Headmasters Newsletter 9 October 2015

Matric Farewell

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.

1To the left are Fabiano de Wet, Ivania de Wet, Frans Campher, Susan Mwenesani, Rachel Calcott, Nathan McAuley, Darienne Bridger and partner. (Photo courtesy of Tanya Baber)

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.

The happy couple.

The happy couple.

Grade One

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.

Tyler Le Sar reads to her classmates with great aplomb.

Tyler Le Sar reads to her classmates with great aplomb.

Class Visits

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.

No-gainAnnual National Assessments (ANAs)

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.