21 July 2016


Latest Senior School Newsletter
21 July 2016

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Dear Parents

I trust you had a happy holiday with your children and that they are well rested for the next busy term. Once again the holidays were frenetic for some people and they were marked by some wonderful successes for many of our students.

Our Headgirl, Frances Carstens, captained the U18A girls Boland Hockey Team to victory at the inter-provincial hockey tournament. Meghan Johnstone also played in the team for Boland and contributed to their success. Frances was named player of the IPT tournament. Mr Pickering is congratulated on coaching this team and ensuring a win against Southern Gauteng in the final.

Franco Carstens was also successful as vice-captain of the U18A boys Boland Hockey Team. The twins, Frances and Franco, were also selected to play for South Africa U18A and they represented their country in the final week of the holiday against Australia. Sam Henderson played for South Africa’s U16B hockey side against Zimbabwe and Namibia. We are very proud of these students.

The History Tour, managed by Mr Ramsay and Mrs Tessendorf, was another successful event in the holidays and the students were complimented on their excellent behaviour and the positive manner in which they engaged with the various memorials and sites they visited.

During the holidays important upgrading and maintenance work took place at the College. Mr Matthee and the facilities staff worked very hard to ensure that these important upgrades happened. All the staff who worked so hard in the holidays are thanked for their sterling efforts. I am sure the students will enjoy making use of the new trail run and mountain bike track across the river. The Prep School has had a few improvements to the staff room, the traffic circle and to other important areas. In the Senior School the Consumer Studies kitchen has been revamped and the students will enjoy the new space. When possible new equipment will also be installed. Better places to store bags have been created and in due course there will be a few lockers for students who wish to rent them. Maintenance is of course an ongoing issue, especially on a campus of such generous proportions, and it is impossible to do all we have to do. Many of the changes in the Senior School have arisen from the excellent work being done by the SRC. The students who campaign for change do so in a way that could teach our politicians a thing or two. They campaign and they push for change effectively.

Thanks to the generosity of a Trek Group 3 parent, eight trees commemorating the 8 Trek groups of 2015 have been planted along the entrance driveway – the trees along the Trek walk mark not only the entrance to the College, but also mark the special departure and arrival of each year’s Trekkers. The Trek Walk is a symbolic and meaningful place at the College and we appreciate parents who entrench important aspects and traditions at our school as they leave a lasting and important legacy.

I often quote Daniel Pink, and other current philosophers, who insist that to cope well in the twenty-first century, young people (and probably all people) have to become adaptable and emotionally agile to manage the volatility, chaos, ambiguity and uncertainty in the world. As we hurtle further into the century, and feel the consequences of the changes that occurred globally during the few weeks we were away, the need for this type of agility is highlighted yet again. The world changed irrevocably once more. At the end of the term, Britain chose to exit the EU and by the start of the term we see a new Prime Minister in the UK. All these changes happened in less than a month and they do impact us whether we like it or not. In South Africa, and around the world, the debate about race is amplified, and racism is being exposed for its toxic consequences. Children’s lives are more complex than ever before and the conversations we need to have are ever more serious so that, paradoxically, the joyfulness and spontaneity intrinsic to life are not undermined. As a community we need to be more mindful of the difficulties, the variety of challenges that many people are encountering at present, and practise being the change necessary in our world. It is a time for “slow thinking”, rather than fast reductionist thinking to explain away the difficulties inherent in the changes we are all feeling. Fast thinking generates binary opposites and corollaries while the more difficult slow thinking asks us to think more deeply about the things we are experiencing. Fast thinking is quick and comfortable. It makes events easier to understand but it does not change thinking or advance understanding. Slow thinking takes time; it requires us to test and challenge some of our most comfortable thinking; it requires us sometimes to give up on long-held beliefs and easy ways of explaining the world and to embrace the challenge to our known paradigm. Thinking in this way is not easy. It is not quick thinking, yet we need to be agile – the world is indeed ambiguous, paradoxical and challenging.

There are many important and joyful events this term so please support them. We celebrate our community at them and they give us the opportunity to celebrate the goodness of life and the gift of youth. Encourage your children to be present physically and psychologically in their school space; they will be the better for the holism of the good that life has to offer if they engage and participate. Pops Concerts, sports days, PV Derby days, Founders’ Day, speaker forum days, practice times, club times, study times are all part of the steadiness we can offer and these aspects of school serve to counterbalance the ambiguity of the world in which we live.

Have a wonderful term.

Yours sincerely
Meg Fargher


Pops Concert – 28, 29 & 30 July
Westerford Sports Day – 30 July
No school: 3 August, 8 & 9 August
Speaker Forum with Martin Dreyer – 10 August
PV Derby Day – 12 & 13 August
Termly Music Concert – 18 August
Founders’ Day – 20 August
Parent Teacher Meetings – 29 August


William Sendin and Vezi Mntungwa played for the South African u19 cricket team
in Sri Lanka during the holidays.

Twins, Frances and Franco Carstens, were selected to play for the South African
u18A hockey team and represented their country against Australia.
Sam Henderson played for the SA u16B side against Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Meghan Johnstone and Frances Carstens with Mark Pickering,
the u18A Boland team coach.

To view the latest SPORTS RESULTSplease follow this link to our website.


Three of our musicians, Roisin Gowen (vocalist), Michael Burke (saxophonist) and Matthew Whall (pianist) attended the Standard Bank Student Jazz Festival held in Grahamstown during the holidays.


If you’ve been listening to the winds of change, you may have heard the call of a global movement. South Africa’s most influential CEO’s will spend the night on the Nelson Mandela Bridge (in Johannesburg) on Thursday 28 July to raise funds and empathy for education – a vital step on the path to eradicating homelessness.The Senior School has decided to stand in solidarity with the national drive in highlighting the plight of the homeless in our society. We, as a school, have identified the Somerset West Night Shelter as our beneficiary. We are collecting clothing and blankets for the Somerset West Night Shelter. All donations are welcome (even if your child does not participate in the sleepout!)

Time: 18h00 on 28 July (or after the Pops Concert) to 06h00 on 29 July
Donations: Blankets or clothing for the Night Shelter
For more information please contact Mr Mark Engelbrecht.


IMPORTANT REMINDERThe College undertakes drug testing of students from time to time as per the Substance Abuse Policy. Tests are undertaken in the interests of those in the care of the College as we believe that illicit, mind-altering substances harm young people and curtail their capacity for healthy, effective living.


Some of the Student Leaders spent their 67 minutes on 18 July helping to garden and plant trees at the Somerset West Village Garden which provides vegetables
for the unemployed people of Somerset West.Photographed from left: Jet Hardie, Garen Bevan, Cameron Knowles,
Michael Burke, Frances Carstens & Jordan Haantjes


Students may purchase seat or stand tickets from Mrs Melanie Barnard in the Facilities Office or online via the Quicket site (all the tables have been sold).


The improved Consumer Studies kitchen.

Some of the new storage
space for bags.

INVITATION TO ATTEND A MEDIA SAFETY TALKSomerset House invite parents to a media safety talk by Alister Payne at 18h00 on Tuesday July 26 in the Haydock Hall at Somerset House.Alister is a past Deputy Principal of Western Province Prep School. He has a Master’s degree in Information Systems, specialising in Information Behavioural Security, and in particular Cyberbullying. It is based on this research that he speaks widely on the dangers on social media and Cyberbullying. Although the focus of the talk is on Cyberbullying, his area of expertise, he uses this to speak about the dangers of the internet on our children and suggests strategies to assist parents.If parents would like to attend, please can they email Charmaine Roynon at charoy@somersethouse.co.za and indicate how many people will be attending.There is no charge.

The Somerset College Smalls can be viewed by clicking on the image below.To view the Term 2 edition as a pdf document, click on
Somerset College Smalls.To advertise in this publication please email Jean at smalls@somcol.co.za
Here is the 2016 Rate Card 


IMPORTANT NOTICEPlease be aware that vehicles
are NOT permitted to turn right
on to the R44 from Bredell Road.
Please take Steynsrust Road
to get back on to the R44.

MYSCHOOL CARDMySchool have an exciting new partner:cid:image003.png@01D1C32E.4127BBD0If you don’t have a card please complete the online application form and please check that Somerset College is your nominated beneficiary.


Copyright © *2016 *Somerset College, All rights reserved.

Somerset College, PO Box 2440, Somerset West, 7130

Registration number: 1996/01071808

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