Newsletter - Term 2, Week 6

Friday, 10th June 2022


Kia ora koutou,

Government Attendance Strategy

You may have noticed on the news last night the government is launching a new attendance and engagement strategy. School attendance is now at a crisis point. The national average for regular attendance is 59% (students with 90% attendance or greater). This is shocking - and has been this way for the past decade.

If your child your child is often away 3-4 days every two weeks then they are defined as having 'chronic' attendance and this pattern will seriously be impacting on their learning and engagement with school.

As a principal mentioned last night, we are creating a new generation who are coming through the schooling system with poor attendance and in turn is increasing the number of illiterate and innumerate people in society. This is turn is going to create more social issues within our communities. Reading this you may think this is an over-reaction - it's not. We are currently seeing this within our school with some students having very poor attendance which in turn is affecting their literacy and numeracy levels.

The government have set a national target by 2024 having 70% regular attendance and by 2026 having 75% regular attendance.

The good news in terms of Otautau School that (as at the end of week 4) our school average of regular attendance is 75% - above the national average. This still means that we have a quarter of our school who do not have acceptable attendance rates - which is worrying.

To increase attendance and engagement we need to focus on our students being present, participating and progressing. What we need to do now:

  • Parents, caregivers and whanau are responsible for making sure their students are at school every day.

  • Schools need to set this as an expectation and communicate this to our families when children are absent. Parents also need to when students have a serious attendance problem.

Aspirations for our Tamariki

Your class teacher would have sent you a link via Seesaw titled, 'Aspirations for Our Tamariki'. This is a survey to get aspirational ideas from our families around what you would like your children to be learning and what their wellbeing should look like. This is going to be vital information for us as a school to use when drafting our strategic plan in Term 3. Please see the link below if you haven't completed the survey yet.

Nga mihi,

Simon Bell

Completed Tau Cards this week

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Whats happening this Term.........

  • 17th June Southland Cross Country
  • 27th-30th June Year 8 Technology Winton
  • 4th-7th July Year 7 Technology Winton
  • 8th July End of Term
  • 25th July Term 3
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Room 3

Quotes from three of our our ‘Bullying’ Slideshows.


PAL's Yoga


Another busy day in Room 5 with maker space. Lots of different creations, with help from Room 9 big buddies. Afterwards, some student logged onto mathletics and PM readers. The class really enjoys this online learning time.


Last week in room 6 we started our daily practice of a play over the week to share with our classmates on Fridays. All the children thoroughly enjoyed, both sharing their plays and also being a member of the audience. Some even said “it’s like being at the movies.”

Camp Omaui - by Aiden

Day 1

I woke up on a Tuesday, got ready for camp and went to school. At school I got in my car for camp and we headed to the Sandy Point track. I did that bike track there and it was fun. Then we headed to camp and unpacked. We did some activities there. After we had some dinner, we got ready for bed and had supper.

Day 2

It's the next morning. Now we had breakfast and got ready for the activities with Adventure Southland. We did kayaking, tree abseiling, ABL games, horizontal bungee and bush craft. I liked abseiling and kayaking the best, because I’m used to heights and I have my own kayak at home.

Day 3

We woke up on Day Three tired, because we had been talking all night. But one of the adults came in at seven o’clock to tell us to wake up. I was a bit annoyed.

After we had breakfast, we got in our cars and we left to go to Bluff. When we got to Bluff, we went to the museum first. My favourite part of the museum was the ship outside because you could go under it and see the whole engine. Then we went to the old cemetery up the hill where some old whalers are buried but there was not much information on the headstones. After that we went on the Bluff walking track and we found some World War Two bunkers. Then we headed back to camp for dinner.

After dinner we played some games. I loved the one where you had to climb over tables and under tables blindfolded.

Day 4

There was not much happening on Day 4. After we put the bikes on the trailer and our gear in the cars, we took a photo of the group and headed to Splash Palace. Caleb and I stopped in the middle of the tube slide and we had to push ourselves down because we got stuck.

After the pool we went to Anderson Park for lunch. There were heaps of ducks there and they were annoying. Then it was time to go back to school.

It wasn’t my favourite camp because of all the walks and we didn’t get to go fishing. But I loved the sand dunes.

By Aiden Montgomerie

School Bank Account Details

Below is the school bank details which is our preferred payment method.

There is also eftpos available at the office.

Westpac: 03 1748 0003820 00


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