Newsletter Term 2, Week 8

Otautau School 25th June 2021


These winter mornings have been very foggy lately. Please can children walking to school and bus children wear their vests. Motorists can you drive with your lights on as you are very hard to be seen without them.

Social Media

I have included information below for our school community to read regarding social media and the Harmful Digital Communications Act. We are having some problems in the senior end of the school on the use of snapchat. Social media itself is not bad - but often with younger children it gets misused in the form of threatening messages and abusive language. Often this becomes a school issue when an incident happens because of the communication that has been happening outside of school.

Firstly, children have to be 13 years or older to access social media apps. If you are younger than this your child (according to John Parsons) has committed a low level fraud as they have needed to put in a false birth date to create an account.

Unfortunately, many parents are aware of this and still allow this to happen.

We as parents have a duty to protect our children and keep them safe. Children, under the age of 13 are not safe using social media as they often don't have the maturity and tools to know what to do if they are confronted with abusive material. We as adults do know what to do and I have included some contact numbers for you to use to report abusive content.

  • Report abusive content
  • Regularly check your child's phone
  • Control the apps they can have on their phone - you be the administrator around this
  • Act swiftly using the contacts below
  • Educate your children

School Wellbeing Model

The consultation period for parents to give us their feedback around our school wellbeing model closes at the end of this term. Please click the link below to give us your thoughts.

Mid Year Reporting

The Mid Year written reports will be going home on the Friday of the last week of this term. This will be followed by student-led conferences early on in Term 3. Information on how you can book in for these conferences will come out in week 1 of next term.

Harmful Digital Communications Act

What type of communication does the Act cover?

It covers any harmful digital communications (like text, emails or social media content) which can include racist, sexist and religiously intolerant comments – plus those about disabilities or sexual orientation.

What are the 10 communication principles?

A digital communication should not:

  1. disclose sensitive personal facts about an individual

  2. be threatening, intimidating, or menacing

  3. be grossly offensive to a reasonable person in the position of the affected individual

  4. be indecent or obscene

  5. be used to harass an individual

  6. make a false allegation

  7. contain a matter that is published in breach of confidence

  8. incite or encourage anyone to send a message to an individual for the purpose of causing harm to the individual

  9. incite or encourage an individual to commit suicide

  10. denigrate an individual by reason of colour, race, ethnic or national origins, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability

What is Netsafe’s role under the HDCA?

Netsafe has the responsibility to help resolve reports related to alleged breaches of the 10 communication principles. We are not an enforcement agency, but we do have a high resolution rate. Some of the things we can do include:

  • liaise with website hosts, ISPs and other content hosts (both here and overseas) and request them to takedown or moderate posts that are clearly offensive

  • use advise, negotiation, mediation and persuasion (as appropriate) to resolve complaints

  • inform people about their options if they wish to apply to the District Court

If we can’t resolve things, then the person who reported to us may apply to the District Court eg for a takedown order, against the author or host of the allegedly harmful content – but you need to have tried to resolve the matter with Netsafe first. We will provide you with a Netsafe Summary that you can take to the District Court to demonstrate that you have been through our process.


The most useful thing for parents to understand about the Harmful Digital Communications Act is the way the 10 communication principles define what is good or bad behaviour online.

How does the HDCA apply to young people?

Anyone in New Zealand including young people pr parents on behalf of their child can get help from Netsafe. The options available under the Act will reflect the age of the people involved in an online incident.

What do the criminal offences under the HDCA mean for young people?

A criminal offence under the HDCA is subject to the same youth justice processes that apply to other offences. This means the offences will not be applied to children under the age of 14, but can be applied to young people aged 14-16 under the youth justice system.


If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, please call 111. If you want help or expert incident advice, you can contact us. Our service is free, non-judgemental and available seven days a week.



Snapchat is a messaging app used to take photos and videos, decorate them with text and pictures, and then send them to friends. These photos and videos are called ‘Snaps’. Snaps aren’t saved like regular messaging apps – they’re only available to view for a few seconds and then they disappear. Once everyone that has been sent a Snap has viewed it, Snapchat’s system automatically deletes it from their servers.


Snaps: You can send photos that last up to 10 seconds, or send videos that last up to 30 seconds to your Snapchat friends. Snapchat now allows you to ‘loop’ your videos on repeat and send photos that do not disappear until the person viewing exits out of viewing them. You can decorate your snaps with filters, lenses, stickers and text – and add them to your Story if you want them to be available to be viewed for longer. You can also ‘replay’ a video or snap you receive from someone else once.

Lenses: Lenses add real-time special effects and sounds to a Snap. For example, some lenses add animal masks to the users face and another makes the person appear to be surrounded by butterflies.

Filters: Filters are a way to customise your Snaps. You can add a filter to your image or video that shows the time, weather, the location that you’re at and others.

Stickers: Stickers are colourful images and cartoons that you can use to decorate your images and videos.

Screenshot: Snaps disappear once the person who it was sent to has seen it, but people can still take screenshots of Snaps. It’s important to know that even though Snapchat deletes Snaps once they’ve been seen, if someone does take a screenshot there is a record of the Snap. If someone screenshots a Snap, the person who sent it will get a notification to let them know.

Text chat: You can also use Snapchat to send text chats. Like with Snaps, the message will disappear once it’s read, but people can choose to save text chats in the app.


Blocking someone on Snapchat means they won’t be able to send you Snaps, Chats or view your Stories. If you delete someone they will no longer show up on your friends list, but your privacy settings will determine whether they can still see your Stories.

To block or delete a contact:

  1. Tap the username you want to block or delete in you ‘My Friends’ page.

  2. Tap the gear icon that appears next to their name.

  3. Select ‘Block’ or ‘Remove Friend’

To block someone who isn’t on your friends list, just swipe on their name on the Chat screen to open a Chat with them. Then tap the button in the top left corner to access their profile, where you can block them.


If you see an inappropriate Snap you should report it.

This includes Snaps that share:

  • Pornography, nudity or sexually suggestive content involving people under the age of 18

  • Invasions of privacy or impersonation of others

  • Threats, harassment or bullying of other people

  • Self-harm

To report something:

  1. Tap on the ghost picture on the camera screen

  2. Tap the gear icon

  3. Choose ‘Support’



Tauken Prizes at Assembly today

Ray McIvor - Movie and Popcorn

Travis Wech - Colour run prize

Indie Marie Nicol - School drink bottle

Chance Kuiti - Rugby ball

Charlies Templeton - 20 minutes free time for class


At the latest count (end of week 7) we currently have 77% of the school who have an attendance rate identified as Tier 1 [90% or more]. This means that we have nearly a quarter of our school who have an attendance rate lower than 90%. In order for students to sustain their learning in the classroom they need to attend school regularly.

As per our school policy and procedures some families will be receiving letters notifying them of irregular attendance and what is going to happen over the next term. Some of the options we have are:

  • To continue to monitor the student if they have boarder line attendance or may have been away for a short time and are slowly bringing up their percentage.
  • Referral made to ROCKON. ROCKON is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Education, The New Zealand Police and Oranga Tamariki. We have monthly meetings and discuss irregular and chronic attendance - then come up with a plan on how we are going to work with families to improve school engagement.
  • Check in, Check out. This is a successful intervention the school has designed around attendance.

Please don't be offended if you receive a letter regarding attendance - thank us for caring and being proactive to increase engagement with our school.

'Inventionator Inquiry

Over the past week, five of our Year 7 students were involved in a special online program called ‘Inventionators’. They had to join team members from other parts of New Zealand (through Zoom) to create an innovative product and then to pitch a speech that would encourage others to believe in their creative design. One team with three Otautau School members won the ‘Delivery’ Category with their design entitled ‘Playful Pups’ Well done team!

Delivery Category Winner: Playful Pups - Logan: Whakarongo School, Thomas: Otautau School, Bailey: Otautau School, Maci: Otautau School, Ben: Whakarongo School

Here are some comments from all the Otautau School members who were involved in the project:

Bailey- What I enjoyed about ‘Inventionator’ was going on zoom calls and presenting to everyone. As well it was great that our team, the Playful Pups won the delivery category.

Macie- I really loved this opportunity and would recommend to others to try and do it too. I liked that you could meet new people and work with them. Our team worked really well, winning the ‘Delivery Award.’

Maddie- I really enjoyed participating in the ‘Inventionator’ project 2021. It was a wonderful experience and it was great to liaise with students from other schools. My team included two students from Wellington. Everybody was very kind and willing to open up to other ideas. If I got another chance to do it next year I would participate without a doubt.

Thomas - ‘Inventionator’ was a great learning experience. It was kind of nerve-racking to be on a zoom call with 80 other children from schools around New Zealand, but we learned to get along. Our team was called the Playful Pups and our invention was a ball launcher for dogs. We got an award in the delivery category. I recommend ‘Inventionator’ whenever it is available.

Haden - I enjoyed the zoom calls and thinking of ideas with my team. Our team included people from Christchurch and Auckland. Our team’s idea was a chrome extension that blocks you from unsafe websites.

This week in Room 8 for one of our Kindness Challenges students were asked to write about what they value and enjoy at Otautau School.

At Otautau School I enjoy running at Athletics and I’m grateful for the wonderful teachers. We are lucky to be able to go to camp and have a swimming pool so close to us. I like writing and maths because I get to learn and grow.

By Sarah- Room 4

Otautau School is cool because the whole school gets to perform at Polyfest 2021. I am looking forward to going on stage but I do feel a little nervous. We are so lucky to get to go to a camp each year. We went down a mudslide and played at the Water Park this year.

By Pippa Room 4

Otautau School is the best because it has a good running track. I love that we get to go to Camp and sleep on bunk beds. It's great that we get to go on Road Trips to help keep our learning exciting.

By Riley Room 4

At Otautau school I value all the opportunities to go to camp and play sports. I also appreciate the lovely staff in and around the school. I enjoy the comfortable learning environment and great stationary that we are provided with. I love learning new topics and skills (I’ve learnt lots already). I value that we can make donations to people or businesses in need.

By Laura Room 8

At Otautau School I enjoy Pet Day because there are a bunch of animals that you can pat. I am grateful for amazing teachers and other people that help us to learn.I enjoy the school camp and that the teachers take time to plan it. I like running the track at Otautau School because I can practice as much as I like.

By Max Room 8

At Otautau school I enjoy maths and device time. I also enjoy reading, writing and maths. I appreciate all the fun things that are planned such as going to Otago Museum in Dunedin to go to the museum and the camp. In the camp I found spot light the best. I didn't last long though and at the museum I liked the pizza the most.

By Sophie Douglas Room 8

At Otautau School I enjoyed learning new things and doing lots of Sign Language. We are lucky to go on camps and school day trips. I value the time and effort that the teachers and other people put into my learning. Otautau School always does a Pet Day for us to bring our Pets, which make me feel valued and special.

By Lexi Carr Room 8

At Otautau school I enjoy Pet Day and other events that support our community. I'm lucky that I have had wonderful teachers. I like maths and writing because it's interesting. At school
I like playing outside and making new friends.I am supported to try new things even when I'm nervous.

By Sophia Room 8

At Otautau School I like that there are lots of kids who like to play soccer at lunchtime. I appreciate that every school has the best Miss, Mrs, or Mr in New Zealand. I like learning because I know that with practice I will get better and better.

By Tame Rapria Room 8

I really like how kind and caring the Teachers and Learning Assistants are at Otautau School. I also enjoy Pet Day, which is when we bring our Pets to school. I appreciate Everything that is given to me to help make learning fun.

By Lee Davis Room 8

At Otautau school I enjoy Pet Day and events that support our community. We are very lucky that we get to go on school camp. I Value the time and effort Teachers and other people put into my learning. Otautau is a lovely, supportive community and I feel very lucky to be apart of it.

Sophie Henderson Room 8

I really love Pet Day because there are lollies to buy, plenty of pets to see and activities to do. I am thankful to be a student at Otautau School. I am so lucky to have a camp every year. I am thankful for having a breaktime and school equipment to play with.

By Mason Evans Room 8

What I like about Otautau is they provide us with chromebooks and there are kind teachers. I also like this school because they have different types of school events like Pet Day, Athletics, breaks and the class that I am in is very energetic.

By Markus Room 8

At Otautau school I love pet day because you get to bring a pet to school and see other pets. I like Polyfest where you get to go to town and a day off school. I like play time because you get to play with friends. I like having a wonderful teacher.

By Hamish Room 8

I enjoy pet day because it is the only day you can bring a pet to school. I am thankful to my teacher for planning the school camp and for giving me new work every day. I enjoy camp because I learn and do new stuff that sometimes I haven't done before.

By Asher Bell Room 8

At Otautau School I enjoy doing art that includes mixing different colours. We are very lucky that we get to go on school camps. Sports days are fun and there are other sports such as rugby to get involved with. We are lucky to be close to the pool so we don’t have to go to another town.

By Xander Campbell Room 8

At Otautau School I enjoy having teachers that go out of their way to make learning fun. I

love that the school organises pet day, camp, and swimming. I just love Sports Day. It is the best.

Indie-Marie Nicol Room 8

I enjoy Pet Day because you get to bring your pet. I think that we are lucky to have school camps. I love that we get to put art up on the walls in our classroom. It's very fun and colourful. I always love the breaks because anyone that you don’t know you can meet them and can sometimes make new friends. I love everything about Otautau School and don’t want to be anywhere else.

By Brearne Baker Room 8

At Otautau school I enjoy having a wonderful supportive school community to learn in. We are lucky to go on school camps outside of school time. I like how we have lots of activities to do at school so we don’t get bored. I appreciate how the staff members are so nice and caring.

By Solenn Sotto Room 8

At Otautau school I enjoy art and Pet Day. I value the time when we slept in a museum on camp. I love sports day because I love sports most of the time. The swimming at camp was fun. I like that we get to run as much as like on the field at lunchtimes.

By Nevaeh Fox Room 8

At Otautau School l enjoy Pet Day and events that support our community. I like maths because l play games and I like learning that way. Otautau School is a lovely supportive community and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

By Chance Kuiti Room 8

At Otautau school the teachers and the teacher aides are the best people in the school. I appreciate all the effort that teachers put into planning camps. I value all the hard work that the people in the school put into planning Pet Day for us. I appreciate all the hard work that the teachers put into teaching us.

By David Steiner Room 8

Otautau is a lovely supportive community. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I value that we get to use Chromebooks to keep our learning exciting. I appreciate the teachers for teaching and supporting me with my learning,

By Jaxon McFadzien Room 8


Great to see so many kids coming to breakfast in the mornings.

Thank you to the Wallace Takitimu Community Board Partnership Fund for the grant to purchase a bench and cupboard, to store all our breakfast items in.

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Upcoming Events

  • 5th-8th July - Year 7 Technology Winton
  • 9th July - END OF TERM
  • 26th July - TERM 3



Book Sale

10th & 11th July and 16th & 17th July 2021

10am - 4pm

Otautau Catholic Parish Centre (opposite Western Motors)

If anyone would like to donate books to the Museum Book Sale, these can be dropped off at the Southland District Council offices.

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