Weekly News – Term 4 | Week 2

(L-R) Inez Meeuws and Helen Knott at the Pacific Student Recognition Awards

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

We have had a lot to fit in to this short week after enjoying a long weekend.  On Wednesday evening the Secondary Schools’ Pacific Student Recognition Awards were held which were sponsored by the Otago Polytechnic and the Otago Community Trust.  Our 2017 recipients were Inez Meeuws (junior) and Helen Knott (senior).

Tonight the Mana Pounamu Awards are being held where Eva Meeuws (junior) and Katherine Inder (senior) will be recognised.

We also have the Blues Evening tonight where we will award Cultural, Service and Sport Blues as well as the new Sport Excellence Award and SHCS Sport Award.  There will be cultural performances and highlights of the 2017 cultural and sport year.  This is a wonderful evening which reminds us all of the incredible and very special talents we have in our school community.  The full list of recipients will be published next week.

Further university scholarship recipients are:

University of Otago Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship

  • Sarah Cochrane
  • Mae Devereux

University of Otago Maori and Pacific Peoples Entrance Scholarship

  • Samantha Ellison

University of Otago Excellence Entrance Scholarship

  • Sam Casse
  • Emma Crampton
  • Charlotte Dippie
  • Katherine Inder
  • Meg Kinney
  • Mara McCurdy
  • Neave Ramsay

A reminder that St Hilda’s Day is at 10.00am on Sunday 29 October at St Paul’s Cathedral.  It is expected that all students will attend the service on this morning.  Any absences must be emailed, with a reason, care of admin@shcs.school.nz.  All students need to be at the Cathedral by 9.40am in formal uniform.  We ask that the girls bring a $2.00 coin for the offering.

Chapel Matters

Bishop Steven Benford’s Ordination

This Sunday is St Hilda’s Day where we gather together as a whole school community at the Cathedral for a Eucharist Service. The new Bishop, Steven Benford, will be presiding. He will also be giving the sermon, and this will be our first opportunity as a school to meet him and hear from him.

I invited him to visit our school beforehand, so that he could have some idea about us before St Hilda’s Day, and so he popped in today. It was lovely to show him around the school, particularly so he could see our chapel and the RE classroom, as well as see students in the Quad at morning tea, and meet one or two staff who passed by.

Steven has come to New Zealand from the UK. Earlier in his life he did a variety of medical
roles, from being a hospital porter right through to being a GP and an anaesthetist, before
sensing the call into church ministry. His wife is a Kiwi from the Otago and a few years ago the family lived in Oamaru where he was a GP. Their four children are all adults now. We look forward to having Steven involved in the life of our school on the Board of Proprietors and undoubtedly in many other ways! He is a very warm and friendly person so I hope that you get a chance to say hello to him at St Hilda’s Day!

From the Guidance Network

Exams and Wellbeing – Some tips to help get through

Exams can be a stressful time. There are however some things students can do to help alleviate some of the anxiety. Being prepared is obviously a great start! However this doesn’t always reduce the fear of what’s coming up.

Mindfulness practices are a sure way to help.  They actively reduce anxiety and calm the mind and body, majorly increasing the ability for the brain to remember and access information.  This is something that the brain can’t do when it’s stressed or anxious – all it focuses on is survival – the brain doesn’t care about algebra when it thinks it’s in a major life threatening situation, so it’s important to let the brain know that it’s safe, and that it can relax.

Long, slow, deep breaths (breathe out longer than in) drastically reduces feelings of anxiety.  Try in for 5, hold for 5, out for 5. Do this three times and you’ll notice the difference.

Actively tell yourself that you are safe – that you are studying for exams, but you are not in danger – you know what you’re doing and you’re going to be ok.  Your brain doesn’t know the difference between exam stress and being chased by a lion – you have to tell it.

Be in the moment – what are you studying right now? That’s the thing you are thinking about – not what’s possibly going to be in the exam, or what will happen if you don’t pass.  Being in each moment is the only thing any of us can ever do.

Worrying about what might happen is a great way to feel terrible – and it has never ever been a useful strategy for anyone!

Use your technology! Smiling mind APP is a great mindfulness APP for people of all ages. Try it before bed or first thing in the morning.

Stop for a minute and just listen – what sounds can you hear? Listen to them and name them. The brain can only do one thing at a time, so it can’t be worrying about things coming up, if its engaged in the present moment.

And be kind to yourself! You can only ever do the best you can do at any given moment. It’s ok. Take a moment to put your hand on your heart, take a breath and say

May I be kind to myself in this moment, may I accept this moment exactly as it is, may I accept myself in this moment exactly as I am, may I give myself all the compassion I need to respond to this moment wisely.

Doing this exercise releases oxytocin and makes you feel calm and relaxed.

Tolcarne News

It’s been a big week for Tolcarne which has been tinged with sadness as we farewelled Marg Linwood our baker, who has worked at Tolcarne for 24 years. Marg was farewelled by staff on Tuesday at a luncheon with a beautiful cake made by Isobel in the kitchen. At dinner the Head Boarders presented Marg with a canvas photo of the view from Tolcarne and a book signed by all the girls that Robyn organised.

Our Year 11s attended an evening to learn about the possibility of becoming a Boarding Leader next year.  The current Leaders told them about the role and how it enables them to build relationships with the juniors and develop their leadership skills.

Monday is a busy day with our hostel photo at lunchtime and our final Tribe dinner for the year, where the points will be revealed and the winning house awarded.