Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 15th May 2024


Kia ora Koutou - Dear Parents and Caregivers


If a student misses one day of school every two weeks, they miss a whole year of school by 16 years of age. As a parent or caregiver, you, alongside our school, play a key role in building strong habits of regular school attendance.

All students are legally required to attend school every day regularly and it is a shared responsibility to make sure students attend and engage in learning from when they first start school. Every day of school matters.
Please let us know if your child is going to be absent for a day or intends to be absent for a portion of the school term for whatever reason, like a tangi or medical procedure.

Otonga School Te Kura o Tihiōtonga is committed to supporting your child to attend school and building a culture that fosters excellent attendance by having:

  • school staff who have strong relationships with students and whānau.
  • a school culture that recognises your child and your family for who they are, where they come from and who they want to be.
  • a fun and engaging curriculum acknowledging the whole child and building values and learning dispositions for their future.
  • a school community that does everything to make sure students are at school, participating, and progressing in their education as well as building skills for lifelong learning.
In Term 1 of this year, 63.4% of our students had regular attendance which is attendance of 90% and above.
23.2 % of our students had irregular attendance which is attendance of 80-90%.
We would, with your help, like to see an improvement in this.

Being on Time

Being on time is also very important for many reasons:
  • Punctuality ensures you're present for all learning activities, which is crucial for understanding and keeping up with the curriculum.
  • Being on time demonstrates manaakitanga (respect) for your classmates, teachers and the school. It shows that you value their time and efforts.
  • Arriving on time instils a sense of discipline and responsibility. It teaches you to manage your time effectively and prioritise tasks.
  • Consistently attending school on time can contribute to better progress and achievement. Missing the beginning of mat time or other activities can result in missed instructions or important information.
  • Arriving early gives you time to settle in, organise your materials etc., and mentally prepare for the day. It helps choose and set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
  • Rushing to school or arriving late can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. Being on time allows for a smoother start to the day.
  • Punctuality is a valuable life skill that extends beyond school. Developing the habit of being on time sets a positive precedent for your future, including work and personal commitments.
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.


Chess Success - Daniel Li

Community Garden - Brussel Sprout Harvest

Last week we harvested brussel sprouts, all the kids took some home to cook and eat.


Congratulations to AJ and Tom, whose values slip was drawn to enjoy Ice Cream Friday with our Principal, Mr Cunliffe.

Remember to wear your House Colours on Fridays.

Notice of Rotorua Central Kahui Ako Teacher Only Day

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

Whittaker's Chocolate Fundraiser

The PTA are doing a chocolate fundraiser!
We appreciate all your help and support in making this a success!
A friendly reminder that each bar is $2.50 and each box is $90.


We will be holding Otonga Progress Plans and 3-Way Goal Setting Meetings with you and your child on:
  • Wednesday 12th June 3:30-6:45pm - last booking at 6:30pm
  • Thursday 13th June 3:30-5:30pm - last booking at 5:15pm
  • Tuesday 18th June 3:30-6:45pm - last booking at 6:30pm
Please log in at https://www.schoolinterviews.co.nz/code/mtj6t to book your interview or scan the QR code.


On Monday 17th June we 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 went home last 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!



Term 2, Week 3 - Ako Tui Year 1

Ako Tui love to read!

Incorporating literacy into a Learning Through Play environment is highly beneficial for children's cognitive and language development.
Here's how we create a rich literacy environment within our classrooms...

We have interactive learning centers within the environment, each focusing on different literacy skills.
For example, we have a reading corner with a variety of books, a writing station with paper, pencils and markers, a letter recognition area with alphabet blocks or puzzles.
We use role play, and storytelling to encourage socio-dramatic play, where children can act out stories, create their own narratives, and engage in dialogue. We provide props, costumes, and puppets to enhance student's imagination and language expression.
We use our five amazing senses to learn about the world around us.
We have been learning about sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. We have been reading a non-fiction big book explaining what each sense does and how it works. We have learnt that when we use the sense of sight, light enters our eyes, then the light takes a tiny picture of what you are looking at, your brain then tells you what you are seeing and then your eyes send a message to your brain. We decided to go down to the forest and document all five senses.
We integrate Te Reo Māori with storytelling, retelling our local legends and using art. We will continue to learn more this term.

Library and Information Technology Centre News:


Thank you to everyone who returned a Library book during the past week. Today we have 104 overdue books borrowed by students prior to the school holidays! Please return these to the Library 'RETURNS' box as soon as possible.
Some Reading Kit books are still missing so please also RETURN any SCHOOL READERS you find at home.


Issue 3 brochures have been circulated to classrooms and orders
close on Friday 17th May.
On-line Ordering: All information for Parents/Caregivers is on the Scholastic website www.scholastic.co.nz. 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) and if ordering on-line, select 'Library gift for child' parents will be contacted when the gift arrives.
Payment: Parents can also order and pay at school (cash or EFTPOS accepted).

Order Form: Please complete the paper order form on the back page - remember to write in your Child's Name, Room Number and the Item No.

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

BOT Parent By-election Update

Nominations for the BOT parent representative by-election closed yesterday.
We received 6 valid nominations, as follows:
Mikail Steens, Sebastian George Jew, Jacobus Lukas Marthinus Meyer,
Joseph Brown, Kathryn McMurdo and Catherine Monkhouse.

As there are more nominations than places available on the board, we will be holding a voting by-election.

Voting papers will be posted out to all eligible voters by Tuesday 21st May.

Voting papers need to be completed and returned to school by 4pm on by-election day, being Tuesday 18th June.

Please note voting papers cannot be returned via email or fax. Voting papers can be returned by post or hand delivered to the school, by yourself, your child, a whanau member or friend. Voting papers can be placed in the ballot box which will be located at the school office/reception area.

Notice for residents near Kiwi Street and Otonga Road

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)
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 6:30pm
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:

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.


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.


After school art lessons with Janet Keen enrolling NOW

Drawing, painting, mosaics, over 30 lessons to choose from.
Wednesdays 4:35pm to 5:35pm and Thursdays 4:35pm to 5:35pm
Enrolling for remainder of term 2, and terms 3 & 4.
Small classes, friendly, safe, quiet, organic environment
All Enquiries welcome.
Text or Phone 027 351 3887 or email janet@jkeen.net. 374 Clayton Road, Rotorua

Waiariki Women's Refuge - Call for help!

WWR is needing to a big supply drive for whānau that are coming into the service. At the moment, there are 3-4 families in crisis accessing the service. (Rotorua has one of the highest incidences of Family Harm in New Zealand, so our help will be very much appreciated.)
Please drop the following off at the School Office:
Nappies (all sizes), Wipes, New underwear and socks for our mums and tamariki, Shampoos and bodywashes.
Non-perishable food items such as: Snacks and lunch items for tamariki, pasta sauces, food preparation items, tinned sauces and foods, food bases, gravies, sugars, coffees, long life milk, and other food items, breakfast cereals, ready to heat meals (like noodles, soups etc.).
Things for the deep freezer like bread, frozen veggies and frozen food.

facebook website