Headmaster’s News Letter – 25 July 2014

Adventure Club

Adventure Club Camp July 2014 - WelcomeBriefing session before the start of the Adventure Club Camp to Lindani Private Game Reserve.

Adventure Club Camp July 2014 - We start them young cyclistsThey start young at Waterberg Academy.

Adventure Club Camp July 2014 - The wight of the worldThe weight of the world ……

Adventure Club Camp July 2014 - Birding                     The birders found some interesting birds.                               

Adventure Club Camp July 2014 - Fly fishing Let’s try this one . . . (after losing several flies to the grass and rocks on the back cast).

This Adventure Club outing was an absolute winner. We had 18 learners ranging from Grade R to Grade 8. There were two moms and two dads to help with the Junior and Pre-Preppers, and two staff members present. The learners thoroughly enjoyed the activities, and the adults all had a great time. The beautiful starlit sky was the ideal backdrop to the night walk and campfire.

Special thanks to Simone Baber for the lasagne supper and all the other catering essentials.

Adventure Club Camp July 2014 - Mountain BikingThe bigger guys stop for a photo. Lindani is ideal for MTB.

Stephen Lungu Visit

Our assembly this morning took the form of a visit by Africa Enterprise, some dance and drama by their “Foxfire” team, and a stirring talk by Stephen Lungu where he addressed Grades 4 to 12 for 20 minutes.

Stephen Lungu Visit - July 2014Stephen Lungu surrounded by admirers.

This man has addressed Heads of State and football stadiums full of people. We are honoured that he should spend time at our school. Many of our Senior Prep learners have read Stephen’s biography, From a Street Kid written by Tonia Cope Bowley and were eager to meet him and to hear his story first hand.

Stephen Lungu Visit - July 2014 - with Tristyn WalkerTristyn was ill today, but asked Mom, René, to bring her in especially to hear and meet Stephen.

Boeresport

Tuesday saw this exciting passage in the Senior Prep mid-morning programme. I am amazed that learners were willing to pay money to toss an egg over ever-increasing distances until it broke, in some instances getting egg all over themselves. We have lovely kids in this school.

Boeresport 2014 - Tug of War Shannon urges on the boys’ team. They had just suffered a defeat by the girls a few minutes earlier and this time they called out the “big guns.”

IEB Core Skills Tests

Our Grade Sixes and Nines wrote the IEB Core Skills Benchmarking Tests today. We will get the results in October and be able to compare the results of our teaching and learning with national averages. We look forward to the end result.

Mark Godfrey

Headmaster’s News Letter – 18 July 2014

Sport

The changing of the seasons is closely mirrored in the change of school sports. This week we began with Cricket across the board for the boys, hockey in the Junior and Senior Preps for the girls and soccer in the High School for the girls. A walk around the fields showed good attention being paid to the basics with all the coaches adopting the recommended skills based approach. And the really important factor was the obvious enjoyment of the learners.

Senior Prep Cricket Practice July 2014Mr Bridger working on the catch under the high ball – always a challenge to the aspirant cricketer.

Hockey and Cricket practice - July 2014Ms van Rensburg and Mr Roth coach hockey and cricket respectively.

Inter House Sport

Then on Thursday we held Inter-House sport in all the sports the learners did in term 2. The results were as follows:

Won by:

Junior Prep Rugby –     Davidson

Junior Prep Netball –   Drawn

Senior Prep Rugby –     Kirkman

Senior Prep Netball –   Davidson

High School Netball –   Kirkman

High School Soccer –   Davidson

High School Hockey –   Drawn

The overall points position of the two houses for 2014 is: Kirkman – 14 and Davidson – 11. There are still many events during the year which will influence the final outcome.

Adventure Club

Mr Dave Baber seems to have come up with a winner with this activity. In spite of the fact that the overnighter to Lindani will cost learners R180 and adults R280, we have more than a full house and are in fact over-subscribed by 6 at present. Dave and Simone have kindly offered to accommodate the overflow so that we do not need to turn anyone away. The take up of 24 people (including 7 adults) is a pretty good indication of the interest in things outdoors and adventurous among our school community.

Lindani

Remember, it is now 5 weeks to the Lindani MTB Challenge. There are race distances for everyone. If you own a mountain bike there is really no excuse for missing this one, so some training is called for and entry all but compulsory. You can log onto www.lindani.co.za for information and you can register for the race on www.racetime.co.za   Registration is now open.

Our PTA is in great need of assistance on each of the race days – Sat 23rd and Sun 24th August. Please volunteer to help if you are able.

Mark Godfrey

Headmaster’s News Letter – 11 July 2014

Good news is such a good elixir – it keeps us young and gives our aspirations direction. Let us join in celebrating the outstanding achievement of one of our own. Professor Lyn Wadley is very much a part of the Waterberg Academy community and the picture below, taken at a gala dinner on 3 July, tells quite a story.

As a seat of learning in its own right, filled with aspirant life-long learners, some of whom will undoubtedly go on to achieve great things, it is incumbent on the Academy to comment on academic achievement by the wife of our Board Chairman.

As many of you know, Lyn is Associate Professor of Archaeology in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at Wits University. Lyn was awarded with the TW Kambule NRF-NSTF BHP Billiton Award for an outstanding contribution to science, engineering and technology through research and its outputs over the last five to 10 years. We are very proud of you, Lyn, and totally humbled by your willingness to spend time at the School assisting us in such relatively “trivial” matters as tree identification. There is a message in here for our learners – do you guys get it?

Prof Wadley Award - July 2014Professor Lyn Wadley flanked by Thandi Mgwebi on the left and Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandoor on the right.

Another Outstanding Achievement

Ivania de Wet was accompanied by her mother, Joice, to New York where she participated in a drama workshop. Ivania did so well, placing among the top 5, that she has been offered 2 short term scholarships to New York Film Academy and The Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, New York. During 2015 Ivania will be participating in an internship for one month at each institution. Well done Ivania!Ivania De Wet - June 2014

Rhino Capture and Horn Poisoning

During the June/July holiday some of our learners went to Ant’s Nest with Mr Mosime to observe the capture of 2 baby rhinos and the poisoning of their horns to deter poachers. This experience was exciting, informative, and will live in their memories forever.

This is the second visit by the School to Ant’s Nest in a very short time and we are VERY grateful to Ant and Tessa Baber for their interest in the Academy and its learners.

Rhino Horn Poisoning - June 2014Rebecca Banda, Mr Mosime, Peter Calcott, Lucy Calcott and Dinneck Masumba pose in front of a sleeping baby rhino as the team does its work.

Rhino Horn Poisoning Mr Mosime - June 2014Mr Mosime restrains the mother as the vet does the necessary. Mrs Swales was behind the camera.

Week One of Term Two

School opened on Monday amidst zero fanfare and even less drama. Amazingly, after only very few minutes it was all back to normal and the work simply presented itself for our collective attention. “Holidays are so overrated” – I think that quote goes to the inimitable Mr Barger.

Mrs Mills is back and hard at work. She mentioned being tired and a little sore, but added that she was eager to plunge into some Shakespeare, poetry and the like. During my brief time looking after her classes I was struck by one particular thing – our English learners get amazing feedback from their teacher. Well done, Mrs Mills! The suggestion was made to her to pass on something of a good vintage to Mr Barger for all his hard work in setting the English examination papers, a lot of which were entirely his own handiwork. They were very interesting papers and I am sure all the learners really enjoyed writing them!

IQAA Evaluation

There are just two weeks to the visit by our two IQAA mentors. They will be on campus on 23 and 24 July and we are ready for them. Mrs Ciska Leonard is the leader of the Internal Evaluation Team and she and the team are doing an outstanding job.

Special thanks to Mrs Leonard, Mrs Van Dyk, Mrs Raubenheimer, Miss Lavery and Mrs Van Niekerk. The internal evaluation has demanded hours and hours of their time and they have sacrificed this on behalf of all of us. The end result of this process and all the hard work will give us much insight into the way forward for the Academy.

Adventure Club

The Adventure Club will be going to Lindani on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 July. This will take the form of a sleep-over in a Lindani lodge. Lindani have very kindly offered the lodge to us at R150 pp p.n. if we bring our own linen and towels. A sleeping bag and towel will therefore be necessary. We will charge an additional R30.00 to cover the supper on Friday and breakfast the next morning, giving the adventurers a stay at a top Waterberg destination for a fraction of the regular price. Thank you, Sam and Peggy van Coller!

Activities will include the following: Mountain biking for those who bring bikes; a night hike; a hike on Saturday morning (with binoculars for those who would like to learn about birds and birding); and fly fishing/casting in the Melck Rivier. Adventurers will be home for lunch on Saturday. A letter with more detail was handed to all interested learners earlier today.

Tail Draggers

Next Saturday our boarders will be going to the Tail Draggers Fly-in in Modimolle as their fortnightly outing. We believe that this is quite an interesting event and would suggest as many people as possible avail themselves of this opportunity to observe and possibly even fly in some light aircraft. One of our families is deeply immersed in this activity, with one son adamant that he is going to be a pilot when he is big, which is a laudable ambition.

Archery

NASP has now made the cut for official Springbok colours. Being an individual, scores based sport, the criteria for Provincial and National colours have been set on the shooter’s average score out of 300. I stand to be corrected, but something like 280 will qualify for Provincial representation and 290 for National representation.

Clearly, one afternoon per week is never going to get an aspirant archer to those levels of performance. Furthermore, unless the learner buys an expensive bow and other equipment, practicing at home is impossible. To assist learners who might wish to make the sacrifices necessary to aspire to representative honours, Mrs Carlton, Mr Bridger and others of our archery coaches have made themselves available on Friday afternoons. A letter to this effect has just gone out.

Lindani MTB Classic

The pressure is on for our mountain bikers to get fit for the Lindani MTB Classic on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 August. There are distances to suit all ages, from 10 km to 2 day stage races.

The Waterberg Academy PTA will once again be doing the catering at this 2-day event. They will be requiring much assistance. Please talk with Natalie Berry if you can help with the catering on one of the two days on that weekend. Without assistance, this fund raising opportunity would simply be impossible.

Lindani Start - Ben and Josh Baber - 2013Benjamin Baber leads his brother, Joshua and dad, Dave, at the start of the 30 km race at Lindani last year.

To assist with a training regime, there will be mountain biking every Wednesday of term three immediately after School. We will ride the Welgevonden East Gate road. Obviously, learners who have extra lessons or cultural activities on Wednesdays may NOT join in with this training and will have to establish their own routines.

Eisteddfod

The Waterberg Academy Eisteddfod has become a firm favourite with the learners and very well known in the area with participation from other schools and even from non-school organizations this year. I believe the dance section has been expanded to include ballet so that this beautiful activity can also be showcased.

Eisteddfod details have been circulated and I and every manager and teacher in the School encourage learners to get involved and draw maximum benefit from this activity. You have our support as you co-ordinate and sweat blood on this year’s Eisteddfod, Mr Barger.

Mark Godfrey

 

Headmaster’s News Letter : 06 June 2014

Night of Stars

Last Friday night we hosted Beaulieu College from the Kyalami area for their music camp. They enjoyed 4 Waterberg Academy Dining Room meals, stayed in the Zeederburg Cottages at a very favourable rate, enjoyed an awesome shared music evening followed by a Night Sky Safari, and were treated to an archery lesson on Saturday morning. Below is some feedback we got from Beaulieu on Monday regarding their visit to the Waterberg.

“The kids are still talking about camp…..they absolutely loved it!!!!” Susi Grasmuck

We regarded this as a purpose-made marketing opportunity which was handed to us on a platter (with a little help from Mrs Swales), without too much work, and with a good proportion of our learners, activities and facilities on display. Thank you to everyone who got involved and made it the success it was.

It must be said that we have some very talented people in this school – both learners and staff. The opening item was a song by staff and a parent. I am so proud of you guys.

Then we had some guitars interspersed with piano items. Our guitar group is way out in front of the pack. Zandré sang the first song and I almost fell off my seat in surprized admiration. You have an amazing voice, Zandré! Their second song was with two voices, and Marius showed off his range and again the audience was spellbound. The question is, will we ever hear Nathan and Rachel sing?

Lucy and Rachel each treated us to some beautiful piano music. You girls were outstanding.

Night of Stars 2014 - Waterberg Academy BandNight of Stars 2014 - Teachers and parents item

 

 

 

     

 

Our guitar group were amazing                           “The Hi-i-i-lls of ho-o-o-me….” 

Night of Stars 2014 - Beaulieu PrepBeaulieu gave us the impetus (excuse) for the beautiful evening. Above is their string group.

As the last strains of music faded, Dr Phil started an exciting Night Sky Safari. One day we will ask Phil to share with us ordinary teachers his secret on keeping a mixed bunch of pre-teens, teenagers and adults quiet and enthralled for 45 minutes. His comment about the light from a particular star starting on its journey around about the time of Moses, followed by a quick, “Not OUR Moses” went down very well. Thank you, Dr Calcott for always being so prepared to give of yourself and your time to the Academy.

Boarders’ Visit to Ant’s Nest

Ant and Tessa Baber have for some time been inviting Waterberg Academy to come to their extensive property and exclusive lodge to experience their game. On Saturday we took them up on this offer and 20 boarders and 3 teachers were treated to an amazing experience – one which I am sure they will never forget. Special thanks to Ant and Tess. Aren’t we privileged to live here in this part of the world?

Boarders Outing 1   Boarders Outing 2

These are wild rhinos that have become partially habituated to humans at Ant’s Nest.

Boarders Outing 3 Boarders Outing to Ants Nest

 It is really tough waiting around for the           Tessa surrounded by our very impressed next (baby) rhino sized thirst to take hold.      boarders. What a privilege for our boarders!

Family Fun Day ! ! !

Be there. It appears we will have something in the region of 16 plus potjies. Perhaps the cooks had forewarning of the cooler weather that started today. They will certainly be in a warm place.

There will also be several volleyball teams, one made up of persons who were young in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s but have not yet gone off to relax in the shade, and others a tad younger (but less wily.) The much feared St. John’s team was heard to be offering early excuses today – apparently two of their secret weapons have had to withdraw – one at 6’ 5” and the other an ex-learner who is particularly skilled at the game. All the other teams will be crying big crocodile tears over this sad news.

At midday, our surprise presentation, recently upgraded to the plural, will take place. Don’t miss the good news.

PTA and Board Report Back

On Friday 13 June from 08h30 to 10h00 we will hold a PTA and Board Report Back to the parent body in the School Hall. We have chosen this day and time as it will make attendance convenient especially for parents who will be travelling long distances to fetch learners who stay in the Boarding Establishment.

Parents who attend will be addressed by the PTA Chair, Mrs Natalie Berry, and thereafter by the Board of Governors Chair, Mr Richard Wadley. This will be an opportunity to hear what is happening on two very important fronts in the School.

Sport

We have just completed the busiest term of sport that Waterberg Academy has ever had. Our Preparatory School played in four mini tournaments with an invitation to the girls to play netball next week at Laerskool Vaalwater Our High School had organized fixtures in soccer and hockey for the first time ever.

The Prep School games yesterday drew the league to a close. Out of the 4 game league, our U/9 Netball girls emerged in first place – well done, girls!

Special mention was made of the following players at the end-of-season prize giving: Lerato Makekhaba (U/9); Lily Baber (U/9); Suzanne Botha (U11); Joyce Lebese (U11) and Mijeanne Grové (U13). Well done, girls! And a special word of congratulation to all who played in the netball teams. There have to be 7 players on the field to begin the game, and loyal attendance and hard training all add up to a team that enjoys its season and learns to appreciate the privilege of being part of a select group. You will cherish your days playing especially team sports in school for the rest of your lives.

Our U/11 rugby players placed second in their league and special mention was made of Ruben Doubell (U/11); Daniel van Coller (U/11) and Peter Calcott (U/11). Well done, boys! Rugby is a great game because it teaches boys to look an adversary in the eye and confront him manfully. Things like rucks and mauls also teach players to learn to rely on support from team mates when they run into trouble. Glenwood High School in Durban used to speak of going “under the green blanket” as their team mates rucked over them on the ground.

2015 Term Calendar

For those of you wanting to book that overseas holiday in 2015, the Term Calendar for next year has been uploaded onto the D6 Communicator today. This year I have had helpful input from other Limpopo schools and we will begin and end terms in line with them as much as possible. This will mean that when the school responsible for the Preparatory Schools’ fixtures draws them up, they are far more likely to suit Waterberg Academy than was the case this year.

Protocol

When a learner joins a team there is a protocol that must be followed. This protocol is applied in all schools that are serious about their sport and is designed to inculcate good values like loyalty and team spirit. Should a team member be aware ahead of a sport fixture that he/she will not be available, it is incumbent on that member to notify the coach concerned of this timeously and in the form of a written letter from the parent. In addition, only matters of an extremely serious nature would be considered as acceptable in such instances. Things like so-and-so’s birthday party, or the family wishing to go away for the weekend etc would not normally be found to be acceptable. In fact, loyalty and team spirit demand that the member/player put the interests of the team ahead of his own interests.

Having matches during the examination period caused great consternation as this is not normal in the Waterberg Academy culture. It is entirely normal in bigger schools which have a full fixture list, but we are still growing in that direction.

As we move forward and as we grow as a school we need to be cognisant of the fact that we are moving out of our infancy and moving towards a more mature stage in the School’s journey. This will demand a slightly more formal approach in many areas. Do discuss this process with me if you have any ideas of the direction Waterberg Academy should take. I would dearly love to share the responsibility of “Arbiter of Vision.”

Mark Godfrey