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End of Term 1 Letter from our acting Head of College

End of Term 1 Letter from our acting Head of College

Dear College Parents and Friends 

The first term has drawn to a close. After the uncertainties of January and the delayed start to the academic year, Oakhill showed, once again, that we certainly do embrace opportunities wherever we can. After two weeks of Oakhill online the campus adjusted to working at full capacity and it was wonderful to see all our pupils back, interacting with each other and settling into the ‘new normal’ routines. We were delighted when the sports department received the go-ahead to begin to offer some activities and the campus was abuzz with the inter-house events that were held. House points were earned and we were proud to display them on the new inter-house points board that the matric cohort of 2020 gifted the school. (We hope that this will be mounted on the wall in the College Quad during the holiday). 

We ended the term with the shift to the winter sports codes and hockey has resumed on the astro at the OSC. The other winter sports will begin in the new term. 

We have some exciting news that I would like to share: Our Netball coach, Larry Tembo, has been selected as the Eden Senior Netball Team coach and will travel with the team to Cape Town during the holiday for a regional competition. We wish him and his team all the best and look forward to him being able to share the insights he will gain through this process with our own teams next term. 

The Grade 10s left on their Odyssey from 10 March. The groups had to endure another week of online education while they were in pre-Odyssey isolation and were certainly ready to embrace the adventures that they are currently undertaking. We may ask ourselves ‘Why Odyssey’? Click here to remind yourself why we feel this Oakhill tradition is so important for every child as it instills the values that we believe in at Oakhill. We look forward to their return from 30 March to 1 April. 

The last week of term saw a change in rhythm as alternate programmes became operational: The Grade 8 and 9 groups were lucky enough to have day trips to Harkerville and the beach. This was interspersed with other talks and some academic input too. They were also constructively active on their PBL projects. The Grade 11 group went off on their job shadow programme and the matrics stayed at school and were involved in an academic camp (with some leadership input at the OSC in an effort to offer at least a glimpse of the Grade 11 Leadership camp that they were sadly unable to attend at the end of last year). 

When Term 2 resumes on 14 April, we anticipate a happy, busy and energised environment. We are moving into winter, so please do check to see that all winter uniform items still fit. The chino shorts become the shorts option from now on, with the navy blue shorts being used solely for sports.

A number of our senior students have reached the age where they can become licensed scooter, motorbike or motor vehicle drivers. If they are going to use their own vehicles please remember that the school policy is that they need to complete a registration process to gain permission to bring the vehicles to school. The form can be completed here. 

Early in Term 2, staff will be available on multiple afternoons for short parent-teacher meetings: As per the College calendar, teachers will offer times in weeks 2 and 3 between 15:00 and 18:00. We encourage parents to book a time with teachers. The calendar will indicate when teachers are available. We will share detailed booking instructions closer to the time. 

Please remember that the term calendar will be uploaded to the school website. Use this to help navigate through the term. We also encourage parents to use ADAM, our mark system, to track how your child is progressing throughout the year. 

As you all know, Term 2 is an exam term. The exam dates have been set and the timetables will be issued early in the new term. 

  • Grades 11 and 12 exams will commence on Friday, 21 May. (Thursday, 20 May will be the last academic day and we do expect our students to honour their commitments and to attend school on this day). The matrics will write their exams off campus at St Boniface Catholic Church Hall in Queen Street. Grades 8, 9 and 10 exams will commence on Monday, 31 May. 
  • All exams run until 18 June. 
  • Exam papers will be returned and remediation activities will dominate in the last week of the term when staff will go through exam papers thoroughly. Again, please be aware that all pupils are expected to attend school during this week. 

The Elevate team will be supporting the exam preparation process and will be at school on 14 April to offer a study skills session to our Grade 8 and 10 students, with a second session for Grades 8, 10 and 11 on 23 April. 

As we prepare to relax and enjoy the holiday and Easter, Passover or Ramadan, I would like to remind everyone that we cannot afford to relax our vigilance regarding Covid-19. In the words of ISASA Executive Director Lebogang Montjane: 

Now that we are at the beginnings of the vaccine rollout and suffering from pandemic fatigue, I encourage membership to remain steadfast in continuing to implement non-pharmaceutical interventions. It is precisely when the end seems to be in sight that it is natural for people’s vigilance against consistent implementation of prophylactic measures to wane. Even after educators get vaccinated, the need for non-pharmaceutical interventions will remain. ISASA’s plea then, is that, if remote meetings among adults is possible, let us select that option until we, hopefully, see the pandemic subside.

I wish every member of the Oakhill community a happy holiday. Recharge batteries, relax and become energised again. Stay safe. 

Kind regards,
Mrs Sharon Brown 
Acting Head of College

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