Headmaster’s eNewsletter – 16 January 2020


“Children learn from what we do, not what we teach.”

Ziauddin Yousafzai

Dear Parents/Guardians

Welcome to the 2020 school year! It has certainly been a restful and relaxing holiday. For the Kurz family, a wonderful family wedding on a wine farm in the Cape was a superb combination this past December. In talking with families as we all returned, it was lovely to hear all the wonderful stories of family holidays. Everyone seems rested and ready to come back to school. There is a wonderful “buzz” around Clifton!

If the surname “Yousafzai” looks familiar it is because Ziauddin is the father of Malala, the young girl shot by the Taliban in Pakistan in 2012, and who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. I can highly recommend the book (“Let her fly”) written by him about his journey with his daughter, Malala. His is a fascinating story. His quote resonates with me. Thought-provoking words for us as parents and teachers.

We welcome the following new staff to the Clifton Notties family. Seen in the photo from left to right: Ms Tayla Strachan (Grade 1), Mrs Donna Moor (Grade 2), Mrs Nicola Blignaut (Grade 5), Mrs Linsey Wynne (my new PA), and Mrs Rebecca Stopford (Differently Abled class). I am excited about the contribution that I know each of them will make in the life of Clifton Notties.

Our new teacher interns have arrived too, and, having been part of a “rigorous” orientation programme, are already very much part of Clifton life. They are: Miss Meghan Kenmuir (back row 2nd from left), Miss Amandine Holden (Gap student, back row 3rd from left) Mr Lee Stopford (also IT Assistant, back row 4th from right)), Mr Yanga Sotshangane (front middle), Mr Byron Taute (front right). I thank Mrs Nikki Stokes for her passionate involvement in leading this programme.

At our first assembly of the year on Wednesday, the theme I used was being “happy”… with the acronym H.A.P.P.Y. referring to: helping others, acceptance of other people and their differences, participation, positivity and yes, I can do it! Although the words are self- explanatory, they allowed me to focus on my/our expectations of all of us as we enter the new year. It is as much about being “intellectually smart” as it is about being emotionally intelligent.

We are proud of all of our children from the Class of 2014, many of whom obtained numerous distinctions in their Matric examinations last year. I would in particular like to congratulate two Dux students in their respective schools: Liam Brain (Uplands College, White River) and Luke van Rooyen (Michaelhouse). Significant achievements indeed.

Although a number of parent meetings have occurred with information shared, the following matters require highlighting:
Mrs Sam Hatch (our Bursar) is away for the next three/four weeks for personal medical reasons. Mr Dean Wright (executive Bursar) will be at Clifton two days a week, assisting the Bursary Department in her absence. Please be assured service delivery remains our priority. Should you have any account queries please contact Mrs Catherine Pringle. Miss Romy Kurz will be assisting her and is now employed in a fulltime capacity in the Bursary Department, alongside managing the School Shop. General bursary enquiries must be made to her too. All contact details are in the Parent Guideline booklet available on the D6.

As has been mentioned, streamlining communication channels is a significant focus of ours this year. Please refer to pages 12 – 14 of the Parent/Pupil Guideline and handbook for (strongly) suggested communication channels to be followed. This handbook is on the D6. A reminder that the D6 platform remains the main source of information. If you are having trouble downloading it, please ask for help. Mr Sipho Mkhonza and Mr Lee Stopford (IT Dept) will gladly assist in installing the app.

Following numerous requests, my newsletter will once again be emailed out on a weekly basis as well as being saved to the D6.

Please note that an academic learning support letter will be appearing on the D6 shortly. In the interim, if you have any queries, please contact Mrs Leanne Kurz at leanne.kurz@cliftonprep.org.za

Ms Emma Sadleir, a well known Social media lawyer who has visited Clifton Notties before, is scheduled to visit us again. A national and sought after speaker, her message is aimed at both children and parents/adults. She will be doing separate presentations for children and parents (Senior and Junior Primary Parents) concerning the harsh realities of the various social media platforms which many of our children will be confronted with. Watch this space for further information concerning dates etc.

With this in mind, I found the following short clip by Simon Sinek about the use of Smart phones hard-hitting but so very true…for us and OUR usage and our children’s usage. It is certainly worth a watch.

Security remains a priority for us. Please ensure that your car has a Clifton sticker (obtainable from Mrs Cheryl Coetzer at reception). I have noted a guideline “letter” from Mrs Liza Borgen, which will be placed on the D6, concerning the use of our squash courts after hours and during holidays. Observing the protocol around the use of facilities is important.
You may have noticed that the JP carpark has been “re-designed” with the drop ‘n go area enlarged and a separate teachers’ parking area demarcated. Trusting that this improves the flow of traffic. A reminder that the visitor’s carpark at reception area is for visitors (and not a parking area for day scholars) and that the drop ’n go area is as the name suggests: drop ’n go!

We have a “Moms who pray” group who meet weekly. It is an informal gathering of moms who meet to pray for the general needs of the school. If you would like to be part of this initiative and be the liaison person for this much needed role, please contact Mrs Ling Wynne at pa.headmaster@cliftonprep.org.za

I received this article which has the tag-line: “Forget Matric results – here’s how to prepare your kids for jobs that don’t yet exist,” written by Michael Jordaan. It is a sobering yet realistic look at the world our children are growing up in. The link is:


Enjoy your weekend!
Kind regards