Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 14th February 2024


Kia ora Koutou - Dear Parents


Today marks the start of the Year of the Dragon 🐉, symbolising strength, courage, and good luck.

✨Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar, takes place each year between late January and
mid-February. It begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later.

Learning Progressions

In order to ensure that our students get explicit teaching in Reading, Writing and Mathematics, based on their needs we use progressions of learning.
Learning progressions describe typical sequences of learning in specific areas. A familiar parallel would be a curriculum that is designed to help a student learn about a particular subject over the course of several years. Our teachers and students use learning progressions as ‘road maps’ to guide their teaching and the student’s learning.
Using a progression model ensures that we teach Reading, Writing and Maths of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) as a progression from Year 1-6 (Level 1-5). There is a shared understanding of the learning across our kura. Teachers have to know these progressions well. The Rotorua Community of Learning Kahui Ako schools all use progressions. You will have seen student's goals in their Progress Plans. These come from the Learning Progressions.
For your reference, please see Otonga School Progressions here:
Otonga School Reading Progressions
Otonga School Writing Progressions
Otonga School Maths Progressions
The above are based on the Curriculum Progress Tools

School Website: Learning Progressions
Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe


Term 1, Week 3 - Ako Kārearea Year 5

We have had a great start to the year, our tamariki are happily settling in and are keen to learn. This week we have the opportunity to go to Pāpāmoa Beach and take part in the beach safety programme. We were lucky to have some good weather and lots of parent and caregiver support for the trip. The children will learn lots of skills which are so important.

In Room 18 the children have been writing poems about their summer holidays. They have shown a great ability to share their thoughts through writing and to imitate the style of the poet that they read.

In Room 17 the children have been creating some self-portrait art. They have noticed in detail to create portraits that they should be proud of.

Room 19 has started the year with team building challenges. Children worked together to see who could build the tallest spaghetti and marshmallow towers.

We have also been creating beautiful pepeha artworks to introduce ourselves to our class.

Library & Information Centre Updates

Annual Stocktake and Return of Library Books

Please return any school Library or Readers you have found at home during the summer break.

Thank you to those parents who have already done so.

Scholastic Book Club

Issue 1 brochures have been circulated to classrooms and orders close on Friday 16th February.
Online Ordering:
All information for Parents/Caregivers is on the Scholastic website www.scholastic.co.nz

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

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.
Mrs Pauline Atkinson, Library Manager

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 Sporting Success

Floyd Sanford and Carter Smith attended a Rotorua Under 10s touch trial to make the representative side to play at the Rowdy’s Touch Tournament. They were both selected. Rowdy’s was an amazing opportunity but unfortunately Carter couldn’t play due to a broken arm. The team ended up taking out the win. Well done boys!

Otonga Sports - Registrations NOW Open

Otonga School Gala - Friday 15th March

Year 1 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.

Term 1 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
14 Feb Y5 Ako Kārearea - Beach Safety
16 Feb Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 21
22 Feb Road Patrol Training Day
23 Feb Whole School Waiata
27 Feb BOT Meeting
29 Feb Rugby League 9's
1 Mar Hui-a-Kura - Host TBC
5 Mar Schoolwide Celebrations - Sea week
6 Mar Top School
8 Mar Whole School Waiata
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
22 Mar Whole School Waiata
25 Mar Schoolwide Celebrations - Holi Festival
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
12 Apr Hui-a-Kura - Host TBC
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
(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.


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.


Go By Bike Day – Ranolf Street
21 February 2024, 6:30 – 8:30am
Ditch the car and 'Go by Bike', it’s fun, easy and free! Ride into our pit-stop on Ranolf St opposite Guidoughs and we’ll share some goodies with you!

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