June 2, 2017

St Cyprian’s School – Principal’s Newsletter

2 June 2017

Dear St Cyprian’s School Parents, Girls and StaffThe first week of exams has come to an end and it is clear that all of our girls have worked hard in preparation for this necessary assessment time. I am pleased to see that a number of them have also worked hard on keeping their stress levels under control, utilising one or more of the tactics that we speak about regularly at school – mindfulness, controlled breathing and progressive relaxation. Enough sleep, a little exercise, a healthy diet and a move away from cramming at the last moment all go a long way towards managing stress too!

It is always useful, at exam times, to be reminded of our educational approach – one that values ongoing reflection and goal-driven, steady improvement. We always say that the High School phase is a marathon, not a sprint, but if one continues to train hard at the sprints as well as develop long-distance fitness, ultimately one will get the desired results. If this realisation becomes entrenched, it really builds self-efficacy and resilience. And our mission talks to the desire to build life-long, independent learners.

The practical exams in Art, Design, Music and Consumer Studies have yielded an extraordinary standard of work within time constraints, and the girls can be justifiable proud of what they have achieved. Many of these will be on display during our Eisteddfod Week at the end of term, so please take the opportunity to go and see/hear what has been produced.


Over the years, we the staff have also worked hard at entrenching the habit of reflection around what we do and how we do it. The academic staff use the assessments, as well as their exposure to best practice, to consistently inform the teaching and learning that happens in their classrooms as a matter of course. At management level, the focus is on the operational and organisational efficiencies and the strategies that ensure that we “walk our talk”. We are all feeling the effects of the acceleration of change, and certainly the growth in the school has had a great deal to do with this. Thus strategies, systems and frameworks that worked well in certain areas even two years ago, are starting to creak.

Our track record right at the moment is an excellent one and confirms that we have made remarkable strides in our target areas: Academics are strong, Arts and Culture grow steadily each year and Sport has shown enormous growth and delivered astonishing results through the policies, processes and academies that we put in place. But as any great strategist will tell you, that is exactly the time to change.

And so we have committed to an internal audit to establish where we may be falling short of our own standards, and what the unintended consequences of some decisions may have been, in order to determine the road forward. Input from teachers, coaches, girls and parents has caused us to start the process of self-analysis, and ultimately we will be doing some research across all stakeholder groups to gather some specific insight to feed into our planning. Look out for a survey before the end of term.

PLEASE also diarise the date of the WHOLE SCHOOL Parents Meeting and PA AGM next term – Thursday, 27 July

and make an effort to attend.


We have had a very busy few weeks in the Music Department, taking part in the Sans Souci FACETS competition, the DSK Battle of the Bands and the Cape Town Eisteddfod. In addition, we have had a number of fantastic Lunch Time Concerts.

Well done to all students who took part in the various events. A particular congratulations go to the Grade 10 Marimba Band who tied for first place in the High School Marimba Band category of the FACETS competition. Congratulations go also to Niamh Ahern who was awarded the

Kawai Award for Best Contemporary Performance 14 years and under

for her entry in the modern piano category of the Cape Town Eisteddfod. We are extremely proud of the High School Choir who achieved first place in the High School Choir category in the Cape Town Eisteddfod. They have also been awarded the

C&D Barnes Medal for Senior School Choirs

along with a R1000 cash prize. The results were as follows:


Our Mathematics Club girls enjoying the sunshine and opportunity to share their passion for Maths.


A crew from EXPRESSO, the morning television programme on SABC 3 visited us on Wednesday 24 May to interview Grade 11 girls for the ‘AMPD’ section of the show. The following girls shared their responses to questions regarding mentorship at high school level: Luna Johnson, Josie Thom, Hannah Nelson, Daniela Cruz, Chloe Steward, Rachael Johnston, Cassidy Bachmann and Mukuka Musonda. The clip will be aired on EXPRESSO on Monday 5 June between 07:00 and 08:00. Please tune in to see our girls ‘in action’.


Saturday 3 June

11:00-12:30 Jazz Band – CT Big Band Jazz Festival Outreach Concert –

Baxter Concert Hall

Tuesday 13 June

12:00-14:00 PA Lunch Club

Friday 16 June

Public Holiday


My sincere thanks go to all of you who have already signed up to host students for 3 nights in October, when the conference moves from the CTICC to the school. With the help of the Class Liaison Parents we will be following up with you individually, particularly around your ability to provide separate sleeping spaces for boys and girls, and also whether you are able to comfortably and safely transport the number you have offered to host in your vehicles.

In terms of what is required, please note that you and your daughters/family will not need to entertain the students at all. Thus matric students can also offer to be involved in this way.

The programme is full, and so what we will need is for you to collect your guest/s between 20:30 and 21:00, take them home for a shower, provide them with a bed and light breakfast the next morning, and return them to school by 07:45.

We are still short of anticipated “beds”, although we are awaiting final confirmation of numbers from Round Square Head Office. As soon as we have the final numbers we will be able to ascertain how many more we need and may approach you.

This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of an extraordinary conference, which is unlikely to come to Cape Town again for the next 8-10 years.


Fifteen of our girls entered the renowned Cape Town Art Eisteddfod competition. We had four prizewinners across different categories as well as 6 High Honour’s certificates. Furthermore, St Cyprian’s School got the first prize for the school with the most certificates for the Art and Design category. The organisers commented on the high standard of work that the school has produced and we are very proud of our students.

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Tel: +27 21 300 6500 | Fax: +27 21 461 8473

Photography by Chad Henning Photography