The main focus of today’s newsletter is the message from Professor Volker Wedekind, as Chairman of our Board, which I am sure that you will find most informative and interesting. His message is included below.
In keeping with our commitment to a liberal education, as prescribed in our school’s constitution, we have investigated new ways to ensure that we achieve a balance in educating girls holistically. With this in mind, we revised our programme on Women’s Day on 9 August. We had interesting workshops for both staff and girls, followed by a Blanket Drive handover ceremony, after which girls had a jumble sale of donated items, with the proceeds going to charities involving disadvantaged girls. This was a wonderful, happy day at school during which girls not only learned a lot about branding their school, were motivated by keynote speaker, Sarah Donkin, but also learned more about the specific needs of girls from poor backgrounds and their challenges they face. It was wonderful for our girls to contribute towards assisting some of these girls, and to do so cheerfully and in true St John’s spirit. Thank you to all involved in setting this up.
We are sad to announce that Mrs Gill Ducasse will be leaving us at the end of this year. We wish her and her husband, Peter, a happy retirement. Knowing them, though, it will no doubt be a busy retirement for both of them! Mrs Nola Crosson will also be changing her routine and will teach part-time next year so that she can assist her husband in his important community work. We will ensure that the vacancies created will be filled with capable, well-qualified replacements in the teaching of Grade 5s, as well as Consumer Studies. We are also in the final process of appointing a new Head of Physical Sciences and a Head of Sport for 2017, due to growth in numbers, activities and restructuring of internal positions. We have also advertised for an additional Accounting teacher to assist with the growth in this department.
Our quality assurance evaluation process, conducted by external IQAA mentors Rev. John Alexander and Mrs Bridget Walton, as well as Mrs Diane Woodroffe and her internal team, has reached an end. I am grateful to all involved in supporting this process, and the report and findings generated will be used to mandate me with the findings of the Strategic workshops and follow-up discussions with Board to find ways to improve the operational functioning of the school in some areas. Based on the information gathered, however, the school is in excellent health according to the IQAA mentors and the ISASA facilitators of the Strategic Workshop, which is most affirming. I look forward to communicating action plans regarding any changes where appropriate, and implementing these with the assistance of my incredibly hard-working and capable management team.
Thank you to all involved in the numerous activities completed and others still underway in Term 3 so far. These include the Romeo and Juliet production with Michaelhouse completed last night, the Eisteddfods and many musical performances, our school team’s success in the Finals of the Interschool Debating Competition, and numerous sporting and academic functions and activities, too numerous to mention. The introduction of Soccer has proved to be a most popular decision. Trial examinations are underway, many Grade 11 girls are currently away on a Wilderness Leadership School experience, Grade 9s are gearing up for their uHambo journey, and many other Grade excursions will take place in the second half of the term. I wish all girls and their families a relaxed half-term break with this in mind.