The Horse's Mouth
Thomas More College
News from the Horse's Mouth
 19 January 2015
Newsletter 01 

Letter from the Editor

Please find the Scripture for the week here.

Welcome back!  A warm Thomas More welcome to our new families.

    Some points of particular interest in the expanded sections below include:

  • Shane Cuthbertson - welcomes old and new families back to school, and compliments the Matric group of 2014 on their outstanding Matric results.

  • Allan Chandler - welcomes families back to school and reminds parents and pupils of some 'house-keeping' rules and regulations throughout the year.

  • Barbara Taljard - in keeping with welcoming families back, also takes the opportunity to introduce new staff and congratulate the 2014 Matrics on their outstanding results.

Welcome to the following staff members - High School - Louise Whittal, Burnette Taylor, Heather Pattenden, Louise Erwee, Justin Lanz and Scott Drew

Senior Primary - Candice Mordecai-Jones, Jason McGarry and Jocelyn McDaniel

Foundation Phase - Jill Balarin, Courtney Rogers and Taryn Tretheway


Congratulations - Mrs Jane Phipson (neé Sparg) on her marriage to Howard Phipson in the December holidays.  Wishing them much joy and happiness together.


Communicator - please ensure that you update the channels for Term 1 applicable to your child/children.  The download link for the School Communicator is as follows: http://www.school-communicator.com/download.php


2015 SP & HS Family Camping Weekend

Venue : Glengarry

Date : 27 Feb to 2 March (Term 1 Half Term break)

Bookings : info@glengarry.co.za

Phone: 033 2677 225

Fax: 033 2677 392


Thomas More College Coffee Shoppe
Please support our Coffee Shoppe whilst waiting for your little ones to finish school or sport, or why not miss the morning traffic down Fields Hill by grabbing a coffee and clearing your email inbox before you get to the office.  Great coffee, scrumptious breakfasts, light lunches, moreish milkshakes and cakes to delight all taste buds.  Free Wi-Fi available to patrons.


Congratulations to the Matrics of 2014 on their results.

Have a great week,
Kim Hooper
Marketing Manager

Google Calendars for parents

We plan ahead as far as possible for test dates and sporting fixtures, and so information gets added into these areas often. For this reason, we have set up a number of different Google Calendars to allow parents and students to access information as soon as it is available, so that they may also plan ahead.

We have a separate calendar for each Grade’s academic deadlines starting from Grade 5 onwards. This allows teachers to make sure that a grade is not getting overloaded with deadlines bunching up. We also have separate sporting calendars for each Phase of the school.

We have included a section at the end of the newsletter to explain google calendars in more detail.

Your login details for the portal have been included in the email sent to you for this newsletter – please note the easy to use address for the portal: http://parents.thomasmore.co.za



Achievements   Extra-mural Calendars   Academic Calendars
Week Ahead  Quick Links
Monday 26 January SP Championship Gala - Patrick Akal Pool (TMC)
Tuesday 27 January SP Individual and Class Photographs - Peter Habberton Hall
  SP Championship Gala - Rain Date
Wednesday 28 January FP Individual & Sibling Photographs
  SP Cricket vs Sarnia - Home & Away
  Grade 7 Zenith Course
  PPA Meeting
Thursday 29 January FP Individual & Sibling Photographs
  SP Staff Development
  Grade 8 - 11 Prizegiving - compulsory attendance by all HS pupils
Friday 30 January Grade 2 and 3 Dads and Lads Cricket
Saturday 31 January SP Cricket vs Sarnia - Home & Away


Scripture for the week


“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow” Hebrews 13:8

A very warm welcome back from me, especially to all those who are new to the Thomas More Family. I hope and pray that you all had a blessed Christmas and a wonderful holiday. Many thanks to all those who supported the Carols By Candlelight last year, we managed to raise R3 245.20 for Orphan Aid. Well done and thank you.

Change if we like it or not is inevitable. It can often bring about a roller coaster ride of emotions within us, both excitement and fear: New Year, new schools, new jobs etc. In this ever changing life we need to have anchor, a rock on which we can hold onto, when sometimes the whirlwind of change comes violently upon us. In Hebrews 13:8 we read that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His love for us does not change- Yes, He is disappointed in us when we disobey Him but like the loving parent He is, our Father in heaven continues to love us.

Psalm 102:25-28 tells us:” In the beginning, LORD, you laid the earth's foundation and created the heavens. They will all disappear and wear out like clothes. You change them, as you would a coat, but you last forever. You are always the same. Years cannot change you. Every generation of those who serve you will live in your presence”. What a blessed assurance that is for all of us in this world of constant change, that there is a loving God we can hold onto.

Shalom (peace)

God bless
Rev. Martin Easson

Whole School News

Welcome back for a happy and successful 2015. I would like to extend a particularly warm welcome to all our new families. We hope that by now your children have settled in nicely and that you have a long and rewarding stay with us. We have of course started the year four days before most of our neighbouring schools. This does not mean that we will have more school days than others. The minimum number of days is laid down by government regulations so we will benefit with slightly longer holidays during the year.

We were absolutely delighted with our 2014 Matric results. Although this was a solid group, they had not shown as much promise as some of the previous years. In the end however they truly delivered. All passed on either the Batchelor’s Degree or Diploma level with not a single child with a Higher Certificate or Senior Certificate. 92% achieved University Exemption which is our highest ever. Further details will be provided later by Allan Chandler.

One of the goals we have set ourselves this year is to ensure that everyone understands the various channels of communication open to them. Towards the end of last year I had a few parents comment that they had to look in too many different places for information. May I remind parents that all the channels are available as links from the Horse’s Mouth home page? These include the Newsletter, the Parent Portal, the Communicator and the Academic and Sports Calendars. It is also possible to access the Lift Club Scheme, the weekly calendar, the classifieds and the School Days card scheme.

Shane Cuthbertson
Executive Principal

High School News

Welcome back to 2015. It seems like only yesterday that I was giving a welcome to 2014! The year has started with very few hitches, and we are well into the swing of things.

Please will you pay special attention to the following as the year unfolds:

a. Regular attendance at school by your child.

b. That correct uniform is worn every day and that your child’s appearance meets the requirements of the School Code. Please make sure that when you drop off your child, they are neatly, orderly, and correctly attired.

c. Please drop High School pupils at the top and make use of the easy stop, drop and exit procedures. Pupils are able to walk to their class.

d. Please do not block the entrance to the car parks by stopping in a no stop/no parking area, even if this is right next to the steps.

e. The last day of every term is a compulsory school day. Academics take place as well as an important awards ceremony.

f. Please organise your personal events around the school calendar (the annual calendar has been published) especially with regard to compulsory school days/evenings when the youngsters have to attend.

Have a great year; I look forward to an enjoyable and productive 2015.

Allan Chandler
High School Headmaster

Primary School News

All families are warmly welcomed back to the Primary School of Thomas More College. We trust all our new families will soon feel quite at home in our friendly and nurturing school family environment. We do strive to have open communication channels, so trust we shall have a good relationship with you as partners in your children’s education.

Our Grade 6 and 7 pupils enjoyed their educational trips with their Grade Heads, teachers, and their grade intern – a wonderful way of integrating new pupils, establishing ground rules and learning more about themselves, the natural environment, leadership and teamwork. Friendships were rekindled, new friends made and our new pupils soon felt they were part of the group and belonged.

It is great to have all our Thomas More teachers back with us. In the Senior Primary, we warmly welcome past pupil Mrs Candice Mordecai- Jones as our Senior Primary music teacher, who has replaced Mrs Chiles who retired at the end of last year. She comes to us with ten years teaching experience largely at Ashley Primary School and has also run her own music school. We are also delighted to have Mrs Jill Balarin as our new Grade 3 teacher. She is a strong, principled Christian lady with many years teaching experience and a great understanding of and support for our ethos. We are pleased to have Mrs Taryn Trethewey taking over Mrs Heidi Lloyd’s class while she is on accouchement leave for the whole year, and to have Ms Courtney Rogers as our sports intern/ Foundation Phase Sports’ assistant. Also welcome back to Mrs Bizell and Mrs Sewchuran from their accouchement leave.

In addition, we welcome a few new SP interns, namely: Ms Jocelyn McDaniel in the Senior Primary (Grade 5), Mr Jason McGarry (Grade 4 ). We believe they will add value to our phases.

We look forward to sharing more information with you at the parent information evenings coming up shortly with the Senior Primary evening being on Wednesday 21st this week in the Habberton Hall followed by class visits and the Foundation Phase cocktail party and class visits taking place on Thursday evening- 17:00 for new parents in the MacKenzie Centre and 18:00 in the hall for the rest. We know you will make every endeavour to attend. Please also diarise the Parents’ Council AGM for Wednesday 4th February.

Please note that all Primary School sport (both Junior- as notified in the week ahead- and Senior Primary) commences today Monday 19 January, except for Grade 1 who start when indicated. We would also really appreciate it if you were able to get your child to school by 07:15 so they can be in their classes by 07:20 to collect what is needed and get organized for a 07:30 prompt start to their academic day.

Our Outreach Days start again this Wednesday. Please pop an extra wrapped sandwich, or some fruit into your child’s lunch box or anything else that you would like to donate. In addition old clothes, fresh veggies, or even nappies are welcome. A volunteer worker collects them and delivers to the 1000 Hills Community where they are gratefully accepted and eagerly looked forward to each week. With our having been on holiday, we really appeal to you to send something this week in particular-thanks.

Should you have any concerns or misgivings about anything, please consult first directly with the staff member involved, whether it be the class or subject teacher or sports coach or co-ordinator. Subsequent to that, especially with regard to general academic and school matters, consult any of the grade heads, or relevant Heads of Department. However, please avail yourself of the correct channels of communication first before referring matters to them. As the Headmistress of the Primary School, I also practise an “open door” policy, so do avail yourself of this should needs arise, especially after trying the other channels. We also value positive feedback, so would appreciate you contacting us when you are delighted about something and when we wish to celebrate goals realized and progress made. The school e-mail addresses of staff are also on the communicator for your convenience.

All of the Primary School staff and pupils congratulate our High School on the excellent Matric results once again. Well done to all staff as such results start from grass roots in our Pre- Primary department and are built on from year to year. We are indeed delighted with what has been accomplished!

With God’s grace and blessings, we look forward to a happy, and fulfilling first term. We ask Him to continue to guide and lead us and our precious charges to fulfill His purpose in all we undertake, while remaining centred on each and every individual child. To a joyful and successful term…

Barbara Taljard
Primary School Headmistress

Academic Achievements

Weekly Achievers  - Sponsored by Debonairs & steers – Kloof

Will resume next week.

Cultural Achievements

None to report this week.

Sporting Achievements

SA Colours (Softball/Cricket)

Congratulations to Caitlin Downes who was selected for the SA Schools All Stars Softball Team after representing the KZN U17A girls in their IPT during the first week in December last year.  She then travelled to Nelspruit where she Captained the U19 girls' Cricket side where she excelled. After receiving 2 individual caps for player performance during the tour, she went on to be awarded Full SA Colours for Cricket (the only female player from KZN).  Caitlin also represented the KZN Dolphins Women's Team vs Freestate in the ODI and T20, as well as having joined 3 other SA senior women and 4 Protea players in a KFC Mini Cricket initiative as a curtain-raiser to the SA vs West Indies game at Kingsmead.  Well done Caitlin, this is an outstanding achievement, and we are exceptionally proud of what you have achieved in your sporting codes over the years.  We look forward to watching Caitlin grow in Cricket and Softball in the years to come.



Congratulations to Cian Leveridge who participated in the KZN Road Championships this weekend.  Cian won the Time trial race and placed 2nd in the Road Race (U16 boys).  Well done on your outstanding achievement.


Google Calendars for parents

All of these calendars start out with basic information and then details are added as we find them out. E.g. at the start of a term, a subject test will be booked for a later date. As the time draws closer, the teacher is able to determine more fully what syllabus the class has managed to cover thus far, and will fill in details of what will be in the test at that stage.

It is important to note that this information is “live” and needs to be checked regularly. We have links to the different calendars available inside our website, found under the different Phase sections. We also have links to the same calendars inside the Parent Portal. The calendars that apply can be found under each of your child’s subheadings.


The Horse’s Mouth Newsletter has all calendar links available to be able to easily find whichever calendars you need to.


How to use the Google Calendar:

After you have clicked on the relevant calendar link, it will show you the default monthly view of the calendar:


There are navigation buttons at the top left to change dates easily to look back or to future events:


You are able to change the view of the calendar using the buttons at the top right to show only a week at a time, the default monthly view, or if you click on “Agenda” then you will see a list of events scheduled:


Please note – it is not a good idea to print the calendar out, as the information might get updated and you will not realize this if you are referring to a print out of a calendar at a certain point in time.

To see more details about a heading in the calendar, you need to click on that heading – it will pop-up a small window giving you what details have been filled in already. This is where we have information such as which teams are playing and times, and also what material will be covered in a test/examination:

It is important to note here that it is also not a good idea to click on the bottom option “Copy to my calendar” here, for the same reason as printing, you will not receive updated information if anything changes in the live calendar.