Messages from the Principal’s Desk

July 2017

Dear  SP Parent(s)

Education in South Africa has never been equal. In the 67 years of its existence, the teachers and past principals of this institution have strived to instil in its students the values of a just and equal society. Even today, SP students are reminded that it is only through education that the changes that are needed to transform our unequal society will materialise. The challenges faced by our schools, universities and our broader community can only be changed by individuals who have the future of the youth and our country at heart. The notice outside the office which states “Read the Word to Read the World” no doubt encourages the current generation of SP students to increase their desire to acquire knowledge and harness the necessary skills so that they may one day serve their community with dignity, honour and pride.

We have achieved  much during the second term. Mr Riyaadh Najaar, the parent of Sa-eed Najaar in Grade 8, has been elected to serve on the SPHS SGB. David Floris in Grade 11 is the new SRC chairperson. Our students participated  in a  number of sports codes and  cultural activities. The SP Global Classroom International team, accompanied by Mr Wentzel April, attended a successful conference in Australia. The Anime Club attended the International Anime Conference in Japan in April. Ms Dana Marinus is currently in China to initiate a Mandarin programme at SP. Ms Padua and Mr Schroeder have twinned up with the Two Oceans Aquarium to get our Grade 9 students interested in Marine Sciences. Our three Argus Quiz teams have all qualified for the knockout stage next quarter. Seventeen students in the SP Maths Olympiad team obtained merit certificates at the 2017 UCT Maths Olympiad. The SP Minquiz team (Physical Sciences) ended second in this year’s competition. Our jazz band, under the guidance of Mr Boesack + Ms Constance, auditioned at the Standard Bank Arts Festival in Grahamstown. All Natural Sciences, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences students from Grade 8 to 11  participated in SP’s Mini Expo for Young Scientists during the second quarter. The SP Expo standard has improved and many projects are being entered for the Regional Expo at UCT in term 3. Students were involved in various programmes during the June holidays: the Standard Bank Arts Festival in Grahamstown, the Matie Engineering Week at Stellenbosch University, Imbovani Ant Project at Stellenbosch University, and an Architecture Workshop at UCT.  The school had 14 representatives in the Mustangs rugby team who played in the regional tournament at City Park. Abdul-Muttalib Sauls (Gr12) is currently representing South Africa in a cycling event in Belgium. Jordan Vester (Gr10) was selected for South Africa to participate in a Chess tournament in South America. With sadness, we have said goodbye to two teachers, Ms Tracy Leisegang (14-year service to the SP community) and Ms Nafees Zalgaonkir.

The construction of 18 replacement rooms is progressing steadily. The effort to have the Old Central Primary building renovated for use by the school is making good progress. We had a meeting with WCED regarding the facility. The school is also looking at the development of the MN Moerat Sportsfield and Agricultural Centre in Boundary Road. Stellenbosch University, who honoured the school as a Top Feeder in 2016 (over a five year period), has notified the school that 87 ex-students are currently registered at their institution. Currently, 137 ex-students are registered at UWC, 146 ex-students at UCT and 190 ex-students at CPUT.

Our students ,  especially in  the lower grades,  need to  focus more on their academic  studies.  SP  will not sacrifice standards.  Students must  aim for the  SP pass requirement (60% average in all subjects).  We will  not accept  mediocrity. The current debate in education is the intended drop by DBE of the pass requirements in Grade 8 and Grade 9 which will exclude a pass in Mathematics. This can only have disastrous consequences for education and a developing country like ours. On the contrary, SP has introduced AP Maths for our Grade 10, 11 and 12 students. Feedback from the tertiary institutions as to how SP ex-students are performing in the university math programmes is encouraging. Mathematics requires regular practice. In Grade 10, more than 40% of the students obtained under 30% in Pure Mathematics.  According to the Mathematics Department, the Grade 10 students battled with the Trigonometry component and Graph functions.   Parents must ensure that the daily homework is done. All weekly Pure Mathematics afternoon classes in Grade 10, 11 and 12  in Term 3 will be compulsory. Extra revision classes for underperforming students have been scheduled during the interval and after school for the third term.  The educators  in  Grade 12  are rising  to the challenge  with additional  revision classes  every afternoon  in the  subjects  Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Business Studies and  Life Sciences. I believe that a 90% Bachelor’s rate is achievable from the 2017 SPHS Matric class.

Academic Risk Meetings for invited parents and students in Grade 8 to 11 will be held on the following dates:

Grade 8 and Grade 9  –  Saturday, 29 July 2017 @ 9am

Grade 10 and Grade 11 –  Tuesday, 1 Aug 2017 @ 7pm

Parents are strongly encouraged to arrange meetings with teachers whenever the need arises.

To enable  us to  deliver a  quality education  for your  child,  we urgently request that parents pay the  school fees  on time.  The school fees are mainly used to cover the salaries of the SGB teachers. The PTSA will be having a fundraiser in the third term. Your support will be appreciated.

Please ensure that  your child  has a study programme for the duration  of the third term. The September exams are provisionally set for 8 September 2017.  We thank  you for  your support  during the 2nd  term.  If you  have any  queries,  please contact the  office.

Yours  faithfully

Z. Baker

Acting Principal