Dear Parents The best thing about the start of the new school year

					Principal’s Newsletter 01/2009

23 January 2009

Dear Parents The best thing about the start of the new school year was the welcome sight of a smiling Mrs Maureen Botha back at work after her very serious illness. She has courage, energy and spirit in abundance and is an example to us all. If you took the trouble to attend our Opening Assembly on 14 January you will have enjoyed our board medallists offering very personal and individual perspectives to our new Grade 8s and first time matric skirt (and shoe) wearers in particular. I always love that individuality. I enjoyed Palesa Phutsisi’s account of her unsuccessful Midmar Mile attempt followed by renewed determination and commitment culminating in a moment of intense pride and satisfaction at success the second time round. That taught her more than a year’s schooling, she said. There’s also something special about the six Big Sky buses we park at the foot of Thaba Nchu Mountain. Two and a half hours later the last stragglers get to the top of the mountain and look down at the tiny buses which look a day away. In no time we’re back in Bloemfontein having shared a sense of purpose and a morning of true beauty. It’s the best value I know for R 50. Thank you to Mr Ferdi van Wijk for all his organisation. We had decent staff participation. In fact, their energy so early in the year deserves recognition: Mrs Emsie Bouwer, Mrs Joy Kroon, Mrs Jacqui Truter, Mr Leon van Rensburg, Mr Tiger Muller, Mr Marius Coetzee, Mrs Rani Schutte, Ms Rozanne Marais and Mrs Anmaré Harris. It is a pleasure for me to welcome three new personalities to Eunice. Firstly, Mrs Norah Tuckett, a past head girl of Greenhill Convent, who earned a B.Bibl Degree majoring in English and Librarianship, and served the Bloemfontein Public Library for 25 years. She takes over the Eunice Library and will help out with Grade 8 English. Mrs Rani Schutte was deputy head girl at Witbank Technical High School where her father was deputy principal. Her matric distinctions in Technical Drawing, Computer Studies, Building Construction and languages will hold her in good stead as our Grade 8-9 Technology and Computer Literacy teacher. She holds a B. Consumer Studies Degree from the University of Pretoria. She also has au pair experience in the USA where she cared for five year old triplets. Eunice should be easy after that! Mr Ruan van der Merwe is a Sentraal old boy who, last year, completed an honours degree in Sport Science at Free State University. He worked as a conditioning coach to the Kovsie hockey teams and joins Eunice as our Astro Manager. Every year I give parents a full report on our Matric Results. Having been the Top School and the Top Mathematics and Physical Science School seven times since 2000, it is important that I place Eunice’s nonappearance at the top in 2008 in proper perspective. We have a hard earned reputation as the province’s top academic school and I can assure you that your daughter’s school is at the top of the pile. With the advent of the New Curriculum Statement (NCS) Matric the department has used a new top schools formula to replace the pupil aggregate average (60 % of formula), pass rate ( 20 %) and university exemption rate ( 20 % ) criteria which made up the old formula. The new formula incorrectly measures quantity at the expense of quality. The new criteria of the new formula stresses pass rate with Eunice’s 100 % pass earning it only 22 out of 40. 40 out of 40 goes to Tsoseletso for its 289 passes with no regard for the pass rate or the quality of the passes. Jim Fouche is the top school because more pupils pass not because they have

better marks. The Maths and Science Award also ignores marks and counts numbers. Eunice has both the highest Mathematics and the highest Physical Science average in the province. The same applies to other subjects such as Afrikaans First Additional Language, Accounting, Life Science, Art, Computer Application Technology and Dramatic Art. I could share with you the internal schedule I prepare each year where I show our staff our school’s performance in each subject in relation to the province’s top eight schools. However, I don’t think it would be professionally acceptable for me to publish the results of other schools. I will present the results in full detail at the PA AGM in the IT centre on Monday, 26 January at 17h30. Even a cursory glance at the province’s results will confirm Eunice’s results in a class of their own. Excuse the principal’s damaged ego but so many parents (and pupils) have asked me to explain. Our 100 % pass for the 23 rd year in succession is a real blessing and a tribute to our teachers who go the extra mile in helping our borderline girls. There is no question of gate keeping –failing girls in Gr 11 to ensure 100 % in matric. We have not had a Grade 11 failure in many years. Perhaps the best measure of our approach is to be found in the Life Orientation results which reflect school based assessment only (no external Matric Exam). Our 168 girls produced 22 distinctions as opposed to the big four Bloemfontein schools who produced 132, 157, 126 and 120 distinctions. This means that Eunice produced by far the largest total of exam distinctions despite being nearly 100 pupils smaller than the ‘top’ schools. If you think I’m being pathetic, you’re probably right. Sorry. Detailed results are attached. GRADE NINE parents need to be aware as explained in my December newsletter that their daughters will attend the Zastron Adventure School from 9 – 13 March. This educational initiative will cost R 400 (including transport) which will have to be paid by the end of February.

Mrs Mag Marais is offering a group of 56 girls the chance to attend a performance of High School Musical in Johannesburg’s Teatro at Montecasino on 7 March. The cost is R 390 (the ticket is R 250 and the bus fare is R 140) and is on a first come first served basis. Girls need to realise that this tour clashes with the Fichardt Park Sports Day as well as the SFS Athletics Championships. Decisions need to be taken in consultation with Netball, Hockey, Tennis and Athletics coaches. We have, at parents’ request, ordered a Eunice Totum Bag – the specially constructed orthopaedic school bag which costs R 450. The first order of 25 bags was taken up on the day of delivery. More have been ordered. Girls who want this special bag need to see Mrs Marais. She currently has stock available in her popular ‘No Excuse Range’. Her mini-shop is situated in the office she shares with Mrs Botha. Her shop in the theatre which catered for new girls was so professional. Thank you, Mrs Marais for the style you add to so many Eunice extras.

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Congratulations to three of our top debaters who attended the National Debating Competition in Gauteng in December – Amy Wiliamson (Grade 12), Minjon van Tonder (Grade 10) and Laura-Jane Watkins (Grade 10). All three showed loads of promise and performed admirably. Amy was ranked 10th in SA and was included in the Top 12 National Trial Squad, while Minjon was ranked 10th in the junior national category. Well done, girls. Our swimming season is well under way with three busloads of girls preparing for the Midamar Mile on the 9th of February. Our girls went to the Grey swimming gala on a wet Wednesday night, but swimming is not the real attraction. It’s the scenery they enjoy! We’re off to East London next week for the National Girls’ Schools Aquatics hosted by Clarendon Girls’ High School. Our new Grade 8 boarders are looking forward to next weekend, too – their first free weekend – as well as the leave out weekend after that (7 – 9 February). It is always sad to report on a tragic accident. Leanné Maritz (Grade 12 /2008) lost her Mother in a horrible December accident just two short years after her Father died of a sudden heart attack. Leanné, herself, suffered serious leg injuries and her little sister was on the critical list for some time with a serious head injury. Both girls are much, much better. They are often in our thoughts. Our deepest sympathy, too, to Mrs Frances Coetzee, whose Mother passed away in the holidays after a long illness. We’ve had a good start. You have lovely, lively daughters who make Eunice a fun place to be. A little too noisy at times for an ageing principal, but we’re learning to lower the volume. It’s what a good school is all about – love and learning.

Paul Cassar Headmaster




86 82 74 64 168 168 91 25 64 68 40 168 82

80 - 100 A 40 59 6 20 37 27 30 10 26 0 23 11 0

70 - 79 B 27 17 30 18 50 101 28 9 16 13 11 56 5

60 - 69 C 14 5 22 15 35 27 21 3 9 28 6 68 24

50 - 59 D 5 1 13 9 29 11 6 1 7 19 0 28 29

40 - 49 E 0 0 3 2 12 0 6 1 5 8 0 5 18

30 - 39 F 0 0 0 0 5 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 5

0-29 G 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

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