Weekly News Term 1|Week 5

A Note from The Principal

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I would like to share this week’s assembly with you in which we wanted to highlight the importance of Academic rigour.

We acknowledge girls who achieve in different fields – we have girls participating and contributing, through sports, cultural activities, service, technology and academic endeavours.

We want them to have the skills and attributes of the SHCS graduate, so they can succeed at and enjoy whatever they do when they leave here.

Our students all have different interests, strengths and passions, and so they should. So for us, the challenge is to make sure that we can prepare all our girls – for whatever they choose to do when they leave school.

Because  NCEA – important as it is – is not the end point of their learning – it is just the beginning.

Those qualifications are just stepping stones to the next level and they all need to be ready for that and be able to keep learning independently and face any challenge that comes their way.

We cannot and will not make it easy for students here by helping them get an excellence endorsement by doing all internals, and avoiding externals,  finding ‘easy’ credits, offered by some outside providers, doing lots of credits in only a few subjects, so they can avoid what they don’t like. That will not happen here.

We will be fair, and transparent. We will support the girls and guide and teach them, we will give them our absolute best. We promise they will have the benefits of 40 weeks of quality teaching, and we expect them to make the most of their time in class.  We will not help them to find the easy way, because that will be a huge disadvantage to our students when they leave school. Whatever path they take.

We know that if your daughters want to be a hairdresser, truck driver, in the police force, doctor, barista, accountant, farmer, entrepreneur  that they will at some stage have to do a test, under time constraints, when they have to think and solve problems, and explain their thinking, and that is what we are teaching them here. They need the chance to practice these skills, under pressure, so they get better at them, and can keep progressing as a learner. If we make it easy for your daughters here, help them to avoid what they don’t like doing, or find stressful, then we do them a huge disservice. We would be teaching our students to survive a year, not live a life, and because we care, we will not give them a bad deal. We will give them the best deal we can here.

We know that it may sometimes be easier to get credits, endorsements etc in other schools, but we don’t apologise for that. You know, that our qualification has rigour, is fair, and the girls can be proud of it. Universities, employers, Polytechnics and other providers, know too that if your daughters have gone to St Hildas’, their NCEA qualification is a good one. And that is not about excellences or the number of credits, but the type of learning they have done, the subjects they have studied, the standards they have completed.

So if external examinations make our students really anxious – we need to give them more chances to practise, and manage that stress, get better at exams, improve. Letting them avoid it doesn’t help at all. Imagine going to university, or sitting your nurses exams, or going into the police and sitting the entrance exams and saying, “look, sorry I don’t like exams, I just don’t do them. Could I do something else instead? How would that work?

If our students find the work load difficult, then we need to give them practice at managing deadlines, prioritizing, using milestones and timelines, not say – ok you haven’t meet the deadline, I will give you an extension. Look you have a lot on, don’t worry about doing that work. That will never happen when you leave school, so we won’t practice it here.

That way – when things are busy or tough, or hard or frustrating – they won’t panic, they will have the skills for whatever needs to happen. They will sail their ship through any storm.

We want our students to succeed at being who they are. Doing their thing, enjoying their pathway. It is not about an excellence endorsement, or collecting as many credits as you can. It is about helping them to be the best they can be –  better than before – as a learner, as a class member, as a friend, as a leader, as a team mate, as a tutor and as a person.

Interim Reports on Learning

Interim Reports on Learning will be emailed home on Friday 8 March.  These reports are to give you an idea of how your daughter has started the year and they focus on her attitude and learning behaviours.

Fifteen minute learning conversations will be held with students, parents and Whanaungatanga teachers on Tuesday 12 March from 1.30pm – 4.00pm and 6.00pm – 8.00pm.  These learning conversations provide an overview of how the year has started and look at what the girls have identified as important goals for their year. It is part of building the sense of community that the Whanaungatanga groups are based on and a chance for you as parents to be a part of this start of year goal setting.

Booking information will be sent to parents next Wednesday.

Tolcarne Fire Sprinkler Upgrade

SHCS is pleased to announce the completion of a four year, $1.3 million, Sprinkler Fire Upgrade to the Tolcarne Boarding Hostel. This work has been undertaken during the holiday breaks over the last four years.

It has included the following:-

* Providing a new fire sprinkler system to the entire main hostel building (including the Sister Etheleen wing)
* Upgrading doors to fire doors as well as exit hardware
* Upgrading fire detection and alarm systems
* Upgrading fire cell separation
* Upgrading exit signage and lighting
* Increased security
* Upgrading & increasing Accessibility facilities (incl. some bathroom facilities)
* Replacing all switchboards and necessary wiring
* Upgrading bedrooms (still underway) with new storage, lighting and beds.

This upgrade is about Boarder & Staff safety, improving accessibility and infrastructure which will hold the Tolcarne Boarding Hostel in good stead going into the future.

Tolcarne is proud that we are now fully compliant with the NZ Building code for hostel environments and the Ministry of Education Hostel legislation.

The new fire sprinkler’s in every room are very delicate, they will all eventually all have a cage cover to help protect them. The student’s at Tolcarne have been informed to not touch the sprinklers at any time. If the red glass is broken on a sprinkler it will cause irreparable water damage to the contents of the entire room.  While the hostel has insurance any broken fire sprinkler through student misbehavior and cause of willful damage (for example: swinging of hockey sticks, jumping from one bed to another, hanging coat hangers from the cage) maybe an expensive incident for the student’s family.

We appreciate your ongoing support of the initiatives we have undertaken that continue to offer the best quality care for your daughters.

PFA Take Away Night

BYO Take away night for families in year 7, 8 and year 9 and 13 students
Year 7 and 8 Sunday the 3rd of March
Year 9 Sunday 17th of March
Location: St Hilda’s Chapel
Time: 5-7pm

Please RSVP to Karen Mowatt on 477 0989 or admin@shcs.school.nz indicating how many members of your family will be attending.

Climate Change Strike Day – 15 March

Some students may wish to attend the strike half day activities. This involves a march beginning at noon along George Street assembling finally in the Octagon for a range of activities up until 3 pm.

If your daughter(s) wish to attend this event, they need to gain your permission for a school absence in the usual manner. This involves a phone call to Mrs Donna Madigan or an email to absences@shcs.school.nz by 8.30 am on the 15 March. By allowing them to attend the strike event, you are also taking responsibility for your daughter(s) care and supervision. We would assume students would be in school in the morning. We are happy for them to wear school uniform to this event as long as they are neat and tidy and behave appropriately.

School classes will be running as normal in the afternoon.

St Hilda’s Old Girls’ Function

Chapel Matters

Last week I think it is fair to say that we were all shocked and outraged by the horrific stabbing of that miniature horse in Waitati. Who would do such a brutal thing to something so innocent? It was just incomprehensible.

Of course, sometimes we can watch the news on TV or on social media and we can get overwhelmed by it all; we can slip into despair, cynicism and paralysis – compassion fatigue. Or we might choose to avoid these things by finding something funny to watch or a game to play, but what sort of person does that make us? Or perhaps we channel the sense of suffering into fury and outrage, at the villains who have done these things, or at God who has allowed these terrible things to happen. But how does this help those who are suffering?

Yes, we should ask the big questions about why people can do such terribly cruel and callous things, and why suffering, pain, and evil exist in this world.
This will inevitably lead us to explore politics, economics, poverty, power, and greed, as well as the nature of God, human free will, and other philosophical topics.


When it comes to nurturing our souls, then instead of becoming uncaring, embittered or overwhelmed, we need to strengthen the sacred connection with God and with others, and simply allow ourselves to feel compassion for our fellow creatures in pain. We need to respond to the suffering of others with tears and action, not just words and intellectual debate. Compassion matters in the spiritual life.

Tolcarne News

Last weekend Tolcarne had their first rugby trip of the season. Over 40 students went to cheer on the Highlanders and had a great time. There was also a Sandfly Bay trip on Saturday that many Year 9’s enjoyed. We discovered that boogie boards cannot slide down the sand, but the weather made it a great opportunity to have a paddle in the ocean and enjoy a picnic!


Congratulations to Ella Fry and Sophie Sinclair who won a Gold medal in the Women’s U19 Double Sculls at the New Zealand Club Rowing Championships in Twizel

Ella Morshuis had another win on her gorgeous horse Blaze in Canterbury this weekend against some pretty tough competition.

Congratulations to Holly Clarke and Tia Docherty who came second in the FMG Jr Young Farmer Of The Year Otago/Southland Regional TeenAg Finals.

Holden School Holiday Programme

We are pleased to share with you that in its first year, nearly 900 young drivers plus their parent or caregiver have attended the programme, rating the programme a 9 out of 10, with 99% of attendees saying they would recommend the programme to others, and 95% stating they now have a better idea of where they need to improve their driving to reduce crash risk.

We have been humbled by just some of the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received, including the likes of:

“Such a valuable course – we had a fabulous day and learnt so much. Thanks so much I think this practical course is what is missing in the current licencing system. Well done”

“Thank you to everybody involved – you have provided a very valuable and probably injury saving and life saving day. It is much appreciated.”

“This course should be compulsory for every learner driver”

“Great day well worth going to. Will be recommending it to everyone I know with teenagers”

“Thanks Holden Street Smart for running this fantastic programme for our young drivers. I will be sharing this information with our local High Schools in Timaru as every young driver will benefit from learning these hands on skills. What a fabulous day”

“Thoroughly enjoyed the day- totally worth learning the skills in a controlled environment. Thanks very much. Anyone thinking of it should sign up”

“Attended with my son. What a well-run and professionally run course. Recommend it 100% for any young driver”

 “Would highly recommend this for your teen driver, a lot of skills learnt for both of us. Thank you”

With the next school holiday period not far away, we hope you’ll find the below information valuable to again share through your various communication channels.

Holden Street Smart is a world-class, cognitive based driver programme that aims to positively influence the lives of young kiwis across the country, and help them to become a safer and more aware driver on our roads. The Programme has been developed with the involvement of world-renowned road safety expert, Peter Sheppard. In addition, passionate road safety advocate, Greg Murphy, is our Programme Ambassador.

Offering a practical hands-on learning experience, Holden Street Smart is a programme that aims to add to, and compliment, the great work already undertaken by NZTA, NZ Police and others in the area of road safety.

Holden Street Smart is a one-day event providing young drivers and their parents/caregivers the opportunity to undertake supervised driving practice. There is a focus on developing good decision-making strategies  for safe driving, including assessing themselves, reading the road environment, resisting peer pressure, managing or eliminating distractions and planning ahead.

 The Programme takes place in safe, controlled, off-the-road environments, under the watchful eye of qualified coaches plus the parent/caregiver. This provides the parent the opportunity to also assess themselves, in order to be a better coach and mentor to their teen.

Please feel free to take excerpts from the above programme information. We have also attached images that you would be welcome to use, and below is a You Tube link to our introduction video and also a brief one sentence outline of the Holden Street Programme if you might require a quick reference for use on the likes of digital / social media channels:


Holden Street Smart is a programme that equips young Kiwis with the tools needed to help be a  safer and more aware driver on our roads.

Registrations can be completed via the easy to use pages on our website – www.holdenstreetsmart.co.nz

Holden Street Smart will be delivering it’s programme throughout the upcoming April School Holidays, and while some dates are already full, locations we’ll be visiting along with space availability can be found at: www.holdenstreetsmart.co.nz

Reminder – 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.

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