Principal's Newsletter Archive Issues

Principal's Newsletter Issue 3, 2nd Term 2015

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Second Term 2015 Newsletter (06/08/2015)

Girls' College Principal, Mrs Ross

Principal, Mrs Ross

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

The long winter term has finally come to an end.  Exams are over and, hopefully, gave us an indication of the effort that was put into their preparation. With public exams drawing closer we ask parents to be conscious of their daughters state of health as we have been very concerned about the number of absenteeisms this term.  We are aware that there was a vicious strain of flu around and many students were affected by this.

We would like to thank Sister B. Hendricksen for looking after our Sanatorium for the last 8 years. She has decided to retire and we welcome Sister G. Moyo who started with us this month.  Mrs N. Lunga is leaving us to “move to greener pastures”, and we wish her well in the future. We say all the best to our two maids as they go into retirement.  Between them they have given 55 years service to the College.  We would also like to thank Miss L. Williams and Mr T. Mufunda, both of whom were on attachment with us.  They leave to complete their studies.  Mr T. Pongweni will be with us on his attachment from Gateway Training Centre for the next few terms.

Some extra lessons for Cambridge students, will be conducted online these holidays if staff feel the need for this type of extra tuition is required. Past papers can be sent to staff and will be marked analysed and returned.  A lot of pressure has been put on schools by Ministry in opposition to lessons being conducted at school during the holidays. We are hoping this method will also benefit our boarders who live out of town. As we only have 19 days of formal school next term there is a lot of pressure on staff and pupils to ensure complete preparedness before the first exams are written.

Principal's Newsletter Issue 4, 2nd Term 2017

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Second Term 2017 Newsletter (12/05/2017)

Girls' College Principal, Mrs Ross

Principal, Mrs Ross

Dear Parents/Guardians,

A warm welcome to everyone as we start the cold winter term. In particular we would like to welcome Mrs T. Mungure who has joined us in the French Department. We wish her and the new girls who have joined us this term a happy and long association with the College. Other changes to staffing this term: Mrs Y. Watson has taken over as Head of Department Art; Mrs L. Mills, having been Head of Year Form 3, will now look after the Form 2s as their Head of Year; and Mrs N. Chimbima has been appointed Head of Year Form 3. We thank them for accepting these added responsibilities and are sure the girls will benefit from their guidance. Mrs S. Naik has returned this term in a part-time capacity, and Mrs A. Glover will be joining us to cover the Form 3 Child Development classes.

I'm happy to report that during these last holidays we managed to carry out a great deal of general maintenance in preparation for another busy term. As a result, and with the good rains which fell last season, the fields are looking particularly good.

We begin this term with our inaugural Junior Schools Hockey and Netball festival on Friday, 12th May, which we hope will be supported by parents and well wishers. It’s a great opportunity for our 1st teams to show their organisational skills, as well as a chance for coaches to sit back, relax, and see their players in action in preparation for the new season. The Parents Assembly will host a social afterwards, to which junior school parents have been invited, and I'm sure it's going to be a lively and fun event as always.

Principal's Newsletter Issue 2, 1st Term 2017

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First Term 2017 Newsletter (16/02/2017)

Girls' College Principal, Mrs Ross

Principal, Mrs Ross

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

Congratulations to our I.G.C.S.E. students whose results were not reported in my beginning of term newsletter as they came out on Tuesday 17th January. We have managed to improve our pass rate by 1% again this year, to record the best ever results at Girls College of 85%. Special mention must be made of Carolyne Chege and Jamie Sommer who each had 6A*'s, 3A's and 1B. In our second group the top student was Leah Berger who had 3A*'s, 4A's and 2B's. In our third group Iphithule Nkomo was the top student with 1A*, 2A's, 1B and 3C's, closely followed by Rebecca Nash with 2A's, 5B's and 1C. Our fourth stream students did us proud once again this year with 5 students having more than 5 I.G.C.S.E. passes. Well done to Ashleigh Hugo with her 2B's and 3C's.

These students have all received their colours, half colours and commendations at our Academic Assembly, which was held on Thursday. Another successful year, which Girls' College can be proud of. A sincere thanks to staff and parents who guided them through this period, whether academically or emotionally.

The term has once again been very busy with many internal and external activities. Our successes have all been recorded in our Sentinel, on our Facebook page (Girls' College) or on our web site (www.girlscollegebulawayo.org). Hope you are managing to keep abreast of all of these.

Your daughters should be returning to you for the exeat weekend with a hard copy of their mid-term progress report and an invoice if there are any school fees which are outstanding. If there are "blanks" on the mid-term report this might be due to your daughters late start to the term, late change of subjects or tests which have not been written for one reason or another. If you have any queries please do feel free to contact the front office or myself after half term. We are trying to "go green" so will not give out hard copies of reports for the rest of the year. Soft copies were emailed to you on Wednesday evening and should you not receive this please let us know as we can then follow up that we have your correct email information.

Principal's Newsletter Issue 5, 2nd Term 2017

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Second Term 2017 Newsletter (22/06/2017)

Girls' College Principal, Mrs Ross

Principal, Mrs Ross

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Well we've survived the first half of the term and I'm sure we'll see the next few weeks through as well, notwithstanding the added stress of students writing mid year exams. The Form 4 exams begin the Wednesday after half term, with the majority of other students starting exams on July 3rd. Our Girls' College entrance exam for prospective Form 1's 2018 is on Saturday, July 1st, which coincides with a very hectic Saturday of sport on our fields. There will be hot coffee and tea on the go the whole time, no doubt much-needed in this chilly weather, so please feel free to join us. A copy of the exam timetable will be sent out on our D6 Communicator and we would ask parents to know where their daughters are at all times.

Girls' College was extremely sad to lose the services of Sister Grace Moyo during the term; having been bonded to the Ministry of Health, she was recalled to continue her studies. We are in the process of interviewing candidates, but would like to thank Sister Hendricks for coming to our rescue and moving from part-time to full time for this period.

We are also sad to be losing the services of Juliet Musakwa (Seke), who has been in the Home Economics Department of the College for 33 years. She has been struggling with a swollen knee for some time and is retiring on medical grounds. We wish her well and thank her for her loyalty. We know she'll be sorely missed by past and present members of the College.

We've really focused this term on improving our communication with parents, and I hope you're receiving all our communications via the different channels we've been using. In case you're still having difficulties, we'll post again how to use the D6 communicator at the end of this newsletter. Our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages are also avenues for updates if you wish to use these platforms.

Principal's Newsletter Issue 3, 1st Term 2017

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First Term 2017 Newsletter (06/04/2017)

Girls' College Principal, Mrs Ross

Principal, Mrs Ross

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

Thank you all for working with us, and getting through this particularly busy first term of 2017. We believe the lovely rains we have had helped us all. Thank you for your understanding when fixtures were changed as a result of these rains.

At the end of this term we say a sad goodbye to Mrs B. Huni who is joining her husband in his business ventures. We wish her all the best and sincerely thank her for her huge input into various areas of the school, having been with Girls’ College since January 2000. She will be sorely missed by all.

We held a very successful Academic Assembly prior to half term in February and again our congratulations to all our recipients of Full Colours, Half Colours and Commendations. For 2018 we have reviewed the criteria to get these awards. This is more in line with the point system used for entry into universities or tertiary institutes. For Full Colours at I.G.C.S.E., students will need to have between 38 – 40 points, from their best 8 subjects. At Cambridge A.S., between 17 – 20 from the best 4 subjects and for Cambridge A.L. between 13 – 15 points from the best 3 subjects. An A or an A* = 5 points, B = 4 points, C = 3 points, and at A.S. and A.L., a D(d) = 2 points and an E(e) = 1 point. Copies of these criteria and those for half colours and commendations will be displayed in class rooms.

Thank you to those parents who returned their general information sheets to the College before Tuesday 4th April. School reports were sent via email last night using this updated information. Pupils will be given hard copies of their reports after final assembly today. Next term we will only be sending soft copies, as we should by then have all updated information from parents. Could we kindly request, that if any information should change you notify the school office. As from next term we will be communicating with parents via an app (free download) called "d6 communicator". Many schools in Zimbabwe have already adopted this platform and it will hopefully be a less cumbersome way of keeping parents informed of school activities. It is a one-way communication platform, but staff will be able to use this to pass information on to students in individual subjects about homework and other assignments, as well as sports and cultural groups. We will send out more details at the start of next term, when a pilot scheme would have been tested.

Principal's Newsletter Issue 9, 3rd Term 2016

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Third Term 2016 Newsletter (08/12/2016)

Girls' College Principal, Mrs Ross

Principal, Mrs Ross

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

We made it!  A sincere thanks to staff, parents and pupils who have helped us to keep the momentum going till the end.
Starting our 2017 timetable and welcoming back our Upper 6th students on Monday 14th November, has allowed a lot of work to be completed as Cambridge syllabus have all been started, with many topics now completed.

We are losing a few teachers at the end of the year and the list was given at Speech Day.  Our two teachers who are retiring, we wish them well and those leaving us for new challenges we hope they have every success in their new ventures. Obert Ngwenya is retiring after 33 years at Girls' College and a few years before that at Queens Court Hotel where he worked in the laundry room to begin with.  He will be a huge loss to the front office, and I know parents, staff and pupils will join us and the Board in thanking him for his loyal service to the College.

City and Guilds results are nearly all out and congratulations to our Business Administration students and staff in achieving an overall pass rate of 85%, to date, with 336 papers being written at different levels.  Of these results 177 were First Class passes.  Our Cambridge A.S. and A.L. results are due out on Tuesday 10th January, and I.G.C.S.E. results a week later on Tuesday 17th January.  Results will be distributed to students once a clearance certificate has been handed in to the front office.  A reminder to parents that this is the student's responsibility to have filled in.  They were given the form prior to Speech Day in October and have been continually reminded to have it completed in good time.

The school calendar has been posted on the web page and a hard copy will not be printed by the school.  We are trying to cut down on the use of paper, in an attempt to save trees, costs, and make us all more technically conscious.  This will be the last time students are given a hard copy of their school reports as this will only be sent electronically next year.  If you are facing challenges in downloading this information, please phone the front office and we will try to guide you through the process or suggest someone who would be able to help you.

Principal's Newsletter Issue 8, 3rd Term 2016

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Third Term 2016 Newsletter (12/10/2016)

Girls' College Principal, Mrs Ross

Principal, Mrs Ross

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

By the time you receive this newsletter our Speech Day will hopefully be over, and the new prefects for 2017 announced.  We wish them all the best as they take over the reigns and follow another successful prefect body who left a legacy with their theme for the year, "Reach for Greatness, the Choice is Yours".

We do spend a lot of time on this prefect selection and often girls are chosen because we can see they can be moulded into future leaders. Senior pupils and staff have a chance to vote and then a long process of interviews with Form teachers, Subject teachers and Sports/Cultural/Club patrons begins.  This process is then concluded with selected students coming before the School Management team for final interviews.  Those who feel they have been overlooked are challenged to continue to try hard and not give up as extra prefects may be chosen at Academic Assembly in February.

Speech Day is always a special day at the College as it gives us a chance to reflect on our achievements during the past year and acknowledge the hard work done by staff and students.  It is also a chance to thank all those who serve the College in numerous different roles.  They are all valuable members of the team and without their dedication to their areas of responsibility, this would not be the great College that we are.  The entrance to the College with its "purple carpet", the welcoming administration staff and academic staff all play a vital role in the results we are celebrating today.

Cambridge Exams are starting earlier and earlier and thanks go to those for juggling invigilation times with teaching and giving extra help to examination students where needed. City and Guilds exams have also begun in earnest, and we wish our candidates all the best. This Wednesday we had three Cambridge exams being written, one a practical in the science labs, where the chairs for Speech day were being set out.  Eight of those students writing today are prize winners.  There is also an A.B.R.S.M. music exam being written across the road at the Deysel House to avoid distracting exam candidates, who, once finished will be expected to join the orchestra and make harmonious music.

Principal's Newsletter Issue 4, 2nd Term 2016

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Second Term 2016 Newsletter (04/05/2016)

Girls' College Principal, Mrs Ross

Principal, Mrs Ross

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

A long 14 week second term has started.  The calendar came out during the holidays and was posted on our webpage, www.girlscollegebulawayo.org.  We hope that you are availing yourself of this technology as we at the College are trying to be proactive in "Adopting, Adapting and Improving our teaching, by embracing Technology" this year, as was our theme at the start of the term.  Our Facebook page, Girls' College, had a facelift this holiday, and we will try to keep parents informed of our regular triumphs in these challenging times. Please do 'like us' to keep in touch.  Positive comments are always well received.  Our weekly "Sentinel" will be sent out regularly with our highlights for the week and our upcoming events.  The Girls' College webpage committee will be overseeing the updates on this site.

We welcome back Mrs Rundle from maternity leave and hope the twins cope without her continual presence at home.  We welcome Mrs C. Jones who will be joining the boarders in Junior Hostel as their Matron this term and Mrs K. Gopal will take over the Lina Ferreira Hostel.  Mr David De Swardt (Credit Controller) leaves us at the end of May and Mr A. Joelson will no longer be coaching the Girls' College tennis teams, but will still be running his Academy from the bottom tennis courts.  We wish them all the best and thank them for the service they gave the College during their time with us.

Principal's Newsletter Issue 5, 2nd Term 2016

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Second Term 2016 Newsletter (04/08/2016)

Girls' College Principal, Mrs Ross

Principal, Mrs Ross

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The long term has ended and we have all survived.  Our sincere thanks to the staff for keeping students focused and working hard till the very end.  While doing my report today we have had 59 students absent, 27 day scholars and 32 boarders.  This is cause for concern, especially as some girls have convinced parents school has closed!

We appreciate that after consultations, where parents have travelled long distances, it seems logical to take their daughters home with them.  Staff have been challenged to keep students working to term end, as next term pressure is really on with Cambridge bringing exams earlier and earlier.  From the first day next term lessons begin in earnest, so please assist and ensure your daughters are here at the start of term.  If you have any concerns about work being missed with absenteeism, please contact the front office. At present staff are giving classes holiday homework with schedules of when this needs to be in, as well as arrangements being made to assist students during the holidays.  Cambridge students cannot afford to be off school as it will be very difficult to catch up next term.

To avoid this absenteeism at the end of the term, next term consultations will be held on the last day of term.  Parents will be informed of the detailed arrangements at the beginning of next term.  Lower 6th students are reminded that they are due back at College on Monday 14th November to begin their A.L. course, having completed their A.S. Cambridge exams.  We will begin our 2017 timetable, with our new prefects etc. taking control in earnest, before the start of the new year when we will welcome our new Form 1's.

Principal's Newsletter Issue 3, 1st Term 2016

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First Term 2016 Newsletter (23/03/2016)

Girls' College Principal, Mrs Ross

Principal, Mrs Ross

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

The end of term is here! A sincere thanks to everyone for all the work that has been done to get through everything in this short term. Due to the lovely rain a few events have had to be cancelled and will be organised for early next term.

Miss L. Warrick, a hostel matron, will be leaving us at the end of the term and we wish her well. Next term we look forward to welcoming back Mrs A. Rundle who has been on maternity leave. We hope she is ready to leave her twin boys, and come back to the sanity of girls.

As per my last newsletter to parents, your daughters will receive a hard copy of their reports on Wednesday as they leave school. Together with this will be the school invoice and a copy of the 2015 College magazine. School reports and invoices will also be sent electronically. We hope to revert back to sending these electronically at a later stage, but systems at home and sometimes at College seem to have glitches which we are not able to control. We seem to spend numerous hours with service providers trying to work out what causes these delays.

The College calendar has not been completed as some sports fixtures have only just been received and we are trying to stream line these more so that our pupils are not being expected to travel every weekend. We are sensitive to the costs incurred by parents and the College by these frequent 'away from home' fixtures. Unfortunately Harare schools seem to have the monopoly in controlling these and are often insensitive to our needs or requests. Once this is finalised, to the best of our ability, we will post this on our web page www.girlscollegebulawayo.org