Headmaster’s eNewsletter – 23 January 2020


“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Mark Twain

I love this photo, captured spontaneously and then sent to me by a staff member yesterday. I could not resist using it. It is reflected on our Facebook page post too and speaks a myriad of things about the ethos of Clifton. Kindness costs nothing. Its age has no limits.

I trust that the changed format of Saturday School has been well received. At the beginning of each term, it certainly gives the children time to “recover & adjust” to being back at school after the holidays. – It also provides our staff with the opportunity for professional and personal development from outside and local speakers. This last Saturday staff attended presentations / workshops on the following:

– The philosophy of Psychomotor and its more than relevant application to Senior and Primary school children (and adults!)

– The practical applications of handwriting facts as well as attention-spans in the classroom. – How these can be harnessed and maximized with the use of classroom management and furniture.

– A refresher course of the use of Google classroom and the Google suite.

From there, 8 of our swimming coaches attended a FINA (swimming) time-keeping official’s course, while 7 went on Sunday to a FINA level 1 judging course as well. Certainly a busy weekend for our staff, but one which saw teachers learning and being inspired too.

Congratulations to Mrs Cyndi Jonker who, during these past holidays, qualified as a level 2 Cricket coach. – A significant achievement in itself and one which has seen her nominated to umpire at the u19 Womens’ Cricket World Cup competition in Bangladesh in 2021!

With high school applications for 2021 now being a priority for our Grade 7’s, the need for us to share relevant information is appropriate. Interviews for high schools for 2021 are starting to take place. I am also aware that applications for scholarships and bursaries (financial assistance) have opened and are a part of this process too.

With this in mind, please note the following:
– If you are needing advice on how to go about applying for a scholarship or bursary, please feel free to have a chat with me. My door is always open if advice is needed.
– Check for High School information, which will be found on the d6 in Resources/High School information. This will only include information sent by a school to us. It is not information which we are seeking, but only that which has been received in a formal context about “open days”/ presentations and other relevant information. Our role is NOT to promote any particular school, for every child and family there may be a different “fit.”
– There is already some information on the d6. In particular, an advertisement for a High School expo where all the local Midlands and Pietermaritzburg High schools will be represented, is one worth considering.
– I will be speaking to our Grade 7s this coming week and giving them general hints and tips, from a Head’s point of view, about the high school interview. It is not a “coaching” course, merely providing some hints and tips.

I am delighted to announce that Ms Cathryn Calitz recently announced her engagement to Mr Keagan Bentley. In the same breath, it is with sadness that I inform you that Ms Cathryn Calitz has tendered her resignation. As our Senior Primary Music teacher, she has contributed significantly to our cultural program and repertoire in the relatively short space of time she has been at Clifton Notties. She moves back to Pietermaritzburg to take up a post at Maritzburg Girls’ High from the end of this term. With her married life taking her to Pietermaritzburg, the move makes sense. The appropriate farewells will take place at the end of the term.

We welcome Ms Kristen Buys, a qualified Speech Therapist, who joins our Learning Support Team. We are excited to have her on board and look forward to her sharing her specialized skills set with us.

The following article by Dr Travis Bradberry on “Why attitude is more important than IQ” is a more than relevant one for us all. Although frequently referred to by me and others, the facts on the topic can simply never be over-stated. He speaks about having a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset, something Simon Sinek speaks of too in his recent book: “The Infinite Game” (the man in the video in last week’s newsletter). The exposure to a growth mindset and having the right attitude starts at primary school…

The link to the article is: https://www.inc.com/travis-bradberry/why-attitude-is-more-important-than-iq.html

With formal sporting fixtures kicking off this weekend, I look forward to seeing you at the various fixtures.
Enjoy your weekend!

Kind regards