Christmas
The Horse's Mouth
Thomas More College
News from the Horse's Mouth
  06 December 2017
Newsletter 41
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 - bids a fond farewell.

  • Dave Wiggett - announces staff changes and bids farewell to staff.

  • Barbara Taljard - congratulates all prizewinners and wishes everyone well for the festive season.

  • Deni Hornsey - extends thanks and well wishes to all over the festive season.

 

Stock Shop Year-End Appointments/purchases - It is that time of year again where we need to remind all parents needing new school uniforms for 2018, to please contact the Stock Shop to make an appointment. The diary is now open, please call on 031 764 8640 during the Stock Shop trading times as shown below:

 

Monday - Thursday: 12:00 - 15:00
Friday:  12:30 - 14:30
Half-Term Friday:  12:30 - 14:00
PS Half-Term Monday:  12:00 - 15:00
School holidays:  closed
Break up day:  11:00 - 12:00 

 

Wishing you all a wonderful, safe and relaxing holiday.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

 

Editor Picture

Have a great week,
Kim Hooper
Marketing Co-ordinator:  Communications

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Claudia Levarelli

Marketing Co-ordinator: Digital Media

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Whole School Events Calendar
 

Scripture for the week

Scripture“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me”. Ezekiel 3:17-18

With great sadness this is my last scripture for the Horse’s Mouth, as the Chaplaincy at Thomas More comes to end. Although I was offered a position as an assistant priest in a local parish I feel it is my responsibility to remain here for the time being. I will be up in the High School continuing to teach History and RE.

So I bid you all a fond farewell and as scripture reminds us: “Blessed are all they that take refuge in the LORD”. Psalm 2:12. I wish you all a safe and blessed Christmas and as Tiny Tim observed in Charles Dickens, Christmas Carol, “God bless us, everyone”.

Shalom (peace)
God bless
Rev. Martin Easson
Chaplain
measson@thomasmore.co.za

Whole School News

After 16 years at Thomas More and 39 years in the teaching profession this will be my last newsletter. It has been an immensely rewarding career although I didn’t initially intend to go into teaching. Given the chance, I would do it all over again. The past 16 years has been full of delights. I came to Thomas More in 2002 shortly after South Africa had been liberated. There were mixed feelings about the future of the country but there was a clear feeling that a whole lot more emphasis had to be placed on education. This was only 10 years after TMC had announced in 1992 that it would close due to lack of numbers. That off course never happened and the school had begun a wonderful rebirth. Today we are flourishing in spite of considerable competition. This is a winning formula!

An old African proverb states that it takes a village to raise a child. In many African communities it is common for a child to be raised by its extended family, in many cases spending extended periods of time living with grandparents, aunts and uncles. Even the wider community sometimes gets involved, as children are seen as a blessing from God upon the entire community. At Thomas More we are a microcosm of society. Boys and girls of all ages are our children and the diverse staff and parent body are united in their efforts to make this the best school that it could be.

I leave Thomas More knowing that the school is in a very healthy place. The Board is acutely aware of the fact that these are very difficult financial times. School fee increases have been kept to a minimum next year to ensure that our school remains affordable.

This is a truly balanced school of the highest order and it has truly been a privilege to be part of its growth over the last 16 years. I am immensely grateful to the whole team that made this possible. The pupils, staff, parents and committees have been an absolute pleasure to work with and I could not have asked for better place to spend the last 16 years.

I now look forward to a few months of rest and relaxation and then I will raise my head again. I cannot see myself not being involved in the village that is education for at least a few more years to come. 

 Shane

Shane Cuthbertson
Executive Principal
scuthbertson@thomasmore.co.za

High School News

Education has taken on a more precarious profile in the press and media this year. We are under the ever-increasing scrutiny of parents and officialdom. It is an increasingly demanding sector in which to work as one is constantly balancing the hopes and fears of pupils, parents, and colleagues, whilst remaining mindful of the demands from external sources such as government departments of education. This all happens in the context of a country still struggling with its democratic identity.

Yet, we have the weighty privilege of working with tomorrow’s leaders today. Through a myriad of opportunities we endeavour to expose our children to themselves, to uncover and celebrate that unique gifting of theirs, to believe wholeheartedly in their dreams, and to encourage that their sense of industry and purpose matches the veracity of their dream.

I must, therefore, thank our staff for continuing to render Thomas More College such a dynamic, safe, robust teaching and learning space. It is also an innovative space, cognisant of the shifting demands and needs of an ever-morphing world, mindful too of the dire need for good values. Our children really do benefit from a multitude of opportunities, both in and out the classroom, to grow into themselves.

As such, I want to acknowledge Mrs Leigh-Ann Mckenzie, Mr Gavin Belman, Mrs Vanessa Barnes, Miss Staci Carter and Miss Heather Pattenden for the intricate value they have woven into the fabric of TMC respectively. I, too, must thank Mr Shane Cuthbertson for his remarkable TMC journey and legacy. He was walked an incredible journey with the likes of the Gavin Belmans, Leigh-Ann Mckenzies and countless others. The Legacy? A top quality school that endeavours to love the child into being while batting well above its weight. We wish these teachers every blessing for their new ventures in 2018 and beyond.

To the staff, both present and past, thank you for the collective effort that makes TMC the compelling place it is. I laud and value unconditionally your selfless efforts, both individual and collective, to render our school so personable and special.

On staffing, I am most pleased to announce the appointments of Mrs Donné Gerry (currently St Mary’s) in the position of Head of Life Sciences and Mrs Suhana Moodley (currently Hillcrest HS) in the position of Head of EGD. Both will commence duties at the beginning of Term 2 next year. They bring an incredible wealth of experience with them and I know that they will add remarkable value to your children’s TMC experiences. Finally, we welcome Mrs Ninette Alberts who will be teaching the Grade 12 CAT class next year.

In closing, I must, once again, acknowledge the Board, the Parents’ Council, Lisa Moffat, Malcolm Wight, Michelle Wight and the total support staff team for making the hard decisions when they need to be made, and for continuously celebrating the Magical Moments that are Thomas More College. I also thank my office team of Mrs Lisa Paterson, Mr Stephen Ireland and Mrs Debbie Kerdachi for their unfaltering support, honesty and exceptional work.

Lastly, Mr Cuthbertson, may you and our other departing members of staff be richly blessed. I thank you for your leadership and for sharing your deep love of all things TMC with us all. You are forever etched into the TMC tapestry, and yours will always be a story of growth, passion, dogged determination and a relentless pursuit for excellence. Go well, good sir.

And so, be blessed this Christmas, travel safely, and spend time doing your favourite things with those who matter most to you.

 

David Wiggett
High School Headmaster
dwiggett@thomasmore.co.za

Primary School News

Well, we have come to the final week of 2017- and another year has all but come and gone!  Thanks also to the parents who supported their children on Friday evening at the Sport and Cultural Awards prize giving,, and a very big thank you once again to Mr Gary Balarin and Mr Jason Brimelow and their respective cultural and sport departments, as well as to all the staff and coaches on a great year of extra-mural activities and events. Thanks too for the interesting slant on a Virtual Reality prize giving!

Thanks as well, to those who were able to attend our Final Assembly when academic certificates for merit, effort and progress for the combined 3rd and 4th term results were handed out. We also appreciate the effort Mr Graham Hooper put into this and thank all of our teachers for consistently trying their best in the best interests of the special young people with whom we work.

We also wish to pay tribute to all those involved in “Love Came Down”, our special Carol Service which took place on Sunday evening. In particular, thanks to Mr Sherwin Ganasen, and Mrs Roberta Ramasamy who co-ordinated it all, as well as to Mrs Colette Jagles, Mrs Annette de Klerk, Mr Gary Balarin as well as those involved from the High School for the many hours of practice which went into this event to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. Also thanks to those who supported behind the scenes. The Junior and Senior Primary choirs as well as the High School ensemble group were superb and the singing really touched my heart. It was also great to have Grade 6 and 7 dancers, a small High School band and a number of superb duets and solos from all phases of the school. Furthermore the Community orchestra also impressed and added much value accompanying the community singing and many of the individual items. This was a special occasion when we give thanks to our Lord for His many blessings, in particular the gift of His son, Jesus Christ, whom we commemorate this Christmas season. We also appreciate the blessing by the Rev. Martin Easson. Thank you to all the participants, and those who supported it and contributed to the donations for Orphan Aid. It is indeed a most fitting way to thank God for all He does, and for holding our school in the palm of His hand.

Thanks to those who supported their children last night at the Senior Primary Prizegiving & Speech Evening - a very big congratulations to our worthy prize winners, you can all be very proud of your achievements this year.  The special evening was tinged with nostalgia and sadness as our Executive Principal, Mr Shane Cuthbertson was the guest speaker. This was his final message for our Primary School. We want to thank him again for being someone who has had a helicopter view of our school as a whole, is humble and a servant leader, showing a genuine interest in each and every one of us and making a significant difference over the 16 years he has been at the helm of Thomas More College. His significant leadership will live on in the legacy he has created at this very special school and we thank him from the bottom of our hearts for ALL he has done.

Reports will be available from 15:00 this afternoon on the parent portal of Edadmin.

As this is our last newsletter, I wish to pay tribute to and sincerely thank all those who have played a part in and contributed to the success of the Primary School of Thomas More College, whether as a staff member, parent or pupil. With your support it has been a pleasure to head this realm of Thomas More College.

To our management team and our teaching staff – thank you for going beyond the call of duty, for your commitment, loyalty, dedication and hard work. Despite the demands placed on you in today’s world, you have risen to each challenge in the classroom, on the sports field and everywhere where you have served the school academically, extra-murally, culturally and spiritually. Our appreciation also goes to our admin, catering, cleaning, estate and support staff who support us in multitudinous ways.

We are also most grateful for our parents for the many ways you have assisted us, from serving on the Board, working on sub-committees of the Board, being on the Parents’ Council, being a class rep or reading mom, the Moms who Pray, those who work in the library, coach sport, or support with transporting children to and from matches, on outings, taking photos, and assisting in various ways, at school activities and special functions. We are most grateful for ALL you do!

Thank you, too, to our pupils for being such special young people and for generally contributing to life at Thomas More in a positive way, especially to our Grade 7s who are leaving the Primary School for High School, and the few pupils who are relocating or moving. You will be missed, but we are glad to have been a part of your life and shall follow your future with interest. We wish you well and trust you will stay in touch with all of us at the Primary School.

We bid farewell to Mrs Caroline Jooste and thank her for her stalwart commitment to Thomas More as a Grade 6 class teacher and for slotting in so easily into our team. We shall miss her but wish her well at Maris Stella where she will be teaching Grade 7 next year.

We also wish Mr Thatcher well as he assumes a Grade 5 teaching position at DPHS, Miss Casey Barkhuizen who will teaching Grade 00 at Bambi’s Pre-School while completing her studies and wish Mr Daniel Smith in his full-time studies next year, with some potential sport coaching thrown into the mix.

Very warm good wishes to Mr Ryan Conway and Kathryn du Plessis on their upcoming marriage in December- and God’s richest blessings to two special staff members.

It has been a real blessing seeing our children grow, blossom and achieve so much over the last twelve months. We wish you and your families a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year, and trust you will have precious time to spend with your loved ones over the holidays. If you are going away, over the holidays, please take care. We look forward to seeing you back at Thomas More on Wednesday, 17 January 2018! God’s richest blessings and best wishes to you all!

 

Barbara Taljard
Primary School: Headmistress
btaljard@thomasmore.co.za

Foundation Phase

It feels like it was just yesterday that we welcomed you to a brand new year and here we are saying thank you and goodbye!

As usual, our year has been jampacked with all sorts of activities that aim to provide opportunities for a balanced lifestyle for our children and it has been wonderful to see each child achieving personal success, not only academically but in every sphere. To you our parent body, thank you for all you have given this year - it really is noticeable that "it takes a village to raise a child". We appreciate you partnering with us to make the successes possible.

It has been an absolute privilege to have shared in each and every child's growth this year and I thank you for entrusting your precious treasures to us. To those leaving the TMC family, we wish you nothing but theChristmas best in your new journey and hope that you will stay in touch.

Wishing you all a wonderful festive season and a blessed Christmas.

 

 

Deni Hornsey
Foundation Phase:  Headmistress
dhornsey@thomasmore.co.za

Academic Achievements

Weekly Achievers  Wetrock

 

Kindly sponsored by Wetrock Adventures - visit www.wetrockadventuresco.za for further info. 

 

1B

Madison Rhynes - for an enthusiastsic approach towards all she does.  What a super star.

1K

Max Williams - for his excellent progress at spelling and for his personal growth this year.

1S

Dylan Jessop - for working with such enthusiasm and making wonderful progress in all areas of learning.  I'm so proud of you.

2D

Erika Cai - for her consistent good work, sunny smile and her giving nature.

2J

Kavaye Govinsamy - for outstanding Mathematics and his gentle ways.

2R

Kate Lang - for really trying hard to do her best work and for having such a happy attitude at school.

3B

Jordan Hadnum - for woking hard and giving of his best.

3M

Kathryn Hodges - for a positive approach to her day and tackling all her tasks with determination.

3R

Micaela Fernandes - for being hardworking and a kind friend.

4dP

Joel Newmarch - for his extensive general knowledge and excellent Maths.

4P

Connor Mackinnon - for his friendly nature and excellent work in Maths and Zulu.

4dL

Dhruv Kalicharan - for always being positive and respectful to all.

5vL

Matthew Folkes - for his cheerful, friendly nature and keen sense of humour.

5M

Somilia Ngcongco - for his enthusiastic approach towards his school and his happy friendly nature.

5L

Travis Holmes - for his kind, caring and positive work ethic.

6J

Mandy Olejniczak - for her positive attitude to school and friendly, helpful nature.

6M

Demi-Lee Penny - for her overall contribution to school and sport and for her positive, friendly nature.

6F

Dylan Thomas - for participation with enjoyment in recent activities.

7M

Darian Maclean - for achieving a distinction for her recorder exam.  Well done Darian.

7H

7C

 

 

Cultural Achievements

Ballet

Congratulations to Samantha Boyd, Zoey and Gabby Brophy on receiving Distinctions in their Ballet exams.  Sarah Reed is also to be congratulated on receiving a Gold award in her first ballet exam.  Well done girls.

 

Sporting Achievements

Tennis

Congratulations to Ashtyn Cason who finished as runner up in the Wilson Tennis Masters event that she played in last weekend.  Ashtyn also played in the Hillcrest Tennis Club's Ladies Singles Championships, as the youngest competitor.  She finished in the top 8 of the draw of 16 ladies.  She unfortunately could not finish the "play off" on Sunday, due to her participation in the Wilson Tournament.  Well done Ashtyn - we are super proud of you.