July 2, 2020

The lockdown and Covid-19 pandemic has taught us many lessons – academic and otherwise.  We asked our students to reflect on their best and worst lockdown experiences and their thoughts and experiences are captured in this special edition Term 2 newsletter – it’s a must read... (kindly click on the link below)

Newsletter-Special Lockdown Edition -Student reflections

July 1, 2020

Grade 10 and 11s are set to return to Government schools on 6 July.  Strict measures have been place to ensure their safe return, both to school and to the boarding environment.  These are outlined in the Government Gazette.

After much consideration of the regulations, it has been decided not to return our Grade 10 and 11s to boarding in the STS Lawhill Maritime Centre.  This is largely due to space constraints in our hostel, as our sleeping quarters are unable to accommodate beds at the required 2m distance apart.

This said, a detailed plan has been put in place to support our students while they remain at home.  The plan will be reviewed again in September.

Please read the letter from the school principal on the link below.

Principal – Return to boarding

June 25, 2o20

Please click on the link below to read more about the return of the Grade 12s to boarding and school.

The abovementioned letter was sent to all donors and supporters.

June 10, 2020

The Grade 12 boarding students returned to the Lawhill Maritime Centre on Sunday 7 June.  Details on the return of the other Grades will be posted towards the end of June.  The grade 12s will be quarantined at the hostel for a period of 14 days.

Grade 10 and 11 students will continue to receive work and support from the Lawhill team and Simon’s Town School.

May 12, 2020.

The latest communication with parents and sponsors is available here:

April 21, 2020

Dear parents/guardians/sponsors of boarders residing at the STS Lawhill Maritime Centre

Please note the following updates:

WHATSAPP Groups established:

1. An LMC Parent Support WhatsApp group has been set up and Lawhill Management has been in contact with parents, informing them first and foremost about the online educational resources available to their  children and assuring them of our support in the trying times ahead.   Separate Grade specific WhatsApp PARENT Groups have subsequently been established to improve communication with parents.

2.  A Nautical Science WhatsApp Group for each of the Grades – Grade 10, 11, 12.  We have shared Nautical Science notes (theoretical aspects) and also an Open Book Test.  Students have the opportunity to post questions (eg if they don’t understand the content) and answers are provided.

You can find the Nautical Science academic RESOURCES  here.  The focus is on revision and theory as videos/charts/instruments will be required for the practical elements.  (We continue to hope that we will obtain approval, soon, for funding which will allow us to provide a more comprehensive and interactive online Nautical Science offering.  A proposal for this was submitted some time ago and we hope approval will not be delayed as a result of LockDown)..

3.  An EXTRA MATHS Tutor Whatsapp Group:  This has been set up for Grade 12s.  Mrs Elna de Jager, our regular maths extra lesson tutor, is providing support on a Tuesday.  We have also set up an additional Maths group for students who were unable to receive the work directly from their teacher at STS.  (Additional Whatsapp Groups were established for Grade 10 and 11s in June).

4. An EXTRA PHYSICAL SCIENCE Tutor Whatsapp Group:  This has been set up for Grade 12s. Mr Charles Reid will provide weekly support to students on a Thursday.  A Grade 11 and Grade 10 Science Whatsapp Group will be established in June, once the Grade 12s have returned to school.  (This has been done).

5.  A Grade 12/Class of 2020 Whatsapp Group .  This is being used for general announcements, particularly pertaining to Tertiary Bursary applications.

6.  Grade specific Maritime Economics Whatsapp Groups – our maritime educators, Mr Sosibo and Mr Naude, are posting assignments and other relevant content for all three grades  (10-12) and are available to assist with queries/questions.

7.  Marine Science educator, Ms Davis, has been in contact with her Gr 10 and Gr 11 students throughout lockdown, using her established WA Groups to communicate with them.

8. All bursary students  (boarders) have been informed of the availability of online academic resources, both via the WhatsApp group for ”amaboarders” and as posted on the Lawhill Maritime Centre Facebook page and via the Simon’s Town School network (for non maritime subjects).  All resources can be accessed using a Mobile Phone and do not require laptops.  We are aware that the majority of our students don’t have access to laptops or a reliable wi-fi connection, so our solutions are low-tech and low-cost. Where possible we will monitor usage/non-usage of these resources.

Ms Thomas and Ms Owen are coordinating and providing administrative support for the above.

Update (June 2020):  Additional Whatsapp Tutor Groups have subsequently been established to provide Physical Science and an Mathematics support to our Grade 10 and 11s at home.


9.   Personal contact has been made via mobile phone with all bursary holders since the beginning of April (except for a few students who are not answering their phones…) and we will continue to touch base weekly.  We will inform bursary sponsors if there are any issues arising from these one-on-one conversations.  Email if you are a parent or bursary sponsor and require more information on this.  To date we have helped with victuals and by purchasing data for those who need to access their school work

10. We have consolidated and produced a ‘ Term 1 Marks Sheet’ of bursary student performance in the three maritime subjects, Maritime Economics. Nautical Science and Marine Sciences.  This was shared with the respective bursary sponsors in week of 6 April.   Please note:  these are not the final/moderated marks and as such, merely an indication of bursary student performance to date, and as such will not be shared with students or parents except in those instance where we feel parents should be aware of information.

11.  In terms of non-maritime subjects, we continue to share information with our students as and when it is provided by the teachers at Simon’s Town School.  The school is also providing information directly.

12. We will be monitoring the Siyavula Maths and Physical Science activity of our students and will update sponsors and students accordingly.  These resources can be accessed DATA-FREE using a Vodacom or MTN sim card.  We are assisting students who have other SIMs to access this information to ensure they do not fall behind.

Should anyone wish to support our COVID-19 efforts, please email and we will provide you with details on how you can support.  Financial support is always welcome, of course!

–  And when lockdown gets you down, you may re-read our inspiring Lawhill Term 1 Newsletter.   

We thank you once again for your support.

Debbie Owen

MARCH 20, 2020

Dear parents/guardians of boarders residing at the STS Lawhill Maritime Centre

Please find below a copy of a letter sent out to all donors and supporters on 20 March.  (Errors in the original communication have been corrected in the below).

COVID-19: Impact on our Gr 10-12 maritime education programme

20 March 2020

Dear Sponsors/Supporters

Following the early school closure announcement on Sunday, March 15, 2020 by the President of South Africa, we moved as swiftly as possible to get our boarders home to their concerned families.  Bus transport – which had originally been booked for the end of term and after the Test/Exam period – had to be cancelled and rebooked for earlier dates. We managed to secure tickets for all students and the last group of 11 boarders left the hostel on Thursday 19 March.  Hostel staff and educators will leave today (20 March) for a well-deserved and isolated break.

Please see below an update on what was done and the support we are providing to our students:


Meetings were held with all boarders to update them on the COVID 19 facts and outline their responsibilities in helping to fight the pandemic and avoiding transmission.    The importance of social distancing and the need to take responsible, proactive steps to prevent the unintended spread of the virus, were emphasised while being mindful of the challenging environments many of our students live in. 

Boarders were advised that information for parents and sponsors was posted on our website, www.lawhill,org, on 17 March and that information regarding academic/subject support would be shared via our AmaBoarders WhatsApp group (and our Lawhill Maritime Centre Facebook page).  They were asked to make their parents aware of the info on the website.

Academic support wise, all sponsored students have FREE access to:

  • Gr 10 – 12 Mathematics via
  • Gr 10 – 12 Physical Science via
  • Gr 10 – 12 Maritime Economics content via   We are currently awaiting funding approval to establish an online resource for Nautical Science and hope to have an answer on this asap.   Should schools not reopen as planned in April, we will take steps to ensure Term 2 Nautical Science content is provided to all grades via Whatsapp and/or Google.
  • The WCED and other organisations have made available a host of resources for other subjects and all Simons Town School educators have provided students with work.

A parent WhatsApp group will be active as from today and will be used to communicate details, directly to parents, regarding the return of boarders to the hostel, as well as the availability of the abovementioned educational resources.

We will address any challenges boarders have in accessing these resources on a case by case basis and will reach out to sponsors if there is a need to do so.

Our Term 1 newsletter will be issued in due course and any outstanding donor administration, invoicing and reporting matters will be dealt with between 2 and 9 April.

Please note that due to the early school closure, the bulk of the test/exam period for Term 1 had to be abandoned.   As such we do not have a complete set of academic results.

Decisions on the return of students to boarding will be taken and communicated in due course, once there is more clarity on the way forward.

We will also make a call on the 21 May event – as per earlier email – by mid April.

And last but by no means least, we are deeply grateful to our sponsors for the support and care shown to date.  Please take care out there.

The Lawhill team


MARCH 17, 2020

Dear parents/guardians of boarders residing at the STS Lawhill Maritime Centre

Please note the following:

– We have asked all boarders to provide us with contact details for parents – both Whatsapp numbers and Email addresses –  before they leave the hostel this term.  This is so that we can communicate directly with you regarding arrangements for TERM 2, while continuing to inform boarders via our AMABOARDERS WhatsApp Group.  We aim to have a LAWHILL PARENT group set up on WhatsApp by Friday 20 March.

– Until such time, we have asked our Boarders – as they are still at Lawhill – to forward any relevant messages posted on the notice board or to the Amaboarders WhatsApp group, to their parents.  If you are not receiving information, please request this from your child.  If any further queries or concerns, parents should email us on or send a WhatsApp to the Lawhill phone.  Please obtain the number from your child.  Please do not send messages via Facebook Messenger.

– We will soon be posting the schedule showing the Names of Students and their date of departure from the hostel SEE BELOW.     Please note that we were unable to secure tickets for all students to depart, all together and all on the same day (today 17th), hence the ‘staggered’ departure from 17th – 19th March.  The tickets issued were done according to the availability of the bus operator and on a particular route, as well as with safety in mind ie ensuring that students travel together in groups of minimum three.

– All former bus tickets have been rebooked – at enormous additional cost and in the interests of getting students home as soon as possible.  Students will be issued with NEW BUS TICKETS  on 17/3/2020 and each student is to ensure that each parent has a copy of that ticket -ie they can take a photo and send via WhatsApp.  This will allow parents to note the arrival times and dates for their children and make the necessary arrangements.   As Management we cannot communicate this information directly to you at this stage as we do not have the time and resources in place, right now, to do so.  Furthermore, part of our programme is developing responsibility in our students and we do believe they are capable of communicating this information to their parents in a responsible way – ie there is no need for it to come directly from us at a time when our priority is to ensure the wellbeing and safe departure of 67 students and managing the complicated logistics involved etc.

– Please remember that as a programme we are wholly dependant on donor-funding for our operation and as such, have limited resources.  Our admin resources are stretched at the moment and have been since the President’s announcement on Sunday night.  We have worked around the clock to make the arrangements we feel are in the best interest of your child. Any parent who wishes to make a donation that will help us employ additional admin staff are welcome to email us on for our banking details.

– Every care is being taken to keep your children safe and infection free while they are in our care.   We have communicated relevant information on  the COVID-19 epidemic and will continue to do so as time allows.


march 2020 – tickets rebook

The above list is as at 12H30 on Tue 17 March and will be updated, if required.  It shows the name of the child, the date of departure from the hostel and the time of departure from the hostel, as well as the shuttle service provider (eg Servest).

All local boarders  – ie those who do not take long-distance buses – are permitted to leave the hostel as of 14h00 on Tue 17 March.

thank you.