|LETTER FROM THE HEAD
The quietness and calmness of exams is beginning to descend on most grades. This term’s reports will focus on the examination result and a summary of the examinations will be given by the tutor. Early in the third term there will be a chance to meet with the individual subject teachers. However, if you are concerned about any issue, please do not wait for parents’ evenings to address the problem; rather contact your child’s tutor to arrange a meeting about your child’s progress.
There have been further Maths successes. Over 7000 Western Cape high school pupils took part in the 2016 UCT Mathematics Competition on Thursday 7 April. Of these, 250 were invited to write the UCT Mathematics Challenge and 200 accepted the invitation. Of these, 51 qualified to write the UCT Mathematics Olympiad. Our students performed well.
– Josh Putterill came first overall for Grade 11 individuals.
– Royce Jiao came in the top 10 for Grade 11 individuals.
– Annalie Swanepoel came in the top 10 for Grade 9 individuals.
– Hamish Gebers and Lawrence Wilson came third for Grade 11 pairs.
In the even more stringent Olympiad, Annalie Swanepoel came third overall and Royce Jiao, 13th.
Very well done to all these students and their teachers for their hard work and commitment and for using their talents well. We also wish Matthew Durie well as he prepares hard as one of the South African team members attending the International Maths Competition to be held in Thailand in August.
This last weekend a number of our students helped out at the Senecio Fun Run. They gave up precious weekend time to serve the community and I commend them on their contribution. Their help was commented on by many and the excerpt from the thank you letter reads as follows: We had our debriefing session on the Fun Run this morning, and the staff were unanimous in their praises for the Somerset College learners. They were all on time, neat, well behaved and very willing and able! It was such a pleasure to work with them and to know that they are reliable!! Please convey these good wishes to the headmaster and to the learners.
So a big thank you to Mrs Tessendorf for organizing the students and to the following students for their positive contribution: Emily Rippon, Dominique Walls, Richard Ribbans, Dylan Ribbans, Alexander Geras, Micole Thompson, Reenen Muller, Skye Nielsen, Cassie Viljoen, Georgia Rubidge, Cayla Kriel, Erin McNamara, Stephanie Juncker, Nastasia Pestana, Nathania Pestana, Michaella Beart, Jo Whall, Emily Pienaar, Max Keller, Mikayhla Joubert, Joshua Putterill, Tanagh Breytenbach, Katia Pestana, Jenna Knowles, Emma Rubidge, Sezaria Grusch, Anne Rebello and Nicole Pestana.
We are all privileged in one way or another and sharing our privilege in whatever form it takes is a very honourable and positive thing to do. I am so grateful to these students who are prepared, before exams, to give to others and to make us proud of our College because of their generosity of spirit. We need more people like them in the world – they make it a better, kinder more decent place.
Thank you to those parents who attended the recent Breakfast Talk on Drugs – it was gratifying to see such a well-attended event, although the topic is disturbing. It is clear that substance abuse is a concern to many of us and an alarming threat to our children. I learnt a great deal from Dr Lapham’s talk. I think her insight on e-cigarettes was of great concern and it is imperative that we do not allow young people to use these. Our Substance Abuse Policy is clear and e-cigarettes are listed as being unacceptable. Please do not allow your children to use them and they may certainly not bring them onto campus. Your support in this regard will be appreciated as we will have to take serious action in the future if e-cigarettes are brought onto campus. The talk was enlightening and helpful and courageous.
Another point worth reiterating from the talk is that parents need to honour each other if they know that someone’s child is abusing drugs or alcohol. There is a useful adage that says, “Better an angry friend than a dead friend”. We cannot wait until disaster strikes to warn people if their children are in need of support for substance abuse. Drugs are a scourge that can affect any family, at any time. True caring is often demanding but choosing to do the hard right is more useful and more courageous than doing the easy wrong and not confronting the truth.
While the school is undertaking various initiatives from its own funds, there is still a need to improve the Chapel upgrade fund. We have raised R700 000 to-date but are R1.6 million short to complete the project. The Chapel is used extensively by both schools not only for worship but also for a multitude of functions. If you see your way clear to contribute to the upgrade of this special facility at the school, please do so generously and add to the legacy of this school. We would so like to honour every student who has matriculated and will matriculate from here and there is no better place than to do so in the Chapel. But the Chapel is not a luxury, it is a venue used to celebrate music, academics, life and God. And upgrading it will benefit and honour all students; past and present.
Soon the building of a modest school entrance with a better guard house begins and I thank the parents who contributed to that fund so generously.
Your kindness is greatly appreciated. We are so blessed to be building the future for the present and the future children of Somerset College.
Enjoy the quietness of exams and the hope they suggest.