20 March 2019
One of the many highlights of our First Term calendar has been the music concert hosted by St Anne’s that featured various ensembles from Michaelhouse, Cowan House and St Anne’s. The standard of music on display that evening was of a very high standard and, very importantly, it was obvious that all the pupils thoroughly enjoyed entertaining the large audience that was in attendance.
St Anne’s parents are well known for supporting their daughters’ school activities, notwithstanding the vast distances that separate so many of them from St Anne’s. In this regard, I am grateful for your significant support of your daughters that was so evident at events such as the music concert, our Interhouse Gala, the House Socials before Half Term and the Matric Ball.
I know that parent turn-out will also be significant at next week’s performances of “THIS IS ME– A Tribute to Musicals”. Ms Lynn Chemaly, our Theatre Director, heads up a production team that includes, amongst others, members of our Music Department. This team has prepared the girls under very trying circumstances given that our theatre has been out of commission for most of the term. I am nevertheless confident that audiences are in for a treat and that those in attendance will also be suitably impressed by the alterations to the theatre.
Although the theatre together with associated facilities such as toilets, kitchen, box office, green room and foyer will be operational next week, other facilities such as the STEPP office, Drama and Technology classrooms, and our new dance studio will only be completed next term. Our second hockey astro turf, however, will be ready for use from the beginning of the hockey season. We are in a very privileged position to be able to benefit from major development of our campus such as this.
St Anne’s sport is in a very healthy state at the moment. This diagnosis is based not only on the performances of a broad cross-section of teams in all sporting codes that have been active thus far this year, but also on my perception of the degree of commitment of the girls, their enjoyment levels, and their obvious improvement in skill and fitness levels.
Our most recent cause for celebration are the achievements of our water polo players (7 St Anne’s girls represented KZN at a recent Currie Cup tournament where the team secured second place), the success of the five girls who completed the gruelling Dusi Marathon and our horse riders who came away from last weekend’s interschools event at Shongweni with all four trophies that were up for grabs, an unprecedented achievement. These levels of success being experienced at the moment pose a challenge in that it becomes difficult to do justice to the long list of sporting achievements which have become common place at St Anne’s.
Our attempts to meet this challenge include announcing results at our weekly school assemblies, and regularly posting these results on our D6 communicator, on our College Website and on our Facebook page. Please refer to these platforms for details of the above-mentioned successes, as well as many others. Given the limited size of our PR and Marketing Department, I trust that parents will appreciate that it is unrealistic, and unnecessary, to post all results within minutes of the associated event.
Last weekend was a particularly significant weekend for the 88 pupils and handful of staff members who participated in the annual SCA Camp under the leadership of the Rev Dr Susan van Niekerk and the Grade 12 Spiritual Committee. It was obvious from testimonies shared at Sunday evening’s Chapel Service that many of the girls had a truly special encounter with God during the course of the weekend.
Mrs Cathy Capon (English) and Mrs Caroline Darroch (Geography) are both on sick leave at the moment and we are grateful to have Mrs Ann McLoughlin and Mrs Brenda Sara, respectively, substituting for them.
We were delighted to receive the news a few weeks ago that two of our staff members, Ms Lungile Bhengu and Ms Janet Ndlangamandla, gave birth to healthy babies. Lungile, who works as an Assistant in our Sanatorium, had a little boy named Kumkani and Janet, Team Leader of our gardeners, had a girl named Vuyolwethu.
At the end of the term we sadly say good bye to Mrs Trish Gillham, (School Counsellor), and Mrs Manuela von Maltzahn (French Department), both of whom are retiring from teaching. We wish them and their husbands a long and happy retirement.
The following staff members will be welcomed to St Anne’s at the start of next term:
- Mrs Lizelle van Niekerk (Head of Counselling – currently at Hilton College)
- Ms Phumzile Mehlo (a newly created Counselling post)
- Mrs Alison Gordijn (French Department – currently Head of French at Epworth)
Ms Joy Preiss, Head of our Visual Arts Department, retires at the end of next term and we have appointed Mrs Ghemma Wylde (Maritzburg College) to succeed her.
Please take note that as a result of a number of religious holidays towards the end of the year, our Grade 12 NSC examinations will commence a week later than is normally the case. As a result, we have decided to host our annual Prize Giving on Friday 18 October rather than on the previous Friday. This change will not impact on the dates of the Half Term scheduled for a few weeks later.
I hope that you will enjoy catching up with your daughters during the forthcoming holidays.
“The skill of delaying judgment, at least categorically, until sufficient questions are in play stands so powerfully at the centre of empathy.”