Weekly News Term 3|Week 2

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

In assembly this week we looked at the impact of the event of 50 years ago this month when a man first walked on the moon. It was a momentous occasion and one that captured people’s imagination. How could people have got that far? It was an event to inspire joy and wonder.

I remember, being very little and listening to the coverage on the radio at primary school. I have a vivid memory of us all sitting in class, just up the road at Maori Hill Primary School, and being spellbound, amazed, that we could hear what they were saying and they were millions of miles away in space. It should be noted that for everyone on Earth, the first Moon landing was purely an audio experience. Controllers in control centre had the added benefit of telemetry from the spacecraft, but there was no live television of the landing. A 16-mm silent film camera mounted in the right hand (Aldrin’s) window recorded the event, but was not available for viewing until it was returned to Earth and developed.

For the moon landing to be successful 10,000 pieces of equipment had to work perfectly, and they did. The technology seemed unbelievable. Today there is more technology driving your phone than was used to get that rocket launched. An iPhone with 4GB of RAM packs more than 1 million times more memory than the Apollo computer. Comparing ROM, a 512GB iPhone is 7 million times more powerful than the guidance computer. Today’s iPhone could handle 120 million moon missions at once

When the Apollo 11 alarms went off 5 times saying something was wrong, they kept checking the data and making decisions during the expedition, because there was too much data for the computer to manage – which is not surprising. And yet it was still enough to get men to the moon.

It was a  positive news story that literally stopped the world. For a generation who had seen the end of WW2, the Korean war, witnessed the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King  this was a really good news story.

Every nation had people tied to radios, holding their breath as the lunar module landed, then rejoined the spacecraft and then landed back on earth. A global population wishing them on, hoping for success. Some commentators have said, it was the last time the world was one.

When I think about it, what has since stopped the world like that? What has united us all in a common event? There have been plenty of instances when bad news has dominated.  When thinking about this, we often first think of tragedies; those of us who were alive can remember where we were when Princess Diana died, what we were doing when the planes hit the twin towers, being horrified at the Columbine High School shootings, fearing for family and friends during the CHCH earthquakes. It seems to be much harder to think of good news that has united the world. Perhaps royal weddings, Kate and William, Harry and Meghan or the amazing rescue of the Thai boys from the caves.

The moon landing was an amazing event. The chance that something could go wrong was high, it needed teamwork, self belief and people working together and trusting each other, under very stressful circumstances and it all came together.

Photos taken of the control room, show anxious faces, and men wearing the same white shirts and black ties except for one woman, Joann Morgan, who was the instrumentation controller for the NASA Apollo 11 Moon mission. She was the only female in attendance in the launch firing room for the Apollo 11 liftoff.  As a student some years before she had applied to be an engineer because the ad said ‘student’s not boys’, or she said she would not have had the courage to apply. She went on to have a 45 year career at NASA winning many awards, holding prestigious roles at the Kennedy Space Centre, and breaking the ceiling for the women who came after her. Morgan was a talented mathematician, a fantastic communicator and a bona fide engineer — but that didn’t stop prejudice, especially in the sixties. When she first started work, one of the guys in her team asked if she could make them coffee. No said her boss, she’s an engineer, and you don’t ask an engineer to make coffee

Morgan said; “I look at that picture of the firing room where I’m the only woman and I hope all the pictures now that show people working on the missions to the Moon and onto Mars, in rooms like Mission Control or Launch Control or wherever — that there will always be several women. I hope that photos like the ones I’m in don’t exist anymore.”

What she did was to pave a way for the women who came after her, just as Aldrin, Collins and Armstrong took a giant step that showed us all another world and that anything was possible.

Jackie Barron


Due to changes in circumstances, we have had to make some staffing changes. We are very fortunate to have the capabilities within our staff to accommodate these changes while maintaining the high standard of curriculum delivery. Mrs Crawford who has been covering Year 7 Science, Year 10 English while Ms Corkery is on leave will finish at the end of this week for family reasons. Year 7 Science will be taken by Mr Rosenberg, Ms Julie van Rij will take the Year 10 English class. A timetable change will happen for Year 13 English whereby Mrs Almey and Ms van Rij will swap classes. As these two classes follow the same programme and these two experienced teachers work together closely this will not adversely affect the learning.

Good luck to the girls involved in the Hip Hop competition.
We have a number of girls travelling to Timaru for the winter Quadrangular competition which is being hosted by Craighead this year. I am sure there will be some great competition.


Annika Marriner won the Most Promising Performer award as part of Musical Theatre Dunedin’s theatre restaurant show, “Future Stars”. Well done to Annika for this great achievement. Lily Hornal and Chloe Woodhouse were also part of this show and gave a great performance.

Hokonui Fashion Awards results
The Hokonui Fashion Design Awards were held in Gore on the 26/27th of July. This year we had students from Year 12 and 13 Textiles enter their garments in various sections.

The night was a positive one with Anna Harcus winning the runner up spot in the Streetwear section and Lucy Girvan also winning a runner up award in the Natural fibres section. Summer Phillips also received a Merit award in the Streetwear section.


ODT Class Act 2019
Congratulations to Tamara Mason and Olivia Hall who have been nominated as our two 2019 Class Act representatives.

The 2019 Class Act awards presentation ceremony is to be held on 5th September.

Mya Haigh 
and Charlie Byers (Year 8) have been selected to compete in the 14 and under age group at the Kiwi Indoor Junior Champs in Christchurch. Entry is via NZ ranking and only 16 players compete. These two girls are awesome tennis players competing on a national stage. Congratulations!


Five years ago the guidance and pastoral team met to discuss which initiatives would make the biggest difference to the wellbeing of our students. This is when Bun Bun La Hop, our Therapy Rabbit, entered the scene. He has been an important and real component of the guidance arena, making a significant difference to a number of girls. Sadly he retired at the start of this year, after many years of amazing work.

After considerable thought and research we decided to purchase another animal to continue and extend Bun Bun’s role and are very excited to introduce the newest member of our Guidance team, Mathilda. She is an 8 week old Golden Retriever puppy. There is a strongly credible body of research on the benefits of dogs to assist healing, wellbeing and belonging, and Golden Retrievers as a breed are highly regarded for companion and Guide dog roles.

Please see the articles linked below for further information about recent case studies and research around the use of Therapy Dogs.

What if schools hired dogs as Therapists? – https://brightthemag.com/can-a-dog-at-school-help-struggling-kids-7317a8eff20d

Animal Assisted Therapy in Counselling and School Settings – https://www.counseling.org/resources/library/eric%20digests/2001-05.pdf

Making Comfort Dogs an Everyday Part of School – https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/50580/making-comfort-dogs-an-everyday-part-of-school

Bringing a Dog to School – https://www.edutopia.org/article/bringing-dog-school

Therapy dogs can help reduce student stress, anxiety and improve school attendance – https://theconversation.com/therapy-dogs-can-help-reduce-student-stress-anxiety-and-improve-school-attendance-93073

We realise that there may be reasons why you may not want your daughter to interact with Mathilda, or to only have limited access to her on her lead. If this is the case please use the link below to share this information with us.


A school dog is a new situation for St Hilda’s, but it is not an unprecedented initiative in schools in NZ and overseas, and we believe the time is right to further enhance the support services we offer in our school. We are confident this will be a positive and constructive initiative that will support our students and staff, and continue to ensure we offer the best quality care for everyone in our school community.

Article about mindfulness featuring St Hilda’s.

It was very exciting to see St Hilda’s featured in the New Zealand Education Gazette in an article highlighting how schools, and in particular St Hilda’s, are using mindfulness. Below is the link.


Chapel Matters

As part of the 150th celebrations of the Anglican Diocese all the different churches and organisations of the Diocese have put together video montages of photos etc. to represent them in relation to being part of the Diocese. So for St Hilda’s, there is a historical one and also a more modern one.
Below is the link to view them (scroll down to the bottom of the page for St Hilda’s)


Thank you to our PFA

We want to thank our PFA for their kind donation of appliances for the student kitchen. This is much appreciated.

Ali Copeman – PFA President delivering the donation.

Holly Clarke and Tia Docherty also want to thank the PFA for their kind sponsorship towards the St Hilda’s Teen Ag, Young Farmer Of The Year Grand Final. Their sponsorship helped Holly and Tia with the purchase of their tops along with the embroidery of their names. Holly and Tia had a wonderful experience learning a lot of new techniques and meeting a lot of great people who support the farming industry. Although they did not place in the top 5 they still feel that they learnt a lot of extra skills from being in the competition.


Volunteers Required – PFA

Parents and senior students over 16 years of age.
The PFA has been given an opportunity to fundraise at this year’s Fleetwood Mac concert on September 21 at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
This involves working in one of the hospitality areas for approximately 8 hours and attending a 90min induction meeting in the week prior to the concert,
The PFA raises funds for the school community for the benefit of all students.

It’s actually a lot of fun and if you are interested in receiving more information please contact Ali Copeman on pfa@shcs.school.nz

Tolcarne News

This week at Tolcarne we started our Thursday Flexi prep, giving students the option of doing activities instead of prep. We have beeswax wrap making, hat knitting, fitness, yoga, GoPro movie making, music and cooking all on offer! Flexi prep is a great way for students to learn something new and different, and they had a great time!
Last weekend we had four groups of students give the Dunedin Escape rooms a go! They had heaps of fun! This weekend we have a silk class on offer.

Self Defence Project Information

Out and About

International students at Tunnel Beach

PFA – Family Quiz Night

Art Auction Gala

The Art Auction Gala is sold out and we have a catalogue of 25+ works by sought-after artists up for auction. Click here to view the catalogue.

Please contact aburke@shcs.school.nz for all enquiries – we need your help to make this event a huge success for St Hilda’s.


SAVE THE DATE – St Hilda’s Careers Evening

Free seminar for parents
Parents and caregivers of secondary school students (Years 9-13) are invited to a free ‘Parents as Career Educators’ seminar on 28 August.

The seminar will provide parents with tips and advice to guide their teenagers through the various career and study options available to them in the modern world. This free seminar will cover:

 The world of work: looking forward

  • How to make informed career decisions now and in the future
  • How parents can assist
  • Career development resource.

Presented by a career consultant from the University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha (UC), the seminar will assist parents to help their teens consider ALL their options, such as work, university, polytechnic, an apprenticeship, private providers or other possibilities. (This event is NOT about study options at UC.)

The seminar will be held from 7:00pm-8:30pm at Dunedin Community House, 301 Moray Place, Dunedin on Wednesday 28 August 2019. Register online at:www.canterbury.ac.nz/events

MoneyHub, a guide to scholarships
As many of our Year 13 students begin their applications for tertiary study and look for ways to fund their future studies – MoneyHub, a consumer finance website, has published a guide to hundreds of scholarships for any student planning to start university in 2020. The comprehensive list includes scholarships offered by every university as well as those specifically available to local students. A list of privately-funded, Maori, Pacific and International university scholarships completes the list. Applications close at various dates throughout the year. MoneyHub has also published a list of tips for scholarship success. For more details and to find suitable scholarships, visit the MoneyHub Scholarship page

Student Job Interview Guide and Tips
MoneyHub, a consumer finance website, has published a guide to job interview success, helping students to attend a job interview and have the confidence to shine! All job types are covered, and a list of template answers will help students put together their own replies. Getting a part-time or summer job is a lot easier with this guide. To access the guide, visit the MoneyHub Student Job Interview Tips page