Error in Starlight News

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There was an error in last week’s Starlight News. House Music practises are on Monday afternoons and Friday mornings, not Monday mornings and Friday afternoons as published. Apologies for any confusion!

St Matthew’s Collegiate School Smartphone App

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St Matthew’s is very excited to have launched a a new smart phone app. This app will revolutionise the way we communicate with you and your child by allowing us to deliver key information straight to your smartphone or device.

The app is free to download and compatible with IOS and Android phones and tablets. Features include:

  • Unlimited free push notifications
  • Important website links
  • Click to call/email absentee reports
  • List of important school contacts
  • Kamar calendar integration
  • Kamar notices integration
  • Premium custom app design
  • Group alerts – you select the activities your child is involved to subscribe for alerts. Easy and direct way to get updates about sports and cultural practices, events, trips and other activities.

The app is fairly intuitive, but there are complete instructions on our website for anyone who would like more information.

To download the app, go to your app store and search St Matthew’s Collegiate School. After the download is completed and you’ve opened the app, it will ask you to select the alerts you wish to subscribe for. You can do this immediately, or just open the app and subscribe to alerts later. Instructions about how to do this can be found on our website.

Parents and students will still be able to access all of the content featured on the app, such as notices and the calendar, via their KAMAR portal, so parents and students who do not wish to use the app or do not have smartphones can still easily access the information online.

If you have any questions or issues with app, please feel free to contact Alison Penn on


Principal’s Address – Term Two

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Kiri GillIn my Galaxy…

This newsletter update is slightly longer than ‘War and Peace’, and similarly worth a read! It is the end of a month and the end of a long term that has been eventful and event-full.

Movements in Education

I had the good fortune to attend the Association of Integrated Schools (AIS) Conference in Wellington earlier this month. This annual event allows principals, proprietors, board members, and chaplains the chance to meet together and discuss what is happening in schools like ours, and more importantly to be invigorated by some stimulating key note speakers. Such was the case of Peter Hughes, Secretary of Education, who spoke realistically about the state of New Zealand education. What was perhaps the most pleasing to hear was the improved outcomes of Maori and Pasifika with a 20-30% rise in results. What is that down to? He says the difference has been created by the improved quality of teaching and leading in schools. As the Principal in this school, my primary focus is to lead teaching and learning. IES – collaboration between schools is an initiative established to do exactly that – create collaborative models. It is in year one of a four year plan and Trinity Schools is perhaps ahead of itself as it is already in that type of a model with its community of schools. The gain for any schools involved in a collaborative community is immense – not just financially. Rolling this initiative out will mean that the collaboration versus competition scenario will not countenance a child succeeding at the expense of another; no child should ever be left behind. There are still challenges ahead in the system: literacy, numeracy, and culture changes and systems alignment. However, awareness means these are known and recognised as some things to be addressed.

Your daughters

There is nobody who cares about a child more than his or her parents – despite the negative attention given to those who are unfortunate to fall outside that descriptor. The Ministry have listened and created a website for parents of school aged children and young people, to reach out to the parents.

I have written about this site in years 9-11 Reports, but you can access it here.

Of course your daughter continues to be brilliant, but some of the shimmer has become less than shiny because of all the extra calls on her time. She will be revitalised by a well-earned and timely holiday. We want the well-rounded girl, but if I parallel this girl with a perfectly inflated ball- if it is overused it will ultimately get flat. We want her bouncy and ready for play so I encourage her to find time to rest in the break.

Some girls who have really stood out this term:

  • To our choirs – song is uplifting and we have been truly uplifted by all of our choirs. Tremendous efforts from the girls and their coaches.
  • To Sarah Saunders on her efforts with her band Halafaxa in the Rockquest – well done.
  • Emma Dalzeill and Paige Blundell – For excellent coaching and managing of the primary football team
  • Milly France, Lauren Tonkin, Hannah Morris Denby, Claudia Hawkes, Hazel Jamieson, Paige Hirst, Alison Lennox and Mia Gordon, also Casey and Yuria. These young women performed incredibly well in the recent squash tournament, both on and off the court. Winners from St Matts in every division- Milly France in Division 1, Hannah Morris Denby in Div 2, Claudia Hawkes in Div 3, Hazel Jamieson in Div 4 and Alison Lennox in Div 5.
  • Also in Squash at the Taupo Open Junior Tournament – Milly France, Beatrice Pearce, Lauren Tonkin and Hannah Morris Denby played well with: Milly runner up in Div 1, Lauren winning Div 2, and Beatrice winning Div 2 plate
  • Five of our Kapa Haka girls – Emily Draper, Olivia Sala, Polly Walker, Samantha Levy and Macy Ngatuere – competed in the Wairarapa Combined Schools Kapa Haka ropu on Friday 26 June. Wairarapa ki Uta Wairarapa ki Tai kapa haka group has been working toward the biennial Wellington contest – held at Lane Park in Upper Hutt – since an inaugural Kapa Haka Academy was run at Wairarapa College in April. Seven groups performed or competed at the regional event and Wairarapa ki Uta Wairarapa ki Tai had captured third place overall which is “phenomenal” considering the home team has been together for barely two months. The Wairarapa team took third place overall alongside a third in waiata tira (choral), third in waiata a ringa (action songs), first equal in kakahu (costume) and first place in whakaeke (stage entry). What is important is they lost to two very polished groups.
  • To our soft materials classes readying yourselves for the Hokonui Awards – You have committed a great deal of time. I saw a mini runway show as you made your way back and forth in your outfits yesterday so I wish you all well with your entries.
  • Students who have performed well at the Oversew Fashion Awards in Carterton last month are: Yr 11 Sarah Whitehead – Kai “Sew Carterton” Young Designer of the Show  (18 and under), Yr 12 Orion Scott – “NZ Fashion Tech” Encouragement award. Others to make the finals were: Hannah Callister, Ella Sims, Lucy McLennan, Sophie Leske, Latia Farquhar, Charlotte Ross, Maddison Barham
  • To the 7 and 8s’- from Wellington I received a wonderful report about excellent behaviour and conduct on their trip to Te Papa last week. Well done.
  • To you all – Winter Sport is compulsory – we know this, but I want to acknowledge all for their commitments to their teams by turning up to practices and games.
  • Makaylah Julian and Latesha Smith both made the Takitimu Maori Women’s Hockey team so will be representing Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and Wellington regions at the National Maori Women’s tournament in Whangarei during Labour weekend.
  • The cast and crew on ‘Into the Woods,’ who have been rehearsing tirelessly to bring us our wondrous evening of acting, singing and dancing. The whole cast and crew, boys and girls, of ‘Into the Woods” have worked so very hard to entertain us with this magical compilation of fairy tales. But I must focus on our girls – they were absolutely fantastic – their acting magnificent, their acting riveting and their singing voices mesmerising.
  • Our leaders – prefects and SMOSLS – their leadership and service are excellent.


I want to acknowledge the staff for their hard work this term. Their support of all I do, we do in management, is very much appreciated. I also appreciate their willingness to be a part of the consultation process as and when required. We are a team, but as you can probably guess, I am ever aware I am the Captain.

Our best wishes are extended to Mrs Rachael Cato who lost her Dad recently, and Mrs Lynn Priestley who lost her Mum. In our thoughts are Mr Tim Clarke who is recovering from surgery, Mrs Rosemary Taylor whose Dad is unwell, and Mrs Tracey Innes who too is recovering from shoulder surgery.

We wish Ms Jane Tiley well as she takes two terms leave. We welcome back Mrs Lorraine Keats who is rejoining us from next term. Also joining us next term are two new Tutors- Rachel (Sport) and Rosie (Boarding).


We are looking to update the school tracksuit from 2016. The phase in will begin with Year 12, who will have the opportunity to purchase the new gear when they go into the senior skirts. Next year’s new entrants to St Matthew’s will be the last cohort in the old tracksuit. A sportswear company, whose track jackets are already being worn by some of our first team girls, manufactures the new tracksuit.

Our relationship with Barbara Lee will continue, as we remain happy with the school uniform. There may be modifications, but the basic look will remain the same.

The uptake on the school jackets has been great. The girls look good, and report that it is both warm and waterproof.

We have updated the website as to our expectations around hair. Our uniform is not just about the garment; it is indeed about the entire presentation of the individual.

Winter Sport

Despite some wet days and cold evenings the girls are honouring their sporting commitments. Sport is very strong in the Wairarapa; sport is strong in St Matt’s. We do well as a school because of the passions of the girls, their coaches and managers, and their supporters – that includes you. You may receive a reminder about your daughter needing to attend to this commitment; she is a member of a team so missing a practice or a game ultimately has a collateral impact. On the whole I am pleased with this arena of the school, and thank those parents who volunteer their time in every capacity to support the school.


We are very fortunate to have Natalie Finnigan as our Marketing and Communications Manager. She is already making a difference to how we present ourselves as a school. Our profile is important and she is putting together a robust plan that gives a wonderfully honest picture of ourselves – and it is a great picture.


Our Mission Statement and Vision states this:

Mission Statement

To provide an education which encourages young women to seek excellence in every aspect of their lives – academic, spiritual, cultural, social and sporting.


St. Matthew’s Collegiate is a centre of educational excellence, providing a foundation for young women to reach their highest potential through academic, sporting and cultural opportunities. It empowers young women to be confident, resilient, connected and successful valued citizens, who are equipped for the future.

We have taken an opportunity to provide support, as we would do for any area around the girls’ personal growth, around the part of the vision that refers to empower[ing] young women to be confident, resilient, connected and successful valued citizens, who are equipped for the future. Rachel Hansen from ‘Good Talks’ an engaging speaker for young women has spent three separate days with our girls doing just that- empowering them to empower themselves. Her method of delivery is real and relatable. We will call on her services again in the near future and I know the girls will benefit from the way Rachel reinforces the messages you give at home.


The work in the classroom – teaching and learning is our core business. In the passage below I make mention of the reports. These will indicate your daughter’s progress and next steps. The girls are busy with assessments and work completion so balance is vital. They are receiving a myriad of ideas and advice about usefully employing their prep time so heeding those words is important. However, as parents feel free to make contact with the school if you would like more assistance to support your daughter.


Reports will be with you soon. Senior reports you will already have. There will be an invitation to attend the interviews and earlier I referred to a website that provides you information about getting the best out of your interview.

Another communication tool recently launched to the girls is the School App. You will also find it an instant way to see what’s going on by going to your phone or iPad.

Security and Safety

The security cameras I spoke of some time ago are installed and fully operational. They are strategically placed to cover the sensitive areas of the school. My comfort is in knowing that we have a deterrent for unwanted visitors, not that this is a common occurrence. The peace of mind in knowing we have this facility is however, gratifying.


We farewelled the Geotour group yesterday: They were winging their way to South Africa last night. We wish them well for this big adventure, which will be educational and uplifting. This weekend our netball girls are off to the Gold Coast Netball tournament. Both travel parties have worked tirelessly to fundraise, and to that end I compliment the students, staff and parents for putting in the hard yards to make these trips possible.


Thank you for all your support and involvement this term. I want to acknowledge the work of the Friends of St Matthew’s who are continually busy, endeavouring to raise funds to provide those things which our budgets do not cover. Their big push this year is for the playground and fitness circuit. Much consultation occurred leading up to the final blueprint to ensure that this facility catered to our youngest and also could be fitted into the Physical Education programme. We are determined to get this built but we need our community’s support.

Your girls need a restful break. They are knackered. Actually we all are, aren’t we?

Have a good one. Stay safe. Stay Warm. See you next term.

Marketing and Communications Survey 2015

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St Matthew’s is currently seeking feedback from parents about our marketing and communications activities. We’d really appreciate it if you could take the time to complete this survey as it will help us to improve our communication with parents, students and the school community, as well as deliver well targeted marketing campaigns to attract prospective students.

Click the link below to complete the survey – it should take between 5-15 minutes depending on how detailed your responses are.  The survey will be open until the end of the school holiday period (Sunday 19 July).

Marketing and Communications Survey 2015

If you have any questions or feedback, please email our marketing and communications manager We’re also seeking participants to be involved in focus groups and interviews on the same subject, so if you’d like to take part please contact Natalie.

St Matthew’s Collegiate School Sports Bag Sponsorship

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Are you searching for a different way to add value to your business or brand? St Matthew’s Collegiate may have the right opportunity for you. In the coming months we are offering local and national businesses an opportunity to support the school by sponsoring sports bags for a number of our top teams, across a range of sporting codes.

How could this benefit your business? For $40.00 – $50.00, you could have your business logo and key message, printed on a school owned sports bag which is estimated to last for at least 2 years. Our top teams represent the school at local competitions and also at a number of high profile sporting events throughout New Zealand.  Your business and your association with St Matthew’s would be profiled at these events. There are opportunities to sponsor entire teams and create an even greater impact. The options are endless and so is the contribution you can make! All sponsors will be recognised on the school website and periodically through the school newsletter and social media.

Contact us today to register your interest and lets discuss the options. Let St Matthew’s take your brand locally and nationally on your behalf.

The Sponsorship Structure is set up in two tiers:

Tier 1

Single Bag Sponsorship $50.00

  • 1 logo on sports bag, 1st team in any sporting code
  • Acknowledgement on the school website, social media and school newsletter

Team Sponsorship

  • Netball Bags $500, 10 bags
  • Football Bags $750, 15 bags
  • Hockey Bags $750, 15 bags

Features – One logo on each team sports bag, 1st team in any sporting code. Also features acknowledgement, logo and direct website link on the school website, social media and school newsletter.

Tier 2

Single Bag Sponsorship $40.00

  • 1 logo on sports bag, 2nd team in any sporting code
  • Acknowledgement on the school website, social media and school newsletter

Team Sponsorship

  • Netball Bags $400, 10 bags
  • Football Bags $600, 15 bags
  • Hockey Bags $600, 15 bags

Features – One logo on each team sports bag, 2nd team in any sporting code. Also features acknowledgement, logo and direct website link on the school website, social media and school newsletter.

Additional opportunities may be available if there is sufficient demand.


Sport results T2W9

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17/6 – Football 1st X1 Won 8-0 against Tararua College
19/6 – Netball Senior A Won 37-36 against Carterton Red
19/6 – Hockey 1st X1 Postponed due to the weather

Pent Tournament Cancelled

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The Pent Tournament has been cancelled and all girls are expected at school as per usual on Monday morning.

Contact Alison Penn or Adela Knottenbelt for any further details.

Wanganui Collegiate School Sports Fixture Results

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Yesterday’s sports fixture with Wanganui Collegiate School was a great success and our girls played very well.

The final results from the matches were as follows:

  • 1st X1 Hockey girls won 6-0
  • Senior A Netball lost 29-30
  • 1st X1 Football lost 4-2

If any parents or pupils took photos of the matches, please share them with us on Facebook or email through to