All posts by Scott Savage

Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 4

Year 8 students, Grace Brenssell and Charlotte Coutts, share their iPad expertise

Dear Parents and Caregivers

We have had a very productive visit from the ERO team and look forward to sharing some of their reflections with you in the next few weeks.

Yesterday we held our Open Day for prospective boarder families.  This is always a wonderful opportunity for the girls to show off their school and hostel and they are always so excited and proud to do so.

Thank you to parents who attended last night’s Year 9 Parent Seminar, we hope that this was useful and informative.

Next Friday is Pink Shirt Mufti Day.  Pink Shirt Day began in 2007 when a group of students decided to defend a student who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In a show of solidarity, many of his peers turned up to school the next day wearing pink shirts, and Pink Shirt Day was born.  The pink shirt is a way of showing those being bullied that there are many people around who care and we ask that students come to school wearing their pink shirts to support this cause as well as bringing a gold coin donation.

Careers Festival Logo


The Otago Careers Festival is being held throughout Otago over the month of May. As part of this festival Year 11 students will have an opportunity to attend a Careers Expo in early June. Other relevant events for Year 11 are being advertised to all senior students.

Please check out the festival website,, for a full list of events running in your area. The Festival showcases the range of opportunities to live, learn and work in Otago. All events during the Festival are free to attend with events for all ages and stages catered for.

Events relevant to our students have been listed on the school’s Careers Calendar. Click the Careers link on the bottom of your SHCS homepage. This calendar is a new initiative to keep our community informed of careers events and opportunities happening in our school. Please check back regularly for updated events.

We held our information seminar for the 2016 Vietnam trip today.  If you were unable to attend and are interested in going please contact me for further information at

Student Achievement

Congratulations to all the girls that competed in the Logan Park Road Race.  In the Junior Girls race, Kate Higham was placed 2nd, Suzie White 3rd and Georgia Mitchell 4th. In the Senior Race, Anna Lindsay was placed 2nd.

Snow Day and Late Start Procedures

In the case of a school closure or late start due to weather conditions an email will be sent to parents by 7:00am.  There will also be an announcement made over the following radio stations and the school Facebook page, and Parent Portal Cancellation Page :

97.4 More FM
Radio Dunedin 99.8 FM & 1305 AM
The Hits 

Should conditions in your area be different to those in the rest of the city you must make individual decisions based on what is safest for your family. Once girls are at school we encourage you not to text them regarding school closures.  If this were to eventuate we would email parents immediately. 

**Please see the attached flyer regarding the Entertainment Book fundraiser**

Ent book school notice


Judy MawAssistant Principal


Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 3

2015 Stage Challenge Cast and Crew

Dear Parents and Caregivers

The highlight of the week was definitely Stage Challenge on Monday night.  Stage Challenge is a national event, which is now in its 23rd year. It comprises shows in 12 locations, 16,000 participants and is billed as this year’s ”biggest school-based dance and drama extravaganza”. 

Our theme was based on deep-sea drilling issues that have been raised in Otago and was approached through the unseen impact, under water.  There were:

  • 21 girls in supporting crew roles
  • 72 girls on stage
  • 20 staff or parents who supervised rehearsals and offered expertise
  • 49.5 hours in the school holidays making costumes and set
  • 1800 coloured circles cut from fabric 
  • 130 black rubbish bags cut into strips

 St Hilda’s were awarded first place overall and won various other excellence awards including concept, soundtrack, choreography, drama, performance skill, costume, visual enhancement and stage use.  A huge thank you to all involved.

2015 Stage Challenge Cast and Crew

Next Thursday we are holding our Open Day for Boarders.  This starts at school at 10.00am where families will be able to see classes in action before visiting Tolcarne.  We ask that all students be in formal uniform for this.

The Year 9 Parent Seminar is also on Thursday at 7.00pm in the school library.  The theme of this is ‘Potential and pitfalls of the digital world’. 

On Friday night there is a Vietnam information evening at 5.00pm – venue to be confirmed.  If you are unable to make this and are interested in going to Vietnam in 2016 please email for further details.

Please see attached flyer in regard to Entertainment Books.

Continue reading Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 3

Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 2

Danica Davies with her medal that she won at the Arcadia Invitational meet in California

Dear Parents and Caregivers

Country Visits were held this week with one more still to be held in North Otago on Sunday.  This is the beginning of a busy enrolment period, which includes Boarder Open Day on Thursday May 14, followed by our Open Evening for day girls on Thursday July 23.

Next week we have our visit from the Education Review Office.  We will welcome them on Monday morning with a special chapel service.  We would like all girls to go straight to chapel at the beginning of Period 1.

Stage Challenge is on Monday and we have a large number of girls involved in this.  The girls and staff have been working very hard and it is looking fabulous. Good luck to everyone taking part.

Important Notice  please check that you have this in your home diaries:
Parent Seminar – ‘Cyber Safety’ – Thursday 14 May – 7 pm in the Library.
This will be a very valuable seminar.  More information will follow. 

Entertainment books were given out to students yesterday.  This is the major fundraising for St Hilda’s rowing and you now have the option of purchasing the book digitally.  You can organise payment for your book on the forms provided or return your unsold book to the student office.

Student Achievement

Charlotte Cotter was named U16 Joint MVP and Libby van Harselaar was named U14 MVP and Club MVP (female) at the Otago Waterpolo Prizegiving.

Annabel Girvan has been selected for the Southern U21 Hockey Team.  Annabel and Jess Faulks have also been selected in the Southern U18 Team and Olivia Dingle and Sinnead Flannery have been selected for the Southern Development B Team.

Danica Davies recently travelled with the New Zealand Secondary School’s Track and Field team to California.  At the Arcadia Invitational, the most prestigious of the three meets she competed in, Danica finished in 7th place in the heptathlon with seven personal bests including four Otago records.  She also won the shot put component of the heptathlon.

Continue reading Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 2

Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 1

Ihlara McIndoe placing a cross for the Unknown Soldier
Our Field of Remembrance
Welcome back to Term Two, I hope you all had a lovely holiday and students have come back feeling refreshed.

Yesterday Dr Townsley led a very special ANZAC chapel service.  10S, as part of their study on WWI, had assembled the Field of Remembrance for our school in the lower Quad and, following a reflection in chapel, staff and students moved outside to hear the Last Post, followed by a minute’s silence and a cross being laid for the unknown soldier.  Tomorrow the prefects will attend the Dawn Parade with Mrs Barron.

Next Monday to Wednesday Mrs Barron and Mrs Dey, along with Amanda Haggie and Robyn McGarry from Tolcarne, will be away for Country Visits.  This is an opportunity for boarder families to meet key staff and learn more about St Hilda’s and boarding at Tolcarne.

The Board of Trustees are committed to building on the current culture of participation and excellence in all our co-curricular activities at St Hilda’s Collegiate. They wish to enhance the current opportunities we offer and continue to deliver high quality, memorable and enjoyable outcomes for all participants whatever their interests and talents.

To further develop our existing programmes we have committed to two initiatives:

The Board will fund a part time, fixed term Arts Coordinator position for 10 hours per week, which will be advertised shortly. This position will further resource the vibrant and exciting performing arts programme within the school and support our current staff. The Arts Council is keen to develop more opportunities for girls to participate in and appreciate the arts within the co-curricular programme and this position is seen as a significant step towards achieving those goals.

The Sports Council is keen to seek feedback on our co-curricular sports programme and we have recently sent you an email with a link to a survey about the sporting opportunities for your daughters at St Hilda’s Collegiate. We would value your thoughts and suggestions, and if you could complete the survey by May 8th, we would be very appreciative. The survey is a prelude to a number of focus groups being formed to further assist the Sports Council to develop the future focus for sport at St Hilda’s. Once the survey material has been collated and analysed, we will be calling on interested parents to be part of focus groups so we can further ascertain how best to lead, enable, deliver and invest in sport at St Hilda’s Collegiate School.

Important Notice – please check that you have this in your home diaries:
Parent Seminar – ‘Cyber Safety’ – Thursday 14 May – 7 pm in the Library.
This will be a very valuable seminar.  More information will follow. 

Continue reading Weekly News – Term 2 | Week 1

Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 9

Dear Parents and Caregivers,
As the term comes to a close Mrs Barron encouraged us to be grateful for life’s fun moments and appreciate the good things that have happened as we head into the holiday break.

The teachers have valued the chance to meet with parents this week at interviews. This always provides a great opportunity to discuss the learning of your daughters.

On Monday our Easter Eucharist Service was led by Dr Townsley and Reverend Jo Fielding. At the completion of the service, the girls enjoyed fresh hot cross buns, kindly provided by Sharon White of the canteen.

The cross country will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday April 22.  Further information on this is provided below.

The print edition of the end of term newsletter will be posted this afternoon.

Student Achievement

In assembly this week we acknowledged the Year 9 students who received scholarships this year.  The applications are open to current Year 8 students as well as incoming applicants.  There are two each of the following – academic, sports and arts.  

The recipients for this year were:

  • Sophie Conner and Lily Mole – Academic Scholarship
  • Alisha Brook and Eva Meeuws – Arts Scholarship
  • Phoebe Aburn and Kendra Robinson – Sports Scholarship


The following students achieved their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award:

  • Bronte Chamberlain
  • Sarah Cochrane
  • Emma Crampton
  • Charlotte Dippie
  • Gabby Hunter
  • Amy Jones (Year 11)
  • Stella Keown
  • Laura Simpson
  • Emma Taggart
  • Laura Taylor

At the end of last year, Year 12 and 13 French students completed the DELF exam, which is an international qualification in French, which allows students to study, live and work in foreign countries. It is a very prestigious qualification, which is recognised all over the world.  The following students received an award:

  • Eliza Adams
  • Poppy Finn-House
  • Jane Hendry
  • Maddy Holmes
  • Tessa Read
  • Grace Young

Kate Higham has been selected for a National Talent Centre Football Squad to train in the first week of the holidays.

Continue reading Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 9

Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 8

Opening Ceremony at the Maadi Cup Regatta (Photo courtesy of Sharron Bennett Photography)
Dear Parents and Caregivers,Mrs Barron was pleased to be able to spend some time at Maadi Cup this week after attending a Principal’s Conference in Rotorua.  There are two B Finals being raced this afternoon and we look forward to giving you a full list of results next week.  We did win the banner competition, which was completed in the art room during lunchtimes.On Wednesday our first Arts Assembly was held.  This was organised by the Arts’ Prefects, Maddy Holmes and Madi Heyward, and featured a variety of performances.  These will be held once a term.  It was fantastic to see some of the talent we have at school.Ichikawa students are busy preparing for their farewell this evening.  Their visit has been successful and we wish them a safe journey home and as always it has been a pleasure to host them.A reminder to girls that formal uniform is required for our Easter Eucharistic Service which is taking place at 11.30am on Monday.

Interviews will be held next week:

Monday 30 March: Day Girl Interviews

4.00pm – 6.00pm

6.30pm – 9.00pm

Wednesday 1 April: Day Girl Interviews

7.00pm – 9.00pm

Thursday 2 April: Boarder Interviews

1.00pm – 3.00pm
Continue reading Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 8

Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 7

Ichikawa Students visiting Penguin Place, Harrington Point


Dear Parents and Caregivers

This week has certainly given us a taste of winter. Let’s hope we get some final days of summer.

It was good to see a number of you at the Wellbeing seminar last night. The presenters gave some excellent information around self esteem and resilience. Thanks to Marcelle Nader-Turner and Hazel Dey for organising this very valuable evening.

It has been great welcoming our visitors from Ichikawa. It is always a highlight of the year. They have been busy with English lessons, time with their buddies and getting to see some of the local attractions.

The Year 12 and 13 PE expeditions returned from very successful trips. They were very lucky with the weather and some great learning opportunities were captured.

In assembly this week Casey Brown (Yr12) spoke to the girls about a number of opportunities available through UN Youth. She shared her experiences when she was able to participate in the Pacific Project. I would encourage girls to look into programmes like this.

We had 5 students representing us at the Model United Nations last weekend. The girls enjoyed the opportunity to get a feel for how countries work together and the challenges involved.

We also heard from Claudia Sole who attended a dance course in Australia. It was interesting to hear of the challenges and rewards of this experience.

Our senior Biologists have been busy in the field this week with trips to Blueskin Bay and the Peninsular as part of their studies.

Continue reading Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 7

Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 6

Jordan Pannett and Alex Coker from the Crafty Critters Club giving poppies to Toitū Otago Settlers Museum


Year 12 and 13 students returned this afternoon from a successful trip to Abel Tasman.  We look forward to hearing how their week went.

On Tuesday evening we held a farewell evening for our guests from Global Public School.  The students put on wonderful performances for our homestay families and already feedback from all parties involved has been extremely positive.

Global Public School students performing at their farewell evening

On Sunday morning our sister school Ichikawa Gakuen arrive from Tokyo.  We have 13 girls attending this year and Kirstyn Mawdsley, International Director, has organised a busy programme filled with both education and tourism. 

Parent Seminar

We look forward to seeing many of you at the Parent Seminar – ‘Parenting for Success’ – next Thursday 19 March at 7.00pm in the school Chapel followed by tea and coffee.

Our guest speakers will be covering different aspects of adolescent wellbeing, with parents leaving with a “toolbox” of ideas and skills.  We are fortunate to be hearing from Nicola Atwood, Resilience expert and Past Principal Advisor to the Children’s Commissioner. Ali Hunter, Clinical Psychologist specialising in self-esteem issues with adolescents will share her knowledge and tips with us.

School Interview Site

School interviews will be held in the last week of Term 1.  The school interview booking site will open to parents on Tuesday March 24.  Details on how to access the interview site will be included in next week’s newsletter.

Continue reading Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 6

Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 5

Our visitors from Global Public School, India with Jackie Barron (Principal) and Kirstyn Mawdsley (Director of International Students)

Dear Parents and Caregivers

Our guests from Global Public School arrived last Sunday.  Eight students and two staff members have spent the week at St Hilda’s, attending classes as well as touring around Dunedin city.  Today they have spent time with Mrs Hanning taking part in ‘Kiwi Cooking’.  Their homestay families will farewell them at a ceremony on Tuesday night before they fly out of Dunedin on Wednesday morning.  It has been great to have them with us and we look forward to next year’s visit.

Jinny Jang – 2015 International Student Leader with Mrs Barron

Yesterday we held an International Chapel.  This was an opportunity for our new international students to introduce themselves to the school, and for Mrs Barron to introduce the 2015 International Student Leader – Jinny Jang.  Jinny is from South Korea and joined St Hilda’s in 2012 as a Year 10 student.

Tomorrow we have a student group participating in the Relay for Life.  A bake sale and purple mufti day have been held with all funds raised going towards this.

The PFA are meeting next Tuesday March 10 at 7:00 pm in the staffroom.  All parents are welcome to attend.

Good luck to students involved in the South Island Secondary Schools’ Rowing Championships being held at Lake Ruataniwha over the weekend.

Good luck to the girls competing in the Russell McVeagh Debating Competition.

Good luck to the girls playing in the Otago Volleyball Championships this weekend.

Continue reading Weekly News – Term 1 | Week 5