Category Archives: Weekly News

Weekly News – Term 3/Week 1

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

A Note from The Principal

Welcome back to an exciting Term 3. This is a great term for consolidating learning, building skills for key sports and cultural events, and sharing some special community activities. I hope you all had a relaxing and rewarding break and are ready for the excitement that lies ahead!

Thank you to students, staff, the PFA, Tolcarne and the rowing parents who all contributed towards a very successful Open Evening last night.
The theme of the evening was “Can Do” and from the word go our guests were treated to Stephanie Post playing the violin, Sarah Lee on piano, the Kapa Haka welcome and Sings Hilda performing one of its items for the national Big Sing Finale.
In classrooms prospective Year 7 and 9 students were invited to join in activities, sample delicious chocolate cupcakes developed for gluten free eating and learn about the problem solving required to develop a functioning robot.
The Year 12 and 13 guides managed to answer the myriad of questions with grace and ease and families enjoyed a cup of tea in the Chapel at the end of the night provided by the PFA.
Jackie Barron

Back to the Future

We would like to invite you in to experience what school is like in 2018.

On Friday 17th August we are going to run open classrooms. This will allow you to come and join in the learning. You will have the option of a morning or afternoon and within this time you will get to experience four classes.

Our aim is for you to be a part of the class not just an observer. You will be an interactive, independent, 21st Century Learner – be prepared to be challenged, curious and have fun.

There will be more details to come but we will require you to RSVP for this event.

Seminars : Anxiety, depression and unrelenting standards of perfection. How to Parent for Wellbeing

New Zealand is leading the world in appalling youth mental health statistics.

Come and hear what your daughters have told us about their own feelings and experiences and explore research based strategies on how to support our young women by parenting for Wellbeing.

These workshops will be really useful for all parents. You are welcome to bring friends, family and colleagues to share these interactive workshops.

We all need to be involved in the increasingly important discussions around youth and wellbeing.

See the dates below for our upcoming seminars. Venues to be confirmed.

Balclutha – 2 pm Sunday 19 August

Gore – 5 pm Sunday 19 August

Cromwell – 7 pm Monday 20 August

Oamaru – 7 pm Wednesday 22 August

Dunedin – 7 pm Thursday 30 August

Please put these dates in your diary. More details will follow.

Year 11-13 Subject Selection

The portal to enter your daughters 2019 Year 11-13 subject selection is now open and will close again on Monday 27 August. The portal can be accessed via the Parent Portal and the link in the online Academic Programme. Please get in touch with the school office in the first instance if you have forgotten your login details.
Alongside the recent release of the Senior Academic Programme, we warmly invite parents/caregivers of current Year 10-12 students to our Course Design Evening, which will be held at 6:00pm on Tuesday 7 August. The evening will be focused on looking at the resources that are available to assist families to make an informed course selection for 2019.
The evening involves a series of workshops allowing you to rotate around three mini workshops on:
  • Understanding NCEA.
  • Navigating the on-line Academic Programme plus interactive careers online resources.
  • St Hilda’s graduate profile and how it is related to subject selection including exceptions e.g. 5 verses 6 subjects, multi-level study.
A more detailed copy of the evening’s programme and timings will be e-mailed to families next week.

Junior Dances

We are holding our St Hilda’s junior dances next week.

The Year 7 and 8 dance is on Wednesday 1st August from 7 pm to 9 pm.

The year 9 and 10 dance will be on Thursday 2nd August from 7 pm to 9.30 pm

Both dances will be held in Whitby Hall. The student council will be selling tickets on Monday and Tuesday of next week in the student foyer/quad. The tickets will be $5.00.

If you have any questions please contact Judy Maw on

Call for Host Families

We are still short of host families for around 12 girls from Craighead and St Margarets for the upcoming Winter Sports Quad Tournament which takes place from Sunday 5th August to Tuesday 7th of August
If you are able to host 1 or 2 of these girls for the tournament please see the details and link below for more information, any assistance would be greatly appreciated at this time.

Winter Sports Quadrangular Tournament 

This year it is St Hilda’s turn to host the annual Winter Quadrangular Tournament. This is played between St Hilda’s, Columba, St Margaret’s and Craighead Diocesan, and involves the sports of Hockey, Debating, Badminton and Netball.
The tournament is taking place on Sunday 5th August – Tuesday 7th August and will require billet families to host girls from St Margaret’s and Craighead on the Sunday and Monday evening, along with providing dinner on Sunday evening, and lunch and dinner on Monday.
We need billet families for around 70 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 travelling schools.
Please note: 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.
Any questions please feel free to contact Callum Wardell –
All the best to the senior textile girls who have entered their garments in the  Hokonui Fashion Awards which are being judged tonight. It will be a very special thing to see their designs on the catwalk.

New date for PFA AGM

The PFA AGM which had to be postponed last term is now taking place on Tuesday 31st July. This meeting will take place in the Library from 7pm.


Just a reminder that we have some minor changes to staffing this term as we adjust our timetable around learning initiatives.

We are delighted to announce that Anna Garthwaite has been appointed to the role of Specialist Classroom Teacher. This role encompasses leading pedagogical practice and development in the school, and assisting teachers with curriculum and classroom interests.

This role has a time allocation with it, which means Dr Townsley will pick up two hours of Year 7  Maths and Mrs Barron will assist with Year 7 and 8 Reading.

Miss Dunn and Ms Bartley will be working together to develop a new Year 9 and 10 Science Programme in the first 5 weeks of the term. Science specialist, Mrs Astwood will teach Mrs Bartley’s Year 11 Science class and Ms Dunn’s Year 10 Science class for that time.

We are lucky to have a teacher of Mrs Astwood’s calibre to call on, while our staff commit to enhancing our current courses to further assist girls with their learning.

Don’t forget to have your say – NCEA Review process

The Ministry of Education is presently looking at ways to strengthen NCEA and is exploring a variety of ways to gain feedback from different stakeholders. They want to hear from parents and students and ask you to join in the conversation to submit your ideas, experiences and suggestions for change:

We urge you to visit this site to see the ways in which you can give your views.

As a school we will be talking with students and plan to run a parent seminar on 12th September as part of the consultation process.

Careers News and Events

New information has been added to the careers page.  To view visit the Career Events calendar.

A reminder to check the Sports Draws page of the website to keep up to date with match times. The netball draws are posted each week in readiness for the weekend’s matches.

From the Guidance Network


Chapel Matters

Image result for ordinary time symbols

In the church’s calendar, with all its seasons, like Lent and Advent, this term sees us right in the middle of what is called Ordinary Time. It is called “ordinary” not because it is plain or boring but because it is to do with counting the weeks between Easter and Christmas – and when we count things off, or when we put them in order, like 1st, 2nd, or 3rd we call these “ordinal numbers.” This week right now is the 17th week of Ordinary Time, because it is the 17th week since Easter.

One of the things about Ordinary Time is that it is a chance to put into practice things that can help us grow, spiritually, emotionally, in terms of who we are as people in this world. The liturgical colour for Ordinary Time is green as this primarily symbolises growth, and just as seedlings take time to grow into strong trees, the skills and attitudes that we might want to cultivate in our lives also take time to grow and bear fruit. Ordinary Time is a chance to cultivate good skills and habits, to practice things that are good for us (and good for those around us), things which can be quite simple and ordinary – like being kind or grateful, or praying and being mindful – but which actually have an extraordinary power to change our lives.

Student Achievement

Our 9A and 10A Netball teams spent the first few days of the Holidays competing against the best junior netball teams in the South Island at the South Island Secondary School Junior Netball Tournament held in Christchurch. Both teams doing extremely well with the year 10A team placing 4th and the year 9A’s also placing a very commendable 6th place. Both teams had a great tournament and are looking forward to finishing off the Saturday competition strongly in the coming weeks

We also had our Rugby team away competing in the South Island Secondary School Girls Rugby Festival in Oamaru. With a mixture of girls ranging from year 9 to year 13 the girls played some fantastic Rugby finishing 5th overall

Olivia and Emma Andrew represented St Hilda’s at the South Island Secondary School Swim Meet in Blenheim and achieved some fantastic results in doing so

Olivia Andrew
– Womens 15 &O 100 IM – 1st
– Womens 15 &O 50 Free – 1st
– Womens 15 &O 200 Back – 1st
– Womens 15 &O 50 Back – 1st
– Womens 15 &O 100 Free – 1st

Emma Andrew
– Womens 14 & U 100 IM – 3rd
– Womens 14 & U 50 Free – 4th
– Womens 14 & U 100 Free – 4th
– Womens 14 & U 100 Fly – 7th

An exciting term ahead with a number of tournaments and finals spots up for grabs for our winter sports teams

Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 8

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

The annual ODT Extra Spelling quiz took place at Otago Girls’ High School hall on the evening of Thursday June 21st. It was a tense evening for the Year 10 team. Last year, they had gained second place, being beaten by one point. In fact for the past four years they had come second! This was their last year in the competition and they were determined.

The team, Lauren Heng, Emily WIlson and Brianna Le, had a tough competition. They were leading at half way, but the rounds were tough asking them not only to spell words such as ‘ archaic’ and ‘homogenous’ but also know where words originated from and the cunning ‘ guess the word’ using as few clues as possible, There were 99 points up for grabs. They gained 84….. To take the win!

Please note the PFA Annual General Meeting is being held next Tuesday 26th June at 7:00pm in the library.

Weather permitting, the  St Hilda’s Cross Countris being held next Wednesday 27 June  in the afternoon with races  beginning around 2:00pm.

A reminder to check the Sports Draws page of the website to keep up to date with match times. The netball draws are posted each week in readiness for the weekend’s matches.

From the Guidance Network

In this interesting TED talk Reshma Saujani discusses why we need girls to be brave not perfect. Click here to watch.

Chapel Matters

Do you have a Subaru as your family car? Have you ever wondered what the word “Subaru” means? It is the Japanese name for the star cluster known as the Pleiades, the seven sisters, or – for Maori – Matariki. You can see this on their logo!

This week marks the beginning of Matariki here in Aotearoa New Zealand. Traditionally for Maori, when Matariki appeared just before dawn in late May or June, this time was seen as the beginning of the new year, and therefore it has traditionally meant a time to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future. Matariki is a good time to pause and reflect on life; to take stock of things and both look back on the journey of the past year as well as forward to the one that lies ahead. As we do that, we can appreciate those who have gone before us, who have paved the way, such as we will do at the end of term for Founders’ Day. We can also remember loved ones who have passed away, those we miss, and those who we no longer see, for whatever reason. And then we can also think about the rest of the year ahead, and renew our goals and resolutions for this year.

See if you can find Matariki in the night sky sometime over the next month. If you are not sure where to find this star cluster, have a look at this video from Te Papa. As you look up at Matariki, look back on your past and thank God for those who have gone before you, look around be aware of your present and enjoy the gifts of today, and look forward to the future, and all that lies in store, and ask God to bless your goals and your hopes.

Careers News and Events

New information has been added to the careers page.  To view visit the Career Events calendar.

Tolcarne News

Last weekend at Tolcarne the Year 9’s tried out a boxing class for the first time. They had a great time learning how to dodge, playing games, and learning to hit the punching bag correctly. The next day they were all a little sore but said they had had a great time.

This week we have had Sergeant John Hedges, the Dunedin Community Relations Officer, talking to our students about how to keep themselves safe on social media, how to look after each other during tough times, and how to cope and deal with peer pressure. John was humorous and fun, while being confronting, and made the students really reflect about all the different topics.

Student Achievement

Congratulations to Breane Byck who recently trialed and was selected to represent Southland, New Zealand in the 2019 Ice Hockey Friendship Games. The event is being held in Hachinohe, Japan.
Farrin Quin, Year 10, won the Otago and South Island Badminton Under 15 singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles (triple crown!) last weekend. Well done Farrin!

Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 7

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Poetry In Action’s theatre company’s Team Raven visited St Hilda’s this week. For year 11 students, they gave an emotional and affecting performance focusing on the WW1 poet Wilfred Owen’s life and works. Not only did they dramatise key moments in his life from his religious upbringing, to the trenches and his pivotal meeting with Siegfried Sassoon, they also dramatised and analysed some of his most famous works such as Futility and Anthem for Doomed Youth. It ended with a retrospective look by the UK’s poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s  Last Post which takes inspiration from Owen’s iconic poem Dulce Est and thinks about what if history could be rewound.

For the year 10’s, Poetry in Action looked at the concept of Fact Vs Fiction. In an age where alternative facts are used and clickbait entices us everywhere, they made us realise that we should question everything we are given in the media; to consider its origin, the writer or presenter and examine the language that is used. They used real life examples such as Trump’s inauguration and fictional retelling of real events, where the Aristotelian idea of Pathos was used to garner the reader’s sympathy.

Both explored words and the power of words. In an age where images are used so graphically, it was good to be reminded that words still have the power to excite, that they are worth examining to get to the truth of the matter.

“All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful.” Owen

We have secured a new date for the annual St Hilda’s Cross Country seeing this was cancelled at the end of term 1 due to the weather. This will be taking place in two weeks time on Wednesday 27 June from 1:00pm – 3:15pm at Ross Creek starting on the John McGlashan Field – All girls will be bused there from school but will need to make their own way home at the conclusion of the event. Ross Creek is an awesome place to run/walk/jog so we are very lucky to be able to use it to host our Cross Country – Fingers crossed the weather is on our side this time!

Over the past two weeks Years 7, 8 and 10 have been taking part in the Girls’ Self Defence Project funded by the Ministry of Social Development and ACC. The girls learn how to think and act confidently, to be aware of their safety, verbal and physical skills to keep themselves safe and to seek support if needed.

From the Guidance Network

‘Understanding and dealing with rejection is an essential life skill if your child is to live a happy, successful personal and professional life.’ Click here for suggestions from Ann Heathcote, founder of The Worsley Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling, about how you can help your daughter to deal with the realities of life.


Chapel Matters

As you will know, at the end of every term we have a Eucharist Service. The word “eucharist” comes from the Greek word “eu” (meaning “good” or “well,” as in the word “eulogy” where someone speaks well of a person) and “charis” (meaning “grace” or “gift”). So “eucharist” means the “good gifts” or “good grace” of God – the gifts of bread and wine which we are thankful for (literally and/or symbolically!). It is also appropriate then that we share or pass on the goodness and grace we have received with others as a sign of our gratitude. As a school, one of the ways we do this is to support Anglican Family Care in some practical way leading up to our end-of-term Eucharist Service. This term AFC have asked if we can provide some clothing items for their social workers to support families with new babies who will struggle to keep warm (and healthy) over winter. Each whanaungatanga group is being asked, therefore, to provide one item of warm, woolly, winter clothing for a baby. If you wanted to donate anything over and above this please feel free to drop any items to me at school or directly to AFC at the office (266 Hanover Street, the old McKenzie & Willis building). They would be very grateful, as would many Dunedin families and babies!


Careers News and Events

New information has been added to the careers page.  To view visit the Career Events calendar.

Tolcarne News

Last weekend we had a large group of Year 9 students head off to play laser tag and mini golf at the Megazone in Dunedin. Well done to Fiona Hunt who won the laser tag, and Rosie Dykes for winning the mini golf. This weekend there is a group of students giving a boxing class a go! Have fun!


This week our Year 12 and 13 students were incredibly privileged to have ‘Dots’ Communication presented by Amy Scott. ‘Dots’ is about finding out your communication style and learning to recognize others communication style so that you can connect with new people instantly, and work with them to achieve in many areas of life. Our staff participated in a morning course with Amy at the beginning of the year and have found the understandings and language very useful in our team environment. It was so exciting to have Amy back to share her knowledge so that the students could begin to understand what we mean when we are “feeling a bit ‘yellow’ today!”


Student Achievement

Congratulations to the team of Emma Boult, Lily Knox, Kate McEwan and Courtney Lloyd for their success at the 48hr Fim Festival Dunedin City Finals. The girls took out Best School Team, Best use of one of the required elements and 4th overall.


We had a highly successful  Otago Netball Championships over Sunday 10 and Monday 11 June with St Hilda’s doing very well.
Congratulations to:


The Senior A ‘s was placed first beating Columba in the final 33 -20.
The Year 10 A team placed 3rd beating Otago Girls 24 -20.
The Year 9 A’s placed 2nd losing to Taieri 15 -20 in its final.


Well done to Jessica Scott who has been selected for the New Zealand Team to compete at the 2018 State Teams Age Group Swimming Championships at the Australian Sports Institute in Canberra in October

Olivia O’Neill who has been selected for the NZ U18 Girls Touch team to compete in the Youth World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August. Olivia has also been named as a co captain of the team. Congratulations Olivia!

Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 5

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Earlier this week some of our senior students participated in an overnight joint Spanish immersion camp with four other schools from Otago and Southland. They experienced a range of activities focusing on using as much Spanish as possible, while making new connections and expanding their cultural knowledge.

A reminder that school will finish at 11.50am next Friday, 8th June due to a PPTA paid union meeting. There will be supervision in the library for students who need to stay at school until the end of the school day. Please notify the school office if your daughter will need to remain at school on this afternoon (contact Karen Mowat on 477 0989 or email Buses will be running to normal timetables/.

NCEA fees have been put onto your latest accounts. We collect these on behalf of NZQA and require these to be paid by mid August (Friday 17 August). There is financial assistance available.  Click here to get the details and access to the application form. These forms need to be completed and dropped into school to be processed.

Assessment Guidelines

With a number of classes completing assignments students sometimes find it hard to know the guidelines for authenticity of their work and I thought it would be good to share with parents the general rules around plagiarism that we follow.

Plagiarism is the act of presenting the work — words, thoughts, ideas, research, art — of other people as your own. ANY time you incorporate information into your project, assessment or research report that is NOT your own idea, thoughts, or research, you need to indicate, with in-text citations and a formal bibliography, where you found that information.

There are only a few instances in which you probably do not need to cite your sources.  You do not need to cite your sources if you are writing your own words, ideas, or original research.  You also do not need to cite information that is considered common knowledge, such as:

  • facts that are found in many sources (example: Marie Antoinette was guillotined in 1793.)
  • things that are easily observed (example: Many people talk on cell phones while driving.)
  • common sayings (example: Every man has his price.)

If you ever have ANY questions, be on the safe side and ask your teacher.


The Big Sing takes place on Wednesday 6 June. The adjudicated sessions are open to the public for a gold coin donation. Sings Hilda are performing at approximately 10.30 am and Nga Korimako at 4.00 pm.

In the evening there is a Festival of Choirs Concert, each choir will have the opportunity to perform one of their pieces. Ticket for the evening concert are $20 for adults, $15 for NZCF members and beneficiaries, $5 for school students and $45 for a family of 2 adults and up to 3 children. Tickets are door sales only.

Families are also  invited to attend the Anglican Family Care Winter Warmer Music Concert on 14 June at St Matthews Church. Sings Hilda will be performing at the concert. Tickets are $20 for adults, free for children and can be purchased by calling 03 477 0802 or via the Anglican Family Care website.


From the Guidance Network

Bullying is once again making headlines with a 16-year-old boy rushed to Middlemore Hospital after he was assaulted during interval at James Cook High School in Manurewa and the horrendous online treatment of Liverpool keeper Loris Karius by Liverpool fans this week. Read the attached article to learn how you can help to protect your child against cyberbullying.

Chapel Matters

Queen’s Birthday Weekend is upon us – the last long weekend for most people until Labour Weekend! The actual birthday of Queen Elizabeth II is April 21st and this year she turned 92. If you watched the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, you will have seen that the Queen is going strong!

The day before her birthday this year, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, the Queen formally announced that Prince Charles would be her successor. One of the central titles held by the Queen is “Defender of the Faith,” a title first granted in 1521 to Henry VIII by Pope Leo X because of a book Henry wrote in defence of the Catholic church against Martin Luther. When Henry broke with the Catholic church over his wish to divorce Catherine of Aragon in 1530, the title was revoked by the Pope. However, the English Parliament conferred the title on him again, although this time meaning defender of the Anglican faith. Prince Charles has stated that he wants to change this 500 year old title to “Defender of Faith, not the Faith,” as a way of promoting understanding and respect between people of different faiths within the Commonwealth.

The wedding of Harry and Meghan took place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, as I am sure you know. But did you know that Henry VIII is buried there, in the floor of the Quire (with Jane Seymour)? I wonder what he would think of Prince Charles, future Defender of Faith, as he walked Meghan up the aisle, right over the burial plaque, and of the Queen, as she sat nearby, the current Defender of the Faith. At the very least, I am sure he approved of the marriage of a prince and a divorcee.

Careers News and Events

New information has been added to the careers page.  To view visit the Career Events calendar.

Student Achievement

Lillian Gibbs participated in two NEWZATS Otago vocal competitions last weekend for years 11-13. She placed 3rd in the Cleveland Contemporary competition on Friday 25th and placed 1st in the Aparima classical competition on 27th.

The Otago Secondary School Cross Country Series has been going for the last 4 weeks with a steady contingent of St Hilda’s girls competing in a number of different events.

Otago Southland Secondary School Relay Championships

SHCS Snr A  2nd

SHCS Jnr A 4th

Otago Secondary School Cross Country Champs

U19 Girls – Cecilia Crooks 1st, Georgia Mitchell 3rd, Brianna Thomson 6th

U16 Girls – Giana Thomas 6th

U15 Girls – Annabel Bilkey 4th, Sarah Langsbury 6th

U14 Girls – Annabelle McKnight 19th

Congratulations to all girls who competed, at times in challenging conditions!


Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 4

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

This week the Year 12 Geography field trip was held at Mount Cook. Below is a photo of the girls gathering data at the Red Tarns for their research assessment. The girls also got to enjoy the winter wonderland as a result of this week’s cold snap.


The school received the  lovely update below from  St Hilda’s old girl Sarah Cochrane in Ghana this week on the resources donated by St Hilda’s in 2017:

I just thought I’d send you an email to let you know how the resources St Hilda’s donated are being used here in Ghana. I have decided to give some of the less ‘arty’ stationery to the Lattitude Library, which is a room in one of the teacher’s houses that has been transformed into a sort of ‘after school club’. I volunteer there in the afternoons after school, and it is an initiative that has the kids learning ICT and English reading skills.  ICT is taught only theoretically in the classroom, on the blackboard, but at the library we are lucky enough to have a few computers with Word Document, for the children to share. However, as we can get up to 30 children each afternoon, 3 computers do not occupy everyone, which is where the donated stationery comes in. With this, they can do art projects and practice English writing while waiting their turn to use a computer, which is an awesome way for every child to be able to do something worthwhile at the library every day, as there is often not a lot for the children to do in the village. 
Some of the more colourful stationery, like coloured pencils and paint, will be donated to the kindergarten class at the M/A primary school. 2 fellow volunteers and I are currently in the process of painting their classroom with things like numbers, letters, shapes, a height measuring chart, the solar system, ‘how to wash your hands’ instructions, and a game of hopscotch on the floor. The donated paintbrushes and paint have been extremely useful for this, and the coloured pencils will allow the kids to continue to be creative at this young age. 

Everyone is very grateful for the donated resources, so thank you for making this possible! 

A World Challenge Parent Night will be held next Tuesday 29th May. Allan from World Challenge will be there to talk through the huge and unique opportunity to learn some life-skills and undertake some project work in a developing world country.


A friendly reminder to parents to return permission slips and EOTC forms in a timely manner for school excursions and trips.

Learning Conversations and Progress Reports

Learning conversations will be held in Week 7 to allow parents and students to meet with subject teachers around their learning and next steps. These will be held over two evenings and Friday afternoon. While we realise it is hard to get to these events at times we would encourage you to still make an appointment for your daughter even if you are unable to make it.

Details and logon codes will be sent out a week before the first learning conversation.

A progress report will be emailed home at the end of week 10.

Chapel Matters

This week we have had students from the Amnesty International group take chapel, and next week students from the 40 Hour Famine group will take chapel. It is great to see so many students passionate about justice and committed to making a difference in the world. God has a heart for the poor and marginalised in the world, for those who are suffering from injustice, and implores us to be likewise compassionate for them. In fact, there are more verses in the Bible about God’s concern for poverty and justice than for just about anything else! The Old Testament prophets often spoke on behalf of God, calling for the people to stop focusing on their celebrations and sense of self-importance, and instead to start caring for the poor. Amos has this to say:

Listen to this, people of Israel,

this Message I’m sending in bold print, this tragic warning:

Woe to you who turn justice to vinegar, and stomp righteousness into the mud.

There are some among you who trample on the poor,

and take their bread right out of their mouths.

But seek good and not evil, that you may live,

so that the Lord God Almighty will be with you.

Hate evil and love good, and establish justice at the gate.

This is what the Lord God Almighty says:

“Let justice roll on like a river,

righteousness like a never-failing stream!”

(Amos 5, selected verses, The Message version).

It is good to see so many students taking messages such as this to heart, and getting involved in the causes that Amnesty International and World Vision have put before us.

Careers News and Events

New information has been added to the careers page.  To view visit the Career Events calendar.

Tolcarne News

Congratulations to Grendon, one of our Tribes, who won the ‘Met Gala’ themed costume making competition on Monday. The Tribes had to create a costume using only newspaper and sellotape that was inspired by this years Met Gala. Thank you to the models for giving amazing poses and the Tribe Leaders for being so enthusiastic.
The Year 9’s enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon in the school gym last Sunday, playing games organised by our Year 12 Boarding Leaders, Steph Post and Alannah Hamilton. They played Dodge ball, ballon game and a few other German games that Steph had played during her time in Germany. Thanks girls! We hope you had fun!

Student Achievement

Well done to a 10-strong St Hilda’s team who had a successful meet in the weekend at the Otago Secondary School Champs with a number of top-three and top-ten placings.

Girls 15 Over:
Cecilia Crooks 1st 200 Backstroke
Jessica Scott 1st 200 Butterfly, 1st 50 Freestyle, 1st 100 Butterfly, 1st 50
Olivia Andrew 1st 100 Freestyle, 3rd 100 Backstroke, 3rd 100IM , 4th 200
Backstroke, 4th 50 Freestyle
Nicole Heaton 2nd 50 Backstroke, 2nd 100 Backstroke, 3rd 200 Backstroke, 3rd
200 Breaststroke, 6th 100 Breaststroke, 6th 50 Breaststroke, 7th 50
Isabella Gold 3rd 50 Breaststroke, 3rd 200IM, 4th 100 Breaststroke, 5th

Girls 14 Under:
Molly Whittaker 3rd 200 Breaststroke, 6th 100 Breaststroke, 6th 50
Breaststroke, 6th 200IM
Emma Andrew 3rd 200 Backstroke, 7th 50 Back, 7th 100 Freestyle, 7th 100
Backstroke, 8th 50 Free
Anna Hutchens 4th 200 Freestyle, 6th 200 Backstroke
Meg McLaughlan 4th 200 Breaststroke, 8th 100 Breaststroke, 8th 50

200IM Girls
2nd (Nicole Heaton, Isabella Gold, Jessica Scott, Cecilia Crooks)
5th (Emma Andrew, Molly Whittaker, Olivia Andrew, Anna Hutchens)

Congratulations to Lucie Holtz who was away last week representing New Zealand at the ISU Oceania Novice International Ice Skating Competition in Melbourne. Lucie skated in the Basic Novice A division and was placed 16th.

Lucie was also selected as a demonstrator for the Brian Orser Coaching Seminar

Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 3

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Bring It On – The Musical opened on Wednesday and it was an incredible opening night.

The cast started working on the show in February and the hard work was plain to see. The show was slick, entertaining, funny, heartbreaking and hugely enjoyable. The lead, Kate Johnston owned the stage as Campbell, the determined cheerleader who learns a lot about friendship through her interaction with the sassy Danielle played by Helen Knott.

The cast had a lot of fun in the dance numbers and there was huge energy projected. The audience loved it. Thanks to all concerned, but especially Barbara Power the Director, Michael Grant, the Musical Director and Destiny Carvell, the Choreographer.


The school was a sea of pink today as the girls took part in Pink Shirt Day as part of Bullying-Free NZ Week.

Please note the PFA Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 26th June at 7:00pm in the library.

Health of the Students over the winter

With the winter season upon us it is important that students when unwell are not at school. They need to rest and return when recovered so they are able to continue their learning programme with a clear head. Each student needs to ensure they have a few throat lozenges and a “purse pack” of tissues for everyday use. The student office, in an emergency, will provide a student with a maximum of two panadol a day. It is our policy to contact a family if your daughter is unwell for more than acceptable length of time. This may be a shorter time in winter when the sickroom is under pressure with an increase of unwell students.


If your daughter’s medical history changes at any time please email Mrs Donna Madigan at the Student Office ( or with the details so she can update our KAMAR records.


Careers News and Events

Check back regularly for updates on careers information and events through the Career Events calendar.

From the Guidance Network

Many of you will remember  “13 Reasons Why”, released last year. It created a lot of discussion and concern, with people worried about young people watching and interpreting themes in isolation, while some people thought bringing these issues into the open was positive.

Season two will be released worldwide on Friday 18 May. This show was widely watched by teenagers last year. Themes of suicide, sexual assault, consent, bullying and other issues made some viewers feel distressed and in need of support. Similar and equally confronting themes will be present in season two. In the lead-up to the release, some young people may re-watch the first season, or watch it for the first time.

Some young people feel the show represents the issues they face. Banning or recommending a ban on viewing it can be harmful, as some young people will still watch it but feel they have to hide that from adults.

The issues raised in the series are significant and if your child does watch it, it offers a good opportunity to talk to them about these difficult life events – but it is important that those conversations are safe ones.

Some of this information is already available on the resource hub on the Mental Health Foundation website Additional support material will be added to this hub prior to 18 May.

13 Reasons Why is not the only challenging series young people are watching but it is one of the most talked about. The Office of Film and Literature Classification has released a guide for parents: Talking with young people about what they’re watching

Other resources are also available at the Mental Health Foundation’s hub of resources

If you are concerned about a young person, please reach out for help. The Mental Health Foundation have a list of contacts  or phone your local DHBs Mental Health Crisis Team. Support is also available from a trained counsellor anytime by calling or texting 1737.

Tolcarne News

Tolcarne’s Mother’s Day High Tea was a beautiful time for some of our mother’s to spend time with their daughters. Thank you to those who came, and to Robyn and her helpers for making and creating such an amazing atmosphere.
Tolcarne has been alive with the rumblings of excitement as we have prepared for our Open Day on Thursday this week. Girls were frantically getting their doors and hallways decorated on Wednesday night, with themes like The Greatest Showman, Smurfs, Rainbows, The Cow Jumped Over the Moon, and High School Musical. They have done a fantastic job!


Student Achievement

Year 12 student Tamara Mason has been selected to attended Entrepreneurs in Action in Wellington.  She is one of 80 students chosen out of 3900 from around New Zealand and will be working in a group on some challenges with business mentors.

Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 2

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

We have students visiting St Hilda’s from Global Public School, in South India, from 13 June to 20 June.  We are looking for families who would like to host an Indian student for 7 nights.  The students will participate in St Hilda’s classes and also have activities arranged for them during the day.  Families will be remunerated for hosting as well as have the opportunity to experience and learn about a different culture and potentially develop a long-lasting friendship.  We have had great experiences hosting this school in the past and look forward to seeing them again next month. We enjoy them sharing wonderful aspects of their own culture in our school community.

For more information please contact Ange or Nele in the International Department,, or phone 477 0989.

On Friday morning the Z Club hosted a Pink Ribbon Breakfast. Zonta member Denise Gow was the guest speaker for the event talking about her life experiences and resilience. The event was sponsored by Copper, No 7, New World and the Warehouse.

2018/2019 Entertainment books and memberships are now on sale. Purchasing your membership via the fundraiser for St Hilda’s Collegiate School Rowing Club helps towards a new boat trailer for the club enabling all St Hilda’s boats to be shipped to regattas on a single trailer without the need to seek and pay for transport from the other schools. To purchase an Entertainment membership, click here.

This week Year 13 student Ebony James took part in Shave for a Cure. Through Ebony’s fundraising efforts she managed to raise an impressive $1500 for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand. Well done Ebony!


This week St Hilda’s had a visit from Javelin thrower Holly Robinson. Holly has been to the London and Rio Paralympics, and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games winning Silver at both Rio and the Gold Coast. Holly spoke with Year 7 and 8 students as part of their Commonwealth Games Unit in PE. The students had come up with a number of questions to ask Holly. She was very inspiring and gave the girls lots of advice which they can apply in their sport and everyday life.


Careers News and Events

As we approach the time of year in which students begin to explore options for next years subjects and finalise plans for life beyond school, a page of Careers Online Resources has been shared to aid in these processes. This page can also be accessed from a link at the bottom of the Student, Staff and Parents home pages, enabling ready access for our school community. Included are links to interactive resources under sections headed Career Exploration Tools, Job Databases, CareersNZ and sourcing Financial Tertiary Support.

From the Guidance Network

The Office of Film and Literature Classification NZ states ‘Young people can access virtually any content on their devices – anywhere, any time. As digital natives, they can and should make use of these opportunities for communication, education, and entertainment.

But young people can also be negatively impacted by what they see. We know this from international studies, our own research, and from talking directly to parents and teenagers nationwide. Young people are looking for guidance – we know because they’ve told us so. We also know that parents and caregivers are concerned about what young people are viewing in movies, TV shows, games and websites.’

Click here for some practical tips about how you can talk with your teen about what they are viewing

Tolcarne News

This week at Tolcarne we have had a make-over of our supper boxes to offer healthier options. Each year group now gets a supper box filled with carrot and celery sticks, hummus, pesto, cauliflower, cheese and crackers. So far we have had great feedback from the girls – especially since everything seems to get eaten so fast!

Last weekend the Year 9’s went for a small trek out to Tunnel Beach. For many of them it was the first time seeing such an amazing sight and they all came back fizzing from having a great day at the beach. This weekend is busy as we set up to celebrate Mother’s Day with our traditional High Tea, prepared by Robyn and the Junior girls. Floral, china tea cups and pots, pink lemonade, and delicate finger foods create an amazing atmosphere for us to celebrate our beautiful Mothers.


Student Achievement

Elora Peters has been selected to represent Otago Volleyball at a national tournament in Wellington in June and has also been chosen as captain.

Catherine Davidson came first in the young adult section of the Dunedin Pride Poetry Competition in the inaugural year of the competition. Catherine attended an awards ceremony and her winning poem, Mother and Child,  was published in the ODT.

Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 1

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Tickets are now on sale for the St Hilda’s musical production of ‘Bring It On’ that will run from May 16 – 18th at the Mayfair Theatre.

Ticket Prices:
Adults – $20.00
Students / children $15.00
Family 2 Adults & 2 Children $55.00
Family 2 Adults & 3 Children $70.00

To purchase your tickets contact or visit the Student Office.

This week the school had a visit from Black Ferns players Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali, Aroha Savage and Toka Natua who met with the girls who play Rugby for a Q & A session and skills session.

Senior Students

The NCEA fee which has appeared on your school account is the yearly fee that the school collects on behalf of NZQA.

Careers News and Events

The Dunedin tertiary institutions will be holding their annual Open Day on Monday 7 May 2018 with students and families attending from throughout Otago and further afield. Year 13 students are invited to spend the day exploring Dunedin’s tertiary campuses and are not required to attend school. There will be no classes for Year 13 students at school.

Please use this link to view the full programme and read more on what the day has to offer. Page 5 of the programme details an address from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Harlene Hayne, to parents.

We would encourage all Year 13 students to utilise the opportunities offered to more fully explore tertiary life.

Check back regularly for updates on careers information and events through the Career Events calendar.

From the Guidance Network

We have been discussing the worldwide issue of bullying with our Year 7, 8 and 9 students and pastoral staff this week. One of the aspects explored was the role of envy in the bullying process. Click here to read what Dunedin Life Coach Jan Aitken, has to say about envy in her recent ODT article.

Tolcarne News

Welcome back to all our wonderful young women and families. It has been a busy week at Tolcarne getting settled back into routines, and with the start of winter sports underway, many of the girls are busy training hard for their respective sports and activities.


Ange, Robyn and two Year 10’s, Kristin Willis and Hayley King, had their first country visit in Oamaru on Wednesday night. Country visits are always a great time to meet future students and families, and for them to ask questions about the living experiences of current students. Well done to Kristin and Hayley for representing the school and Tolcarne so well, and good luck for next week as you head away to Ranfurly, Wanaka, Arrowtown, Winton and Waikaka.

Student Achievement

Bridget Sinclair and Maia Lamb recently completed in the Gymnastics Aerobics Invercargill Interclub Competition. Bridget was 1st, ADP 4 Individual and Maia was 1st, Level 5 (15+ years) individual. Borth girls reached the qualification mark for Gymnastics New Zealand Aerobics nationals being held in Tauranga in October.

Olivia O’Neill and old girl Abbey Johnston played against Australia for the New Zealand women’s touch team last weekend.
Abbey is in her second year in the team and was named Most Valuable Player. Olivia had a fantastic debut campaign and both girls are looking great for their World Cup prospects in 2019.

Congratulations to Cecilia Crooks, Natalie Hutchens, Jessica Scott and Molly Whittaker who qualified for the NZ National Age Group Swimming Championships and competed three weeks ago in Auckland. There were over 700 swimmers aged 12-18, all competing for a NZ ranking for their age group, (including recent Commonwealth Bronze medallist Lewis Clareburt).  Special mention goes to:
 Jessica and Natalie who both won a Gold medal with their 400m Freestyle Relay Team and came 6th in the Final of the 400m Medley Relay team.
 Jessica who won a Silver Medal in the 200m Fly and 2 Bronze Medals in the 50m & 100m Fly. Jessica broke a 29 year old Otago Record in the 100m Fly and was a finalist in the 50m Freestyle and 200IM.
 Cecilia whose Zonal Team won a Bronze Medal in the 800m Relay and reached the “B” Final  in the 50m Free, 400IM and 400 Freestyle.
 Natalie who came 11th in the 50m Freestyle and Molly who came 13th in the 200m Breaststroke.
Jessica Scott, Cecilia Crooks, Natalie Hutchens, Molly Whittaker

Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 11

Ali Copeman, Chair of the PFA, holds the winning ticket of our Luxury Raffle

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

The 2018 PFA fundraiser has drawn to a close, with winners of our luxury raffle drawn today at school at 1.00pm.  Sergeant John Hedges supervised, with Mrs Donna Madigan drawing the winning tickets.  We are pleased to announce the winners are:

1st place – ticket number 3412, sold by Tyla Giles to Barbara Cuthill
2nd place – ticket number 1450 sold by Sabine Mason to Michael Mason
3rd place – ticket number 0325 sold by Kaylee Dickison to Judy Blackwood
4th place – ticket number 3834 sold by Georgia Copeman to Shelley McMeeken
5th place – ticket number 0992 sold by Jessica Robertson to Anna Brenssell

Well done to all involved and a big thank you to our families for selling so many tickets for us.  All funds raised will go toward fitting out the Visual Arts building.

Continue reading Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 11

Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 10

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Yesterday we held a service to unveil the new stained glass window in the chapel, which was commissioned by the Old Girls Association.  We were fortunate to have many board members past and present and Old Girls join us for this very special service. Created by Dunedin Artist Peter Mackenzie, the window tells the story of the Sisters’ Geraldine and Etheleen, who came to Dunedin in the 1880s and established St Hilda’s Collegiate in 1896. The window depicts the sisters, the Otago harbour, the boat they arrived in and the vibrant flora and fauna that they found here​.​

There has been extensive consultation with Hoani Langsbury, and the Otako​u​ marae, regarding the Māori patterns on the window, and also the Maiai and Taumoepeau families for detail on the Samoan tapa patterns that reflect the culture of the school and our community.   It is a stunning piece of work and we encourage you to come and have a look at it when you are in the school.

Continue reading Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 10