13 May 2015

Letter from the Head – 13 May

Dear Parents

Once again it has been a busy fortnight. Shakespeare Reduced, this year’s school play, certainly reduced the audience to tears – tears of laughter! The bard himself probably chuckled from some lofty place and there is no doubt he would have delighted in the sheer enjoyment had by the audience and the cast. Ms van Aswegen and the cast and crew gave up many nights to ensure that the play was indeed entertaining and engaging. In spite of performing for a number of nights to a packed audience it was remarkable to see some of the cast members either helping at the Reddam Derby Day or giving their best on the sports field. To view photographs from these events please go to https://www.somersetcollege.org/photo-gallery/

Many of our students are working hard to contribute positively to their CVs and to the College. They are commended on their tenacity and drive.

The Derby Day was a great success and I hope those of you who attended enjoyed seeing your children play excellent sport. All the First Teams fared extremely well. The Netball Team has to be commended on their excellent win and the remarkable improvement in their play. They simply never gave up. The Rugby Firsts playing a mixed Reddam and Reddam Development side gave the spectators a few heart- stopping moments but the collective relief of a well-deserved win came in the dying minutes of the game. The Girls First Hockey XI drew their match against a strong Reddam side, while the Boys First Hockey Team’s 14-nil defeat of Reddam was indicative of their outstanding performance throughout the season. Well done to all the teams, their coaches and the students who attended, performed First Aid and PR functions and who generally showed all that is positive and good about the College. We can be very proud of our students.

Our Facilities staff work tirelessly to create a pristine campus and they certainly presented a near-perfect space for us to enjoy and admire on Saturday.

I am very grateful to both the Prep and Senior School PAs for the incredible task they accomplished in feeding the many spectators and players. The catering was superb so thank you to the parents who flipped burgers and boerewors and made sure everything worked well. Also thank you to those parents who supplied the various ingredients to make the day the success that it was. A visitor commented on how fortunate we are to have a committed group of parents who valued sport and who were engaged enough to have their children participate so meaningfully. It is very rewarding to see a community being a cohesive, spirited and happy group – the positive energy that emanated from the day can only be good for the College.

The termly music concert was another successful event and the Eco-Club’s fashion show of clothes made from recycled products added an interesting twist to the evening. The innovative young designers showed flair for design and aesthetics. Thank you to the staff and parents who attended – it was a lovely evening.

This past weekend seemed to be a busy social one for a number of students. The College cannot be responsible for the behaviour of students at parties. Neither is it the College’s job to prescribe how parents should parent or how students should spend their weekends.

Similarly, the College cannot be held accountable for the fact that some parents see fit to serve alcohol to under-age children. Rather it is an issue for dissenting parents to raise with the parents who do serve alcohol illegally. It is common knowledge that serving alcohol to children under eighteen is illegal; it can serve to destroy futures. Parents would do well to remind their own children that many reputations are damaged at weekends. The details that came across my desk this week were disturbing and disappointing. That children see fit to place inappropriate images of themselves and others on social media can have very dire consequences. The contents of this newsletter should indicate quite clearly that the good majority of students engage meaningfully with life and have a good sense of how to build a positive future.

Mr Heine Matthee, the new Business Manager, will be joining Somerset College on 18 May 2015. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the College and holds a B.Com (Management Accounting) degree as well as a B.Compt (Hons) degree, and is an Associate General Accountant of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants – AGA (SA). He is also an Associate Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) of the Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA – UK). Heine is a passionate participant in various sports. He has 4 Comrades, 9 Two Oceans marathons, 24 Argus Cycle tours, 2 Cape Epics, 1 Ironman and a few other races under his belt. He is married to Annaleen and they have a blended family of 5 children. I am sure you will join me in welcoming the rather formidable Heine Matthee to our community. He has a huge task ahead of him but I have no doubt it will be a walk in the park in comparison to his various achievements.

The Head of Rowing, Mr Ben Whitfield is leaving Somerset College next term. Under his leadership the Rowing Club has seen some remarkable achievements – not least two South African Gold medalists. We wish Mr Whitfield much success in his new adventures.

We are moving towards examinations and students should be using some of their spare time to complete past papers and prepare themselves well so that they can enjoy the examination period.

Thank you to those parents who have attended the many events and who continue to support the College in so many ways.

Yours sincerely
Meg Fargher