Weekly News Term 2|Week 4

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

 Building Heart Campaign

I spoke to the girls in assembly this week about the building projects and the launch of the Building Heart Campaign. It is important they have a sense of the history of the school, how we came to have these great facilities and why looking to the future has always been a part of the ethos and philosophy of who we are. We would not have survived for 123 years, if we had not had a community and Boards who contributed to the present with an eye to the future.

As I discussed with them, once we complete the first project in our campaign, we will move on to raising funds for our next stage – the redevelopment of the Chapel, Whitby Hall and the Humanities next door – classrooms/spaces.

We know we cannot keep sitting on the floor in Chapel and squashing them all in – We are not prepared to accept this long term, or give up on it, we know it is not the best. However we cannot use government money or attendance dues for the chapel – we have to fundraise it ourselves.

The Chapel adjoins Whitby Hall, and it is our vision to create an exciting new ‘connections hub’ in Whitby – a place of glass, light and warmth, where we can all be together, work together, eat together and where we can host school events, recognizing that a strong sense of belonging and connection with others are the keys to life long wellbeing, productivity and living with purpose.

We have to upgrade our current canteen anyway, for compliance reasons, and we want to make that space functional, but also inclusive and welcoming. Happy girls learn effectively, so if we want them to feel connected, with a sense of spaces where they belong, then we need to create warm, comfortable spaces for them.

It is proposed that the Library will move to a mezzanine space in Whitby, as we plan ahead to ensure our library remains a critical literacy and information resource centre which meets the needs of modern day learners.

I would also like to acknowledge the PFA – The Parents and Friends Association for their generous support. Every year they fundraise for all of us – for the sports and cultural funds, for furniture, for Apple TVs and materials for classrooms. Last year through the fair and the raffle they fundraised a huge amount towards the fit out of the new building, and in assembly this week Mrs Copeman on behalf of the PFA presented Mr Mason the BOT Finance Committee Chair with a cheque for $70,000, which is of tremendous benefit as we plan for the new building, and also a real credit to their hard work and perseverance, and the wonderful support we had from our wider community.

Please click on the video below to see a walk/fly through of the proposed Chapel/Whitby.

It doesn’t show some of the new proposed classrooms or work spaces for staff, as we don’t know what that might look like yet, but you will see the general buildings and where we hope to put the second tennis court – where the ‘secret garden’ behind the house at 16 Heriot Row is at the moment. It is a very exciting project to be working towards.

NCEA Change Package.

Please find here the link to the NCEA Change Package that the Ministry of Education announced last week.

The proposed changes validate all that we have been doing over the past three years in terms of the construction of our courses, our focus on deep, meaningful, future ready learning rather than the superficial chasing of credits, and our commitment to the wellbeing of students and staff. The Ministry has stated that it will now work with key stakeholders on the detailed design of these changes to understand the implementation implications, and we look forward to those discussions.

There are several points to note with this document:

– Fewer credits will be available, with a maximum of 20 credits per subject. 6 subjects, Level 1 & 2 = max 120 credits. Level 3, 5 subjects = max 100 credits. Currently we offer between 18-24 credits per subject.
– Fewer standards will be part of each course and assessments will be standardized to a maximum of 6 credits, and standards will cover more knowledge. i.e. More teaching, less testing
– Special Assessment conditions will be available as part of everyday teaching and learning, for more students. e.g. large print exam papers
– No exam fees
– Resubmissions will only be allowed to get a student to ‘Achieved’ level.
– The number of credits available between internally and externally assessed assessment standards in each subject will be rebalanced with an approximate 50:50 split.
– Numeracy and Literacy standards will be a co-requisite to NCEA – i.e. not part of the credit count. Students can meet the standard whenever they are ready
– Level 1 will remain optional

The timeline for these changes is yet to be confirmed and we have had not time as a staff to unpack, discuss or reflect on this Change package, but we will be doing so in the coming months and of course will keep our community informed as we get more information.

Parent Advisory Group
I am keen to develop a Parent Advisory Group to help us shape and further refine the strategic vision and planning for St Hilda’s Collegiate. Having input and contributions from our parents, and tapping into the wealth of experience, knowledge and energy that sits within that group, is critical to our continued development as a school and as a community.

It would be great to have a number of parents who might like to be part of such an initiative. Interested?

This could be you if you:
– Want to have a voice in enhancing our strategic direction and focus
– Are committed to preparing our young women for the world that awaits them
– Enjoy contributing to a future focused, solution driven organisation
– Are interested in being involved in leading edge, best practice in education that leads the way for others

Sounds like a good initiative to be part of?
If you are interested in being part of this group you will need to:
– be prepared to commit to one meeting per term for 2-3 hours
– have the time to undertake background reading before each meeting ( 1 hour max)
– come with an open mind, finely tuned collaboration and communication skills and a commitment to improvement

The first meeting for this proposed advisory group will be Thursday 20th June at 7.00pm in the school library.

Please RSVP to principal@shcs.school.nz for catering purposes.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this initiative further please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to working alongside you to continue to strengthen and enhance our learning community.

Jackie Barron

PPTA/NZEI Strike -Wednesday 29 May

The PPTA and NZEI have advised the Board of Trustees that their members at our school will be taking strike action on Wednesday 29th May 2019.

This will mean that all union members will be taking industrial action on this day and will not be at school.

The Board has carefully considered the availability of teaching staff and unfortunately decided that we can’t provide the normal teaching services during the strike so the school will officially be closed for instruction on Wednesday.

If this is difficult we can still supervise a small number of our St Hilda’s students in the library if required.

Please call Mrs Donna Madigan or email absences@shcs.school.nz by noon on Tuesday if your daughter will be at school that day and requires supervision, so we can meet our health and Safety requirements.

Thank you for your understanding.

Pink Ribbon Breakfast

The Z Club is holding a Pink Ribbon breakfast on Friday 31 May (Term 2 – Week 5) at 7:30 am in the school Chapel.

The tickets can be purchased either online by filling out the form which can be accessed via the link on the St Hilda’s School Facebook page or with cash at the student office in Term 2.

Students $10.00                 Adults $20.00

All funds raised will be donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation to help women who are struggling with breast cancer and to help find a cure.

There will be plenty of yummy food and a talk from our guest speaker Heather Cunliffe who is a researcher at the University of Otago.

Come along and support this great cause – it is sure to be plenty of fun!

The Launch! Girls’ App development

The Launch! Girls’ App development event took place at Balmacewen Intermediate on 23 May as part of New Zealand Tech Week. The event was focused on girls designing solutions to problems with software and was attended by more than 100 girls from 12 Dunedin schools. Cheryl Adams, CEO of Animation Research Limited, was the guest speaker and stressed the urgent need for more females to enter the tech industry.  Females represent over 50% of the population, but software developers are predominantly males, which leads to apps that don’t always meet the needs and values of females. Both gender and ethnic diversity are required in the tech industry to ensure that future development addresses wider societal issues and needs.

St Hilda’s was represented by four teams at the event, in which each team had to prototype an app that would help solve an issue or need in society.  It was clear from the teams’ app ideas that environment and well-being were at the forefront of the girls’ minds. The girls have the opportunity to develop their app ideas further as part of Tahi-Rua-Tora Tech, the New Zealand Digital Technologies Challenge for schools.

The Year 9 team of Eliabel Legrand, Emma Grindlay, Evie Rose Grace and Hannah McCoubry were specifically highlighted in the ODT for their “Little by Little” website idea, which aimed to help students understand different ways in which they could help the environment:


Our other teams also came up with excellent app prototypes. The Year 9 team of Rosa Smith, Victoria Avery, Zara Geddes and Amelie Warlow, designed a Well-Being Tree app that helps teenagers reflect on and grow their well-being.

The Year 10 team of Ella Hodgson, Lucie Holtz, Kate McEwan and Madison Khan, designed an app named Self-Estream, which is intended to help teens boost their self-esteem as they do activities that will help clean up our waterways.

The Year 12 team of Ginny Smith, Mya Tsakmakis, Olivia Andrew and Ella Dixon, designed and coded a web app, that allows students to self-regulate access to social media on their devices so that they can focus on school work and get more restful sleep.

It was a pleasure to see how our girls worked collaboratively as teams and focused on developing solutions that were highly creative and thoughtful to the needs of their peers. They all presented their ideas clearly and represented both themselves and the school well.

Julie McMahon
HOD Technology

Year 12 Field Trip

On May 15th-17th the Year 12 Geography class went on a field trip to Aoraki, Mt Cook National Park.
It was a great opportunity to see the amazing natural environment that we have been studying in class. The girls gathered data for an achievement standard while walking up the Red tarns track to an altitude of 1020m.
We finished the trip with a ski-plane flight that landed on the Tasman Glacier. It was a fantastic experience and one the girls will remember for the rest of their lives.


Doing good does you good. Click here to learn more about how giving back and expressing gratitude can assist our own wellbeing.


Figure Skating

Lucie Holtz represented New Zealand at the ISU Oceania International Novice Figure Skating Competition last week in Melbourne. In her grade, she placed 10th in a strong field of 21 skaters and was the highest placed NZ competitor in her grade. She also had the opportunity to perform in the gala, and be a skater demonstrator in the coaching seminar led by Misha Ge (former Olympic figure skater)  following the competition.

 If you are interested in seeing her performance she is on at 2:33:21 https://vimeo.com/335844820

Congratulations to St Hilda’s Senior A who won three Premier Competition games in a row.

St Hilda’s had a strong contingent of girls competing at Otago Secondary Schools Swimming on Sunday 19th May

Every swimmer made multiple top-eight /finals and the SHCS A teams were placed second in both the 200 free relay and 200 medley relay respectively.

Top 3 placings:
Olivia Andrew: 1st 50 backstroke, 2nd 100 freestyle, 2nd free relay
Ella-Rose Crooks: 2nd 100 fly, 2nd 100IM, 3rd 50 freestyle
Isabella Gold: 2nd 100 breaststroke, 2nd 50 breaststroke, 3rd 200 breaststroke, 2nd medley relay
Nicole Heaton: 1st 100 backstroke, 3rd 200 backstroke, 2nd free relay, 2nd medley relay
Anna Hutchens: 3rd 200 freestyle
Natalie Hutchens: 2nd 50 freestyle, 2nd free relay, 2nd medley relay
Andie McGrouther: 3rd 50 breaststroke
Meg McLaughlan: 3rd 200IM
Jessica Scott: 1st 100 fly, 1st 50 fly, 1st 200 fly, 2nd free relay, 2nd medley relay
Molly Whittaker: 1st 200 breaststroke, 2nd 100 breaststroke, 2nd 50 breaststroke, 3rd 200IM

Tia Dougherty, Olivia Hazlett and Analee Toro went to the first trapshooting competition of the season on Sunday. They did a good job at representing the school and achieved very highly.

– Tia was the High Overall (HOA) for the Ladies (That is, Tia scored the highest score for all of the events combined
– Analee placed second in Down-The-Line (DTL) Point Score.
– The team won the DTL Points Score Event

This is an amazing achievement for the girls as this is only their second season together and they were up against some very experienced shooters.

Water Polo
Congratulations to the following girls who have been selected in Otago Water Polo teams.

U14 Otago Water Polo at St Hilda’s are Tiana Brummit Rodriguez, Luana Ashton, Honour Birks, Meg Pope, Lucy Higeholt-Martyn, Olivia Ollerenshaw and Hannah Hemi.

U16 Otago Water Polo from St Hilda’s are Quilla Cashell-Smith, Emma Andrew, Olivia Brown, Priynaka McKenzie-Patel and Amelia Lane.

Tolcarne News

We had our first Tribe Competition on Monday night. Each Tribe had to design and draw a visual graffiti of their Tribe chant. Congratulations to Falkland who took out the challenge.

Last weekend we had a number of students try Pole Fitness. They found it very difficult but still a lot of fun.

This weekend they are off to Laser Tag, which is always good fun.

We also have a group of students heading to The Regent Theatre to see Wicked. I am sure they will be amazed by such a fantastic show!

Happy Weekend!

NZQA Digital Examinations

In 2014 and 2015 St Hilda’s took part in the Mathematics trial for the Level 1 mCAT. In 2016 History, Geography and Spanish used the NZQA trials as preparation for the November examinations (all in Level 1), and English had volunteers taking part in the Level 1 digital external examination (called a pilot). In 2017 St Hilda’s was part of a group of thirteen schools that took part of a co-managed trial using the digital format for both school examinations and the November external examinations in English at Level 1 and 2. In 2018 digital trails expanded to include Level 1 Science, Level 2 and 3 Media Studies and digital pilots in all three levels of English.

In 2019, NZQA is offering 14 subjects digitally, across NCEA levels 1, 2 and 3 for the November external examinations. The subjects for St Hilda’s are Art History, Classical Studies, English, Media Studies and History.

Students voluntarily enter these digital examinations. There will be familiarisation activities provided by NZQA and our benchmark examinations will also be offered in the digital format.

A form will be sent out later this term for students to complete.