Dear Waterberg Family
I came across an interesting article written by Marc Falconer in which he discusses the issues that face our schools. I found it to be very relevant to Waterberg Academy.
The very earnest astrophysict Sir Arthur Eddington, when he took some time off from explaining Einstein’s theory of relativity, also managed to dabble in scientific philosophy. One example of this was his articulation of a theory that had to do with measuring achievements of long distance cyclists – although I have never been able to understand one word of this thesis. What makes more sense to me, certainly in the context of education, is what Eddington had to say about personal relativity: ‘Imagine yourself in the midst of nothingness and then try to tell me how large you are’.
Each school in our country manages to create a unique and easily distinguishable flavour, which is remarkable in a context where pupils are engaging with the same curriculum and working in a similar environment. Every time there are visitors to Waterberg Academy, it allows me or whoever is showing them around, an opportuinty to see the familiar place through fresh eyes.
It is this introductory statement made by Marc Falconer, that became so real too as I was doing my walk about the school. There is a sad inability of many pupils in our school and across our country to look after the environment in which they live. Although it is true that some school campuses are absolutely pristine, it would be interesting to know how long they would remain in this state if there were not platoons of ground staff rushing around collecting the rafts of litter, chip packets, plastic yoghurt and Woolies salad containers, drink cartons, aluminium sandwhich wrappings and chocolate and sweet papers. And even in schools where the inside grounds are immaculate, in almost all cases, not far from the gates, greasy fast food wrappers and plastic bottles can collect in unsightly knee-high piles.
I have noticed that while our ground staff help to clean up, our children sit quite comfortably amidst the filth and debris of their lunch, and when they get up to leave, they seem genuinely oblivious to the filth they have left behind. Once they have devoured their food, the container or wrapping immediately becomes someone else’s problem.
This simple inability of pupils to see their own mess is similar to the failure to see and acknowledge visitors on the school ground. And these may be the same pupils who give hundreds of hours to the planting of gardens in other communities.
I ask the question: Are we a school that lauds pupils for excellent academic and sporting results, but allows pupils to demonstrate this lack of humanity? Then we have a flawed education. If pupils leave Waterberg Academy incapable of seeing the humanity of each person or with the impression that someone else will clean up their mess after them, our school has failed – and the good Sir Arthur Eddington has made a valid point: in our solipsistic vacuum of nothingness we are neither large nor important.
As staff and parents, we have the responsibility to teach and demonstrate to our pupils the value of the dignity of all humans, even those cleaning staff who crawl around on their hands and knees collecting our discarded and awkwardly positioned debris. It must be part of the Waterberg Academy education to value our environment. We can all make a productive start by remedying our own impoverishment by greeting all the people in our school and those who visit our school, and by cleaning up our own mess.
Acknowledgement to Marc Falconer “Notes from a Headmasters Desk”
1. Open Day 6 March 2020
I would like to invite all parents and staff to attend our open day. This is not merely a day in which we impress prospective parents . I firmly believe that our current parents should also experience the school in action. Please join us at 09H00 for an open assembly. Apart from experiencing the talent that this school offers, you can also hear about the vision and the future plans of Waterberg Academy. It would also be nice if you could invite your friends and family to join us. Tours of the school will take place from 10H00 until 13H00.
2. Waterberg Academy – a positive environment
- There is great excitement at the school as we have started to introduce new activities: golf as a school sport and the introduction of a school choir. Mr van der Schyff is currently auditioning pupils for the choir . Pupils who would like to play golf for Waterberg Academy are to go and see Mr O Kelly please.
- A huge congratulations to the following learners who made us proud at the Equestrian competition last weekend:
Horse Riding Results: SANESA QUALIFIER 1 (14 February – 16 February)
Lyandi van der Merwe (Grade 8) – 1st place in the following disciplines:
1m Competition & A2 Showjumping (Horse: Carel Hancke Limpopo)
Dressage Novice (Carel Hancke Limpopo)
1m Working Hunter (Carel Hancke Limpopo)
3rd place: 1m Equitation (Carel Hancke Limpopo)
1m Working Hunter (Main Player)
Carla Leonard (Grade 8) – (first SANESA Qualifier for her)- 1st Place
70cm Working Hunter (Horse: Colonial Wind)
2nd Place: – 80cm A2 Showjumping (Horse: Colonial Wind
3rd place: – 80 cm Competition Showjumping (Horse: Colonial Wind)
Dressage: Preliminary (Horse: Colonial Wind)
70cm Equitation (Horse: Colonial Wind)
Our mountain bike pupils also did extremely well:
- Sa Cup XCO (Cross country) #1
- Junior (m) Livingstone Banda 43rd /45 – he had a technical issue
- Nipper (boy) Gianmarco Gualdi 6th/ 7
- Sprog (m) Daniel Eagar 5th/11
- Sub Junior (m) Ethan Gualdi 10th/10
- Sub Junior (f) Carla Jansen van Rensburg 1st/ 5
- Our primary school took part in the Euphorbia primary schools’ athletics We were complimented on the behavior and spirit of our school and with limited number of athletes, we did extremely well. Thank you to all the pupils who competed and held our name on high.
We look forward to our open day and we are excited to show off what a great school we have become. Let us never forget: