Latest School News
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.
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
HOUSE GIRDLES CRITERIA – YEAR 11 TO 13 STUDENTS 2017 - Once yearly
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:
Any questions about House Girdles or Affirmations please ask you form teacher, dean, Mrs Miller or Miss Smith.
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.
Congratulations to all recipients of Scholarship for 2016. In all, Dio received 41 Scholarships, including five Outstanding Scholarships.
New Zealand Scholarship provides recognition and monetary reward to top students in their last year of schooling. New Zealand Scholarship assessments enable candidates to be assessed against challenging standards and are demanding even for the ablest candidates in each subject. Assessment is by either a written/spoken examination or by the submission of a portfolio or report of work produced throughout the year. Scholarship candidates are expected to demonstrate high-level critical thinking, abstraction and generalisation, and to integrate, synthesise and apply knowledge, skills, understanding and ideas to complex situations.
The provisional results for Waikato Diocesan School students enrolled in NCEA courses in 2016 are as follows. (Comparative results from 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 are also shown.)
The percentage of students who have received:
The percentage of students who have received:
The percentage of students who have received:
Sutton Valence School in the United Kingdom is currently recruiting for gap student positions, starting in 2018. Interested applicants should email Mrs Claire Foot: firstname.lastname@example.org expressing their interest in the position. They are particularly interested in students who are involved in sports.
More information can be found on files below.
Lynn Jamieson, an itinerant music teacher and director of barbershop at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, is among the recipients of the 2016 Hamilton City Council Civic Awards. Lynn is being recognised for her services to education and the arts,
The Civic Awards are an annual fixture in the Hamilton City Council calendar, celebrating the contributions to Hamilton made by the city's residents. Recipients are nominated by members of the community, with nominations assessed by the Council. The awards are then presented in a formal event at the Council every December.
Lynn is the director of Dio's very successful barbershop chorus, Espresso, and four quartets. She is also a vocal itinerant in four other schools in the Waikato, coaching choruses and quartets.
"The hours that Lynn puts into the barbershop programme far exceed those for which she is paid," says HoD Music, Bridget Greenslade.
"Her commitment to her students does not stop when her working day ends. She runs evening and weekend rehearsals, has adjudicated at school music events, accompanied students in their NCEA examinations, provided transportation to rehearsals and events, and has supported students and staff at almost every school arts event."
Along with her honours music degree in performance singing from Otago University, her diploma in teaching, her involvement in many musicals, professional jazz and rock bands and barbershop quartets, Lynn is also co-Director of the highly successful Waikato Rivertones (the current 2016 NZ Sweet Adelines Chorus Champions). She became a certified Musical Director in 2014.
Lynn’s musical vision is to have fun-filled and high level performing groups with a creative repertoire that is appealing to members and audiences. Any student who enjoys singing can be a part of barbershop, and Lynn allows students to take leadership roles in choreography and as section mentors.
"The girls have an unflinching loyalty to Lynn which stems from the loving nature in which she treats them," says Bridget. "Regardless of their ability, she believes in EVERY student and gives them the chance to succeed no matter what their circumstance. Her passion and energy inspire the girls to love barbershop as much as she does and her own flamboyant style sets the performance benchmark."
Mayor Andrew King says the awards are an important way to recognise the contribution of Hamiltonians to the city.
“One of my personal values is always to say thank you to people who have worked tirelessly to improve things. In this case, the Civic Awards really showcase the amazing people who have made a difference.
“All the Civic Award nominees are committed to Hamilton and have given up their own time, investing countless hours to support the arts, the community, education or people and wellbeing. More crucially, they’ve done that over the course of several years.
“Thank you to each and every one of them and to all the other people we haven’t recognised as part of the Civic Awards for what they do to make our city as wonderful as it is.”
This year’s recipients are:
· Nancy Caiger – Services to the Arts and the Community
· Selwyn Cook – Services to the Community and People and Wellbeing
· Leonard Gardner – Services to the Community
· Dr Bev Gatenby – Services to the Community and Social Services Sector
· Ian Howat – Services to the Community
· Charlotte Isaac – Services to the Community and the Arts
· Lynn Jamieson – Services to the Arts and Education
· David Lloyd – Services to the Arts and the Community
· Elaine McDonnell – Services to Education and the Community
· Geoff and Jill McMillan – Services to People and Wellbeing
· Gerri Pomeroy – Services to People and Wellbeing
· Dr Assil Russell – Services to People and Wellbeing
· Keith Tanner – Services to the Community and Local Government
· Walter and Tiare Tuakana – Services to the Community
· Anne Wilkinson – Services to People and Wellbeing
Sarah Dela Rue
Mei Lin Chew (Y12)
Zeta Morgan (Y12)