NEWSLETTER 09 June 2017

Board Matters

After six years on the Board, five of them as Chairman, Richard Wadley stepped down yesterday. While we have known of his intention for the last 18 months, it was very sad to hear Richard speak his last words of advice and finally leave at the end of the meeting.

Richard is pictured speaking to the learners, parents and guests at the 2015 Prize Giving, one of his
many duties during his tenure as Board Chair.

Richard is pictured speaking to the learners, parents and guests at the 2015 Prize Giving, one of his
many duties during his tenure as Board Chair.

When Richard came onto the Board in 2012, the School was not in a good place financially. A bank loan had been taken out to pay for the girls’ boarding establishment and a “soft loan” made by previous directors to the School was mounting at prime and no attempt had been made to pay it off as there was insufficient cash in the kitty to do so. Richard was elected Chairman the following year and immediately set about paying off the “soft loan.” He and his board also decided to find the money to employ an experienced bursar to get the finances in order. A new era of fiscal discipline was instituted. As a result the learner numbers dropped from 200 in 2012 to 160 by 2014. Today, we have 150 learners, but every one of them is paying the full school fee, or someone is paying that full fee on their behalf. There is no one in the school who is being subsidised by the fees of the other parents. The soft loan was paid up in 2015. The bank loan has 3 years to go. We have sufficient cash flow to run a tight ship and the future is promising.
Richard’s experience on the board of a big mining house gave him insight into the convoluted business of corporate governance. Throughout his chairmanship, he has been insistent on keeping board business separate from operational matters. This has given the School Management the space to breathe and make the changes and adjustments necessary to bring its house into order.

In recent years the staff has stabilized and the education on offer seems to be better than ever – the results certainly seem to suggest this. Right now we are blessed with an amazing group of highly competent teachers who each carry a large load and do so with grace and aplomb. This is largely thanks to the establishment in 2015 of the HR Committee which helps in the tricky business of staff selection.
Then Board Chair, Gustav Collins initiated strategic planning session in 2011 which led to a change in direction in the sport that the School offers. The change to individual type sports has led to 10% of the learners in the Academy achieving provincial colours across three official school sports for the last three years. This year we have two learners with South African colours to boot – one in the official school sport of archery and one in karate which is no longer a school sport.

Richard was also instrumental in establishing the Waterberg Academy Education Trust. This Trust has been able to retain the academically strong learners through its scholarship programme, and also keep and attract other good learners via bursaries. Our “top” two matriculants of 2016 were each recipients of a W. A. E. T. scholarship, proof of the success of this initiative. Several applicants for places in the School this year have quoted the 2016 matric results as their motivation for seeking entry for their children. We will have excellent matric results again this year, and also into the future. Our best academics are no longer being lured away by the wealthier schools and we have been able to attract really good kids to the Academy.
Richard has not been a “do what I say,” leader. He has very much led by example. The amount of work he put in to get the Waterberg Academy Education Trust registered with CAF America so that overseas donors would get tax relief on their donations to this School by supporting the Trust is unbelievable. And this work and responsibility is on-going.

Richard and Lyn have been at pretty much every major Academy event since he joined the Board. Richard and Lyn have been special guests at all Prize Giving ceremonies, and each has even taken on the role of guest of honour when called upon.

Richard and Lyn looking smashing at the Race Night.

Richard and Lyn looking smashing at the Race Night.

Richard and Lyn Wadley have also contributed financially to the School:

  • R100 000 towards the refurbishment of the Boarding Establishment in 2013
  • R100 00 towards the building of the two new classrooms in 2014
  • scholarships for several learners over several years
  • stage curtains
  • swimming pool fence
  • school magazines
    and much more.

One of Richard and Lyn’s chief concerns has been the quality of education on offer at the Academy. He is always the first to ask for the Matric results and enquire after the tertiary studies of the learners after they leave the School. This concern motivated them to offer scholarships to keep several academically strong learners in the Academy, in the belief that this would encourage other such learners either to stay at or to join the School.

Because of their love of English, they instituted the Novella Writing Competition as a way to encourage young people to write. This competition has run in 2014 and 2016 and all the book prizes have been purchased by Lyn and Richard.

Here Lyn and Richard circulate during the Prize Winners’ Tea in the library after the 2016 Novella Writing Competition

Here Lyn and Richard circulate during the Prize Winners’ Tea in the library after the 2016 Novella Writing Competition

Perhaps my fondest (most bemused) memory of Richard is of him in full cry before an audience of learners and parents – speaking without notes and making absolute sense. He must have been a terror in the world of debating.

When a man of Richard’s stature leaves an organization, he leaves a BIG hole. This has been filled by the appointment of Pierre Leonard as Interim Chairman until the next meeting.

Outstanding Achievement

Kiandra Doubell has excelled in her gymnastics this term. In total she competed in 3 competitions and was awarded gold medals in all three competitions.

This past weekend she competed against 11 clubs in Limpopo where all the girls competed to be chosen for the Limpopo team. She was awarded a gold medal again and achieved 2nd place in her age group – and she was chosen for the Limpopo team to compete in the North Zone on 24th of June 2017!

Kiandra shows her balance on the beam.

Kiandra shows her balance on the beam.

One of the many rewards of doing well in a sport – the podium!

One of the many rewards of doing well in a sport – the podium!

We are very proud of your achievements Kiandra and will be wishing you all the best for the next competition!

Communication

Recently, a letter to our Senior Preparatory netball and soccer players’ parents was delayed until the day before the actual game. This was caused by the school we were to play being unable to confirm which teams they would be sending until the day before the fixture, in spite of repeated enquiries from Mrs Wagenhauser. We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this late confirmation, especially to our U/9 learners and parents. In the end that school simply did not have a team in that age group.

Our D6 Communicator enables us to keep parents informed and send out instant news flashes. Half way through this term, after a very delayed return home, we decided to send out an alert when the bus leaves the venue of an away game to return to the Academy. This should enable parents to
gauge their arrival back at School. This system presupposes a departure before 16h00 when the School office closes, and also that the recipients of the flash have their D6 reception set to receive all notifications.

If you are not receiving all notifications, the D6 administrators have told us it is necessary to delete the current version you have and upload the latest version.

Mark Godfrey

NEWSLETTER 04 May 2017

High School Outing

Mr and Mrs Wadley sponsored a trip to Pretoria for the entire High School to attend a showing of the new film Beyond the River on Wednesday at the Kolonnade Sentrum. The trip went off very well and the film was enjoyed by all. It includes a number of moral decisions in an interesting storyline, and I recommend a visit to a nearby cinema to see it if at all possible.

Speaking of Wednesday, our Board Chair passed a major milestone as he celebrated a birthday. We invited him to our Friday assembly to be fussed over a little. Happy Birthday, Richard!

NEWS LETTER 04 May
NEWS LETTER 4 May 2017-3
NEWS LETTER 4 May 2017-4

Top Left: Mr Wadley holds his birthday card and chats with Miss Nicholson and Jesse Dowinton.
Top Right: Spared 70 candles, Richard blows out the symbolic two.

Left: At tea after assembly, congratulated by Mrs Raubenheimer who did the décor.
Below: At the other end of the scale, Luan Meyer celebrated his 4th birthday with his friends in the giraffe class today. The cake is fancier than yours, Richard. Sorry for You!!!!

NEWS LETTER 4 May 2017-6
NEWS LETTER 4 May 2017-7

Sport

Mountain Biking
A Limpopo MTB XCO was held on the Summerplace farm at the weekend. Several of our learners
rode and all did very well. In the Sub-Junior Boys Ruan Jansen van Vuuren placed 3rd and Livingstone
Banda 7th. In the Nipper Boys Daniel Eager placed 5th. Carla Jansen van Vuuren was 2nd among the
Sprog Girls.

Today, Ruan is on his way to Bloemfontein to take part in the S. A. Cup Cross Country Mountain
Biking Championships. Go hard, Ruan!

Ruan Jansen van Vuuren on the right – third in Limpopo.

Ruan Jansen van Vuuren on the right – third in Limpopo.

Mr Bridger congratulates Carla and Livvy. Daniel was absent.

Mr Bridger congratulates Carla and Livvy. Daniel was absent.

Team Sports

NEWS LETTER 4 May 2017-11

Our team sports are in full swing. Pictured above are the Senior Preparatory soccer players engaged
in some footwork drills. Behind them in the distance can be seen the High School girls busy with
their netball.

The senior boys are out of picture doing a team talk – thus no photo. Their soccer has been going
well and they have played two inter schools matches to date.

Josh keeps the ball in play – the demeanour of the rest of the personnel on the field suggests
that they expected this ball to go out, making this an excellent ball. The ref looks very cool.

Josh keeps the ball in play – the demeanour of the rest of the personnel on the field suggests
that they expected this ball to go out, making this an excellent ball. The ref looks very cool.

Netball

Our Preparatory School girls travelled to Roedtan yesterday. This tournament was a “pipe opener”
for the girls, and they did very well. Our U/9’s won 2 games and lost 1. Our U/11’s narrowly lost all
3 of their games, and our U/12’s won all 3 of theirs – in one game their score was 18 – 2, showing
their excellent skill.

Mrs Kruger has been coaching our netball since last year, and the result of her input is clearly visible
as our girls take their places on the field and then set about the serious business of combining as a
team to get the ball to the hoop. Thank you, Mrs Kruger.

Budding Gymnast

NEWS LETTER 4 May 2017-14

Kiandra Doubell took up gymnastics in January. On Saturday she took part in her very first competition in Pretoria. In her division she competed with 36 other girls in 4 disciplines. Kiandra won a gold medal (left) in one discipline and also received a trophy as she placed third overall.

Well done, Kiandra!

Early Closure – Monday 8 May

Please be reminded that School will close at 13h00 on Monday 8 May to accommodate an important SACE workshop for our staff and also teachers from surrounding schools. All the details of this closure were included in the letter sent out yesterday.

Mark Godfrey

NEWS LETTER 24 February 2017

Assembly

 

Three areas of outstanding achievement were acknowledged in the assembly this morning.

 

Archery

 

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.

 

Charlton and Rafologang – SA Development Archer swith their proud coach – Mr Bridger

Charlton and Rafologang – SA Development Archer swith their proud coach – Mr Bridger

Horse Riding

 

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.

 

Horse Riding

You are doing SO well, Lyandi. We are proud of you!

Academics

 

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.”

 

GRADE 3

 

                                                    English                   Mathematics                               Science

 

Makwidi Kgomontsho                 88%

 

Kiandra Doubell                                                              100%                                          88%

 

Carla Jansen van Vuuren           100%                           88%                                          100%

 

Academics

Kiandra, Carla and Makwidi – among the very cleverest on earth!

GRADE 10

                                                     English                         Mathematics                       

 

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.

 

Academics

English teacher, Janice McBride, Wiané van Druten, Lucy Calcott, Nadja Nortje and Maths teacher Ciska Leonard. Our DREAM TEAM! No pressure, but these numbers speak to very good results in Matric next year.

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!

Mark Godfrey

 

Headmaster Newsletter 27 May 2016

Uniform

  • In January 2015 we began the two year process of phasing in some new items of uniform and phasing out the old items they are replacing. Chief among these items are:
  • The introduction of a plain blue shirt to replace the checked school shirt.
  • The beige fleece is being replaced with a navy blue dri-mac with the School badge on the left breast.
  • From Grade 10 to 12 the introduction of a black school blazer with the School badge on the breast pocket.

This is just a reminder that as from January 2017 the replaced items may no longer be worn and the blazer will be compulsory for learners from Grade 10 to 12.

If you do not buy these items directly from our uniform supplier, you may still buy the blazer badge from Sign Centre, or have the badge embroidered onto the dri-mac, also at Sign Centre.

Horse Riding

On Saturday three of our riders went to Polokwane to ride in the SANESA second qualifier for Limpopo colours. Lyandi van der Merwe rode her horse Charlie, Leo Baber took Cavello along, and Ruben le Roux took his SA Boerperd Sweep and his Saddler cross Teddy II.

Cavello was much more relaxed this time around and he and Leo gained a 1st place in the Ideal Time 50cm Show Jumping event. Well done, Leo!

Lyandi and Charlie enjoyed even more success, getting a 3rd place in the 50cm Accumulator Show Jumping, Second in the Performance Riding Level 1, and 1st in the Working Riding Level 1. Lyandi, you are improving at every competition.

Ruben got a 3rd place Competition Show Jumping at 80cm on Teddy II, 2nd Show Jumping Accumulator 80cm on Teddy II, and first in Working Riding Level 3 on Sweep. Ruben, you are doing so well as you take on the bigger jumps and more demanding classes.

Leo and Cavello looking very good as they win the 50cm Ideai Time Show Jumping Event.

Leo and Cavello looking very good as they win the 50cm Ideai Time Show Jumping Event.

Ruben helps Sweep conquer gravity as they rise to this jump.
(Pictures courtesy of Tanya Baber)

Ruben helps Sweep conquer gravity as they rise to this jump.
(Pictures courtesy of Tanya Baber)

Lyandi and Ruben sit astride Charlie and Sweep as they proudly display their ribbons.
(Picture courtesy of Adriana le Roux)

Lyandi and Ruben sit astride Charlie and Sweep as they proudly display their ribbons.
(Picture courtesy of Adriana le Roux)

Soccer

Our High School soccer team played a home game against Hoërskool Nylstroom on Tuesday and the
final score was 4 – 1 against. It was a game of two halves, since Nylies scored all their goals in the
first half and we replied with our single goal in the second half. Standing at the side of the field
during the second half, it was exciting to see our players making use of every opportunity and taking
numerous shots at goal. It was also lovely to watch our backs break up the opposition attacks on our
goal. Our soccer players have certainly displayed a high level of commitment to the game and to
their team.

This was the last game of soccer this term and we congratulate our team and their coach on the
manner in which they approached their sport this season.

Dinneck Masumba fought for this ball and came away with it, successfully
putting our team onto yet another attack.

Dinneck Masumba fought for this ball and came away with it, successfully
putting our team onto yet another attack.

Tristan Gorie about to cross the ball to Mpho, Tivane and Dinneck. Yes, that is
the ball Dinneck just won!

Tristan Gorie about to cross the ball to Mpho, Tivane and Dinneck. Yes, that is
the ball Dinneck just won!

Netball

Our netball teams travelled to Euphorbia in Mookgapong for the third round of their league. Our
U/9 girls won one game and lost one. Our U/11s won all three of their games, and our U/13s won
one and lost two. Well done, Girls.

Next week on Thursday we will host the other three schools as the league’s final round of games is
played. This promises to be an exciting tournament, and a wonderful opportunity for us to
showcase the Academy.

Sport and Examinations

At Waterberg Academy we endeavour to keep these two activities apart. This means that with the
exception of Senior Preparatory Netball which has its closing tournament next week, all other team
sports have been brought to a halt until next term so that our learners can have ample time to
prepare for their mid-year exams.

Mark Godfrey

Headmaster Newsletter 13 May 2016

Night of Stars Music Evening

The Beaulieu Preparatory School string ensemble entertained us with 3 beautiful songs.

The Beaulieu Preparatory School string ensemble entertained us with 3 beautiful songs.

Their brass band was supported by some other instruments and showed off their superior technical ability this year.

Their brass band was supported by some other instruments and showed off their superior technical ability this year.

Kiandra Doubell accompanies Mr Sulo as he sings a . . . solo.

Kiandra Doubell accompanies Mr Sulo as he sings a . . . solo.

Lucy Calcott and Moses Molekoa did a lovely duet.

Lucy Calcott and Moses Molekoa did a lovely duet.

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Night-of-Stars-Music-Evening-6

In response to the Beaulieu strings and brass band, our four marimba bands stepped up. Pictured here are the Junior and the Senior Marimba bands spanning Grade 4 to Grade 12. The Juniors are playing Monde’s song and the Seniors are playing . . . something else. Well done, Mr Sulo, on generating so much interest in music again. The learners delight in following your lead.

The Night of Stars Music Evening has become something of a tradition over the last three years.
Thank you, Mrs Swales, for setting up this lovely event each year. Thank you, Beaulieu, for coming
and sharing your talent with us

Our musicians will have two more opportunities this year to showcase their talent. The Eisteddfod
in the first week of September is open to our learners and learners of surrounding schools and even
members of the public. Excellent musical talent is always on display at the Eisteddfod, much of it
coming from the Academy.

There is also the Music Evening later in the year where only the better entrants to the auditions are
put on stage. This is always a sparkling evening and anticipated with much pleasure.

Mountain Biking

At the Shikwaru MTB Race last weekend, three of our learners achieved very good results. Gabi
Schulz came 1st in her age group and was third lady over all in her distance. Ruan Janse van Vuuren
was the 2nd boy in his age group and the 3rd boy over all. Alexander Schulz was the 4th boy in his age
group and 8th boy over all. Well done to these three hard-working young people.

Not to be outdone, Birgit Schulz rode the 35km race and was first Lady in her age group while Ronald
was 16th in his age band. There is nothing quite like a sport which you can enjoy as a family.

Ruan, Gabi and Alex – keep those pedals turning, guys.

Ruan, Gabi and Alex – keep those pedals turning, guys.

Staff Development

We have had teachers out on workshops and courses three days this week. While this leads to
disruptions in our programme, the benefits are far-reaching and far outweigh any inconvenience
caused. Such professional development leads to renewed enthusiasm, and we are equipping our
teachers for success.

Sport

The High School soccer and netball matches against a local high school and scheduled for Tuesday
afternoon were cancelled by that school. What a pity! However, our Senior Prep girls travelled to
Polokwane to play netball and this was a success. At U/9 level we were not able to field a full team,
but the opposition were happy to accommodate us and the girls had 2 invaluable games where they
learned a great deal about the game in the match situation – they always learn more during
matches. They won one and lost one. The U/11 girls won both their games, and the U/13 girls won
two and lost one. Well done, Girls!

News

Today, Kiandra Doubell brought her pet lamb to school to do an oral. The lamb caused quite a stir
among the learners and several teachers felt they needed to intervene on the lamb’s behalf when
the learners became a little overly boisterous in playing with it. The lamb was “cool.”

Kiandra and her little lamb.

Kiandra and her little lamb.

The entire JP Phase was enthralled.

The entire JP Phase was enthralled.

The long awaited replacement for the old “Volksie” in the Pre Prep playground was unveiled today –
to the great excitement of that entire phase. The whole bunch wanted to be on it and time playing
with the steering wheel had to be rationed. The tractor trailer combination is a smash hit with the
littlies. Anyone wishing to hire it for some heavy lifting around the farm may approach their children
in the Pre Prep for the rates – and a driver.

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News-4

There is nothing quite like a new “jungle gym” to to spark some “gees” among those in the know.

A truck carrying copies of Roget’s Thesaurus overturned on the freeway. Onlookers were stunned,
overwhelmed, astonished, bewildered and dumbfounded.

Mark Godfrey

Headmaster Newsletter 26 April 2016

Family Fun Day – well done PTA!

The word tombola has become synonymous with Sandra Nortje, here assisted by Madeleine Broodryk

The word tombola has become synonymous with Sandra Nortje, here assisted by Madeleine Broodryk

The colourful stalls were well patronised.

The colourful stalls were well patronised.

Water and kids spell F-U-N!

Water and kids spell F-U-N!

Ewald Kloppers dreaming of his eighteenth – will it be a sportscar or a 4x4?

Ewald Kloppers dreaming of his eighteenth – will it be a sportscar or a 4×4?

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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.

Phillip Nicholson competing with the best.

Phillip Nicholson competing with the best.

The standard in the cake competition was high.

The standard in the cake competition was high.

Professor and Mr Wadley, our Board Chair.

Professor and Mr Wadley, our Board Chair.

The rides were popular, and varied this year.

The rides were popular, and varied this year.

PTA Chair Delmar Nortje congratulates Andrew and Nikki Eager – winners of the potjiekos competition

PTA Chair Delmar Nortje congratulates Andrew and Nikki Eager – winners of the potjiekos competition

Oom Polla Roux carries out the highly responsible job of watching over the icies.

Oom Polla Roux carries out the highly responsible job of watching over the icies.

Our archery team placed first in the archery competition which we hosted on our range on Saturday. That is some smile, Titi! The deadpan expression on the extreme left belongs to Senior Boys winner, Shannon Carlton.
(Photos courtesy of Juliet Calcott)

Our archery team placed first in the archery competition which we hosted on our range on Saturday. That is some smile, Titi! The deadpan expression on the extreme left belongs to Senior Boys winner, Shannon Carlton.
(Photos courtesy of Juliet Calcott)

The Head hands to the PTA Chair a thank you card signed by the entire WA staff, for the WiFi, as the Board Chair looks on.

The Head hands to the PTA Chair a thank you card signed by the entire WA staff, for the WiFi, as the Board Chair looks on.

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.

Mark Godfrey

Headmasters Newsletter 27 November 2015

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.

Josh had the cameras flashing!

Josh had the cameras flashing!

Quinn dazzled us with his wit.

Quinn dazzled us with his wit.

Ryan doing his thing.

Ryan doing his thing.

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.

Seth demonstrates his personal approach to Fashion. Who needs matching sleeves anyway?

Seth demonstrates his personal approach to Fashion. Who needs matching sleeves anyway?

Board Chair Richard Wadley plays Santa as Katlego decides who will get the next gift.

Board Chair Richard Wadley plays Santa as Katlego decides who will get the next gift.

Gr 0000 to Gr 3 Christmas Party

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.

Swimmimg

The rejuvenation of the swimming Pool this year is probably the single most striking success gained in 2015. Well done Oom Jan and Jimmy Sithole!

The rejuvenation of the swimming Pool this year is probably the single most striking success gained in 2015. Well done Oom Jan and Jimmy Sithole!

Prize Givings

Below are 7000 words worth of pictures.

Prize Givings
Prize Givings
Prize Givings
Prize Givings
Prize Givings
Prize Givings
Prize Givings

Well done, Marius. We will miss you.

May I wish one and all a blessed Christmas.

Mark Godfrey

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!

Congratulations!

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.

Headmasters Newsletter 28 August 2015

Archery

This week we received the news that 4 of our learners had been selected to the NASP South African Development Team to shoot in the forthcoming All Stars Archery Contest.  Moses Molekoa and Tivani Mkansi made the team for the second time this year, and Phenyo Mochusi and Retang Manyako achieved selection for the first time.  We are very proud of these four archers, and particularly pleased to see that Moses and Tivani are consistently making this team.  Well done, Boys! And congratulations, Mr Bridger.

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 Tivane Mkansi, Retang Manyako, Phenyo Mochusi and Moses Molekoa – NASP SA Development Archers.

Heidi Carlton, Christy Steyn, Andre Bridger 

and Bruce Carlton – the people responsible for the Academy’s archery success 

Horse Riding

Further good news is that Ruben le Roux will be representing Limpopo in the SANESA Nationals to be held from 7 to 11 October at Misty Meadows in Pretoria.  He will participate in 2 classes – working riding and performance riding.  Congratulations, Ruben! And well done Adriana and Jeran for all the hard work this costs you.

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Ruben le Roux – Limpopo horse riding team in two events!

Mountain Biking

We have just had the official results after the second leg of the Debtsafe Limpopo Mountain Bike XCO series.  Waterberg Academy has moved from 4th to 3rd place.  Well done, Team!  Every hard earned point has contributed to this.  Livingstone Banda rode for the first time last week, and in spite of having only the points from one race, he is now lying tie 11th in the U/12 age group.  Keep it up, Livvy!  Ben Baber is lying 4th so far in the series in the Boys U14 age group, Joshua Baber is lying first in the Boys U/12 age Group, and Lili is lying first in the Girls U/10.  Next weekend, our MTB’ers will race again in Mokopane and we wish them well as they do so.

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Ben Baber, Joshua Baber and Lili Baber.

Cross Country

Our runners are beginning to improve visibly now that the season is under way. Some of the more impressive results are: Peter Calcott came third in the U/12 category, Marthinus Maritz came third in the U/14 category, and Richard Nicholson came fourth in the same category.  But it was demonstrated in the assembly this morning that all our runners are improving their positions each week.  There are a number of schools participating in this regional league and the competition is stiff.  Well done, boys and girls!

Grade 12 Restaurant Evening

Last night our Grade 12’s put on their Restaurant Evening, which was actually their final Hospitality Studies practical.  The evening was attended by members of the Board, staff, and one brave learner.  The evening was assessed by the IEB Subject Moderator, and if the quality of the food was anything to judge by, all three of the Matrics writing this subject will do well.  Special thanks must go to the Grade 11 learners who waited on tables and assisted in the kitchen. Congratulations to Mr Bridger for three successful evenings over the last three weeks – Grade 10, 11 and 12.

Assembly

Pastor Carl Leonard and the Youth from River of Life Chorch – GO YOUTH MINISTRIES – visited our assembly this morning.  Some young people did a rap for the learners which seemed to go down well, then Carl invited our 17 years and older learners to join them on a Saturday evening.  We hope that some of our older teens will take up this offer.

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GO Youth Ministries treat our learners to a lively rap – no guns, violence or x-rated language!

Summer Uniform

Since the weather has now warmed up, we will change to SUMMER UNIFORM from 1 September (Tuesday next week).

Term Three Reports

Please be reminded that our term three reports will be sent home at the end of the first week of term four, as indicated in the last newsletter.

Mark Godfrey

Headmasters Newsletter 20 March 2015

Swimming

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).

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Ruan swam all three distances!

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Part of the team display their numbers

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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!

Uniform

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.

New Arrivals

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.

Another Welcome

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.

Activities

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

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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.

Academics

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.

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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.

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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.

Mark Godfrey