Weekly News Term 1|Week 7

A Note from The Principal

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

We had our Academic Blues assembly on Wednesday. This is a very special time for us all to recognise exceptional academic achievement in NCEA and other areas of academic endeavour, and also reflect on another year where St Hilda’s Collegiate has continued to offer an engaging, varied and relevant education for every student, whatever their passions, interests or competencies.

Our NCEA results were excellent. Pass rates and endorsement rates generally continue to be well above national benchmarks and are the result of dedicated and hard working students, passionate and expert staff, and encouraging and involved parents.

This year we broadened the criteria for an Academic Blue, to recognise that many of our students are excelling in areas, that are not reflected in such a narrow measure as NCEA, and that academic challenges are not just about formal assessment, but also to be found in national awards, winning competitions, being successful teams and having their talents recognised by experts outside of school.

We recognised too, learning comes in many guises, in different contexts and applications and that many of our students achieved personal bests, that their achievements were outstanding, individual, hard won and satisfying, whether they received a blue or not. They achieved their goals, in a range of endeavours and we congratulate them on their efforts – well done.

We acknowledged all the girls who received a Blue. They have achieved to the highest level in a variety of areas of interest and study, exhibiting a work ethic and dedication to complement their abilities and talents.

We also welcomed our Scholarship winners. It was wonderful that as a community we could recognise their outstanding efforts in achieving scholarship, which puts them all in the top 3% of year 13 students in NZ who have studied their subject. While not all the girls could be with us, as they move all over the country to begin their tertiary studies, we were delighted that some of them were able to join us, even though we know they are all now engaged with the next stage of their education.

This week we also celebrated a very special birthday for a long-standing staff member, John Huggett

Board of Trustees Communication

The Board of Trustees is considering moving to staggered elections.  The matter will be discussed at the Board of Trustees meeting which is to be held on Monday 18th March 2019 at 5.45pm in the School Library.  All interested parents/caregivers are invited to attend this meeting to be a part of this discussion.

Health Notice

We have received notification from the Southern District Health Board regarding the Measles Outbreak. Two cases have now been confirmed in Dunedin. Measles is a highly infectious disease and is more serious than many people realise. About one in ten people who contract Measles require hospitalisation and 30% of these go on to develop further complications.

With this in mind, it is important that you keep your daughter at home if she is displaying any signs of illness. The symptoms include fever, cough, red eyes and a runny nose, with a rash developing after approximately 4 days. Affected students must remain away from school for a minimum of 5 days from the appearance of their rash or until fully recovered. We thank you for your assistance with this.

Staff Only Day

Teacher only day – Friday 22nd March

As a staff we have been looking at ways to allow staff and students a number of opportunities to work with extended time to develop some different learning activities. The advantages of extended time allows for more in depth learning, the opportunity to complete different types of assignments, more variety in instruction while also encouraging more student agency and independence. Departments will be focussing on developing learning activities to maximise these extended time block in the staff only day on Friday 22nd March.


After careful consideration, we made the decision not to attend the Safer Journeys presentation run this week in Dunedin by the NZ Transport Agency for Year 11 students. This decision was not made lightly and was a result of feedback received by students, attending staff and parents over the past several years around the deeply traumatic nature of this event. Research tells us that using shock tactics to scare young people is entirely futile, as with anything dangerous, young people tend to think of themselves as bulletproof. We also have concerns that much of the focus is on learner and restricted drivers which would be better suited to Year 12 students who actually are at this stage, rather than Year 11 students who are yet to have the experience of sitting in the driver’s seat.

We discussed our concerns with the Police and the event organisers before making the decision to withdraw and have assured them of our return to this event should appropriate changes be made. We have in return been asked to contribute our thoughts to the future structure of this event and have been thanked for our constructive input.

Reminder – 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.

Tolcarne News

The Wanaka show was again a successful event with many old girls, current families and prospective families visiting our tent site.  We enjoyed catching up with past students and learning about their careers and lives.  The importance and beauty of relationships is reinforced at the Wanaka show.

International Department

It has been a busy time in the international department. We have introduced a buddy programme that kicked off last week with a meet and greet lunch. It was great to see friendships being formed and I am looking forward to these friendships growing over the year.


We also welcome 16 girls from Ichikawa Gakuen High School in Japan for a two week experience here at St Hilda’s. They will be doing a mixture of ESOL classes in the morning to improve their English language skills and fun activities in the afternoon.

Thank you to the St Hilda’s families that have opened their homes and their hearts to these students, we couldn’t do it without you.

Chapel Matters

As Jesus starts out on his 40-day journey to Jerusalem – the period of time we call “Lent” – he turns to his disciples and asks them a question: “Who do people say that I am?” This is a question that people have wondered about Jesus ever since then. Is he a wise teacher? A crazy prophet? A religious nutter? A political rebel? A servant king?

When Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was, Peter replied with the answer, “You are the Christ.” Christ is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Messiah, so Peter is saying that Jesus is the one chosen by God to save the people of God from their enemies; the one in whom they could put their hope.

Jesus accepted Peter’s response, but because the Jewish people at this point in the first century were hoping for a Messiah who would free them from the Roman Empire and its cruel domination, Jesus had to explain that he would be doing things differently.

He was going to have to die in order for freedom and life and justice to be able to come to the world, not through a military revolution or a violent overthrow of the Romans, but through the revolution of people’s lives as they found peace in God and with each other, and worked for justice as a result. Hope, peace, love and justice could only come to all people, across the whole of human history, through self-sacrifice, never by violence or aggression.

This wasn’t really the kind of Messiah that they were expecting. But Jesus is often not what we expect. So the question to ask this Lent is, who do YOU think Jesus is? If Jesus could ask you, “Who do you say that I am?” How would you answer?


Dunedin Triathlon Club Corporate and Secondary Schools Triathlon: On 19th February, a team consisting of Natalie Hutchens, Giana Thomas and Megan Foster competed and placed 3rd in Girls Secondary schools grade.
South Island Secondary Schools Triathlon and Duathlon Championships.: On 3rd March St Hilda’s fielded a team of 8 girls with outstanding results from all of the girls involved. Special mention to:
  • Tiana Brummitt-Rodriguez and Quilla Cashell-Smith who were 3rd U16 Girls Triathlon Team (year 10)
  • Natalie Hutchens 3rd U19 Girls Individual Triathlon (year 12)
  • Giana Thomas 3rd U19 Girls Individual Duathlon (year 13)
Congratulations also to Zara Geddes(4th U14) and the rest of the U16 girls Anna Hutchens (6th), Molly Whittaker (9th) and Holly Bissett (11th).
South Island Secondary Schools Triathlon and Duathlon

(missing from photograph – Molly Whittaker) 

A big group of year 7/8 triathletes competed at the Dunedin Primary and Intermediate Triathlon Championships in Port Chalmers on Wednesday, all girls did extremely well amongst some tough competition. Congratulations to Kyla Ashton who placed 2nd in the Yr 7 Individual event.

Year 7 & 8 Triathletes

St Hilda’s had a very successful weekend at the South Island Secondary School Rowing Championships with crews making 9A finals and 5B finals a long with a number of medals being won by the girls below

Ella Fry & Sophie Sinclair                                       Silver – U18 Double

Sophie Smith & Millie Davenport                       Silver – U16 Double

Sophie Smith                                                                Bronze – U16 Single

Bridget Sinclair & Libby Drummond                 Silver – U15 Double

Congratulations and good luck to Molly Loe who is set to make her SBS Bank Otago Spark’s debut this weekend against the Central Hinds. Molly may be one of the youngest Sparks in recent history.

Reminder – 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.

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.