and Josh for your gorgeous new son Tom, and congratulations to Kea and Paul for your new beautiful daughter Chloe! We hope you both pop in and visit us again soon!
Chloe Maritz

Tom (and big brother Paddy) Keenan

Have a wonderful term break all, we look forward to seeing you all back in Term 2!
Ngā manaakitanga,
Bec Power, Principal



Muritai School Board of Trustees Update April 2021

Hello Muritai Families,

The Muritai School Board of Trustees held its second meeting for 2021 this week. It was a positive meeting with a full agenda as always and from that we have a couple of updates to share.
Donation and extra contributions

Donations play a very important part towards the financial side of running our school and the Board wishes to thank those who have already made your donation payment. It is also really pleasing to see that the option added this year, to make an additional contribution, has been taken up by some of our wonderful parent and caregiver community and an extra big thank you goes out to you (you know who you are 😊) 
The playground refurbishment is looking awesome, and the good news is, more playground development has been ordered and now awaiting installation. It’s really cool to see this project coming together and even more pleasing to see our Muritai children enjoying using this space.

Longest term of the year 
As we head towards the end of the longest school term of the year, 11 weeks to be exact along with the extra challenges of jumping between Covid levels 1 and 2, the Board would like to thank you, our wonderful parent community, and the staff at Muritai School for your continued positive energy you bring to the school. It really does make the environment here at Muritai School a fantastic experience for our learners, which helps them be the best they can be.

We hope the upcoming holidays give you and your families time to relax and recharge and for those getting away and exploring our own backyard and possibly across the ditch, please do enjoy the holidays and we look forward to seeing you in term two which starts Monday 3 May.
Warm wishes 
Muritai School Board of Trustees
Kaye, Andrew,  Bec, Jeremy, Kurt, Lisa and Felicity.


Just a reminder that the Choir will continue to meet at 8.30 in the Library on Monday mornings.

Kapa Haka
We had a wonderful turn out for the Kapa Haka Ropu this Wednesday with well over 100 children and some of their whanau taking part.  This will continue next term on Wednesday mornings at 8.30.  A big thank you to Whaea Hilary for doing such a great job with such a large group and to Ruth Hooke for assisting her.  

Makahika Camp
Camp Makahika was a fantastic experience for our year 5 and 6 students with lots of highlights through the week.  The children were able to take part in all activities (despite the occasional rainy weather) and even managed to stay in the bush huts this year.  

They lived our school values of connecting, exploring and contributing, overcoming many challenges through the week such as staying away from home for the first time, sleeping in a cabin or tent for the first time, trying out food that they had never had before to doing all of the activities that were on offer at camp even if they were a little unsure at first.  We’re very proud of our children for ‘giving everything a go’ - something the staff at Makahika commented on.  I’m sure parents would confirm that they went home exhausted but happy.   

We would like to thank the parents who gave up their time to assist with camp who contributed so much to the happy vibe at camp (as you can see below) and also our wonderful teachers for all their hard work in preparing for camp and ensuring 
everything ran smoothly.  


Te Papa Trip - Years 7 & 8

Since the arrival of our new inquiry, we have been learning all about cultures around the world.
The kahu syndicate was privileged enough to be able to visit Te Papa, and learn more about New Zealand, and other cultures. For example, Learning about immigrants coming from all over Great Britain, New Zealand's highs and lows, and the people who are suffering in other countries. Since the late 1800s leading into the early 1920s, imigration has been a crucial part of New Zealand's history, and almost around the whole entire world. We talked about the push and the pull factor e/g why someone would want to leave their country  and why they would want to come here. In Te Papa, we learnt many things, and came back knowing so much. Our knowledge has expanded  beyond limits previously thought by ourselves. 

There were three sessions total, one being the education center. In the Education centre we learnt about New Zealand's history over the years, and  the way our country used to be advertised as something like paradise for most people, and how the families of English immigrants functioned. We were learning about immigrants from all over the world, and how they lived their lives. 

For session two we got a booklet, asking you questions about culture, people, and objects. You would need to look around for the answer in the given area you were in, and to maybe draw, or write your answers. The next session was a similar one to the second session, talking more about the culture in New Zealand. 

When we had finished all our sessions, some classes looked at other exhibitions, like the amazing Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition, and some looked at the extraordinarily huge spider web of time. It was so fun that I bet some people would love to go again and look at it over and over and over. But, in the end we learnt so much, we wouldn’t need to.

Luca Tokeley and Emily Diederich

Fundamental Sports Day
On Wednesday last week Team Korora had a wonderful time at Hutt Park participating in a Fundamental Sports Day along with a number of other schools from the Hutt area.  The children had the opportunity to learn some new games developing their ball handling skills as well as hand-eye coordination.  They also had the chance to challenge themselves on some fun gym equipment.  The teachers were all really proud of how well our tamariki participated.  Thanks to all those parents who came to help and make this such a successful day!



16 April Kahu whole school assembly at 1.30
16 April Last day of Term 1
11 May National Young Leaders Day
12 May Learning Conversations 3pm to 6pm
17 May Pizza Monday
18 May Gardasil vaccination for Year 7/8 students
19 May Learning Conversations 3pm to 6pm
21 May Pink Shirt Day
25 May BOT Meeting at 6.30pm
27 May Muritai School Competitive Cross Country
1 June Inter School Cross Country
3 June PP Inter School Cross Country
11 June Mihi Whakatau
22 June Inter Zone Cross Country 
22 June BOT meeting at 6.30pm
24 June PP Inter Zone Cross Country 
6 July Dance Festival Year 4-8
6 July Regional Cross Country
8 July PP Regional Cross Country
9 July Last day of Term 2 


Our Term dates have been agreed for 2021 as follows: 
Term 1 4 February to 16 April
Term 2 3 May to 9 July
Term 3 26 July to 1 October
Term 4 18 October to 16 December
Our teacher only days this year are:
Friday 4 June
Friday 22 October
These days line up with HVHS teacher only day which may be of help to you as well as being the Friday prior to Queen’s Birthday holiday and Labour Day enabling a long weekend for everyone.  
Kelly Club will very likely have holiday programmes for these Fridays for people who need care for their children. 

ANZAC Writing 

By Scott Barlow.

“Buzz, Buzz.” My alarm clock’s ringing jolted me awake. I looked out the window to see that it was still dark. “That can’t be right,” I muttered, “Must be broken.” I looked at my alarm clock to see what time it thought it was. It read five in the morning. I shook my head, but then I looked at the date. 25th of April. ANZAC day. I smiled grimly. Who would want to remember that day?

As I reached for my wooden leg, my grand-child, Flynn, came into my room. “Grandpa,” he asked, then stopped, and handed my leg to me. He waited for me to strap it on before resuming: “Why do we have to get up so early every year?”

“Well Flynn, it is to commemorate those who died fighting in WWI against the Turkish. They landed on the wrong beach and faced the impossible task of storming the enemy’s base when the opposition had the high ground. I can still remember the doubtful looks of my fellow soldiers as we approached Gallipoli . . .”

The ship creaked and groaned as we sailed towards our target. I cast a look around at my brethren. Some were excited for the chance to kill, others who were forced to fight had either grim determination or terror on their faces. The Aussies from the countryside looked pale and some even had their heads overboard, giving their breakfasts back to nature, obviously not used to being on a ship. 

Our task was a simple yet very important one: take the Turkish base overlooking a narrow passage so that our ships could sail through, unimpeded by cannon fire. This was a critical mission, as if we would succeed, then the British could sail through to the Russian army and jointly attack the Germans, to end the back-and-forth of trench warfare and start a major offensive campaign. And who better to do this high-death chance mission than with the lowly Australian New Zealand Army Corps.

“Sir,” the navigator called, “In two-hundred meters, take the next left onto Gallipoli Harbour.”
“Very well,” general Ford said. “We are approaching Gallipoli! Get yourselves ready for a fight,” he bellowed to the army. The shout echoed from the command vessel, reverberating off the rough seas. Over dozens of ships, soldiers got ready to fight. The clanking of guns, the roar of the boats, the war cries of the men, it was deafening.

As the beach came into view, I could not believe how hard it was going to be to take this fortress. It was placed on the top of a steep hill well over one-hundred meters tall. It had makeshift fortifications all over the mountain, including gun posts, barbed wire and land mines. The outpost itself had machine gun holes scattered throughout it’s two meter high fence. Even though it was not even dawn, they almost had half as many sentries as we had troops in our division. And undoubtedly, they had many more troops inside. They would cut us down before we reached them. 

As I was worrying, I saw that many other fighters were feeling the same way. We all thought that there was no hope. One private, Louie Turner I think his name was, asked the captain if this was the beach we were meant to be at. It was what we were all thinking, however we all knew captain Smith had a short fuse. We all tried to hide our smirks as he got shouted at. Then, an alarm sounded and a spotlight illuminated our ship. . .


I looked out the window of the car as my son drove my family and I to the ANZAC parade. A possum ran away from the car, seeing it through the dim glow of the street lamps as they flickered in the dawn light. A slight drizzle of rain bounced off the Ford pinto’s roof as it rattled around like a shaker. 

After we pulled into a parking spot, I got out of the car and went over to the boot. My son, Mathew, pulled my wheelchair out and set it up in front of me. While helping me into it, he noticed my sombre expression. “Dad,” he asked, “are you all right?”
“Yes, it is just that it could have so easily been me that was killed at Gallipoli and. . .” I looked at my feet and sighed.
“I know,” he replied comfortingly.

Half an hour later,  a military general called into action the march. Mathew pushed me along the slippery road, going at the speed of the rest of the parade. The rhythmic sound of the marching feet keeping in time with the director-general’s calls is rather ironic, I thought, considering how messy and chaotic an actual fight is.


I shielded my eyes from the brightness of the stoplight while I tried to block the blasting sound of the siren as it pierced my ear. I saw Smith barking orders at me, but I could not hear him. Then, a missile streaked through the air, leaving a long trail of smoke, and hit the ship next to us. It detonated and all but one aboard were killed immediately. He was shot into the air, his bloody face screaming in terror. He landed in the water with a sickening crunch. His lifeless body sunk to the bottom of the ocean, with all of his air rising to the surface in bubbles. As I stood awestruck, another ship exploded, but this time only a few died. The rest tried to swim towards us, but they got killed by machine gun fire.

“You have seen what the enemy can do when we are here in the sea, like a group of sitting ducks, ” captain Smith barked, “get onto the beach as fast as possible!” We all spun into action to get the ship moving and onto solid ground. The engine revved, and we sped ashore. Smith yelled directions at us as the boat slided up the sand: “Get the weapons, get out in a reverse V forma-” He was cut off mid-sentence by a bullet erupting through his thigh. He collapsed to the ground, and with his final breath, passed the command onto me. A silver lining to this horrible war. I gazed across the battlefield, assessing the best move. “Take cover in the trees, minimise our losses.” I have already seen enough bloodshed. I made a promise to myself: As long as I live, I will remember the fallen, and remember this day.

I Miss My Mum
By Ben Hollard 

I miss my mum. 

I thought that I was brave. I thought that lying about my age was a good idea, so that I could come to the war. I didn’t think it was going to be this bad. I thought it would be finished quickly. I thought I could handle it. I thought I was prepared. I thought I was a grown up. But I miss my mum. 

My friend John said that I would be a coward if I did not sign up.
He lied about his age too. I miss John as well, even though he put pressure on me to sign up. 

I watched John die. He didn't even get to shore. As soon as he jumped out of the boat, BANG! He was immediately shot. We were best friends since we were four. He had wanted to see the world, but I’m not sure now that this was the best way to do it. 

All around me I see and hear gun fire. They seem to be closing in. I’m used to the stink of rotten food and dead bodies now. I feel cold, miserable and soaked, sitting in the wet clay trenches. Apparently we got dropped at the wrong place? I don’t know. My geography isn’t great. 

The stars are different here. They are moving between the clouds. Or maybe that’s me hallucinating. 

I want to go home. I want to sit at the kitchen table and have hot warm cocoa with my mum. I should have stayed for the two years I still had before I was 18. I took my home in the Eastbourne hills for granted. I want to be there now. 

I miss my mum. 

COMMUNITY NOTICES - Please  Note the following notices have been requested to be published and are not necessarily  endorsed by us as a school.  In the spirit of community we include these digitally for you to peruse. 

Circa Theatre “Seasons”
If you are looking for something to do with your young children, you may like to look at taking them to see “Seasons” (suitable for children up to Y5).  You can view further information at