Message from the office
I can’t believe that it is the 1st of May already. If life had continued as normal we would be coming to the end of a month into our second term. It has been 45 days since we’ve seen our girls and 44 days since we gathered as a staff and said our farewells at school. Nothing could have prepared us for what was to lie ahead and still there is so much uncertainty ahead of us. I have to remind myself to take one day at a time and to keep faith in the abilities of the amazing staff at VP and of course our extended community, including and more specifically our wonderful parent body who all have a vested interest in our precious little school. We have to rely on each other and work together to ensure that we do what’s best for the little girls who are entrusted in our care. I pray for God’s hand over all of us during this time.
Many of you probably listened to the Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga’s address last night. She has proposed that the school’s SMT will return on the 11th May and that the teachers are to return on the 18th May. I would like to stress that if this does happen, we will NOT be open to the public until we have ensured that we have the proper sanitization and protection in place for everyone’s safety. We will be available however on our school phone or on email. It was further proposed that the Grade 7s will then return on the 1 June.
One of my biggest concerns is that the issue of hostels has not been addressed. I have contacted both NAPTOSA and the Education Department for clarity on this. I ask that you please be patient with us as we consult the relevant parties. I do understand that this will have financial implications for both the school and you as parents. Please trust that we will inform you of the plans going forward regarding the hostel as soon as we have all the details and I have consulted with the SGB.
Ms Motshekga did however mention in her address that these dates still need to be approved by the NCC (National Command Council). As we hear news and updates from legitimate and relevant sources, we will keep you updated as often as necessary.
During the next few weeks we wish to assure you that we will endeavour to make sure that we meet all the necessary requirements to ensure that our school is safe and ready for our girls’ return, if this proposal materialises.
In the meantime we will continue to send work home on the D6 app and our website. For the Intersen Phase we will be sending memos home on Monday for the work the girls have already done so that they can assess for themselves, if they are on track and to amend things while the work is still fresh in their minds. We will start sending work on a weekly basis for the week following. Our next set of work will be sent next Friday, the 8th May. We are hoping this may help your daughter manage her time more effectively.
The Foundation Phase and Preprimary have been sending work home on a weekly basis and they will continue to do so. I trust that you have found many of the activities lots fun to do with your daughter. We aim to keep our girls’ minds and bodies active and to keep them on track.
When the school premises is deemed and approved as safe we would like to make worksheets and books available for collection from school at a later date.
This morning I took the opportunity to go for a lovely walk on mountain drive. It was wonderful to be out in nature again and I am no longer in the ‘dog box’ with my dogs.
As always, keep safe and keep the faith
Mrs Michelle Rafferty
Messages and images from the VP community:
Hey everyone. I hope everyone is doing well and coping with their schoolwork. I know this is a very uncertain time for us and it’s hard staying in our yards, but if we all play our part by washing our hands and staying home, we can get through this together. I know we all can’t wait to see our friends and get back to our normal lives. I would just like to thank the teachers for their hard work and effort. I know we will come back better than ever.
Lots of love, Tara Bettridge.
Reverend Denise Herbert who is based in Scotland, tirelessly seeks donations for the work Dr Lisa Brown does for our girls, not to mention often donating out of her own pocket. She receives our newsletter on a weekly basis and she often emails me a message in response to it. I have copied a section of her email which I believe helps make us aware that the whole world is in this together:
Reverend Herbert writes: “We have been permitted to go out once a day to exercise – in England people are now allowed to drive to a walking spot as long as the walk is longer than the drive – though not sure how they can monitor that but in Scotland we can only walk or run (depending on one’s inclination) from home. So every evening in the past month that we have had lockdown I have walked for about an hour or just over. I have found new foot paths to follow and seen how nature is changing day by day as Spring gets going and the days get a bit longer. Unfortunately I have not been able to photograph birds as they hide too well but they are doing their best to sing merrily, to find a mate of course, each early morning and evening. I have a chaffinch, blackbirds, sparrows, coal tit, pigeons and two robins coming to the bird table to feed on the seed I leave out for them – watched at times by the ginger teenage cat from next door – which I have to shoo away.
I have put together some of the photos I have taken during this time of nature at work. I am extremely fortunate to be living in a very pretty area – so though we might be cold – lately the sun has been shining but we do have a very cold wind, and living on a steep hill where the village is built – we pick up wind almost constantly. So I am still well wrapped in winter clothes. Now of course you are heading for autumn and winter, and whilst you might have bright blue skies and sunny days I remember how cold it can be at night and always feel sorry for those living in shacks and poor housing and how hard it must be to keep warm.
I don’t know if you would have space in the newsletter for the pics. But simply to add that I have been thinking of you all and wish everyone teachers, pupils and their families well during this difficult time and to say you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Every blessing, Denise. “
Wild cherries in blossom