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DioNews Issue 1 2018 Now Online

posted 21 Jan 2018, 18:57 by Debbie Stevens   [ updated 21 Jan 2018, 18:58 ]

Click here to read the latest issue of our online newsletter, DioNews.
In this issue:
  • 2018 Start Dates
  • NCEA Provisional Results
  • Key Upcoming Dates
  • Course Confirmation Information
  • Staffing Updates
  • School Production Auditions

Open Day 2018

posted 15 Oct 2017, 16:09 by Debbie Stevens

Dio Golf Day Ready to Tee Off

posted 21 Sep 2017, 14:13 by Debbie Stevens

Mother & Daughter afternoon - tickets on sale NOW!

posted 1 Aug 2017, 21:08 by Debbie Stevens

Kapa Haka Fundraiser

posted 19 Jun 2017, 21:18 by Debbie Stevens

School Association Fundraiser for the Dio Wellness Centre

posted 6 Jun 2017, 14:33 by Debbie Stevens   [ updated 6 Jul 2017, 16:11 by Megan Udy ]

The slideshows from Let's Talk about our Teenagers can now be viewed below.

DioNews Editorial Issue Two

posted 19 Mar 2017, 19:12 by Megan Udy

From the Principal

Our school theme for 2017 is ‘Wai Ora’ which links to the Waikato River as the living waters that sustain this region and its people. It also refers to the role of Christ, often described as the living waters, in our Anglican mission and acknowledges the importance of health and wellbeing to our school’s educational vision and purpose. 

Closely aligned to this school-wide theme is our academic goal which is: To encourage girls to protect their wellbeing and value the learning journey, while working hard to achieve their personal best. Both the theme and the academic goal are connected to the school’s vision To prepare confident, resourceful and resilient young women to make a positive difference in their world.

Following on from this synergy of purpose, the Student Leaders’ co-constructed vision for 2017 is to embrace freedom and acceptance through a supportive sisterhood to uphold and encourage wellness, guided by our Anglican faith. The selected One Charity for 2017 is Autism NZ.

Appropriately our adopted whakatauki for 2017 is He waka eke noa – We are all in this together. In this spirit of unity and collaboration, the whole school community is already coming together to embrace and safeguard our students’ wellness of mind, body and spirit - this year and beyond. 

The Boards have committed to the establishment of a Wellness Centre, at the River Road entrance, where all our health and wellbeing services – nurse, doctor, physiotherapist and guidance counsellors - will be housed together to support the holistic care of our girls. This project is expected to get underway in the second half of the year and Level 2 Fashion and Design students will contribute to the interior design of the spaces. 

The School Association has already pledged funds to this significant project and is organising an evening for parents on the theme of Wellness to be held in the last week of the second term. It is intended to help parents recognise and address the mental and emotional needs and challenges of their daughters. 

In the last week of this term Dr Libby will be presenting on the importance of sleep for wellbeing and Dio parents have been offered discounted tickets. More information is available about this opportunity later in this newsletter.

Furthermore, at the first Advanced Learning Support Expo last Friday evening, parents, staff, girls and experts in the Gifted and Talented arena came together to discuss the challenges of perfectionism and high expectations and to explore strategies to ensure these contribute positively to girls’ education. Many of those involved have requested further opportunities to come together in this way.

Also, the parents of 16 Year 9 girls have taken the opportunity for their daughters to experience the Travellers’ Programme as a means of providing strategies to address any anxieties they might be experiencing in their transition to secondary school. 

These are just a few of the projects, events and strategies that are being designed to support our determination as a school to preserve the wellbeing of our girls as they strive to meet their goals and achieve their personal best. 

Dio Quiz Night

posted 20 Feb 2017, 13:24 by Debbie Stevens

New Criteria for House Girdle Awards and Affirmations

posted 20 Feb 2017, 12:05 by Debbie Stevens

House Girdle Awards are awards designed to recognise effort across all subjects studied. Traditionally they were presented to Years 9-13 students who exhibited a positive attitude toward learning, demonstrated a capacity for hard work, advanced the goals of the class through contributions, and modelled persistence and a commitment to producing their own best work. This esteemed girdle that is, a belt or sash, was presented to Dio girls as recognition for excellence in a variety of areas and was tied around their waists over their gym frocks.

2016 saw a yearlong robust review of House Girdles, which involved staff and student feedback and forward to ensure the award met the needs and aspirations of our current school community and culture. As a result, the criteria for House Girdles have been updated to incorporate a commitment to our special character, sports and arts as well as our code of conduct specifically our dress code.

Feedback from Student Council Reps last year indicated that the end of year academic award ceremonies for senior students such as the Academic Excellence and Endeavour Assembly, Arts Awards, Sports Awards and Prize-giving were sufficient opportunities in which those attributes rewarded by House Girdles are recognised. Therefore, House Girdles are now only presented once a year for Years 11, 12 and 13 students.

We will continue to review this new criteria and process during the year.

HOUSE GIRDLE CRITERIA – YEAR 9 AND 10 STUDENTS 2017 - Twice yearly – Semester 1 and 2

What we see in a student who gains a House Girdle


  • Engagement Report Summary GPA Average  across all subjects – 3.0% above
  • Engagement Report Average attendance for term/s – 90%



  • Attends House Services



  • Wears uniform with pride and abides by dress code guidelines



  • Demonstrates commitment to extra-curricular activities



What we see in a student who gains House Girdle


  • Stands out from the class in effort and application
  • Arrives to class on time with required materials and ready to focus
  • Works to maximise their learning through participation and contribution (This may include asking for clarification, attending tutorials, seeking and acting on feedback, taking up enrichment/ extension opportunities)
  • Exemplary behaviour that enhances classroom learning
  • Exemplary standard of homework, classwork submitted on time
  • Attendance in class is at least 90%



  • Attends House Services



  • Wears uniform with pride and abides by dress code guidelines



  • Demonstrates commitment to extra-curricular activities



Affirmations are a special award presented by staff to students as a positive affirmation or reinforcement of a pleasing result, effort, service or other worthy purpose. Traditionally, when students have collected 10 affirmations they are handed into student services for processing and they are recognised in assembly with a Certificate of Commendation.

Our school utilises technology to support the teaching, learning and pastoral programmes that include Affirmations. Therefore, after much discussion and review with staff and students, the way in which students receive affirmations will change starting Term 2. This means affirmations will be entered into our Student Management System and students will receive an email with all the affirmation details.

Paper affirmations will expire at the end of the term and we will be transitioning from paper affirmations to electronic affirmations. Therefore, by the end of the term students must do the following:
  • Please hand groups of 10 affirmations to Mrs Fitzpatrick at student services
  • Please hand in affirmations that are less than ten to form teachers.
Paper affirmations will be entered and processed for Certificates of Commendation if necessary.
Any questions about House Girdles or Affirmations please ask you form teacher, dean, Mrs Miller or Miss Smith.



DioNews Editorial Issue One

posted 20 Feb 2017, 11:45 by Debbie Stevens   [ updated 20 Feb 2017, 14:06 ]

From the Principal

Welcome to the fresh page that is the new academic year at Waikato Diocesan School.  We hope 2017 will be remembered as the year of 
Wai Ora, a year dedicated to consciously encouraging our young women to protect their health and well-being and to embrace the joys of learning for its own sake, while still working to achieve their personal best with support from home and school.

The importance of life balance to promote wellness of mind, body and spirit will be a constant theme this year and it is fitting that in July we aim to begin work on a Wellness Centre that we have envisioned to support this objective for the future. The house at the River Road entrance will be totally refurbished and will bring together all the health services we offer, including the new full-time nurse, doctor, physiotherapist and guidance counsellors for a holistic approach to health and well-being. 

On a related subject, it is very reassuring to observe the positive impact our new Traffic Management Plan is having on pedestrian safety on site.  Girls are using the assigned crossings and traffic speed and flow has improved markedly as a result of the innovations implemented over the summer break. Thank you for your part in reducing speed and using the drop off zones as they are intended. 
I am also pleased to report that our 2016 NCEA results are every bit as impressive as we have come to expect.  Particularly noteworthy trends are the significant increases in Excellence endorsements at Level 1 and Level 2 and the record number of Scholarships and Outstanding scholarships awarded last year. The full provisional results are included in this newsletter and we are looking forward to celebrating these achievements in the Academic assembly next Friday. Parents are warmly invited to join us for this occasion.

Programmes of learning are already well underway throughout the school and we are very pleased to have resolved most timetable clashes and kept classes at, or more often below, maximum numbers. Thank you for your support in ensuring that your daughter's considered their subject choices carefully last year to avoid any unnecessary disruption at the start of the year.  The new subject confirmation booking procedure proved to be a smooth and effective process.

Unfortunately, with the increasing number of courses available to senior students due in part to multi-levelling, it is difficult to provide every possible combination of senior subjects. This is a reality faced by all schools and I can promise you we do our very best to accommodate the maximum number of timetable requests with the resources we have available.

Interestingly, our Year 9 cohort this year is drawn from an unprecedented 37 contributing schools, which has been an interesting challenge for the class placement process. Thank you for your patience as our Year 9 students settle into their new classes. Experience tells us that they will integrate quickly and once the spread of prior learning is identified their academic programmes will progress in earnest. 

It is reassuring to begin the academic year with our new chaplain in place after her installation at our December carol service. Reverend Jacqui is quickly establishing herself as our spiritual guide and our new full-time nurse, Barbara Gaylor, librarian Cassidy Grace and assistant houseparent, Monique Berger are quickly proving their worth as the year gathers pace. Aimie Anderson is another new face in the maths department and is quickly proving to be an asset.

 We have high expectations of a positive and successful year ahead but we hope we have your support in our determination to protect our girls from their perfectionist tendencies and the sometimes unrealistic expectations they have of themselves. We fully endorse and encourage high standards and challenging goals, but not at the expense of physical, mental or emotional health.

I hope you will indulge me in sharing a little piece of advice that I stumbled across on Facebook and that seemed to encapsulate what is at the heart of our vision for our girls and their Dio experience:

Don’t become preoccupied with your child’s academic ability, but instead teach them to sit with those sitting alone. Teach them to be kind. Teach them to offer help. Teach them to be a friend to the lonely. Teach them to encourage others. Teach them to think about other people. Teach them to share. Teach them to look for the good. This is how they will change the world.

Clearly, we all appreciate the importance of academic achievement for the future of our young women but this is a salutary reminder of the importance of their development as worthy human beings. 

Vicky McLennan

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