Dear Parents and Caregivers,
A Note from The Principal
It is the beginning of a new year. We love having everyone back, seeing the familiar faces, how much some have grown, and the new faces – thinking how cool it is that they have decided to be a St Hilda’s girl. Our school is full with noise and laughter and the occasional screams. It feels like a new beginning.
Everyone looks relaxed, sun kissed, ready for the challenges of 2019. Congratulations to the seniors for their great exam results. We are proud of all, regardless of individual results. They gave it their best, that is all we can, and do, ask of them. I hope the students are looking forward to challenging themselves further this year, looking to the horizons, smiling as they go.
Some of you are new families – and we welcome you into our community. It is great to have you with us. We hope you enjoy our school as much as we do. This is a safe and inclusive place, and we want your daughters to enjoy being themselves here. Try new things, but they don’t have to try everything. Take it easy – look and learn. Seek first to understand, pace themselves. They have years ahead to experience all that St Hilda’s has to offer.
This year we are pleased to welcome our new staff. Mr Sutherland is Head of Performing Arts, Mr Potter will be teaching Music and Social Studies, Mr Armstrong will be teaching Technology, Mr Elwood will be teaching Mathematics and Te Reo, Miss Geary will be teaching Dance and Drama and Ms Paterson is our Science Technician.
We are absolutely delighted to have such excellent practitioners and experts in their respective fields. We are very lucky to have them and I know you will make them feel welcome
My message this week to the girls was around the importance of having the strength, courage and self belief to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. As a society we cannot afford to have our young women not be themselves and follow their dreams. Give a girl an education and the income of the village improves. Educate women and the economy of a society improves. Put women on the board of big companies and their profit and performance improves. The world improves.
So we need all of you – we need you to be you, to be individual, to think and act and be different to others, so we can all learn from each other. NO point in all being the same. The school you go to, where you live, the uniform you wear does NOT define you – how you act, how you treat others, how kind you are to yourself – that is what makes you who you are.
And if we shrink it right down to a really personal level, we need everyone in this school community to be able to be themselves. That’s staff, students, board members, parents, everyone – so that as a school we can be even stronger.
Summer Quad 17 -19 February
After a very enjoyable Winter Quadrangular Tournament in August last year it is now our turn to host the annual Summer Quadrangular Tournament at the beginning of week 4 in term 1 2019. The Summer Quad Tournament is played between St Hilda’s, Rangi Ruru, St Margaret’s and Craighead Diocesan, and involves the sports of Touch, Debating, Volleyball, Tennis and Swimming.
The tournament is taking place from Sunday 17th February – Tuesday 19th February and will require billet families to host girls from St Margaret’s, Rangi Ruru and Craighead on the Sunday and Monday evening, along with providing dinner on the Sunday evening, and lunch and dinner on Monday.
We need billet families for around 120 students and will require the support of the families of girls who are not directly involved in the quadrangular tournament themselves to host this number of girls. We would greatly appreciate it if you were able to accommodate these girls into your homes as they do for us. This tournament is unable to go ahead without the generous support of our St Hilda’s community hosting students from these traveling schools. Girls being hosted do not need their own room, unlike some other exchanges we have, so room sharing is more than acceptable in these circumstances.
Please indicate on via the link below if you are able to assist with billeting.
Key Dates coming up
Athletics Sports Tuesday 5th February – Caledonian Grounds. Students to arrive by 8:30am for roll call in Whanaungatanga Groups.
Meet the Deans evening Tuesday 5th February from 5:50pm – for Years &, 8, 9 and 11 parents.
Class and Group photos – Friday 8th February
Our first chapel of the year is 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, when they affirm their promise to set a high standard of honour and uprightness in the school by their example, they respond:
I do, God being my helper.
In this day and age of high stress and anxiety, of pressure and uncertainty, it can be hard to manage these things if we feel it is all up to us to do it. Our strong Western sense of individuality can make us feel as if we have to work through these things alone. But of course, we have friends, family, and others to support us – and we need to remember to ask for help! But the Christian faith also says that God is with us at every moment of every day, and we can call on God for help too.
At the end of the year, at Leavers’ Service, one of the readings is from Psalm 121, and it begins like this:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth …
It is good to know that something bigger than us, and outside of our own abilities and thoughts, is available to us at any moment of the day or night, to give us guidance, strength, peace, hope, and a sense of being valued. As the Prefects say at their Commissioning, may we all say: “I do, God being my helper.”
We had 6 girls competing at the NZSS Athletics Championships here in Dunedin over the weekend which saw some impressive results with Sarah Langsbury gaining a gold in the Junior 80m Hurdles and Silver in the Junior 300m Hurdles, Georgie Jessop also placed 6th in the Senior Girls Javelin and the Senior Road race place a very commendable 5th. Sarah Langsbury’s results mean she presently is a world ranked athlete in U18 100m Hurdles which is a very impressive achievement.
Touch – The touch teams competed in the NZSS tournament over the summer break and are 9th in NZ.
Nicola Post, Anna Hutchens, Issie Robertson, Evie Rose Grace and Stephanie Post have been accepted into the prestigious New York Academy of Sciences’ Global STEM Alliance (GSA) STEM U mentoring program.
The New York Academy of Sciences is one of the country’s oldest and most widely respected scientific organisations. These girls will be working with a mentor assigned by the Academy on coursework emphasising, leadership, communication, and critical thinking. They will also network with a group of peers and STEM professionals on a virtual platform.
Holly Bissett was accepted into the National Computer Science School for January 2019. She was invited based upon her perfect score in the NCSS challenge earlier this year.
Congratulations to Breane Byck who has been selected by NZIHF to Represent and play for NZ in the National U16 Ice Hockey Team. The team is heavily weighted with boys so to be named as goalie on the squad is a very impressive achievement.
New Zealand School Trustees Association
NZSTA is working very hard to encourage parent and whanau participation on school boards in order to help shape and support the education of their children. To that end, we will be rolling out the Korari Programme for anyone interested in finding out about standing for the school board elections and having a say in the education of their children.
Please find resources about this below: