History of Dio

In 1909, Mrs May Whitehorn established Sonning School in a small home in Milton Street, Hamilton.

Sonning School began with only four pupils, however as the roll increased, the school moved to larger premises in Anglesea Street.
Waikato Diocesan School was officially opened in 1928 with a roll of 13 boarders and 70 day girls. The school opened at its permanent site in 1930, consisting of its flagship building, Cherrington, the Homestead, a barn, which was used as both hall and chapel, and open-air classrooms.
Dio becomes a years 9-13 state-integrated secondary school
Chapel development rededicated.
Dio becomes a state-integrated school.
New school chapel dedicated by Archbishop R. H. Owen, Bishop of Waikato.
Dio is registered as a private primary and secondary school.
Waikato Diocesan School for Girls opens.
Veritate, Simplicitate, Fidelitate (by Truthfulness, by Straightforwardness, by Loyalty) becomes school motto.
Sonning School opens.

Our Motto

Veritate, Simplicitate, Fidelitate –

By Truthfulness, By Straightforwardness, By Loyalty
WDSG Photo 1

Our Mission

To achieve excellence in education within a caring family atmosphere under the influence of the standards and practices of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia.

Our Vision

To prepare confident, resourceful and resilient young women to make a positive difference in their world.

Anglican Faith


Waikato Diocesan is a Special Character school where Anglican spirituality is central to how we worship and how we treat each other.

The All Saints Chapel is the heart of the school where students, staff and our wider community go for quiet contemplation and for regular chapel services. Boarders attend chapel every Sunday and the whole school worships together every week. Students' families are invited to join their daughters at social house services, which take place once a term.

Religious education classes teach the girls about the Christian and other world faiths and about the moral issues they face in today's society. Senior students can achieve national qualifications in religious education. 

Giving Back


Supporting charities and volunteering service have long been integral parts of the Dio ethos. These practices are embedded in the teaching and learning programmes, the annual calendar, and the house and student leadership structures. Our students support these customs without question and enjoy doing so. And, every year, they find new and increasingly ingenious ways of giving back.

Every year, hundreds of Dio girls assemble and donate Easter Baskets which are delivered to local rest home residents and children in hospital wards. Yet another popular annual service opportunity is the pilgrimage to Fiji, to work at St Christopher’s orphanage in Suva, and Bureta Village on Ovalau Island. As well as donating much-needed funds, the travelling senior students collect medical supplies, clothing, prayer books, toys and educational supplies to assist the village school and medical centre.

Alongside these annual service initiatives, there is always room in Dio hearts for spur-of- the-moment causes, which students embrace with enthusiasm and determination. Dio encourages its students to be involved in social services initiatives, knowing that, with willing minds and hearts, we can all make a difference. Through this involvement and awareness, students are developing the moral foundations for good citizenship.