Welcome back to a busy and exciting term. All our Grade 8 parents, new parents and all new students are wished an especially warm welcome. I hope that those who are entirely new to the College will soon feel part of this beautiful place.
We begin the term very positively as we celebrate the 2015 College Matriculants’ results. Many of them have been accepted into degrees of their choice while some have been awarded unexpected scholarships on account of their excellent results.
Manu Huyssen was our top achiever. She attained 9 distinctions and Beth Corner achieved 8. Shannon Gebers, Rory Lennon, James Poole, Mark Reuter, Sean Richardson and Ambar van der Wath all achieved 7 distinctions while another 20 students achieved 6 distinctions. In total, the 114 Matriculants achieved 346 distinctions between them. Analysis of results is very complex and marks are often inadequately interpreted. I think it is safe to say that the 2015 Matric results are excellent and place Somerset College amongst the top scoring IEB schools in the country. This achievement speaks to many factors and not least to an excellent gene pool and good parenting. Learning in a beautiful environment also plays an important and positive role in the acquisition of knowledge.
We welcome new staff to the College and trust that they will have a successful and positive impact in their various areas. Mrs Matthee joins the Development and Admissions Office and she will also be assisting with alumni issues amongst other foundation and development tasks. Mrs Jacobs will head up the newly created Human Resources Department and she will manage Health and Safety and a number of administrative functions.
Miss Britz joins the Life Orientation Department and will be helping in the SDU. In addition she will be helping Mrs Beck manage the attendance of students at Clubs and extra-curricular activities.
Mrs Barnard is filling in for Mrs Kruyshaar in the Life Sciences Department. She is an extremely experienced teacher so the students are fortunate to have her expertise brought to bear on their learning.
Mrs Louw, an experienced Design teacher, well versed in the IEB requirements, will head up Design. The fact that she is an accomplished artist, will be an asset in the design room and to the teaching of the subject.
Miss Daniela Lushington has been appointed to the Sports Department to coach swimming across the school and also to coach Netball in winter.
Dr Alain Renaut joins the Cambridge AS and A-Levels programme to teach Chemistry, Physics, and Biology and there is no doubt the Cambridge students will enjoy pitting their minds against his.
Dr Zoia will be in the History Department and teach both the IEB and Cambridge syllabi. A Fullbright Scholar, a renowned debater and an intellectual, Dr Zoia brings a new dimension to the study of humanities.
Miss Joustra will be teaching Grade 8, 9 and 10 English. She is also a brilliant flautist and chorister.
We warmly welcome these very talented and diverse members of staff to our College and hope that they will bring their exceptional talents to bear upon the school. It is a privilege to learn, work and teach here on many levels , so it is hoped that all newcomers will be happy.
At last the new classroom block and lecture theatre is complete. We are still working on the inevitable snags but we have already made use of the lecture theatre and Board room. I hope the students will love their new learning spaces. I would like to thank the Board and especially the Building Committee for agreeing to the improvement of the facilities for the students. There is no doubt that a great deal of positive and productive learning will take place in these new venues.
I hope to see you all at the Combined School Cocktail Party on Friday 22 January 2016 and I wish you a very happy and successful 2016.