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From the headmaster's desk

The untimely death of Mr Cor Van Der Klooster, our newly appointed groundsman, left us shocked and saddened.  Cor joined the School on 7 April, worked with us for 3 weeks, and was then hospitalised for what was believed to be a minor operation.  Sadly, he passed away after undergoing surgery and spending time in ICU.  Our sincere condolences are extended to his family and we thank Mr Moir for representing the School community at his funeral.  Mr Moir, who retired recently, very magnanimously agreed to continue in his post.

Term 2 has been a busy and active term with many highlights.  The hall project is 99% complete and we look forward to our grand opening on 24 June.  All parents/guardians are invited to join us that evening to savour the momentous occasion.  It has been hard work for members of our Governing Body and we thank Messrs Kingon, Lowe and Donald for the hours of planning and their assistance with the work.  You have done your School proud and we know, from all the many positive compliments, that you really put your hearts and souls into this project.  A big thank you from all.  The Rose Garden project was completed earlier this year and has really lifted the front of the School.  Our rabbit population are most pleased with the new plants and grass and can be seen feeding and lazing about throughout the day.  What a pleasure!

With all the public holidays and a divided vacation, we really thought that we’d face many challenges on the academic, cultural and sporting fronts.  As it turns out, we rose to the challenge and did our best.  Soccer, netball and rugby players performed extremely well at times and we thank Mr Du Toit, managers and coaches for successful seasons.  Thank you to our loyal and esteemed supporters like Mesdames Signorelli, Campbell, Loganathan and Paul who come out on the coldest of days/evenings to support our players.  The mini guys strut their stuff on Saturdays and at practices during the week.  What a pleasure to see the moms and dads coaching and encouraging our young charges.  They are always well turned out and their manners are impeccable.  Play has been extremely exciting at times and what is wonderful to see is the skill of many of our players and the development of positional play.  Normally, when they start mini soccer they look like “hoenders agter mielie pitte aan” with very little positional play.  Boys and girls, you are the champs!

Our chess players have done extremely well and the Choir grows from strength to strength.  Clubs and societies are active and we know that we have more on offer than other public schools and many of the private schools.

To date, our Spelling bee fund-raiser has netted over R63 000,00.  The record is close toR68 000,00 and I’m sure that by term end we would have surpassed that figure and set a new record.  Thank you for helping your kids to raise such a large amount.  Money will be well and wisely spent at the School.  At present we’re looking to go techno in the classrooms and will be purchasing interactive white boards and projectors over time.  WiFi will also be installed and we will then be able to use 40 tablets gifted to us by the GDE.

We had an extremely successful Open Day and

are overwhelmed by the number of people who want places for their children at the School.  Sadly, most will be disappointed as spaces are limited.

Although I was away for Grandparents’ Day, it was a grand occasion and I believe the hall looked the best it has ever looked.

Our children performed extremely well in the Poetry Festival and it was so pleasing to see so many moms and dads supporting their children.

Going green is a growing trend at the School and under the baton of Mrs Vanessa Vos, “The Force”, we had an outstanding Eco market.  Mrs Vos is like a hurricane whenever she sets her mind to a project.  Up early, directing operations with her team, she delivered a really novel fund-raising venture.  With many others, I greatly enjoyed the morning.  Thank you to Mrs Vos and her parent/staff/learner helpers for a wonderful occasion.  You really are stars!

How I wish that some parents could be flies on the wall at Rietondale to see the ongoing good and care that is prevalent at the School.  I think especially of Mrs Hoggan and her cupboard of clothing and toiletries to help those in need, the Mothers Who Care Group that does so many kind deeds and prays for all in the community, Miss Fourie and her dedicated moms and dads on the PTA who work tirelessly to raise funds and assist staff, moms and grans who help with our assisted reading programme, Mr Moir and our support staff who see to our beautiful grounds and buildings, secretaries who often walk the extra mile with smiles on their faces, members of our Governing Body who spend hours of their personal time working for the benefit of all and last, but definitely not least, our wonderful teachers who care for your kids on a daily basis and support me and the School Management Team in all our endeavours to make Rietondale a caring and special place of learning for all.  God bless you.

To all new parents and learners to the School, we say welcome and all the best for the years ahead.  It is a pleasure to have you join the Rietondale family.

I leave you with this thought :

NATIVE AMERICAN PRAYER

O Great Spirit,
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me!
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made and
my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.

 

R D Hoggan

Headmaster

 

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