Dear Parents and Guardians
Today we took leave of our pupils, and as I write to you the stillness of the school buildings bears testimony to the fact that the year has drawn to a close and that the Christmas holiday is at hand. Unlike last year when we believed that the pandemic had done its worst and that the new year would bring about a greater sense of normality, this year sees us entering the festive period with a far greater sense of realism and an understanding that matters may be just as uncertain and disrupted in 2022 as they were over the past twelve months.
The new buzz word is Omicron and as a society we must prepare to do battle once more with this new variant of COVID-19. We may have a few weeks respite, but we should be under no illusion that the virus will require our full attention and enhanced vigilance once we return to public settings in
the school context. It is with this in mind that we plan to adopt the following measures:
- We are investigating the practicality of establishing a pop-up vaccination centre at school in the first week of the new term. This will facilitate the process of vaccinating our pupils in a safe and controlled environment. This will only occur with parental consent, and further details will be
provided at the start of the Lent term
- I attach a copy of the school’s updated on-line teaching and learning policy. Please make a careful study of this document as it will govern the delivery of our distance learning programme from 2022 onwards. It seems possible that the country may go into lockdown again and, should this
happen, we want parents and pupils to be prepared.
- We will continue with our current policies and procedures regarding masks, sanitizing and social distancing in the new year in order to curb any rapid rate of infection.
We say farewell to several teachers at year-end. Chief among these is Mrs Elsma Kuhn, who leaves us after 32 years of dedicated service to the Preparatory School. I have paid tribute to Mrs Kuhn in our yearbook and at a farewell function arranged last week. She leaves behind colleagues who will miss her and pupils who will not have the benefit of her vast experience. We wish her well and thank her for her loyalty and commitment. Both Ms Lunsford and Mrs Louw will also retire at the end of December. They have shown true commitment to our school and our best wishes accompany them as they embark on the new course that their lives will take. We also wish Mrs Murray, Mrs Botha and Mr Gordon the very best as they pursue new opportunities in the new year.
Our STEAM Centre has made remarkable progress. Regrettably, we have had a technical problem which involves the metropolitan council and we have been instructed to delay further construction until the matter has been resolved. This will, in turn, delay our occupation of the facility which is now scheduled for the middle of 2022. We are working diligently to resume construction as speedily as possible. We will continue to keep you posted regarding developments.
I wish to congratulate all our pupils and families who were recognized at the various awards functions which have been held over the past few weeks. It has been my privilege to attend most of these events, and the sense of achievement felt by our young people is rewarding to observe. My thanks go out to the parents and families who support these young ones.
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols which was hosted last week was a delight to attend. Pupils enjoyed performing, and judging by the reaction of parents and visitors, the evening was enjoyed by all who attended. I extend my thanks to Mr Venter and his team for arranging the evening and making it so successful. We are well on the way to expanding our music offering and making music available to a larger number of pupils.
Our offices will be open until Tuesday 7th December and will reopen on Thursday 6th January. The switchboard will take messages and respond to any urgent matters. Please contact us should you need any assistance during this period. I also want to extend best wishes to Miss Adams our receptionist who will be getting married during the holidays. Tamlin, we wish you well as you start on the next chapter of your journey.
In conclusion, I extend festive wishes to all members of our school community. May your Christmas celebrations be joyous and may you keep the true meaning of Christ’s love and compassion in your hearts.
I look forward to welcoming you back on Tuesday 11th January 2022.
Mr D.I. Maritz
Head of School