Weekly News – Term 3|Week 8

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

A Note from The Principal

Thank you to our wonderful community for the love, caring and thoughtfulness you have expressed in so many ways, after our recent loss of Mr Dean. We are so grateful for all your messages, kind gestures and gifts, and we continue to find strength in our connectedness. We are working hard to support our girls and our staff, and step by step feel our way through this difficult landscape. I wanted to share with you Tuesday’s assembly, so you can walk with us.

Today’s assembly is a great opportunity to come together after a really hard time. I want to thank the girls who performed at Mr Deans’ funeral yesterday, you were amazing. You sang and performed beautifully under really difficult circumstances. I know he would have appreciated the number of you who attended.

The next few weeks and months are going to be hard as we get used to a new ‘normal’, and start to move forward. My job is to create a framework where everyone can grieve and move forward at their own pace. We need to be tolerant and patient, caring and understanding, because we will all cope differently.

We have lost a much admired teacher and colleague and out of respect for him, and respect for those left behind, we need to get on with our lives. Some of you will be ready to do that, some of you will not, and that is OK. You will feel fine some days and other days not so good. That is OK too.

As a school when we look forward and plan ahead, it is not because we have forgotten Mr Dean, or don’t care anymore, but because we have to look after all of you , and do what is best for everyone, and as you can imagine  – that is quite tricky when we are all in different places and spaces.

Student achievements/BOT nominees/Speaker

There is no last word today – but maybe I can do it.

Schools are places of living, learning and laughter. Mr Dean invested so much into the school and into all of you, and we want to continue that, and not lose anything, and so that is why we all must get on with our learning, our teaching, our commitments and responsibilities, as best we can. We want to honour all he has created and built up in the Arts, by looking after what is there and continuing his legacy. We want to protect the heart of our school. As I say, we will all do this in our own way, and in our own time, and we will try to give all of you the time you need. I guess that is life. Know too, never doubt, that we are here to help you.

I wanted to end today with this quote.

“I asked for strength – and God gave me difficulties to make me strong. I asked for wisdom – and God gave me problems to learn to solve. I asked for courage – and God gave me dangers to overcome. I asked for love – and God gave me people to help. I asked for favours – and God gave me opportunities. I asked for riches – and God gave me brain and muscle to work. I received nothing I wanted – I received everything I needed. My prayers have been answered.”

Jackie Barron


During this challenging time it is important that we are all supporting each other. Please click here for some advice about how you can support your daughter if she is grieving.


There have been several recent reports of children being approached by strangers around our neighbourhood and the wider Dunedin area in the past few days.

Police are treating this as an ongoing investigation and remind both parents and students to be vigilant.

We encourage you to speak with your daughter about safe walking to and from school and what to do if they are approached or feeling unsafe.

Benchmark Examinations have started

Our 2018 Benchmark examinations for Years 11 – 13 will be held in Week 8 and 9 (13th September – 19th September). Your daughter will need to attend examinations at the day and time given on the timetable they have. When she does not have an examination this time is for study, which can be done at home/hostel. The girls are welcome to come into school to study but will need to be aware the normal junior school programme will continue.

Girls are not required to wear uniform during Examination Week.

These examinations will be run under the same conditions as the NZQA external examinations. I have emailed the details of these conditions to the girls and their parents/caregivers.

Blues Application Process 2018 – Deadline Extended

Applications for Cultural, Service and Sports Blues and Awards were announced at our full school assembly 31 August 2018.

These application links are located on the student homepage under the heading “Blues Application” and will now close on 21 September at 5:00 pm.  

All successful applicants will be notified of their attendance at the invitation only Blues Awards evening by the end of September.

The Blues Award evening, an invitation only event, will be held on 26 October commencing at 7:00 pm in the School Chapel.

Learning Conversations – Interview site now open for bookings.

Learning conversations will be held for all girls at the end of the Term 3 and into Term 4 on the following dates:


Week 9 Thursday 20th September  6:00 pm-8:00 pm (Day Girls)
Week 10 Tuesday 25th September 6:00 pm-8:00 pm (Day Girls)
Week 10 Friday 28th September 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm (Boarders)


Week 10 Friday 28th September  1:00 pm – 3:30 pm(Boarders)
Week 1 (Term 4) Tuesday 16th October  6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Day Girls)

We have specified junior, senior, day girl and boarder to maximise the interview time.

The Interview site will be opened for bookings on Thursday 13th September at 9:00 am.

It will close on the morning of each Learning Conversation.

To book go to:  https://www.schoolinterviews.co.nz

Click on “Make a Booking” and enter the following code


Space School Opportunity

We are pleased to announce St Hilda’s Collegiate School will be involved in the 2019 CASE (California Association for STEAM Education) Space School International Study Programme. Through our partnerships, students have the unique opportunity to join this once in a lifetime, STEAM-based experience at NASA in the USA.

Recognising the challenges facing young students today, where the change of pace in society over the next 30 years will outpace the change we have experienced in the past five thousand years. 75% of the fastest growing occupations in Australia and New Zealand will require STEAM related skills and an expected 50% of current jobs will disappear.

By empowering students through this unique STEAM programme, they will master the STEAM related skill set to prepare them for their future. Students become more focused, inquisitive to pursue the subject they are interested in through the unique access to NASA facilities, inspiring guest speakers and training programs, while learning a foundation of personal and leadership skills to apply through their school years and beyond.

This programme is designed to develop leaders for the next generation, aims to inspire and ongoing interest in STEAM; empowering and preparing our students for the fastest growing and most sought-after occupations of the 21st century.

A fantastic opportunity to learn beyond the classroom in the most inspiring environment.

There is a one-hour information session about this international study programme to be held on Monday 24th September at Otago Girls’ High School hall.

CASE Space School Expedition


This is a once in a lifetime experience. We encourage you to attend this evening information session and we look forward to your attendance.

Return of Cups and Trophies presented in 2017

It is that time of year again where we ask for the return of all cups and trophies presented in 2017. This assists us in the preparation of this year’s awards evening and Prize Giving.

These may be left at the main office. Thank you.

Careers News and Events

 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.

Student Achievement

NOWW Classical Vocal Scholarship
Nicole Horrell along with a number of other students from St Hilda’s competed in the 2018 Junior Vocal Competition held by the Dunedin Performing Arts Competitions Society over the weekend (7th to 9th September).
Her placings were as follows:

  • 2nd in the 20th Century Popular Song section
  • 1st in the Contemporary Pop/Rock section, winner of the Bridget Telfer Contemporary Vocal Award
  • By having the highest mark over four sections Nicole also won the Taieri Musical Prize and the Bridget Telfer Musical Theatre Award

Lillian Gibbs also competed and achieved some outstanding results.

  • Winner of the NOWW Classical Vocal Scholarship (16 under 18 years) most points over 4 songs.
  • Winner of the Dunedin Civic Choir Cup.
  • Winner of the Opera Otago Aria.
  • Winner of the Joy Mary Gibbs Memorial Cup.
  • Winner of National Song gaining the Madelene Barker Cup.
  • Stephen Chambers Award Test Song. Placed 2nd.
  • Vocal Solo placed 3rd.
Bridget Sinclair (Year 9) competed at NZSS National Aerobics Championships in Auckland on 8 September.
Bridget placed 4th overall in the ADP 3 Individual category.
Bridget will compete at Gymnastics New Zealand Aerobics National Championships in Tauranga on 3-6 October.
Sings Hilda gave another amazing performance of Las Amarillas at the 49th Otago Secondary Schools’ Music Festival which took place on Tuesday 11 September at the Dunedin Town Hall.  It is an opportunity for all Otago (and some Southland) schools to have their instrumentalists and choirs join together performing music that is not likely able to be performed in their own schools.

Every year as part of the Otago Secondary Schools’ Music Festival, the organising committee accepts video applications to award a scholarship of $750 to a student studying at a Tertiary Institution. The qualification for entry in the scholarship is that the candidate must be enrolled in a Tertiary Institution at the time of making the application and must previously have participated in an Otago Secondary Schools’ Music Festival.

A requirement of the scholarship is that the recipient must perform at the Otago Secondary Schools’ Music Festival in the year that the scholarship is awarded.

This year, the scholarship was awarded to one of our Old Girls’, Maddie Guthrie, who gave a spectacular performance of Un moto di gioia.

Health and Safety Reminder

Please do not encourage your daughter to walk along the school side of Royal Terrace where the building is progressing. She could be endangered with heavy equipment and truck movements.