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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:
Hockey practices:*Takes preference

Please fill in the below google form before each practice
https://forms.gle/vVNkwH7SvifkR1st9

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!”

Message from our Head Girls: Term 1, 2021

The end of yet another term calls us to reflect on all the experiences gathered. Our first term of leadership has truly been one of growth and love. Some of our golden experiences include the Social Media Rosie Takeover and the Theme Launch, amongst others.

Rele:

Welcoming our new Grade 8 Rosebuds into our Rosie Community was the biggest goal for the Compassion Pillar, and we achieved this successfully through our Orientation Week. It was a week full of fun and excitement where meaningful bonds were created. As the Head of Compassion, I have had a term filled with many exciting highs and stamina-building lows. Looking back at my term, I am flooded with joy at the awesome things we have achieved as a pillar.

Kagiso:

The matrics of St Teresa's followed up with tradition by performing a theme launch for the rest of the school. This launch caused our grade to grow much closer during this difficult time.

With the slow start to the year,  matrics agreed that our launch must be amazing so as to  motivate the other grades and ourselves. This year's theme is very different from themes of the previous years.  This is because the word that describes our theme was coined by the matric class of 2021.

The word is berdahsmurdagurda, it means making sense of the senseless. As we move into a new normal because of this pandemic this word reminds us not to fear uncertainty and not to be scared when things make no sense. This idea, that has never been done before, motivated us to perform our absolute best and therefore the launch was a huge success.

Many of the grades felt good after watching our launch and they were also relieved to know the meaning of the word.  The week of the launch berdashmurdagurda was announced in every morning assembly and there were stories told about this word.

We knew that before the Launch, no one would  know what the word meant which also helped us build the intensity and the excitement of our Launch.

Pia:

Lockdown has highlighted an ever growing need for a greater sense of global responsibility in society whether it be through environmentally friendly eco-habits, social awareness around important, and sometimes controversial topics, or even the following of Covid-19 protocols. The Global Responsibility Pillar has acknowledged this growing need and has endeavoured to increase awareness and action amongst the girls. The main environmental project, run by the environmental committee, running through the school is the collection of eco-bricks. Eco-bricks are 2 litre plastic bottles that are packed tightly with non-recyclable materials and these ‘bricks’ can then be used as the foundation for various structures. Alongside the environmental initiatives, the social awareness committee has placed posters around the school and have filled the various boards with information surrounding numerous topics. This committee hopes to have discussions with the girls in a more interactive environment next term in order to spread awareness. Lastly, the public relations committee has made sure that all the school regulations, as well as the Covid-19 protocols, have been maintained by the girls. We hope to keep the spirit going and to begin new and exciting initiatives in the upcoming term.

It is during times like these that the most innovative and solution driven ideas come to the forefront. At the heart of these innovations is the SRC (Student Representative Council), who have sought to bring about effective change within the school environment during these unprecedented times. One of the council's biggest achievements has been the academic tutoring program - a program in which students are able to tutor those in the grades below them in exchange for community service hours. Furthermore, the SRC has worked tirelessly to provide the girls with more opportunities for community service, environmental change, interactive events and monitoring of the general well being of the girls and is highly commended for their outstanding efforts in representing the girls with enthusiasm and insightfulness.

Conclusion:

It has been a term filled with challenges but it has also been a term filled with thoughtfulness, innovation and success. We owe many thanks to the mentors we had guiding us along the way! We look forward to the upcoming term and all the potential successes that lie ahead!


Highlighting our girls' outstanding achievements

The girls are hard at work every day. Here's a look at some of their outstanding achievements!

The Grade 9s have been hard at work this term with their close-up studies of animals.  Each learner was given the theme of either earth/land/air/water and had to select a creature from their category.  They then painted these studies on pieces of 16cmx16cm masonite.

 

Grade 12 Essays

An Ode to African Baobabs

By Leeyah Essa

Summer in Musina was always hot and dry, but it tasted sweet and juicy. From across their room Prim, sitting in front of the open window, breathing in the clammy air, watched her brother, Ngozi, fold white shirts and delicately place them in a leather rucksack. "Still visiting that old tree?” said Ngozi, nodding towards Prim’s drawings of a Baobab. Prim blushed and looked away; she was suddenly embarrassed at how childish the scribbled bark, and green mushroom-topped branches must have appeared to her brother. Ngozi, being her older brother, was sent on a scholarship to a private school in Pietersburg. It was here that he learned about algebra, Italian sonnets, and words like “meticulous”. Thrilled by Ngozi's seemingly endless knowledge, his opinion had come to matter most to Prim. However, this time he was wrong. The Baobab was significantly more than just some old tree

Musina, was desertous if not for the stretches of veld that were interrupted by low-lying and barren mountains. Prim’s gogo had told her from a young age what a miracle it was that land as arid and dry as Musina’s bore the most magnificent forest of Baobab trees. In the rainy season, when the veld wilted in the miry planes; the Baobab bore the velvety green Baobab fruit, when nothing else would grow. In the summertime, in sync with the lunar calendar, the Baobabs would flower at exactly midnight, frail white petals that coddled a dot of yellow. Each year, when the season of spitting tangy Baobab seeds had come to an end, came Prim’s favourite season. Summer was not only an important season for Prim, but also for her town Musina. Ever since the first Baobab tree blossomed, the forest had drawn in the likes of religious leaders, elders, and families from nearby communities, who year after year, hoped to draw from the fertility and strength of Umuthi Wokuphila - The tree of life.

On afternoons when the sun beat down on the town rendering its people weary, Prim would visit the Baobabs. From a young age, she had developed a special connection to the Baobab forest; their stoic trunks and exposed roots had made a comforting place to sit and sleep, and the faint whispers that were shared amongst the tops of the trees seemed wishful. Soon, Prim was divulging all of her hopes, dreams and desires to the giant Baobabs from the forest’s floor. To this day, Prim imagines that if a single Baobab were to unravel its mangled trunk, the secrets of a thousand generations of Africans guarded in its wooded meat would unfetter, panning themselves across the low veld for kilometers. Amongst those secrets, they would find Prim’s many confessions to her Baobabs, where she would reluctantly explain that despite how proud of her brother she was, she could not quite stomach the fact that if, with any luck, she had been born a boy, words like “meticulous”, sonnets and maths would come to her too, and she wouldn't have to wait anxiously for her brother’s arrival during the holidays to learn more. Deep down, however, Prim knew that as long as blood filled out her flesh, making her appear more and more like her mother each day, Prim’s future would be saddled with the same destiny as the Baobabs, her life permanently rooted in the confines of Musina.

Reaching the Baobabs was never easy for Prim; even when she was younger and could hardly sweat. To get to the leeward side of the mountain, she would have to wade through veld that stood rigid and upright, burning its tips in the sun, leap over ribbons of sun speckled streams that gleamed under clear skies. She would scale scorched rocks that blistered her stiff hands and blocked the view of the shiny tin homes behind them. Prim didn’t mind this journey though, as challenging as it was, because it would guide her to her beloved Baobabs. At sunset when she was returning from her trees and the yolken sun ceased its sizzling in the fiery sky, the yellow and red hues that appeared in its place would glaze the harsh earth beneath it, and when the sky finally took its last breath, she would find herself wandering through crumbling, undulating slopes of purple and black.

Prim went to bed. That night, she tried desperately to muster dreams of her beloved Baobab trees. Shutting her eyes tightly until she began to imagine thickets of forest beneath her. Prim saw herself gliding above the forest. Floating over the whispers of spekboom, and faint suggestions of streams, she saw the gestures of the crooked branches spreading out of the tops of her favourite trees. Their mighty trunks looked unimaginably small from where she drifted.  Leaves that had otherwise seemed ethereal to her, brushed against the palm of her hand.

Prim blinked a few times, looked over at her paintings and felt ashamed for ever being embarrassed by them. No matter what her brother had said, she thought to herself, the Baobabs were hers, her most precious African gift.

Grade 10 Painted T-shirts

Being a Rosie

By Maleehah Fazel

By Shandra Sischy

By Onele Bam

By Rajeshwari Combedea

By Ceanna Foster

Grade 8D Bible Quotes