Week 1, Newsletter, Term 1 2024

Together We Grow  – Ka Tupu Kotāhi ai Tātou

Kia ora OVS whanau and Caregivers,

A warm happy new year to all our OVS whanau, and an especially warm welcome to those new students and families who have begun their learning journey’s here at out kura in 2024.  It was a priviledge to met you all and I would like to acknowledge Matiu Dennison for his  expertise and support in welcoming our new whanau at our first day powhiri.  The air was certainly alive with the buzz of students meeting up again to start the year and it was also buzzing with the sound of drill and saws! Yes, this means the new build is well under way and we are making great progress, we have even uncovered a few old treasures and newspaper clippings from a bygone era.   Timeframes for the build are still for completion in May, but we are hopeful  this could be earlier. In the interim Room 4 remains in the library and Friday assemblies will be in room 5.

Noho ora mai,

Rick Sayer


Ka tupuu kotahi ai tatou – Together We Grow.  

Starting this year I wanted to take the opportunity to bring everyones attention to our school vision. These three simple words hold a wealth of meaning, resonating not just as a motto but as a guiding principle that shapes the fabric of our kura and of our tamariki’s educational journey. I would like to draw your attention today to our vision, as we look to ensure it is known and lived by all of our OVS whanau and students. This vision of  ‘Together we grow’ serves as a powerful analogy for the holistic development of our students – encompassing social, emotional, and academic dimensions. I look forward to sharing more detail about each of these with you, in our next newsletter.


Ōtāika Student Attendance – Priority 2024…we need 90%

Aroha nui to all our  whanau who have shown  dedication to their children”s learning through great attendance in 2023 however at 81% we are still not where we need to be. It is pleasing that we have improved significantly last year, but our target is 90% every week.  A reminder that regular school attendance lays the foundation for academic, social and emotional achievement, as it ensures that students are present for valuable learning experiences, crucial interactions with teachers, and the formation of lasting connections with peers. This is a national priority and new regulations mean that we are required to follow up non-attendance far more vigourously. Let’s continue working together to reach the required levels, ensuring every student has the opportunity to thrive academically and personally.


As indicated in earlier communications, our main form of contact starting in 2024 will be HERO,  our student management system. This will also be how we report and share our ‘Real-Time Reporting. Individual teachers will be in contact share start of year  information and to follow up to ensure you are connected. IT IS ESSENTIAL YOU DOWNLOAD AND CONNECT TO THE HERO APP. Please contact the office or your class teacher if you are unsure how to do this or experience any difficulties.

School Pool 
The BOT, making this available to our school whanau over the holidays has certainly made a ‘Splash! and it has been well used. Just a reminder that this is still available for school whanau/families to use  up until the end of term 1.
You were all sent an email with an attached School Pool Agreement and General Pool Rules but if you can’t access these, please contact the school office.
This Agreement must be signed by the PIN holder, and payment of $50.00 must be made prior to receiving a PIN code to have access to the school pool.
If you have further queries please contact the school office on admin@otaika.school.nz

School End of Year Reports

Student reports not collected  on the last day of school  are available from your child’s ‘current’ class teacher.

Student Enrolments 2024

If you or whanau you may know are intending to enrol at OVS, please encourage them to notify us of their intentions as son as possible to assist with our future planning.

Structured Literacy Teacher Only Day – Monday 19th February.
As notified at the end of last year, all OVS staff are required to attend a Teacher Only Day along with 5 other Whangarei schools on Monday 19th February. This means there will be no school for students on this day. 
We appreciate that this is day is soon after the start of year,  however dates are dictated by external facilitation and school availability.
More information on this exciting initiative for our kura will be provided in due course.
In the interim if you would like to read more, here is a short article that may be of interest.

Student Details Update

Please let Jen in the office know if any details have changed, such as:

  • Home address
  • Caregiver/Emergency contacts phone numbers
  • Email address
  • Living arrangements (eg: court orders, custody etc)
  • Medical/allergies
  • New siblings

Digital Citizenship

Otaika Valley School believes in providing a safe and responsible ICT learning environment for all students.  We request caregivers and students to follow our ICT rules by completing the online Responsible Use Agreement form: This from is different this year and requests that you pay careful attention to permissions to allow us to use student photos in the everyday celebration of school life. Please read the options carefully and contact us if you have any questions.


Free Healthy School Lunch Programme

Just a reminder that if you would like your child to receive a free lunch each day and they have any food allergies and/or special dietary needs, please complete this online form  https://bit.ly/dietaryovs.

If you have submitted a response, we will contact Libelle (supplier) who will ensure your child’s needs are catered for.

(If we don’t receive a response, we will assume your child has no food allergies and/or dietary requirements and they will receive a free lunch).

***Alternatively, please let us know as soon as possible if you prefer for your child not to receive free school lunches.

(Please pack extra food for your child for your child for their morning/afternoon snacks)


Dates 2024

Teacher Only Day – Whole staff development in Structured Literacy – Monday 19th February

Meet the Teacher – 21 February

Room 1&2 camp: 7 March

Room 4&5 camp: 14-15 March

Room 6&7 camp: 20-22 March

Easter break – Please note. Friday 29 March – 2 April school is closed. We resume on April 3rd.

Term 1: 7 February –  April 12.

Term 2: 29 April – 5 July

Term 3: 22 July – 27 September

Term 4: 14 October – 18 December


By |2024-02-09T15:29:06+00:009th February 2024|Newsletters, Updates - Email|Comments Off on Week 1, Newsletter, Term 1 2024

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