Headmasters Newsletter 16 January 2015

School opened on Wednesday on a low key. Clearly the parents did an excellent job of keeping their children busy and have sent them back to us rested, a little tired, and ready to take on the world.

Every child on the 2015 roll was fully accounted for on the first day. This is pretty unusual in independent schools, and it certainly makes our planning easier.

Matric Results

We are proud to be able to announce that we once again got 100% passes in our IEB National Senior Certificate results and 56% of those qualified to attend university. Special mention must be made of Mr Roth’s Mathematical Literacy group where 5 of them got distinctions, with Gontle van Zyl scoring 90%! To the 7 learners in that group I have to say that good teaching would have had a lot to do with such an excellent outcome. Also – well done!

Takunda Mushapaidze attained a distinction in Core Mathematics, a very significant achievement, and I am sure Mrs Els had a lot to do with that as well. He also achieved B’s in Life Orientation, Physical Science, Life Science and Geography.

Welcome

We welcome to the Academy all the new learners who have come to join us. It is always exciting to receive new people into a class group as it opens up new possibilities in the area of friendships, and new challenges to the academic pecking order.

We also welcome the following new teachers: Mrs McBride, Miss van den Elst and Miss Botha in the High School; Mr Smith and Miss Coetser in the Senior Prep; Mrs van Wyk in Grade 2; and Mrs Botha as our new Chef because Birgit has ‘retired’ to the home front.

Thanks

This is probably the proper place to say ‘Thank you’ to Birgit for the amazing uplift of our meals. The food went from poor to excellent as soon as she took over in 2013, and all who sampled her fare raved about the quality. Birgit became a much loved part of the family and she will be missed.

At the same time we all owe a debt of thanks to Jeran le Roux for the work done by his grader during the holiday. I know we all enjoy the smoother approach to the gates and the Boarding Establishment, not to mention the further levelling to the archery platform. Thank you, Jeran.

Visit

It was lovely to welcome Retha Muller and a friend to the School on Wednesday. I was able to show her around and point out all the new developments. Retha and her late husband were very much part of the planning at the inception of this school, and the donors of the Senior Preparatory block.

The Academy has so many people to be grateful to, donors and directors. On this note, we thank Trish Wilson and John Canterbury of the Wilson Foundation for their annually renewed and very generous support of half a dozen learners at our School. The Wilson Foundation, The Olson Family Trust, and many other individuals, are doing SO much to make a quality education available to young people in this community. Thank you.

Congratulations

Miss Lavery got engaged during the holiday (a helicopter was involved somehow – you will need to get the full storycfrom Caillyn.) Sadly, her fiancé is Durban based, so Miss Lavery will be leaving us at the end of the first term.

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Miss Bernie Reed went one step further and became Mrs Wagenhauser in December and I am sure the entire School body joins me in wishing her and husband, John, everything of the very best. John is a local farmer, so Mrs Wagenhauser will be remaining on staff for the foreseeable future.

Further Staffing Matters

Miss Rautenbach resigned at the end of 2015 and has gone to work closer to home in White River. Miss van Coller resigned last week and started at Laerskool Vaalwater today, so she will still be in the community. Miss Botha has taken her place after a two day induction and Mr Vorster and I have co-operated closely to ensure minimal disruption to the timetables of either Vaalwater school or Waterberg Academy. Mrs Rosina Masila has left us after 10 years of service to join her family in Polokwane, sadly taking daughters Prudence and Portia with her.

The only post actually vacant at present is that of librarian. In every case where we have employed staff for 2015, we have been able to choose from a good field of applicants and we are confident that we have been able to find excellent people to join us.

Internal Appointments

The Boarding Establishment will be headed up by Mr Roth who has been part of that particular team for 2 years and is looking forward to the challenge. Since Gavin has ‘a heart for the learners’ I have no doubt that things will go well on that front.

High School Sport will be organized by Mr Bridger. André is a very willing and hard-working man and has taken this added responsibility in his capable stride.

Prep School sport has been taken on by Mrs Wagenhauser. Bernie has demonstrated in the past her ability to organize things successfully and is forging ahead as I write.

Guppies

Our Grade 8’s are going through their High School orientation for the first two weeks of the year. They started the process on Sunday when many of you were still on holiday. Their over-nighter at Swebe Swebe was a highlight. Below are pictures of the group co-operating to make tea in a tree – at night! They also had other interesting challenges presented to them and emerged with flying colours. Well done, Guppies, and thank you Grade 12’s for leading together with Mr Mosime, Mrs van Rensburg and Mrs van den Elst. Also, thanks to Ken Maude and Liz Hunter yet again for allowing us the use of their beautiful property.

The Grade 8’s will put on their Guppy Concert on Thursday 22 February in the evening. Until then they will be easily recognised by their self-decorated white Guppy shirts worn over the uniform.

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Tea in a tree

Rebecca cares for the last egg

Athletics

This sport had a false start yesterday as thunder, lightning and rain interrupted play. When shall we athletes meet again? Please keep close tabs on your child’s bag each day as information in this respect is sent home. We have a very pressurized and busy athletics season which lasts until the end of February.

Mark Godfrey