From the desk of Mrs Meikle - Headmistress
Term 2, with all that it brings, is already in full swing. On the academic front it has been a busy 2 weeks with not only the normal classwork and homework loads that accompany the start of a new term, but with the Life Sciences’ and Business Studies’ excursions to Wits and the CCMA respectively, the writing of the second round of isiZulu and Maths Olympiad second rounds and the Grade 9 and 11 Career’s Day thrown into the mix. Parents and pupils will also have received emails outlining the assessment dates and the subject assessment weightings for each grade – new initiatives undertaken by Mr Ruiz Mesa as he steps up formally into his position of Deputy Head of Academics.
The winter sport and cultural programmes are also keeping staff, pupils and parents busy. The first weekend of the second term saw our hockey and rugby teams taking a clean sweep of victories at Redhill, with our netball teams competing exceptionally well at District Champs at St Andrew’s. In addition, our senior debaters competed in their first championship round of the SACEE league last Saturday and final rehearsals were held all week in preparation for the FEDA performance of “Limbo” this past Friday evening.
I am currently conducting placement interviews with applicants from outside of the Kyalami Schools Group for Grade 8 2020. It is reassuring to note that the College has a stellar reputation in our community and that the institution is held in high regard by those seeking high school places in our area. In this regard, I was humbled to have one particular parent share with me the feeling he got when he first set foot on the campus on Open Day earlier in the year. He said his first impression of the College was one of “feeling like I was home”. He was awed by the fact that our pupils stood up and greeted him as he walked past, that they stood aside for him to pass on the corridors and that they offered to assist without hesitation or embarrassment. He explained that he was schooled in a small town in KZN, where manners and decency were high priorities and said that this was the first high school he had visited in Johannesburg where our pupils clearly understood and modelled those values. It is rare these days for anyone to say that about teenagers. At that moment I realised that I was more proud of who our pupils are than what our pupils can do.
In keeping with these values, I encourage our parents to also remain positive in their support of our College teams, especially in our highly competitive winter sports programme. Please remember that each player in the team, not just your son/daughter, needs positive support and encouragement from the side of the field. Passing negative comments about the mistakes of your child’s teammates is not helpful to anyone. I also discourage you from denigrating the behaviour or skill of the opposition players. Most importantly, I ask that you refrain from shouting challenges and remarks at the referee or umpire while the match is in progress, or indeed after the match has finished. It is difficult enough to teach our players to play with respect for the rules and the referee’s decisions without our supporters modelling the exact opposite on the sidelines. There will be bad calls in every match and dealing with these without losing focus is an essential life-skill which every pupil must learn.
Watching our 1st Hockey Boys compete in the A section of the Aitken tournament this weekend certainly reinforced for me the importance of good sportsmanship and focused play. I am extremely proud of the achievements of our hockey boys over the past 5 years. Playing against the cream of the sporting schools in Gauteng has challenged them in new ways and they have stepped up to the plate beautifully.
Despite their well established sporting prowess, enormous strength and depth of the established boys-only schools, who are our main competitors in the A Section, our teams have once again pulled off numerous convincing victories. Winning at this level was never going to come easy, especially against the likes of St John’s, St Stithian’s, St Benedict's, Parktown, Jeppe and KES. Our boys have had to improve their skills and their tenacity and have also had to learn to deal graciously with defeat along the way.
Last year, well behind to Jeppe in the Aitken final, our First XI visibly dropped their heads and it was clear to all present that they had lost their belief. This year, the final was a different story altogether. Behind by 2 by the middle of the second chukka, the boys dug deep and fought back to 2-3 by the end of the third. Still behind, the final chukka was a remarkable display of skill, courage, tenacity and determination - right up to the final whistle. Although the scoreline did not change, what did was the belief of every spectator in the stadium that Beaulieu could do it, and that they were worthy and deserving of being winners on the day. Our boys left everything on the field, showing true spirit and unfailing commitment to representing their school. I could not be prouder of their efforts, even though they did not secure a win. They say “you are only beaten when you stop fighting back” That being true, our hockey boys walk away unbeaten in my mind, whatever the score.
Mrs Danielle Meikle