Dear Parents and Guardians
With COVID-19 in apparent recession, it has been some time since I last communicated with you. Despite predictions of a further wave late in May or early in June, it would appear as if the worst disruptions caused by the pandemic are over and that we are systematically returning to a more familiar way of life.
It is with this in mind that we have decided to review our protocols once more. From the start of the Trinity term pupils and staff will only be required to wear face masks while indoors. These are optional and not compulsory when outdoors and at sporting practices and fixtures. Furthermore, we will no longer be monitoring individual temperatures when staff and pupils arrive at school and while we continue to encourage regular hand washing, we will no longer provide sanitizer for individual use. These measures will remain in force until the government announces any changes or the next wave dictates that certain protocols are re-introduced. Should this happen, we will keep you informed.
The academic programme in all three phases is progressing well. Our matric pupils are already preparing for the mid-year examinations, and we anticipate pleasing results. Mrs McGuire (Senior Mathematics) will leave us at the end of this term to relocate to the Netherlands. Her post has been filled by Mr Harawa, who has had several years’ experience in independent education and is a specialist in the area of Mathematics. Mrs Steyn (Senior Science) will be on maternity leave for the term and she will be replaced by Mrs Galiani, a veteran Science teacher with more than 30 years’ experience, who will be responsible for the Senior classes, and Dr Kiefer, who recently gained his doctorate in Applied Physics from Wits, who will be responsible for the Juniors. Our Head of Ethos, Mrs Karam will also be away on maternity leave until the start of the Michaelmas Term. In the interim her post will be filled by Mrs Williams who comes to us from St Benedict’s College.
During the term three of our staff members tied the wedding knot. Mr Palmer and Miss Williams were married in a lovely ceremony held at the Vaal. Mr Pretorius then celebrated his nuptials in an intimate family ceremony. During the holidays Miss Goodwin will also walk down the aisle and we wish her the very best of luck as she embarks on this new chapter.
As public health restrictions have been lifted, we have been able to re-commence with our full winter sport programme. This has been the case with football and netball, and the pre-season activities are going well, with high levels of pupil participation. Our Senior boys have played their first league fixture and both teams won convincingly. The Prep School soccer pupils attended Camp Discovery over the past weekend and all four teams did well, reaching either the quarter or semi-final stage of the tournament. Our pupils and their coaches were a credit to the school and the large number of parents who travelled to Limpopo to support our teams was encouraging. We appreciate your interest in our pupils and the school. The Prep School will participate in three Derby Days (football and netball) at Colin Mann, St Martin’s and SAHETI next term and we trust that we can continue to rely on parents to attend and encourage our teams.
Our new STEAM Centre has almost reached completion. The contractors are putting the finishing touches to the building, and, at present, the cleaners have moved in. The snag list is being attended to and final alterations are receiving the necessary attention. Our aim is to have the final completion inspection in early May. We are also finalizing all the documentation associated with the construction and we hope to obtain the
Occupation Certificate by the end of June. I believe that we will move into the facility at the start of the Michaelmas Term in September. We have also completed necessary repairs to the swimming pool and moved
the pump room to a more appropriate position. While we await the Occupation Certificate, we will re-establish the East Field and revamp the eastern entrance to the school. There can be no doubt that this will be a facility to be proud of. I have been asked what the STEAM Centre consists of, and it is the following:
• A double volume Art Room, which has both a teaching and exhibition space
• A Science Laboratory
• A Life Sciences Laboratory
• A Computer Centre
• A Mathematics and Engineering Centre
• A Bell Tower, which honours the Dominican Sisters and their founder, Mother Rose Niland
We plan to have a very special opening and dedication ceremony in September when the weather starts warming up again. I’ll keep the school community posted regarding this.
Parents are reminded that pupils are expected to return to school next term in winter uniform. We have been in contact with both our suppliers, and they have assured us that they are adequately provisioned with school uniforms and sports kit. Please ensure that your child returns to school in the correct uniform. Furthermore, parents are reminded that school re-opens on WEDNESDAY 4th MAY for all pupils in all phases. Reception will be open on Thursday, 14th April and will then close until Tuesday, 3rd May when the front office will reopen at 8 am.
We are in the middle of Holy Week which will culminate over the coming weekend with Easter observances. It remains for me to wish all the members of our school community the very best as we enter upon this significant time in our Christian calendar. May we be reminded of Christ’s sacrifice for us and the Lord’s abundant love and mercy for us all.
Celebrate this time with family and loved ones.