Monthly Archives: June 2018

Weekly News – Term 2 / Week 9

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Congratulations to Sings Hilda on their selection to represent St Hilda’s at the Big Sing Finale in Wellington from 30 August – 2 September 2018.  The girls have worked very hard to get to this point, along with expert guidance from Mr Grant and Mr Madden. They will be working diligently over the next 10 weeks on their performance.

We wish to thank the PFA for their support of the Year 10 Study Skills Programme with Mr Stuart Wright.  Please read below quotes from some of the students who attended these sessions.

“This programme was really great and gave me a better understanding about studying and how my brain works.  I would definitely recommend it.”

I didn’t think that studying could be so much fun.”

 “Super-helpful.  I’ve already begun to map out my unit outlines that I have upcoming tests on.”


The PFA unfortunately had to postpone their AGM which was to be held on the Tuesday, 26 June.  We will advise you of the new date which will be early in Term 3.

Please note that student reports will be emailed home on the last day of Term 2 – Friday, 6 July.

Our Open Evening is being held on Thursday, 26 July.  This is an important occasion for us. All current St Hilda’s students are expected to be present at Open Evening as everyone is participating in a specific activity.

To ensure the girls do not get too tired and to enable staff to prepare for the Open Evening the school will have a half day on Thursday, 26 July with school finishing at 12:25 pm. If you wish your daughter to be supervised at school in the library for the afternoon, please contact  If for some reason your daughter needs to be excused from Open Evening, could you please email Mrs Barron at

In the evening students are required at school for the following times:

6:15 pm      Prefects

6:30 pm      Guides (Designated Year 12 and all Year 13)

7:00 pm      All students to class venues

9:00 pm      Year 7 – 13 students dismissed

9:10 pm      Buses leave for Tolcarne

Please note there is a delayed start to school on Friday morning with school beginning with Period 2 at 9:40 am. It is important that all students arrive at school ready for a prompt start.

Chapel Matters

Next week we celebrate Founders’ Day with our end-of-term Eucharist service. When Sisters Geraldine and Etheleen arrived in Dunedin on December 19th, 1895, to set up “an English school for daughters of gentlemen” they had a hard task in front of them. Not only did they face the challenge of setting up a school on a very limited budget, but they also had to deal with the attitudes of those who didn’t believe in education for girls, or who didn’t like the idea of an Anglican school being set up in a Presbyterian city. The Sisters were determined, however, and described their mission as “a Venture of Faith.” Not long after setting up St Hilda’s, they wrote back home to the others Sisters in London saying, “Despite the hardship, we are sustained by a vision of the Eternal and by faith in One who has called us to leave all and follow him.” It is good to remember the Sisters who founded our school, to let their venture of faith inspire us, and to have faith that God can sustain us no matter what we face, even 122 years later.

Tolcarne News

Last weekend at Tolcarne Teresa took a small group of Year 9, 10 and 11s to watch the Steel vs. Tactix netball game. It was a very close match, which made the netball great fun to watch, and it was a privilege to see Kate Heffernan (Year 13 2017) practicing and training with the Steel. The girls were thrilled that they could stay afterwards and get photographs and selfies with the Steel team.

Tolcarne is gearing up for the end of the Term, with last minute assignments being finished by our Senior students, and pack-up underway. We have our last weekend activity on Sunday – Inflatable World – where the students can jump and run to their hearts content.

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 6

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Left – Nga Korimako, Right – Sings Hilda

This week Sings Hilda and the Junior Choir, Nga Korimako competed in Big Sing at Dunedin Town Hall. Nga Korimako took out the People’s Choice Award and Sings Hilda won the Classical Composition section. Congratulations to both choirs! It was a fabulous event and the St HIlda’s choirs really shone. To view videos of each performance visit the schools Facebook page.

Learning conversations are being held next week on Tuesday 12th June (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm), Thursday 14th June (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm) and Friday 15th June (12:30 pm – 3:30 pm). To book a time visit: and enter the login: rdrbw

As many of you will have noted, the excavations for the new Arts building have begun. Part of Stage One is also extending and filling in the field at the south end of the grounds, so that we can fully utilise all the land we have for girls physical activities. Staff have been closely involved with the design of the building, and also with the planning for the build, to try and minimise disruption to class and curriculum programmes, and also outside activities that have required use of the courts. We appreciate that the most restrictive time is now, while the whole area is a construction site, and as the build progresses we will gain back the use of our precious green spaces. Stevenson & Williams have been most accommodating in helping us with the planning, to ensure that school life can continue with as little change as possible.

Recently, 23 Year 12 and 13 students volunteered to donate blood as part of our partnership with NZBlood. The girls by and large enjoyed the experience and their act of service was very much appreciated by the staff at the donor centre. We hope that the girls will be donors for life as each donation saves 3 lives in New Zealand. Special thanks to everyone who participated.

Applications for World Challenge close on 15th June. If you have any questions contact Bee Bradfield,

Playhouse Theatre Visit

The New Zealand Playhouse Theatre company visited on Wednesday. The punny title of their show ‘As you Write It’ captured the co-constructed event that the year 12’s experienced.

Their focus was an introduction to Shakespeare and after the girls chose a time period from the three Shakespeare used – the Renaissance; a film as a vehicle – Mean Girls and the power the hero had – humour, the four actors used these to illustrate the ideas of Iambic pentameter, rhyming couplets, the structure of his plays and the different types he wrote.

It was a lot of fun. The girls laughed a lot. Notable scenes involved horse called Justin Timberlake and the wig changes, including a mullet, that denoted different characters.  The actors were passionate, creative and fed off the audience’s interactions and reactions. It was entertaining and educational.

Shakespeare is sometimes considered outdated and out of touch, but the NZ Playhouse showed how his skills and ideas are still relevant today and can still make a crowd react. As we were reminded, ‘All the World’s a stage.”

Snow Day and Late Start Procedures

With our first taste of winter this week it is a good time to give a reminder on Snow Day and Late Start Procedures.

In the case of a school closure or late start due to weather conditions the system is now coordinated for all 12 secondary schools.  It will be broadcast on Radio Dunedin 106.7FM, 95.4 FM, 1305AM and other Media Works stations by 7:00 am.

We will email parents by 7:00 am and a notification will also be published on the Parent Portal and school Facebook page.

Should conditions in your area be different to those in the rest of the city you must make individual decisions based on what is safest for your family.

Once girls are at school we encourage you not to text them regarding school closures during the school day.  If these were to eventuate we would email parents immediately.

You can view the above information at any time by clicking on the Snow Day and Late Start Procedures page under the Informationalonal Links menu on the right.

Careers News and Events

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

Tolcarne News

This week Tolcarne has been buzzing with excitement as the Senior students prepare for their formal tonight. The nail bar was very successful last night, it was moved to the lounge with finger and toe stations.  Ziggy, Robyn, Mrs Rathbone and Mrs Barron became experts at applying fake nails, shaping nails and painting layers of colour.  Jodie supplied a scrumptious supper and we had Jess and Tia as the dance and singing entertainment enjoying a bit of Abba.

Student Achievement

Click here to read the poem by Catherine Davidson that won the young adult section of the Dunedin Pride Poetry Competition as reported earlier in the term.

Netball Umpire Sophie Armstrong on her selection to officiate at the Netball New Zealand U17 Champs in Palmerston North in July. Well done Sophie!

Congratulations to the below girls who have been chosen to represent Dunedin in the Netball representative season.

Under 19

Megan Borst

Coach: Lana Morrison

Under 17A Team

Amelia Scully – St Hilda’s

Annie Timu – St Hilda’s

Kendra Robinson – St Hilda’s

Lily Chamberlain – St Hilda’s

Phoebe Aburn – St Hilda’s

Coach: Jodi Brown

U17B Team

Abbey Cochrane – St Hilda’s

Molly Marsh – St Hilda’s

Olivia Buchanan-Letts – St Hilda’s

Sara Harding – St Hilda’s

Savannah Celeland – St Hilda’s

Coach: Trudi Marsh

Learning Conversations

Dear Parents and Caregivers

The Learning Conversations in Week 7 are a chance for you to meet with your daughter’s subject teachers to discuss how the year is going and put in place plans going forward.  This discussion is with the teacher, student and parent.

These learning conversations will take place on Tuesday 12th June (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm), Thursday 14th June (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm) and Friday 15th June (12:30 pm – 3:30 pm)

On Friday afternoon the school will be open but we will not be running timetabled classes. Supervision will be provided for girls at school.

We realise that it is not always possible for you to make this meeting but we encourage you to book a time for your daughter who should come by herself as this is a critical milestone in her learning for the year and she would find it very valuable to talk to teachers about her next steps.

Please share the appointment time with her.

You will need the following details to make a booking:


Login: rdrbw


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!