Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 13th March 2024


Kia ora Koutou - Dear Parents

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC)

At Otonga School Te Kura o Tihiōtonga we encourage Education Outside the Classroom. EOTC is just that – anything that happens outside the four walls of the classroom and focuses on the ways that teachers and students interact with the environment as a learning space.
It includes learning on school grounds, school camp, visits, meeting with experts and with aspects of our local curriculum such as visiting places of interest or attending a theatre or music performance. EOTC helps our students to better see themselves in the community and in the world. It brings the NZ Curriculum to life.

Visiting Mokoia Island regularly, Bike Safety, Waka Ama, Maketu, Rotorua Museum, Science Shows and Our School Pepeha walk are some of the recent trips tamariki have been on. Our Ako Korimako Year 6 students will be going on camp soon.

We are fortunate to have a school van, and this makes it easy to take smaller (focus) groups to a destination like on our weekly Mokoia Island trips.

School Website: Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC)
Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe

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.

Please note: Lunches via lunchonline will not be available on this day. If your child is booked in to attend the after school care program in the hall from 12:30pm, please ensure they have a packed lunch in their school bag to take with them.

Our Kids Online Parent Evening

Thursday 11th April 6:30pm at Rotorua Boys' High School

Attention all parents! We want our schools to be a safe place. Because of the rapidly changing times, our tamariki are growing up in, and the mounting challenges and harms they are facing online, we need to start talking about and tackling this as a community. As such, we have organised Filmmaker, Author and Speaker Rob Cope, producer of the documentary "Our Kids Online" to come and give what promises to be a humorous and eye-opening evening talk to our parent community.

His talk will cover:
● Cyberbullying - How bullies can reach our kids 24/7
● Social media - How social media is affecting the mental health in 3 out of 5 children.FOMO, depression, anxiety
● Gaming and the developing brain – An oversupply of dopamine leading to dopamine deficiency, synaptic pruning, and the underdevelopment of social skills and empathy
● Naked Selfies - The pressure to send nudes from intermediate up through high school
● Online predators - The methods they use, how to spot them
● Online porn vs healthy sexuality - How consuming online pornography as a child or teen can create a sexual template where violence, aggression, and dominance are seen as normal, and consent can become very blurry.

● Filters - Which filters are best and how to install them
● Smartphones - How to lock down a smartphone to make it a safe phone
● Boundaries - How to put good boundaries in place around device use
● 3 golden rules - The 3 golden rules that will keep your kids safe
● Talking to your kids - How to have difficult conversations with your kids
● Challenging our own phone and device usage - Reconnecting as a family.

Here is a promotional video for you to watch Our Kids Online Parent Evening.

The talk will be held at Rotorua Boys’ High School War Memorial Hall on Thursday 11th April 2024 at 6:30pm. RSVP on Eventfinder Link: Our Kids Online 2024 - Rotorua - Eventfinda Spaces are limited!

We would request that at least one adult from each family attend, this topic is too big for us not to pay attention. As a bonus, Rob and the team from Our Kids Online are gifting every parent who attends this event a one-years complimentary subscription to "The Big Reconnect" A cybersafety parenting course designed specifically for NZ families - This usually retails for $99 per family. So show up and get it for free! Course details here: https://our-kids-online.teachable.com/p/the-big-reconnect-for-parents

"We need to tackle this as a community so that all of our kids are safe. When I protected my kids online, I also protected yours, so please, please protect your kids online so that you are also protecting mine" Rob Cope.

Otonga School

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.

Ara Kē Atu-Moving March Challenge

Wow! What a great, fun, active week we had with our Ara Kē Atu-Moving March Challenge. It was amazing to see so many people respond to the challenge and come to school using active transportation. We had many bikes and scooters at school all week. There were lots of lunchtime rides, games and challenges thanks to the organisation of our year 6 leaders and on Wednesday Georgie the Active modes facilitator from Rotorua Lakes Council joined us with a very special guest, Ruru for our 'pimp your transport' day. We also had a bike safety poster competition and a design the coolest bike or footwear drawing competition. The winners will be announced in Hui a kura this Thursday. The challenge now is to keep using active transport to come to school. One lucky person could be doing it on a new bike soon, don't forget to buy tickets for a chance to unlock and win the bike at the school Gala.

Leek and Potato Soup

By Jay, Sakidu Ekamjot and Josh

Last Friday we got the chance to make leek soup with all of our friends Josh, Jay, Aya, Ekamjot, Sakidu and Mr Wood.

All morning, we spent peeling and chopping potatoes. We cooked the potatoes for 10 minutes. When the potatoes came out, they were squishy and soft like jelly. Then we cut the leeks and onions. While we were cutting them our eyes burned so badly Jay had to run to the bathroom and fling water on his eyes. We poured all of the stock into the big bowl, and it made such a satisfying sound. We got to pour one bottle of stock each. Then we pulled the flower petals off. Finally, we poured the cream into the leek soup.

It was sooooo good!🤤


Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Term 1, Week 7 - Ako Tui Year 1

I spy with my little eye… Ako Tūī started the term with lots of curiosity. This is a learning disposition for accessing the curriculum. We search for ways of making learning our letter sounds and maths concepts more engaging and practical. We use sand, pencils, music, iPads, our bodies, our ears and our natural environment to practise and learn. Together with structured teacher-directed lessons our tamariki get a double dose of learning. Yes, learning can be fun!
Noticing 2D shapes in and around our classrooms.
The children found insects, plants, shapes and patterns as they explored and asked questions, seeking out the answers to their curious questions. When we are curious about a subject, we are much more likely to remember the information we learned.
Bringing in the Living world of Science, we closely observed a monarch butterfly, praying mantis, and leaf insect! We even found a dead rat.
We observed the importance of bees when they transfer pollen from one putiputi to the next.
Insects even came into our mathematics as we sorted and graphed them!
Using our school garden to bake and cook.
Oral language is the starting point for all learning.
Oh, how exciting learning is when we can follow our curiosities!


Scholastic Book Club Offer 2:

Scholastic are offering a great variety of items -something for all ages to get them reading! Brochures have been circulated to classrooms and orders will close on Wednesday 20th March.
Scholastic Promotion Spend your ISSUE 1 $5 credit: If you spent $35 or more on Offer 1 'Log into Loop' to spend your credit on Issue 2 (you have 3 months to use the credit from the submission date of your Offer 1 Loop order) . N.B. terms of this Scholastic promotion - Credit must be used three (3) months from the order submission date. It cannot be applied to previously placed orders, and any unredeemed credits will be forfeited.
Parent/Loop Ordering Online: is available and all information for Parents/Caregivers is on the Scholastic website www.scholastic.co.nz (the order will be delivered to school with the classroom order). All Classrooms are registered for Loop on-line ordering; 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) parents will be contacted when the gift arrives.

Payment: Parents can also order and pay at school (cash and EFTPOS accepted).

Scholastic Orders at School: Please complete the paper order form on the back page - remember to write in your Child's Name, Room Number and the Item No. and bring this along to the Library.

Items purchased through Scholastic Book Club earn the school reward points that are used to purchase further resources for our school.

Thank you for your participation and support.

Mrs Pauline Atkinson, Library Manager


Hello all, this is a big thank you to all those who donated handbags and products to the Love Grace Handbag Appeal. This appeal runs annually, and is in honour of Grace Millane, a young British tourist who was murdered in Auckland in 2018. All handbags and products are donated to local Women’s Refuge. Donations from the two drop off points at the CT Club and Otonga School reached 112 in total! I’m completely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown. My daughters and I have almost finished sorting all the bags, and will be taking them to the Women’s Refuge early next week. Look out for a press release coming soon - this will let everyone know how many bags were collected around New Zealand during this appeal - hint - it’s a lot!

Again, thank you all so very much.

Sarah Fox

Otonga School Gala - Friday 15th March

Term 1 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
17 Mar Schoolwide Celebrations - St Patrick's Day
14 Mar Hui-a-Kura - Host TBC
15 Mar School Gala
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)
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.

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 see below a list of the schools where the Community Oral Health Service dental teams are located. If your child requires an appointment please call 0800 525 378. These teams are open Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm and during the school holidays.
If you have a high school student (Year 9-13) with oral health concerns, please see the list below of Dentists who provide free dental treatment for adolescents. You will need to phone and check whether the dentist has vacancies for new patients.


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:

Produce from our Community Garden

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.

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.


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