Tuesday, 7 March, 2017
Welcome back! I hope that you all had a restful holiday. We would like to welcome Mrs. Vanessa Moodie to our teaching staff. She will be in charge of the Grades 4 to 7. We would also like to welcome all new parents and pupils to the Twin Rivers family.
It is my intention that Twin Rivers School becomes the pre-eminent institution in terms of academic education, sport, culture, music and the arts. I remind parents of the important role they have to play in supporting all which the school does and by allowing / making their children participate in the broadest range of activities possible. I also remind parents of my cognisance of the fact that primary school should be a fun place and that a Twin Rivers school-leaver should take with him / her only happy memories!
I have decided to introduce class braais – informal events where parents, pupils and members of staff can interact over a meal and some fun activities. The first two braais will be held this term; the Grade 0 and 1 braai will be held at school on Saturday 1 April and the Grad 2 and 3 braai will be on Saturday 25 March. Please diarise these dates. All pupils are expected to attend with their parents and registers will be taken. I hope that theses braais will provide a useful platform for informal engagement and that they will contribute to developing a greater sense of school “family” spirit.
I thank all parents for their efforts in selling the SDC raffle tickets. The proceeds in this instance will go towards the choir tour to the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir School at the end of the April holidays. Please note that all raffle booklets should be returned to the school by 22 February as the draw will take place at Headmaster’s Assembly on Friday 24 February, at 8am.
The choir are busy rehearsing in preparation for the choral Eisteddfod which takes place on 14 and 16 March. As our contribution, we have chosen “Adiemus” by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins. To reassure parents who believe that there are sinister undertones to the “lyrics” I would like to impress upon them that the composer’s main idea was to create a modern song using classical forms, such as rondo and ternary. The voice is used as instrument to make music and not to convey any message through lyrics. The song is a mix of African-tribal and Celtic-style melodies. On this note I must welcome Mrs. Meg MacKenzie, formerly of Arundel School, who has joined Twin Rivers in a part-time capacity to assist with the choir. Mrs. MacKenzie will be accompanying the choir on tour, where we will utilize her skills as a conductor.
CONCERT AT REPS - 15, 16 & 17 JUNE
I am very pleased to be able to inform parents that Twin Rivers is hosting a massive variety concert in June, at Reps theatre. Our choir will be joined by well-known soprano, Prudence Katomene-Mbofana, tenor Nigel Hopkins, the Arundel church choir, the Arundel junior choir, the Dance Trust of Zimbabwe, Charles Kazaku on piano, the Heritage senior choir and jazz band and the Heritage junior choir. This is an event not to be missed, so be sure to diarise it!
The 1st XI hockey girls have been practicing on the Arundel School astro turf in preparation for their tour to Durban during the forthcoming school holidays. They will be playing six matches over a period of eight days. I express my grateful thanks to Bolt Gas International for their sponsorship of the hockey tour. This tour should give the girls good warm-up practice for the hockey season next term.
The SDC is being rejuvenated and 2017 promises to be an exciting year for the committee. Next term sees the holding of the annual sponsored walk and the introduction of what we hope to be an annual Golf Day. We are also going to be introducing cake sales, where each grade will contribute to the cake sale once a term.
 As parents are aware, it is traditionally the Grade 6 parents’ privilege to spearhead fundraising for the school. The committee is in the process of being finalized. We do expect ALL Grade 6 parents to become involved. Their first mission is to take charge of food and drink sales at the March Eisteddfod.
It is my intention to improve the standard of swimming in the school and for the swimming team to be promoted to the E.P.S.A Division One gala. A number of initiatives have been taken which include the installation of pool heaters and covers for both pools in order that we can swim all year round. I am also making efforts to improve the standard and intensity of swimming coaching in the formative years, from Grade 0 to Grade 3. Parents are asked to cooperate to the fullest extent by availing their children for swimming in the early mornings, during PE lessons and in the afternoons. I also encourage proficient swimmers to join the Sharks Swimming Club, managed by Mrs. Cathy Lobb. The school is also looking into turning the 7-lane pool into an 8-lane facility which will enable us to host competitive swimming galas.
Mrs. Pauline Makoni, Headmistress of Arundel School visited the school recently to do a presentation to the Grade 6 and 7 girls. I would like to highlight an interesting point that she made. Mrs. Makoni told the girls that at Arundel all girls are MADE to run cross country and the 800 metres. All girls are MADE to play a variety of sports. All girls are MADE to involve themselves in a variety of clubs. She reiterated that life is not just about what we WANT to do but equally about what we HAVE to do. We are not always afforded the luxury of choices, and at times we just have to knuckle down and do what is expected of us. This is precisely the mind-set which I am hoping to instill in our Twin Rivers pupils, in preparation for their transition to high school: get involved in all that you can and participate to the fullest; do your best at all times, strive to improve – whether it is your time in the 25-metre butterfly race or your knowledge of your tables in the Maths classroom; be punctual, honest, polite and diligent.
We have introduced Cambridge into the school from Grade 1 to Grade 7. It will take some time to adjust to the new regimen, but all teachers are busy doing online introductory Cambridge courses and they will be taking part in face-to-face training at Arundel School in the April holidays. The face-to-face training will be conducted by trainers from Cambridge, UK.
Parents may have seen some changes to the look of the campus. I will highlight some of the developments:
  • Repaving the quad area enclosed by the double-storey classroom blocks and the hall, as well as the laying of a new drainage system.
  • The planting of over 150 trees on the estate.
  • New benches and signage.
  • Paving and landscaping of the area between the Grade 1 / 2 playground and the boundary wall.
  • Giving all the shrubberies a complete make-over.
  • The planting of raffia palms. Interestingly, this palm boasts the longest leaf in the plant kingdom, with individual fronds reaching lengths of 25 metres!
  • The installation of underground sprinkler systems in the lawns around the classrooms.
  • The fitting of acoustic tiles to all the walls in the hall.
  • Replacing tired classroom doors.
  • The construction of a bus shed.
  • Installing power points into the waiting area shelter.
  • The installation of an automatic timer system to the school siren.
  • Resurfacing all 4 tennis courts.
  • Paving the areas on which the sports stands or bleachers are positioned.
  • Installing additional playground equipment.
  • The construction of a pond at the front of the school.
  • The construction of a wetland / eco-pond near the cricket nets to assist with the practical teaching of Biology.
  • The installation of a smart board in the Art room.
  • Upgrading the boreholes and associated hydrants.
  • The provision of permanent shelter for the sports stands / bleachers in the pool area, and an extension of the paving around the pool.
  • The acquisition of the Computer Society of Zimbabwe’s eLearner programme, which will be fully operational as soon as wi fi coverage has been extended to the computer room.
  • The purchase of complete sets of text books and work books for all pupils from Grade 1 to 7.
I will be attending a two-day Heads’ workshop in March, and a five-day Heads’ conference in June, under the auspices of the Association of Trust Schools.
May I remind parents that if a pupil does not attend a match or gala, into which team he or she has been selected, this will result in an automatic one-week suspension from school. Any and all infractions by a pupil and / or a parent will be noted in the file of the pupil concerned. All infractions will become part of the confidential record which the Head of your child’s prospective secondary school will request.
I encourage parents to ensure that pupils are dropped off at the correct times. It is extremely disruptive to the teacher and to other pupils when a child arrives late for class. Pupils should be seated at their desks by 7.45am. I remind all parents that, as of next term, school will begin at 7.30am. Some errant parents will have already noticed that the main school gate closes at 7.45am (next term at 7.30am) and children who arrive at school late must be signed in. All Grade 1 and 2 pupils are to be collected between 12.30pm and 1pm from the verandah on the south side of the Hall. Grade 1 and 2 pupils will not be allowed to stay and wait for an older sibling to finish sport. If you organize for someone else to fetch your child, please send written authorization or call the office to inform us of who is collecting your child. If your child is walking home, he / she will require a gate pass from the office. If your child is not participating in an afternoon activity and is not collected before 1.30pm he / she will be sent to prep and you must collect your child from the prep room.
When parking in the car park please be considerate of others. Please do not double park or otherwise hinder the free movement of vehicles. Please do not leave your valuables in your car as the school will not be held responsible for any loss of property. No parent is to drive a car on the field to collect children when it is raining. Grade 7 pupils and their siblings must be collected from the ECD carpark after sports / prep sessions. All Grade 3 to 6 children are to collectecd from the shelter near the swimming pool area.No parents are to wait in the quad or in front of the Grade 4 classrooms.
When dropping or collecting your child please do not walk through the staff car park, either walk on the paths or on the field. 
Grade 0 pupils must be dropped off at the ECD car park, and NOT at the main car park.
Twin Rivers will be holding two Open Days – for prospective Grade 0 pupils on 24 February and for prospective Grade 1 – 7 pupils on 31 March.
Parents will have noticed the temporary withdrawal of the readers which pupils take home to read. We are restructuring the reading programme from Grades 4 – 7 and this requires the cataloguing and correct reissue of all readers. Pupils’ reading ages are being tested at the moment and this will help us to ensure that every child takes home readers whose level is appropriate to his / her reading age. Each pupil will have an individual reading record which will go with him / her through the grades. I am also looking into the introduction of a structured spelling programme.
I have received several responses to my questionnaire with regard to the above. Parents who responded will be notified in due course.
I extend my congratulations to the following on their appointment as prefects:
  • Chiedza Tsorai
  • Diya Ramsawhook
  • Randy Kaseke
  • Riyaadh Darvesh
  • Rumana Rahman
  • Shivam Parmar
  • Tadiwanashe Chima
  • Tapiwa Makarichi
  • Zarah Abdoola
As per the enrolment contract we require one full term’s notice of withdrawal in writing to the Headmaster, in the event of a child being withdrawn from the school. If the requisite notice is not given, the parents / guardians will be liable for one term’s fees in lieu of notice. Parents may give the school provisional notice until the move is confirmed to avoid being penalized. 
For cross country and athletics girls and boys are to wear regulation boxer shorts, house T-shirts, hats and suitable running shoes. Please note that children are not to leave school barefooted or partially dressed. They must be in full morning or afternoon uniform when they await collection. Everything must be marked with the child’s full name - including underwear, socks and shoes. All bags must be labelled and should be of an appropriate size. Hair must be neat, of a natural colour and tied up – in the case of girls – if it is beyond shirt-collar-length. Hair extensions are not permitted, corn-rows are acceptable. Scrunchies and hair-ties must be in the school colours. No earrings – apart from sleepers – are permitted.
These are being sent out at half term and at the end of this term. Parents are to sign them and return them to the class teacher. If you lose your card or fail to return it there will be no replacement. Next term’s reports will be generated using the Senatical software system.
Please ensure that these forms a fully completed and returned to the class teacher.
The school is in negotiations with a single uniform supplier to ensure (a) uniformity of style, colour and cut, (b) high quality material and tailoring.
The uniform shop (next to the tuck shop) is open at the following days:
Monday 7.30am to 1pm, Wednesday 7.30am to 1pm, Friday 7.30am to 12.30pm.
The thrift shop (lost and Found property) is open at the following times on the following days.
  • Monday 7:30 to 8:00 and 10:30 to 11:00 and12:30 to 1:00
  • Wednesday 7:30 to 8:00 and 10:30 to 11:00  and 12:30 to 1:00
  • Friday 7:30 to 8:00  and 10:30 to 11:00 and 12:15 to 12:45
Please note that no electronic devices or toys are allowed to be brought to school at anytime. If your child is caught with a device it will be confiscated and returned at the end of the year.
The newly-introduced complaints policy stresses that complaints are to be made through the correct channels (i.e. initially to the class teacher or sports coach, then to the senior mistress and finally to the Headmaster). No member of the Board of Governors will entertain any complaint save as it is provided for in paragraph 6 of the school complaints policy document.
Mrs. Essof from Hope for a Cure will be giving a presentation on Endometriosis on Saturday 4th March in the hall at 6:30pm. Mums are welcome to attend.
  • Thursday 16 February – half term begins
  • Tuesday 21 February – Return from half term, school starts at 7.45am
  • Friday 24 February – Grade 0 Open Day at 9am
  • Wednesday 22 February – return raffle books
  • Friday 24 February – Raffle draw at Assembly
  • Saturday 4 March – Inter-house athletics at 8:30am
  • Saturday 4 March – Presentation in the hall by Zimbabwe Endometriosis Awareness
  • Friday 10 March – Lomagundi College presentation at noon
  • Saturday 25 March – Grade 2 / 3 braai
  • Saturday 1 April – Grade 0 / 1 braai