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  • Janse van der Ryst

The last Headmaster's Newsletter of 2020

Sincere condolences from Queen’s College to all who have lost family and loved ones during the year. The year was challenging for all, but so much more to those who have lost those who were closest to them. We pray for our Creator’s love, comfort and protection to be with you.


We are at the end of a most unique year that has asked different questions to all of us. It forced us to think and act in new ways. We learnt new skills, showed resilience and endurance by staying focused on our goals right until the end.


We also stayed true to our Vision to be an Internationally Recognized Academic Institution of Excellence. We have not relaxed our drive to develop our staff and boys at all. In a way, the pandemic has helped us to focus even more on our goals. The upgrades around our campus are there for all to see. The quality of these upgrades is of a world-class standard when it comes to education.


From the very start of lockdown, we made it clear that our school has two important goals that we would work hard to achieve.

1. To stay safe and healthy.

2. For all our boys to be academically successful.


I am very happy to report that a very small number of boys and staff were infected by the virus. We have not lost a single member of our staff and student body to the virus.

By now you would also know that your son has passed his grade. It gives me great happiness to advise that all our Grade 8 - 11 boys have achieved academic success by passing their grade this trying year. It is testament to the resilience and good work done by both our staff and boys, as well as the support of you, our parents and guardians. For these successes we are grateful. We also acknowledge the amazing work our SGB, staff and boys have done to build and keep a Covid-Free bubble and to achieve academic success.


All being well, the 2020 Grade 8 – 11 Prize Giving will take place at 18:00 on Thursday, 25 February 2020.


On one level, we have dropped the ball. Some of our boys’ general appearance was not as it is supposed to be. Our school asks of us to be neatly dressed and well-groomed. All of this is well documented in our school’s Code of Conduct. Please see what our Code of Conduct stipulates about our boys’ hair:

Hair should be neat, clean and should not attract attention by being either too long, too short, tinted or treated in any way. Hair should be off the collar, away from the ears and the fringe should not be unnessarily long. Side-burns should not be longer than halfway down the ear. Facial hair is to be regularly shaven. No beards / moustaches etc. Only a difference of one hair clipper number is allowed between top and sides.


We expect all our boys to abide by these stipulations. Let’s work together as parents/guardians, boys and staff to make sure our boys’ appearance is out of the top drawer from the start of 2021.


We expect our boys to use the official school bag to carry their books and the official sports bag for their sports gear. The bags are available from Louis’ Sports, our official stockist in Queenstown. Tel: 045-8397227.


NO name-branded school or sport bags are allowed at all (this includes sports bags which our boys receive at sport festivals, eg KES Festival – these bags may not be used at school.

The boys’ bags will be inspected at the start of the school year. Incorrect school and sport bags will be confiscated until such time as your son has the correct school and sport bag.

On Friday, 4 December we said goodbye to Mr Boy and other staff members who are going to leave us at the end of the academic year. For Mr Boy it was 39 glorious years of service to our Great School, of which 28 were as Deputy Headmaster. Please follow the link to read Mr Basset’s farewell message to Mr Boy https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_dZNiczWBfcMSY_AEtupnadMVcLvNf_4/view?usp=sharing

as well as Mr Boy’s address

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1J0-S41cIoucjJD_1YYTREHDSCE840qdG/view?usp=sharing

to the school. These two documents are pictures of gratitude and happiness for a master that gave of his best to our Great School. Our boys were excellent in the way they wished Mr Boy farewell.


Follow link below:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1enQJ9MeMfTFpBsWrAqcjfvW7M0oDGa0w/view?usp=sharing


From the bottom of all our hearts: Thank you Mr Boy.


Mrs Campher, Mrs Strydom and Mrs Caldeira are also leaving us at the end of the year. We thank them for their service towards our school and we wish them and their families well for the new chapters in their lives.


We are experiencing a new surge in positive tests of the Coronavirus in our community. I appeal to all of us to keep our guards up and to be responsible. Parents and guardians, please help us to promote responsible behavior from our young once and ourselves. Let’s do the little things correctly by:

  • Keeping the expected social distance from one another

  • Wearing a face mask correctly

  • Washing our hands regularly with soap

  • Keep rooms ventilated

  • Wipe door handles

I believe we can serve our community best by behaving responsibly and by spreading this message far and wide.


Please take the time to sit down with your son and view this video from myself regarding what is expected from our boys at the start of 2021:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k3quS-9eKggp7rmzBE6kb2s54BKCcFgD/view?usp=sharing


ACADEMIC MATTERS:

Matric results are scheduled to be announced in the press on 23 February 2020. NB - Please check the press for any changes to the abovementioned date. Kindly keep an eye on the printed press and visual media with regard to the possibility of registering for your results via an SMS or email system.


Text Books:

A Book list in respect of your son’s Grade for 2021 is included in the envelope with this newsletter, and has already been uploaded onto D6. The prices reflected on the Book list are those of our official stationery stockist, Spectra Upfront (in Bushell Street, Queenstown).


Stationery:

The Book list includes both text books and stationery required per subject. We received a very pleasant surprise this past Friday, when stationery packs from the Department of Education were delivered to school. These packs will be handed out by the form teachers with reports tomorrow, 15 December 2020. Uncollected stationery packs in Grades 9 to 11 will be handed to your sons on the first day of term in 2021. New boys in Grades 8 – 11 will receive their stationery packs at the beginning of the term as well.


Below is a list of the stationery included in the packs from the Department of Education. Kindly check these books against our stationery list for each subject; as there may be subjects in which you would still have to purchase the relevant exercise book or stationery item.


GRADE 10, 11 and 12

1 x A4 exam pad

4 x A4 2 quire notebook (ruled feint & margin)

1 x A4 graph book (36 pages)

7 x A4 College exercise books (feint & margin)

1 x 50 page flip file

2 x HB pencils

2 x blue ballpoint pens

1 x metal sharpener (1 hole)

1 x plastic eraser

1 x 30cm ruler


GRADE 8 and 9

1 x A4 exercise book (72 page) & unruled

9 x A4 College exercise books (feint & margin)

1 x A4 Nature Study book (72 page) feint & margin

1 x A4 2 quire notebook (ruled feint & margin)

1 x A4 graph book (36 pages)

1 x A4 eight column Cash Journal (72 pages)

1 x A4 Double Ledger book (72 pages)

1 x 50 page flip file

2 x HB pencils

2 x blue ballpoint pens

1 x metal sharpener (1 hole)

1 x plastic eraser

1 x 30cm ruler


CYCLE TEST PROGRAMME:

Although our 1st term Cycle Term Programme has been drafted and is ready to be published as per usual, we are not going to upload it onto D6 and our website until Term 1 next year. This is solely due to the fact that the Department of Education has issued certain academic directives, which may necessitate us having to change our Cycle Test

Programme.


DUX SCHOLAR:

The Queen’s Scholar for 2020 was awarded to Siyambonga Cengimbo.


D6 COMMUNICATOR

We are currently utilizing the D6 Application as our means of communication with parents, and it is a necessity that you download it from your PlayStore/AppStore. Kindly note, we will be moving to a new portal, EdAdmin during early part of 2021.

The link to follow to upload the D6 application is:

https://d6.co.za.education/downloads/


EDADMIN COMMUNICATOR

The Ed-admin Communicator is an application that runs on every parent’s cellphone. Information is automatically updated every time the school adds new content, even when the Communicator is not currently running.

The Ed-admin Communicator includes all the information parents need to know. News, calendar events, timetables, contact list & links to useful resources. There are also critical alerts for news that just can’t wait.

Download the Communicator now by downloading the cellphone application from your PlayStore/AppStore. The application will go live early next year. Communication will be sent accordingly in this regard.


COMMENCEMENT OF TERM 1, 2021

and COVID-19 REGULATIONS & PROTOCOLS TO BE OBSERVED:

  • We will continue with all 5 Grades attending school simultaneously.

  • The Grade Heads and form teachers will screen their Grades in as follows:

Grade 12 Old School Quad (entrance in Berry Street)

Grade 11 Memorial Hall

Grade 10 in the Quad next to the Computer Lab and the EGD classroom (enter via

Fletcher Street)

Grade 9 in the Quad between Rooms 19 and R21 (enter via Fletcher Street gate)

Grade 8 in the area next to the noticeboards closest to Room 22 (enter via Fletcher

Street gate)

  • Class will start promptly at 07:30 each day. Latecomers will be demerited.

  • There will be a 7 minute break between periods for sanitising, cleaning and movement purposes.

  • We will revert to our 9 day academic timetable.

  • School will end at 13:30 each day.

  • Teaching staff and boys alike will vacate the school buildings immediately after school to ensure that the cleaning staff are able to carry out their duties without any interruption.

  • Kindly ensure you make the relevant transport arrangements so boys are not hanging around the school unnecessarily.

  • Boys are to ensure that they wear a clean mask to school each day.

  • It is also advisable for your son to carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in his blazer pocket every day.

  • The Tuckshop will NOT be opening for the foreseeable future.

  • Please ensure that your son brings a packed lunch and something to drink to school every day. The boys may NOT drink water directly from the taps.

  • Due to Covid-19, we will not be able to accept any parcels of any kind at the school for your sons, including lunch parcels.

  • Full school uniform is to be worn to school each day. (Neither a jersey, nor a tracksuit top may be worn in place of a blazer).

  • New boys will be issued with a name badge (free of charge) once the order is received from our supplier.

  • Existing Queenians must ensure that if they have lost or misplaced their name badge, that they bring R30 to school to purchase a name badge from Mrs Webber in the Bursar’s office.

  • Everyone’s blazer is to have 2 buttons in the front (with only the top button done up).

  • All visitors to the school to enter through the front door of the administration building in Berry Street.

  • Unfortunately, as per Departmental regulation (Covid-19), you will need to make prior arrangements to consult with staff, the Headmaster etc.


PUPIL MATTERS:


Marking of clothing and other personal items:

Kindly ensure that all of your son’s belongings are marked, from his pens and pencils and other stationery items, to every item of his uniform and sports gear. The official QC school and sports bags also need to be marked on the yellow strip, which is specifically meant for this purpose.




Boarders:

Although all laundry is now done in-house, all parents need to ensure that their son’s clothing is suitably marked with either a sewn on label, or written in with a laundry marker.


Medical Boxes for Boarders:

It is against the law for the school to administer any form of medication, other than prescribed Chronic Medication. If your child is suffering from a minor illness that can be cleared up using “over-the-counter” medication then it is essential that he has his own supply of such medication.


We shall be pleased if the boarders’ parents ensure that their son has a Medical Box when he enters the hostel at the beginning of Term 1, 2021, eg Panado, anti-nausea and diarrhoea tablets, etc.


Hostels:

Athlone House has been revamped and will be re-opening in 2021 as our Grade 10 Hostel. Whitson House remains the Grade 8 and 9 Hostel; with Connaught House being the senior hostel for Grades 11 and 12.


Code of Conduct for Boarders:

Boarder parents, along with their sons, are to read and sign the updated Hostel Code of Conduct and return it upon entry to the hostels in January.


Grade 12 Prize Giving and Valedictory:

Fortunately, Level 1 Lockdown allowed for us to hold an indoor function with no more than 250 people in attendance (observing social distancing). We jumped at the opportunity and on the first day of term we held a joint Prize Giving and Valedictory Service.


Mr Boy was our Guest of Honour at the Prize Giving (and he will once again do the honours at the Grade 8 – 11 Prize Giving in February next year). Old Queenian, Father Thulani Gubula did the devotion and led everyone in prayer. Fellow Old Queenian, Mr Mathabe Mlilo (2000) was our Guest Speaker at the Valedictory Service; and brought a wonderful and inspiring message across to our Class of 2020.


The QCOBA arranged its annual Old Boys’ Tie and Badge function for the current Matric class on Wednesday, 9 December, after the final English exam. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, no parents were in attendance and it was a short and sweet affair. All Matrics who were present were awarded their Old Boys’ colours. A special word of thanks to the Master of Ceremonies, Mr Mike Boy, Mr Grant Knoetze, Chairman of the Mother Branch of the QCOBA; and to our National President, Mr John Hockey, who sent a virtual message from his home in KZN, together with short messages from the Chairmen of the Foundation Branch in Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, Cape Town, East London and Port Elizabeth.


GRADE 11 and GRADE 10 IDENTITY DOCUMENT / CARD

If you and your son have not yet applied for his RSA identity card (and he is 16 years of age or older), please do so this coming holiday.


When you write your Grade 12 trial exams, you MUST be able to produce your original ID Card / Book at each exam (which is checked by the Department of Education official / monitor in attendance), so the sooner you apply for your Identity Card the better …..this year some Grade 12s struggled to obtain their IDs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it was a mad rush for everyone concerned to ensure that they had proof of application before their exams commenced.


Once the ID is received your son can bring it to Mrs Chellew or Miss Villas in the office and they will make file copies.


SCHOOL FEES:

Outstanding 2020 fees will be handed to our Attorney, Maurice Shadiack, on 15 December 2020.


Should any parents be experiencing difficulties adhering to their payment arrangements, kindly contact our school fee Bursar, Mrs Cate Webber, on debtors@queenscollege.co.za

Fees not paid by Debit Order are required to be settled strictly in advance, monthly, and where applicable, in full on or before the first day of each term.


A 5% discount is applicable in respect of school and hostel fees paid in full for the year by 31 January 2021


BOARDER PARENTS:

Please check your son’s report enclosure envelope – a slip should be attached to your statement of account, which your son needs to show to his Hostel parents upon re-entry to the hostel at the beginning of Term 1, 2020. Boarders, who do not pay by debit order, will not be allowed into hostel unless their fees have been settled in full for the term. Boarders who have outstanding fees from 2020 may not return to hostel.


Should no slip be attached to your account, kindly contact the Bursar, Mrs Cate Webber, at the office on Monday 25 January 2021 between 08:00 and 15:30. (Entrance at the front door in Berry Street).


STAFF MATTERS:

Earlier in the newsletter we bid farewell to Mr Mike Boy; as well as the other staff members who are leaving at the end of this year.


Mr Boy’s office will remain vacant, until such time as his post is advertised in the Departmental Bulletin; and a suitable candidate appointed. We are hopeful that this delayed Bulletin will be published early in the new year.


We bid farewell to Ms Nomsa Meyi, who officially retires on 31 December 2020. Unfortunately, Ms Meyi is unwell, and due to her co-morbidities, has been unable to work at school since the inception of lockdown. ‘Beyonce” as she is known to some, commenced duties, like Mr Boy, in the year 1982, where she was appointed as a General Assistant in a Governing Body position. In January 1990, Ms Meyi was appointed into a State position, which she has held ever since. Ms Meyi worked at the old Queen’s College Laundry complex; and when it closed down in 2006, she commenced duties at Bisset Hall, which is where she has remained until her retirement. A celebratory function was scheduled for 11 December, but due to a Departmental regulation, we were no longer able to have this function. Hopefully, we will be able to hold this function early in Term 1 in 2021.


On 30 September 2020, both Ms Naomi Dinge and Mrs Vivian Xintolo, retired from active service. Both ladies commenced their duties in January 1990 at the Central Laundry. When the laundry closed in 2006, Mrs Xintolo moved to Bisset Hall, where she worked with Catering Managers, Mr Tim Fletcher, Mr Gilbert van Zyl, and most recently with Mrs Veronica Barraud. Ms Dinge moved from the Laundry to Connaught House, where she was a stalwart member of staff. Ms Dinge worked under Matrons Peta-Jane Osborn, Michelle Henson and from May this year, Akhona Mjuleni. A farewell function was held for these two special ladies on 22 October, where they were presented with a retirement gift; and their long service awards. It was indeed a fitting send-off for these two lovely ladies.


In January 2021 we welcome the following staff members:

  • Old Queenian Mr Mbasa Xoseka (2010) (who some may remember as Mbasa Kamte). Mr Xoeka has a BCom degree; and will be studying towards his Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). He will be joining the EMS and Accounting departments as an intern.

  • Mr Mluleki Msomi who has a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering; and he will be joining the Maths and Physical Sciences departments as an intern.

  • Miss Sililitha Qhaqha is a 2nd year BEd student at Nelson Mandela University and will be joining us for the first term as a student teacher.

We are pleased to advise that both Mr Rowan Richards and Mr Juan van der Merwe have both recently announced their engagements. Presumably, wedding bells will ring when the Covid-19 pandemic is just a bad memory!


CULTURAL MATTERS:

Our Debaters were able to participate in a number of virtual debates during the year, which helped to keep their spirits up. We have recently been approached by Bede’s School in Sussex in the United Kingdom, where they have asked to have a virtual debate against our debaters at the beginning of 2021. The debate will more than likely take on the format of a formal World Schools Debating style, but we are open to exploring other debate styles. We are very excited by this upcoming fixtures on our calendar.


The Ecowatchers have elected Mninawe Mayekiso as their Chairman for 2021, with Lilitha Taki assisting as his Vice-Chair; and they will be ably assisted on their board by Austin Brody, Indiphile Mateza and Alizwa Sibawu.


Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to so many activities, fundraisers and even our Cultural Awards dinner, where we honour our Queenians who work tirelessly in the year. However, at the Grade 12 Prize Giving, we can advise that the T H Glover Award for his cultural contribution was shared this year between Lewatle Nomyayi and Thabang Sibuta.

Certificates of Excellence were awarded to the following Grade 12s at their Prize Giving held on the first day of this term, 2 November, namely:

Junior Damane, Othandwayo Mahashe, Asathi Mpondwana, Anje Ndzandza, Lewatle Nomyayi (Acapella), Milani Bontshi, Lewatle Nomyayi, Yolo Sodela, Jibin Varghese (Chess)

Nicholas Asafo Agyei, Kwame Kodua, Kwakho Kula, Aviwe Ndzakayi, Onke Nqebe (Ecowatch), Aviwe Ndzakayi (Choir), Bukhobenkosi Gushman, Thabang Sibuta (Debating)

Justin Campher, Taine Duncan, Logan Hartley (Marimba Band), Lukhanyo Ntshweni, Dillon Oelofse (Queen’s Quote), Siyambonga Cengimbo, Siza Magwentshu, Ntembeko Msutu, Yamkela Poni, Yolo Sodela, Joshua Sotondoshe (SCA).


SPORTING ACTIVITIES:

We were only able to follow a full sporting programme in the 1st term, whereafter everything was turned upside down and no sport of any kind was allowed. We have only recently been allowed to make use of our gymnasium facilities, with certain regulations in place; and our cricketers were given the all-clear by CSA (Cricket South Africa) to practice, after our facilities had been checked.


During Term 1, the following Athletes met the qualifying times / distance for Honours, namely:

Buhlebenkosi Kahla and Emihle Mketo. Congratulations to these two fine gentlemen, who were honoured at the Grade 12 Prize Giving recently.

The following Certificates of Excellence were awarded to:

Terance Heidtmann, Buhlebenkosi Kahla, Emihle Mketo, Chumani Ndzane (Athletics)

Aqhama Magwebu, Aziyena Mankantshu, Anam Nomeva, Alungile Tshunungwa, Lukhazimla Xabanisa (Basketball)

Sihlalo Benge, Aviwe Hoko, Liyema Mgwigwi, Lwazi Sogiba, Janse van der Ryst (Cricket)

Mthokozisi Magaga, Robijn van der Westhuyzen (Cross Country)

Jade Julies, Othandwayo Mahashe, Jason Russell, Lwazi Sogiba (Hockey)

Farouck Ally, Kagiso Ally, Sihlalo Benge, Junior Damane, Taine Duncan, Euan de Jager, Terance Heidtmann, Aviwe Kanuka, Liyema Lisa, Ryan Maree, Usiphile Mayekiso, Curt Vermaak, Qhawe Yawa, Mnombo Zozo (Rugby)

Justin Campher, Jade Julies (Squash)

Colby Green, Logan Hartley, Jason Russell (Tennis)

Taine Duncan, Thabang Masithela, Okuhle Spelman (Waterpolo)


As per our Facebook post recently, we can advise that there have been some happenings on the Queen’s College sport scene:

On 31 October, Ryan Gudmanz (Grade 8) participated in the 5th round of the Border Motorsport Club Karting Club Championship in East London. Ryan finished 2nd in all three heats and was awarded 2nd place overall in the senior Clubman’s 125cc. Well done Ryan!

Onke Ntontela (Grade 9) represented Border at the U15 Qhawe week in 2019. This year he was selected for the National Qhawe week team, which was meant to participate at the National Grant Khomo week. He was awarded with a certificate for his efforts.


Lihle Sizani (Grade 11) was selected to represent the Warriors franchise team that will play in the National Franchise week to be played in Stellenbosch from 10 – 14 January 2021. We wish you everything of the best Lihle.


Congratulations to Mr Loyiso Botomane, Mr Akhona Mjuleni, Mr Innocent Ndou and Mr Tyrone Rankin on successfully completing their CSA Level 1 Cricket Coaching course.

Our Cricket Professional, Mr Rowan Richards, was one of two Border Candidates who were invited to the CSA Level 3 Cricket Course, which he gladly accepted.


TERM DATES FOR 2021:

Please take very careful note of the term dates for next year, which are as follows:

1st TERM Wednesday 27 January to Wednesday 31 March

2nd TERM Tuesday 13 April to Friday 25 June

3rd TERM Tuesday 13 July to Thursday 23 September

4th TERM Tuesday 5 October to Wednesday 8 December

(We undertake to advise you should any changes be made by the Department of Education).


IMPORTANT DATES FOR the 1st TERM 2021:

Our 1st Term Calendar of Events is published on both the D6 Communicator and our website (www.queenscollege.co.za).


COMMENCEMENT OF THE SCHOOL YEAR 2021:

  • All New Boy Boarders to check into hostel by 16:00 on Monday 25 January 2021.

  • Meeting in the Memorial Hall on Monday 25 January for all new boys and their parents at 17:00.

  • All current Boarders to check into hostel by 17:00 on Tuesday 26 January.

  • The 1st term commences for pupils on Wednesday 27 January, with school commencing at 07:30.

  • Mike Boy Fun Run on Friday 29 January at 18:00. Tickets are R15,00 each and this is a compulsory event for all Queenians. (Do not feel obliged to run – you may walk too!)

SCHOOL GOVERNING BODY ELECTIONS:

Please be advised that these elections will take place on Friday, 5 March 2020 – the venue for these elections will be announced closer to the time. (We are hoping, as usual, to hold our election in the same venue as Queen’s Junior, GHS and Balmoral, but the Covid-19 regulations may well dictate whether or not this will be possible). You will receive more detailed information in this regard at the start of the first term in 2021.


We are looking forward to 2021. The year is undoubtedly going to pose new and challenging questions to us. Let’s prepare ourselves to be ready to deal with those challenges even better than we have done with the challenges 2020 brought. We have the utmost faith in our community that we will not only survive, but that we will thrive during 2021 and beyond.


Please stay safe and rest well.


Esse Quam Videri.

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ESSE  QUAM  VIDERI

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