Edition 8: 12 March 2020

A Message from the Deputy Principal Prep: Academics

Dear Parents

What does the future hold? There are many levels to this question. What does the future hold for the world – in a time of pandemics, crashing oil prices, missions to Mars and arguments about who should be the next James Bond? What does the future hold for South Africa – as I write this, on a dying laptop, in a hot office during load shedding, still getting notifications on my phone about the latest local series on Netflix?

What does the future hold for our boys – when being a man means something different from what it used to and for whom Facebook and WhatsApp are already old news? And what does the future hold for our school – as we try to educate children for a world that doesn’t exist and for jobs that haven’t yet been invented?

The future? It’s very scary. It’s so exciting!

I was brought up in a world where everything made sense. There was right and wrong and good and evil and nice, simple rules to follow that helped us all get along. Sort of. In theory. You couldn’t watch TV all night because broadcast stopped at midnight (22h00 on Sundays) and you couldn’t turn to YouTube because there was no YouTube… or Google… or internet. When I did get a computer it only had two games, which didn’t matter because the screen only had two colours, and the closest thing to a mobile phone was a communicator badge on Star Trek.

I did love Star Trek. Not for the photon torpedoes or the warp drive but because every week they engaged that warp drive and went somewhere new and discovered something new; entire new worlds full of culture and invention. The whole point of the Starship Enterprise was about discovery and adding to the breadth and body of human knowledge and experience, to better ourselves as a species. And okay, I lied. The photons and the warp drive were pretty cool too.





We may not be trekking across the Galaxy or using molecular transporters for personal travel but in terms of information communication and information technology, we are actually not far away from what you see in Star Trek.

Between email, Skype, social media and web portals, as long as you have signal, you can be in live communication with anyone in the world, at any time. And this is the world our children are growing up in. A world of virtually infinite connectivity, where friendships and answers are just a click, tap or swipe away. As concerned and caring parents, we tend to focus on the negatives of this situation. We worry about blue light, screen time, pornography, cyber-bullying, instant gratification, information overload and the loss of real human connections. These concerns are real.

But there are so many positives too! Staying in touch with friends and family, never forgetting a birthday, boundless access to information (and reliable too, if you know where to look), music, maps and holiday bookings. Seriously? Is there anyone out there who feels that the world was really a better place before Uber Eats and Takealot? Imagine trying to conduct business without your laptop or tablet, or how you would feel going on a long car journey without your cell phone.

And maybe we forget that this is the world that our children have been born into. It is not new to them, or futuristic, it is just life! Granny may look a bit tired with the time difference but even though she’s in Australia, they see her every other day on Facetime. When they hear the words “Cloud” or “Amazon”, their first thoughts may not be of the sky or the jungle! It is more than possible that a child born in the next 5 years will never know physical cash money, never have to plug in a cable, never need to wait in a queue or ever have to drive themselves.



And so how do we prepare children for the future? A future that will surely be driven by technology. A future where some even envision us merged with nanites, microchips and cybernetic implants. I can hear some of you groan! And yet others…  Star Trek?

Anyway, either we draw a line in the sand now and try and find a different path for humanity, or we have to embrace this uncertain and ever-accelerating future. We have to expose children to technology and mentor and guide them in its responsible and effective use. We must do this cautiously and with care and we must, as always seems the case, find the balance.

Spending some time on Facebook isn’t evil, as long as you’re also spending some time not on Facebook! What will you post about if you don’t? Having an iPad in the classroom doesn’t mean you can’t also have books, and corresponding through email has its place, just as talking in person does. Some things are definitely better with technology but some things certainly are not and teaching this lesson to our children and finding this balance in the classroom and in life, may be the educational challenge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

What does the future hold? One way or another, we’ll find out.

Yours faithfully


Clifton News Bits

Clifton congratulates…

The following boys who have been selected for KZN A Tennis Teams:

U19: Thomas Rey (Grade 11), Calum Jestin (Grade 10) and Karan Varyani (Grade 10)

U15:  William Hermelin (Grade 9)

James Jarvis who was selected for the Coastals A Golf Team.

The Clifton School Team of Yahya Ballim (Grade 7), Jake Savage (Grade 8), Alexander Christie-Reardon (Grade 9), Shaun Matthysen (Grade 10) and Anthony Traicos (Grade 12) who competed in the annual Helen Joseph Oratory Challenge against Maris Stella and Our Lady of Fatima School.

Anthony Traicos and Alexander Christie-Reardon must be congratulated on receiving Top Speaker Awards in their respective grades and will progress through to the final round today. The trophy, however, was won by Maris Stella.

We were super-proud to see that one of the judges on the panel was Siyabonga Khanyile (Class of 2012).



We also congratulate Connor Buck who qualified for the KZN Aquatics Project 2022 Commonwealth Junior Swimming Squad, making him one of only eight male KZN swimmers who have qualified. He competed for KZN in the 7,5km race at the 2020 South African Open Water Championships where he won the Silver medal and qualified to represent South Africa at the 2020 FINA World Junior Open Water Championships to be held in Seychelles in August. This is the second time Connor will be competing in the World Championships. He will represent KZN at the 2020 South African Senior Swimming Championships to be held at the Kings Park Pool in April.

The Grade 10 History pupils enjoyed French cuisine as part of their French Revolution oral project. They were tasked with presenting on one of the events of the French Revolution and to bring French food to share. The boys enjoyed sparkling grape juice, grapes, croissants, cheeses and petite pan au chocolate.




Our Grade 3 and Grade 7, and Grade 5 and Grade 1 boys spent some quality time together building paper aeroplanes as part of the ‘Buddies’ mentorship programme.

 Best wishes to Dylan Edwards (Grade 8) who will be competing for Umhlanga Rocks Surf Lifesaving Club at the 2020 Lifesaving South Africa National Championships in Port Elizabeth from 18 to 26 March.


Our Grade R boys love spending time in the creative room during free play doing box construction.

They have also been learning how to sew. What busy boys you are, Grade R!


After learning about Ocean Life this term, the Grade 1 boys got to see it all for themselves at Ushaka Marine World. It’s always such fun to take learning outside of the classroom!


The Grade 10 Drama boys have been experimenting with Greek Theatre ensemble work in the Amphitheatre this week.

Clifton Old Boys

From USA Athlete…

“Today’s USA Athlete Update is on SA Swimming Sensation Calvin Coetzee! Calvin has been, quite literally, making waves around the South African swimming community for a number of years now, but recently set his sights on conquering the college set up in the USA.

The Durban native and Clifton School alumni headed north and joined the Lindsey Wilson College, Blue Raiders, at the start of January 2020, where he quickly made himself at home. Calvin immediately shattered multiple school records along with 3 new conference records in under 6 weeks of his arrival. Feats that earned him the Lindsey Wilson’s swimmer of the Year, Freshman swimmer of the Year, Conference swimmer of the Year and Conference Freshman of the Year, awards.

On Wednesday, March 4th, Calvin and The Blue Raiders headed south to the University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center, to participate in the NAIA National Championships. Calvin took home five medals: 2 Bronze in the 800Y Free and 200Y Free Relay, 2 Silver’s in the 100Y Free and 500Y Free and topped off his Nationals by securing 1 Gold in the 200Y free in a time of 1:37,00. These results earned him the Status of All American.

Well done, Calvin! These are unbelievable feats; your natural talent, hard work and sense of humility are a true testament to your character. We are proud to have been able to play a small part in your incredible successes, and we cannot wait to see what the future has to hold for you!

Calvin and his blue raider teammates head back to Kentucky to continue their Spring Semester academic schedule.”

Well done, Calvin (Class of 2019). Keep flying the Clifton and SA flags high!



Clifton Classifieds

Sonor Force 1005, 5 piece drum kit, hardware, cymbals and drum covers for sale: R3 900,00

The  kit Includes:
1 x kick
1 x snare (small tear on bottom skin)
2 x high toms
1 x floor tom
2 x cymbal stands, one is missing the head the cymbal attaches to, so has an extra cymbal arm clamped onto it.
1 x hi-hat stand with a quick release clutch.
1 x 16″ crash (Paiste)
1 x 20″ ride (Wuhan)
14″ hi-hat top and bottom (Quhan)
1 x drum stool
1 x set of o rings on the toms

Everything functions well.  Please contact Aileen on 082 945 4503 or whatsapp Calvin on 083 440 2580. 

Beautiful family beach cottage available for holidays and weekends. Sleeps 10. Situated in Salt Rock 100meters from the beach.

E-mail Janine: jboyes@centa.co.za for availability and rates.


Please call Amy Mezher on 064 687 5934 or email:  amymez6@gmail.com if you are looking for a reliable House Sitter or Baby Sitter.

Tersia Brenna has eighteen years of experience in supervising and teaching children from 3 months olds to 5year-olds.  She also has experience with autistic and ADHD children. She is available to au pair, assist with homework and holiday care Monday to Friday and weekends from the 15 December onwards. 

Please contact her on 063 535 1952.



Clifton Classified advertising is open to current parents and staff of Clifton. The cost per advert is R100, which will be debited to your son’s school account.

For bookings, email: marketing@cliftonschool.co.za