Newsletter Term 3, Week 2

Otautau School 6th August 2021


School Speeches

Good luck to all our senior students competing in the school speech competition next week. It is always great to hear the diverse range of topics that our students choose to speak about.

Neuroscience of Device Zombies

Recently, I watched a TEDx Talk from Katheryn Berkett speaking about the use of screen time and the addiction that devices can cause on our young children. It is unfortunate that many of us are allowing our children to spend hours engaging in an activity that is physically changing our brain and is potentially causing an addiction that could have negative impacts on our young lasting a lifetime.

What we are talking about here is screen time and spending time on devices. Kids can spend hours on devices and are completely engrossed when on them. Have you ever experienced what happens when you try and get your child off their device? They get angry and moody for ages afterwards - don't they?

Katheryn has a recipe that we need to be aware of that talks about how Device Zombies Populate.

  1. Create an addiction to a device.
    Giving children anytime, anywhere access to devices is becoming the norm these days.
  2. Repeat anti-social behaviours.
    Kids spend hours absorbed in anti-social behaviours and possibly violent behaviours.
  3. Restrict real life experiences.
    Unfortunately, children are limiting their access to pro-social and positive environments that are created by interacting among friends and family.

Katheryn goes on to say that if you mix all the above ingredients together and bake it for hours every day and double it on a Sunday then it is creating a recipe for disaster.

The World Health Organisation have put out guidelines on screen time for young children.

  • Under one - no screen time at all
  • One to five years - no more than one hour a day.
  • Six - Thirteen - no more than two hours a day.

The average adult (according to their research) spends six hours a day on their device.

We are now starting to limit at school the amount of time children can spend on their google account. We will be experimenting with this over the coming terms.

A challenge that we all have in front of us is how can we bring back the pro-social behaviours that we were all exposed to as children. Us as adults need to front foot this and expose our students to these so they can actually see what they look like.

Through our school wellbeing model that talks about Giving, Taking Notice, Connecting, Learning and Being active we will be able to give our students opportunities to deliberately practice what pro-social behaviours are.


Tau Cards Rewards - Week 2

Well done to the following children who spun and won on our lucky Tau-ken Draw.

  • Tema Rogers - 25 House Points
  • Max Swale - School rug
  • Jayden Bath - Mufti day for the class
  • Atheena Carbonel - Felt pens - colour run prize
  • Lachlan Egan - Plasma lamp - colour run prize

School Speeches - Yr 5-8

The Otautau School Speech finals will be held next Friday 13th August in Room 2, the school assembly room. These will start at 10:45 am with the Year 5 and 6 finalists, followed by the Year 7 and 8 finalists at approximately 12:00 noon. You are most welcome to come and join us for these. If your child is involved, your class teacher will let you know.


Bookings are now open to book a time for your child's Learning Conference.

Bookings can be made my clicking the link below. You can also contact Julie at the office and she will make a booking for you.

These are student led conferences and children are expected to attend.

They will be happening on:

Monday 16th August 1pm - 7pm

Wednesday 18th August 3.15pm - 5pm


Buses will run at this time.
Student Led Conference Booking

Click here to book your appointment time. Children need to attend with their parents/caregivers


Southland Netball

Year 5/6 Tuesday 17th August

Year 7/8 Wednesday 18th August

There is a $9 entry fee for play in this tournament at the Stadium Southland.

Please make sure this is paid either to the office or online by 13th August.

School Accounts

These were emailed out this week to caregivers. If these could be settled by the end of August it would be much appreciated.


Here are some of our Room 6 Maker Space creations and some ‘school holidays’ stories that we have written. Enjoy!

Friends of the School - AGM and Health Education Consultation

Thursday 12th August 7.30pm

in school staffroom

All weclome

The first part of the meeting will be consultation around our Health Curriculum and new Relationships and Sexuality Curriculum.

Whats happening Term 3 .......


9th-12th Year 8 Technology, Winton

Tues 10th Year 5/6 Netball @ Otautau Courts

Thurs 12th Year 7/8 Netball @ Takitimu School

Fri 13th School Speech Finals

Mon 16th Learning Conferences - School finishes 12.30pm

Tues 17th Southland Year 5/6 Netball @ Stadium Southland

Wed 18th Southland Year 7/8 Netball @ Stadium Southland

Wed 18th Learning Conferences 3 - 5pm

Thurs 19th Speech Finals @ Hauroko School

Wed 25th Polyfest - whole school performing


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