Newsletter – 25 February 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians

Half-term is upon us and I am pleased to report that we have had a month of uninterrupted schooling and that we can look forward to March continuing in the same pattern. The arrival of a viable vaccine provides a glimmer of hope and all indications are that we are starting to turn the tide against the virus. This does not mean that we will not experience further disruptions, but we are confident that we will be able to deal with any future problem in a manner which causes minimal disruption to our teaching programme.

I want to express my deep sense of pride and gratitude to the class of 2020. Despite the incredible odds which they encountered and the steep mountain which COVID-19 represented, they overcame it all to record an excellent set of I.E.B. matriculation results. I have included details of our top achievers with this newsletter. However, I am pleased to provide an overall snapshot of the school’s results.

We entered 29 candidates who wrote the final examination. All 29 pupils (100%) qualified for tertiary study. 28 pupils (97%) gained a Bachelor’s pass and may proceed to university. One pupil achieved a diploma pass and qualifies for further tertiary study at Technicon. For the twelfth consecutive year the school achieved a 100% pass rate. Our three top achievers gained six, five and four distinctions each. Several others achieved one or two distinctions. Seventeen of our 29 candidates (59%) gained one distinction or more. 40% of all subject results were either an “A” or a “B” which means that all these subject results were above 70%. There can be no doubt that the Class of 2020 did themselves, their families and the school proud. Congratulations!

The wet weather has caused damage to the flooring in various classrooms where tiles or blocks have lifted. This has resulted in black adhesive sticking to school shoes and causing inconvenience to parents. I apologise for the disruption caused. We have lodged a claim with our insurer and as soon as we receive the go-ahead, we will repair the floors and return matters to normal.

The school was awarded national heritage status recently. This is the culmination of two years’ work and has contributed to the enhancement of the school’s status and profile both at local level and in national circles. I must express my thanks to our architects, SCS Architects, and their principal architect Etienne Stols, who provided invaluable guidance and support.

Last Saturday saw the school hosting the first Open Day of the year. The format was adjusted to comply with COVID-19 regulations and a “drive-through” day was planned. Interest in the school was encouraging and the assistance from staff and pupils alike was commendable.

Another Open Day is scheduled for the Michaelmas Term.

I’d like to extend my best wishes to the following pupils in the Prep School who have been appointed to senior positions on the prefect body:

  • Dominic Changamire (Headboy)
  • Ashley Scholtz (Headgirl)
  • Samantha Magava (Deputy Headgirl & Head of Liturgy)
  • Cameron David (Deputy Headboy)
  • David Gurajena (Head of St Patrick’s House)
  • Olwethu Ndlovu (Head of St Dominic’s House)
  • Kganya Mmusi (Head of St Catherine’s House)

Wandile Mtshali, Christian McLaren, Rifumo Mongwe, Chloe Spolander, Amohelang Sangweni, Mmatema Kadiaka, Rifumo Qibie, Gaby Dos Santos, Dineo Mathole, Langalethu Mandlakazi, Olwethu Gama (Prefects)

We will commence with a more extensive co-curricular programme after half-term. This will involve both the Senior and the Prep school and will include a wide range of activities. The various sports codes and cultural activities will take place within the context of the prevailing COVID-19 protocols and the safety of pupils and staff will remain our top priority. I wish to urge parents to encourage their children to participate. Our aim remains to provide as balanced an education as possible within the prevailing constraints.

The school has acquired a bank of I-Pads for use in the Prep school. This constitutes the next step in the on-going roll-out of the digital offering at St Catherine’s. Staff are currently undergoing the required training and once the set-up has been concluded the Prep pupils will start on the new and exciting phase of digital learning. Coding will form an important part of the curriculum and will be expanded as capacity allows.

I trust that our pupils will make the most of the breather which this short break provides and return ready to meet the challenges ahead. I want to encourage our matriculants to apply themselves diligently and balance work and relaxation over the half-term. The Class of 2020 has set an impressively high standard which we believe you can improve upon. Use your time wisely.

Yours faithfully

Mr D.I. Maritz
Head of School