Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 15th November 2023


Kia Ora Koutou - Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Otonga School Te Kura o Tihiōtonga Strategic Plan

Under the Education and Training Act 2020, the board of Otonga School is responsible for developing planning documents that communicate strategic goals and priorities, and describe plans to achieve these.

During 2023, we have used our Community Consultation Survey and other means to engage with our key stakeholders to develop:
a 3-year strategic plan that sets out the board strategy for achieving or progressing board objectives during this timeframe
  • an annual implementation plan that describes how the board intends to implement (through the staff), or work towards implementing, strategic objectives during the year.
2024 planning and reporting framework
Otonga School will implement the new planning and reporting framework from 1 January 2024, and will lodge our strategic plan with the Ministry of Education by 1 March 2024.

Purpose of the strategic plan and the annual implementation plan
The purpose of the strategic plan and annual implementation plan is to communicate how the board of Otonga School intends to meet its responsibilities under the Education and Training Act 2020. In developing our strategic and annual implementation plans, we show particular regard to the National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP).

The strategic plan contains detailed information about:
  • our values and vision
  • how we intend to meet the requirements of the NELP
  • our commitment to honouring the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • our policies, plans, and programmes for curriculum, assessment, and staff professional development.
Please have a look at our plan here:

Otonga School Te Kura o Tihiōtonga Strategic Plan

New Shade Sails

Check out our new Shade Sails in the Year 2 and 3 area! The astroturf will be done in the December school holidays. A fantastic place to be, learn and Play!

End of Year Reporting on Progress and Achievement

The PaCT (Progress and Consistency Tool) is a tool designed to help teachers make dependable judgments about students' achievement that can be used to track progress in reading, writing, and mathematics.

These complement Otonga Progress Plans and Learning Evidence on SeeSaw.
Most students will receive a PaCT Progress Report for Reading, Writing and Maths by the end of this week. Some students (mainly in Year 0/1) will not receive PaCT reports and their judgements on some of the aspects have not been confirmed. Remember that the NZ Curriculum allows 2 years for student’s to settle into school and 2 years per level.
If you have any further questions about this reporting contact your child’s teacher.

Reading Your Child’s End of Year PaCT Curriculum Progress Reports

The student progress reports provide comprehensive information about a student's achievement and progress in relation to the NZ Curriculum that is useful for conversations about student learning.

The End of Year reports for 2023 consist of a Curriculum Progress Report for Reading, Writing and Mathematics. The diagrams below will help you to read this report and gain an understanding of the NZ Curriculum level your child is working at in these areas.

Here is an example of a maths report:
The Progress and Consistency Tool uses this score to generate a summary of what students can typically do at this level and some of the learning behaviours teachers would have observed from a student when making a judgement.
2a describes what students can usually do at this level and how they may approach different learning tasks
2b indicates skills and knowledge already they may have mastered
2c is an indication of their possible next steps
2d the ‘whisker’ indicates where in the NZ Curriculum level your child is working - the higher up in that band your child is, the closer to achieving the next level they are
End of Year PaCT Curriculum Progress Reports will be available on Seesaw on Friday 17th November.

Mr Neil Carrington (AP Curriculum, Planning and Assessment)
Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe

We Take Play Seriously!

Learning Through Play in Year 4 Ako Kereru

I’d like to be… Under The Sea

As an extension of our ‘Journeys’ theme this year, Rooms 1, 2 and 3 have been ‘exploring’ the oceans of our planet using reading, writing, art, science and maths. This cool topic has been made fun with lots of play and hands-on creations, making the learning come to life!

Both small and large boats have been created from recycled materials, mixing man-made and natural materials.

A three dimensional ocean was created by observing the shapes of various fish, painting them, cutting them out, stapling the edges and stuffing them with shredded paper. Along with paper ‘seaweed’ the realistic fish were hung in the classroom, creating a sensory experience of being under the sea! Students even measured the size of a young pilot whale and created one.
In our classes students have researched using books, online resources and videos to discover facts about the oceans, the fish and creatures that inhabit them, and the different habitats that exist. They have shared their learning by writing information reports either on paper or digitally.

For example, Room 1 were fascinated by the Mariana Trench and were amazed to learn the adaptations creatures have made to survive the dark, extremely cold and high pressure.
The three classes joined together for an ‘under the sea’ morning where they could choose to join in an activity in any of the classes.

In Room 1 students were invited to paint large cardboard undersea scenes allowing students to experience art on a bigger scale, these will be used in our Team song performance ‘an Octopus garden’, later in the term.

In Room 2 Origami was a hands-on challenge, using geometric thinking, concentration and manawanui (perseverance) to create a fish. Some students hung their fish from a fishing rod!
In Room 3 children made hanging jellyfish and other fishy crafts. They used fine motor skills to cut, glue and attach the various parts of the jellyfish.

Water play was extremely popular, with imaginative scenarios being created around the concept of pollution and saving the sea animals from poisons!

There was also free play with the Magic box where pretending undersea worlds generated creative ideas.
Kereru ako likes to finish our play get-togethers with a quiet time where we can share kai together. Fostering whanaungatanga, we sat down together and shared a treat of hot chips! Delicious!

Next we are planning to learn about rock pool environments and have a trip planned to Maketu to explore the rock pools and the history of the area.

This visit will tie together all of our learning this year about the journeys across the ocean that led to the discovery of Aotearoa!

Structured Literacy - Writing

The Writers Corner - Year 3 Ako Ruru

In writing this term, Room 10 has been focusing on sentence structure. We have been learning about the structure of a simple sentence. We have looked at verbs and nouns and how to put them in a simple sentence.
We have begun to look at coordinating conjunctions and how they can create compound sentences. We have been using the acronym FANBOYS to remember the different conjunctions. We have focused on how the different conjunctions work in a sentence and how to choose the correct one so that the sentence makes sense.
In our guided reading sessions, we have started to learn how to use different graphic organisers to sort our information by subtopic. This has allowed us to prepare for paragraph writing.

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.


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


Scholastic Book Club Brochures

Offer 8 - The final Book Club Issue for 2023 is here and will be circulated to classrooms this week. This is the final offer for the year and the brochures include some great value gift ideas.

Ordering: Online ordering is available and all information for Parents/Caregivers is on the Scholastic website www.scholastic.co.nz All Classrooms are registered for Loop on-line ordering and if you have any problems with the web page please phone Scholastic for assistance. You can also choose to order a gift (please mark this clearly on the order form) and if ordering on-line, select 'Library gift for child' parents will be contacted when the gift arrives.

Payment: Parents can also order and pay at school ( EFTPOS or Cash accepted)

Order Form: Please complete the paper order form on the back page - remember to write in your Child's Name, Room Number and the Item No.

Closing Date: Thursday 23rd November

Items purchased through Scholastic Book Club earn the school reward points that are used to purchase further resources. Thank you for your participation and support.

Annual Stocktake and Return of Library Books

The Annual Stocktake of all Library and Teaching Resources is now underway please help by returning all Library books found at home. Today we have over 300 on loan to students and all of these books should be returned by the end of this week being...
Friday 17th November!

Missing Classroom Readers

Please can you search at home and return any books found with an ‘Otonga School’ stamp inside the front cover. Your help in recovering these books is most appreciated and saves the school money if we do not have to replace resources.

There is an amnesty in place and any books found can be dropped off in the RETURNS Box by the main Library doors (no questions asked)! Thank you.

Can you Volunteer to help during Library Stock Take?

Are you available to help during the annual Stocktake of Library items? If you could assist for an hour or two on any day between Monday 20th November and Friday 8th December it would be most appreciated. Time slots: 9:15am to 10:30pm or 11:00am to 12:30pm or 1:30pm to 2:30pm. Please call or email me patkinson@otonga.school.nz if you can assist.
Thank you for your support.
Mrs Atkinson, Library Manager


Congratulations to all the amazing tamariki who performed in Otonga’s Got Talent! It takes a lot of courage to perform on stage and you all did a fantastic job. Here are some pics from the show. Enjoy!

Term 4 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
16 Nov Rugby 7's
17 Nov Y1-2 Ako Tui & Kiwi - Run, Jump Throw 9:10-10:30am
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 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 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/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.

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

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.


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
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