Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 12th June 2024


Kia ora Koutou - Dear Parents and Caregivers

Otonga Progress Plan Meetings

These are special events that celebrate the learning progress and achievement of our students. Communicating and reporting on learning happens informally and formally ongoing throughout the year - it is an ongoing, formative and continuous process.
Learning is about the process and then the product.
We use language that communicates your child's progress and achievement.
If you have concerns regarding your child's learning and progress, your first point of contact should always be your child’s teacher. Along with our set meeting time, a catch-up may be requested by parents at any time during the year. Teachers will also contact parents if a concern arises.

We look forward to seeing you at OPP Meetings.
School Website: Real-time Reporting on Progress and Achievement

Please log in at https://www.schoolinterviews.co.nz/code/mtj6t to book your time or scan the QR code if you have not already done so.
Kind regards
Mr Gareth Cunliffe

Otonga School Chess Team 2024

Our School Chess team (the biggest yet, at 34) was amazing at the Regional Chess Tournament held at St Mary's on Monday 10th June! They were a real credit to the school, with exemplary behaviour throughout the day, giving everything in each of the 7 games played with lots of intense competition. The senior players took the Rookies under their wings, showed them the ropes, and as a result Kura o Tihiōtonga was the winning team for the Regionals. We also had 5 of our members earning a right to participate in the Nationals down in Wellington. A wonderful day shared by many parents who managed to sneak in for a short time to see the games.
We would like to acknowledge Teacher, Mrs McLaughlin, for making this possible and the team will be acknowledged this Friday at Hui-a-Kura School Assembly.

Central Cross Country Results

Congratulations to the following students who have placed in the top 6 at
Central Cluster Cross Country and qualify for the BOP Cross Country Championships
in Tauranga on the 25th of June 2024:
Boys 8yrs
2nd Isaac Reynolds

Boys 9yrs
1st Zach Lovell

Boys 10yrs
2nd Robert Mcmurdo
4th Eli Cyca

Boys 11 yrs
1st Carter Smith
Girls 8yrs
5th Kaylee Coxhead

Girls 10yrs
3rd Nina Saathof
5th Carissa Billing
6th Nina Cochrane


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

Remember to wear your House Colours on Fridays.

Whittaker's Chocolate Fundraiser

All money and unsold chocolates are now due back at school, please return these as soon a possible! Thank you.


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 7 - Ako Ruru (Year 3)

Celebrating International Play Day: Tuesday 11th June 2024

The International Day of Play campaign is coordinated by a network of organisations, initiated by the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation. They are driving a global play movement for children everywhere, for generations to come.
Their Mission statement is as follows:
“Play is a fundamental right; it builds resilience, instils confidence and helps children develop. But children need time to play. That’s where we need policies, training and funding to get play integrated into education and community settings.
Play heals through learning, life skills and psychosocial well-being. That’s why there must be investment into diverse, inclusive and safe play spaces, extending access to all, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised children.
There are so many reasons we should all be celebrating the power of play.”
Otonga School participated in International Play Day by working towards solving a real-world problem as follows: There is too much trash in our landfill and something needs to change!
Our focus was on: Reducing our amount of rubbish.
By reusing and reducing our rubbish and giving the waste a second chance to be used into something creative. As a Play invitation, we challenged Otonga School tamariki to design and create a robot out of trash. We started by bringing any loose parts to school e.g. cardboard boxes, tubes, lids, foil, buttons, fabric, wrappers etc.

We looked into Robots and investigated and learned more about Robots. We explored ideas about robots such as; they might have special functions, moveable parts, be a work of art to display in your classroom or we could even be the robot ourselves.

Teachers and tamariki: collected loose parts from our houses and recycling bins before the event and found out more about the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). Then we considered how students could make this Play more complex by linking in various areas of the curriculum.

The Robots could be done collaboratively, individually, 2D,3D, dress ups, as a game, loose parts, art work, etc. We are keen to just have fun and play!

At the end of this week to celebrate our learning each class will worm around to see the robots displayed in all the classrooms.

Ako Ruru has been doing amazing mahi on this challenge! As you can see below:

We planned and designed our Robots:

We worked as a team, in pairs or individually to build our Robots:

We had lots of fun whilst learning about how to collaborate on, construct and create our robots:

We used our skills and imagination to write about our Robots:

Wow what an amazing job you have done Ako Ruru!

Ka mau te wehi!

Library and Information Centre News


Issue 4 brochures have been circulated to classrooms and orders close on Thursday 13th June.
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. N.B. Room 9 parents must select Room 9 if ordering online there is not a Room 4 option. 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.

Perform Education Music Show "Way Too Cool!"

On Monday 10th June the whole school had the opportunity to attend a Perform Education Musical Show ‘Way Too Cool’. This is a company specialising in touring curriculum aligned educational theatre and musicals for NZ & Australian schools. The performance featured a selection of New Zealand children's books published during the past 12 months and promotes literacy and reading by inspiring students with limitless fun and possibilities offered by books and reading.
We had two fabulous performances, the first a Junior production for the 5 to 7 year olds and then a General Show for the older students. Both were very entertaining, fun, engaging with great interaction with the children. The energy and fitness of the two Actors’ was incredible (taking on the roles of several different characters - with quick costume changes) showed the children that books can come alive in your imagination. The show 'Way Too Cool!' was all about the importance of kindness and how that should be at the heart of our dealings with others. The children loved the acting and the books with Tama and the Taniwha written by Melanie Koster, being selected by both audiences as the most popular.
To sum up 'WAY TOO COOL!' is a celebration of the way books and the BEST New Zealand Children’s Books of 2024 can inspire every individual on their journey of personal growth and development. It is also a journey that leads students, with the characters, through the twists and turns of mapping out a way to solve their differences using empathy, kindness and a strong sense of humour.

Enjoyed by both students and staff.

All books featured in the show are in our school Library and are on display for children and staff to continue follow-up activities.

Mrs 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.

Colouring competition closes at 4:30pm on Friday 5 July!
Bring your completed entry to the office or email them to marketing@firstcu.co.nz.

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)
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:
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:

Protect against MEASLES

Just a reminder to be vigilant in the face of an increased risk of measles around the motu. Keep registers up to date and remember the best protection against measles is two doses of the MMR vaccine.

Check your immunisation register:
Measles information – Ministry of Education

Find out if you need a measles vaccination – Te Whatu Ora

Te Whatu Ora has more information on measles on its website:

Measles – Te Whatu Ora

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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