Te Kura o Tihiōtonga

Otonga Primary School

FOUR WINDS NEWS - 18th October 2023


Kia Ora Koutou - Dear Parents and Caregivers,


Our weekly newsletter has had a major upgrade. In order to acknowledge the children who come from all over the world to this place of the tangata whenua. To celebrate the successes of our kura, we have aptly named our newsletter the 'FOUR WINDS NEWS'.

The name 'Otonga' has no actual meaning and is a shortening of the name of our block of land, 'Tihiotonga’. Through consultation with our kaumatua, Ken Kennedy, we have learned that this block of land intersects 4 Māori land blocks. The more accurate name for our school is 'Te Kura o Tihiōtonga'. 'Tihi' means the highest point of a mountain and 'o' means towards, Tonga means south. We are proud to acknowledge the people who have lived in this place before us.
This concept is reflected in our logo of the Four Winds. At Te Kura o Tihiōtonga we have children from many different nationalities. We have named our school houses after the four winds of the north (Hau raki), south (Hau tonga), east (Hau rawhiti) and west (Hau a uru) that bring children from all over the world to this place of the tangata whenua.
It is captured in our whakataukī:
'United by the four winds, we grow stronger together.
Mā te kōtahitanga e ngā hau e whā, ka kaha whakatupu ngātahi tātau.'

Minimising Physical Restraint

As required by the Education and Training Act 2020 and in support of the National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP), Otonga School promotes a schoolwide culture of wellbeing to ensure the school is a physically and emotionally safe place for all students and staff. This includes understanding, recognising, and safely responding to student distress, and minimising the use of physical restraint.

Teachers are completing the mandatory MOE online training as the guidelines have been amended. This and all other policies can be found in our SchoolDocs Policies Website.


The Festival of Lights is coming up soon. This is a call to any of our parents out there, to help us setting up some festivities for our tamariki at school. Please contact the office if you can help.

Kind regards
Gareth Cunliffe

We Take Play Seriously!

Learning Through Play in Ako Korimako

Memoir Writing Inspiration

In Room 20 with the return to school after the holidays and with clear spring weather we decided to go for a walk around to spot some signs of spring. The children noticed the flowers were beginning to bloom on the trees and the fields were full of daisies. On our walk some students also asked to roll down the hill by the side of Jackson Park. Soon the whole class and Mr. Doyle were rolling down the hill. This experience was then used as inspiration for the children’s writing the next day. The use of rich experiences is a very effective tool to encourage children to write and the children wrote beautiful descriptive memoirs of the experience.


In Room 20 the class were building catapults. Building popsicle catapults is a simple and fun way for children to learn about forces. The children innovated with their designs to see if they could get their projectiles to go further. There were competitions between some of the groups and great discussions and teamwork to find the best ways to get their catapults to go further. Opportunities for measurement and averages can be explored more the next time they work on their catapults.


Learning about the circle through the use of a maths compass. The children could explore the vocabulary in a hands-on manner and create pieces of art with the maths compass. The children were introduced to Pi. With one student learning Pi up to 80 places with the help of a song.

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 20 has been using 6 Bricks to promote visual memory and spatial awareness. The students were building a structure, showing their structure very briefly to their group and then hiding it while the group tried to recreate the structure in exactly the same way.
We have been reading Fantastic Mr Fox in Room 22 exploring the characters of the animals and the farmers, particularly how they communicate and treat each other. We then had some fun creating some of the characters in art.
Room 22 took part in World Play Day and created some inspiring builds.

Structured Literacy Writing

The Writer's Corner - Ako Tui

Room 5 - Killian
Room 5 - Mila H
Room 6 - Aletta
Room 6 - Mason
Room 4 - Lennie
Room 4 - Eliza
Room 7 - Henry
Room 7 - Caelan
Room 7 - Noah
Room 7 - Erika
Room 7 - Maeve
Room 8 have been practising their heart words so we can write a whole sentence!


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.


Overdue Library Books:

A BIG 'Thank you' to pupils who have returned overdue books. Today there are still 160 books more than 7 days overdue! So please keep on searching.
Reminder lists will be sent to classrooms this week. Thank you.

Great News - Book Week: 30th October to 3rd November

Dress-Up as your Favourite Book Character
Now is a good time for children to be thinking of their favourite Book Character Dress-Up outfit and getting prepared for Thursday morning 2nd November when we will be holding a Book Character Parade...... prizes awarded for the best creations!
Book Swap Day on 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 our 'Book Swap Day' Tuesday 31st October.

Flyer attached below and more information in the newsletter next week. Thank you.

Mrs Pauline Atkinson, Library Manager


Lots of planting has been happening since Spring has arrived. Our Garden Club has been doing some awesome mahi, taking care of our Community Garden.


Congratulations to Elliotte (Rm 5) who recently won the under 7’s Jazz competition.

Term 4 Diary

(Please note: dates/events may be added or changed without prior notice)
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 BOT Meeting
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
28 Nov BOT Meeting
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)



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

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.
Please Note: St Andrew’s Bakery is no longer able to provide school lunches on Monday's for the indefinite future.


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.

SCHOOLDOCS - School Policies

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


Monster Family Movie Colouring Competition
Sir Howard Morrison Centre - COLOUR IN and WIN!

🎟️ Win 4x tickets to the MONSTER FAMILY movie screening this Halloween!
Event info 👉 here

1️⃣Print this colouring competition
2️⃣Add your creative flare
3️⃣Snap a photo of your artwork
4️⃣Email your entry to SHMCrequests@rotorualc.nz

• Entries must be between 3-12 years old
• The winning entry will be notified via email
• Competition ends Tuesday 24th October
• Winner will be notified Wednesday 25th October
• The prize is not redeemable for cash or transferable.
After School Painting, Drawing
and Mosaic Classes
Tuesdays 4:35pm to 5:35pm
Wednesdays & Thursdays
3:30pm to 4:30pm & 4:35pm to 5:35pm
Enrolling now for the rest of term 4, school holidays and 2024.
Aged 7 and upwards
All enquiries welcome
374 Clayton Road, Rotorua
Contact janet@jkeen.net or
Text 027 3513887 for more details.
facebook website