Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 11th October 2023

Term 4 Diary

(Please note dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
9 Oct New Entrant Cohort 7 Starts School
13 Oct Y3 Ako Ruru - Ngakuru School AG Day
Blackout Day - Wear black to support ABs
17 Oct Whānau Hui 6-7:30pm
21 Oct Hui a Kura 11:45am-12:20pm - Hosted by Room 6 Ako Tui
23 Oct Labour Day Public Holiday - SCHOOL CLOSED
26 Oct Otonga PTA Meeting 6pm Staffroom - All Welcome!
31 Oct Book Week - Book Swap Day
2 Nov Book Week - Book Character Day and Parade 9:15am
3 Nov Hui a Kura 11:45am-12:20pm - Hosted by Room 7 Ako Tui
13 Nov Teacher Only Day (TOD) - SCHOOL CLOSED
14 Nov Otonga's Got Talent Final 11-12:30pm
17 Nov Hui a Kura 11:45am-12:20pm - Hosted by Room 8 Ako Tui
21 Nov Rotorua Primary Schools Ahurei
30 Nov Celebration of Learning Day
1 Dec Road Patrol Fun Day
Hui a Kura 11:45am-12:20pm – Hosted by Room 4 Ako Tui
6 Dec Y6 Ako Korimako Graduation 5pm
12 Dec Leadership Assembly 11am -12pm
13 Dec Last Day of Term 4 – School closes at 3pm

Term Dates 2023

Term 4: Mon 9th October – Wed 13th December
(Labour Day – Monday 23rd October)
(Teacher Only Day (TOD) - Monday 13th November

New Entrant – Cohort Start Dates 2023

TERM 4 Cohort 7: Mon 9th October
Cohort 8: Term 1, 2024

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
(Teacher Only Day (TOD) – Fri 31st May)
(King’s Birthday - Mon 3rd June)
(Matariki - Fri 28th June)

Term 3: Mon 22nd July – Fri 27th September

Term 4: Mon 14th October – Mon 16th December (TBC)
(Labour Day – Mon 28th October)


Kia Ora Koutou - Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Welcome Back!

We are all looking forward to Term 4. A special welcome to our new entrants in Room 16 and all new tamariki to Otonga School.

Last term, I attended the New Zealand Principals Federation annual conference in Queenstown. This was a fantastic opportunity to network with principals from around the country, share stories and bring worthwhile gems back to school.

We were lucky to listen to several national and international speakers. The highlight for me was listening to Dr Pasi Sahlberg who is a Finnish education expert, author and professor now at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Some of the things he said that are worth sharing:

Dr Sahlberg emphasised the importance of nurturing meaningful, healthy relationships and the significance of educating the whole child.

There is a need for teaching social, emotional and cognitive skills to develop stronger, resilient students.

He stressed the importance of providing children with ample time, for free unstructured outdoor play allowing them to explore and engage without constant adult involvement.

He also spoke about broadening what student success is/looks like to create more opportunities for all students to be successful. He recommended the redesign of educational settings in ways conducive to a child-centred approach.

He spoke about the role of music and having healthy food to support all children’s learning and development.

These learnings are important when considering the education, wellbeing and growth of all children at Te Kura o Tihiōtonga.

Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe

We Take Play Seriously!

Using The Magic Playbox In Ako Kārearea

‘The magic is not in the box, it comes from within the child’

The Magic Play Box comprises a large crate filled with a variety of upcycled materials. The seemingly dispensable objects support children to explore their imagination without rules.

The non-prescriptive nature of loose parts play in combination with children’s inventiveness and creativity results in them using the items in endless different ways, enabling all ages, genders and abilities to find ways to play and socialise together.

Some examples of the ‘Magic Box’:
Children designed an ‘Island Escape’. They had a chief, look out post, fishing equipment, a computer room set up and they even had a lunchroom. The communication, problem solving and the sustained focus was amazing!
Play Kitchens in the Year 5 Classrooms

Children had the opportunity to create their own Mini Restaurants, Cafes and Takeaway Bars. Children created menus, took orders, used mathematical skills to total the ‘orders’ and then gave change. Mathematics in action!
Creating an Interconnecting Village

Recently Room 17 followed their urge to build from nature (tree prunings) and create interconnecting spaces that formed a village of individual dwellings. Twig tripods created for the vege gardens. Some worked in groups, others individually, coming together and connecting the spaces and shelters with their own “string” telephones.
Even a Supper? was created for food to eat from collected moss, leaves..and stream water.
Lego 6 Bricks

6 Bricks is a concept which makes use of 6 different colours of Lego 2x4 bricks as a concrete tool to make learning fun and hands-on. They can be used in all learning areas and to support the learning of numerous skills, concepts and values - the possibilities are endless.

Room 18 has been using 6 Bricks to indicate how we feel during our morning check-in. This way we begin our day aware of how we are feeling and gives us the opportunity to practise self-regulation so we may move into the Green Zone (a ready-to-learn state).

We have also used 6 Bricks to promote visual memory and spatial awareness in preparation for our Geometry unit this term. In the photos you will see students building a structure, showing their structure very briefly to their group and then hiding it while the group tries to recreate the structure in exactly the same way.

Designed Painted Fence Posts

As part of our School values Kaitiakitanga (Taking care and being a guardian of things around us) and Manaakitanga (sharing and respecting things around us), our ako have designed individual fence palings to add to our School “ Memory “ Fence which borders on Jackson park behind rooms 11 and 12. It reinforces our sense of belonging to Otonga School and allows us to contribute in a creative and personal way to our school environment. Watch this space…. We will share our finished project with you in Week 7’s Newsletter.

Whānau Hui

Kia ora e te whānau, a hui will be held next week on Tuesday 17th October to form a group and to discuss our objectives for our tamariki. Please attend if you are interested in being a part of this group or want to lend your support.

For a copy of our last hui' minutes (22/08/23), request by email and I will forward to you.

Can you help? Our kura also needs the services of a kaikorero and a kaikaranga to represent us when our kaumatua and kuia are unavailable. If you know someone who can tautoko us, please make contact. Ngā mihi maioha. Whaea Arihi aharvey@otonga.school.nz

Kua raranga tahi tātou he whariki mō āpōpō.
Together we weave the mat for future generations.


PLEASE RETURN all LIBRARY BOOKS borrowed before the start of the school holidays. These books will all be now showing as overdue!

In Week 4 this term we are holding a Book Week from Monday 30th October to Friday 3rd November and during this time we will be running a variety of competitions and reading activities throughout the school.

Book Swap Day - Tuesday 31st October
This could be the ideal time to sort through the bookshelves at home for any books you don't need anymore! Put the books aside and children can bring them along on Tuesday morning 31st October. Suitable for age group 5yr to 14yrs. No Boardbooks please.

Book Character Parade - Thursday 2nd November
It's time for children to be thinking of their favourite Book Character Dress-Up outfit for the day. Spot prizes awarded for best creations.
Issue 7 IS OUT - and it's a bumper 32 PAGE brochure, with something for everyone. Brochures will be circulated to classrooms today for hand-out to children. Look out for the SPECIAL OFFERS and new titles available. Reading for pleasure, inside and outside of school, has real and long-lasting benefits. It unlocks the power of information and imagination and helps children discover who they are.

Orders will close on Wednesday 25th October at 3pm

See https://mybookclub.scholastic.co.nz/Parent/Login.aspx for more information.

On-line Ordering: 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


Year 6 Leavers Souvenir

Order now to get a souvenir of your child’s time at Otonga School. 2023 Year 6 Leavers self-portrait wall hanging/tea towels have gone to the printers and are available to order now! This is not a fundraiser just a fun way for the kids to remember their friends and time at Otonga School. Cost $18 each (example available at the school office).

You can order and pay for these limited edition souvenirs via KINDO. Once logged onto 'mykindo' select 'Otonga PTA', there you will find 'Year 6 Leavers Souvenir'. If you would like to order more than one, please ensure you change the quantity at 'checkout'.

Orders must be completed by 9am FRIDAY 27th 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
Please Note: St Andrew’s Bakery is no longer able to provide school lunches on Monday's for the indefinite future.

KINDO HELPDESK – Phone 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. Issue s 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.


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.


We invite you to view/review our school policies at https://otonga.schooldocs.co.nz (Note that there is no "www.")

Our username is: otonga and password is: fourwinds


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