Room 8 - Year 3/4

Teacher: Lori Norton and Nikki Filipo

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Term Letter

Kia Ora Whānau, Lori Norton and Nikki Filipo are the teachers for Room 8 -  a Year 3 and 4 class. We are job sharing with Mrs Norton teaching Monday to Thursday and Mrs Filipo on Friday.

About Mrs Norton:  

My school responsibilities include the science curriculum leader and enviroschools.  I currently take the ‘grubby fingers’ garden group on a Wednesday lunchtime.


I have been a primary school teacher for 14 years and taught a range of year levels from NE level through to Year 6 in both Auckland and Rotorua.   I have a background in Science with a BSc in Physiology and Animal Science.


In my spare time I enjoy horse riding, mountain biking, skiing and spending time with my family (my husband Mead, and children Lily and Winter).


About Mrs Filipo:

I have had the privilege of working at Rotokawa School as a reliever for about a year and this year I have taken on some more permanent days.  


I graduated from Otago University as a Teacher 10 years ago and have taught in Wellington, Auckland and Rotorua (my home town). I have taught across all year levels at some point and particularly enjoy year 3 and 4.


Outside of school I have a wonderful husband and two children Cole (4) and Olivia (7).  We are an active family and enjoy running, biking and swimming. In my freetime when I’m not with my family or training for an event I run a charity where I provide families with essentials their children may need.

Room 10 - Year 5/6

Teacher: Lavinia Shepherd

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Term Letter

Nau Mai, Haere Mai and welcome to Waikawa. We have a unique class made up of year 5 & 6’s. Our class is using digital technology starting in Term 2 2018. We have magnificent readers, savvy scientists, mathematic gurus and wonderful writers in our class. Waikawa has fitness leaders and sensational swimmers, that are preparing for Swimming sports and Cross Country. Our class has a well - balanced program and caters for lifelong learning. So come along, check us out and join our team!

Ngā Pou Hurirōpā  (Rm 11)

Teacher: Jamal Treanor

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Term Letter

Nga Pou Huriropa ki Otauira

Kia ora, Nau Mai haere mai ki nga matua

Welcome to the inaugural journey of Nga Pou Huriropa we have had an exciting and great start to 2018.

We have adopted the name Nga Pou Huriropa which are the four corners of every Te Arawa Whare Tupuna that pay homage and are dedicated to 4 Te Arawa ancestors:

We have had amazing support and a very successful 1st hui whanau. Term 1 is looking full of learning fun and experiences - our door is always open and these experiences are made more memorable when shared with the whanau so nau mai haere mai.

If you have any questions or concerns or if you would like to visit our whare, schedule a conference, or volunteer to help out, please feel free to contact me at or through the school office 073456129.

Naku noa
Nga Pou Huriropa ki Otauira 

Room 9 - Year 4/5

Teacher: Natalie Heke

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Term Letter

Kia ora Whānau, Parents and Caregivers

This year Matua Regan and Lori Norton are the teachers for Room 11.  We are job sharing with Mrs Norton teaching on Monday and Tuesday, and Matua Regan on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.   

About Mrs Norton: 

I have been a primary school teacher for 13 years and taught a range of year levels from NE level through to Year 6. I have a background in Science with a BSc in Physiology and Animal Science and also love working with animals. I have a 3 year old daughter called Lily and a 6 year old son called Winter. My husband’s name is Mead Norton, he is from the USA and is a sport and lifestyle photographer. In my spare time I enjoy horse riding and mountain biking. I have a passion for teaching and always try my hardest to teach my learners in a way that is both fun and interesting for them.  My teaching strengths include mathematics, literacy, PE and Science. I am looking forward to getting to know your child and helping them to make progress with their learning journey.  I will always encourage your child to be curious about their learning and to develop important skills that are transferable between different curriculum areas to prepare them for their future.

About Matua Regan:

 I have been teaching at Rotokawa School for approximately 3 terms and am thoroughly enjoying my time here. I am also the Assistant Principal leading duties such as: Sports Co-ordinator, PB4L, Assessment and Data and leading the Middle and Senior School. I am also currently completing my post-graduate in Digital and Collaborative Learning. I am married to Helen who is also a school teacher and we have 3 children. Teina (8), Shannon-Lee (6) and Maika (4). We live in Te Puke. My interests include: whanau time, fishing, sports, coaching rugby and bowls. I am looking forward to 2018 and working in a job share with Mrs Norton. I am passionate about my job and encourage all students to be risk takers. I want all tamariki(children) to leave Rotokawa School with positive experiences they will never forget. I also believe that building strong positive relationships with all whanau is important in each child’s learning. I look forward to meeting you all and sharing your child’s learning throughout the year. 

“Na to rourou, naku to rourou, ka ora ai te iwi”

“with your contribution and our contribution, we will thrive”


You can email us on or Please pop in to see us at any time if you have any queries or if there is something that you want to talk about. If you have not signed up to our class dojo send us an email and we will send you a link to join.  Class dojo is also a great way to stay in touch and to see your child’s achievements or what we have been up to in class.

Term 1 Learning:

  • Inquiry: Being a Rotokawa Akonga
  • Maths Focus: Week 1-5 number knowledge, place value, basic facts
  • Strand Focus: Statistics
  • Science: Nature of Science and Living World
  • Literacy: Linking with our Learners Inquiry and living world science 

Nga mihi

Matua Regan and Lori Norton

Room 2 - Year 3

Teacher: Sue Cook & Christine Masters

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Term Letter

October 2018                                                                                   

      Kia Ora Parents, Caregivers and Whānau

Welcome to Term 4.  This is always a busy term and with only 9 weeks, it will go very fast!  Children need to bring their hats to wear when outside; caps are not considered to be ‘sunsmart’.  The children are encouraged to bring their water bottles into our classroom.  Your support with your child’s learning is gratefully appreciated!  We are very thankful to Tyler’s mum, Ange who has been coming in to help us with our reading.

What’s happening in Term 4?

Literacy:  At this age, reading daily at home, in conjunction with school is vital!  One of our mottos in our class is “Children who read succeed!” Your assistance with this is valuable!  Please keep a record at the back of your child’s home share book.  Many children in our class are reading at Gold (7.5-8 years) and above.  Often these children are reading their own chapter books and these too can be recorded. 

Writing: The children will write daily both on personal writing and writing for purpose.  Writing this term will be linked to our science theme Natural Disasters, where they will be recording observations, thoughts and feelings.  

Maths:  This term we will be engaging in activities on a rotational basis with a partner to practice our basic facts and other mathematical learning.  Part of the rotation includes meeting with the teacher.  How we teach the addition of 2 digit numbers has changed over the years.  We have attached a flyer that explains this.     

Māori:  We continue adding to our knowledge of location (up, down, in, out, etc), through waiata. The children will be learning to introduce themselves and others and respond to introductions.

Music:  For the beginning of this term the children will be learning to handle and experiment, through play, a variety of percussion instruments. We would also like to teach the children how to play a recorder.  For hygiene reasons you may want to consider buying your child their own as the school does not have enough for each child so there will be lots of disinfecting between sharing. We envisage playing at school assembly later in the term.  Please let us know if you will be buying your own recorder.

Health & P.E.  We have started training for our school Athletics day later in the term.  If the weather warms up we hope we may be able to utilise our swimming pool this term.  The children are encouraged to bring a plastic bag to put their wet togs in.  If you have any spare plastic bags these would be gratefully appreciated, although we know they are scarce!

Science: Week 1 - 4 is focusing on Natural Disasters, where the children learn how to prepare for an earthquake. This coincides and supports the ‘Great New Zealand Shake Out’ happening in week 1.  Following this we will attend virtual field trips where we will learn much more about natural disasters in NZ and be able to ask questions and interact with D.O.C. as they are out in the field.  Children will be encouraged to notice, think and wonder about their environment.

 We can also make good use of plastic takeaway containers, e.g. Chinese, if you no longer need these.  

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, or concerns regarding your child, or would like to have a chat about something!  It is important that children are happy at school for them to be able to learn.  I realise it is difficult for working parents to get into school so please feel welcome to email us at and

Nga mihi

Christine Masters and Sue Cook, Room 2 teachers

Room 2 teachers

Room 1 - Year 2

Teacher: Christina Roberts & Zoe Rankin

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Term Letter

Ko Whakapoungakau te pae maunga

Ko Waengaehe te awa

Ko Rotokawa te kura

Nau mai, haere mai, Welcome to Room 1, 2019. 

Room 1 is a group of year 2 students who work alongside 2 teachers. Whaea Christina works alongside students Monday, Tuesday and Friday  and Mrs. Rankin works Wednesday and Thursday. 

Last year, during the end of year transition to Room 1, our class completed some self-portraits using crayon, dye and wool. These self portaits helped our class to delve into our 2019, Term 1 learning topic – Identity/Tuakiri. Already, as part of learning about who we are, we worked with our parents/family to find out more about our names and where they came from. We also took home an “All About me bag’. In this bag, we needed to choose 3 items that best represented us and our Identity. These were shared with our class and provided for great discussions.

In Room 1, Play allows us to engage with learning (and the curriculum) by using our passions, strengths and interests as a driving force. It provides us with a chance to use our School Values, be collaborative, develop oral language and make decisions around participation, negotiation and conceding. Within our play, the curriculum content is explored, identified and discussed on a day to day basis.

As the year continues, we would love to combine the skills, knowledge, and relationships that you, your whānau and your child have with our own and our school's set of skills, knowledge, and relationships to support you and your child as they head into their second year of school.

If you want to check out our learning, come and visit Room 1!

Ngā mihi,

Christina and Zoe

Room 5 - Year 1/2

Teacher: Debbie Nurkka


Term Letter

Kia ora and welcome to Room 5!

We are a class of energetic year 1 and 2 learners. We have had a fantastic start to the year with the children already celebrating in their success and achievements.

Our class has a “buzzy bee” theme to it. Our systems in place relate to this theme. Our class motto is ”Bee the Best You can Bee”. Our positive behaviour reward system sees the children as little honey bees move from flower to flower collecting pollen, to get to the beehive for a prize. We will be learning a lot more throughout the year about bees and their importance to the environment.

We begin our day with a morning routine that includes karakia, PB4L (school values), oral language, sharing, phonics and fitness. We then get set up for writing in our literacy books. After morning tea until lunchtime we get into groups of 4. We move around the classroom and outside doing a variety of activities that align with Play Based Learning. While this is happening, reading and maths groups work with myself and our teacher aide Whaea Nadena. After lunch we get involved with the other curriculum learning areas, ie- The Arts, Physical Education, Social Sciences etc.

Our Inquiry learning this term is about Identity. We are finding out and becoming more aware of what makes us who we are, our strengths and interests, and our similarities and differences with other individuals and groups. We have been integrating our Inquiry learning with Writing and Maths using statistical investigations to find out more about each other and graphing our results.

Our swimming lessons are well underway in preparation for our Junior Swimming Sports Day next week. We are fortunate to have the pool for our class most afternoons (which has been great in this hot weather).

I look forward to the year ahead learning alongside my busy little bees in our Room Five Hive 

Room 4 - New Entrant

Teacher: Olwen Partelow


Term Letter

Kia ora and welcome to Room 4!

We are the new entrant class at Rotokawa School. We currently have 8 students but with many others visiting us during our transition to school on Friday mornings, it looks like we will be growing in numbers very quickly.

In Room 4 we are learning through play. This means we are noisy, messy, but most importantly we are having fun! We learn Reading, Writing and Math through traditional small groups but use the play to explore the other areas of the curriculum.

Since the weather has been so hot recently we have had water out most days, using just this one area we have explored the following areas of the curriculum,


The Arts - Drama - Contribute and develop ideas in drama, using personal experience and imagination.

Health and Physical Education -  Safety management • Describe and use safe practices in a range of contexts and identify people who can help.Community resources • Identify and discuss obvious hazards in their home, school, and local environment and adopt simple safety practices.

Mathematics and statistics - Measurement • Order and compare objects or events by length, area, volume and capacity, weight (mass), turn (angle), temperature, and time by direct comparison and/or counting whole numbers of units.

Science - Physical inquiry and physics concepts • Explore everyday examples of physical phenomena, such as movement, forces, electricity and magnetism, light, sound, waves, and heat. temperature and the effects.


If you have any questions about how we learn in Room 4 or if you would like to come and see our learning in action contact me to arrange an appointment.

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Helping Hands

Help Request Est.Time
Friends of the School help 2.5 hours
Transport and support 1 hour
Reading Buddies Needed 1 hour
Garden Help Needed 1 hour

We need help!
If you can help with any of the items above, please click on a task to find out more and volunteer.