Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 29th May 2024


Kia ora Koutou - Dear Parents and Caregivers

Winter Sports

Winter sports are up and running and it has been a pleasure to see our students playing in their different codes. A special thanks to our coaches, managers and sideline supporters. Our tamariki are very grateful for these opportunities.

Winter Bugs

There is discussion in the media at the moment around attendance and we acknowledge the guidance is quite different to even 12 months ago while we were trying to manage the spread of Covid-19.

Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand) has extensive information for parents on their website and we encourage you all to read this:

Some important points:
When your child has symptoms but can still attend school:
  • they have not had a fever for 24 hours
  • they have not used medicine to reduce their fever for 24 hours, like paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • they only have mild symptoms such as a mild cough, headache, or runny or blocked nose
  • they appear well and are happy, eating and drinking normally, and can easily focus on learning
Hay fever and allergy symptoms
  • If your child has a history of hay fever or allergies and they develop usual symptoms - sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, coughing or an itchy face - they can go to school.
  • They should continue to take their allergy medication
  • If your child’s allergies are affecting them, let your teacher know.
  • If your child only has a runny nose after a change in air temperature, for example, moving from outdoors to indoors, or they only sneeze because of the sun or dust, they do not need to be kept home from school.
When your child has symptoms & should stay home
  • Fever
  • Vomiting or Diarrhoea (until 48 hours clear)
  • Sore throat (if needing pain relief)
  • School sores (until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment)
  • Rash (until checked by medical professional)
  • Head Lice (until first treatment completed)
  • Wheezing, coughing or sneezing to an extent they cannot concentrate on learning
If your child has an appointment during the day (e.g. Dentist), it is important they return to school afterwards if they are able to.

If you are ever in doubt, please feel free to touch base with us to discuss.
Kind regards
Mr Gareth Cunliffe

Exercise Patience On Our Roads

As we strive to create a safe environment for our children, your cooperation during school drop-off and pick-up times is essential. Here are some important reminders to ensure the safety and smooth flow of traffic:
  • Be Patient: School drop-off and pick-up times can be busy and stressful. Please remain patient and courteous to other drivers, students, and staff. A calm and considerate approach helps everyone get through the process more smoothly.
  • Keep Traffic Flowing: Once you've dropped off or picked up your child, please move along promptly. This consideration helps minimise congestion and reduces wait times for everyone.
  • Do Not Block the Pedestrian Crossing: It is crucial to keep pedestrian crossings clear at all times. Blocking the crossing creates a safety hazard for students and pedestrians. Always stop well before the crossing and wait until it is clear to proceed.
  • Drive Around the Block if Necessary: If the drop-off zone is full, do not stop in the middle of the road or double park. Instead, drive around the block and rejoin the queue. This ensures that traffic keeps moving and reduces the risk of accidents.
  • Demonstrate Good Behaviour: Remember that your actions set an example for your children and others. Follow traffic rules, be respectful to school staff and road patrollers and use designated areas for dropping off and picking up students.
By working together and following these guidelines, we can create a safer and more efficient environment for our students. Thank you for your attention and cooperation.
Stay safe and drive carefully!

Otonga School DISCO

The school disco planned for this term has been cancelled. It will happen at a later stage.

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.
Please return ALL money and unsold chocolate before Thursday, 30th May.

Otonga Cross Country Results

Year 1 Girls
1st - Mienke Coetzee, 2nd - Ruby Wickett, 3rd - Stella Starling

Year 1 Boys
1st - Liam Goodman, 2nd - Jax Creighton, 3rd - Nicholas Chan
Year 2 Girls
1st - Hannah Wu, 2nd - Isla-Rose Dickson, 3rd - Evie MacFarlane

Year 2 Boys
1st - Finn Civil, 2nd - Franco Coetzee, 3rd - Kaleb Orr
Girls - 7 Year Old
1st - Danteigh Poata , 2nd - Bailey McLeod , 3rd - Lauren Burton

Boys - 7 Year Old
1st - Nico Campbell, 2nd - Jack Johnston, 3rd - Hoani Sinclair
Girls - 8 Year Old
1st - Aiya Cameron, 2nd - Kaylee Coxhead, 3rd - Makenna van der Heyden

Boys - 8 Year Old
1st - Isaac Reynolds, 2nd - Luka Milosevic, 3rd - Mitch Walls
Girls - 9 Year Old
1st - Georgia Shuttleworth, 2nd - Selina Zhou, 3rd - Evie Duckett

Boys - 9 Year Old
1st - Zach Lovell, 2nd - Ted Saathof, 3rd - Jayden Williams
Girls - 10 Year Old
1st - Carissa Billing, 2nd - Nina Cochrane, 3rd - Nina Saathof

Boys - 10 Year Old
1st - Eli Cyca, 2nd - Robert McMurdo, 3rd - Floyd Sanford
Girls - 11 Year Old
1st - Rachel van Rensburg

Boys - 11 Year Old
1st - Carter Smith, 2nd - Dylan Naude, 3rd - Jasper Vinnicombe


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 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 5 - Ako Kārearea Year 5

Ako Kārearea has been investigating “Our Place”, Rotorua. We have started by looking at the story of Hinemoa and Tūtanekai. The children looked to retell the story in a variety of ways, some chose drama, puppet show, coding a game, stop motion. Some great collaboration and creative thinking was involved.
Ako Kārearea has also started to think about the formation of Rotorua and the volcanic activity that brought to the creation of the Rotorua Caldera and Mokoia Island. Room 18 went for a walk to the top of Otonga Road to get a sense of the size of the caldera and the size of the eruption for such a large caldera to be created. We will continue to find out more during our reading and our visit to Waimangu Volcanic Valley tomorrow.
The Wonder Project
The Wonder Project has also started across Ako Kārearea. This is a STEM based initiative that involves local scientists or engineers coming in to talk to the children about their work and to support them as they design water rockets over the upcoming weeks. A big thank you to the ambassadors that have volunteered to support this. Check out some of the rocket designs.

Library and Information Centre News:

National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, family day cares, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around Australia & New Zealand.
Last week on Wednesday 22nd May Otonga students joined in the National Simultaneous Storytime 2024, when our school joined over 2,000,00 participants at 21,969 locations across Australia and New Zealand to read the book Bowerbird Blues written and illustrated by Aura Parker.

This year's book is a moving story of longing and connection with beautiful illustrations and flowing alliteration. Now in its 24th successful year, it is a fun event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy. Enjoy photos from the day.
Mrs Pauline Atkinson, Library Manager

BOT Parent By-election Update

Nominations for the BOT parent representative by-election closed at 12 noon on Tuesday 14th May.
We received 6 valid nominations, as follows:
Joseph Te Horowai Brown, Sebastian George Jew, Kathryn McMurdo, Mikail Steens, Jacobus Lukas Marthinus Meyer and Catherine Monkhouse.

As there are more nominations than places available on the board, we will be holding a voting by-election.
Voting papers were posted out to all eligible voters on Tuesday 21st May.

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

Please ensure your voting paper is returned in the envelope provided.

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 green ballot box which will be located at the school office/reception area.

First Credit Union - KIDS FIRST Newsletter

The KidsFirst newsletter is back! and it is packed with tips/information to help whanau achieve their financial goals and this term there is a Matariki themed colouring competition where the kids can WIN one of 5 x $20 Warehouse Gift Cards.

Please click on the
link to view a pdf of this newsletter.

Term 2 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
29 May Tackle 5's
29 May Otonga PTA Meeting 6-7pm Staffroom
30 May Ako Karerea - Waimangu Valley Trip
3 Jun King's Birthday - Public Holiday - SCHOOL CLOSED
7 Jun Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 17
7 Jun PaCT data shared on Seesaw
10 Jun Perform Education - Musicals 9:15am - 12:15pm
11 Jun Central BOP Cross Country
11 Jun International Day of Play
12 Jun Otonga Progress Plans (OPP) Meetings
13 Jun Otonga Progress Plans (OPP) Meetings
14 Jun Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 13
17 Jun Jumping June Event
18 Jun Otonga Progress Plans (OPP) Meetings
21 Jun Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 18
24 Jun Ako Tui & Ako Korimako - Tangatarua Marae visit
25 Jun Ako Kiwi & Ako Ruru - Tangatarua Marae visit
25 Jun BOP Cross Country
25 Jun BOT Meeting 6pm
26 Jun Ako Kererū & Ako Kārearea - Tangatarua Marae visit
27 Jun Matariki Celebration Day
28 Jun Matariki Day - Public Holiday - SCHOOL CLOSED
5 Jul Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 19
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:

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.

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.


Winter illnesses are taking hold across the motu, with ‘flu season’ arriving earlier than normal. Aotearoa is also at a high risk of a measles outbreak with immunisation rates dropping off since COVID-19. We encourage your school community to follow Te Whatu Ora advice, particularly that the best protection against an outbreak of measles is the MMR vaccine.

For more information please visit: Measles – Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora


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

Matariki Drone Show

AROUNI Indigenous Arts Festival with First Lights presents ‘Matariki’, a drone light, sound and story event this midwinter at the Rotorua Lakefront, Aotearoa. Created by Māori artists Cian Elyse White (Ngāti Pikiao) and Mataia Keepa (Ngāti Whakaue), Matariki (the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades) tells the stories of environmental markers connected to this star cluster, as well as the large Waka or Canoe (Te Waka o Rangi) and it’s captain Taramainuku.

Throughout the year, Taramainuku traverses the sky with a large net, collecting the souls of our loved ones who have passed away across the year. During the month of May, Te Waka o Rangi sails beneath the horizon, rising again in June/July. When it rises, Taramainuku casts his net into the sky, releasing the collected souls to be immortalised forever as stars. Signalling the start of a new year, ‘Matariki’ invites audiences to look to the night sky and consider their human connection to the celestial realm.

When: Thursday the 27th and Friday the 28th of June
Time: Rotorua Night Markets from 5:00PM.
Drone light show starts at 8:00PM on the dot.
Where: Rotorua Lakefront | Kouramāwhitiwhiti
Cost: Free and suitable for the whole whānau

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.

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