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Published by St Alban's College, 2019-01-23 03:42:50

Newsletter January 2019

Newsletter January 2019

Tel: +27 (12) 348-1221 110 Clearwater Road
Fax: +27 (12) 361-1917 Lynnwood Glen
Cell: +27 (82) 458 0250 Pretoria 0081
Twitter: @ShaneKidwell
 Private Bag X01 Lynnwood Ridge
Email: [email protected] 0040
South Africa
Shane Kidwell BA (UP) HDipEd (PCE) LDP

22 January 2019

Dear Parents

It is wonderful to be able to welcome you back to a new and exciting year at the College and I sincerely
wish you every blessing as we partner in raising young men who will continue to play a significant role in the
future world.

I am pleased to be able to celebrate the wonderful Matric results of 2018 and we continue to be very proud
of what our boys achieve. These young men continued to improve on their results as they progressed through
their school careers and their final examinations were the best results they produced in their five years with

What is important to note is that the Matric Class of 2018 achieved 158 distinctions in their Form 3 year, 159 in
Form 4, 122 in their Prelim exams, and 185 in their final examinations. In my view, this is a wonderful
improvement over the years.

Our 2018 results certainly reflect the effort of this group of young men.

100% pass rate
124 candidates and 185 distinctions

2 candidates with 8 distinctions
 Matthew Field
 Aydin Geeringh

5 candidates with 7 distinctions
 Louis De Jager
 Gabriel Dos Santos
 Keroshan Pillay
 Galen Schrempel
 Thomas Stern

5 candidates with 6 distinctions
 Max Berry
 Cameron Davis
 Kian De Gray Birch
 Dillan Laubscher
 Keegan Robus

6 candidates with 5 distinctions
 Daniel De Villiers
 Nicholas Elias
 Vium Gronum
 Rein Hulme
 Bradley Johnston
 Sungkwang Park

3 candidates with 4 distinctions
 Greg Kirkcaldy
 Liam Smit
 Luke Teixeira

67 candidates with at least 1 distinction
92% of students received a university exemption. (114 out of 124 candidates met the minimum requirements
for Bachelor Degree Studies.)

It takes a school with vision to prepare a young man for lif1e


National Achievements

Congratulations to the following boys who achieved marks that were in the Top 1% of candidates in that
subject in the IEB:

 Louis De Jager for Afrikaans
 Reinhold Hulme for Afrikaans
 Keroshan Pillay for Business Studies
 Matthew Field for English, Life Sciences and Life Orientation
 Gabriel Dos Santos for English

Much has recently been written about the Matric results in the press and in my opinion we have to be careful
not to judge our sons by one indicator or by only their Matric results. As I continue to tell the boys at the
College: they are not their Examination results. In fact, they are far more complex than that, and although
Matric results are an indicator of effort and resilience, they are certainly not an indicator of future success.
Walker Percy, (the American novelist) in the Second Coming, said: You can get all A's and still flunk life and I
think schools (and parents) should be careful of judging their children (particularly their sons) on only their
Matric results - life is so much more than this.

So, as we celebrate a significant set of results I would urge you to ensure that you remember your own journey
through school: your anxiety and struggles and your joy and determination to achieve your best and how this
journey taught you the life lessons which stand you in good stead now. Carol Dweck defines a growth mindset
as: In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication
and hard work - brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience
that is essential for great accomplishment. (Dweck, 2015)

At St Alban’s College we endeavour to ensure that our young men develop this love of learning and see
themselves as always evolving, growing and learning. We also encourage engaging with difficult problems
and building the resilience and confidence to keep trying. I find great pleasure in talking to Old Albanians
who continue to find the joy in learning, discovering, exploring and solving complex problems. I get a sense
that the skills they learnt at the College continue to allow them to grow as human beings and drive them to
make the world a better place.

Dweck goes on to say: If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their
children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep learning. That way, their children
do not need to be the slaves of praise. They will have a life-long way of building and repairing their own
confidence. So, as we enter yet another year, I would encourage you to urge your young men to face
struggles head-on, to get involved in areas of the College which will allow them to grow and to support them
when it’s difficult and to cheer them on when they have shown the resilience and effort required for success.

It is also important to note that it is our belief that we can continue to improve the results of our boys if we
focus on the processes of learning and ultimately encourage the love of learning, exploring and discovering.
There are a couple of changes to our daily routine which in our opinion are going to encourage our boys to
be more rigorous in their academic endeavour. For far too long now we seem to have operated a four-and-
a-half-day week in our academic programme and this has disadvantaged our boys in the long-term. We
endeavour to offer a holistic programme at the College and we cannot allow our Friday afternoons to keep
being eroded if we are wanting our boys to improve their academic performance. It is also important, in our
opinion, to ensure that boys find something which they enjoy, other than playing computer games, and it is
with this in mind that we have placed the Clubs and Societies time on a Friday afternoon. Although this
programme has not necessarily worked well in the past, we have included many new clubs to encourage
boys to find something which interests them and I look forward to boys engaging in a meaningful way.

Matric Prelim Examinations

Another way in which we have claimed back time for academic rigour is to move the Matric Prelim
Examinations. I am encouraged by many of the positive changes we have made to ensure that your sons
continue to thrive in this environment and, whilst I have communicated with Matric parents, I would like to
inform you that we have moved the Matric Prelim Examinations from July to September. This will allow us to
build an academic rhythm in your sons’ final year with us and allow us to complete the syllabus before we
contemplate the Prelim papers. It will also allow Matrics to be more focused and determined to use the
August break as a time to prepare for their final examinations.

It takes a school with vision to prepare a young man for lif2e


Staffing 2019

I am excited with the academic team we are attracting and developing at the College and I have every
confidence that we continue to ensure that your sons are exposed to many of the best educators in the
country. We welcome a number of new staff members to the College at the start of this year:

 Dave Pryke joins us as Housemaster of Ochse House, 1st XI Cricket Coach and Science Teacher
 Sandra Schwartz joins us as a Senior Science Teacher
 Nobuhle Mtshali joins our Marketing Department
 Lazarus Khuzwayo joins our Zulu Department
 Guy Elliott joins us as our new Director of Hockey and will be teaching English
 Jaco van Wyk joins us to start our new Drama Department
 Sonica Bruwer joins the French Department
 Deidre Preussler, who joined us as a part-time staff member in the EMS Department in 2018, now joins

us in a full-time capacity
 Callan Moore joins the English Department
 Ben Mogoswana has taken over in the Printing Room

We welcome these families to our community and I have no doubt that they will enable us to be better
versions of ourselves as we seek to create an exciting learning and thinking environment at the College.

Mathematics Teaching and Support

Mathematics continues to be a subject which evokes a range of emotions and the Deputy Headmaster:
Academic Affairs, Magalan Pather and I have decided to appoint a project leader in the Mathematics
Department to deal primarily with researching and solving some of the anxieties related to this subject.
Kevin Smith, Senior Mathematics Teacher at the College, has been appointed to this position. Kevin will be
committed to engaging in the following issues:

1. Researching and implementing mechanisms to improve top-end students’ results.
2. Researching and implementing mechanisms to assist those students who find Mathematics

3. Communicating with parents across the Forms regarding innovation within the Mathematics

4. Establishing a support programme for Mathematics – workshops, individual and peer support.

Please feel free to contact Kevin should you want to discuss an issue regarding Mathematics.

Academic Director: Learning Innovation

Dr Glynnis Moore has been appointed as our Director of Learning Innovation and I am excited by the
experience she will bring to this role as we seek to prepare our young men for life. Included in this role is the
responsibility for Professional Development at the College and although St Alban’s continues to be a leader
in this area, I have no doubt that Dr Moore will continue to enable staff to grow and learn as we progress.

A school is only as good as the teachers employed there and I am grateful that we continue to attract
educators who are making a significant difference in the lives of our boys but it is incumbent on us to continue
to grow and develop all staff members as we progress.

We have had a wonderfully affirming start to the year and I would like to thank all the families who attended
the Inter-House Gala. There was a wonderfully authentic sense of community and I look forward to engaging
with you as we navigate through 2019.

Yours sincerely

Shane Kidwell

It takes a school with vision to prepare a young man for lif3e

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