Blog

The Blue Note

15 SEPTEMBER 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

For a variety of reasons, the past term has been a particularly challenging term for all members of our St Anne’s community, including your daughters. Thank you for your support of them, as well as of the College, during this period. Our Grade 11s wrote exams that were postponed from Term 2, while our Grade 12s wrote their Trial Exams this term, as is the norm. In general, the results obtained by the girls were very encouraging, which is a testament to their efforts, your support and the expertise of our staff. I am confident that the results obtained by the Grade 12s in their important National Senior Certificate Exams next term are going to be outstanding, notwithstanding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our normal routine.

STAFF

Mrs Barbara Strydom retires from St Anne’s at the end of this term after just short of 32 years of exceptional service to the College. Our staff will be acknowledging her immense contribution at a special function on Thursday. Ms Esther Naicker, who is currently one of our receptionists and who is responsible for the College’s travel arrangements, has been appointed as the College Head’s PA. She will, however, still be responsible for travel bookings until the end of the year.

Mr Chris Hornby, our Head of IDL, returns to the commercial sector after 6 years on our staff. He takes leave of us with the satisfaction that he has played an important role in ensuring that our staff and pupils, as collectives, are exceptionally competent in terms of their IT skills. His contribution to canoeing at St Anne’s has also been a significant one. Mrs Morag le Roux, a former pupil of St Anne’s who is an Electrical Engineer, replaces Mr Hornby as from the beginning of next term.

Other recent appointments include:

Mrs Caren Randall – Head of Accounting. She will replace Ms Ranji Padayachee who is taking early retirement at the end of the year.

Mrs Gretha Roberts – Part-time Mathematics. This is a new post linked to our increased school enrolment.

I am delighted that Mrs Penny Peacock (English) and Mr Francois Sumbula (French), both of whom were due to retire at the end of the year, will remain at St Anne’s for an extra year.

INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT

Esmé Thornhill-Davis recently competed for South Africa in the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Competition, and was placed third in the After-Dinner Speaking category. The competition was meant to take place in Shanghai in April but was postponed and finally turned into an online competition because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

HONOURS AWARDS

Congratulations to Bridget Davies and Tshegofatso Motaung who were awarded Music Honours this week, as well as to Esmé Thornhill-Davis who was awarded Honours for Public Speaking (see above). Earlier this term, Grace George received her Equestrian Honours Award.

END OF YEAR FUNCTIONS

Despite the disruptions and abnormalities experienced this year, we have tried to work out an end-of-year programme for the Matrics that partly resembles that of previous years, although this is not easy with the current restrictions in place. Our current plans are as follows:

  • The Leavers’ Dinner will go ahead on 8 October for Grade 12s in the Dining Room, using the whole space to accommodate physical distancing. The Deputy Head Girl will address the Matrics and staff in attendance. 
  • The Leavers’ Service will be held on 9 October in the Chapel for Grade 12s, and staff on a voluntary basis only. This event will be live-streamed to Matric parents so that you can watch from home.
  • Our Prize Giving Ceremony will be in the Indoor Centre for Grade 12s and a few staff members. This event will be live-streamed to the rest of the school, who will be seated in classrooms. The link to our live-stream will also be shared with all parents so that you can watch from home. 

All girls may leave school after Prize Giving for an extended weekend as there will be no Saturday school on 10 October. Accommodation will be available on campus for boarders who choose to stay in, and classes will resume on Monday morning, 12 October, at the normal time. There will be a ‘special’ bus to Johannesburg after Prize Giving but this is essentially for Matrics who are commencing their study leave. It will be a one-way service only; i.e. if girls from other Grades make use of the bus, they will need to find their own way back before school on Monday. This bus service is to assist the Matric parents who would usually attend Prize Giving and collect their daughters. 

We realise that there will be many disappointed parents who would have attended these functions, especially Matric parents. However, we believe that we cannot put the health of the Grade 12s at extra risk just before they write such important examinations. 

In the interests of the Grade 12 parents, we intend to make the departure after their daughters’ final examination more significant than in the past to bring some closure to their association with St Anne’s. Details of this special function will be confirmed in due course. 

WITHDRAWALS

I am certainly not wanting to encourage any pupils to leave us, but I do need to remind you that if it is your intention to withdraw your daughter from St Anne’s at the end of the year, a term’s notice is required.

SECURITY

Many of you are aware of new fencing that has been erected along approximately 1,1 km of our campus perimeter. This new fence, which is 2,1m high and has a 30 cm under-dig, will be extended in the next two or three years. Other security improvements to our campus, in response to a security audit conducted last year, include:

  • An increase in the total number of our security guards, as well as an increase in the number of guards per shift.
  • Improved lighting in various areas of the campus.
  • The installation of additional security cameras. None of these new cameras, placed in the two teaching blocks and the administration block, nor any of those previously in position, have any impact on the privacy of pupils or staff.

I trust that you will appreciate that the above measures are implemented in the best interests of all members of our St Anne’s community.

PARENTS’ LIAISON COMMITTEE

The PLC, which serves as a forum to channel communication and promote positive links between parents and the College, is looking to recruit new members. The committee, currently chaired by Mrs Sue Parker, aims to represent the parent body in an inclusive and approachable manner, and looks forward to welcoming new members. We thank Mrs Tanya Bailey and Mrs Sarah Vermaak, who are leaving the PLC as their daughters matriculate, for their contribution. The PLC Guidelines Document can be found on the Parent Portal and the nomination form is at the following link: PLC Nomination Form

FOURTH TERM UNIFORM

The summer uniform that the girls wear next term dries a lot quicker than does the winter uniform. We will therefore return to the girls wearing school uniform throughout the week, as from the start of next term.

END-OF-TERM TRANSPORT ARRANGEMENTS

Please refer to the following traffic arrangements relating to the departure of pupils from the campus on Friday morning.

Kind regards

David Arguile

COLLEGE HEAD

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.

Charles Schulz, cartoonist

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR COLLECTION & DROP-OFF OF GIRLS

Friday, 18 September: Girls may be collected from 10h30. Parents are asked to enter the school either by the main entrance or the main exit gate. A security officer and traffic marshals will monitor the incoming traffic and guide you down a lane accordingly.

Parents may not leave their cars and are asked to wait in the allocated pick-up areas, for your daughter/s. All vehicles must leave via the Church Lane gate.

 

Tuesday, 29 September:

All Weekly & Termly Boarders to be dropped off between 17h00 and 20h00.
Dress: Blue Dress & Blazer.
Enter the school via the main entrance or main exit gate. Security officers will direct traffic. No-one is to leave their vehicle. The girl/s will be checked by a screening officer whilst still in their vehicle. Please ensure that the student app is open and ready. Once cleared, she can leave the vehicle and continue on foot to her house. Parents will then leave via Church Lane.

Have a happy holiday!