Letter from the principal 17 April 2020

BY Mrs K. Stear

Letter from the Principal: 17 April 2020
Dear Learners and Parents
We now have entered the fourth week of lockdown. ONE of the proposed dates for schools to reopen is 4th May for teachers and 6th May for learners, although there is much speculation about this and the situation is fluid. The Minister of Education has stated that NONE of the scenarios are, as yet, concrete.  According to the Department of Basic Education’s Draft Post Covid-19 Lockdown Recovery Plan, ONE of the scenarios is for two grades to be phased in at a time. These are the tentative dates for learners to return to school according to this scenario:
Grades 12 and 7 - Wednesday 6th May
Grades 11 and 6 – Wednesday 20th May
Grade 10 and 5 – Wednesday 3rd June
Grades 9 and 4 – Wednesday 17th June
Grade 8 – Wednesday 1st July
It is stated that schooling will only resume after the Department of Health has given the green light that it is safe to resume schooling. We therefore await further direction from the Department of Health, our President, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the Department of Basic Education.  Let us be weary of rumours that circulate regarding educational matters as the draft proposals are still draft proposals and it is too early for there to be any certainty as to the way forward in education.
The implication for our learners though is that they need to keep up with the work being set by the teachers as they do not have a due date for the work as the return date is so far undecided.  When the teachers send new work, the expectation is that the learners have worked on former work sent and are up to date. 
I encourage our girls to keep working steadily and calmly through the homework supplied to you by the teachers. I have heard of cases where certain girls have not done much of the homework set as they feel that they still have “plenty of time.” Girls, to do this is foolish! I urge you to get working as there is only one person who can ensure that you are not disadvantaged severely by this pandemic, and that is yourself. Decide for yourself that you are going to be motivated, that you are hardworking and that you are not going to let yourself down!
I have also heard of so many cases where girls are being extremely diligent and working as much as possible, seeking assistance from the teachers, other learners and from the Old Girl tutors. Well done, girls! I am extremely proud of you. Your maturity will stand you in good stead.
The teachers and I miss seeing the smiley Riebeek faces. I long for the day when we can be reunited as a school and get back to our primary aim of educating our beautiful girls. Together, we will overcome this, girls.
I thank the teachers again for their constant efforts to keep the homework flowing and for being so positive and supportive. I again urge our parents and learners to note that different subjects and different grades require different approaches and different amounts of work.  Please stay committed to believing in the teachers and the work they are setting. 
Note too that we continue to use email, the d6 and Whatsapp groups as our primary means of homework communication.  Remember that the d6 (for MTN users) and some websites are zero-rated for data usage. Data is probably the most important educational tool at the disposal of our learners and I ask that parents make every effort to provide sufficient data access to their daughter/s and that data be used sparingly by all when it comes to entertainment sites, where data is limited, to allow the girls access to any available data in the household.  Note too that where data is limited, learners can be innovative and use their notes and textbooks as tools for consistent revision and abundant reading.
I would like to offer a couple of suggestions to help you endure the continued lockdown. Create a purpose for each day: something you would like to achieve. It can be any number of things such as cleaning out a cupboard, doing some art work, sewing or knitting, running around your house a number of times. It will make you feel happy with yourself and you will feel upbeat. This is beside the homework that you are doing daily. Then try to do a certain amount of exercise daily as this definitely elevates your mood and makes you happier. Give your day structure instead of sitting around being bored. One of the best things you can be doing is READING. All girls from Grade 4 to Grade 12 should be reading! Remember to also look after yourself mentally and emotionally. Be gentle with yourself and those around you. Talk to your parents and siblings with meaning as this will also stave off boredom.
Stay safe all.
Best Regards
Mrs Stear

 April 17, 2020
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