September 20, 2023

Rector’s eNews – 20 September 2023

/ Newsletters / Uncategorized

As I write this missive, I am conscious of the boys being engaged in many different activities over the past week: the A Block have continued to write their trial examinations, culminating in Mathematics today; the B Block have been on a leadership course and are now engaged on work experience; the C Block have been moving towards the end of their cycling, paddling and walking through the rain, snow and sunshine; the D Block are still in Pondoland where they are experiencing an immersion in Mpondo hospitality, beginning to understand the aspirations of local people, engaging in conversation around customary laws and discipline and learning about medical folklore. The E Block have built on their Backyard Adventures, have learnt more about camping and, inter alia, are climbing iNhlosane. Each activity has a purpose and caters for the maturation of boys from the start of their Michaelhouse careers through to the time when they leave school.


At home base, the trees are in blossom or in leaf, the grass is green again and the roof is being constructed on the Tatham Housemaster’s House with the boys’ section nearing completion. Once the new Tatham is finished, work will begin on Pascoe and the Pascoe boys will move next year into the old Tatham whilst we spend some months developing their House into a much more attractive, modern facility, admitting more light and yet retaining its character.

I have had a few days away from Michaelhouse last week attending the ISASA conference where two particular areas of interest related to the plasticity of the human brain and how it can be trained and also to ChatGPT and how to use it in a quest to develop critical thinking. We also listened to Old Boy, Michael Thackeray, an internationally-famous scientist who has worked extensively on the development of the lithium battery on the importance of energy-preservation in the modern era. Michael Thackaray then came to speak to our boys too. Another Old Boy, Sean Lumley, who is now President of the Old Boys’ Club, spoke on how to initiate fundraising within schools and, in doing so, added huge value to the experience of other Heads. We also had three Parent Information Evenings in Johannesburg, Midrand and Pretoria, all of which were very well attended, demonstrating significant interest in Michaelhouse for the future.

With your sons about to return to you for the holidays, may I wish you a happy reunion with them and ask you please to ensure that they return to school at the beginning of next term with a proper school haircut and with their dress in order. We regard it as particularly important that they should look good in their No1s; they are Michaelhouse boys and need to take pride in their appearance and demeanour. The Deputy Rector: Pastoral has worked with boys to draw up a basic Hair Policy Document and this is attached to this eNews.

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