Newsletter 1 Term 2

Onerahi School 21 May 2021

Principal's message

Kia Ora e te Whanau, what a fantastic start we have had to term 2. Our tamariki have been involved in lots of exciting things such as Loud Shirt Day, outdoor classroom day, and mahi at Dragonfly Springs. There are other adventures in the planning, including scootering the loop and walking on the Waimahanga. It's great to see our teachers planning learning experiences that challenge children in many ways. On the 4th of June we have another one of our Accord days for the staff to learn together. School will be closed for students on that day and we appreciate your support with this. Staff will be further developing knowledge and understanding of our localised curriculum and how we embed Te Reo Maori me ona Tikanga. Don't forget the Tuesday of the long weekend is also a school holiday. We have our next cohort of new entrants starting on the Wednesday after this, and we welcome Indira Harypursat as the teacher in that new class. Nga Manakitanga, AnnMaree MacGregor.

Nau mai, haere mai/Welcome

On Tuesday the 4th of May the school held a powhiri to welcome the new students who have joined us this term. We have both a new cohort of New Entrants, along with students in other years who have moved to the area. We are delighted to have you all part of the Onerahi School Whanau and wish you well in your learning journey with us.

Te Whare Tapa Wha

Understanding Hauora through Te Whare Tapa Whā
The Whare offers a useful visual analogy to understand Hauora. Hauora is an integral part of our school strategic plan. Te Whare Tapa Whā was developed by Sir Mason Durie as a way of understanding the interrelated and holistic nature of Hauora. Here is some information about the Te Whare Tapa Wha model:

Each taha (side) of the whare represents one of the four cornerstones of hauora; Hinengaro (mental and emotional well-being), Whānau (social and relational well-being), Tinana (physical well-being) and Wairua (spiritual well-being). These four aspects combine as a whare, within which hauora can be understood and strengthened. All four parts are equally important contributors to overall wellbeing. We encourage you to talk to your children about what their Hauora looks like and the wonderful things they do to build strong, healthy taha in their own whare.

Reo Akonga/Students voice

Recently students were encouraged to present a piece of creative writing they would be happy to share with our community. We have a piece below, from James Lester in Rm 17 and from Amber Torstonsen in Rm 31. Ka rawe James and Amber!

A Kiwi Story

One morning kiwi was sleeping when he was woken by a terrible noise. He poked his head outside… his home was being destroyed! Just as he thought all was lost, he saw that not all the forest was destroyed. He tried to fly to the forest but he couldn’t. The End

James Lester

Yr 3 Onerahi Primary School

P.s Check out James’ hand-drawn kiwi!

Walking the Pepeha

“Haaaah” I huffed, half way up the mountain, tiredly taking each breath. “Ahhhh!” screamed Bella in pain. “What, what?” I panted. “I have a foot cramp” answered Bella. We carried on up the hill getting closer and closer to the top finally taking one last big breath. I looked up and I could see the light of the shining sun and a small shack. I knew at that very moment we had reached the top. What a relief! I sprinted to the top of the lookout and gazed out at the amazing view. It took my breath away and I could not believe I had just walked our pepeha. I could see the Hatea awa, our city, and a row of maunga to my right, with the harbour in the distance. Looking around me, I noticed fellow students huffing and puffing as a result of the steep climb. But we all agreed it was worth it. Now for the trip back down…

Amber Torstonson

Yr 6 Onerahi Primary School

Community Consultation on Health Education at Onerahi School

Kia ora e te whanau,

As part of a regular review process we are seeking your feedback on our delivery of the health curriculum. The concept of hauora is at the heart of health education at our school. Children being able to maintain their own wellbeing is developed by exploring healthy relationships, personal beliefs, physical health through exercise and diet, and unpacking emotions. Woven through all these aspects is the crucial role of cultural identity and ensuring students have a strong sense of belonging and tūrangawaewae.

On alternative years we run the Keeping Ourselves Safe programme with the support of the police and Life Education through the Life Education Trust. Both programmes develop important skills and are engaging experiences for our students. Our Year 6 students receive two sessions on pubertal change. These sessions focus on what changes their bodies will be going through, guidance around hygiene, and develop an understanding of what the opposite sex may be experiencing as they go through puberty. Before the pubertal change sessions run, information is sent out to whanau with an option of having their child not take part.

If you have any feedback please either make a time come in and see me, Danny Hamilton, or send an email through to

Thanks for your time. Kia pai to rā!

Ka Mau Te Wehi

Here at Onerahi Primary we have some amazing students achieving success not only in school but outside of it. We would like to recognise the following superstars this week.

Great work Lottie Beech, who recently won a competition run by the SPCA as part of their Kind Matters campaign to design a Catio - a patio for cats. Lottie put a lot of time and thought into her design and its great to see this recognised. She is a keen designer who loves animals and she and her family have been involved with the SPCA in various ways previously.

Check out her winning design. He mahi ataahua!

Also congratulations to Alia Pilcher who submitted the winning entry into the Pak n Save Rally Car colouring competition. She put a lot of time and thought in to her entry. Pai Marika!

From the BOT...

Kia ora Whanau,

Ko Aaron tōku ingoa

Nō Onerahi e noho ana.

Ko Parahaki te maunga

Ko Hatea te awa

Kia mahi tupapaku ahau

Tenei Te mihi kia koutou katou

E mihi ki Te Atua mo tona manaakitanga ki

runga kia tatou

Nō reira Tēna Koutou Tēna Koutou

Tēna Tatou Katoa

I won't beat around the bush, I know a lot of people want to know where we are at with appointing a new principal...

We have gone through a very robust process to ensure we make the right call for our school as we move forward.

We would like to congratulate AnnMaree MacGregor on her appointment as the principal of Onerahi Primary School.

As a Board we are dedicated to working together to ensure we provide the best for all of our students, staff and community. We are excited about our future at Onerahi Primary School.


Aaron Gray

Board of Trustees

Together We Shape Our Future

Kei hea koutou inaianei/ Where are they now?

Introducing a new section of our school newsletter, sharing stories from our past students who have reflected on their time at OPS and how it has impacted their journey through life. We thought you might enjoy this. Starting us off is an update from Dion Luiten. Thanks Dion!

"Hi my name is Dion. I started at Onerahi Primary School at the beginning of 2005 and left at the end of 2010. I had some great teachers but my fave was Mr B. He was my year 6 teacher. We had dress up days and we always dressed the same. It was a crack up. Back then the teachers all seemed pretty cool to me. I loved all the sports, and school camps and trips.

I always loved school and even though I have dyslexia, I managed to do ok. I learnt that you can do anything and be anyone you want to be, and even though I sometimes still doubt myself, I think about all the opportunities that I had to give things a go. The awesome friends that I made at primary school are still my best mates and we have been through a lot together. We are still having the best adventures now.

I am now 21 and have just become a fully qualified builder, a job I absolutely love. Sometimes the paperwork was a bit difficult, but you need to ask for help and accept it when it's given. I have also just bought myself my first house and am really looking forward to using my skills to renovate it in the future.

My advice to you is to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, enjoy life and have a blast. Don't worry about what other people think and just be yourself"

Kirsty's Corner

Kia Ora,

On Wednesday the 19th of May our school participated in the National Simultaneous Storytime. We joined other schools from NZ and Australia for a live streamed reading of the book "Give me some space" by the Starlight Children's Foundation, and a presentation by the author Philip Bunting. There was even a reading by an Astronaut - Dr Shannon Walker - from the International Space Station. What an awesome way to engage our children in reading and learning.

Also, we wanted to let you know that the 2021 Hell Pizza reading Challenge has begun. Children are once again able to read 7 books, earn 7 stamps on their wheel, and redeem it for a free pizza. This challenge runs all year long. Encourage your children to participate, we'd love to see them manage a wheel per term!

Kirsty Oliver

School librarian and Resource Co-Ordinator

Haere ra/Farewell

On Friday the 14th of May we bid farewell to Matt Dennis. Matt has been a special part of our Onerahi whanau for the last 8 years and has made an enormous contribution to hundreds of students, whanau, staff and community. He is taking on a new role with the Northland Rugby Union as the Player Development Manager, and is planning to spend more time with his lovely family. We thank him for all that he has so willingly done for Onerahi School and wish him all the very best in his next endeavours. Kia Ora and thank you, Matt. Tino pai to mahi.

Celebrating Sue..

Recently, one of our wonderful teachers, Sue Carppe was the winner of a competition run by Rally NZ and Pak n Save recognising the wonderful impact she has made on our students. She was nominated by a past student who now has children of her own in Sue's class and won a trip to the school by a rally car on Friday morning, followed by a spin round the course on Friday afternoon. Way to go Mrs Carppe!

Accord Teacher Only Days

The school is required to have held an additional 6 accord teacher only days by mid 2022. We have held our first one on the 3rd of February, ahead of the start of school and our second one on Thursday the 1st of April ahead of Easter (more on how that went later.) We have scheduled the remaining days for Friday the 4th of June, ahead of Queens birthday weekend and Friday the 27th of August ahead of our Mid-Term break on Monday the 30th August. We ask you to make note of these days as the school will not be open to students and appreciate your support as we continue to develop our practice. The remaining two days will be held in 2022.


We have had a supply of 2021 honey cleverly made by the bees in our hives, delivered to our school. Now is a great time to buy! Still only a bargain $5 a jar, available at the school office. Cash only.


A further reminder to parents and whanau. The school continues to receive reports of near-misses occurring outside our main gates on Church St. Please ensure that when you are on foot you use the pedestrian crossing, and when driving you do not fail to stop for pedestrians at the crossing. Please consider whether your driving maneuvers are safe in an area heavy with foot traffic, especially given the often unpredictable movements of young children. U-Turns are NOT advised, particularly near the cemetery, in the school driveway, or entrance to Pine Park Rd. There are places you are able to safely turn, such as the end of Pine Park Road and we urge you to take the extra time to do this to ensure the safety of our community. Thank you.

School Lunches

We have 2 options for school lunches. Both are ordered through your lunchonline account. If you do not yet have an account head to and sign up to take advantage of this service. Orders must be in by 8am on the day of delivery or they will not be processed. A further reminder to ensure that all student information is updated regularly in your lunchonline account, including room numbers to ensure that ordered lunches reach their recipients quickly and easily on delivery.

Tuesdays-Hell Pizza

There is a range of 6 options for pizzas available, in snack size (7.5 inches). Please note that only these options may be ordered.

Thursdays—West End Sushi

A range of sushi, dumplings and bento-style options will be available.

Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday 25 May - 2nd new entrant visit for mid-term cohort
  • Thursday 27 May - Ruma Toru Tekau Ma Tahi (31) cycle trip to town
  • Tuesday 01 June - 3rd new entrant visit for mid-term cohort
  • Friday 4 June - Accord Teacher only day
  • Monday 7 June - Queens Birthday
  • Tuesday 8 June - OPS School Holiday
  • Wednesday 9 June - Mid-term cohort entry start day
  • Thursday 24th June - School Matariki Celebration - more details to come
  • Tuesday 6 July - ShowQuest 2021
  • Friday 9 July - Last day of Term 2



With the weather turning and cooling and rain becoming more likely we would like to remind you that it is a good idea for children to bring raincoats and a change of clothes along to school. Covered shoes are suggested. We would like all of these items to be clearly named so they can be returned to your children if the weather changes.


School gates open 8:15am

School begins 9.00am

1st Play Break 11:00-11:30am

2nd Play Break 1:30-2:00pm

School finishes 3.00pm

School gates close 3:15pm

There are two eating breaks within the day, taken at times that suit each class. Please ask your child's teacher when their times are.


Medication: If your child requires medication be brought to or kept at school, please be aware that due to health and safety concerns, this must be kept secure in the school sick bay. It is not to be kept in children’s schoolbags during the day. This is to protect the safety of not only the child requiring the medication but also all other students. All medication requires an accompanying permission/approval form signed by their parent or caregiver. This includes epi-pens for allergy management, inhalers for asthma or any other medication your child requires on a short-term or as needed basis.

Community Notices

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