17 JUNE 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians
Term 2 seemed to evaporate over night as we decided to give the option for our girls to leave early after two standard Covid tests for overseas travel came back positive and we realised that perhaps we had more asymptomatic cases among us and there was a real concern for girls wanting to travel home across borders. Thank you for altering your plans to accommodate us and I hope your daughters enjoy a wonderful holiday after a busy exam term for most.
It was disappointing for the cast of our major production, #OurStories, who had worked hard and could only stage two performances due to our early closure. This was a brave production as it was scripted internally from various people’s stories from our community and so was an authentic experience from beginning to end. There were heart-wrenching and poignant moments, interspersed with humorous touches and sobering comments. Warm congratulations to the cast who worked with commitment in creating such a well-crafted piece of theatre. It was a rare treat to walk into our beautiful theatre again and to be transported into so many people’s lives through the dramatisation. Our gratitude to the director, Lynn Chemaly, and her assistant, Marcus Henning, as well as Minthra Baijnath and Joslyn Anderson who stepped in when Lynn was badly injured in a bike accident.
With our girls away, we could not follow our Youth Day programme which we had planned with facilitated conversations with staff and girls in small groups for the morning, as well as activities celebrating our youth through music, drama and interhouse games in the afternoon, but I hope our girls were able to observe this important day while at home with you.
We have taken a collaborative approach with the drafting of our Code of Conduct and our Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Racism policies and our staff and girls will have the opportunity to read through these next term. After editing arising from this, these documents will be sent to our parents for their perusal. Our Board has also been involved in the process and will do the final signing off.
Focus Groups will be researching and making some proposals going forward, and all these groups will involve our staff, with some groups relying on input from pupils, parents and some Board members too. Transformation and Christian values underpin all these groups, and some of the areas on which there will be a focus are: academics (curriculum, buildings, IEB, IT, structure of the school week), boarding (buildings, the experience and forward thinking), day boarders, leadership (staff & girls), wellness, relationship building, marketing and communication, entrepreneurship, recruitment and retention of staff, among others. Where innovative and firm proposals emerge, we will consider these as a school and then we will prioritise and action them over a planned period of time. There are so many excellent aspects to our school which need to remain intact, but there will be some areas which will be strengthened with careful thought and tweaking.
Next term is a significant one in many ways, and we hope sincerely that the traditional ‘Camp Week’ can take place. The Grade 8s venture to Nyala Pans, the Grade 9s go on Great Adventure, the Grade 10s will go to the St Lucia area, and the Grade 11s to Spirit of Adventure, after experiencing the World at Work which is helpful in highlighting various careers. Our matrics also prepare themselves to sit for Trials and we hope that they are able to sneak their Ball in on our break up day, 17 September. We postponed it again as we feel that we could be in the thick of Covid mid-July. The Grade 10s will hopefully be able to enjoy their Ball, and the Grade 11s their Formal Dinner and Dance, but again, we are at the mercy of regulations around Covid. Please note that the first weekend of Term 3 is a closed weekend which means all boarders need to stay in and day boarders are encouraged to attend the activities over the weekend.