Room 8 - Year 3/4

Teacher: Lori Norton

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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

Tena koutou katoa, nau mai haere mai ki te tau o 2019 i roto i te Ruma 10.

Greetings and welcome to 2019 in Room 10

Room 10 is made up of year 5 and 6 students aspiring to be leaders of Rotokawa School. Our class has a well-balanced program and caters for lifelong learners. This year we will be practicing to be responsible digital citizens, using Chromebooks as a tool to demonstrate our learning. Sporting skills and fitness activities are also a vital part of our health and wellbeing. In response to the cultural aspects of our Māori students, pakiwaitara me purakau o tatou tipuna - stories and knowledge from our ancestors will underpin our foci. 

Term 3 in Room 10

Reading: In reading, we will be learning to find the main idea of the story along with the supporting details. When using nonfiction text features for comprehension by identifying keywords, topic sentences, key questions, subheadings, and titles

Maths: To find simple equivalent fractions related to doubling and halving, for example, 3/4 = 6/8, and to convert improper fractions to mixed numbers, for example, 17/3 = 5 2/3.

Writing: To write a narrative story based on imaginative events or stories that do not actually happen and to include characters to react to the events of the plot.

Homework: In Room 10 homework is not monitored. However, there are reading books, spelling lists are available to collect and you can view your child's work online on Hapara if you or your child would like to consolidate learning at home. 

Behaviour Management: Positive Behaviour 4 Learning (PB4L) school values are introduced each week these are our guiding principles at school.

If your child is away please contact the office with a reason for their absence.

Please feel free to contact me by email at or you are welcome to come into the class and meet me before or after school.

Naku noa,

Lavinia Shepherd, Room 10 Teacher, Senior Team Leader, Sports Coordinator, Rotokawa School.

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

17th May 2019                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Kia Ora Parents, Caregivers and Whānau

We are pleased to welcome Kiri and Rihari to our whanau, who have settled into our classroom with ease!  The tamariki in our class have really impressed us! They all work together, consistently demonstrating our school values, striving to reach their next milestone and making us extremely proud to be their teachers!  We have already won the ‘Tidy Kiwi award’ several times this year and the Attendance trophy once, with a very close third last week. We had pizza last week to celebrate our successes!

This term our inquiry topic is Whakamana / Respect.  For writing the children will be learning procedural text.  This will be in the form of recipes, instructions and writing up science observations.  Language features they will be learning are how to begin a sentence with an action verb such as ‘put’ ‘mix’ ‘pour’ ‘place’, and writing events in order using words like ‘first’ ‘next’ ‘then’ ‘after that’ and ‘finally’.  We will continue to build on their personal writing, and strengthening their understanding of using adjectives, full stops, and capital letters.


The Science topic is ‘Plants, Petals, and Pollination’.  The tamariki will be learning to identify and label the parts of a plant and of a flower.  Throughout the term, they will also be given many opportunities to develop their thinking skills using ‘I notice’ ‘I think’ ‘I wonder’ when making scientific observations.  We will be germinating seeds, tracking and recording changes in growth. We will be learning about recycling where tamariki will design a biodegradable container to raise their seeds in, that will plant directly into the ground.  


Te Reo Maori is continuing from last term where the tamariki are developing a word bank based on feelings and emotion. Each Maori lesson, they learn kupu hou (new word) to describe how they are feeling. The context of this learning is, when they're asked the question, ‘Kei te pehea koe?’ (How are you?), they reply, ‘Kei te _____ ahau’, filling in the sentence with their kupu hou.  We will also be learning about the Te Arawa Journeys, which will be supported by our trip to the Museum next term. We will be reading about the legend of ‘Ngatoroirangi’ and incorporate this into the arts through role play and visual displays.


Wherever possible, our reading will focus around our Inquiry.  Maths, our focus is on Number knowledge; in particular place value of numbers and how this can help us to add numbers together.  Attached is a brochure to explain this further, in addition, a generic timetable for our classroom, although it can change!


We have already started training for our cross country later this term (please ensure they wear appropriate footwear to school) and upskilling on ‘winter sports’, in particular large ball skills.  If your child is unable to run for any reason a note/email, is required.   If your child is absent from school for any reason, a phone call/email or note on your child’s return is required.

Homework of nightly reading, practicing spelling and basic sight words (for those that are still learning them) continues.  Remember to sign your child’s reading log so they can receive five dojos for every 25 nights reading and Hell’s pizza vouchers!  We really appreciate the support you provide.  It is essential book bags come to school on a daily basis!

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.

Most mornings, Sue will be at our ‘Breakfast Club’ in Room 7 (Waikawa) between 8.15 to 8.45 a.m.  All of our tamariki are invited to come along. The more the merrier! We realise it is difficult for working parents to get into school so please feel welcome to email us at, or   


Nga mihi

Sue Cook and Christine Masters

Room 2 teachers

Room 1 - Year 2

Teacher: Christina Roberts & Zoe Rankin

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Term Letter

Kia Ora Parents, Caregivers and Whānau,

Welcome back to Term 3.

This term Room 1 will be continuing to engage in their learning in fun and interactive ways, learning to ask questions, to problem solve and to stretch their imaginations as they cooperate and interact with their peers.

Our focus this term will be around Leadership/Rangatiratanga. As a class we will delve into:

- What Leadership/Rangatiratanga means?

- Who can be leaders?

- How can we be leaders?

- Changes that we can plan and implement as leaders?

Last term, our tamariki showed a keen interest in Tracking and trapping predators to keep our native plants and animals safe. We will continue on with this concept through the idea of leadership.

So, what’s happening in Term 3?

Literacy:  Every day the children are engaged in reading and writing activities, working with the teacher and on independent tasks. Writing lessons are focused around whole class activities involving play, drama, imagination, hands on experience, class discussions, and debates, which are followed up by focused group/independent writing tasks. The children are also developing a love of reading and writing through group reading, stories read by the teacher, and exploring texts that appeal to their personal interests. We will be also supporting children to read and write poetry ready for our speech/poem recital later on in the term

Our reading and writing will be linked to our School-wide concept of Leadership/Rangatiratanga through texts and various genres of writing.

Maths:  Maths should be a fun and inclusive part of everyday learning.  As well as partaking in small, teacher-led maths groups, the children learn about the relevance of maths in all areas of their play and exploration.  The children are encouraged to explore and problem solve the maths questions that arise in the classroom and out on the playground, whether it is in terms of simple addition, or equal sharing, or measurement, or weight, or the skills required to build and design their own creations. 

Te Reo Māori: As we progress through the term, we will be looking into key leaders within Te Ao Māori (As well as leaders that connect to our tamariki). Delving into our local Puuraakau and Pakiwaitara - like Ihenga the Explorer - will allow us to build an understanding about leadership from the perspective of those that are younger. Throughout the term, we will also continue to develop our confidence with introducing ourselves. This will be utilised during speeches/peom recital near the end of the term.

Health & Mindfulness: This term Room 1 will be looking at the benefits of guided mindful activities and short child-specific yoga sessions. The children have already talked about the feelings of calm and happiness that they experience after simple breathing exercises and they are learning about how to manage their emotions so that they can better focus their learning brain.

P.E. This term, our focus will be around winter sports and the skills and techniques that we need to participate in these activities. Striking with an implement (hockey Stick), striking with a hand/foot (bouncing/kicking) and catching and throwing will be developed through fun games and activities.

Science and Inquiry: The school wide inquiry for Term 2 is ‘Rangatiratanga/leadership"  through

Leading a change

“He waka eke noa” A canoe which we are all in with no exception.

. Inquiry is largely child-led, inspired by the childrens wonderings and questions, and continuing on from last term, the children have expressed an interest in looking into the local environment and how we can respect the people and animals that live here. This will involve looking at pest control, the importance of Mokoia island, the reasons people live in Rotorua, and how we can protect our local area and the plant life through tracking and trapping of predators and pests.

The beauty of Inquiry learning is that the entire curriculum is intergral in order for our tamariki to be able to access, make use of and reflect on their learning. English, Science, Languages, Social Sciences, Technology, Health, Mathematics and Physical Education are all debveloped in one way or another!

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! Our door is always open and we are never more than a phone call or an e-mail away.  It is important that children are happy at school and we want Room 1 to be filled with happy faces.

Nga mihi

Zoe Rankin and Christina Roberts (Room 1 Teachers)

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.

During Term 1 our Inquiry learning was about Identity. We found out and became more aware of what makes us who we are, our strengths and interests, and our similarities and differences with other individuals and groups. We integrated our Inquiry learning with Writing and Maths using statistical investigations to find out more about each other and graphing our results. In Term 2 our Inquiry learning will have a focus on Respect. We will be learning different ways we can show respect to ourselves, each other and the world around us.

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. 

In Room 4 we are learning through play. This means we are noisy and messy, but most importantly we are having fun! We focus on learning to Read, Write and think Mathematically during traditional small groups and use play to explore this new knowledge and to extend our understanding of the other areas of the curriculum.

In term 2 there is a school wide focus on respect. The children in room 4 naturally reduce reuse and recycle all sorts of materials in their play and have repeatedly shown an interest in how to respect and care for the environment around them and this is the area we will explore. We will investigate how respect should look like in our school environment which will help us to become good citizens of Rotokawa School. This can then be extended to respecting our local environment and what we need to do to be good citizens of Rotorua. Finally we will be to look at how this links with our place in the world. 

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
Breakfast Club 1 hour
Reading Buddies 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.