Weekly News Term 1|Week 6

A Note from The Principal

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Today is International Women’s day. It is a day when we celebrate women who support and assist other women to live their lives fully, get an education and have purposeful work.

Z Club display for International Women’s Day

I think this is fitting as we acknowledged the young women who take on the leadership roles within their areas of interest and passion as Sport and Cultural Liaisons this week in assembly. There are a lot of different leadership positions here at school, and I encourage all the girls to offer to contribute and help others, especially if they have some knowledge or expertise, or just love a sport or arts activity. The more people we have giving, serving and getting others involved, the better we all will be and the stronger our community. We all benefit from all of them putting your hand up and saying – I’d like to help.

 This year the slogan for International Women’s Day is about balance. A balanced world, where genders are treated equally – is better for everyone

The future is exciting. Let’s build a gender-balanced world. We have the chance to be part of that world – lead it, develop it and stand up for others who have not had our opportunities, our education, our privileges.

Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere.

I borrowed a book recently, that told the amazing story of an inspirational and passionate young woman who helped others to make the most of their talent. A young woman who went from South Auckland to the world stage, and took her friends with her.

Parris Goebel was 15 when she left school and set up her first Dance crew “Request”.

She did not enjoy school, struggled to sit in class, and was disengaged from learning. She felt different to everyone else. Of Samoan, Chinese and Scottish descent she hated her uncontrollable curly hair, her skin colour, she was curvy, not skinny, bigger than everyone else. Teased and bullied throughout primary and secondary school for the way she looked, she didn’t like herself, and at 13 was lonely, sad, and insecure. By her own admission she went to a dark place and suffered from depression.

Her Dad saw that she was unhappy, wasting her time – and so he encouraged her to leave school, find something else to do, and really she never looked back.

At 15 she was a school drop out, unemployed for a year, a bit lost. She said “To have all this talent and drive, but also so many mind battles and insecurities was something I had to really work through.”

Then she found an avenue for her love of dance and creativity. Hip Hop. She started a dance crew, found a place to train, and committed herself totally to her dream. Two years later she and her crews had won a world championship, and would go on to win many more.  At 19 she was asked to choreograph Jennifer Lopez’s hit “I’m going’ in”

She was a star, asked to choreograph performances for American Idol, Cirque de Soliel, Dancing with the Stars America, and working with stars such as Rhianna, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Little Mix

She had found an outlet for her talents, she worked harder than she had ever worked in her life, and she was happy.  She had also built up a strong group of young men and women in her dance crews, who she had known since her South Auckland days and when she was asked to choreograph routines and videos, she took her mates with her. She taught them new moves, had high expectations for them, nurtured them and challenged them, and they all got better together.

And then her really, really big break. Choreographing all the videos for Justin Beiber’s new album “Purpose”.

Choreographed, filmed and produced under incredible time pressure, “Sorry”, filmed in NZ, with a white background, in a tiny shed, using all the girls from her own dance crews, became one of the most watched music videos ever.

Parris is now one of the most respected choreographers in the world, and she has never stopped learning and working hard. She said” If I want to do something, I learn, study it, and practise it until I am experienced enough to do it well. You have to be comfortable about being a beginner. I love learning and I love the feeling of growing and getting better. Its ok to feel dumb and uncoordinated, that feeling doesn’t last forever. You don’t have to be good at the outset to succeed at something, just passionate. Every expert was once a student.”

Funny really, for a woman who now says that keeping learning is one of the things that really drives her and she loves helping and teaching others, that she had such a rough time at school.  She loves learning, but doesn’t love school. I get that, and I am sure many of your daughters do too.  Don’t let school and assessment and others expectations get in the way of their passions and their learning.

From a sad, scared, insecure teenager to one of Forbes Magazines most influential women in the world, named Young New Zealander of the Year in 2015, and still only 27 years old, Parris Goebel is a leader who guides others and looks after her team. She knows that balance makes for a better world. She still isn’t skinny, but she’s got her hair under control, she is comfortable in her own skin and she is proud of her Samoan heritage, of who she is, where she comes from, and what she has achieved.

“Black sheep, pink sheep, blue sheep
whatever you are
Just be you”



Safety in the St Hilda’s precinct

We ask that you please be mindful of where you pick up and drop off your daughter for school each day. The further from school the better as this helps reduce congestion near the school.

Recently we have had feedback from neighbours regarding parents parking in their resident parks, across their driveways and on the yellow lines. There is also a general concern for students crossing Queens Drive, gaining access to the bush track to Wallace Street or Tolcarne. Traffic is travelling too fast and parking inappropriately, obscuring the view of students crossing the road.

Please help us to make this part of each students day as safe as possible.

Interim Reports on Learning

Interim Reports on Learning were emailed home yesterday.  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 has been sent out.


Netsafe have recently updated their online safety resources for New Zealand parents. This includes a new downloadable parent guide to Instagram. Click here to access these resources.

PFA Take Away Night

BYO Take away night for Year 9 families.
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.

Tolcarne News

On Thursday night some of our Year 9’s and 10’s went to the JMC social and had a great time!
Last weekend we had a group of girls give a silk class a go! They had lots of fun as they swung from the ceiling trying lots of different poses.

The Ugly Shakespeare Company Visit – the Taming of The Shrew.

Ugly Shakespeare visited last Friday with their entertaining, high energy, provocative performance to The Taming of the Shrew.  We laughed, clapped, and at the end, shocked into silence. The play is still ‘the thing’ to get a message across.

As one of the most controversial of Shakespeare’s plays, we were a bit hesitant as to what to expect.

We should not have worried. The all-female cast – in itself an irony considering the male-dominated actor’s world of the 17th Century – entertained, provoked and educated us for an hour.

It began with a brief life and times of the bard, before entering the world of Katherina and Bianca, the former a  headstrong, obdurate shrew, abhorring all men, the latter, curtailed by her father’s edict of never being able to marry before her older sister, Katherina. At its simplest, it is the lure of money that entices Petruchio tino tame Katerina into his wife, and when he marries her, allows Bianca’s wedding to take place too.

But it the ‘how’ of the transformation of Katerina that is unsettling, with abuse, bullying, starvation as tools in Petrichio’s subjugation. Problematic in the extreme, especially when at the end, in her final speech, she places her hand beneath his foot – what a metaphor!  Ugly Shakespeare, with an all-female cast, in the era of #metoo, fight for equality and emancipation would they leave it at that?

And no, they did not. The students were challenged with think about the plat through different lenses. It does portray the life of women in the 17th century, which unsettling though it is, shows how far rights of and for women have come. But then, we were reminded that still today, women in some countries, are still not equal in status or treatment. And shamefully, that in the OECD, New Zealand still has one of the highest rates of domestic violence.

So, as with any text, it allows the audience to see humanity in all its many diverse manifestations and allows us to comment on whether we have become better or still have a way to go. And, also, to enjoy an entertaining and captivating performance.

Abel Tasman National Park Trip

In week 5, the St Hilda’s Year 12 PE and Outdoor Ed classes went on an expedition to the Abel Tasman National Park.

The girls are challenged in many ways throughout the week, whether it be sea kayaking or tramping with a back pack for the first time or simply sleeping in a tent. The kayaking was interesting at times with rolling seas but the girls learnt the value of working together to keep the kayaks moving. The hikers walked together, keeping an eye on others in the group and gaining an understanding of social responsibility. The weather was fantastic for the entire week with sunshine and balmy temperatures.

We would like to thank our fantastic parents, Jan Johnstone and David Kinney for spending the week with us.

Chapel Matters


This week we celebrated Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. These days trace their history back 100s of years and mark the beginning of the season of Lent, the period of 40 days leading up to Easter. The story goes that about 40 days before Easter, Jesus started on a journey to Jerusalem with his disciples, a journey that would end with his crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Jesus also had another 40 day time of reflection, but this was right at the start of his ministry, after his baptism. Jesus took 40 days to spend alone in the desert, praying and fasting, and when he was at his lowest, facing three temptations. During our Ash Wednesday service we watched a 5min video about this “time out” which you might like to watch too:

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.