Hi, my name is Māia Koni and I’m in Year 7. I was born and live in Dunedin, and before coming to St Hilda’s Collegiate, I went to St Bernadette's Primary School.
My parents wanted me to come to St Hilda’s because of the opportunities and the high level of education I would receive, but I was nowhere near as sure as they were to begin with! The scary thing for me about coming to St Hilda’s was that I didn't know anyone else who was going. All of my friends from primary school were heading to other schools.
On orientation day I was very nervous, but the teachers and older girls were very welcoming. When you arrive at St Hilda’s you get a buddy to help with settling in. When I met my Year 8 buddy, Evie, I felt so much better because she was very kind and helpful.
By the end of the orientation afternoon, I was feeling more confident about starting St Hilda’s and was looking forward to some of the subjects and activities on offer.
I was a little worried again on the first day at the start of the year, but it didn’t take long for these feelings to fade away as I settled into life as a St Hilda’s girl. In Year 7 we have a large classroom right in the middle of the school, and we share this with the Year 8s. It is really cool because it means you get to meet lots of different people and make new friends easily.
I always feel like I have people to support me if I need it, and school is so much fun! I love Physical Education with Mrs Oliver-Cowie, and I love baking with my friends in Food Tech and learning how to use the equipment in the Science lab.
There are so many sports and activities that you can get involved with at St Hilda’s, which you find out about on Club Day early in the year. You will be amazed at all of the things you can take part in! So far I have signed up for volleyball, touch, hip hop, kapa haka, the Shakespeare Group, basketball and hockey. I have been really enjoying getting to know other students who also do these activities. I think getting involved in activities outside of the classroom is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and have lots of fun - so I would definitely recommend this to anyone new!
I wouldn’t usually want to admit that Mum and Dad are right, but they were. St Hilda’s is an awesome school and it was the right choice for me. I know I am going to have the best opportunities and experiences to learn and grow here, and always have help from my friends, classmates, older girls and my teachers when I need it. I feel really proud to be a student here and can’t wait to experience the next seven years at St Hilda’s!
Hi, my name is Tessa Steele and I am a Year 9 boarder. I was super excited to come to St Hilda’s and so far I have enjoyed every second of it. When I first came, I was looking forward to meeting everyone, making new friends and trying a whole lot of new things. Now that I have been here for almost a term, I have settled into the routines and am finding my way around school a lot easier.
At the beginning it was hard, because there were other students struggling with being homesick and sometimes you just didn’t know how to help them. But all the staff at Tolcarne and school, along with the older students were really helpful and they always knew exactly what to do.
Something that made starting so much easier, was having a Year 13 buddy. They help you settle in at the start of the year and are always around to talk to when you need them. I also have an older sister and she has been a big help, even when I just have simple questions to ask her.
When I came to the Open Day in Year 8 and went for a look around, at first, I was really overwhelmed and certain that I would get lost. But with the help of my classmates, day girls (that had been there since Year 7) and the teachers, I found my way and now know where most of the classes are!
Currently at school I am really enjoying math and performing arts. Coming to St Hilda’s I was excited for all of the new subjects I’d get to try, such as digital technology, performing arts and P.E. The teachers are all so nice and easy to talk to if you are ever unsure about something or have a question.
The sports I’m playing this year are cricket, touch and social volleyball in the summer, with rugby, netball and hockey in the winter. Another thing that I was super excited about when moving here, was the new opportunities I’d get and different sports I could try. Back home, there were not as many options for sport and we often had to play in the boys’ teams.
So far, my St Hilda’s experience has been so much fun and I can’t wait for all the new activities and opportunities I’ll get to experience in my next 5 years here!