Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 6th December 2023


Kia ora Koutou - Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Celebrating our Learning

I would like to thank our community for attending our Celebration of Learning Day last week. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and students and whānau really enjoyed the day. Thank you to the teachers and learning assistants who provided a small snapshot of our learning and environment.
More photos here: Otonga School Facebook
Thank you to those who took the time on the day to give us feedback on our School Strategic Plan. See some here:

Thank You to our PTA

Thank you to our PTA for the money to purchase another Magic Play Box. These are big boxes designed and compiled for delivering a variety of loose parts to cater to all age groups and abilities to be used by our tamariki in our Learning Through Play Environments.
We also bought more Mobilo. This is a world renowned construction brand which provides quality, educational resources. Children can stack, build, design and create endlessly with these colourful bricks that include wheels, connectors, heads, and building cards. It encourages confidence and a stronger sense of identity.

Congratulations to our Graduates and Retiree

We are extremely proud of Whaea Claire, Whaea Nadia and Whaea Jaime who have completed their Provisional Teacher Registration. We celebrated their Graduation at the NZEI function last Friday. We are lucky to have you and are honoured to have supported three teachers over the last two years.

Mrs Armstrong was also acknowledged for many years of service in teaching and will be retiring at the end of the year.

Otonga Progress Plans (OPPs)

Otonga Progress Plans are about goal setting and progress. The first is ‘Who am I?’ followed by ‘Me as a Learner’. This ensures that we get to know our children to build strong relationships. Otonga School Values are included. These are a Google Doc and are shared with parents and whānau and via SeeSaw. In this way, they are always accessible in ‘real-time’.
We use ‘SMART’ goals based on the Learning Progressions Frameworks (LPFs) and an indication of whether or not they have been achieved, along with new goals that are set.
The OPPs also have a section on how to help at home. For these to work, we require maximum input from students, parents and teachers. We value this home-school partnership. These will be shared by this Friday on SeeSaw.
Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe

Otonga School Choir

This year the school choir took part in 'Sing Up Day', an event in which schools all around the world record themselves singing a song and then they are edited together into a DigiChoir. Here are the links to both songs the choir were part of.


Matthew Sheard

We Take Play Seriously!

Learning Through Play in Year 1 Ako Tui

We grew some potatoes in our school garden. On Friday we harvested them and today after careful discussion (lots of oral literacy) on what to do with them the class decided on mashed potato. We have been using this as a great learning opportunity, learning about the life cycle of potatoes (science), making guesses on how many potatoes we would dig up by the amount of seed potatoes planted (math), then we made a written plan and list on what we needed to make the mashed potatoes (literacy). Then we shared our Kai after the hard work was put in.
In Room 7 we made Santa's village using lego. We made Santa, a reindeer, and Christmas tree with star and tomorrow plan to make a sleigh.
We have had strong trajectory and connection urges in Room 16. What better way to explore these than with our beloved classroom boxes. We were enacting our school values; showing whanaungatanga and Manaakitanga (working together, taking turns) as well as Manawanui by working out how to slide down further and faster. We were showing Kaitiakitanga by ensuring we didn't damage Papatuanuku in the process. We removed all our (re-used) boxes and little bits of paper when we were done.

Structured Literacy - Writing

The Writer's Corner - Ako Tui Year 1

Ako Tui were busy writing letters to Santa and filling each other's buckets with compliments.


We are very happy to offer our parents the option to buy school stationery for 2024 from Office Max as well as Office Products Depot. You can order your child's 'Back to School' stationery online via OfficeMax and Office Products Depot, or if you would prefer you can shop in-store at Office Products Depot which is located at 8 Old Taupo Road. For more details on how to order please refer to the below flyers from both suppliers. We encourage you to order early to ensure your child has all their stationery requirements ready to go in plenty of time for the start of Term 1 next year.
Please find our stationery info on our school website: Stationery - Otonga Road Primary School


What is a Strategic Plan?
A planning document by the BOT informed by our community, until 2025, that communicates strategic goals and priorities.
What is an Annual Implementation Plan?
The Principal and Staff work towards an annual implementation plan that sets annual targets and actions for working towards our strategic goals.

Please have a look at our draft strategic plan here:
Otonga School Te Kura o Tihiōtonga Strategic Plan 2023-2025
If you have feedback for us on this, please feel free to email: botpm@otonga.school.nz or gcunliffe@otonga.school.nz or place feedback in the office.
The 2024 Annual Implementation Plan to support our goals is being developed at the moment and will be an ongoing, living piece of work realised throughout the year.


Annual Stocktake and Return of Library Books

Thank you everyone for the great response to return Library books, 58 are still outstanding from students and 15 from classroom library sets. There is an amnesty in place so during the summer holiday please check at home for any School Library books or Readers that may be lying around (they will have an 'Otonga School' stamp inside). We would love to see them back at school at the beginning of Term 1, 2024!
I would like to give a special 'Thank You' to all the wonderful volunteers who have assisted during stocktake and in the Library throughout 2023 - we couldn't do it without you!

Thank you all for your support during the year and best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.

Mrs Pauline Atkinson, Library Manager


Last chance to collect your lost property from school before it is given away to those in need in the wider Rotorua community. All items will be on display outside the hall each day until the last day of school.


There is one sure fire way to stop the summer reading slide...KEEP READING!
Here are just a couple of suggestions to help your children to keep reading:
* Make sure that their reading is fun and enjoyable.
* Little and often makes a big difference.
This summer holiday we are again encouraging all of our children to read, read, read! and we are sending out a pack with tips for parents and children on how to achieve this.
This week children will receive a pack (to bring home) designed to keep them reading even though they're not at school. So please ask your child for their Summer Reading Pack and encourage lots of reading.

Their completed 'Summer Reading Log' and if they wish a 'Favourite Summer Book Review' (this is optional), can be returned to school after the holidays and reviews will be displayed in the Library. Details are on the Parent/Caregiver hand-out sheet that is included in the pack. Children who take part will be presented with a 'Certificate of Participation Summer Reading Award'.

If you have not already done so you can enrol your child at the Rotorua Public Library for free - they have a great Summer Reading Programme for children. Details are included on the Parent/Caregiver hand-out sheet that is included in the pack. Click on the link:Summer School Holiday Programme 2024 - Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri for further details.

Thank you all for your support during the year and best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.

Mrs Pauline Atkinson, Library Manager

Term 4 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
6 Dec Y5 Ako Kārearea - Unison Swim Magic
Y6 Ako Korimako - Graduation Dinner and Disco 4:45pm
FILL THE BUS - Please bring donations to the school office by 9am
7 Dec Y6 Ako Korimako - Unison Swim Magic
Y3 Ako Ruru - Whakaue Marae 9:15am-2:15pm
8 Dec Y6 Ako Korimako - Unison Swim Magic
12 Dec Leavers Assembly 11am -12pm
13 Dec Last Day of Term 4 – School closes at 3pm

Term Dates 2023

TERM 4: Mon 9th October – Wed 13th December
(Labour Day – Monday 23rd October)
(Teacher Only Day - TOD) - Monday 13th November

New Entrant – Cohort Start Dates 2023

TERM 4 Cohort 8: Term 1, 2024

Term Dates 2024

TERM 1: Tue 30th January - Fri 12th April
Tues 30th January - OPP ‘Know me before you Teach me’ Meetings Day
Wed 31st January - All students back
(Waitangi Day - Tues 6th February)
(Good Friday – Fri 29th March)
(Easter - Monday 1st April)
(Easter - Tuesday 2nd April)

TERM 2: Mon 29th April – Fri 5th July
(Teacher Only Day - TOD) – Mon 27th May)
(King’s Birthday - Mon 3rd June)
(Matariki - Fri 28th June)

TERM 3: Mon 22nd July – Fri 27th September

TERM 4: Mon 14th October – Fri 13th December (TBC)
(Labour Day – Mon 28th October)



Students may only come to school at 8:15am please as any time before that creates a health and safety issue as there are no teachers available before this time unless in exceptional circumstances. Children will not be allowed into the classrooms until after 8:15am. Students arriving early need to be enrolled in before school care. If you need care before school or after school, this service is provided in the hall. To enrol your child or for more information please contact Leandri on 027 348 7707 or email info.otonga@osprograms.co.nz


If you would like to view our BOT Minutes, please contact Antonia Magness our BOT Secretary via amagness@otonga.school.nz.

BYMC (Bring Your Managed Chromebook)

A reminder for 2024 that chromebooks are encouraged
to be brought to school for years 4-6.


Head lice and nits are a common problem among school-aged children and can affect the whole school community. Lice and nits can easily spread from one person to another through close head-to-head contact or sharing personal items. The Ministry of Health recommends that students with live lice should stay away from school until treatment has started.
Parents/Caregivers are primarily responsible for identifying, treating, and preventing head lice by:
  • checking their child's hair regularly for signs of head lice or nits
  • treating the head lice or nits (e.g. combing and using a head lice shampoo/lotion)
  • informing the school if their child has head lice so that notification and treatment information can be shared as appropriate.

KINDO - Helpdesk Ph 0508 454 636

Kindo recommend that if you are having a problem using KINDO either on your computer or on the mobile phone app, that you contact the Kindo Helpdesk straight away. This way you can explain the exact problem you are having and KINDO can troubleshoot the issue while you are on the phone. Issues can arise for various reasons, usually they have to do with the web browser
(Firefox/Safari/Google Chrome etc) or the app platform (such as Apple iPhone/Android Google Play) being used. Because of this the issues can be quite different and not the same for everyone.
Please Note: St Andrew’s Bakery is no longer able to provide school lunches on Monday's for the indefinite future.


Absentee Email Function

A number of parents have contacted us to advise that they are having issues with our SchoolApp Absentee function, not being able to scroll down further on the screen to be able to type in a reason for the absentee. It seems this problem occurs if you are using an out-of-date version of our SchoolApp or if you are using an iPhone. Please make sure you are using the most current version of the SchoolApp, you may need to go to the Apple App Store or Google Play to download this. If you have an iPhone, when entering an absentee email, you need to select an 'Absent From' Date and click DONE before it will allow you to scroll further down. The 'Absent From' date automatically appears in the box, however you still need to click on this box, select a date and then click 'DONE'. If you have any further problems, please let us know.

SCHOOLDOCS - School Policies

We invite you to view/review our school policies at https://otonga.schooldocs.co.nz (Note that there is no "www.")

Our username is: otonga and password is: fourwinds


Drop Off / Pick Up Zone

This area in front of the school (adjoining the school crossing, inside the blue bollards) is a 5-minute loading zone only. Cars are not to be left unattended or parked for longer than 5 minutes. As this area is a drop off / pick up zone only - your child must be able to get in and out of the car by themselves.

Office and Staff Car Parks

These are Staff ONLY areas – Strictly No Entry for Parents/Pupils. Please DO NOT use these areas as a drop off or pick up zone. Our staff car park cannot fully cater for all the staff cars. For safety reasons, parents and visitors are asked to park on the road paying careful attention not to park on the yellow lines or across our neighbour's driveways.

Car Parking and Pupil Safety

In the interests of child safety, we ask that parents take particular care when driving or parking near the school.

A reminder for everyone!

No U-turns along Otonga Road outside School.
There is an official traffic no U -Turn signposted.
• No parking in the bus bay.
• No parking or blocking driveways.
• No double parking.
• No parking on the grass verge.
• No parking on traffic islands or yellow lines.
• No blocking or stopping on pedestrian crossing
• Only cross Otonga Road at the crossing with your children.

The main issue concerning the roads and traffic flow is CONSIDERATION of others. Please: CONSIDER Children’s safety, on foot and on bikes. CONSIDER local residents’ access. CONSIDER other drivers.

Suggestions for making traffic flow easier:

• Arrive a little later to pick up children (by 3:10pm, Otonga Road is half empty)
• Find pick-up/drop off points a little distance away from the school.
(eg above Kiwi St going up Otonga Rd)
• Use the McDowell Street circuit to put you on the school side of the road.

VisTab Sign-in Sponsor Needed

We are in search of a business to sponsor our VisTab - People Management System. All visitors sign in and out using VisTab on arrival/departure at reception in the school office. We will add your company logo at the bottom of the default screen. It is seen by many, even through the window when the school office is closed. The cost is $63.25 per month. Please contact the school office if you would like the opportunity. First in first served.


SH30 EASTERN CORRIDOR - Stage Two Project Update

Kia ora koutou,

A lot of footpaths were prepared and poured last week with more to be completed this week. Other service providers are working onsite to complete their connections so the pits can be filled, and the remainder of the footpaths can be completed.

Nightworks were delayed due to weather and are now commencing 8pm TUESDAY 5 DECEMBER. With the variable weather coming through the area these days may extend further into next week.

We ask that you please adhere to all temporary traffic management signage and detours including reduced speed limits and any directions from our team.

Key works affecting residents/traffic include the following:
    A full closure of Te Ngae Road between Ōwhata roundabout and Iles Road will be in place from Tuesday 5 December for four nights, and Sunday 10 December between the hours of 8pm to 5am (weather dependent). This is to undertake sealing, stormwater and resurfacing works on Te Ngae Road.
    All eastbound/westbound traffic travelling through the area will be diverted via Vaughan Road. Access for local traffic, businesses and residents will be maintained. Works are dependent on stabilising and membrane work being previously completed. All these works are weather dependent. More details below.
    Our teams have been pulling cables through the underground ducting which was previously installed along SH30/ Te Ngae Road. Multiple work sites have been opened and closed, and a few pits remain yet to be opened.
    Footpaths are now being reinstated where this has been completed.

For up-to-date travel information on SH30 or to plan your journey visit https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/

Temporary Pedestrian Route Map (pictured below)

Night works for sealing, stormwater installation and surfacing from Iles Road to Ōwhata roundabout commences Tuesday 5 December with a FULL ROAD CLOSURE AT NIGHT (8pm to 5am) BETWEEN ILES ROAD AND ŌWHATA ROAD. We expect these works to take five nights (weather dependent).

Noise and vibration are associated with these works including concrete saws, millers, rollers and other heavy machinery.

Access for local traffic and residents will be maintained via detours. Any local traffic at the Iles Road intersection will be required to take the right turn at Iles Road and follow detours. All north and south bound traffic on SH30/ Te Ngae Road - including heavy haulage - will be detoured via Vaughan Road to Ōwhata Road.

SH30/ Te Ngae Road – Iles Road to Basley Road
• The far exit lane from the end of the Motion Entertainment carpark onto SH30/ Te Ngae Road is closed, traffic wanting to exit the carpark can do so from the signalised intersection at Iles Road.
Sealing in this section is to be undertaken during the next scheduled nightworks.

SH30/ Te Ngae Road –Basley Road to Tumene Drive (south side)
A small section of sealing remains and will be completed during the next scheduled nightworks.
Line marking has been completed on the sealed sections of Te Ngae Road.
• The footpath has been poured and tidied up between BUPA and Basley Road. This is now open for use again.

The footpath being tidied up and landscaped between BUPA and Tumene Drive (pictured below).
SH30/ Te Ngae Road – Tennyson Drive to Puketāwhero Park
Cable pulling is still underway in the area.
Some of the footpaths and driveways in this area have been poured. Once the cable pulling is completed and the pits reinstated the remaining section will be completed.
The cutover of the house connections to the new network has commenced.

SH30/ Te Ngae Road - Tumene Drive to Ōwhata Road Roundabout
The footpath has been poured along the retaining wall between Kilwell and the Te Ngae Shopping Centre. The handrail has been installed and topsoil has been laid.
There is still work remaining at each end of the retaining wall. Once this is completed it can be opened back up for use.
Our team has poured the concrete apron and part of the entry to Puketāwhero Park. The remainder will be ramped later in the week (weather dependent). Access is still available in the meantime.
The old streetlighting which is nearest to Te Ngae Road will remain until early 2024 when it will be removed.

The streetlighting closest to Te Ngae Road will get removed in early 2024 (pictured below).
Upcoming work
  • Footpath preparation along Te Ngae Road will be progressing further along once a section has been completed. Tumene Drive to Brent Road will be poured this week, followed by Brent Road to Ōwhata roundabout.
Traffic impacts
Temporary traffic management ensures the community, travelling public and our team are kept safe. People are asked to take extra care when travelling through the site by following the temporary traffic management, the posted reduced speed of 30km/h and any directions from our team.
For up-to-date travel information on SH30 or to plan your journey visit www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/
There are two temporary signalised pedestrian crossings, one located in front of Puketāwhero Park, the other eastbound of the Ōwhata roundabout to safely cross SH30/ Te Ngae Road.
There are signalised pedestrian crossings at the Te Ngae Shopping Centre and Basley Road for pedestrians to safely cross SH30/ Te Ngae Road.

Other works taking place in the wider Rotorua area:
SH33 Te Ngae Junction to Paengaroa
Work on SH33 safety improvements are underway with contractors working on multiple sites along this section of highway. Work includes widening of the road corridor, installing safety barriers, improving drainage and rehabilitation works.
Temporary traffic management will be in place including stop/go, lane shifts, shoulder closures and reduced speed limits until works are completed in mid December. Minor traffic delays are expected. More information.

Concerns about roading conditions?
We recommend contacting Waka Kotahi on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 444 449) for any issues relating to the state highway network to ensure prompt action from the relevant maintenance contractor.

If you would like to know more about this project, please visit nzta.govt.nz/eastern-corridor-stage2.

We thank you for your patience and understanding while we work the SH30 Eastern Corridor Stage Two project.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at Tania.McCluskey@Downer.co.nz or call on 029 201 4304.

Ngā mihi nui,

Tania McCluskey
Stakeholder & Communications Advisor
Transport & Infrastructure
Do the kids fancy themselves as the next Tom Abercrombie? Take them along to a BNZ Breakers game and show them the best of New Zealand basketball.
There are 8 home games remaining in Auckland this season and every game will have epic basketball and entertainment for the whole family. Mark your calendar and get behind the BNZ Breakers. Tickets on sale now at www.ticketmaster.co.nz
Homestay Families Wanted
John Paul College International Office is looking for families to host international students. This is such a great experience for the whole family. Anyone interested please contact Jo directly, Phone (07) 347 8795 ext 8863 or 021 355 280 or email homestay@jpc.school.nz to request an information pack and application form.
2024 Holiday Mathematics Program - One to one
Session One: January 8th – 11th
Session Two: January 15th – 18th
Introduce the refreshed NZ Mathematics curriculum for junior students and enhance student’s confidence in Mathematics for the upcoming school year.
For further details, contact Ann via email at bwan2088@gmail.com.
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