This gallery contains 31 photos.A warm welcome to all our learners, staff and parents! We trust that 2018 will be your best year ever at Waterberg Academy!
Three areas of outstanding achievement were acknowledged in the assembly this morning.
The first of these was the announcement to the learners that Charlton Mwenesani and Rafologang Buthane had been selected onto the South African NASP Development Team. They will shoot in an international tournament later in the year. Well done, Charlton on your second year in this team. Clearly you are working hard to stay up at the top. And well done, Rafologang, on making the team for the first time at such a young age.
Lyandi van der Merwe is progressing “in leaps and bounds” in this demanding sport. At a recent SANESA event she rode in six events and placed 2nd in five of them and 3rd in the other one. To crown it all, Lyandi received a certificate for the following: BEST WORKING RIDER AT PRIMARY SCHOOL LEVEL IN LIMPOPO IN 2016.
For the IEB International Benchmarking Tests in Reasoning and Thinking Skills for Grades 3 and 10 held in November 2016, we have just received astonishingly good results. This is a collaborative effort between the Australian Education people and the IEB and the tests are taken around the world. This makes these tests of great value in gauging our educational standards in relation to what you might find elsewhere “on the planet.”
English Mathematics Science
Makwidi Kgomontsho 88%
Kiandra Doubell 100% 88%
Carla Jansen van Vuuren 100% 88% 100%
Wiané van Druten 82%
Nadja Nortje 91% 89%
Lucy Calcott 100% 100%
Nadja was among the top 1% of learners in Problem Solving.
Lucy was among the top 1% of learners in Critical Thinking.
Lucy was also among the top 1% of Learners overall.
These results would suggest that we are not simply filling up the minds of our learners with facts, which was the educational pattern of a hundred years ago (and is still followed in some schools.) This is evidence that Waterberg Academy is at the forefront of thinking in education, and doing an excellent job of preparing our learners for life in the 21st century. Remember, many of our learners will leave school and university to take on jobs that do not even exist yet, and many of the traditional types of work as we know them will have disappeared over the next 12 years. It is essential we equip them to be able to compete successfully in whatever field they one day choose.
High School Valentine’s Dance
Before the dancing began last night, a bunch of us teachers were standing on the dance floor and learners were coming up to us and greeting us and shaking our hands and one of the teachers said, “You know, we have got really nice learners this year.” And I must concur. Some years back a culture of respect and general “niceness” began more and more to permeate the High School and this year it is even more evident than ever! And we have some superb boys and girls at the top of the school, young people we can be proud of.
Once we vacated the floor and Moses got into DJ mode, the volume went up and the games began!
Family Fun Day – well done PTA!
The High School stall – the henna tattoos were popular, but not as popular as the soft sreve ice creams here being served by Senior Prep teacher, Mrs Evans.
Don’t forget – school reopens on Tuesday. Boarders back on Monday evening. If you get it wrong, keep it quiet and no one else will know. Interestingly, at least once a year someone DOES get it wrong.
Grade 7 Farewell
This is a much anticipated event and 2015 was outstanding. The Seringa Café decked in reggae décor while coconut drinks and red yellow and black skull caps with dreadlocks were handed out by the welcoming committee.
The Grade 6 learners and parents put the evening together, using money collected by Grade 6 during the year. Tamsin Hill was largely responsible for the décor, and the delightful invitation. She was assisted by the Grade 6 learners who made much of the décor in the Art class. And wherever there is organizing to be done or funds to be raised, there you will find the inimitable Mrs Steyn. Christie ran a tuckshop throughout the year, buying stock from a supplier in Pretoria and selling a wide variety of products each break – icies, toasted sandwiches, sweets etc. Well done, Christie!
Had we asked parents of Grade 6 and 7 to give R20 000 towards the end of year goings on of the Senior Preparatory, there would understandably have been some resistance. Instead, the money was extracted passively, and the Grade 6 class funded an excellent dinner and the Grade 7 trip to Gold Reef City on Wednesday. The Grade 7s, not to be outdone, have already paid for the installation of 6 whirlybirds to extract heat from the Hall – their contribution being some eight and a half thousand! These should be in place next week.
Thanks are due to the Seringa Café for hosting us on Friday evening in their lovely premises. I am told that they gave us an astonishingly special rate. Thank you, Anne and Robert Howe. Special thanks to the Grade 6 learners who were the most attentive waitrons most of us had ever come across! Well done, MC Amelia.
The Grade Sevens each had an opportunity to speak, and some interesting things came out about the fun they had in lessons. School was never like that in the last century! The teachers, wisely, spoke last, and gave as well as they received. All in all, this was a fabulous evening, with learners, staff and parents all having a wonderful time.
Boarders’ Christmas Dinner
The boarders had their Christmas Dinner on Monday. We were all chuffed to have Richard Wadley, Board of Governors Chair, join us directly from a five hour Board Meeting. After joining us for the excellent meal, Richard took up the Santa challenge and had the youngsters “eating out of his hand.” Thank you, Richard.
Tannie Marie, and Oom Jan and his wife Rina were also honoured. Marie does SO MUCH for the boarders and Oom Jan ensures they have water and electricity, often answering a call-out in the middle of the night. They are in fact the unsung heroes of the School, but we DO appreciate them.
The learners had an opportunity to dress up a little, while the teachers were able to dress “down.” The overall effect was very pleasing, and I must say that we have lovely kids in our Boarding Establishment. The way that they mix freely by age and gender is really good to see, and the personalities emerging are quite endearing.
Gr 0000 to Gr 3 Christmas Party
On Tuesday Santa came to the town of Vaalwater. His sleigh was covered in snow and looked a bit out of shape (global warming has caused some tough weather for Santa at this time of the year) and the reindeer were eager to get out of harness. All present were very impressed by Santa’s long white beard, his enormous tummy and his warm laugh. Sadly, the Head was so busy recording this event for posterity that he did not get to share with Santa his Christmas list. Oh well, môre is nog ŉ Kersfees.
Below are 7000 words worth of pictures.
Well done, Marius. We will miss you.
May I wish one and all a blessed Christmas.
On Friday our Grade 12s held their farewell at Rock Lodge. The venue, which is in itself very special, was beautifully decorated by Mrs Swales assisted by Tannie Marie, Oom Jan, Tamsin Hill and Andre Bridger. The theme was Winter Wonderland and there was snow and frost everywhere – difficult to believe in the present heat wave! Mr Roth, the Grade 12 class teacher, acted as MC for the evening in his inimitably laconic manner, and each of the learners had an opportunity to speak about their teachers. Some had taken the time to prepare, other felt they did not need to – a tribute to the excellent English and Afrikaans Oral programme run in the School. Not to be outdone, our Board Chair, without notes, compared the preparation for the IEB NSC exams to the preparation for the Comrades Marathon – train hard, run easy. (Men born before 1977 might recognize this.) Thereafter, the Headmaster got to ramble on a bit about all sorts of (sometimes) pertinent stuff.
This year we departed from the norm in allowing our Grade 12’s to invite partners. This gave scope for dancing and boosted the small group of Matriculants to the point where this activity became viable. Outfit of the evening – Fabiano’s fashionably rent (torn) jeans to match his hanging shirt tail finished off with a smart black jacket. Don’t even ask what the world is coming to, because no one over 40 will be able to tell you!
Mr Joop and Mrs Cornelia Erasmus were joined in holy matrimony at a ceremony attended by family and friends in Modimolle recently. Joop’s gain is our loss as Mrs Erasmus has left the Boarding Establishment where she has been staying in the teacher’s flat-let in the Girls’ lodge and will be staying with her husband in Alma into the future. Joop is a farmer and we wish this handsome couple everything of the best in the future – good rains, bountiful crops and a blessed family life.
One of life’s miracles is the way learners in Grade One learn to read. My visit to this class last week was SO rewarding, and I think our Grade Ones are the cleverest in whole world. Well done, Mrs van Niekerk.
Yours truly has been visiting classrooms this term to assist with the monitoring of our quality teaching and learning. So far, having seen 80% of the teachers in action, my conclusion is that we are currently blessed with a very strong team and I wish I had been lucky enough to have attended this school. Our learners are totally relaxed in their classes, happy to participate, and very comfortable making presentations to their classmates when required to do so. And goodness me, we have a great number of very bright learners at every level in the Academy.
No Reward Without Hard Work
Ruben le Roux demonstrates what it takes to become a champion – horse saddled and in training before the sun gets up – daily. We wish Ruben well as he rides for his province in Pretoria this weekend.
You will recall that these compulsory national examinations were called off in September as a result of violent action by SADTU, the biggest teachers’ union. These were then to have been rescheduled for February 2016. However, the Minister of Education has pronounced that these tests will in fact take place on the days 1, 2 3 and 4 December. These are days we had hoped would be pupil free so that our staff could concentrate on preparing reports for distribution on the 4th.
Since these tests are compulsory for Waterberg Academy, we will allow Grades 0000 to R and 10 to 12 to finish class attendance on 27 November. However, Grade 1 to 9 inclusive will be required to attend School on the days Tuesday 1 December, Wednesday 2 December, Thursday 3 December and Friday 4 December to write the ANAs. As with our own examinations, learners will be dismissed after they have written their tests each day.
In the event there is a change to this ministerial decree, we will notify parents immediately.
Absence of Headmaster
Please be informed that I shall be away from midday Monday to the weekend as I enter into the second stage of my treatment programme. Please direct any enquiries to the office and these will be passed on to the relevant HOD. Since we have worked together as a School Management Team for the last two years, I have every confidence that their decision making will be well informed and balanced.
On Sunday 15th March, eleven of our learners swam the Bosveld Myl in Bela Bela. Darienne Bridger was our fastest swimmer and she posted her personal best over the distance. Several swimmers swam the 800m as an additional swim, and Callum Roy did the Mile, the 800m and the 200m. Well done, swimmers, and well done Mr Mosime – you have got an amazing amount out of these young people. The fact that you dived in and swam the mile with the team might explain this to a degree. Perhaps also presenting your own medal and tee-shirt to a swimmer who was removed from the water for medical reasons (flu during the week).
Ruan swam all three distances!
Part of the team display their numbers
Part of the team display their Waterberger.
This weekend the group will be doing the Ebenezer Mile and we wish them well as they do the equivalent of 64 lengths of the School swimming pool!
Sign Centre has just informed me that the blazer badges are now ready and can be purchased at R35 each. These will finish off our blazers very neatly. Blazers are only required from Grades 10 to 12.
The navy blue dri-macs are also in stock, with the badge embroidered in place. It is envisaged that learners will be able to wear the dri-mac over the navy blue V-neck jersey for warmth in the approaching winter. Tracksuit pants are also available as the dri-mac and track pants will take the place of the tracksuit. In addition, if your child is in possession of a white golf sports shirt, the badge can be embroidered in place by Sign Centre at R25 if the shirt was purchased from them, and R35 if purchased elsewhere.
Please remember that all the uniform changes are being phased in over 2 years. This means the fleece and the checked blue shirt can be worn until the end of 2016.
Our sale of used uniform went quite well, and all money so raised has been allocated to the cost of building the guard hut at the gate. A special word of thanks to Angus Frew and Oom Jan for the progress that is taking place down there at the gate where a bird hide type structure is taking shape.
Candice Farrant, who helped out in the office for 6 months, has just produced her twins. Timothy John Farrant and Angela Janet Farrant were born over the weekend. Congratulations, Candice and Nick, on your perfect dove pair. We hope to see them in Auntie Suzette’s class in a couple of years. When you have some nice flattering photos of the twins, I would like to put them in the newsletter.
The Academy welcomes Miss Bianca Currie to the Admin Staff. Miss Currie is our Media and Admin Assistant, and already she is having a positive effect upon the backed-up workflow.
The boarders went to Lindani last weekend. Here they did a 7 km hike and then they picnicked beside the Melk River at a place known a Flat Rocks. Adventure Clubbers will remember it as our fly-fishing venue last year. They were away from School from 07h30 until 15h00.
The MTB’ers were also at Lindani, where they did a smart 17 km under the direction of Coach Dave Baber. Team Manager Godfrey spent the entire morning trying to figure out which turn the group had taken as they are now ALL fitter than their headmaster. Fortunately, Coach took this as an opportunity to send the boys back up or down hills to keep the group reasonably in touch. It is going to be very difficult to predict which of these boys will be wearing
the yellow jersey in the Cape Epic in years to come – they are all getting fitter with each outing. On Monday, Livvy told me his legs were fine, but his arms were sore from the 20 push-ups. Dave is a hard taskmaster and will undoubtedly produce some champions. As the saying goes – no pain, no gain.
The New Archery Range
Oom Jan puts the finishing touches to what was, two years ago, just a dream, now a reality made possible by a number of people: Jeran le Roux and his earthmoving company – Mainpro; Heidi and Bruce Carlton and their dogged determination to get things done and essentials donated; and André Bridger who devotes massive amounts of his personal time to the Academy. And then there is Bertus Swanevelder and his fencing company who did this job without cost to the Academy.
On Saturday we will be hosting our inaugural archery contest on our new range. The PTA will be providing eats and braai fires. The volley ball court has been turned and softened, and learners accompanied by adults will be allowed to make use of the swimming pool. Do come and join us for part of the day.
Please note that the official opening of the archery range will take place next term when Jeran is in Vaalwater. This weekend, his son Ruben will be taking part in his second Limpopo horseriding competition at Vivo. We wish you well, Ruben.
Results of the Archery, Ebenezer Mile and the Horse Riding will be in Friday’s newsletter.
Limpopo Archery Team
This is one of those sports where team selection cannot be skewed by the selection panel to favour any school, as selection is based entirely on scores shot over a specific number of official meetings and then averaged.
Please join me in congratulating the following Waterberg Academy learners who have gained selection to the 16 strong Limpopo Archery Team: Darienne Bridger, Shannon Carlton, Tivani Mkansi, Tayla-Kaé Nicholson, Nadja Nortje, Richard Nicholson, Retang Manyako, Ayden Walker, Sebapo Pholoba, Moses Molekoa, Bianca Nortje and Yolanda Gaborutwe with Wiane van Druten as reserve. Waterberg Academy makes up 75% of the 2015 provincial team!
Then we have the following learners in the Limpopo Development Team: Charlton Mwenesani, Phenyo Mochusi, Tiishetjo Maila, Aly Mosheou and Natasha Murungisi.
These young people fully deserve the archery range that has been provided for them.
Six of our matric teachers drove to Polokwane on Tuesday to attend cluster meetings regarding their subjects. This is the second time this term that our teachers have gone about our IEB Matric business, and we thank them for their dedication and wish them and the matriculants everything of the best for 2015.
International Library Week
This school is so busy that it is difficult for any one person to keep up! Mariette Nicholson donated her morning to the Academy Library on Monday and got the re-arranging of the shelves under way. During the breaks she was assisted by Phillip Nicholson, Ruben le Roux and Arno Kloppers. Arno was back on his own on throughout the rest of the week. Many other classes have been in this week to help in the Library. Nikki Eagar, Melanie Collins and Lisbeth Matlou also donated time, and every little bit helped. Thank you.
Some of the classes came to experience the library in a special way this week, and some came to help with the organization. I came upon Tamsin Hill conducting an attention-grabbing reading session with some younger learners. That makes her SOME ART TEACHER! The wider read among you will recognize that phrase.
Arno spends another break working in the Library.
By Friday we had received some 200 books for the Library, with many Afrikaans books as requested and a spread of new and previously read books. THANK YOU!
Safety and Security
The fence around the Junior and Pre Prep playgrounds continues to take shape. There is just a gate and two locking systems to go. Please note that this is a protective measure and not a defensive one. This means the measures are NOT designed to be impregnable, merely additional safety.
Starting in term 2, we will be introducing controlled access to the School campus. Our own parents will be able to purchase windshield stickers to identify them as part of the Waterberg Academy community. These stickers will enable parents simply to drive in and out without filling in the access control register. Stickers are now available from the office @ R5 each and you may purchase one for each of your family vehicles.
This is how the guard hut looked on Tuesday.
No Sport in Last Week
Please note that there will be no sport in the last week. However, there will be archery for those who have made the Limpopo Archery Team. This single exception is because Waterberg Academy has snaffled the bulk of the places on the Limpopo Archery Team (see above) and they have to shoot for the Province very early next term and need practice to keep up their good scores.
Branding and Uniform
Please note that an official Uniform and Branding Committee will launched at the April Board Meeting. At that committee’s meetings, decisions will be made regarding sports shirts, caps and hats etc. so that we can cut out the recent proliferation of items that are emerging at present.
In the interim, all such informal designs will stop as this could in fact lead to money being spent unnecessarily. Anything bearing the School badge or School name will be the province of the Branding and Uniform Committee in the future.
Prospective Parents Seeking Accommodation
At our recent Open Day we were visited by two families from Settlers. They are now looking for a cottage to rent so that Mum can spend the week in town with the two children (Gr 00 and Gr 2) and go home for the weekends. Does anyone know of such accommodation that is available? If so, please notify the Office, or Mariette Nicholson.
On the same note, we had a visitor on Friday from Jo’burg as a direct result of our recent marketing in that part of the world. The boy in question is so keen to come to the Academy that his mother was enquiring after our banking details today.
The marketing was given a bit of a fillip on Saturday at the Archery Competition. Thank you, Mrs Swales, for you effort. No marketing ever goes to waste, and centring such an effort around our new archery range was an excellent idea.
On Saturday our archers travelled to Randfontein to take part in a contest with five other schools. The team placed 2nd overall and Bianca Nortje was 3rd Junior Girl, Tayla-Kaé Nicholson 3rd Senior Girl and Darienne Bridger 1st Senior Girl.
Leyla (3rd from left) and Retang (4th from left) pose for a group shot with their flight.
Bruce and Heidi Carlton and Mr Bridger with the team – jubilant over their 2nd place.
Foundation Phase Swimathon
What a lovely photo!
You tell them, Mrs van Niekerk.
Mel Collins was a lifeguard.
You can take Stuart Hill out of Welgevonden …
This event certainly proved to be a great success, with all the enthusiastic swimmers being supported by encouraging families and friends.
Proud parents and teachers at the side of the pool, with Aunt Joanne just a bit closer to the action.
Senior Prep Taaibos Camp (Photos by Caillyn Lavery)
Last week our Senior Prep learners camped at Taaibos. They had an awesome time.
This is what actually went into the potjies.
Every camp has a “foofie slide.”
International Library Week
This week is International Library Week. A letter to this effect went out, which included a request for assistance in re-arranging the shelves and also a request for suitable books. We are especially in need of Afrikaans reading books.
On Saturday we hosted three other schools for an archery competition. The following were the results:
Junior Boys: 1st Richard Nicholson; 3rd Phillip Nicholson
Junior Girls: 1st Tristyn Walker; 2nd Bianca Nortje
Senior Boys: 1st Shannon Carlton; 2nd Tivani Mkansi
Senior Girls: 1st Darienne Bridger; 2nd Tayla-Kae Nicholson; 3rd Nadja Nortje
Best overall: 1st Darienne Bridger; 2nd Shannon Carlton; 3rd Tivani Mkansi
Waterberg Academy as a Team was first overall.
Over the same weekend, Heidi Carlton and Andre Bridger did an Instructor Trainer’s course. Rumour has it that Mr Bridger got 100%! On the Saturday, Mr Henry Smith did the Basic Archery Instructor’s course, which he passed with flying colours.
We are proud of our teachers!
The winning team, many of whom excelled.
World Reading Aloud Day and Pre Prep Inter School athletics at Klein Vyf
This was celebrated at the Academy on Wednesday. Our Grade 9’s went into the Grade 1 class and read to them. For the “littlies” who are just learning to read, this was a wonderful and encouraging experience.
Our be-medalled “littlies”.
Lucy Calcott reads to Grade One.
Marthinus, Richard and Pogiso with glass they picked up in the playgrounds. Well done!
A team from the Biosphere, Working on Fire, and the Academy being briefed before cleaning up alien plants on the School property.
Die hoërskool leerlinge moes ŉ duisend woorde leer vir hierdie toets. Onder is ŉ foto van sommige van die wenners met hul Afrikaans onderwyseres, Mev. Tersia Van Dyk. Dit lyk of die Waterberg meisies beter as die seuns kan spel!
Hier spog San-Marie, Jordan, Dinneck, Tayla Kae, Nadja en Charmaine met hul pryse.
Famous Brands and Science Excursions
On 26th February, Mr Roth took his Business Studies learners to Famous Brands in Midrand. Famous Brands will be used in one of the questions in the IEB matric this year, and a visit to their factory in Midrand is seen as a positive way to enable the candidates to approach the question with operational knowledge and without fear. The picture below left will not strike fear into the hearts of all who view it during a wedding or bull’s party slide show, or the like!
Fabiano, Nathan, Marius and Ivania turn “dorky” outfits into the new cool.
Victoria Steyn interacts
On Wednesday the Grade 10 and 11 Physical Science learners went to Sci-Enza at the University of Pretoria, an interactive Science Centre. Here they were able to explore their subject to greater and more challenging depths. Perhaps there is a budding young Einstein in the group?
Sale of Used Uniform
Unclaimed lost property and donated items will be on sale on the Admin Block verandah on Monday and Tuesday mornings at drop off time. Do come and browse for good quality items which will save you a great deal of money. We have 2 boxes of shoes to dispose of, and much else.
Grades 0000 to 00 is now open until 17h00 Mondays to Fridays – lunch included!!!
Do pass this information on to parents who might benefit from our changes at this level.
Do join us on Friday 13 March for our Open Day. We will have a programme that will cover 08h00 to 14h00. This is an opportunity to visit your child’s class and see what goes on in the school day.
Our undercover cam sneaks a shot of the Senior Prep potjie session on their camp.
Miss Coetser makes her graduation garb look quite elegant.
Friday 13 march has been set aside as an Open Day. This is a day for visitors to the Academy to see at first hand just what we are about. It is also an opportunity for our own parents to visit their children’s classes and see what they have been doing so far this year. As is our custom, we will stage certain sports activities and lessons at predetermined times throughout the day. The timetable for these activities will be circulated on the D6 communicator in the days before the Open Day. These activities may be of particular interest to parents whose children will be moving up to a higher phase of the School next year. We have also sent an Open Day flyer home with each learner today. Once you have read it, please pass this flyer on to someone whom you think may be interested in the Academy, in this way supporting the massive marketing efforts which have been made by staff and senior learners in the last 5 weeks.
Hats for the Hut
The hats pictured below were donated to the School and we applied the Academy badge. This limited edition is now on offer at R120.00 each and are obtainable from the office. All proceeds are going towards the cost of the guard hut we need at the main gate. The hat is adjustable to fit adults to children.
Seth and Mary showing us how these hats will keep the sun off!
Second Hand Clothing Sale
Tannie Marie and Mrs van Rensburg will place second hand clothing (unclaimed lost property and donations) on tables on the Admin Block verandah on Monday and Tuesday morning, 9 and 10 March in time for drop off time. All items will be on sale at giveaway prices. Please do stop by and see if there is anything that will fit your child(ren).
We are hosting an Inter Schools Athletics Meeting today and a big Limpopo Schools Archery Contest tomorrow. Next week we can enjoy the results of these.
The replacement of the garage doors on the north wall of the hall has been completed. Jeran le Roux picked this one up and he had a team of men working here every day throughout the leave-out weekend to get things done by the time we reopened on Tuesday. He also made use of windows removed from the Foundation Phase classrooms when we built the storerooms onto them in 2013. The end result is both attractive and practical, and the Dining Room and Art Room are now safe. Jeran has said he is looking for a better colour match for the walls, but when you see him over the next few days, do take the time to join me in thanking him for this service to the School, and by implication, to each one of us.
A very familiar face around the School, all too often involved in some building or maintenance, is that of Angus Frew. Angus has taken on the task of fencing the Foundation Phase playground so that once our young learners are delivered to that part of the School, they will be unable to “escape” into the parking area where there is the potential for harm. Angus has very cleverly come up with a way to utilize the material on site and he and his team have been busily sawing poles and bolting them into an upright position to save on fencing posts. The short uprights at the front will remain in situ to retain a safe walkway from the cars to the gates. Thank you, Angus, for yet another project to add to your very long list.
The new fence takes shape.
The visit by Diskonto Books is an annual event. They will be here on Monday and Tuesday and their books will be on display in the Hall. If you would like to buy for your family, please feel free to do so. In addition, the School is always grateful for any books bought on its behalf and Diskonto offers especially reduced prices with this in mind, as well as giving us a “commission in books” at the end of the 2 days.