Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 6th March 2024


Kia ora Koutou - Dear Parents

Crossing over Springfield Road

Please could you talk to all children about crossing Springfield Road at the roundabout. Children sometimes think that being on the pedestrian crossing is quite safe and that cars will automatically stop.

Please tell them to make sure both sides of traffic stop before crossing.
Some cars don’t stop there due to speed, bad driving or poor visibility.

On Monday, a child was hit while crossing. The car on the right stopped but the one travelling in the opposite direction didn’t and ran over his leg. The student is luckily ok, apart from a broken leg.

One of our fantastic parents has kindly offered to supervise the crossing in the afternoon reminding all students of the above. Teachers have also been asked to address this possible safety risk with all students.

We are a Healthy Active Learning School

Healthy Active Learning (HAL) is a joint government initiative between Sport NZ and the Ministries of Health and Education to improve the well-being of tamariki through healthy eating and drinking and quality physical activity.

What success looks like:

  • Our school understands and recognises the value of the Health, Physical Education and Hauora curriculum.
  • The school supports and promotes quality play, sports, and physical activity opportunities.
  • Teachers are confident and capable of delivering the Health, Physical Education and Hauora curriculum.
  • We support and promote a healthy food and drink environment.
  • Otonga School makes well-informed decisions when engaging with external providers.
  • We are connected to their wider community, including whānau and local health and physical activity providers such as Sport NZ.
We are very proud of our work across the school and in this area and it is celebrated in this article from the Education Gazette Volume 103 | Issue 2 (22 February 2024).
To read the whole article, click on the link below:
How movement and play can unlock learning progress – Education Gazette

Students are encouraged to participate in individual and team sports/games during and after school.

Te Kura o Tihiōtonga has teams for netball, hockey, miniball, rip rugby, flipper ball, futsal, and cricket. Many of our students belong to football clubs. Each year we hold athletics and cross-country events, with children going on to represent the school at inter-school championships. Healthy competition is important.

There are many other events on the Central BOP Sports Calendar that we take part in. Some of these include RATS Duathlon, Top School, Gymnastics, Chess, Rippa Rugby, Tough Guy and Gal Competition, Tennis, Swimming, and many more.

Along with this, Otonga School hosts the Central BOP Primary School Events Director, Whaea Liz Savage, who works across our region under the Rotorua Principals’ Association (RPA).

Ako Newsletters

These are now available on our website, please check them out here:
News, Events & Seesaw - Otonga Road Primary School

Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe

Camp Information Meeting

For our designated parent helpers and parents who are interested in finding out about our upcoming Year 6 camp, there will be a meeting next Tuesday 12th March at 5pm in Room 21.You are welcome to attend. Ngā mihi.
Ako Korimako Teachers

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.

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.

Welcome Whaea Nicole

Kia ora whānau, beginning Monday 11th March, we are fortunate enough to have
Whaea Nicole join us for 5 weeks whilst she completes her final placement for her teaching degree. She spent some time in our space this morning getting to know the kids and supporting them with their writing. The class and I are very excited to have another person join our Room 4/9 whānau. Whaea Nicole would love it if you popped in and introduced yourself as you drop off or collect your child.
Aroha Porteous - Teacher (Room 14)

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.


Congratulations to Gurteg Jassal and Sergio Sima whose values slips were drawn to enjoy a treat with our Principal, Mr Cunliffe.

Remember to wear your House Colours on Fridays.


Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Term 1, Week 6 - Ako Kiwi Year 2

Ako Kiwi has spent the first five weeks of the 2024 school year being fascinated by caterpillars and butterflies!

We began our journey with the popular story ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. Children engaged with many learning activities motivated by the story, using oral language and thinking skills when retelling and sequencing the story.
Classes did various math's related activities including measurement (comparing caterpillar lengths) patterning (continuing repeating patterns of coloured caterpillars) and symmetry (butterfly wings) with Nature Art.

One class used Bee-Bot Robots to collect all of the delicious kai mentioned in the book. Children had to think about how many times they had to push each button, the direction they needed the robots to go and of course, how to do all of this in one smooth sequence.

This learning also transferred into PE as we explored obstacle courses and guided each other using instructions such as “two steps forward”, "turn right" and three steps backwards (positional language)
All four classes have had Monarch Caterpillar plants to observe in their classroom. This has provided endless opportunities to foster curiosity about the natural world. The timeless fascination with the transforming of the egg, tiny caterpillar, large caterpillar, chrysalis and finally butterfly has allowed for sketching, writing and scientific discussion of life cycles. Children have responded with enthusiasm and discussion and have enjoyed using crafting materials to make caterpillars and butterflies. Some students even were butterflies, creating wings and flying about with delight! Classes sang the Te Reo Maori song Purerehua which Room 11 also presented (along with a fantastic showcase of Topic Learning) at our School Assembly.
Kiwi Ako has had a great start to the year of learning, being immersed in a butterfly world of excitement and wonder.


My Holiday Summer Reading Log

A wonderful effort from all the students who completed the Summer Reading

Spot Prizes have been awarded to the following children:
Lesi - Room 12
Minato - Room 12
Zayne - Room 15
Viola - Room 14
Selina - Room 12
Haile - Room 9

Participation Certificates will be awarded to everyone who returned a Reading Log.

Mrs Pauline Atkinson, Library Manager

Mr G Saves the Day!

We're thrilled to share a heartwarming tale that unfolded right here on our school grounds. Picture this: the sun shining, birds chirping, and a group of eager students gathered around Room 3, eyes wide with curiosity. What was the buzz all about? Well, it was none other than our very own superhero, Mr. G!

With a tool box in hand and determination in his eyes, Mr. G took on a mission of utmost importance - fixing the water fountain in front of Room 3. As he tinkered away, a crowd of students, learning assistants, teachers and even a few passing butterflies, gathered around, completely captivated by his skill and dedication.

But it wasn't just Mr. G's technical prowess that had everyone in awe. It was his patience that truly shone. With each twist of the wrench and adjustment made, Mr. G patiently answered an array of questions from the curious onlookers. He explained every step of the process, turning a simple repair into an impromptu science lesson.

And then, like magic, the water fountain sputtered to life. Mr. G, our knight in shining armour, had done it again!

But it wasn't just about fixing a fountain. It was about showing our students the power of perseverance, problem-solving, and lending a helping hand. His patience and willingness to share his knowledge left a lasting impression on everyone who witnessed his expertise in action. So, here's to Mr. G, our everyday hero!

Otonga Sports - Registrations NOW Open

RATS Kids Duathlon

This event has had a change of date, it will now take place on Tuesday 26th March.
Registrations are now open until 9am on Wednesday 13th March.
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.

Rugby 9's

Our year 5/6 rugby team took part in the CBOP 9-a-side Rugby League festival. Big thanks to their coach Peter Pahl. It was a tough day but our team rose to the challenge and played with good spirit.

Otonga School Gala - Friday 15th March

Term 1 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
5 Mar Schoolwide Celebrations - Sea week
6 Mar Top School
8 Mar Whole School Waiata
12 Mar Parent Camp Information Meeting - 5pm in Room 21
17 Mar Schoolwide Celebrations - St Patrick's Day
15 Mar Hui-a-Kura - Host TBC
School Gala 4-7pm
18-20 Mar Y6 Ako Korimako - School Camp at MiCamp Taupo
19 Mar NZEI Paid Union Meeting - School closes at 12:30pm
22 Mar Whole School Waiata
25 Mar Schoolwide Celebrations - Holi Festival
26 Mar RATS Kids Duathlon
BOT Meeting
29 Mar EASTER - Good Friday - Public Holiday (School Closed)
1 Apr EASTER Monday - Public Holiday (School Closed)
2 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.

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.
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.

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. The weather can be unpredictable and accidents do happen. Slipping over in the mud & getting wet through are regular occurrences, as we encourage outdoor play in all weather. It is bound to happen at some stage, so best be prepared.

Sun Safety

Please ensure your children are coming to school with a sunhat and sunblock applied every day during Term 1 and Term 4. 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.


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