Term 1 Newsletter: March 2021

After reading through the report comments this week, seeing how hard the girls have worked and how well they have adapted to the higher demands of a new grade, it is easy to forget about the unconventional start to the 2021 school year.  Having had to start with school online is not an ideal situation and not something that any of us were hoping for, but through hard work and resilience the girls and staff made the best of the situation and we look back on a most successful term.

The Covid-19 regulations certainly produced many creative ideas on flexibility and how to do things differently.  One of the highlights of this was last Friday when Mass was held at the swimming pool.  Father Thabo gave us an uplifting message and we were reminded that we do not need to be in a church building to experience God’s presence.

We are optimistic about next term and look forward to the restart of all the extracurricular activities after the latest Gazette that was published on Saturday.  The sport and cultural activities in which the girls participate play such an important part in their school experiences and it is often in these activities that lasting memories and friendships are formed.

We wish all our girls, teachers, and parents a wonderful break from school and hope that everyone will return well rested on Wednesday 28 April, ready to embrace the winter term.  To the families travelling these holidays, we wish you safe journeys.

May you and your families be blessed with our Lord's love and peace this Easter.

 

Farewells

We are wishing two staff members a sad farewell, Mrs Julie Smith and Mrs Liesl Pepper.

Mrs Julie Smith brought a whole new breeze of elegance, class and grace to our Bursar's Department when she joined our staff in July 2017, when she relocated as a new bride from KZN. She quickly became a firm favourite amongst our staff when we realised that she tackled her minefield of a job with steely determination but also with such grace and aplomb. Julie is friendly and adds a sparkle to conversations with her ready smile, her willingness to help with endless queries from parents and staff and her cool efficiency under pressure.

We wish Julie God's richest blessings as she leaves St Teresa's and embarks on the next chapter of her life's journey. She will be missed.

Mrs Liesl Pepper has been a firm favourite of the girls since she arrived at the beginning of last year to join our Mathematics Department. Liesl's quiet confidence and her gentle and lady-like manner of dealing with her colleagues and with the girls has brought great joy to us. Mrs Pepper is a competent Maths teacher with a special way of speaking to her classes that wins their confidence and assures them that they really can cope with geometry, and that algebra can be such fun.

Our best wishes accompany Liesl as she takes time off to be with her precious family and spends these moments with her special little girls. We will miss her.

 

High School Sport

“Whenever there is a challenge, there is also an opportunity to face it, to demonstrate and develop our will and determination.” Dalai Lama

Despite the numerous challenges that sport has faced, our coaches and players have not only adapted but also embraced each hurdle. Due to the lack of sport last year, it was imperative that sport be implemented in a controlled and safe manner, while continuing to improve the level of the player’s skill. Participant numbers were kept low per practice and coach numbers were increased. This allowed for more focused and personal training sessions. Although sporting fixtures were not permitted in the first term, this valuable additional time allowed the coaching team to work on several skill and fitness areas that needed improvement due to the lack of sport last year.

Swimming

The swimming season this year, although uneventful, was still full of excitement and enthusiasm. The swimmers trained hard and learned a lot throughout the season. Time trials took place once a week promoting a sense competition. This also allowed the coaches and swimmers to monitor their progress in the water.

Despite the lack of galas, swimmers had extra time to focus on and develop their strokes, diving technique, tumble turns and fitness. Thank you to Coach Frank, Coach McKenna and Coach Michaela for guiding the swimmers this season. We would also like to thank our swimming captain, Holly Clare, for her ongoing encouragement, punctuality, communication and leadership.

Tennis

Although the players were disappointed that they were unable to participate in fixtures this season, ample time was dedicated to internal tennis trials and challenges, resulting in the formation of the updated tennis ladder. Several new and talented tennis players joined the practices this year, adding to the competition. Due to the extra time, players had the opportunity to improve their technique, game play and fitness, ahead of the much anticipated tennis season.

Thank you to Coach Ashton, Coach Canny and Coach Kevin for all their valuable input this season. Thank you to our tennis captain, Brigid Taylor for being proactive, calm and supportive of the tennis players.

Soccer

The number of soccer players has greatly increased this year and we are delighted to have Coach Joice working with the players again this year. There has been a wonderful sense of camaraderie amongst the players who have even adapted well to the early morning training sessions. We are excited to move the afternoon soccer practices to Rosebank Primary from next term. We are also hoping to participate in the JBW schools league next term.

Squash

St Teresa’s 2021 squash team reached many of their goals within a short period in the midst of prevailing a pandemic. Due to the pandemic the start of the year was considerably slow and not very exciting. With all the delays to the start of the academic year, our squash league was also postponed until we were allowed to “return to play”, which gave excitement and a sense of motivation within the team.

As captain I was worried that, because we were coming out of a period where nobody was allowed to play squash, nobody would participate in the sport. I was wrongly mistaken because every day there was a huge turnout of ladies that wanted to take part in squash. There were so many of us that we had to use two buses most of the time. As we continue with squash the turnout was consistent and very motivating. The training was also very welcoming in that our coach, coach Kevin helped us improve our serves and this built the confidence within the team. This helped us reach our goals for squash this term.

We were motivated by performing in a small internal tournament that ran over a week and this motivated us to reach our personal best. These events resulted in the squash team coming closer with each other and becoming a family,

As the Squash Captain for 2021, I was very happy to be a part of the squash team and to have built friendships with those that are in this team.  It has been an honour for me to serve in this portfolio.


NOTE:
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Matric Dance Invitation Ceremony

The matric dance invitation ceremony was truly an amazing and exciting event. This was the first event that our committee and grade planned and hosted due to our other set events that were cancelled due to COVID-19. Being our first event, I think our performance was spectacular. We were able to pull off a ceremony that felt magical. There were a few moments of stress though including the weather forecast being set to rain for the upcoming days when we had planned to have the ceremony outdoors. Luckily we were privileged enough to be able to use the intermediate phases’ newly built, beautiful auditorium which set our event apart from previous years. The room was decorated with pastel colours, baby’s breath and eucalyptus; along with that, we had delicious treats such as cupcakes and candy floss topped champagne. With the help of fellow committee members and our grade, we were able to plan an event that was honestly breathtaking despite minor mishap.

A few words from the matrics:

“It was beautiful. I think first off, I have to take my hat off to all of you for keeping it a surprise and for making it so special. Everything was beautifully set up and the handing out of the flowers was really sweet. Overall, the ceremony was really well put together and felt really special. I definitely will remember it for a long time and I can remember feeling excited and stunned by what you had achieved.”
“I loved it! It’s was kind of surreal to finally be the in that position after watching all the matrics go through it years before. It was also so nice because it was a complete surprise and exactly what we needed to make us all feel special. I mean it was really beautiful and kind of gave us butterflies walking past you guys up the stairs and seeing everything done so well.”
“It was very exciting that no one knew it was happening and it was amazing to have it in the new block!! I really think it was such a cute ceremony and I felt extremely happy and excited!”
“The MD invitation ceremony was so wonderful! I loved how all the grade 11s handed every girl a bunch of flowers, that was truly special. It was beautiful!”