Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 3

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Empowering Parents and Girls

As we begin the new year and settle into the routines of building our community of learners, we are excited about the programmes and initiatives that encourage our young women to value them themselves, support each other and build positive and healthy relationships.

The whanaungatanga groups are part of the focus within the school to give girls a sense of belonging and connectedness that enhances their well being. Staff and students alike are enjoying the opportunities to get to know each other better, share ideas and experiences and support their group.

The EAAA programme with the Year 12 girls has been very successful judging from the anecdotal comments we have collated. While we await the formal evaluation of the workshops that will be conducted by the University of Otago team, we are confident that we have given the girls valuable information and tools that will enable them to  be able to assess potentially difficult social situations, acknowledge the issues and act in a way to keep themselves and others safe.

Parent Workshop:  Tuesday March 7th 

As a follow on from our parent seminars last year, we continue to plan programmes and workshops for our parents that address the issues our girls are faced with through the internet, media and social media sites. We are proud to be able to offer another such opportunity by  organising an Otago wide workshop for parents of teenagers and pre-teens being presented by Maree Crabbe.

The workshop: “It’s time we talked: Pornography, young people and sexuality today” assists parents to understand the impact of pornography on young people and what they can do to address it.  It will be held onTuesday 7th March 7.00-9.00pm at the Otago Boys’ High School auditorium.

Maree Crabbe is an Australian researcher who coordinates the community education project Reality & Risk: Pornography, young people and sexuality.  She is co-producer and co-director of the documentary films Love and Sex in an Age of Pornography, broadcast in seven countries, and The Porn Factor, broadcast recently in Australia, and author ofIn the Picture – a whole school resource to assist secondary schools to address the influence of explicit sexual imagery.  Maree has worked with young people – and on issues affecting young people – in the community sector for over 20 years.  Maree’s articles on young people, sexuality and pornography have been published online and in print media.

Having had Maree present to  principals, teachers  and counsellors last year,  members of the Otago Secondary School Principals’ Association felt strongly that her information and messages would be very valuable for all our parents and so we have been very fortunate to be able to get her to Dunedin again for this workshop. Maree is an engaging, informative and expert speaker who works all over Australasia. I would urge you to take the time to attend the workshop.

Please pass the flyer (found here) to any friends and family who  are keen to support their daughters and sons to build healthy and happy relationships.

This workshop is free and available to all parents in Otago thanks to the generous support of the Otago Community Trust. 


Monday’s rain unfortunately meant the Year 9 Urban Day was postponed.  It is hoped that this will be run in the next two or three weeks.  The girls had a great time at River Ridge Retreat and returned this afternoon tired but happy. Tales will abound of facing challenges, learning new games, sleeping in tents, and helping with the dishes – all great skills for life

Students are departing for Summer Quad at Craighead on Sunday.  Good luck to all involved. This is a keenly fought competition and the girls are always so good at supporting and cheering each other on.

Whanaungatanga and year group photos are taking place on Wednesday.  Students are to be in formal uniform for this.


From the PFA

Last year we sold Ecostore ‘Good Soap’ as part of our fundraiser for the Sports and Cultural Fund.

We still have soap available and selling for just $2.50 each, the 80g Ecostore soaps are excellent value.  $1 from each soap goes to the Sports and Cultural Fund to assist our students to attend a range of New Zealand and International events.

If you would like to buy some soap (cash only) – or sell a box, please ask at the main office.

Student Achievement

Georgia Copeman has again been selected in the Otago Under 14 tennis team to compete this weekend against Southland, Lakes, North Otago and South Canterbury in a teams tournament.

The cricket season is underway and the school has three teams playing in the local competition.  Following on from the 1st XI success at last years nationals, Georgia and Kate Heffernan, Olivia Gain and Emma Black represented Otago U21 at the national tournament prior to Christmas each contributing to a successful team performance. Kate and Olivia have debuted for the Otago Sparks team in the national woman competition following the U21 tournament; Olivia on her 15th birthday making her possibly the youngest ever Sparks player. Emma and Georgia have also been in the Sparks squad this summer. Kate had a very successful campaign in three rounds for the Sparks and this culminated with an outstanding effort in the national T20 final last weekend where the Otago Sparks beat the highly favoured Canterbury Womans’ team by 5 runs. Kate took 4 wickets for 21 runs, all White Ferns in a stunning bowling display. Congratulations Kate on an outstanding effort.

Lastly, the  Year 7 and 8 team has been successful this week in the New Zealand Cricket Shield competition. They beat Kavangh and Fairfield and are now in the semi finals. Star of the team is Chloe Deerness whose 52no saw the team through to a respectable total of 128 which they were able to defend against Fairfield. Luana Ashton took 3 wickets and the team won in the last over. Thanks to Will Deerness for his assistance with the team.


Tolcarne News

The Year 9s had fun over the weekend with some of their Year 13 buddies joining in.  Leap on Friday was a hit and on Saturday they made cupcakes with Robyn and Barb in the kitchen.  They all gave one of their valentine themed cupcakes to their Year 13 buddy.

Monday was an eventful afternoon  due to the thunder,lightening and hail storm that followed.  The girls all managed well and it was wonderful to see so many girls helping out other girls as they busied themselves with drying of uniforms, backpacks and in some cases bed linen.

The Year 9s headed off to their retreat on Tuesday morning ready for a fun, challenging and collaborative camp.

It’s great to see so many active girls in the hostel – off to sports practices and games after school – hockey, rowing, touch tennis, volleyball, bike rides, runs and walks.  We are very proud in the Hostel of all of our junior and senior players in the Otago U18 and U16 touch teams, both teams were placed 2nd in the national event over the weekend – Olivia George, Annie Timu, Jaide Dixon, Savannah Cleland, Hannah McStay, Jess Faulks, Meg Timu, Biddi Johnson.


Chaplain’s Chatter

Chapels began this term with the tradition of Prefects’ Commissioning. The Prefect system at St Hilda’s started in 1906 and the girls still say many of the same words that were spoken back then. For example, the prayer they say is as follows:

Prevent us, O Lord in all our doings with Thy most gracious favour, and further us with Thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify Thy Holy Name, and finally by Thy mercy obtain everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

This might be hard to understand, with its old-fashioned wording, but basically the prefects are asking God to help them do what they need to do, and to prevent them from doing anything that they shouldn’t do, so that in everything they do, they are bringing glory to God.

This is probably a good prayer for us all!