All posts by Elizabeth Renton

Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 5

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Shrove Tuesday pancakes
Tuesday saw the girls enjoying pancakes before Ash Wednesday which marked the start of Lent.
Whanaungatanga groups have been very busy preparing their fair stalls.

Key Dates for 2020 Term 1

Saturday 7th March – School Fair (see below for further information)

Wednesday 11 MarchYears 7-13 Goal Setting Conversation with Whanau teachers (2.30-6.30pm)

Friday 13th and Saturday 14th March – Wanaka Show

Friday 20th March – Staff Only Day

Monday 23rd March – Otago Anniversary Day 


The Fair is just a week away now and it’s all go! Don’t forget we have the last drop off for books, clothing, white elephant goods on Sunday March 1st, 11am-1pm at Heriot House. We also need more paper/reusable bags, so bring these in with the donations of jams/preserves coming in to school next week. Next Friday (March 6th) we are collecting donations of sweets and baking at the student office. We would appreciate any helpers on Friday afternoon to set up, and also people who can stay at the end of the Fair to give the PFA a hand to clean up.
The PFA would like to thank our stall sponsors and our advertising partners listed below – we really appreciate your assistance as your support means we can raise more funds for the school. 
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is FAIR-NEWS-ISSUE-2-724x1024.jpg
We are still looking for fair sponsorship; a $250 donation allows you to sponsor a stall, donated items such as vouchers, goods, services are needed for our silent auction and monetary donations towards advertising.  Please email:
SCHOOL FAIR – WEEK 5 – Whanaungatanga Group donations
We need your help to have a successful fair day.

Whanau Group Photographs

If you are interested in ordering a copy of the Whanau group photos these will be sold on McRobie website via this link:

Photos will be size 6″x 9”, in colour and cost $17 each.


Throughout the year we will communicate about your daughter’s learning through Learning Conversations (which allow a three way conversation with the teacher, student and parent), Interim Reports on Learning which focus on learning behaviours and Academic Progress Reports which give specific comments on the progress being made in the curriculum and next steps for your daughters learning. The final report for the year is a summary record of your daughter’s learning for the year. This includes a comment from her Whanaungatanga teacher which gives you an overview of her year’s learning and involvement in school activities. 

Our aim, with this combination of reports, is to  give an accurate and timely overview of your daughter’s learning dispositions, next steps and progress.

2020 Reporting Timeline

Term 1

Week 6  Year 7-13 Interim Report on Learning

Week 7 Wed 11 March Years 7-13 Goal Setting Conversation with Whanau teachers (2.30-6.30pm)

Week 11  Years 7-13 Academic Progress Report

Term 2

Week 1 Years 7-13 Learning Conversations with subject teachers 

Week 5  Years 7-13 Interim Report on Learning

Term 3

Week 1 Mon 20 July Years 11-13 Learning Conversations with subject teachers (9.30am – 6.30pm)

Years 7-10 Junior House Day

Week 2  Years 7-10 Academic Progress Report 

Week 7 Years 7-13 Interim Report on Learning

Weeks 8-9 Years 11-13 NCEA benchmark examinations

Week 10  Years 7-10 Learning Conversations with subject teachers

 Years 11-13 NCEA Progress Report 

Term 4

Week 9  Years 7-13 End of Year Academic Summary Report

Newsletter Change

We are currently updating our website and as part of this we will be making some changes to our newsletter format. Please see below a link we are testing and we intend to have this up and running in the next two weeks.


As your child settles in to the new school year take some time to check in with them about how they are feeling about their social relationships with their peers. Click here to read about why it is so important that your child finds their tribe.


We wish to thank everyone who came to our event last Saturday at Akarua in Arrowtown – what a lovely evening, it was great to see so many parents, Old Girls and friends attending our fundraiser. We enjoyed the sunshine, food and wine in the garden before listening to Jackie interview Sara Munro, a St Hilda’s Old Girl and director of fashion label Company of Strangers, about her career, her business and the challenges faced by the fashion industry. ICAN models presented the Company of Strangers new season collection while Sara explained each of the garments and the processes that go into making clothing and jewellery in New Zealand. We are very grateful to our sponsors for contributing to our fundraiser: Peter McIntyre and Chris Timms of Craigs Investment Partners, Tracy Cameron of ICAN Models and Talent, and Jaimee Smith of Ukiyo Salon & Co in Wanaka. We also wish to thank those who contributed items for our silent auction. It was a great night and we raised close to $5000 towards the Building Heart Campaign.
29 tired but happy girls are out of the Abel Tasman National Park and on the bus.

Case Space School

Junior Girls
Senior Girls

Tolcarne News

Tolcarne has been a bit quieter this week, with the year 12 and 13 P.E students away on camp in Murchison and Abel Tasman. The juniors went to Waihola at the weekend, where they competed in games of paintball. The rivalry was fierce as the girls raced to capture the rabbit soft toy without being hit! It was a very fun day out and they are looking forward to surfing at St Clair this weekend. Yoga is now a weekly activity held at the hostel, with one of our staff members (Ella) taking the girls for this before bed on a Wednesday. It is the perfect opportunity for the girls to have time for mindfulness and to relax before another busy day at school! 


Chapel Matters

On Tuesday this week, the staff and students indulged in yummy pikelets with jam and cream as our way of marking Shrove Tuesday. The students also played silly games with the leftover pikelets at lunchtime.

Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday is the last day to indulge and be silly before the season of Lent which begins with Ash Wednesday.

Lent is the 40-day period of time leading up to Easter, where we remember Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem where he was crucified. Traditionally, Ash Wednesday is therefore a day when we remember that we have all sinned, and that we need the forgiveness and grace that Christ offers. We have all let others down, said hurtful things, broken promises, ignored someone who needed our help, made choices that were not wise, dropped rubbish for others to pick up, and not cared about the environment.

There is a prayer which is part of the Eucharist service part of which says:

We have sinned in what we have thought and said,
in the wrong we have done and in the good we have not done.
We have sinned in ignorance;
We have sinned in weakness:
We have sinned through our own deliberate fault.

Afterwards, the minister then proclaims our forgiveness – and reminds us to forgive others and to forgive ourselves. The ashes that we get on the back of our hands (or on the forehead) remind us about these two things:

  • The ash, which comes from the burnt harakeke crosses we make for Palm Sunday (and our Open Night!), reminds us that we are all fallen, frail, broken, and bruised;
  • While the olive oil which is mixed with the ash, reminds us that we are forgiven, free, cherished and that there is always hope for healing and renewal.

The ash and the oil go together because that is how life works, that there is a time for everything under the sun. We don’t want to always indulge and be silly, or be hard on ourselves and pessimistic about life. We need to acknowledge that there are times when we have done wrong and have hurt this world or others, but there are also times when we need to accept forgiveness, let things go, to heal and have a fresh start – and allow others to have a fresh start.

Over the time of Lent, may we all accept that we are fallen and frail (like the ash), and know that we can also be renewed and healed (like the oil).





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 to reserve your Blue Ribbon today.

Information regarding Coronavirus

With recent concerns raised regarding the spread of coronavirus, we wish to inform you that we are following the Ministry of Health Guidelines regarding best practice for public health. 

We have taken the necessary precautions to ensure the wellbeing of all our international students, when they arrived at school and at Tolcarne, and as most of them have been in NZ for at least a week prior to the start of school, they are at minimal risk of infection, however we will continue to monitor their health. We have no students from the Wuhan region.

The school and Tolcarne will be vigilant with hygiene instruction as well as providing masks as required, and hand sanitiser. They are all the necessary equipment to isolate infection. Frequent hand washing and practising cough etiquette will be encouraged. 

Recognising that coronavirus is now a global issue, if you or your family members have been travelling in Asia or currently infected areas over the holidays, or have been in contact with international visitors, we trust you are monitoring your family’s health and following the Ministry of Health guidelines.

As stated we have in place precautionary measures, and are advised that the risk of infection is still very low. We will continue to monitor the health of any students currently considered to be low risk. The Ministry of Health has advised that there is no specific action to be taken at this time. Should the situation change, we will follow our pandemic plan for managing illness as we do with other infectious diseases such as measles, mumps, and influenza.

For those of you concerned about possible infection, the Ministry of Health has provided practical information on their website which we encourage you to read – 

NoNovel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) guidance – Ministry of Health website:         
included in there is some advice to help reduce the general risk of infection:
– avoiding very close contact with people showing symptoms
– frequently washing hands
– practicing cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).

the Ministry of Health will continue to update that content, as further information becomes available