Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 3rd April 2024


Kia ora Koutou - Dear Parents

We are really fortunate to have a fantastic music program at school for our tamariki. Matua Matt presents this for Years 1-6. At last week's staff meeting, it was the teacher’s turn. We learnt about the program and had our own ‘Battle of the Bands’ at the end of the session. Great learning, team building and fun!
Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe

Reminder: "Play and the Brain - Why It's Not 'Just Play'"

Join us on Wednesday 3 April at 6:30pm in the school hall for "Play and the Brain - Why It's Not 'Just Play'" - presented by Dr. Sarah Aiono, international speaker, researcher, and thought leader in the field of Learning Through Play. With a wealth of experience in integrating developmentally appropriate pedagogy into educational settings across New Zealand, Australia, Canada and India, Dr. Aiono will guide us through the fascinating connections between neuroscience and the critical role of play in learning.
Discover how play not only supports curriculum requirements but also fosters socio-emotional skills, physical motor development and learning dispositions essential for student success. Learn about how teachers teach in a play environment, the latest educational research and explore how these practices can be implemented to enhance student outcomes and prepare our children for the future workforce.
This event is a must-attend for all parents interested in understanding the science behind play and its impact on children's learning and development. Don't miss this opportunity to gain valuable insights into the future of learning and how we can support our children to thrive in an ever-evolving world. It's not 'just play' - it is how our brains are wired to learn.

"I Need BONE MARROW to get Better!"

Kia ora All

I have just received an email from the Nan of Te Waarakihi - one of our lovely Year 5 students - and I said that I am sure we could help out. The family have been involved with Otonga School for many years and mum, Sherene, is an ex-student. Unfortunately, Sherene has had to give up her work/career for now due to his illness.

Here is a link to the Give a Little page if people would prefer to donate $ or cannot donate blood. https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/what-is-aplastic-aneamia

The family hopes to do a big drive for bone marrow (which is a swab or blood donors can go on the bone marrow registry when they give blood.) They will do a drive once they get more information from the registry.

'The cards, games, and little thoughts given to Te Waarakihi from school were very much appreciated, he felt very special, and is missing school very much.' Kind regards Mahara (Nan)

Kind regards,
Gareth Cunliffe

Room 19's BAKE SALE for Te Waarakihi (T-Boy)

We are thrilled to announce the outstanding success of Room 19's recent bake sale!

Thanks to the collective efforts of our wonderful students and supportive community, we raised a remarkable $1,450! This generous sum has been donated to Te Waarakihi's givealittle page, contributing to a cause close to our hearts - supporting Te Waarakihi's journey while he fights to get healthy again.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed their delicious baking creations and to those who supported the bake sale by purchasing treats and making donations. Your kindness and generosity truly make a difference.

Remember, every little bit counts towards making a positive impact in our community. Well done, everyone!

If you still want to donate, here is the link: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/what-is-aplastic-aneamia

OTONGA PTA - Fundraising Initiatives

$2 RAFFLE - Nespresso Coffee Machine

Attention all coffee enthusiasts and caffeine connoisseurs!
Otonga PTA is thrilled to announce our latest fundraising endeavour — a tantalizing raffle for the chance to win a Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee Machine!
Generously donated to us, this sleek and sophisticated machine boasts a recommended retail price of $469, and you could make it yours for just $2 per ticket! Indulge in barista-quality coffee from the comfort of your own home with the touch of a button. Every sip promises rich, flavourful goodness, elevating your morning routine to new heights. Not only will you enjoy premium coffee, but you'll also be supporting our school's initiatives.
Don't miss this opportunity to win big while giving back to our community. Grab your tickets now and perhaps you will be making your mornings more delightful with every sip!
PRICE: $2 per Ticket
TICKET SALES CLOSE: Wednesday 10th April 2024 at 9am
RAFFLE DRAWN: On the last day of Term 1 at our Hui a Kura (School Assembly) on Friday 12th April 2024.
TICKETS AVAILABLE: From the school office via Cash or Eftpos only.

$2 RAFFLE - Skip Full of FIREWOOD

Calling all warmth-seekers and firewood aficionados!
Otonga PTA is excited to announce another fundraising venture — a thrilling raffle offering you the chance to win a skip full of firewood! Generously donated to us, this skip is brimming with firewood, perfect for cozy nights by the fireplace or toasting marshmallows with loved ones. For just $2 per ticket, you could be the lucky winner bringing the comforting crackle of a roaring fire into your home. Not only will you stay toasty warm, but you'll also be supporting our school's initiatives.
Don't let this opportunity slip through your fingers — grab your tickets now and kindle the warmth of community spirit with every log!
PRICE: $2 per Ticket
TICKET SALES CLOSE: Wednesday 10th April 2024 at 9am
RAFFLE DRAWN: On the last day of Term 1 at our Hui a Kura (School Assembly) on Friday 12th April 2024.
TICKETS AVAILABLE: From the school office via Cash or Eftpos only.

$2 RAFFLE - STIHL Water Blaster

Attention all homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts!
Otonga PTA is thrilled to present another awesome fundraising opportunity — a chance to win a top-of-the-line STIHL RE 95 Electric Water Blaster! Generously donated by our locally owned and operated STIHL Shop Lakelands, this powerhouse of a machine boasts a recommended retail price of $475, and it could be yours for just $2 per raffle ticket! Whether you're tackling tough outdoor cleaning tasks or sprucing up your home's exterior, this water blaster is your ultimate ally. Blast away dirt, grime, and debris with ease, all while supporting our school's initiatives.
Don't miss your shot at owning this premium equipment — purchase your tickets now and make a splash in both your cleaning routine and our community's success!
PRICE: $2 per Ticket
TICKET SALES CLOSE: Wednesday 10th April 2024 at 9am
RAFFLE DRAWN: On the last day of Term 1 at our Hui a Kura (School Assembly) on Friday 12th April 2024.
TICKETS AVAILABLE: From the school office via Cash or Eftpos only.


Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Term 1, Week 10 - Ako Kererū Year 4

Ako Kererū started the year by learning about the Zones of RegulationTM and how they help us recognise our feelings. Students played with puppets to explore strategies to regulate between the 'green' zone, when they (or a friend are in the red), yellow or blue zone. The Zones help our tamariki to develop oral language, emotional skills and build better relationships with each other.
In Maths we have been learning about measurement. We have been investigating
length, weight, area and volume; although sometimes it got wet and messy,
but it's always fun!


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

Term 1 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
29 Mar EASTER - Good Friday - Public Holiday (School Closed)
1 Apr EASTER Monday - Public Holiday (School Closed)
2 Apr EASTER Tuesday (School Closed)
3 Apr CBOP Swimming
3 Apr 6:30pm "Play and the Brain - Why It's Not 'Just Play'" - presented by
Dr Sarah Aiono from Longworth Education in the School Hall
5 Apr Whole School Waiata
9 Apr Y2 Ako Kiwi - Paradise Valley Trip (9am - 12pm)
11 Apr 6:30pm Our Kids Online - Rotorua Boys' High School
12 Apr Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm's 4 & 9
Last Day of Term 1 – School closes at 3pm

Term 2 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
29 Apr Pōhiri - Whole School at 9:15am
3 May 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
11 Jun Central BOP Cross Country
11 Jun International Play Day
11 Jun Perform Education - Musicals 9:15am - 12:15pm
12 Jun Otonga OPP Meetings
13 Jun Otonga OPP Meetings
18 Jun Otonga OPP Meetings
21 Jun Hui-a-Kura - Hosted by Rm 18
25 Jun BOP Cross Country
25 Jun BOT Meeting 6pm
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 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.

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 as the usual triennial trustee elections will take place next year.

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/

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.

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.

The following clinics will be open during the holidays (week days only):

Monday 15th April - Thursday 24th April
· Rotorua Intermediate School dental Clinic, Malfroy Rd (07 347 1495)
· Selwyn School Dental Clinic, Old Quarry Rd (07 348 2650)

Monday 15th April - Wednesday 17th April
· Mokoia Intermediate School Dental Clinic, Brent Road (07 345 6670)

Monday 15th April and Tuesday 16th April
· Westbrook School Dental Clinic (07 347 6242)

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:

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. 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.

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.


Are you going overseas for the school holidays?

When you return, you can now complete a digital New Zealand Traveller Declaration (NZTD) before you fly back into New Zealand – replacing the need to fill out a paper declaration card on the plane.

Everyone coming into New Zealand needs to complete an NZTD. You’ll answer questions about your trip and what’s in your bags. You can complete it at a time that suits you, on the NZTD website or by downloading the NZTD app, and submit it 24 hours before your trip back to New Zealand.

Download the NZTD app today!
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