Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 8th November 2023


Kia Ora Koutou - Dear Parents and Caregivers,

We are now already halfway through the term!
Term 4 is a really busy time for all of us at school. Assessments, budgets, strategic planning etc. are top of the list and making sure that our students have the happiest school days at Te Kura o Tihiōtonga.
Some things to look forward to during the next week are CBOP Tennis, Orienteering, School Athletics, Haka Fit and Fire Safety.

On the 6th December is Fill the Bus. Please bring canned food and non-perishables to the reception for this worthy cause. It will be much appreciated by people who need the help coming into the festive season.

A reminder that next Monday,13th November is a Teacher Only Day.

Have a lovely week.
Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe

We Take Play Seriously!

Learning Through Play in Year 3 Ako Ruru

Recently, Ako Ruru were introduced to the Six Bricks to provide a range of learning skills in a hands-on way. In one activity below, for example, children learnt to engage in creative problem-solving; negotiated when and how to carry out tasks and made reasoned choices and decisions.

The task was for each group to combine their bricks and think of ways to build a bridge over a ‘river’. The groups were given time to discuss a plan and how they could span the river. Then the strength of their bridge was tested and groups were invited to reflect on why their bridge was or was not a success. First attempts were not always successful so as the teacher, I facilitated the task by encouraging them to re-evaluate their bridge and discuss what to change to improve it. Have a look at the final products:

The following photos introduce play invitations in an engaging way, or by drawing students’ attention to new resources to support them to extend and explore their own thinking and ideas in play using phrases such as “I wonder, maybe, have you thought about...”.
Room 15 Hair Salon using the classroom environment
Sienna’s electrical octopus
Samuel’s phone and bulletproof vest
Oscar’s un-named creation
Aiya is focussed on building her creation

Structured Literacy - Writing

Year 1 - Ako Tui

Ako Tui has been reinforcing letter sounds by playing games like memory. Cards are turned upside down. Rules need to be established first. Each player gets a turn to flip over two cards. They say the word for each card. Memory of a match up plus learning the sounds is the aim of the game.
Bingo is another game that is a fun interactive game to learn heart words. First we read the word, then we find it on our board game.
Using our whiteboards in another way, Ako Tui learns to read. We practise our letter sounds and names. Then we blend letters to make words.


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

BYMC (Bring Your Managed Chromebook)

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

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.


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


BOOK WEEK: Report 2023

Book Week Dress-up Parade: Thank you everyone for your support, especially Mr Carrington as Compere and to our Judges, Mrs McLaughlin and Mrs Jeffery. They had a challenging task with so many wonderful interpretations of book characters parading across the school stage!
The Super Costume Winners are:
Ako Tui – Mason Wylie (R6)
Ako Kiwi – Hugo Starling (R11)
Ako Ruru – Ellie Monkhouse (R9)
Ako Kererū – Evie Duckett (R2)
Ako Kārearea – Cadence Wylie (R19)
Ako Korimako – Andrew Lee (R22)
Our Judges were very impressed with the standard of Dress-Up Costumes and accessories. A stupendous effort by everyone who participated.

A special 'Thank You' goes to Prue des Forges, owner of McLeods Booksellers, who very generously donated prizes of Book Vouchers and erasable pens for each winner. Winners were also presented with a Certificate and an Activity Book Prize from the school. Prue's grandchildren helped with the presentation of the Prizes at the School Assembly on Friday.

Runner-up Prizes for Dress-up costume went to:
Ako Tui:
Sophia Duckett, Zayne Taki
Ako Kiwi:
Zac Shaw
Ako Ruru:
Joshua Fisher, Kanoa Hurihanganui, Dallas Reweti-Smith
Ako Kererū:
Samantha Lee, Mila Malanchuk
Ako Kārearea:
Alexander Hazeldine, Nina Cochrane, Carissa Billing
Ako Korimako:
Holly Maloney, Aarya Gusain


Competition Winners:
Ako Tui - Colour by Numbers (very easy) - Chelsea Yr 1 (Rm11)
Ako Tui & Kiwi - Colour by Numbers (easy) - Archer, Danteigh & Aiden R14, Leane R11
Ako Kiwi & Ruru - Colour by Numbers (moderate) - Gia R12, Isabella R12, Hannah R11, Nixon R13
Ako Kiwi & Ruru - Acrostic Poem competition - Lachlan R13
Ako Kererū, Kārearea & Korimako - Simile Poem competition - Jax R21, Jay R19 & Talei R19

During the week we also had several other Quizzes and competitions available at all levels.

Book Week, as always provides the opportunity to remind everyone that reading is so much fun. A special time to encourage the importance of reading and the message that books are still so very important for our wellbeing, learning and enjoyment.
Thank you for your support everyone.
Mrs Atkinson, Library Manager

Term 4 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
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
Room 19 - Lara Lodge Visit 10-11:30am
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
Year 2 Ako Kiwi - Fun Day 10:30am - 3pm
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 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.

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

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.


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.
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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