Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 1

The 2018 Prefects with Dr Townsley, Mrs Barron and Bishop Steven Benford

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

It is my pleasure to welcome all families to the 2018 school year.  I hope your summer has been relaxing and enjoyable. I certainly hope that students are feeling refreshed and ready for a challenging and busy year.  I extend an especially warm welcome to all of our new students and their families. You are coming to a special place. I urge you to make the most of every new opportunity here. I encourage all families to attend the important school events during Term 1 as these are wonderful opportunities to meet other families and to really feel part of the St Hilda’s community.

Yesterday the 2018 Prefects were commissioned.  Bishop Steven Benford was in attendance and blessed the girls’ rings and badges as part of this special service.  House Captains were also voted on yesterday and the results are:

Beryn Abbott
Amy Park

Mikayla Hill
Bridget Smith

Ruby Crossan
Grace Stewart

Clementine George
Lusia Maiai

Student Achievement
Olivia O’Neill has been selected in the New Zealand Open Women’s Touch Blacks team to compete in the Trans Tasman Champs later this year.

New Staff for 2018
Alison Bromley               Teacher of Spanish
Anna Garthwaite           Junior/Middle School Teacher

Student Welfare
Please make sure you contact the school, if you need to, regarding your daughter during the year.  The first point of contact for all concerns should be the year level Dean.  Email addresses for the Deans are as follows:

Years 7 & 8 Carla Joint cjoint@shcs.school.nz
Year 9 Shannon Prentice sprentice@shcs.school.nz
Year 10 Judith Turner jturner@shcs.school.nz
Year 11 Lindsay McLanachan lmclanachan@shcs.school.nz
Year 12 Rachel McMillan rmcmillan@shcs.school.nz
Year 13 Sandra Muller smuller@shcs.school.nz
Guidance Counsellor Marcelle Nader-Turner mnaderturner@shcs.school.nz
Chaplain Gillian Townsley gtownsley@shcs.school.nz

The easiest way to contact school or staff is via email.   Student absences or requests for leave may be emailed to the school office absences@shcs.school.nz or by phoning the school office.   Please do not email teaching staff regarding absences.  Please be understanding if staff do not immediately reply to your email as they may have a high teaching/meeting load or may need to seek clarification of an issue prior to replying to you.

Whanaungatanga Groups
These were introduced last year, creating ‘vertical groups’ in place of form classes and tutor groups.

There are 28 groups (named after native birds) with 17 students across the year groups: Year 7 to Year 13, and a staff member as their leader. Both teaching and support staff are involved.

The wellbeing of our students is important to us and we look forward to continuing the programme which provides a balance to all aspects of our students, including their physical, social, emotional, academic and spiritual needs.

Itinerant Music/Speech and Drama/Piano Tuition/Singing: 
There is an opportunity for students to have free orchestral instrument tuition at school on string, woodwind and brass instruments. Mr Grant is in charge of this programme.  There is also an opportunity to have private tuition on piano, guitar, drums and both classical and contemporary voice.  These lessons cost around $25 each session.

To register interest in having instrumental/voice lessons at school, students need to fill out the form that will be emailed next week.  A number of orchestral instruments are available for hire at school with costs ranging from $80-$120 per annum.  Any parent who wishes to have more information about the programme or tuition of any other musical instrument can email Mr Grant at mgrant@shcs.school.nz.

St Hilda’s students also have the opportunity to participate in other musical activities during the year.  These include the school choirs: Sings Hilda, in which students must audition, Madrigal, in which auditioning is not required and all students are welcome to join, and the Junior Choir which is open to all Year 7 – 9 students.

The orchestra meets once a week and is ideally for students above a Grade 3 level.  Students may choose to form their own groups for the Chamber Music Contest and the Smokefree Rockquest.  We also hold a school production every second year which students can audition for.

School Calendar
The calendar is available to view on our Parent Portal at http://parents.shcs.school.nz/events-calendar/school-events/.  Please remember to keep this handy for reference to important events throughout the term. The first important community events for St Hilda’s are:


Date:              Monday 12 February
Time:             8:30am – 3:00pm
Venue:           Caledonian Grounds, Butts Road (by Logan Park)

Families are most welcome to come and watch for all or part of the day, before joining us at school for Meet the Teacher Evening.


Date:              Monday 12 February
Time:             5:30pm
Venue:           St Hilda’s Chapel
5:30pm          Year 7 and 9 students and parents meet in the Chapel for introductions and a presentation
5:50pm          Parents meet in year level groups with the Dean of your daughter’s year level, before meeting with whanau teachers. Staff will be available in the Quad to help you find the correct venue.
6:15pm          Light refreshments in the Quad

This evening is hosted by the PFA.

From the Guidance Network

We have a busy and exciting year planned for 2018 and would like to take the opportunity to share a little information with parents each week that we feel may be useful. This might be an update about the Pastoral initiatives, trends, patterns or concerns that we are noticing, or readings or links that we feel might be useful to our school community. We will also make the links and readings available on our school website for people to refer back to at a later date.

Moving from primary to secondary school, or high school, is a big transition. It can be a time full of fun, excitement and new experiences, but it can also be challenging or worrying for many children.  Click here for more information on how you can help by making sure your child is prepared and feels supported.

Otago Boys High School are hosting a wellbeing seminar.  More information can be found on the flyer below.

Best wishes for a happy and successful year,

Shannon Prentice
Head of Guidance

Tolcarne News

Nau mai haere mai, welcome back to Tolcarne!

This week we have welcomed our new Year 9 cohort for 2018. Tolcarne has been buzzing with excitement as they get used to Tolcarne’s routines, explore Dunedin, and get to know each other. Also a big welcome to all the new girls who are joining the other year groups. We are so excited to have you with us and look forward to getting to know you on your journey through Tolcarne.

Before the beginning of the term Tolcarne staff took part in a “Get Dotted” programme run by Amy Scott, as part of their professional development. It was great fun recognising our own individual communication styles and is a very useful tool to help us communicate with each other and with our young women.