18 February 2015

Letter from the Head – 18 February 2015

Dear Parents

This past Sunday was a spectacular day for a number of loyal College supporters. Those of us who attended the T20 Cricket Festival at Somerset College were treated to a wonderful day of Cricket and great Somerset College spirit. Our First Team made the spectators experience all possible cricketing emotions: hope, despair, fear, sadness, renewed hope and ultimately pure elation!  When Somerset College First XI beat Paul Roos for the second time this term, we were overjoyed. We then had to face the acclaimed Rondebosch Team in the T20 final and the emotions experienced in the morning’s match were felt all over again, except when the final devastating ball was bowled by College our joy from the morning’s victory turned to sheer elation. Somerset College had won, and won well. It was a great moment for dedicated Captain, Philip Carstens and his team to finally receive the T20 Trophy.

Our fields looked magnificent and the wicket by all accounts was in tip-top condition. Many schools commented on the excellence of the pitches and the facilities. Once again our Facilities Staff had done us proud. The catering on the day was also exceptional and the burgers cooked by the Cricket Parents were delicious. Certainly they are a reason to attend any College function when the PA and host parents are working at their braais to sell delectable food to spectators.

Our Cricket Team and all involved showed the wonderful spirit of the College and I was certainly very proud of the team and all who helped make the day memorable and fun. The U14 and U15 cricketers who were there and the Old Oaks who came to support also ensured that the day was very special. Thank you all.

That cricket reveals character and sportsmanship was also evident by Paul Roos acknowledging a Tweet that was sent out about the win – they did so graciously. When one sees tangible signs of sportsmanship and camaraderie, the best of school sport can be celebrated.

And to continue on the celebratory note, I am very pleased to inform you that a number of 2014 Matriculants increased their tally of A symbols after requesting re-marks of their scripts: Chloe Walls, Lexi Green and Pierre du Plessis achieved As for English. Jessica Chambers and Jared Leite achieved As for History and Christopher Goudvis achieved another A for Information Technology. This means that Jessica and Pierre both achieved a full house of 8 distinctions. We are proud of all our students but we commend these students on their outstanding results. The 2014 Matriculants attained a total of 274 distinctions which is an exceptional achievement for a school writing the IEB examinations.

And last year four Grade 10s achieved outstanding results on the National IEB’s Critical Thinking benchmark test. They are Nicholas Carroll, Richard Masson, Douglas Grieve and Dario Trinchero. Again this is an excellent achievement.

Good results are not achieved without hard work and commitment to the educational process. A wise educator likened each day at school to building a solid foundation for the future. Each day is a like a brick in that wall of preparation for future success. If many days of school are missed, the wall being built is very unstable. Please support us in our attempts to limit absenteeism. If tests are missed for personal reasons such a driving tests, holidays, duvet days and so on, your child’s results will be compromised as we can only give them nought for the assessments missed. If they are genuinely ill, please provide a doctor’s certificate. This week alone we had more than 30 requests to take children out of school early for personal, non-essential reasons. Besides it being time-consuming administratively, as a school we are not in fact allowed to grant permission for children to miss school for non-educational reasons.

Moving from metaphorical to literal walls, we are excited to see the walls emerging from the ground at last on the new classroom block behind the Manor House. The building is progressing well. The Indoor Cricket facility and Rowing Gym should be finished shortly. It looks quite magnificent and I am sure our cricketers will go from strength-to-strength on account of the new facility.

The term is busy and demanding but the students are resilient and hardworking and up to the challenges we give them.

Yours sincerely

Meg Fargher
Executive Head: Somerset College