Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 28th February 2024


Kia ora Koutou - Dear Parents

Our Learning Dispositions

Curious, Collaborative, Critical Thinker and Creative

Dispositions are our habits of thinking and doing. *Curiosity is a disposition – it is not a skill or knowledge but a tendency to respond to an experience in a certain way (Carr, 1997).

These are attitudes and habits of mind that shape students’ engagement with learning and underpin knowledge and the learning of skills.

We are starting to learn what these dispositions mean this term. Following the disposition is an ‘I can’ statement. These statements come from our staff and students and describe how we can show the dispositions.

(*Curiosity relates to the urge to explain the unexpected, to resolve uncertainty, or the urge to know more.)

NZEI Paid Union Meeting - Tuesday 19th March

Teachers will be attending a union meeting on Tuesday 19th March. We ask that you please pick up your child(ren) from school at 12:30pm on this day. There will be supervision for students who can’t go home, and the aftercare will be running as per normal. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe

Notice of Rotorua Central Kahui Ako Teacher Only Day on Monday 27th May

Just a heads up that on Monday 27th May school will be closed for students for a Teacher Only Day.

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. This is very important to pedestrians who cross over Springfield Road by Jackson Park Kindergarten as some are crossing straight over the road without using the crossings.

Children sometimes believe that being on the pedestrian crossing is quite safe and that cars will automatically stop. They need to be reminded to use the kerb drill in the usual way.

More useful resources:

Riding Safely in Otonga School

Spare Clothes

Please ensure that all students have a set of spare clothes packed in their bags at all times. Due to the wet weather, there have been a number of them slipping over in the mud, getting wet through with no change of clothing. As we encourage outdoor play in all weather, this is bound to happen at some stage so best be prepared.

Sun Safety

Please continue to ensure your children are coming to school with a sunhat and sunblock applied every day. Even on overcast days, you can get burnt. Hats are really important. A full drink bottle for water is a must. Students without hats will need to play in the shade while outside.

BOT News

It is with regret that we inform you of the resignation of Mr Werner Naude the Presiding Member of our School Board of Trustees. In his resignation letter, Werner stated, "Due to personal circumstances, including a demanding workload outside of the board and an increasing need to prioritize my family, I have made the difficult decision to step down. This was not an easy choice, and I want to assure you that it reflects no dissatisfaction with the board or the school. On the contrary, I am incredibly proud of the progress we have made together, and I am confident that the school is in excellent hands under Gareth's leadership with the dedicated support of the remaining board members."

We extend our gratitude to Werner for his dedication and service to our school community. Werner has played a vital role in our progress and achievements, and his contributions will be greatly missed. We wish Werner all the very best in his future endeavors.


Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Term 1, Week 5 - Ako Ruru Year 3

On Wednesday the 21st of February Ako Ruru went on a trip to Tihi Reserve. The benefits of this trip were to familiarise ourselves with our local reserve, reinforce that learning can happen anywhere, connect with nature to promote healthy bodies and minds, and to provide opportunities for Whanau to be part of their child’s learning and adventures.
This trip linked to the New Zealand Curriculum in a number of ways, including
connecting the Tamariki to the local environment, the Aotearoa NZ Histories curriculum and our learning of Tane Mahuta. It also connects and reinforces our school value of Kaitiakitanga, and puts it into action in a real-life context. Lastly it connects to our Healthy Active Learning and the science and environmental aspects of our curriculum.

Our Tamariki were put into groups with a teacher or parent and we undertook a nature scavenger hunt - Exploring the Ngahengahe. This was super exciting for our Tamariki and inspired their curious minds to find lots of natural treasures/taonga. We found birds-manu and their feathers-rau, worms-noke, spider webs and spiders - pungawerewere, a variety of seeds-kakano and bugs-ngangara, just to name a few treasures/taonga.
“Have a Go day”
Last Wednesday Ako Ruru participated in the “Have a Go” sports day. This event offers the students a chance to experience a variety of sports. Including: netball, football, rippa rugby, hockey, golf, volleyball and relays. The students showed all our school values, especially amazing manawanui (perseverance, leadership), and had a fantastic day. A huge thank you to Liz Savage, the Rotorua Principals Association as well as Sports BOP for organising such a successful event.

Ara Kē Atu-Moving March Challenge

We would like to encourage everyone to take up the challenge for a week; Monday 4th March-Friday 8th March and hopefully beyond. During this week we will be having different fun activities; lunchtime rides and obstacle courses, poster and drawing competitions and on Wednesday 6th March a 'pimp' my ride or feet day. All those who come to school using sustainable transport will have a passport stamped each day. Even if you can get dropped off and come part of the way or arrange to meet with others and come together that would be great.
Our Community Garden is currently bursting with a diverse range of fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs, ready to be enjoyed by all!

Feel free to swing by the office and collect some of these delicious goodies completely free of charge. From freshly dig potatoes to juicy tomatoes, fragrant basil and humongous courgettes/zucchini, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Please note the produce available may vary from day to day depending on what's ripe and ready for harvest.

Lost Property

Please ensure your child's clothing, sunhat, book bag, drink bottle and lunch box are named so that if they are left behind at school they can be returned to your child. Any unnamed items will be placed in the Lost Property shed beside the hall. This will be open daily. On Thursdays (weather permitting) all items from the shed will be on display on the wall at the rear of the hall for students and parents to check.

Otonga Sports - Registrations NOW Open

Otonga School Gala - Friday 15th March

Term 1 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
29 Feb Rugby League 9's
1 Mar Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 11 (11:45am-12:30pm)
4-8 Mar Ara Kē Atu - Moving March
5 Mar Schoolwide Celebrations - Sea week
6 Mar Top School
8 Mar Whole School Waiata
12 Mar Parent Camp Meeting - 5pm
17 Mar Schoolwide Celebrations - St Patrick's Day
15 Mar Hui-a-Kura - Host TBC
School Gala
18-20 Mar Y6 Ako Korimako - School Camp at MiCamp Taupo
19 Mar RATS Duathlon
NZEI Paid Union Meeting - School closes at 12:30pm
22 Mar Whole School Waiata
25 Mar Schoolwide Celebrations - Holi Festival
26 Mar BOT Meeting
29 Mar EASTER - Good Friday - Public Holiday (School Closed)
1 Apr EASTER Monday - Public Holiday (School Closed)
1 Apr EASTER Tuesday (School Closed)
3 Apr CBOP Swimming
5 Apr Whole School Waiata
9 Apr Y2 Ako Kiwi - Paradise Valley Trip (9am - 12pm)
12 Apr Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm's 4 & 9
Last Day of Term 1 – School closes at 3pm

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
(Rotorua Central Kahui Ako Teacher Only Day – Mon 27th May - School Closed)
(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.

End of the day Pick Up for Year 1 Students

All Year 1 students are brought up to the wall at 2:45pm daily to be picked up by parents. School finishes at 3pm for all other year levels.


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.


What is a Strategic Plan?
A planning document by the BOT until 2025 that communicates strategic goals and priorities and describes plans to achieve these.

Please have a look at our draft plan here:
Otonga School Strategic Plan

The 2024 annual plan to support implementing our goals is an ongoing document.

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.

Admin/Office & 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.


After School ART Lessons

With Janet Keen - enrolling NOW. Drawing, painting, mosaics,
over 30 lessons to choose from.

Wednesdays and Thursdays
3:30pm to 4:30pm & 4:35pm to 5:35pm.

Enrolling for term 1 , 2, 3 and 4.
Small classes, friendly, safe,
organic environment.

Enquiries welcome:
Phone 027 351 3887 or email janet@jkeen.net
374 Clayton Road, Rotorua
Hello all, I have the privilege of being the Rotorua coordinator for this year’s Love Grace appeal, in honour of Grace Millane. The appeal seeks to receive donations of handbags filled with essential items (and maybe a few special items) to donate to women who are escaping domestic violence and are in Women’s Refuge.

I will happily accept any donations as noted on the lists - empty handbags / full handbags / items just put in a paper bag - at the end of the collection part of the appeal my daughters and I will sort everything out, make sure each bag contains what’s needed, and put a ‘Love Grace’ tag on the bag, before taking them all to our local Women’s Refuge.
You can bring any donations to Otonga School during school hours, or to the CT Club in Moncur Drive.

Please feel free to share this on your socials to get the word out! Thank you. Sarah Fox

Appeal runs from 14th February until 8th March. Questions? Please email me at sfox@otonga.school.nz
facebook website