From the headmaster's desk

Despite the downpour experienced on the first day of school and the disruption of our plans to meet with children at various points, all progressed very smoothly.  The last minute change of plan to accommodate inclement weather had a positive spin off in that we’ve decided to return to an approach practised a number of years ago, that being, meeting the children at their new classrooms.  Now, with more time to plan for 2016, we will have more signage up to direct learners and parents to classrooms where class lists will be up for perusal.  We appreciate your compliments on how the first day progressed.  Thank you.


In line with regulations, we surveyed a sample of parents on our Code of Conduct and matters to do with Whole School Evaluation.  Thank you to those parents who participated and returned forms.  Information will be shared with the new Governing Body and I’m happy to report that parents are exceedingly happy with the School and Code of Conduct.  We view this project as vitally important for our community and will endeavour to implement positive suggestions put forward by you.

 At the beginning of the year we welcomed a number of new members of staff to the School.  Mesdames Du Plessis, Pienaar, Smith and Wilsnagh have settled well and are making valuable contributions in and out of classrooms.  Our young teacher assistant, Ms Schoeman, is also contributing in a very positive way in Foundation Phase classrooms.  Like all new members of staff, they’ve been through intensive orientation programmes and now understand the workings of the School and what we expect of them.  I trust all will help us make them feel extremely welcome at Rietondale.  Mrs Mills, after four years of part-time study has qualified, with distinction, as an educator.  We congratulate her on this momentous achievement and wish her well in the teaching profession.  Mesdames Loggenberg and Teixeira are in the family way and we offer many blessings for successful pregnancies.  Mrs Loggenberg will be the first to be away for four months and we have already organised that Mrs C Oosthuizen fill in for her.  Mrs Teixeira’s baby is due later in the year and we still have time to look for a relief teacher for her.  Our sincere congratulations to both couples.  Mr Diepering’s son, Wesley, a former learner of the School, tied the proverbial knot and we wish the newly weds all the very best for a happy marriage.  Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Diepering and younger son, Jonathan.  As a person’s life progresses, the good Lord puts in place what is appropriate at appropriate times.  Mrs Hoggan and I are soon to be grandparents for the first time and can’t wait for May/June when the little fellow is due.  I have absolutely no doubt that Mrs Hoggan will be a superb grandmother and lavish the little chap with much love and attention.  Congratulations to our son Graham and his wonderful wife, Marilyn.

 Our School clothing shop is something to behold and all credit is due to Mrs Jeni Kingon who has worked extremely hard to provide our community with superior service and reasonable prices.  Mrs Kingon spends hours working in the shop and mends, washes and irons clothing for your benefit.  Our sincere gratitude for all your time and effort.  If you haven’t visited, do so.

 The new PTA team is already hard at work raising funds for the School and assisting staff by covering books.  The ever popular Cake and Candy sales have been great successes and we thank all Grades 1 and 2 parents who contributed to this end.  Please support our PTA in their very positive projects.

 With a number of changes at our District Office, we welcome a new IDSO, Mr Mangwathe, to our community and thank our former IDSO, Mr Dichabe, for his wisdom and support over the past year.  Like with all former IDSOs, I have no doubt that the School will work well with Mr Mangwathe.  Mr Mangwathe, like his predecessor, is an experienced former principal.  Welcome Sir, and may you be proud of your association with this wonderful school.  At the end of this term, Ms Marleen Lombard, a very good friend of the School working at our District Office, retires.  Over the years, Ms Lombard has worked closely with Ms Mulder on LTSM issues and has always rendered outstanding service.  We wish her all the very best in retirement and thank her for a job well done.

 My prediction concerning our prefect group is true thus far.  I predicted that they could be one of the best prefect groups to walk the corridors in my time at the School.  Well done boys and girls and keep up the good work.  We are all very proud of you.  The Grade 7 group as a whole continues to lead by example and could also be classed as one of the best of the best.  I’m very proud of you.  Remember what I always say : Good behaviour, respect and hard work make for success in life and who doesn’t want to be successful?  What you do in the next few years and how you do it is absolutely critical for your well being in the future.  Have no regrets!  Allow your parents and teachers to guide you to successful futures.

 Thank you to all parents who volunteered to assist with mini sport at the School.  Your time and expertise is valued.  Please remember that you are working with little souls and your example will either make the experience pleasurable, or not.  Winning is great, but not at the cost of your players’ overall enjoyment and love for the game.  Coach with this in mind and don’t destroy spirit.  Having fun will naturally lead to success.

 Welcome to parents who have joined our Mothers Who Care Group.  Led by Mesdames Kingon and Lowe, the group meets to pray for our community and plan good deeds at the School.  Thank you and bless you.

 Being a member of our Scholar Patrol is a hugely responsible job for youngsters at the School and I appeal to all parents to treat the children and staff who are on the pavements with the respect that is due to them.  They are duty bound to assist children in getting to school safely and will value your patience and support.  Greet them and thank them for their selfless service to our community.

 We still have parents who leave their children on the property after 17:30 in the evening.  A one off occurrence may be forgiven, but if it becomes habit, there is a problem.  I refer all parents to what we say about this problem in our Information Letter sent home at the beginning of every year.

 To all parents, the staff and I value your support.  Work with the School in a positive way for the benefit of your children.  From time to time there will be challenges, but wisdom tells me that no problem is insoluble;  some just take a little longer to solve than others.  When emotions run high, people lose perspective and it very often makes it more difficult to find a way forward.

 We extend a very warm welcome to all new parents and learners to the School;  may your association with Rietondale be positive and rewarding.  We look forward to seeing you at functions throughout the year.

 May the year be a good year for all and may God bless you and the School.

 I leave you with this thought :

 The Three Final Wishes of Alexander the Great

 Alexander was a great king.  On his way home from conquering many countries, he came down with an illness.  At that moment, his captured territories, powerful army, sharp swords, and wealth all had no meaning to him.  He realised that death would soon arrive and he would be unable to return to his homeland.  He told his officers : “I will soon leave this world.  I have three final wishes.  You need to carry out what I tell you.”  His generals, in tears, agreed.

 “My first wish is to have my physician bring my coffin home alone.”  After a gasping for air, Alexander continued :  “My second wish is scatter the gold, silver, and gems from my treasure-house along the path to the tomb when you ship my coffin to the grave.”  After wrapping in a woollen blanket and resting for a while, he said : “My final wish is to put my arm outside the coffin.”  People surrounding him all were very curious, but no one dare to ask the reason.  Alexander’s most favoured general kissed his hand and asked : “My Majesty, We will follow your instruction.  But can you tell us why you want us to do it this way?”

 After taking a deep breath, Alexander said : “I want everyone to understand the three lessons I have learned.  To let my physician carry my coffin alone is to let people realise that a physician cannot really cure people’s illness.  Especially when they face death, the physicians are powerless.  I hope people will learn to treasure their lives.

 My second wish is to tell people not to be like me in pursuing wealth.  I spent my whole life pursuing wealth, but I was wasting my time most of the time.  My third wish is to let people understand that I came to this world with empty hands and I will leave this world also with empty hands.”  He closed his eyes after he finished talking and stopped breathing.


R D Hoggan










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