Newsletter – 31 March 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians

We are in the middle of Holy Week which will culminate in Good Friday and the rest of the Easter weekend in two days’ time. I trust that you have experienced a period of Lent which was meaningful and fulfilling and that you are looking forward to the next few weeks when you will
be able to spend quality time with your children.

As matters stand currently, our State President has seen fit to allow most activities during the Easter period to continue. He has indicated that our COVID-19 infection rate was relatively stable and the prospect of a national vaccine roll-out would begin within the next month. This is positive news. However, it does not mean that we can let our guard down or relax in terms of the preventative measures which we all need to take. COVID-19 is still with us and we need to ensure that we keep ourselves and our young people safe so that we can resume schooling next term without any significant disruption. I urge you all to be mindful of the risks and to take steps to mitigate any possible risk of infection.

From an academic perspective, we have had a relatively uninterrupted term, and this has allowed staff to forge ahead with the curriculum and to provide an accurate assessment of your child’s performance. Do not hesitate to contact the school for an appointment should you wish to discuss the Lent Term’s report.

Staying with matters academic, we recently finalised the award of our annual Scholarships to deserving Grade 7 pupils. Awards were made to both internal and external candidates. The calibre of the young people who we interviewed was superb and we look forward to welcoming the successful recipients to the Senior School in 2022.

The respite from the pandemic has allowed us to return to the re-introduction of the co-curricular programme. We will be offering a full range of activities in the Trinity Term with soccer and netball featuring as the main activities. We will also offer cross country, tennis and swimming for selected members of the school team. League fixtures have been published and we await feedback regarding our regular Derby Days. Cultural activities have also resumed, and public speaking, chess and music (singing and instrumental) will, once again, become options for our pupils. We are making great strides with regard to the music offering and I appeal to parents to support both Mrs Kirk and Mr Venter.

I recently sent out a letter to the school community which dealt with the matter of traffic in Piercy and Grace Avenues before and after school. The majority of parents and drivers have complied with the requests that were made. I thank you for your co-operation. However, a small number of parents have ignored our pleas and continued to drive and park with little regard for others.

I appeal once more to ALL who transport pupils to do so responsibly and safely with due regard for the rules of the road.

We say farewell to two staff members who have completed their locum periods with us. I extend our sincere thanks to Mrs du Preez (Prep School) and to Mr Wysoke (Senior School) for their willingness to stand in during the Lent Term. Your contribution is appreciated, and we wish you both well as you move on to undertake other activities. Both Mesdames Pita and du Plessis will return to school at the beginning of May, after their maternity leave. We look forward to welcoming them back. We will also welcome a new intern, Sister Ayanda, to the Pre-School in May.

Sr Ayanda is a member of the Newcastle Dominican Congregation and she has chosen teaching and education as her calling. We are pleased to introduce one of our own Dominican Sisters to the school and I trust that she will find happiness and fulfillment at St Catherine’s.

I conclude by extending my best wishes to all the members of the school community. May this season of Easter bring you peace and joy and may the time with your family be a blessed period of fellowship and reflection.

Yours faithfully

Mr D.I. Maritz
Head of School