The Horse's Mouth
Thomas More College
News from the Horse's Mouth
 22 May 2017
Newsletter 17
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 on grading Gauteng based schools.
  • Dave Wiggett - continues the series of mental meanderings of the 8 Cs ... this week focussing on Citizenship.
  • Barbara Taljard - reminds parents/pupils that Thursday is the Pop-Up Store Civvies Day. Please remember to send a bag of practical second-hand clothing (especially winter wear).


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


Thomas More College

HS Drama Department


Noises off

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Have a great week,
Kim Hooper
Marketing Manager

Christian Arts

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Scripture for the week

ScriptureRise up, O Lord, in all your power. With music and singing we will celebrate your mighty acts. Psalm21:13

This week is our Christian Arts Festival 2017 and on Thursday 25th May from 6-8pm up at the High School quad we are having an evening of celebration in praise, song and dance to our Lord. Bring your own picnic supper and sit with us amongst the stars. We will have bonfires in which we will supply marshmallows (with sticks) to braai. So come and join us and as Psalm 104:1 tells us” Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; and you are clothed with honour and majesty”.

Our programme below includes children from all phases of the school:

Strong and Courageous Joshua 1:9 - SU Grade 2 Dance group

Awesome is the Lord Most High - JP choir

Strong and Courageous - JP choir

This is what you came for - HS Junior marimba

I’ll sing of your love - SP choir

We will overcome - SP choir

Mendelssohn Medley - HS Senior marimba

High Fives - HS Senior marimba

Earthquake - HS Senior marimba

Only Hope - HS choir

Rise Retro Beat

We will also have John Ellis formally lead vocalist and guitarist from the Christian band Tree 63 will be singing a number of songs at the end of the evening.

Shalom (peace)
God bless
Rev. Martin Easson

Whole School News

I came across an interesting article this weekend on Parent24, a link on News24.

It seems that state Schools in Gauteng will soon be graded.

"Most parents don't know which schools are good schools. They check if the child can speak English and whether the school uniform looks like a marching band uniform, then they assume their child is in a good school," said Panyaza Lesufi, MEC for education, at the launch of the Gauteng online application system for schools.

That's why Gauteng schools will be graded by the end of next year, Lesufi said. "Parents have no indication of whether a certain school is a good one. They have to rely on a third party."  A scale from 1 to 5 will be used, he explained, in which "one is excellent, five is poor". Oupa Bodibe, acting spokesperson for the Gauteng Department of Education, said schools will be evaluated on 9 focus points. The department will reveal what these 9 points will be at a later stage.  Schools will evaluate themselves in partnership with their district offices.

"Schools will identify their strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats," said Bodibe. "The grading process is implemented to ensure a holistic approach so gaps can be identified and each school can get the necessary support."

This way, he says, schools will be able to perform much better.

"The instrument that will be used to grade schools is standardised, objective and it uses built-in formulas," he continues. "That's why we expect that schools won't be graded wrongly. Schools have to realise the grading is for their own benefit."…

To my mind, the idea of a grading system would be opening up a real hornets nest. Obviously parents are all going to want their children to go to the best schools and will be very distressed when they become over-subscribed. Surely if a department knows which are it’s worst schools then they should be addressing the problems.

Paul Colditz, CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS), says it will be short-sighted to make the gradings public. "Parents will stream to those schools with higher gradings, placing a lot of pressure on those schools," he says.

Any education department that knows what it is doing would know which schools are underperforming and would automatically focus on them, Colditz continues.

"Officials often avoid the weaker schools because the problems there are just so overwhelming," he said. "Instead they'd rather visit the better schools and enjoy the cake and tea and see how well everything is going."


Shane Cuthbertson
Executive Principal

High School News

I would like us to reflect on the Core Competency of Citizenship this week.

The competency of Citizenship concerns itself with the individual having a deep understanding of his/her rights and responsibilities, along with a similar understanding of political, legal and democratic processes.

I find that many young folk (and the more mature of us too, quite frankly) are quick to reference their rights in today’s polarised and oft-intolerant world. The plethora – and somewhat unfortunate popularity – of celebrity-based reality shows, along with current global and local political shenanigans, as well as an alarming lack of tolerance exposed in high-profile twitter/facebook battles, constantly exposes our pupils to mud-slinging and demonising of those who differ from us as the accepted mode of dealing with dissonance. Yes, we are very quick to reference our rights. We are not so quick to recognise our responsibilities and the rights of others.

Our young people should be discussing political process with us – and we (adults) need to guide objectively. This is particularly challenging for educators/lecturers/community leaders as most children bring their political perspectives from home. Many of them defend their perspectives absolutely. It is the role of education (primary, secondary and tertiary) – particularly in the context of a fairly intolerant, polarised world as presented (and seemingly endorsed?) to us in the media – to intercept and interrupt polarised, intolerant, racist and demonising rhetoric and narratives. Remember, we are discussing the Core Competencies identified for this generation will require to live full, successful and meaningful lives.

Our children WILL leave the “safety bubble” that is TMC and, by logical extension, the relative comfort of the Upper Highway area. Parents of university students will know what I mean by that because their children are currently being exposed to a wide, uncompromising range of dissonance in lectures and on campuses around the country. Our political landscape is no less dissonant presently. Our country’s journey towards real healing is far from over. THAT is South Africa, and it is incumbent on us to prepare our young people for that reality so that they may thrive – not simply survive – as citizens.

If we engage Citizenship deeply in our schools, communities and our homes with our children, hopefully we will produce bridge-builders, young people who BELIEVE that our differences enrich us and who value the rights of others as much as they value their own.

Just imagine… 


David Wiggett
High School Headmaster

Primary School News

Thank you for accommodating our earlier closure this past Friday and to all those who supported our inter-schools cross country. The weather was kind and the course was both challenging and enjoyable. Well done to all our competitors and a huge thank you to our staff.

This week is our Christian Arts festival with the theme, “Courageously Committed to Christ”” and all assemblies and Phys. Ed. lessons will be taken by our CAF team and outside youth pastors and ministers. We trust it will be special for our children. Do remember that all the school choirs are performing this Thursday evening at the special celebrations on Ascension Day in the HS quad, from 18:00 to 20:00. This is open to all. Bring your picnic basket, blankets, low chairs etc. and come and celebrate and give praise to our Lord.

During our CAF week, our Thomas More community orchestra will also be performing, with the KMC (Kloof Methodist Church) choir on Saturday afternoon at 14:15 in the KMC chapel.  Entry is free but donations of dog or cat food for the Inanda Dog Project would be most gratefully received.

This definitely made me think-hope it will make you also? Most appropriate to reflect during our Christian Arts Festival week!
Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets? What if we flipped through it several times a day?
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it? What if we used it to receive messages from the text? phone bible
What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it? What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?
What if we used it when we travelled? What if we used it in case of emergency?
This is something to make you go....hmm...where is my Bible?
Oh, and one more thing - unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Makes you stop and think 'where are my priorities? And no dropped calls!

Please remember that Thursday is a civvies day for all our pupils in return for providing clean, used items of clothing, shoes etc. We will be donating the clothes to the “Pop-up Market” to be held in Lower Molweni, to give dignity to the needy. They will be able to “shop for items” but will not pay for them. A lot of work has gone and is going into this project which we trust will be a great success, as it has been in the past.

Wishing you all the best for this special week in our school calendar- may our staff, children and parents be richly blessed!



Barbara Taljard
Primary School: 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



Ethan Crilley - for a wonderfu improvment in his task completion.  Well done my boy.


Bryce Fuchs - for trying very hard with his sounds and great blending in our Friday spelling practice.  Well tried my boy.


Amy Boyd - for her responsible and enthusiastic approach to everything that she does and always giving of her best.


Adia Pryce Lewis - for the extra effort she is putting into her work and for neat writing.


Tahir Singh - for trying hard in all lessons and for the interesting and in-depth questions he asks during lessons.


Thabani Mthethwa - for becoming more organised and for completing his school work neatly.  Lovely improvement!


Ciara Valentine - for the effort she is making in the neat presentation of her work and for being kind and helpful.


Liam Bell - for always producing work of a high standard and for a positive approach to the day.


Daniel Evans - for maintaining a high standard of work.


Mackenzy Layden - for her excellent progress in Afrikaans.


Brunton Bigalke - for all round excellence in his school work.


Dhruv Kalicharan - for his happy and positive nature.


Hugo Gildenhuys - for his quiet, gentle nature and for always giving of his best in the classroom.


Kiara Ganesh - for her diligence in all subjects and wonderful manners.


Aphiwe Manci - for his positive attitude and doing well in his science test.


Courtney Cadle - for her diligence, positivity and kind nature.


Nthabiseng Mthethwa - for her kind and caring nature and positive attitude.


Alex Lütz - for her positive attitude and commitment.


Michael Bougardt - for settling in so easily and making Thomas More his school so quickly.


Leo Barnes - for his assitance with computers and keeping his homework diary up to date.


Emma Grobbelaar - for her consistent approach and positive attitude towards her work.



Congratulations to the following pupils who have made it to the final round of Beyond Maths Challenge:

Level 1 - Grade 5:  Lindo Ndokweni, Jemma Ramlakan, Ethan Roome & Bethany Steenkamp

Level 2 - Grade 6 & 7:  Electra Balidis, Jack Bamber, Ethan Cook, James Daniel, Blaine Dunbar, Emily Gelder, Conall Steenkamp, Julia van Tonder & Shannon Wilhelm.



Congratulations to Daniel Evans and Rhys Pearton on achieving Mathletics Gold.


Cultural Achievements


We would like to congratulate Brendan O’ Loughlin on being chosen to perform with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in their prestigious annual Young Performers Concert on Saturday night (20th of May). He was one of 16 students, ranging from primary school to university, chosen out of many other young people all over KZN who had auditioned for this honour.  Well done Brendan.



Congratulations to Leah Allen who danced beautifully last week Thursday, 11th May at the Durban Dance foundation bursary competition and was the deserving winner of the “Elizabeth Sneddon bursary”.  Well done Leah.

Sporting Achievements

Cross country at TMC

Congratulations to the following runners who placed in the Top 15 at the Cross Country held at TMC last Friday:

U9 - Kai McCormick - 7th

U10 Girls - Mackenzy Layden - 7th

U11 Girls - Jordan Trotter - 7th; Emma Kure - 14th

U12 Boys - Liam Theunissen 1st; Ethan McCormick - 2nd; Ezra Haug - 7th; Keagan Brand - 9th

U13 Boys - Buhlali Mhlanzi - 1st; Nathan McDaniel - 6th; Luke McDaniel -15th

U13 Girls - Jessica Smith - 4th; Electra Balidis - 7th


U9 rugby tournament at Gelofte

Well done to our U9 rugby players who played on the Gelofte tournament on Saturday. It was a long, hot and hard day of rugby and our boys did us proud by getting into the plate final. Unfortunately we lost in the final but the boys learnt so much. Good effort boys!

Gr. 2 & 3 soccer

Our Grade 2 & 3 boys and girls played so well at their relevant soccer tournaments last week. We had some outstanding results.  Well done boys and girls.


SP Rugby vs Northdene

U10A won 65 – 5

U10B won 35 – 0

U11A won 45 – 0

2nd won 48 - 0

1st lost 7 – 5


SP Senior Girls' Soccer vs St Marys

1st won 3 -1

2nd won 1 – 0

3rd won 1 – 0


SP Senior Girls' Soccer vs Hillcrest

1st drew 0 - 0

2nd won 1 – 0

3rd won 0 – 0



Congratulations to Tapuwa Sibisi who has been selected for the KZN U13 soccer team to participate in the annual Bill Stewart Tournament in Limpopo.



TMC Dressage team placed 6th.

Dressage team: Chloe Brown, Paige Haarhoff and Arabella Balidis.

TMC Equitation team placed 2nd.

Equitation team: Rachel Kerdachi, Reine Marshall and Paige Haarhoff

Reine Marshall was the overall winner in the individual open Equitation.

TMC Parade team placed 4th.

TMC Show Jumping A team won out of 17 teams.

A Team members: Rachel Kerdachi, Sydney Swanson, Reine Marshall

TMC Show Jumping B team placed 12th.

B Team members: Thomas Gourley, Chloe Brown, Paige Haarhoff, Eleanor Canning.


JKA Karate National Championships

Congratulations to Connor Harris who was placed first (gold medal) for kata and second (silver medal) for kumite (fighting) in the 12 year old boys division.
He has been selected as part of the South African National JKA karate team to participate in the World Junior Championships in Ireland in August this year, and has been re-awarded his JKA Karate South African colours.  Well done Connor.



Congratulations to Jordan Howes for earning a silver and bronze medal in a Judo competition over the weekend.  Well done Jordan.



Congratulations to Liam Lotter who made the KZN Union gymnastics team on Saturday. What an awesome achievement!


Club Soccer

Well done to Riordan Govender who played for his Euro Soccer School in a soccer tournament on Sunday and made it into the finals. 


SP Netball results Westville

U10A lost

U10B lost

U11A won 8 – 1

U11B won 7-4

U12A lost 13-3

U12B lost 6-3

U13A lost 14-20

U13B lost 11-12


SP Netball vs St Mary’s

U10A drew 1-1

U10B drew 0-0

U11A lost 7-6

U11B won 2-1

U11C lost 4-0

U12A won 9-8

U12B won 5-3

U12C won 4-1

1st team: won 10-8

2nd team: won 9-2

3rd team vs St Mary’s second team: drew 7-7


HS Netball

TMC U14B vs Hillcrest – Won 8-5

TMC U14A vs Hillcrest – Won 12-9

TMC U15B vs Hillcrest – Lost 4-7

TMC U15A vs Hillcrest – Won 18-8

TMC U16B vs Hillcrest – Lost 1-12

TMC U16A vs Hillcrest – Lost 5-21

TMC 2nds vs Hillcrest – Lost 5-12

TMC 1st Team vs Hillcrest – Lost 10-48


HS Boys’ Hockeyrock climbing

TMC U14A vs Crawford LL – Lost 1-3

TMC U16A vs Crawford LL – Won 1-0

TMC 2nds vs Crawford LL – Won 4-0

TMC 1st Team vs Crawford LL – Won 2-0

TMC U14A vs Crawford NC – Won 7-1

TMC U16A vs Crawford NC – Won 2-0

TMC 1st Team vs Crawford NC – Lost 0-2


Girls’ Hockey

TMC U14B vs Maris Stella – Won 4-0

TMC U14A vs Maris Stella – Won 3-0

TMC U16B vs Maris Stella – Won 1-0

TMC U16A vs Maris Stella – Lost 2-0

TMC 2nds vs Maris Stella – Won 2-1

TMC 1st Team vs Maris Stella – Won 6-0


KZN Hockey

Congratulations to the following pupils who have been selected as part of the KZN U16 Hockey teams:

U16A KZN Hockey Team: Carmen Vicent, Lola Lee, Cassy Balarin, Kayleigh Du Toit

U16B KZN Hockey Team: Courtney Sim, Gemma Weeder, Nicole Phipps

U16C KZN Hockey Team: Alex Hanger, Andani Mashige, Alexa Vicent


HS Rugby

TMC U14A vs Hillcrest – Lost 12-24

TMC U15A vs Hillcrest –Lost 5-26

TMC 1st Team vs Hillcrest – Lost 19-27


Rock climbing

Congratulations to the following pupils who have been awarded their KZN colours for Rock Climbing:

Front L-R:  Daniel Bentley, Jenna Bentley, Josh Munstermann, Brendan Kuhnert, (Mr Camp), Keshav Gounden, Ziyanda Mchunu (back) & Amy Freeman. (Faran Steenkamp - absent)