Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 1st November 2023


Kia Ora Koutou - Dear Parents and Caregivers,

It is that time of the year again when teachers are making ‘overall teacher judgements’ (OTJs) about student’s learning. Making teacher judgments continues to be an important part of assessing progress and achievement across the NZ Curriculum (NZC). Teachers use the Progress and Consistency (PaCT) tool and the Learning Progressions Frameworks (LPFs).

An quick explanation of these is as follows:
The Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) supports teacher judgments on student progress and achievement in relation to The New Zealand Curriculum. Using the richly illustrated Learning Progression Frameworks, the tool breaks down mathematics, reading and writing into different aspects and prompts teachers to notice what students know and can do. PaCT captures teacher judgments on the aspects and recommends an overall judgement that teachers can confirm or review.
Overall teacher judgement / Home - Assessment (tki.org.nz)
Please ask your classroom teacher if you want to know more.

Real-time Reporting on Student Progress

Real-time reporting enables parents and whānau to see their child’s progress online, in real time. Ideally the process is driven by students with appropriate scaffolding by their teachers. It’s more about the learning process, and then the product.

Schools that have implemented a real-time reporting scheme report significant benefits for student-parent-teacher discussions. Deeper conversations about learning can take place straight away as the parents and teachers are always up to speed about what children are learning, how they are going and where to next.

McWilliams and Patton reveal that students whose parents receive regular and personalised messages with actionable information from teachers are more likely to succeed in school.’
(Doing Data Right Pages 46-49, November 2015 | Volume 73 | Number 3,Lorette McWilliams and Christine Patton)

Otonga Progress Plans OPPs

We use Progress Plans during the ‘Know me before you teach me’ and 3-Way Goal Setting meetings. Conversations with students and whānau around learning informs the OPP. These are shared on Google Docs (through a link in SeeSaw) as a reporting to parents tool before the meeting and completed during the discussion. OPPs are therefore available throughout the year. Progress Plans focus on values, dispositions, aspirations for the student, goal setting and progress according to LPFs.


SeeSaw is used as evidence for learning to show authentic progress across the curriculum whilst developing a unique, student-led set of evidence to monitor progress and celebrate learning.
The children are enjoying reading the comments from their teachers and whānau on their Seesaw posts. It is great having so many positive and encouraging comments and feedback for the learning they are sharing.

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.
Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe

We Take Play Seriously!

Learning Through Play in Ako Kiwi

This Term, Ako Kiwi have been learning about Fire Safety. It has been wonderful to see our tamariki take this valuable real-life learning into their play and they have come up with some amazing ideas. In Room 13, the children were inspired to create Fire Trucks out of cardboard boxes. There was a lot of painting, teamwork and discussion going on here around what a Fire Truck requires - the children were very determined to make their Fire Trucks as life-like as possible! Check out their amazing creations below.

Structured Literacy - Writing

Year 2 - Ako Kiwi

The Writer’s Corner
Room 11 have been learning how to create a fire wise poster with a safety message for Room 6. Our literacy learning goals were to use “imperative bossy verbs” such as “no” and “don’t”. We were learning about the importance of the authors purpose and message. Also we were learning the importance of visual language and how to use this to communicate through a poster to an audience. This was a collaborative activity and each group presented their poster to the Tamariki in Room 6.
Room 13 wrote some acrostic poems to share their knowledge around Fire Safety. Look at those awesome flame and fire truck illustrations as well!


Can you help us?

We are seeking help from a parent who speaks both Punjabi and English, to assist us with communicating with one of our students. The task will take 5-10 minutes at a time that suits the adult, during school hours.

If you can help us out, please contact the school office.

Many thanks - Mrs Donnene van Fulpen, ESOL Teacher


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.


Monday 20th November

Whānau/ Families, you are most welcome to watch our Junior and Senior groups perform their bracket of waiata and haka to you in the school hall.
  • Junior - 11:15am
  • Senior (ahurei rōpū) - 1:45pm
Nau mai!
Whaea Arihi, Whaea Sheena and Whaea Adelle



Monday 30th October to Friday 3rd November

We are enjoying a busy Book Week and during this time we are holding competitions and other activities at Senior, Middle and Junior school levels, although not compulsory these are proving very popular throughout the school.
The Book Swap held yesterday was a great hit with all those involved. The Books remaining from the Book Swap and also withdrawn library books will be displayed outside the Library for Parents/Caregivers on Thursday and Friday morning. Some of the books are not in perfect condition but you are most welcome to help yourself and share with family and friends.
Tomorrow morning, Thursday 2nd November, we will be holding a Dress-up as your Favourite Book Character Parade... at 9:15 am in the Hall.
Prizes will be awarded for the best creations.


I love this quote by Dr Seuss “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss


Thank you for your support everyone.
Mrs Atkinson, Library Manager

FILL THE BUS is back again!

Once again 2023 has provided a range of challenges for an increasing number of our local families. And that is why Paul Hickey and the team at The Hits Rotorua are once again facilitating the annual FILL THE BUS campaign, supporting the Rotorua Salvation Army Christmas Foodbank Appeal.

Just a reminder about what FILL THE BUS is all about; Paul and the team spend a full day driving all over Rotorua visiting schools, shopping centres and businesses, collecting cans and non-perishable food items.

Last year they collected 10,041 items during the day, which equated to a whopping value of just over $25,000 of food for the cause!

Once again, we would love your support in making this worthwhile cause a huge success, by bringing donations (cans and non-perishable food items) to the school office before 9am on Wednesday 6th December 2023. Every little bit makes a BIG difference to those in need. Thank you.

Term 4 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
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
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 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


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