Weekly News Term 1|Week 4

A Note from The Principal

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

How we report on your daughter’s learning

As a school, we are legally required to report on your daughter’s progress and achievement against the NZ Curriculum levels because we use the levels to guide our teaching, assessments and evaluations of learning.

There are 8 levels in the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). These stretch from Year 1 through to Year 13. Each level represents a learning stage in each learning area or subject taught.

For example, most Year 9 to 13 students will be learning between the curriculum levels 4 to 8. Your teenager may be at a different level for different learning areas because they may be working at curriculum level 4 in maths and level 5 in technology. Once your child has gained most of the skills, knowledge and understanding expected of each stage they will progress to the next level.

The diagram below shows how curriculum levels typically relate to years at school. Not all students however, fit this pattern.

We update you on these curriculum levels via your child’s school reports and in discussions that you have with the teachers. Rather than being focussed on levels, we ask you to concentrate on how well your child is progressing from one year to the next.

Throughout the year we will communicate through Learning Conversations (which allow a three way conversation with the teacher, student and parent), Interim Reports on Learning which focus on learning behaviours and Academic Progress Reports which give specific comments on the progress being made in the curriculum and next steps for your daughters learning. The final report for the year is a summary record of your daughter’s learning for the year. This includes a comment from her Whanaungatanga teacher which gives you an overview of her year’s learning and involvement in school activities.

These reports when combined give an accurate and timely overview of your daughter’s learning dispositions, next steps and progress.

2019 Reporting Timeline


Week Year 7 – 9 Year 10 – 13
6 Interim Report on Learning – An indication of general attitude to and engagement with learning. Interim Report – An indication of general attitude to and engagement with learning.
7 Learning Conversations with Whanaungatanga teachers. Goal setting. Learning Conversations with Whanaungatanga teachers. Goal setting.
11 Academic Progress Report – Update on Curriculum topics that have been covered, subject specific comments on learning and suggested next steps Academic Progress Report – Update on Curriculum topics that have been covered, subject specific comments on learning and suggested next steps


1 Learning Conversations Learning Conversations
5 Interim Report – An indication of general attitude to and engagement with learning. Interim Report – An indication of general attitude to and engagement with learning.
10 Progress Report – Update on Curriculum topics that have been covered, subject specific comments on learning and suggested next steps Progress Report – Update on Curriculum topics that have been covered, subject specific comments on learning and suggested next steps


1 Learning Conversations (Yr 11 – 13)
5 Interim Report Interim Report
8 Benchmark Examinations (Yr 11-13)
9 Progress Report – Update on Curriculum topics that have been covered, subject specific comments on learning and suggested next steps Benchmark Examinations (yr 11-13)
10 Learning Conversations (Yr 7 – 10) Academic Progress Report – Benchmark examination feedback and suggested next steps for Term 4 learning.


7 Summary Report

Record of learning and Whanau teacher comment

Summary Report

Record of Learning and Whanau teacher comment


Please find attached a letter from the Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago, Professor Harlene Haynes, seeking our cooperation in discouraging high school students from attempting to attend, or congregate in the vicinity of the annual Hyde Street Party

We totally support  the key messages outlined in this letter, in the interests of keeping you (your daughters safe). I am sure you will accordingly respect and abide by their request.

Kea Crossing and safe delivery/pick up of students from St Hilda’s

The Royal Terrace – Cobden Street intersection is extremely busy at the beginning and ending of each day. To reduce the amount of traffic passing through this intersection (and especially turning traffic) we would really encourage you to meet your daughter(s) further away from the school.

Suggested areas could be:

  • Queens Drive by Olveston House
  • Royal Terrace (South) before Logan Street
  • Royal Terrace (North) before Bute Street
  • Herriot Row (North) around Nos 36-38
  • Herriot Row (South( around Nos 8-12
  • London Street

We thank you for your cooperation with this matter.

Class Photographs Available

Here is the link to the St Hilda’s class photos: http://mcrobie.co.nz/st-hildas-collegiate-school-class-photos-2019/
The password to view the photos is 16558.

All of the prints will be in colour and cost $15 each.



Recent international research has identified an alarming decline in adolescent mental health, soaring rates of anxiety and depression and unrelenting pressure to achieve perfection.  Click here to read about Nicky Whitham-Blackwell’s recent research into school life in New Zealand and the mirroring of these international concerns in our own students.

We have received the following notification from the Cyber Safety organisation, Safe on Social (www.safeonsocial.com). Please keep reading to find out more about a dangerous site gaining popularity with school aged children.

“An anonymous chat forum called Omegle has risen its head again in schools with the start of the New Year.

Around since 2009, Omegle is something of an internet cockroach; it just won’t die. And this site is disturbing and a serious concern. Barely mentioned in cyber safety talks these days, Omegle can claim to be one of the more frightening social media services seen in schools for a while.

Banned from all the Apple App shop and from Google play years previously, Omegle can only be accessed through its website.

“Talk to strangers” is the head-line for the homepage, and the site expands its description to include the words “Predators have been known to use Omegle”.

It could be fair to think that those words should act as a warning for a user after all – children are taught regularly about ‘stranger danger”, but some students seem to be unable to grasp what “predator” means and have dived into a game of internet prank calling random strangers. This shows a serious level of fool-hardiness on the behalf of these kids who are putting themselves and their families at risk by taunting random strangers online.

NOTE – if you wish to check if your child is using this former app , as it is a website based anonymous forum, clearing a search history will simply remove any evidence of use by your child. This will make it difficult when checking your child’s devices as search histories may not be available.

About Omegle

Free, the website offers online chat with random strangers via text, voice or via video link. There is no requirement to register or identify yourself to use either feature. While there is an age requirement of 13+ , and individuals under 18 are expected to have parental supervision this is easily avoided.

A user outlines a few of their interests and is then connected to a random stranger to initiate either a text chat, voice chat or a video link. There is the option to use monitored and unmonitored forums. A quick read of the terms and conditions shows how little responsibility this site’s developer has to their users “…human behaviour is fundamentally uncontrollable, that people you encounter on Omegle may not behave appropriately, and they are solely responsible for their own behaviour’ stands out in particular, as does the repeated disclaiming of all liability that the site continues with. With around 25,000 people world-wide ready to chat with your child at any given time, and with some of these being predators and many purely there for sexual purposes, there is a cause for concern.

There is the option available on Omegle to link to other social media such as Facebook and Twitter. This means that a supposedly anonymous conversation can be posted to these additional sites, and a user risks revealing their identity and having their conversations or videos made public.

The dangers are real

In the USA in 2014, two thirteen-year-old girls struck up an online conversation with a young man of twenty-three. The girls exchanged personal details with this man and arranged to meet him in real life. He picked them up in his car, took them to his home and sexually assaulted them both. Police were able to locate the missing girls through details on their electronic devices. They were found in his basement, hiding and crying. Casey Chinn was charged with criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, and solicitation of a child.


Police have warned that predators are extorting minors to take explicit pictures, threatening to release the content of conversations they have had online to other social media or to family members. Investigative officers across America in 2016 have seen multiple cases of this form of sextortion, they have discovered child pornography in the video chats, images of bestiality and live sexual acts.

Data collection and chat storage

A security researcher called Indrajeet Bhuuan has claimed that Omegle’s servers; supposedly protecting the anonymity of its users, are in fact storing all conversations had on the website. He has proved this by writing a very simple piece of software that automatically downloads all the saved screen shots from the website. He called it Omegle-Chat-Hack. And neatly proved Omegle is hackable. Be advised that – Any data that can be gleaned from a user such as IP, cookies, and time stamps is recorded and stored. This includes conversations and video. The site states that these records are “typically stored for approximately 120 days”. The use of the word typically can mean that conversations remain stored indefinitely. Any personal information revealed in any conversation is therefore saved and accessible. Limiting the amount of personal information that is shared online is vital.

Links to pornography

The web analytics of Omegle (user data) show a strong link to visitors logging into Omegle directly after using pornographic sites and then returning to these sites if they are not offered the kind of chat they are after. Predators are patient, and will wait for a younger user to be linked to them; disconnecting the video chats if a participant is too old or the wrong gender.

Video Chat

This feature has two sections – moderated and 18+. With no verification method installed to confirm the age of a user, it is very easy for a young person to enter the 18 + section. And let your imagination run wild as to the type of interactions that take place, you won’t be far off in your worst possible guesses

Apart from the content in these sections, kids may inadvertently be revealing more about themselves than they might wish. For users of video chats – Safe on Social regularly warns against wearing school or sport club uniforms while chatting, filming in a bedroom where there maybe identifying pictures or certificates on the walls. Great care should be taken with this site that a child has not shown too much information to the ‘stranger” they are communicating with.

Capturing IP addresses, and viruses

There are a number of users on this site with very good computer skills. There have been numerous reports and questions about an individual’s IP address being “captured” and used to trace the location of a user. While this tracing can only take place as long as the individual is online and continuing the chat, it is of concern that the general area a person is in may be pinpointed. Details gleaned from conversations can mean that a child’s security is compromised. Strong cyber security measures should be in place before an individual even considers going near this site. (refer to our last cheat sheet)

No means of reporting

Almost all apps have a system to report and block individuals. Omegle merely has a Feedback option. It believes its moderation is fairly aggressive on the moderated sections, yet there is a large part of the website that is unmoderated and this is where all the trouble begins. The site claims that a chat may be stopped at any time and as you are anonymous this is sufficient in place of blocking. Unfortunately, if any personal details or other social media information has been given, simply stopping a chat may not be enough. And as has been proven, Omegle is easily hacked.


Talk to kids about this site. If they are foolish enough to discount the warnings about predators, and the sketchy underground styling of the app appeals to them – they need to be reminded of the real risks that exist online. Parents and teachers may not be aware of it. It is not safe, personal data and anonymous conversations are not secure, and yes it is indeed used by predators.”

Request for families to short term host visiting students from Japan

Further to the request for families at the end of last year we have had a positive response, thank you again to those of you who have signed up.

However, we are still looking for a couple of additional families to assist with hosting, a spare bedroom is required and payment is made to cover your costs while hosting.

Ichikawa Gakuen High School visit us on an annual basis and is a long standing sister school relationship. The dates for this year are Monday 11 – Saturday 23 March 2019.

The Japanese students will have a separate programme at school with ESOL classes in the morning and sightseeing activities in the afternoon.  There will also be some buddy classes together with their host sister so this can be a great experience for your daughter.

Our homestay families will be supported, and a homestay meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 5th March prior to the students’ arrival.

Please get in contact as soon as possible if you are in the position of opening your home for one of our Japanese short stay students. Your help would be much appreciated. If you would like to have a further conversation around what is required please contact Roberta Lawrence, Homestay Coordinator homestay@shcs.school.nz

Tolcarne News

Tolcarne had their annual Tribe Swimming competition on Monday evening. Dunedin put on its last day of summer just so we could have some fun! There was a biggest bomb competition, Tribe relay and piggy-back relay, as well as an underwater fruit burst scramble!

Thank you to the students who were brave enough to swim for their respective Tribes, and congratulations to Grendon for taking out the competition!


Issie Robertson (who left us last year) and her New York Junior Academy of Sciences team have been announced as the overall winners of a challenge which sees them receiving an all-expenses paid trip to New York in July to present their work at the Global STEM Alliance Summit 2019. You can view their work here.

St Hilda’s hosted the annual Summer Sports Quad Tournament at the start of this week with Volleyball, Touch, Tennis, Swimming and Debating teams from St Hilda’s Rangi Ruru, Craighead and St Margaret’s giving it their all. After two days of action in some fantastic Dunedin weather, St Hilda’s ended up coming 1st equal with St Margaret’s, Rangi Ruru in 3rd and Craighead 4th

A massive thank you to everyone who supported this event and to those families who hosted billets from visiting schools, it could not have happened without your support of this long standing event.

St Hilda’s had 18 girls competing in the recent Otago Secondary School Triathlon Championships hosted by Challenge Wanaka in Wanaka on Thursday 14th of Feb, unfortunately, some tough weather conditions greeted the athletes but to the girls got on with it and all did extremely well, Notable results were;

Zara Geddes – 2nd U14 Individual

Billie Crowe and Georgia Chambers – 1st U14 Team’s

Emma Andrew, Grace Cotter, Annabel Bilkey – 4th U16 Team’s

Natalie Hutchens – 3rd U19 Girls Individual

Reminder – Tomorrow’s Schools Review Consultation

The Taskforce will be holding public consultation meetings around the country, starting on Thursday, 14 February and finishing on Wednesday, 27 March. We really encourage everyone to come along to these events and discuss the future of our schooling system. The full schedule is now available on our website (venues will be added for events as they are confirmed)


An online survey which canvasses opinion on each of our 32 recommendations is now available here https://consultation.education.govt.nz/tsr/survey2019/ and will remain open until 31 March 2019. It will be available in Te Reo and other languages within the next week.

A free 0800 number for oral submissions will be available from 11 February. Call 0800 FOR TSR (0800 367 877) to leave your thoughts on the future of our schooling system.

Postcards: for students, families and anyone that just wants to briefly ‘have their say’ on a recommendation or the full report. Freepost postcards will be available at the public meetings.

Formal written submissions about our report can be sent to: tomorrows.schools@education.govt.nz

New Zealand School Trustees Association

NZSTA is working very hard to encourage parent and whanau participation on school boards in order to help shape and support the education of their children. To that end, we will be rolling out the Korari Programme for anyone interested in finding out about standing for the school board elections and having a say in the education of their children.

Please find resources about this below:

Community member guide to the role of the board of trustees_180119

Korari programme form – Interactive_090119

Korari poster_v4