17 March 2016

Letter from the Head – 17 March 2016

Dear Parents

A successful Arts and Culture week has drawn the busy and somewhat frenetic first term of 2016 to a close. Congratulations to the Drama, Art and Music Departments for a very important and meaningful contribution into the lives of our pupils. A special mention must be made of the student leaders, Roisin Gowen and Aidan Cunningham, who lead the Cultural Portfolio. Their input and enthusiasm was also wonderful. The House Plays were entertaining and congratulations go to the Matrics who ensured that the plays got onto stage. Fairy tales, however, may never be quite the same again. Although it must be said it would be wonderful if Cloetenberg’s King could live in Nkandla so that living “happily ever after” in South Africa becomes a possibility! Seeing so many pupils either on stage or working hard behind the scenes was wonderful. And indicative of a positive spirit in the College. The Inter-house Debates showed a growing awareness of contemporary and challenging South African issues and the students’ willingness to grapple with the difficulties inherent in our complex histories.

The unveiling of the Tretchikoff project was another highlight of Artz Daze week which, together with the Land Art, marked the creativity in the Art Department and the hard work of the dedicated Art students. The end-of-term Music Concert showcased the various ensembles and the Grade 8s in particular are commended for their contribution to Music.

Music, Art and Drama are an invaluable and important part of holistic education and it is remarkable that many of the Matrics on stage for the House Plays are also in the Jazz Band and in sports teams. Their CVs are becoming rich and full.

All pupils, and their teachers, are commended for their contribution to the success of the cultural week which took a great deal of time and effort. Events like these forge friendships and memories that make the school experience special.

The Matrics are congratulated on achieving a record number of diligence certificates amongst them while still leading the College and being involved in sports and cultural activities. They have set a fine example and are commended on their hard work and encouraged to continue in this way for the remainder of this important year.

Annalie Swanepoel, Justin Whitfield, Jacques Morris and Matthew Durie have been selected to go through to the next round of the International Maths Competition. They are wished well in their endeavours. More than 60 boys and girls are through to the second round of the Maths Olympiad, which is a wonderful achievement.

Yanti de Villiers, Jaihne Magerman and Vera-Lynn Smit are congratulated on their success in the Afrikaans Debating Competition. Somerset College were runners-up in their category and it is clear that these students acquitted themselves superbly.

A record number of teams have entered the JSE’s Stock Exchange challenge and I hope they will see the game through to completion.

Katya Irwin is congratulated on being awarded a trip to Germany by the German Embassy on account of her excellent performance in the German Olympiad.

Comprehensive sports results are provided by the Sports Department; however, it would be remiss of me not to commend our sportsmen and women on an excellent term. We wish all the teams involved in various festivals well and they are encouraged to learn, have fun and make new friends.

Watching the Tennis Team play at Bishops recently, I couldn’t help feel proud of how our boys conducted themselves. Besides playing good tennis with excellent rallies, their demeanour on the court was exemplary. Sport does not only build character, it also reveals character and the tennis teams, in spite of tough competition, revealed excellent character. There were no temper tantrums or swearing and their characters were those of people who will make the world a better place because they can be composed.

The same can be said of our Rowers. The Rowing team have had another excellent season and they performed well at all the major regattas in which they participated. They continue to go from strength to strength and are a great Rowing Club.

Our excellent First Cricket Team is in Sri Lanka and we hope that they enjoy their tour to this iconic cricketing country and that they end another successful season well.

Thank you to all parents, teachers  and students who filled in this form.  Your comments are invaluable.Focus groups will be formed to discuss any issues that were highlighted as areas of significant  concern.  The IQAA team will visit the school in  May to finalise their report.

Please do not forget to book your tickets on 5 April for this fun event hosted by the Somerset College Parents’ Association. Last year’s function was a great success and a lot of fun, so don’t miss out.

Miss Julianne Ward is getting married in the holidays and we wish her and her husband-to-be a happy wedding and a marriage full of laughter and love. Mrs Randall will be on maternity leave for the second term and we all look forward to the arrival of Baby Randall. Mrs Leonie Barnard is thanked for teaching Life Sciences this term while Ms Kruyshaar was away. Mrs Barnard’s warmth, kindness and vast experience added much value to the school.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday wherever you may be and whatever you do. If you celebrate Easter, may the restorative message of hope inherent in the Resurrection be a meaningful and special time for you.

Yours sincerely
Meg Fargher

It has been brought to the College’s attention by a concerned parent that Uber taxis should only be used by people over 18 according to the Uber Taxi Policy. Parents should take note of this if their children make use of this service but also note that it is not in the College’s ambit to police the use of taxi services.