End of Year Newsletter

14 December

Kia ora koutou

With one day of school to go, here is the final newsletter for the school year.  Yesterday, all 2022 classes met in their next year’s classroom with their teacher.  We do this to help prepare students for the challenges of working with new combinations of students and possibly a new teacher.  Room five were unaware that Miss Natalie Lynch is now their confirmed teacher for 2022.  Miss Lynch has been teaching in Room 3 over the last few weeks.

As students move through the school, they benefit from learning to adapt to working with different combinations of students and teacher styles.  As adults we know life throws us many challenges in our relationships and work places. My belief is that a school throws children constant challenges, problems and importantly fun times, that helps prepare students for the journey into adulthood and working with others.

Today we celebrated our final RURU fun day and this year have combined it with our final school assembly, held outside to acknowledge the overall class RURU (school values) awards, and the overall school RURU awards.  It really stood out during the Room 7 senior awards that very vocal cheering from their Room 7 classmates showed that these students were truely happy for the award winners.  This is what Otaika Valley School is about.  We were very proud of them.  A new parent of the school politely asked what we do for the end of the year, as some schools hold big prize giving’s.  Normally I would have communicated this information in a newsletter, but this end of year has been far from normal.

At Otaika Valley School our celebrations are focused on student’s ongoing successes, challenges, achievements through the school values and curriculum key competencies.  This links to our strong focus on Positive Learning for Behaviour (PB4L), which is based on describing desirable learning habits/achievements and ways of behaving to explicitly set expectations for students to aspire for. Every week teachers write certificates to describe students learning achievements for school assemblies.  This shows students what is valued.  We do this every day as part of our programme.

One RURU award is given weekly to a junior/middle/senior student as a highly prized award.  At the end of the year, we award a four overall class RURU’s to those who have stood out the most.  This may be academically or it could be for trying very hard to overcome challenges and making progress.

The 2021 end of year over all RURU awards go to…

Room 1: Matilda, Mack, Callen, Luna-Lee

Room 2: Connor, Bella, Sydney, Isla

Room 3: Sofia, Amelia, Avery, Kora

Room 4: Alexis, Noah, Gus, Kodin

Room 5: Makani, Brodie, Isla, Te Ahorangi

Room 6: Alexa, Megan, Ephraim, Sadie

Room 7: Keira , Jasper, Sunny, Matteo

Senior Overall Year Six RURU: Demi L

Well done children on your achievements.  A photo of the winners has been sent to our school parent/caregiver emails.


Today we awarded the above awards and Room 7 shared and explained the next section of the RURU mural that the senior class adds to each year.  This is on the concrete wall of the courts.  We also enjoyed water fun, either by just running around in togs, the slippery slide, pool or getting squirted by Miss Keogh or myself with a water gun.  Thank you Ms Alchin for purchasing such top quality water guns that allowed very precise, high pressure shots to the face and body.


The school raffle winners were announced at assembly.  Thank you to the many people who contributed by providing items and to the PTG for organising a fundraiser during this challenging year of cancelled or reduced events.

The winners are…

PTA 2021 Raffle DrawPrizeWinner
1Fishing with the PrincipalAllysa Sills
2CementJohn Lever
3CementBrandon Williams – partner of school parent
4Laundry HamperCam Stevens
5Toy BBQ & HamperTipene Harris
6Travel HamperSashia Avison
7Storage BoxLatisha Toka
8Toys/GroceriesJenny Sneddon (friend in Auckland)

Principal’s Message

2021 has been one of the most difficult times to be a principal in my experience and that of some of my more elder principal colleagues.  Covid-19 and in particular the vaccination mandate has put significant pressure on school leaders, boards of trustees, staff and for some the students in specific classes.  I have not been able to communicate with our school community in an open manner due to the legal requirements and privacy of employment contracts.  This is not normally how schools operate and leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.  Most of my time during term four has been focussed on dealing with the staffing challenges created and keeping teachers in front of students on a daily basis.  This has not been an easy journey and I would like to acknowledge all of our fantastic team here at school who have pulled together during these times.  Personally, this has taken a toll on me as principal and I appreciate the support of my team and board of trustees to get me through.  I have not been able to get into classes as much as normal, which I value highly.  Many tasks have been put off for me to deal with during the summer break.

During the class visits some of the senior class students have expressed their concern about wearing masks next year, if we are in RED.  As a staff we have begun but not finished discussion and planning ideas to make Y4 to Y6 students more comfortable dealing with these challenges.  Staff are not looking forward to the possible challenge of masks wearing.  Briefly, we discussed taking tables out onto the deck under the new hard covers to work.  Students could be rotated outside to limit inside work with masks.  The two massive trees in the playground could be used for areas to work outside.  As a staff we will be creative on how to make the challenges less challenging as well as meet the health guidelines.  This will be part of our planning for 2022.  Once we have had time to refresh and think about 2022 and had board of trustees approval we will share the way forward with our community.

If you have a Y4 to Y6 student please be prepared with at least 2 named masks for the beginning of the year.  We will look at getting clothes steamers and put-up clothes lines inside classes to peg masks to store them hygienically and safely.

As a school we are now placed very well for 2022 staffing wise and have exciting teacher professional development planned to enhance learning.  As a community let us work positively with the challenges ahead of us and be creative in our approaches.  Let us not blame everyone else for what is wrong but work patiently and with effort to move through any challenges thrown at us.

I look forward to recharging my very flat battery and returning to our school community fully recharged, with my personality back and excited about student learning and being a school principal.

A message from Robyn and Darcie from After-School-Care

We have 18 full time ASC students and it is often getting fully booked and reaching our maximum ratios and comfortable numbers within the library. 

School restarts on the 3rd of February 2022.


Have a safe summer and we look forward to seeing you back next year.


Ngā Mihi





By |2021-12-14T14:09:16+00:0014th December 2021|Newsletters, Updates - Email, Updates - Home Page|Comments Off on End of Year Newsletter

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