Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 8th May 2024


Kia ora Koutou - Dear Parents and Caregivers

Well done to all of our runners for completing the Rotorua Mini Marathon. It was a lovely day for us all to be active and join in on the fun.
There are some great opportunities coming up this term that we are looking forward to.

It is NZ Sign Language Week from 6th -12th May. There are some resources available on New Zealand Sign Language Week – Hands up if you're ready to sign with us! (nzslweek.org.nz) This celebrates NZ Sign being one of our official languages.

We will be taking part in Pink Shirt Day on the 17th of May.

School Cross Country is on 21st May.

On the 11th of June, we will be celebrating International Day of Play 2024.

Otonga Progress Plan (OPP) Meetings are on the 12th, 13th and 18th June.

Our Schoolwide Matariki will be held on 28th May.

Please keep a look out for notices, newsletters and Seesaw for communication about these events and how you can be involved.

Ako Team Newsletters

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

Building Works in Room 9 and 10

As we are having building works in Rm 9 and 10 this term the back area access of R5-12 will be closed. Please use the entrances at the front of the classrooms. Thank you.


On Monday 17th June our kura will be participating in Jumping June. A skipping event that will help get kids moving and raising funds for an incredible cause! Proceeds raised in Jumping June will support the Heart Foundation in their goal to help everyone in New Zealand keep their hearts fit for life. On top of this each child that raises above $10 will receive an awesome prize. The more raised the more awesome the prize. A letter will be sent home this week together with a sponsor booklet. Everything is done online and there is no cash involved, sponsors can come from all over the world! Details of how to sign up are in the booklet. The letter sent home also explains the event in more detail. Please sign in at https://www.jumpingjune.co.nz/ and create a student profile.The sign up is open now!


Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Term 2, Week 2 - Ako Kiwi Year 2

Ako Kiwi spent the second half of Term 1 learning about our namesake - the Kiwi - and other New Zealand native birds as well as the bush they live in. We began our learning invitation by reading the Māori legend ‘How the Kiwi Lost its Wings’ which is a wonderful story that describes the bush and the different birds. We also read another version, ‘How the Kiwi Saved the Forest’.
Books were a rich source of learning for us, with our librarian, Mrs Atikinson, organising many fiction and non-fiction books which we shared with our students. Listening to stories and looking through non-fiction texts are an important part of early literacy learning.
Children playing with different native birds created an opportunity for them to use their imagination, creating a world where the birds ‘come to life’. Some students made eggs and nests with various materials. Tamariki also played pretending to be birds and built life-size nests!
Children used their new knowledge of many of the special features of the Kiwi and also the dangers it faces from predators, to practise their writing skills. Some classes made shadow puppets to retell the story and engage in socio-dramatic play, pretending to be the birds.
Some students recorded stories about the Kiwi and enclosures they made from modelling clay. Other children showed whanaungatanga and collaboration by working as a team to build enclosures from blocks.
Te Reo Māori was a focus with learning the Māori names of birds and using the correct pronunciation of native species, with some classes also learning farm animal names. The local legend of the Patupaiarehe of Mount Ngongotaha was a relevant local story to listen to, leading up to our trip to the Ngongotaha Valley.
Nature Art was another way students experimented and interacted with nature to create creatures of the Aotearoa bush.
The term concluded with our whole Ako of four classes going on the bus to Paradise Valley Springs. There, our learning came to life, seeing real Kaka, Kererū and Possums, along with many other animals. We continued our learning in context, reading signs and talking about predators and listening to bird calls. We enjoyed noticing features of the bush and experiencing the beautiful environment, including the trout and amazing clear water.
It was a great team building activity and lovely to spend time with whānau in an Education Outside the Classroom setting here in Rotorua.

School Sustainability and Resilience Fund

Time is running out so please vote now!

Large Group Potting Bench with Integrated Herb Garden

We have made an application to Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council for the School Sustainability and Resilience Fund (SSRF) and our project is now LIVE on our voting page. Please use the link to vote: www.participate.boprc.govt.nz/ssrf
All the information you need about the fund and the voting can be found here too. PLEASE vote for us!

Public voting closes Friday 10th May.

MUD KITCHEN - Resources Needed

Our mud kitchens are a hive of activity and we are on the lookout to add some more resources to them.

If you have any old pots and pans etc for our mud kitchens. We appreciate the contribution.

Please send them to the office.

Term 2 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
29 Apr Pōhiri - Whole School at 9:15am
1 May PTA AGM 6pm in Staffroom
3 May Rotorua Mini Marathon
6-10 May NZ Sign Language week
10 May Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 3 (11:45am - 12:30pm)
17 May Pink Shirt Day
21 May Otonga School Cross Country
23 May Otonga School Cross Country - Postponement Day
24 May Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 2 (11:45am - 12:30pm)
27 May Kahui Ako Teacher Only Day - SCHOOL CLOSED
28 May BOT Meeting 6pm
29 May Tackle 5's
3 Jun King's Birthday - Public Holiday - SCHOOL CLOSED
7 Jun Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 17
10 Jun Perform Education - Musicals 9:15am - 12:15pm
11 Jun Central BOP Cross Country
11 Jun International Play Day
12 Jun Otonga Progress Plans (OPP) Meetings
13 Jun OPP Meetings
18 Jun OPP Meetings
21 Jun Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 18
25 Jun BOP Cross Country
25 Jun BOT Meeting 6pm
27 Jun Matariki Celebration Day
27 Jun Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 13
28 Jun Matariki Day - Public Holiday - SCHOOL CLOSED
5 Jul Last Day of Term 2 – School closes at 3pm

Term Dates 2024

TERM 2: Mon 29th April – Fri 5th July
(Rotorua Central Kahui Ako Teacher Only Day – Mon 27th May - School Closed)
(King’s Birthday Holiday - Mon 3rd June)
(Matariki Holiday - 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.

By-election to be held

In the coming weeks we will be conducting a by-election for two parent representatives on the Otonga Board of Trustees. The calendar of events for this is below:
Elected board members will be in place for approximately twelve months, until the usual triennial school board of trustee elections take place in 2025.

If you would like to access further information on what it means to be a trustee, please follow this link: https://www.schoolboardelections.org.nz/becoming-a-board-member/

A nomination cover letter, details on people who are not eligible to be school board members and a nomination form are below for your information.

Nominations close at 12 (noon) on Tuesday, 14th May 2024.
Valid nominations received:
Mikail Steens, Sebastian George Jew and Jacobus Lukas Marthinus Meyer.

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.
If you would like to support Te Waarakihi's journey while he fights
to get healthy again, here is a link to his give a little page if
you would prefer to donate $ or cannot donate blood.

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 Tuesdays and Fridays (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.

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.


If your child needs to be seen by the Community Oral Health dental team please call 0800 525 378.

After hours or emergency – please contact Lakes Primecare or
ED at Rotorua Hospital


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


A reminder for everyone!

No U-turns and No 3-point-turns along Otonga Road outside School.

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. Please be vigilant towards pedestrians and cyclists!

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
Watch out for cyclists!
• 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.

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.

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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