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College Head’s Letter

3 JANUARY 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

My warm greetings to you all! Despite the anxiety and restrictions that the pandemic has brought, I trust that you have enjoyed special quality time with your family during this holiday.

While I acknowledge that this is a challenging time to take on the role of College Head, I do feel a deep sense of excitement at the opportunity to lead the school I love and to do the best that I can to strengthen St Anne’s and to propel it forward in a positive way.

One of the most important aspects of our school is the environment, or culture, we create. In these defining years for our girls, it is vital that we grow one that is embracing and affirming, and one that nurtures a strong sense of belonging. Along with our staff and girls, we will delve into what this ideal St Anne’s environment looks like, and how we can each contribute to this. We will be intentional in our journey as we spotlight our school, and amongst other things, re-work policies through a collaborative process, and more importantly, live by them. This will be a challenging, meaningful and empowering exercise for our community.

We will continue to strive for excellence holistically, and in doing so, will emphasise the significance for our girls to grow a strong, authentic sense of self which will reveal depth of character, resilience and self-confidence. We have an ideal situation with our committed staff, supportive parents, beautiful campus and resources, and most importantly, the calibre of our girls. I feel up for this exhilarating challenge and I trust that you will come alongside in support. There may be times when you question decisions, or disagree with a direction taken, but I appeal to you that we work with one another in a spirit of goodwill for the benefit of our school. I am inspired by our staff and girls, and am motivated to create the most conducive environment for all to flourish, and I trust that I may rely on your positive support. I have a leadership style that values collaboration and it is my wish, that you will be involved as an important stakeholder. Once the pandemic eases, it would be my pleasure to welcome your regular presence on campus.

On the matter of the pandemic, I appeal for your help as we ready ourselves for our return to school in the midst of the concerning “second wave”. While the situation has some uncertainty, we do have an understanding of the importance of minding our interaction with others. Please promote an urgent awareness in your families, of the need to minimise social interaction, particularly in the two week period leading up to your daughters’ return to school? On a practical note, please ensure your daughter has at least five comfortable masks, marked with her name, so these may be laundered regularly. Thank you.

Please keep your daughters at home if they are unwell, and isolate them if they have had contact with a positive case. If in doubt, please have them tested. We really need your help in our endeavours to start our school year productively and happily. Currently, those travelling back into South Africa will need to provide documentation on their arrival, proving a negative result for a relevant Covid test. I will communicate with you, our parent body, before school re-opens, but I wanted to connect with you now as we prepare for a new and exciting school year.

Warm regards

DEBBIE MARTIN
COLLEGE HEAD