Weekly News Term 4|Week 7

Dear Parents and Caregivers

It is with a sense of amazement really, that I write the last newsletter for the year.
As always the time has flown and when you think of the academic, cultural, sporting and service opportunities our girls have had throughout the year, I can only marvel at the commitment of our staff, the energy and enthusiasm of the students and the continued assistance of our parents. There is so much going on here that broadens, deepens, and enriches learning, and it is a privilege to be apart of such an inclusive, vibrant, learning community.
Today has been a special day with the Service Day underway and a range of activities, crafts and community service being completed in conjunction with Anglican Family Care. The girls are energised and committed and the programme ensures great variation. A wonderful day of rich experiences. (photographs below)
Next week we enjoy the Film Festival, which is always a highlight for the Year 10’s, and I also want to wish our Athletics, Cricket and Touch teams all the best as they head away to their national tournaments, and in Cricket’s case – defend their national title.
All the best too, to our two Tech teams who attend the 123Tech Nationals in Wellington next week. This is the first time we have had teams qualify, which is very exciting
Of course, we farewelled our 13 intrepid travellers yesterday, who under the care and guidance of Mrs McMahom and Ms Turner, will be in Malaysia and Borneo for the next 3 weeks as part of the World Challenge Programme. I look forward to hearing of their adventures when they return.
To all our families, we hope you enjoy our special events next week; Year 8 Graduation, Year 13 Leavers Service and Dinner and of course Prizegiving. I wish you all a wonderful summer break, that you have the time to enjoy and be grateful for your families, life’s blessings, and some fine weather.
I look forward to welcoming you all back in 2020.
Jackie Barron

Prize Giving Reminder

On Thursday 5 December we have our Prize Giving at the Town Hall. Prize Giving commences at 5.00 pm and we ask that your daughter is seated in the Town Hall lower level by 4.45 pm. On the morning of Prize Giving the junior students will wear mufti to school for the morning. They will be taken down to the Town Hall at 10:30 am for a run through of the prize giving service and will be released from the Town Hall at approximately 11.30 am.

Please ensure that your daughter(s) uniform is immaculate for the evening. This is her formal uniform and includes wearing a long-sleeved shirt. She may wear white socks rather than tights.

We look forward to seeing you all on the evening of the 5th December to celebrate the end of our academic year.

If your daughter is unable to attend Prize Giving, please email  admin@shcs.school.nz  with a reason.

Key Dates for 2020 Term 1

A more detailed outline of the start up process for 2020 will be emailed out. Here are some key dates:

22 and 23 January – Prefect training and senior Deans available for course advice.

24 January – Staff only day.

27 January – International Orientation Day, Year 7 – 9 begin in the afternoon and Year 13 RE retreat.

28 January – Year 7 – 12 8:40 am start, Year 13 RE Retreat.


St Hilda’s 125th Anniversary Celebrations

It’s 17 months away but we are already looking forward to the 125th Anniversary celebrations in March 2021. Accommodation in Dunedin can be tricky at the best of times, and our 125th is being held over Otago Anniversary weekend, so please make sure you get in early if you’re planning to attend from out of town.
Tickets are available now for the 125th – Full Registration covers all the events, or you can pick and choose which ones you wish to attend (Cocktail Party, Gala Lunch, ‘125 Years of Inspiring St Hilda’s Women’ and the Chapel Service), plus there will be tours, decade group photos, performances and exhibitions all weekend. Please spread the word!



In response to the feedback from the extended learning time we have had throughout the year, we are making changes to how our timetable is structured. The start and end times for the days will not change but we will be making adjustments to where we have our breaks. This will give us the flexibility to meet more diverse learning styles than we are at present.

The timetable will follow a  structure of two periods, chapel/assembly/Whanaungatanga followed by interval then two periods followed by lunch and the sustained silent reading followed by one period. This structure will also allow for a second version of the week featuring double periods which in Term 1 will happen every third week.


Service Day

Today the girls were involved in a rotation of five activities that support Anglican Family Care

  • AFC Street Appeal
  • Playdough and Rainbow Rice making for the AFC play therapy and social work teams.
  • Christmas Card Making for the “Sending Love” organisation (collected and then delivered to Old Folks Homes etc. around Dunedin)
  • Christmas Wrapping paper  to be used by AFC
  • Lavender Bag making


A group of 7 Year 10 students flew to Auckland on Monday to attend the BEAMS programme with Miss Dunn. They spent the Monday afternoon and evening exploring Auckland and then attended BEAMS on Tuesday.  BEAMS is a one-day programme run by the University of Auckland for Māori and Pasifika Year 10 students. The programme is designed to showcase and promote Business, Engineering, Architecture, Medicine and Science as future pathways. These 5 fields are under-represented by Māori and Pasifika peoples. Here’s what the students had to say about the experience.

We left school just after 8 am on Monday and headed for the airport. For most of us, it wasn’t our first time flying but for Iranui it was. Miss Dunn organised with the flight attendants for Iranui to hand out the lollies at the end of the flight, to really cement it as an experience for her. Once we landed we headed to our accommodation, University Hall. This is one of the newer halls of residence. Once we got organised, we headed out for lunch before going to the museum and the winter gardens. We then walked back to the hall to get ready for the evening.

Early Monday evening, we caught a train to Sylvia Park, which was a new experience for most of us. At the mall, we got a bit of time to go shopping and then had burgers for dinner. We trained back to the city and walked to the Sky Tower. The view of Auckland from the 51st floor was amazing. We could see the whole of Auckland’s skyline, including many of the volcanoes and other local landmarks. After watching the sun go down, we got ice cream and walked back to the hostel.

First up on Tuesday morning was Business. This session was held in the enormous Owen G Glenn building, which we were all in awe of. First, we met with a few students studying toward their business degrees. They shared a little bit about what they are studying. Then we played a business-themed game of ‘family feud’. Throughout the game, we expanded our knowledge of business in a fun and hands-on way. We also had the opportunity to win some prizes. It was a great experience exploring the business school, and it helped open our eyes to all the opportunities a business degree could bring us.

Next up was the school of Engineering. One of the professors talked to us and explained what subjects are ideal for engineering and how you need to work hard. After his introduction, some of his students set us a challenge. We had 18 minutes to construct a masterpiece using only spaghetti, tape, string, and a marshmallow to go on the top of the tower. As soon as the timer went off, you had to let go of your tower. Half the towers ended up falling over but a few were able to hold their own weight. The students then measured those still standing to see who had the tallest tower, that team won a prize. Overall, Engineering taught us that if you put your whole heart and energy into what you do, you can do anything.

The Architecture session was heaps of fun. Some of the students spoke to us about their journey toward studying architecture and what it has been like studying at the university. After seeing how we could include our culture in modern designs, we got to design a shop or building. We had complete freedom over our design. Even though some of us were not the best drawers, we still got to create some awesome and unique designs.

For the Medicine session, we got split into four groups and rotated around four different activities. One activity looked at the different parts of the eye and what some of the devices doctors use to see all the parts of it without surgical action. Next, we looked at the reflexes in our lower legs by hitting the tendons on the heel of our foot and just below our knees to see how our reflexes react. For the third activity, we looked at the anatomy of the body and where the organs go in a dummy. Lastly, we looked at all the different things we can observe using a stethoscope, such as listening to our breathing, stomachs, and hearts.

The Science session was based around computer science. During this rotation, we got to play some computer games and had to figure out how to move a digital block using coding. We learnt how to use coding loops to make the code easier. If you got to the highest level you got lollies.

It was a great trip, where everyone took something away from the experience. Some students have had their eyes opened to potential pathways, while others learnt that Auckland is not as daunting as it first seems.

Practice Expedition for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Bronze Award
On Saturday morning, a group of ten Year 10 and Year 11 girls along with Mr St Louis and Mrs McMahon met at the Bullring ready to embark on their Practice Expedition as part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Bronze Award. Unfortunately, the thick fog combined with little wind meant that visibility was poor and not likely to improve. Plan B was put into place; a little more urban than hoped for, but it easily satisfied the requirements of six hours of purposeful activity. A 15 kilometre hike from the Southern Cemetery, to Ross Creek ending in Leith Valley ensued. The most mortifying aspect? crossing Stuart Street and going past Moana Pool fully laden with heavy tramping packs. 

Once arriving at Leith Valley, we said thank you and farewell to Mr St Louis and Mrs Holtz joined the group for overnight camping and Day 2’s activities. After some downtime to recover, the fine dining experience was now to commence – time to break out the Back Country Cuisine and packets of San Remo pasta and sauce. Dessert was a treat of smores, followed by games of Explosive Snap. Once it was dark enough, a brief trek through the bush led us to glow worms, which was a pretty special experience. 

After a good night’s sleep, where fortunately all tents stayed up, it was time to enjoy the various culinary delights we had planned for breakfast. Rain was threatening so down came the tents, just in time for the sun to come out. Next, we set off on a 4 hour walk to Nicholson Falls where we were able to practise a river crossing, and for some who were feeling the heat or particularly hardy, it was time for a shower (fully clothed) under a waterfall.  

Lots of learning occurred, which is what this Practice Expedition is all about. We learnt: having a balanced backpack is important, a kilo of lollies, while it seemed a bargain in the shop, still weighs a kilo; 400g of milk powder makes more milk than anyone will need; it is important to use your guy ropes; you can blow into a self-inflating sleeping mat to make it more comfortable (sadly learnt the next day); if you are going to make pancakes, it’s probably a good idea to bring some oil so they don’t turn into scrambled pancakes; and finally – Cotton is never a good idea. 

This was a fabulous group of girls who had positive attitudes throughout, and they displayed all the qualities of the St Hilda’s graduate that we hope to see.


Year 7 had fun this week making Gingerbread People to give to their buddies in Year 8.

Year 8 Landscapes in the style of the artist Don Binney.


Congratulations to Ella Morshuis and Blaze (World Famous) who won their second National title this weekend at Riverdale Horse Trials in Rotarua.
Next stop Puhinui International Horse Trials in Auckland 6th 7th 8th Dec

Languages Badges
This is a new initiative in the Languages Department for 2019. Students who wish to take up the challenge of extending their learning in various aspects of French and Spanish language and culture have worked towards completing the tasks of their choice at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

The following girls have earned badges this year and were presented with their badges in assembly on Tuesday.
Bronze Award in French
Stella Bowles
Anna Carswell
Billie Crowe
Zara Geddes
Kara-Mai Herbst
Andie McGrouther
Molly Smith
Erin Willis
Nova Wright

Bronze Award in Spanish
Eliabel Legrand

Bronze Awards in both Spanish and French
Kate Beaton
Alyssa May

Silver Award in French
Emma Grindlay

Gold Award in Spanish
Claudia Christie
Evie Rose Grace

Eliabel Legrand, Emma Grindlay and Evie Rose Grace

Water Polo
Last week our Junior A Water Polo team jetted off to Blenheim to compete at the Junior South Island Water Polo Championships.  With amazing weather, a trip to Picton and great pool facilities, the team had a great time away.

During these few days, the Junior girls played exceptionally well, winning their first two games in pool play and playing strong games against teams from other South Island schools. The girls enjoyed their tournament and did very well finishing 5th overall.

Chapel Matters

This week we had a chapel based around the tradition of “Christingle.” This German word means “Christ child” and as a tradition, it started in the 1700s in Germany where children were given a candle in a red ribbon to remind them that Jesus is the light of the world.

These days this tradition is particularly strong in the UK –  over 6000 Christingle services were held during Advent in 2018! A Christingle is usually an orange, wrapped in a red ribbon, decorated with dried fruit and lollies stuck onto four toothpicks which are pushed into the orange, with a candle pushed into the centre of the orange.

The orange represents the world that God loves and into which Jesus came as a baby; the red ribbon represents the crucifixion of Jesus for our salvation and forgiveness; the fruits and lollies represent the generosity of God and all the good things in our lives for which we can be thankful; the four toothpicks represent the four corners of this world – the diversity of places we all come from – and the idea that God is with us wherever we are and whatever space we are in; and the candle reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world, our hope in the darkness, the spark that can ignite us to bring light and hope into every corner of our world.

Amazing God,
You bless us in the good smell of the orange;
You bless us in the good taste of the fruits;
You bless us in the warm light of the candle;
You wrap your arms, like the ribbon, around the world.
Let these Christingles bring your blessing to this world and to us.
And may your light shine in our hearts this Christmas, and forever.

Tolcarne News

Thursday night at Tolcarne we had our annual Gingerbread House Making competition. The girls came up with some very creative houses – they get better every year!
Our last week at Tolcarne is always a good time. We have a beach trip out to Brighton on Saturday, and a big photography scavenger hunt on Monday, followed by a pool party.

Sports Uniform Reminder

St Hilda’s new sports uniform is now available at NZ Uniforms on Moray Place. If you need to update or replace items please head there over the holidays. It is compulsory for our students to have the PE top, Shorts, Trackpants, Dri fit and Hoodie. For all students who play in a weekly competition, travel on tournaments or as a PE class, these items are to be worn. No alternatives are allowed. For students with the current style these can still be worn. Over the past few weeks, we have noticed a number of sports teams wearing a variety of shorts and trackpants that are not school regulation. If you are unsure on what these look like, then please head to the website:  http//www.nzuniforms.com

PFA Fundraising at Forsyth Barr Stadium

Call for Parent and senior student (16 years and over) volunteers.

To assist the PFA in fundraising at concerts being held at Forsyth Barr Stadium in February.

Elton John:         Tuesday 4 February times TBC

Queen:                Monday February 10 times TBC

At this stage the PFA are looking for expression of interest please email Ali Copeman pfa@shcs.school.nz once we have a few more details Ali will be in touch to confirm plans. This fundraising goes towards supporting SHCS students in sporting and cultural activities


This is a fundraising initiative that current families, Old Girls and past families can support – purchase a Blue Ribbon plaque with your/your daughter’s name on it, to be displayed permanently in the foyer of the new Arts Building.

Please contact the Director of Development at aburke@shcs.school.nz to reserve your Blue Ribbon today.