Headmaster’s eNewsletter – 05 December 2019


Dear Parents

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.”

The words above, attributed to Winston Churchill, sum up the spirit of the Christmas season and the 4th Term at Clifton Notties perfectly. There is much to rejoice about and reflect on as we end the 2019 academic year.

The past few days of the term have seen Christmas Carol Services, Musical Recitals, the Grade 7 Leavers’ Dinner, while our Senior Primary Prize Giving provided a fitting culmination to 2019. Mrs Renee Karssing, who retires at the end of this year after being here for 22½years, was our Guest of Honour at
our Prize Giving. It was a fitting tribute to her years of loyal service to Clifton.

We also bade a sad farewell to our interns who are leaving: Mr Rory Mackenzie, Ms Chelsea Whiteman and Mr Andre Swart. In addition, fitting tributes were made at various farewell
functions to Mrs Annie Falconer and Mrs Colleen Bosse (my PA) who are all retiring. We wish them well as they enjoy the next exciting chapter of their lives. This is also the last e-news that Colleen is involved in…a significant moment! I thank her for the valuable role she has played in its compilation each week.

As mentioned at our Prize Giving service, we welcome Mrs Nicola Blignaut as our Grade 5 teacher for next year. An experienced teacher, I look forward to her contribution and being part of the Clifton family. Ms Charlotte White, who is presently the Assistant Teacher in the Differently Abled class, will be moving to the role of Assistant Teacher in the Grade 00 class next year.

The 2020 Term 1 calendar has been sent to you. I alert you to the fact that, after much discussion, the decision has been taken that the traditional Saturday School (first Saturday of each Term) will no longer take place. This certainly does not compromise our academic offering. What remains is Boeresport Day on the first Saturday of Term 4, while the first Saturday of Term 2 is still used as a contingency plan for the setting up of tents for the Joberg2C race. The first Saturdays of Terms 1 and 3 will provide a much needed opportunity for staff development to take place. In an attempt to streamline communication with regards to calendars and communication, the termly calendar placed on the d6 under “resources” will be the “go-to calendar”, with the calendar on the d6 no longer used. I am excited to see the progress of Usher Boys’ Boarding House, which is undergoing renovation and a much-needed upgrade. I wish our Grade 7s well as they leave Clifton and journey on to high school. Although a small group, they have been a strong and significant group of children, reflecting the wide range of abilities, talents and interests that we have come to expect from Clifton children.

As we enter into the Christmas period, I refer to an article on the often-referred to topic of empathy…a quality needed more and more in a divided world. The article by Katrina Schwartz is an interesting one, which reflects varying perspectives of empathy and why she believes that intentionally building empathy is important. The link is https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/54497/why-intentionally-building-empathy-is-more-important-now-than-ever
I wish you all a blessed holiday with your respective families during this Christmas time, with safe travels to your holiday destinations.
Kind regards.