is not here: for He is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord
lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead;
and, behold, He goes before you into Galilee; there you shall see Him” Matthew 29:6-7 What amazing words the angel spoke to Mary “He is Risen” and they have echoed down the centuries affirming the hope we have in Jesus that He is our God and that one day He will return: Jesus said “When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels are with Him, He will sit on His glorious throne“ Matthew 25:31. If He had not risen then our faith would be in a great man but not in God. That is why the resurrection for me is THE point in History. God dwelt amongst us as a human being and gave His life for us because He loves us and as Jesus said “This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you. No one shows greater love than when he lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. John 15:12-14. What more could we ask for from a loving God, that He is not just God but our friend. I hope and pray that you all have a wonderful Easter break and safe travelling mercies to all those going away. Please take care.
I would like to express my immense gratitude to the Thomas More community for pulling off yet another very successful Long Walk. Once again we gave our children (and many others) a huge character building experience. This year the committee were faced with huge challenges on two fronts. Having almost planned the walk, their whole world was turned upside down when three weeks ago we decided to change the route. This group of very special people came up with some innovative solutions and produced an exciting new route to end with loops at and close to the school. As the weekend drew nearer, an approaching cold front brought new challenges. The actual day turned out to be the coldest and wettest Long Walk that I can remember in the 16 years that I have been part of the event. The Junior Primary wisely decided not to go ahead, but we did not entertain cancelling the main event. For many, this is the highlight of the year and months of training had been done. Some had set themselves the goal of completing an 80km walk in all five years of high school. We could not take that dream away from them!
On the day, the heavy rain became a big problem and the Conservancy paths became very slippery. We had to change and shorten the route and add two laps to compensate. Everyone took the new challenges in their stride and the spirit was as good as I have ever seen.
In many respects the new route proved to be very successful. The loops brought in a new dimension as it was now possible to interact regularly with the other walkers at stops and on the route. There was a greater density of walkers which relieved the loneliness that was sometimes the case on previous walks. The walkers found this uplifting and in spite of the miserably cold and wet weather large numbers of walkers were completing the event. The final 80km finishers came in just before 8pm after 18 hours of walking. I have not yet had the final figures but at this stage it looks like we may have had a record number of 80km finishers.
This was the actual day of the anniversary of the passing away of Blake Kerdachi. Blake was an avid "Long Walker" and many of his friends dedicated their efforts on the day to Blake.
It is difficult to understand the importance of this event to the Thomas More community. I believe that it plays an enormous role in character building. Even those who walk the shorter distances are walking further and for longer than most people will ever do. That feeling of being able to rise to a challenge is deeply woven into the fabric of the school.
This is the year that I retire as the head of Thomas More College and it has been very special to be part of this event, particularly in a year that was so full of challenges. Thank you to all those who made the 2016 Long Walk happen.
May I wish everyone a wonderful Easter holiday - may we all return refreshed and rejuvenated to face another exciting term at Thomas More College.
On a few occasions I’ve lauded New Zealand rugby because they are masters at “playing the game in front of them”. They adapt instantaneously to the ebb and flow of any game situation, and call on the skills required for that particular moment. Thomas More College played All Black rugby on Saturday!
Our deepest gratitude and respect must be afforded to the Long Walk organising committee. Their bold leadership these past weeks bore significant fruit on Saturday. Moreover, the committee and helpers on the ground made further courageous decisions during the walk based on safety considerations.
As a participant, both the organisational and spiritual support during the event was overwhelming. From Mr Cuthbertson’s “cutting of the ribbon” at the beginning of his final last walk at the helm of the school, to receiving our medals from him at the end, the Long Walk spoke of a community united. Arriving at our campus 30km into the walk provided a lift of comfort. Seeing supportive faces throughout the next 50kms on campus was a most welcome boost to the soul. Crossing fellow walkers sporadically on the loops and exchanging high fives and positive encouragement lifted the soul significantly. We were in the struggle together.
Our grounds staff, also, were simply magnificent on Saturday!
Both Madiba and Archbishop Desmond mentioned variously how “struggle” defined their characters; it creates a depth of character and insight, an appreciation and perspective of what truly matters, a maturity of sorts. I am in no way likening the Long Walk to either of those icons’ journeys; yet, there is truth to be had about the value of struggle, no matter the nature of that struggle.
And so, as we close Term 1, we can reflect on a bustling, energised and dynamic start to the year. I must acknowledge the outstanding efforts of our pupils (and parents who get them everywhere they need to be!). Similarly, it is our staff and the support staff who make these opportunities available – once again, I thank our teachers for creating this framework of opportunity that is Thomas More College.
A massive thank you to all on the Long Walk committee for working miracles and pulling off this amazing feat of moving locations with only two weeks to go. Despite the many challenges, including drizzly weather, you achieved the impossible and did it! The day was a great success and all the walkers with whom I spoke enjoyed the experience and found the cooler weather refreshing and invigorating. Well done to you all and thank you also to the staff and parents for your support and commitment.
Senior Primary art is going from strength to strength! Well done to Mrs Purdon and her art students are doing so exceptionally well in the recent Indigenous Gardens art competition against a number of local schools. We are proud of Liam O’ Loughlin who took 1st place in Grade 4, Drew Leighton who was placed 1st in Grade 5 with Taya Brien 2nd and Nthabiseng Mthethwa who came 1st in Grade 6. This art was on display over the week-end at Kloof Junior Primary School and will be on display for you to enjoy tomorrow evening at our teacher/ parent interviews.
I am also thrilled with our Maths results, which are consistently, together with the English, scoring higher than provincial averages in all the benchmarking assessments we have done. Most recently, we entered some Grade 6 and 7 pupils in the IMAS (International Mathematics Assessment for Schools) Upper Primary tests. Approximately 350 children from about 80 schools in South Africa wrote this paper. 16 children from around the country are then selected to represent South Africa, based on their performancein the assessments. 8 of these happened to come from KZN. Thomas More College is very proud as 5 pupils of the 8 come from TMC. Well done to Electra Balidis, Jack Bamber, Ethan Cook, Connor Harris and Conall Steenkamp on your selection to tour India and participate in the International IMAS competition, whether you are taking up the offer to represent South Africa or not. We are very proud of you and your Maths teachers! This is also an amazing achievement for TMC as it is the third year running where we have been the school with the most pupils selected!
SP pupil reports will be available from about 2pm today for downloading through the parents’ portal in preparation for the parent teacher interviews tomorrow afternoon from 15:30 to 18:00 in the Habberton Hall. A final reminder that parents should be aware that because Mrs Ramasamy, Mrs Mordecai-Jones and Mr Balarin will be taking our choir to the Hillcrest Easter festival the same evening, they will only be available for interviews from 15:30 to 17:00, otherwise please make an alternate time to see them.
Finally a big thank you to Mrs Mordecai-Jones for her contribution to TMC over the past two and a quarter years. She has made a vast contribution with her passion and commitment on many fronts especially with the introduction of recorders. She will be sorely missed. We wish her well as she leaves for Australia on Wednesday.
All the very best to our Grade 7 cultural tour group and teachers who leave on Wednesday and to our netball training group who leave with Mrs Smith and Mrs Steyn on Friday. We trust these trips are enjoyable and fruitful.
There are no extra-murals this week unless by specific arrangement. The SP closes at 11:30 on Friday. We wish you a blessed Easter holiday and travelling mercies and look forward to seeing you back at school on Tuesday 18 April.
What a long and busy term it has been. It is wonderful to have been involved in the progress of the children in our care – not just academic progress, but social, emotional and developmental. To all our new families, I trust that this has been a happy and fruitful term for you and your children, and to all our existing families I hope that our relationship has grown and has been cemented.
This term, we have tried to motivate children to keep on trying no matter how hard the task is and to choose to deliberately make an effort, no matter what it is they are doing.
Runners don’t take shortcuts. They take the long way. The long way needs motivation, resilience and a strong mind. Runners know that it’s not about who has the strongest muscles, it is who has the strongest mind. But even the best runners can become frustrated and unmotivated. Sometimes they are overwhelmed but the important thing is to choose to keep on trying. It’s about taking the long way and putting in the time, the practice and the training in order to feel a sense of accomplishment.
To grow a strong mind, there are three “ingredients” needed:
(a sense of effectiveness, perseverance), Independence (amount of choice and responsibility) and Relationships
(feeling cared for and caring for others). These three ingredients will increase perseverance, cultivate interest and enjoyment, lead to better personal relationships, better physicalhealthand greater emotional regulation.
Effort: will lead to a set of skills that are acquired over time through trial and error and success and failure. You have to practice, train and experience failure to become more competent.
Independence: requires conscious thought and mindfulness given to each task. Building independence begins withchoosingwhat needs to be done and then acting on that.
Relationships: It is important to connect with others in a way that they will want to remain close to you. Treat others and take care of others in a way that you would want to be treated and taken care of. We all need friends / people around us to give us nods of encouragement and acknowledgement that evoke a feeling of kinship. It requires thinking about the following questions:
1. How do I want to behave on an ongoing basis?
2. What kind of person do I want to be?
3. What values are most important for me to be the best I can be?
4. Years from now, what do I want my friends to say about me?
Taking the long way with no short cuts will always bring rewards.
Thank you for a term of wonderful support. I trust you will be able to spend quality time with your family and that Easter will be a blessed time for you. We look forward to a happy, healthy second term.
Dr. Seuss: “Today I will behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
Kindly sponsored by Wetrock Adventures - visit
Will resume next week.
On Friday the High School Dance Sport took part in the inter schools competition. The Thomas More dancers took centre stage with most dancers getting through to the finals and even having all five Thomas More participants in the
U16 girls finals! This age group also saw Kailin Wiggett receiving the gold medal and Thando Dlamuka receiving the bronze medal.
Fifteen of our dancers were invited to the KZN trials to be held in April. We wish
the following pupils all the best:
Zabathembu Mthembu, Alexandra White, Phoebe Blair, Thando
Dlamuka, Kayleigh du Toit, Luyanda Hadebe, Lindy Ndawo, Lea Renard, Katie
Ronald, Melissa Roome, Hannah Sida, Kailin Wiggett, Talia Ballack and Tannah
Congratulations to the Grade 8s who won their debate against Pinetown Boys’ High. Jessica Mills was awarded Best Speaker. The Juniors narrowly lost to Hillcrest.
Congratulations to Anvia Bredenkamp who competed in the 19km KZN Roag Sugar Rush Classic Marathon mountain bike race on Sunday. She won her age category and was also the 1st lady overall in the 19 km race. Well done Anvia.
HS Boys’ Hockey
TMC U14A vs Northwood U14B – won 2-1
TMC U16B vs Northwood U16C – drew 1-1
TMC U16A vs Northwood – lost 9-0
Tmc 2nd Team vs Northwood – lost 6-0
TMC 1st Team vs Northwood – lost 4-0
Congratulations to Jordan Clark who placed 1st in the High School E grade class on 26 February at Galloping Winds. Well done Jordan.
The following boys have made PADSSA HockeyTeams:
U14B – Ntando Nyandeni, Matthew Davey
U16A – Jordan Meikle
U16B – Michael Maclean, Ndima Nkosi, Ligudu Mashige, Konke Sibisi, Akuse Mlanzi
U18B – Keagan Olivier, Brandon Davies