Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 25th October 2023


Kia Ora Koutou - Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I hope you have all enjoyed the long weekend after a busy first week back at school.
It is great to be back for a short Week 3.

Otonga School Values

Values are the things that we think are important in the way we live and work, how we act and behave. Values, when taught and learnt well, enhance good behaviour and positive thinking. Values build positive school culture and are part of our graduate (Year 6) student profile.

As a school we have identified a need to establish common understandings of our four values with students, and a common language to interpret such understandings.

What our values do is they encourage the children to really look at how they view themselves, and how they treat other people and live their lives. Not only in the classroom but also in the playground, on the sports field, and in their lives outside of school. If parents are using these at home then the learning of these is even more powerful.

The way that we are promoting our values at school is by making them visible and accessible in all areas of the school. Integrating values into our teaching and learning programmes consistently is key to fostering a shared language.

Daily conversations (sometimes at circle time) around a chosen value for the day or week about what the value is, what it looks like and how we can show it, followed by a reflection on how you did show it that day, form the basis for these discussions.

Our values are included in our OPPs (Otonga Progress Plans) and used as values slips in and outside the playground. Principals Awards are given using the values and celebrated with students at Ako and School Hui.

Pedestrian Crossings and Roundabouts

We need to remind our children that road crossing (at any point) should only be done at walking pace (ie not running or riding) this gives drivers an opportunity to see people crossing roads and react if necessary. While pedestrian crossings are the safest place to cross, they still need to be used safely.

Crossing the Road

Students should cross the road using kerb drill:
Stop one step away from the kerb, or edge of the road.
Look all ways that traffic might be approaching.
Listen for traffic.
When the road is clear, walk briskly across, looking each way for traffic.

Using the Pedestrian Crossing

Students should use the pedestrian crossing if there is one available. The law says that if you are within 20 metres of a pedestrian crossing or traffic lights, you must use them. Children sometimes believe that being on the pedestrian crossing is quite safe and that cars will automatically stop. Please make sure they make sure the cars have stopped before crossing. They need to be reminded to use the kerb drill in the usual way and especially at the crossing by the dairy.

Useful resources:

Please make sure you read through the Term 4 Diary below for all our upcoming key dates.
Have a lovely week.
Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe

We Take Play Seriously!

Learning Through Play in Ako Tui

Play in the natural environment helps our children be physically active and learn gross motor skills. The children are building relationships, problem solving and developing independence, resilience and confidence. During this particular trip to the forest I heard children discussing and problem solving how to get around large trees that had fallen, helping one another and building stronger relationships and friendships. They built huts, used their imagination to create pirate ships and more. Bridges were made and dams were created after we had some rain. We always come back to class with a collection of branches, leaves, rocks and other special gems to use in our loose parts play.

Structured Literacy - Writing

Year 3 - Ako Ruru

Working with phonemes, graphemes, sentence structure and dictation
Reading Comprehension
Using Graphic Organisers
Using pictures and graphic organisers to plan writing
Drafting and publishing


Year 6 Leavers Souvenir

Order now to get a souvenir of your child’s time at Otonga School. 2023 Year 6 Leavers self-portrait wall hanging/tea towels have gone to the printers and are available to order now! This is not a fundraiser just a fun way for the kids to remember their friends and time at Otonga School. Cost $18 each (example available at the school office).

You can order and pay for these limited edition souvenirs via KINDO. Once logged onto 'mykindo' select 'Otonga PTA', there you will find 'Year 6 Leavers Souvenir'. If you would like to order more than one, please ensure you change the quantity at 'checkout'.

Orders must be completed by 9am FRIDAY 27th October.



This is a special week of celebrating books and reading.
Next week we are holding a Book Week from Monday 30th October to Friday 3rd November. During this time we will be running a variety of competitions and reading activities throughout the school. The competitions are at Senior, Middle and Junior school levels but are not compulsory. Details will be circulated to Teachers tomorrow and competition details passed on to the students.

Dress-Up as your Favourite Book Character
Now is a good time for children to be thinking of their favourite Book Character Dress-Up outfit and getting prepared for Thursday morning 2nd November when we will be holding a Book Character Parade...... prizes awarded for the best creations!
Book Swap Day on Tuesday 31st October
On the morning of Tuesday 31st October please bring the books you wish to exchange to the Library before school. You will be given a Token for each book and this can be exchanged for a pre-loved book at the lunch time swap. Details of the 'Book Swap' process are included in the flyer below. If you have any queries please email me patkinson@otonga.school.nz or telephone 3486443 Ext 712 for further information.

Mrs Pauline Atkinson, Library Manager


Finn, Evie and Jack Duckett and Lockie Wade competed at the North Island BMX Champs in Waitākere this past weekend with over 500 other riders from around NZ. They all raced hard over two days, with 6 or 7 races each. They showed amazing courage and resilience and represented the Rotorua BMX Club with pride. Well done!
Well done to Kian Lovell, Austin Zhang, Calvin Chen, Joshya Banker and Zach Lovell who represented our school in the Team Nation Chess Finals at Alfriston College in Auckland over the weekend. Each student played 9x game each and Otonga came 12th overall. The following day Aiden Zhang, Kian Lovell and Calvin Chen competed in the Individual Nationals. This was incredibly tough, especially after the Team Nationals the previous day. However, they did amazing, competing against the best across New Zealand! Well done, boys!

Term 4 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
26 Oct Otonga PTA Meeting 6pm Staffroom - All Welcome!
27 Oct BLACK OUT DAY again - Wear Black to school in support of the AB's
30 Oct BOOK WEEK Starts
31 Oct BOT Meeting
Book Week - Book Swap Day
2 Nov Book Week - Book Character Day and Parade 9:15am
3 Nov Hui a Kura 11:45am-12:20pm - Hosted by Room 7 Ako Tui
8 Nov Haka Fit - Year 5 & 6
Y3 Ako Ruru Athletics Day 11am-12:30pm
9 Nov Interschools Orienteering - Year 5 & 6
Year 1 & 2 Fire Safety Visit 9:30am-10:30am
10 Nov Year 4-6 Athletics Day at Rotorua Stadium
13 Nov Teacher Only Day (TOD) - SCHOOL CLOSED
14 Nov Otonga's Got Talent Final 11-12:30pm
15 Nov Year 4-6 Athletics - Postponement Date
16 Nov Rugby 7's
17 Nov Hui a Kura 11:45am-12:20pm - Hosted by Room 8 Ako Tui
20 Nov Junior Kapa Haka 11:15am-12:15pm
Senior Kapa Haka 1:45pm-2:45pm
21 Nov Rotorua Primary Schools Ahurei
23 Nov Year 0 & 1 Ako Tui - Unison Swim Magic
Year 2 & 4 - Maketu Trip 9am-3pm
24 Nov Year 0 & 1 Ako Tui - Unison Swim Magic
27 Nov Y2 Ako Kiwi - Unison Swim Magic
28 Nov Y2 Ako Kiwi - Unison Swim Magic
BOT Meeting
29 Nov Y3 Ako Ruru - Unison Swim Magic
30 Nov Celebration of Learning Day
Y3 Ako Ruru - Unison Swim Magic
1 Dec Road Patrol Fun Day
Y4 Ako Kererū - Unison Swim Magic
Hui a Kura 11:45am-12:20pm – Hosted by Room 4 Ako Tui
4 Dec Y4 Ako Kererū - Unison Swim Magic
5 Dec Y5 Ako Kārearea - Unison Swim Magic
Interschool Year 4-6 Athletics
6 Dec Y5 Ako Kārearea - Unison Swim Magic
Y6 Ako Korimako Graduation Assembly 5pm
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 Leadership 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 7: Mon 9th October
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) – Fri 31st 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

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


After School Painting, Drawing
and Mosaic Classes
Tuesdays 4:35pm to 5:35pm
Wednesdays & Thursdays
3:30pm to 4:30pm & 4:35pm to 5:35pm
Enrolling now for the rest of term 4, school holidays and 2024.
Aged 7 and upwards
All enquiries welcome
374 Clayton Road, Rotorua
Contact janet@jkeen.net or
Text 027 3513887 for more details.
Want to try tennis out this summer?
Join Rotorua Tennis Club for $80 for a whole year which includes access to the courts, club days and tournaments. Welcome to come along and try it out.
Friday junior club day 3:30 to 4:15 for primary and beginner intermediate
4:15 to 5:45 for high school and advanced intermediate.
For more information contact
Debra 021 335492 or physiodeb@hotmail.com
Coaching with club professional Justin Megraw is on Wednesday and Thursday. This is paid separately. See the details and sign up https://www.no1tennis.co.nz/
Ever considered becoming a teacher?
Te Wananga o Aotearoa are currently taking enrolments for He Korowai Ākonga, a teacher education degree that prepares you for work as a kaiako in primary, or intermediate schools. This unique qualification embraces Māori philosophies, principles and mātauranga Māori (knowledge), empowering you to become a culturally responsive and reflective practitioner who is able to work with a diverse range of learners.

Our holistic approach gives you the theoretical knowledge of teaching and learning, as well as incorporating opportunities to gain practical teaching experience. You’ll learn how to plan lessons aligned to the New Zealand curriculum, assess and evaluate learning, and embed concepts from te ao Māori (the Māori world) into your practice.

As a graduate of He Korowai Ākonga you can apply for teacher registration with the New Zealand Education Council and start your career in primary teaching.

If you are interested you can apply online after which you will be contacted by our Practicum Coordinator Karri Ann Vercoe-Black for an interview.
Karri-Ann.Vercoe@twoa.ac.nz Ph: 07 349 8036
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