A change is as good as a holiday

The October break started off with a few rainy days: the whole farm has turned into a lush green paradise and the city streets are covered with a purple jacaranda confetti.
With your help the school raised a fair amount of money with the Raffle and the Women’s Day Tea. A very generous anonymous donor approached the school and paid another R10 000 into the school’s account. With the money raised we have started painting the roofs of the school buildings and everything is looking like it had a fresh lick of paint. Isobel Esterhuyse also donated paint for us to give the Red Hall a much-needed overhaul. Our maintenance team was quite busy during the break: fixing, clearing out, cleaning and renovating and the school grounds are starting to take on a whole new appearance.

Staff matters:

  • Oneira Pretorius, the class 9 guardian, fell and broke her femur in the week before school closed. She will more than likely not be able to return to school to teach before the end of the year and a letter was sent out to the middle school parents of how we will be covering Oneira’s classes during this last term. Oneira will be retiring at the end of the year and we will be interviewing candidates to fill her position from the start of 2018 in the next few weeks.
  • Chantelle Offerman’s (class 5 guardian) husband was in a very serious motor vehicle accident on Friday, 6 October. He was airlifted to Milpark Hospital’s Trauma Unit with 12 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a broken vertebra and a punctured lung. He has already had an operation to fuse his back and remains in a serious but stable condition in the ICU.
  • Cornelia Pretorius’ (Middle School science teacher) brother was killed in a car accident on Saturday, 14 October near Ellisras in Limpopo.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our three colleagues and we wish them and their families strength, grace and love during these trying times.
We also have to bid a fond farewell to Hanako Ishigame and her family this coming week. The Ishigames came to South Africa three years ago on a diplomatic posting and Hanako with her dynamic and enthusiastic approach to, well, everything, almost immediately asked if she could volunteer at our school. Anyone who got to know Hanako better will tell you that she is a very talented woman with many different skills. She  accompanied the Eurythmy classes and the school choir with her beautiful piano playing. Hanako also helped out with crafts, coaching the fire dancing for the Winter Festival, doing movement classes at The Kindergarten, organising the Japanese day earlier this year with her friends from the diplomatic community and countless other things.
(Who will forget how she attended last year’s Winter Festival two days after the birth of her youngest to accompany the choir – she even climbed a hedge to reach the piano!)
Hanako, we will sorely miss your quirky sense of humour, your appreciation of all things South African, your eagerness to learn everything about Waldorf education and your willingness to pass on your own skills. We wish you, Keiji, and your five beautiful children a safe journey back to your home in Tokyo and all the best for the future!
Although we have had a tough year thus far, the College of Teachers have remained a very strong, loyal and cohesive team of people. As Marguerite de Clercq also pointed out in a staff meeting this past Friday, the amount of support they have continuously given each other during this past year, is testament to the character of this amazing group of people. After all they have been through, the focus never shifted from our first priority: a steadfast dedication in giving our learners a first-class Waldorf education.
Some important reminders:

  • Our class 9 learners will start writing their exams on Monday, 6 November. We wish them all the best and we trust that all their hard work over the past year will be reflected in their marks on their final reports.
  • The hostel OUT weekend will be from 10-12 November. All boarders are expected to leave the hostel by no later than 15:00 on Friday, 10 November.
  • School closes for the fourth term on Wednesday, 6 December at 13:45.
  • School re-opens for the 2018 academic year on Wednesday, 17 January.
  • We still have some branded clothing items available in the school office: t-shirts, golf shirts and fleece jackets in a variety of colours and sizes. Please contact Thea on admin@thewaldorfschool.co.za to place an order, or pop into the office to have a look.
  • Please mark your children’s clothing clearly! It is tough finding the legitimate owner of an unmarked school shirt or jacket…unclaimed items end up in the school office where we keep it for the term after which we donate the clothing to Lethabong.

Our learner numbers are strong (we are currently standing on 250 learners) and The Kindergarten is fast becoming our biggest support in building our school from the ground up.

Please help spread the word about The Waldorf School and tell other parents of all the many advantages of the Waldorf Way for their children.
Tell us if you are unhappy or unclear about any aspect at The Waldorf School: we encourage open lines of communication between home and school. We would like to encourage you to establish a good relationship with your child’s class guardian and use them as your first port of call. For any unresolved, or unrelated issues you are welcome to contact the following people:

  • Zelde Rischmüller (Business Manager) on 071 688 6443 or zelde@thewaldorfschool.co.za
  • Thomas Franken (Chairman of the Board) on 083 252 3799 or thomas@rosemaryhill.co.za

Good luck for the 2017 home stretch!