The Horse's Mouth
Thomas More College
News from the Horse's Mouth
 03 May 2017
Newsletter 14
Letter from the Editor

Please find the Scripture for the week here.

    Some points of particular interest in the expanded sections below include:
  • Shane Cuthbertson - shares a Parent24 article "is there a right and wrong way to motivate your child?"
  • Dave Wiggett - welcomes familes back after a long weekend, and at the same time encourages parents to talk with, and listen to their adolescent children.
  • Barbara Taljard - looks forward to Rhythms of Africa Thursday evening, and the official opening of the new Grade 6 & 7 Classrooms (Gordon Burnett Block) on Friday.
  • Deni Hornsey - shares the FP focus on good moral values and friendships.

Classified - Please remember to visit our Classifieds on a monthly basis to see new advertisers and possible specials. 

Early Morning Sport / Breakfast (Café de More only)


For those who have early morning sport - order forms are available at the Coffee Shop.  Please place your order at Café de More before your morning activity and collect it afterwards/before school starts.  Payment on collection. Bacon and Egg Rolls, Cereals, Oats and Hot drinks on offer.

Editor Picture

Have a great week,
Kim Hooper
Marketing Manager



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Scripture for the week

ScriptureGod said: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

In a couple of weeks’ time (22nd May -26th May) it’s our annual Christian Arts Festival and our theme for this year is courage – Courageously Committed to Christ. One of the definitions for courage is “being brave in spite of our fears’. It’s often taking that first step into the unknown can be courageous: for example getting out of bed this morning might have been a terrifying experience for some of us as we think can we face this day!!! Therefore courage comes in many forms which we shall look at over the next couple of weeks.  For me what is so comforting and encouraging is to know that God promises us: “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go”.

Shalom (peace)
God bless
Rev. Martin Easson

Whole School News

Over the long weekend I came across this article which I would like to share with you. The article was published on Parent24 which is part of News24 online news website.


Is there a right and wrong way to motivate your child?

Research suggests there is... here are a few guidelines for encouraging greater academic success in your kids.

The struggle for academic excellence is as much (if not more so) of a concern for parents as it is for their children.  Getting the best out of them can be rewarding and frustrating.

No matter how brilliant or naturally gifted, nothing can replace the right kind of motivation.

In 1998, psychologists Carol Dweck and Claudia Mueller conducted a study on 128 children. Each child was asked to solve a set of mathematical tasks. Divided into two groups, the children in the first group were praised for their intelligence, the second, for theireffort.

Their study revealed that attitude—and not aptitude— determines success, and praising talent, however positive, can do as much harm as it does good.

In her article, The Perils and Promises of Praise, Dweck correlates decades of research, and provides much insight into what she calls the “growth mind-set,” and by understanding how to properly motivate their children, parents can enable greater academic success.

Deciphering intelligence

Following on from Dweck’s research, a good place for parents to start fostering the growth mind set is by helping their children realise that intelligence is only partly good genes, and mostly application.

For the children in the effort-praised group, a basic understanding of the brain as a muscle in need of constant exercise prompted a sense of self-empowerment.

Educational videos about how the brain works may prove useful in helping your child to take ownership of their intelligence rather than viewing it as something beyond their control.

Videos like these make understanding the brain's mechanics simpler for kids.

Emphasising perseverance rather than success

Dweck’s study revealed an alarming belief held by the intelligence-praised group, that effort implied incompetence, and for the clever student, success is a given.

And even more troublesome, these students refused to make any attempt at taking on challenging assignments.

For the effort-praised group, perseverance rather than success was viewed as the key to achievement.

The process is the objective

Improved grades then, according to Dweck’s extensive research, lies in redirection. By placing greater value on the steps taken by the child to learn — rather than just the end result —parents instill a kind of self-determined motivation, the kind of motivation that is irrepressible, gearing them up for success in academia and far beyond. 


Shane Cuthbertson
Executive Principal

High School News

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend and are refreshed for the coming weeks. Term 2 is always a fast and furious term what with the winter sports codes in full swing, our Major Production looming for the end of May, followed on the heels by Grade 8-11 mid-year examinations.

Our IQAA survey forges ahead and I want to thank the parents who will be attending the focus group sessions. It is critical for our ongoing improvement and heightened relevance as a school to welcome honest, direct and unabridged feedback from parents, pupils and staff. I thank you for the time and effort this involves.

I love working with adolescents! It is a precarious minefield through which many of them self-navigate blindly. Many respond to the challenges and unforeseen pitfalls (owing simply to lack of hindsight which comes from experience) with courage, honesty and integrity; some respond with fear and withdrawal; some respond by compromising themselves to “fit in”; others find positive channels and outlets in which to invest their energies. No matter your child’s approach to adolescence, talk to them. And listen.

I wish you all a wonderful week ahead. I will be starting a series of expositions over the coming weeks on values and dispositions I believe our children should embrace and explore to gear themselves towards thriving and flourishing. I look forward to sharing these mental meanderings with you and would invite any feedback in the coming weeks. 


David Wiggett
High School Headmaster

Primary School News

We trust you have had an enjoyable and special long weekend and that we are all systems go now for the demands of our academic programme and sporting commitments lying ahead. We certainly had a relaxing and special time as my son, daughter in-law and little 4 year old granddaughter came to stay with us and we spent quality time together.

This is an exciting and busy week with our sport matches starting in earnest and our cultural Rhythms of Africa being hosted in our Hall on Thursday evening at 18:00. (Our musicians involved will however have to be at school earlier, at 17:00.) Tea will be served from 17:00 to 17:50 for those parents dropping off children and having to wait. We have a special appearance with LIV village performers also entertaining us. Parents and supporters are welcome to attend.

On Friday we have the official opening of our new Gordon Burnett Block to which our Board, the management teams of all three phases of the school, the SP staff and pupils and some friends and family of the late Gordon Burnett have been invited. Helen, his wife, and daughters Ghita and Bronwyn will do the official ribbon cutting and unveiling of the name. It is indeed an honour and privilege to have this new addition to our SP phase named after such an auspicious man of integrity who loyally served the school without any reimbursement for close on 20 years, giving in excess of 200 hours of his time to the Finances and Board work at TMC. I also wish to thank the Board for their forethought and planning in their objectives for making this new block possible and value their wisdom and expertise when it comes to big picture thinking and strategic imperatives. Not only do we have three new Grade 6 and three new Grade 7 classrooms but the movements have also made possible two dedicated Afrikaans rooms alongside each other as well as a specialist art room and classroom for Mrs Ramasamy for English and drama lessons. Our children are already benefitting from these great new venues. If you are a Grade 6 or 7 parent do pop in to see them some time when fetching your child, or dropping him or her off before school.

Wishing you all the best for the upcoming week as we get back into the full swing of the term ahead.  


Barbara Taljard
Primary School: Headmistress

Foundation Phase News

After welcoming you back to the second term it seems impossible that we are already into our 3rd week of school. Whilst is has been so good to have been blessed with all these lovely holidays, it does make the rest of the term intense.

quoteAcademically, we continue to move forward with learning new concepts, providing good learning opportunities and laying solid foundations for further or continued learning. In general life skills lessons and assemblies, we are currently focussing on developing good moral values and friendship - what does it mean to be a good friend? How do we go about being a good friend? How do we make good choices to do the right thing?

We also encourage each JP child to broaden their horizons by participating in one school sport and possibly a cultural activity as well.

By now you would have received emails from teachers with an outline of what the term holds. I encourage you to support us in extending the Foundation Phase focus areas into your own homes and everyday lives.

Best wishes for the rest of the term. 


Deni Hornsey
Foundation Phase:  Headmistress

Academic Achievements

Weekly Achievers  Wetrock


Kindly sponsored by Wetrock Adventures - visit for further info. 


Please send us photographs of your children enjoying their Weekly Achiever vouchers at Wetrock to



Levi Smith - for his enthusiasm and effort to do his best at all his tasks.


Kade Fouché - for always giving of his best in every learning opportunity and producing neat, meticulous work.  I am so proud of you.


Diyana Panday - for working with greater determination and trying hard to focus on her tasks.


Jordan Howes - for putting greater effort into learning her Maths concepts and applying them in her work.


Violet du Plessis - for her diligence and commitment to giving of her best at all times.


Senamile Madlala - for her helpful nature and willingness to always do her best.


Hannah Gillingwater - for her bubbly, happy nature and her determined and hard-working attitude.


Liam Lotter - for working like a star and making sure his tasks are completed and presented neatly.  Well done.


Demi-Lee Clarkson - for having a good attitude and working consistently.


James Harrison - for his good manners and excellent co-operation in class.


Snqobile Ndawo - for excellent spelling, soccer skills and making an effort to be organised.


Grace Brien - for her positive and hard working attitude to her work.


Travis McMaster - for settling into TMC so well and making friends easily.


Dayna Deeble - for her positive work ethic and continued hard work especially in Maths.


Gemma Müller - for her kind nature and excellent work ethic.


Uminathi Maphumulo - for always giving of her best, and her kind and caring nature.


Rachael Easson - for her gentle, kind nature and lovely manners.


Michelle Williams - for leading by example in an elegant manner.


Lucy Hofmann - for her happy, caring nature and for a great start to term 2.


Umika Nathoo - for her courage, endurance and perseverance in her everyday life.


Matthew Gray - for his excellent manners and humble nature.


Cultural Achievements

Irish Dancing

Congratulations to Emily de Klerk and Amy Marks who took part in their first competition for Irish Dancing.


Congratulations to Naomi Easson who received a 5th in her 2nd hand ceili (12 years old and under); 1st in her reel (9 and under); and 5th in her hardshoe dance, the Treble Jig (11 and under).  Well done Naomi. 

Sporting Achievements

SP Tennis

Congratulations to Ashtyn Cason who has been selected to participate in the KZN Tennis Training camp to be held this weekend at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium.  Well done Ashtyn.



Congratulations to Sydney Swanson who took part in the Landrover Shongweni Derby Show on both her ponies, Highover Ferdinand and Ra.  Sydney came first on Highover Ferdinand in the open pony riders welcome stakes and 3rd in the main open pony rider derby. She also came 2nd on Ra in the 1m pony riders in the welcome stakes and won the 1m Pony rider derby. Well done Sydney.



Congratulations to Samantha Boyd who achieved Gold in her bar, floor and vault testing at Pinetown gym. Well done Samantha.


SP Hockey

Congratulations to Kaelah Balarin and Jorja Robertson who have made the PADSSA Hockey teams. 

Congratulations to the following boys on their selection into the PADSSA Hockey teams playing at the KZN trials on 23 May:

U13A - Buhlali Mhlanzi, T'ré Imani Motsoahae

U13B - Nathan Riddle, Tapuwa Sibisi

U12 - Jarred Christie, Solethu Madlala, Kgaogelo Mashiloane


HS Boys' Tennis

TMC 2nd Team vs St. Henrys: Won 19-3


HS Girls' Hockey

TMC U16A Girls vs HeronBridge College: Won 2-0


HS Boys' Hockey

TMC U16A Boys vs HeronBridge College: Lost 1-0


HS Rubgy

TMC 2nd Team vs HeronBridge College: Lost 10-7

Bridget Theunissen

Travis Stedman aQuellé Tour Durban

Congratulations to all our riders who took part in the Tour Durban this past weekend.

Matthew Rall completed the 45km race in 2hrs 18 minutes, well done Matthew.

Special congratulations to Bridget Theunissen (pictured right [middle])for winning the 55km Cyclocross race, and Travis Stedman (pictured left) on winning his age category in the 103km race! An outstanding achievement for both these riders.


Mountain Biking

Congratulations to Anvia Bredenkamp who competed in the Mid Illovo Mountain Bike challenge on Sunday.  She won her age category in the 19km marathon after a very challenging race.  Anvia will also be travelling to Bloemfontein tomorrow to compete in the SA Cup for Cross Country Mountain biking - Good luck Anvia!



Congratulations to Connor and Liam Harris who have been selected for the JKA KZN Karate team to participate in the Nationals in JHB on 19 and 20 May.  Well done to both boys and good luck.




Congratulations to Kyle Howat who took part in the South African Kickboxing Championships this weekend where 12 provinces competed.  Kyle won won his events and is now the official 2017 South African Kickboxing K1 (full contact) champion!  Well done Kyle, this is an outstanding achievement which has involved enormous dedication and commitment. 




Congratulations to Courtney Sim (pitured right) who has won the U16 2017 South African Longboard championships and was unbeaten at the recent SA Champs.  Wow, what an achievement! Well done Courtney.