3 DECEMBER 2020
Our end-of-year assembly took place in the Indoor Centre last Friday morning, about eight and a half months since we last gathered for a live gathering of the whole school. Physical distancing was observed, other than at the end when the pupils sang “We are the ladies in blue!”, which no-one with any compassion would have attempted to disrupt. The event served as a reminder of the many intangible, special features of St Anne’s that has been smothered by the Covid-19 pandemic this year.
A highlight of the Assembly was the presentation of Honours Awards to Juliette Armitage (Service), and Amkela Msimang, Eve Tomlinson and Poppy Souchon (Academics). Juliette’s award was recognition for the 252 hours of service that she has clocked up at St Anne’s during the past four years, while the three academic awards were based on the girls achieving the top three places in the Grade 10 section of the National Economics Olympiad, as previously announced.
I recently addressed a letter to all staff members in which I thanked and congratulated them for their contribution to the remarkable manner in which St Anne’s has dealt with the significant implications of the pandemic thus far. I extend my gratitude to you as well. Your assistance of your daughters during the long period of online learning, your observance of the various protocols introduced by the College, particularly those relating to “arrivals and departures” and your financial support of St Anne’s during particularly tough economic times, are a few reasons for my gratitude.
We do need to remain vigilant, however, and as much as we may wish it not to be the case, the pandemic is still with us. Please take extra care during the course of this summer holiday period and encourage your daughters to do the same. As already explained to the current Grade 11s, the College has decided to postpone the 2021 Matric Ball from the First Term to early in the Third Term, the proposed new date for the event being 17 July. Hopefully it won’t be too long before this date can be confirmed.
I was very impressed by the generally calm and confident manner in which the Grade 12 pupils approached their National Senior Certificate Examinations which ended last Wednesday. I expect the overall results of the girls to be outstanding, despite the unusual and disrupted nature of the past year. These results are due to be announced on Friday 19 February, later than usual given the fact that matric pupils in the State System are still writing their exams, and marking of their scripts will commence only in the new year. A large group of St Anne’s teachers is involved in the marking of IEB scripts which commences in Johannesburg this weekend.
Apart from myself, the following staff members leave St Anne’s at the end of the year:
Ms Philippa Cameron (Head of the Media Centre) – Moving to England together with her family
Ms Londeka Langa (Sport) – Moving to St John’s
Ms Ranji Padayachee (Head of Accounting) – Retiring
Mrs Julie Cook (Admissions) – Retiring
Mrs Debbie Martin – College Head
Ms Ntando Mlilo – Deputy Head (Pastoral Care)
Ms Sibongile Mthembu – Part-Time HR Manager
Mrs Karen Randall – Head of Accounting
Mrs Kirsten Franz – Part-Time English
Mrs Gretha Roberts – Part-Time Mathematics
Mrs Melanie Klute – Part-Time Marketing and Events Co-Ordinator
Mr Anil Mooljee – Part-Time Tennis Coach and Administrator
Ms Nomcebo Mabuza – Netball/Basketball Coach and Administrator (from Term 2)
Two important internal appointments are those of Mrs Ghemma Wylde as Head of Transformation and Belonging, and Mr Themba Radebe as Head of Ngikhona.
I am grateful to Mrs Cecile Jansen (Gr 10) and Mr Themba Radebe (Gr 11), both of whom are standing down as Grade Heads after a number of years of leadership in this important role. They will be replaced by Mrs Jenitha Raghoo and Mr Cheslyn Andrews, respectively.
As from the beginning of next year, what has been known as isiZulu 2nd Additional Language will be referred to as Conversational isiZulu. This change is linked to an intention to reinforce the College’s emphasis on the practical benefits of the course and to downplay the academic pressure that too many pupils currently associate with the course.
Reports for our Grade 8 to Grade 11 pupils were finalised yesterday and can be accessed on our Parents’ Portal.
I am delighted that St Anne’s will commence the new year with a full complement of pupils and a healthy waiting list. The following is the analysis of our expected enrolment at the start of 2021:
It remains for me to wish you an energy-restoring end to the year (even if you are unable to go holiday), a blessed Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2021. I leave St Anne’s with wonderful memories of an exceptional school and with the peace of mind that my successor, Debbie Martin, is well equipped to lead the College into the future.
In my farewell speech to the staff on Tuesday evening, I said the following:
“Aristotle said that where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling. The needs of St Anne’s have changed. Debbie, with her unique set of talents, and you, the St Anne’s staff, are well equipped to meet the College’s current needs.”
I wish her and the staff well as they continue to answer their calling.