NEWS LETTER 23 March 2018

Staff Development – Pupil Free Day

This is just a reminder that tomorrow – Thursday 29 March – the Academy staff will be receiving input on emotional intelligence. This is actually a Board initiative as we see a strong EQ as a factor that sets some people above the rest, and would like the Academy to foster such traits in our learners. Of course, teachers with a strong EQ will also be placed at an advantage and their teaching will benefit. Do think of us tomorrow as we receive input from Melanie Collins, psychologist extraordinaire, in this important area.

In anticipation, I would like to thank Mel for taking on this task and I am sure we will all emerge as more secure in ourselves and able to encourage the growth of EQ among our learners.

WESSA Eco Schools

Yesterday, Mr Pretorius and Mrs Swales went to Polokwane to collect our latest Eco Schools award. We were a little worried that this award might be jeopardised by the departure of our Eco Champion, Miss Short, but Mr Pretorius stepped into the breach and has since been heard to say that all the work was done for him and all he had to do was to put it together in a PowerPoint presentation.
The Eco Award is a whole school matter, and was conducted as such for 2017. Each phase was given a project related to our chosen topic of Ecotourism. We used Horizon Horse Riding Adventures as our focus and had magnificent buy-in from all concerned. Interviews were conducted with Laura and the High School English classes even produced an eco-tourism newspaper. Also, the sponsored ride came through during our wrap-up and learners and teachers were able to discuss this initiative with both the organizer (Sophie Neville of Swallows and Amazons fame) and the sponsored riders themselves who raise funds for local charitable NGOs.

In 2018 our work on the Eco Schools project will continue to include every child in the school. We await the topics to see what we can most successfully focus upon this year.

Mr Pretorius receives the Bronze Decade Award on behalf of the Academy.
Mr Pretorius receives the Bronze Decade Award on behalf of the Academy.

Karate

Zidaan Samrod won two gold medals at the Limpopo JKA Karate Championships on 17 March. This performance won him a place in the Limpopo Team and he will attend the South African Championships in May. Well done, Zidaan!

Senior Preparatory Camp at Lapalala Wilderness School

Senior Preparatory Camp at Lapalala Wilderness School​
Senior Preparatory Camp at Lapalala Wilderness School​

See whom you can recognize in the above pictures of Senior-preppers having fun among their peers.

Thank you, Ladies, for taking our SP Phase on camp, and making it so much fun.
Thank you, Ladies, for taking our SP Phase on camp, and making it so much fun.
Mia du Preez swinging stylishly.
Anna Mohlabi – uninhibited.
Anna Mohlabi – uninhibited.
Kiandra with the ammunition.
Kiandra with the ammunition.

The real attraction of these school camps is the opportunity to spend time with friends. If your child is tired when getting home, it is probably because there was very little sleeping done as they rehashed their days, told exaggerated stories, and generally enjoyed being away from the constraints of the classroom and home.

You may rest assured though, that they are looking forward to Mom’s cooking and their own beds. You can only brave so many adventures before the call back from the wild gets the better of you.

Your Senior Prep sons and daughters had a ball, consequently, you will be listening to tales of daring do at the dinner table for the next few nights. Enjoy!

IEB International Benchmarking Tests – 2017 Results

GRADE 3

English
Keagan Evans – 82%
Ruan Leonard – 91%
Caitlin Pidduck – 100%

Mathematics
Tyler le Sar – 90%
Caitlin Pidduck – 90%
Ruan Leonard – 100%

Science
Sara Matjila – 82%
Caitlin Pidduck – 91%
Ruan Leonard – 100%

 

GRADE 10

Mathematics
Michael Fourie – 100%

Well done to these high flyers! These are not ordinary subject tests seeking to determine mastery of that subject as taught in class but rather skills based and probably point to the likelihood of these learners succeeding in these areas into the future. They were also administered internationally, putting the learners mentioned above in a stratospheric group.

America Day

Grade One took their leave of Miss Dana Stewart. To mark the occasion, they celebrated “America Day.” The entire Junior Prep dressed in red, white and blue and Miss Stewart gave them a thumbnail sketch of her home country. Below she is telling them that the teddy bear was named after President Teddy Roosevelt, and explaining why.

Miss Stewart flies out tomorrow. She has made an impact upon the learners, the boarders, and the staff. While here she was “adopted” by Mrs Van Niekerk, Mrs Swales and Mrs Raubenheimer and exposed to a number of adventures – shooting an impala probably being one of the more memorable. She also got to visit Pilansberg Game Reserve, Shambala, local game farms, and go ziplining. Student teaching was never like this in the old days.

Staffing – HOD Senior Preparatory

The search for a Senior Preparatory HOD has been successfully concluded. Mr Kobus O’Kelly has accepted the post and will begin at the Academy once he has served his term’s notice at Bishop Bavin School in Johannesburg. To his credit, he is serving out his term’s notice period, a rare quality in these days of questionable ethics.

Mr O’Kelly has had seven years of experience as an HOD, ten years as a Deputy Principal and one year as Acting Principal. Other strings to his bow include cricket coaching, rugby coaching, athletics coaching, and chairmanship of the Germiston Primary Schools Athletics Association. He is also a very experienced Afrikaans teacher and will take over this subject upon his arrival.

Creche Training

We started this last weekend. Eleven creche teachers came. Thank you, Suzette, for all your hard work.

A need was identified. If you have any unused children’s educational toys, please bring them to School and we will find them a home in an under-resourced creche.

Happy Easter

May I take this opportunity of wishing all of you a Blessed Easter and a peaceful break from the school run.

Mark Godfrey

The business behind the book – an experience of publishing at Pan Macmillan

by Rachel Calcott

As my last year at the Academy drew to a close in a flurry of results, celebrations and goodbyes, I prepared to embark on a gap year that I hoped would answer a frequently asked and increasingly pressing question: what field of further study and career path did I want to pursue? With this in mind, I decided to throw myself into as many of my different spheres of interest as I could in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of my passions and what subject I wanted to dedicate the next four years to.

As all my teachers can testify, I have had a conspicuous passion for literature from a young age, so in my first months of freedom I decided to investigate the world of publishing and editing – the fascinating journey from author’s pen to readers bookshelf. At first the path to securing a work experience placement at one of the big publishing firms seemed fairly simple; many companies offer two week placements for young publishing enthusiasts with no previous experience, and applying was as simple as filling out an online form. Of course, the reality was a bit more complicated. The volume of applicants for places at big-name publishing houses is vast; without an insider connection or incredible amounts of luck, its unlikely to get accepted on your first attempt… but I was only going to be in England for two months, so deferment wasn’t a option. Feeling this opportunity slipping away, I decided to call the publishers, publishing assistants and receptionists of all the firms I had applied to in an attempt to explain my situation. After a few weeks of unsuccessful badgering, a human relations assistant finally got back to me with the good news: there was an opening for an intern in the editing department of Pan Macmillan in Islington, London.

March in London is cold, windy and predominantly grey. On the first day of my internship, after an hour-long commute through central London, I arrived at Pan Macmillan’s glass-walled office building and  stepped into a book lovers daydream – the trendy foyer displayed old classics and new releases from famous authors whose books had shaped my childhood and loaded my bookshelves. Here I was met by Jane, a bustling editors assistant who gave me a brief overview of life at Pan Mac and my humble place within it while sipping her Latte and herding me into the elevator.

A trip to the fourth floor of Pan Macmillan London reveals the true face of publishing – the continuous hum of lowered voices discussing punctuation, reader markets and cover designs, editor assistants frantically typing out release schedules and publicity meetings and, of course, the potent aroma of strong coffee. Having been ushered cheerfully to a spare desk and given a company laptop, I was eager to dive into this world of words. Within a few minutes an email ping announced the arrival of my first official task – writing a manuscript report.

Big publishing houses receive hundreds of manuscript submissions from prospective authors and agents, and from these submissions the wheat must be separated from the, well, less publishable pieces… Of course the editors don’t have time to peruse every submitted work, so that task often falls to editors assistants and interns. Jane briefed me on the intricacies of report writing, handed me a few examples, and set me to work.

Writing my first report felt like the greatest responsibility I’d ever carried – my words would be used to justify the acceptance or rejection of an unpublished authors manuscript – but I soon found myself caught up in analysing and appraising the writing. The report required me to weigh in on the writing style, syntax and grammar, storyline and characterization, similar titles that might be saturating the genre, consumer attraction, and relevance regarding current events, among other things. As soon as Jane had scrutinized my first attempt and given me her stamp of approval, the submissions began pouring in from overworked editors in genres ranging from Sci-fi to Historical Romance. In my ten working days I read and wrote reports on ten manuscripts, and helped out in other editing tasks such as compiling quotes for social media campaigns, updating release schedules and writing potential blurbs for new novels. A high moment was when an editor stopped at my desk to tell me that a blurb I had written was being used for a big upcoming release. During company meetings I was exposed to the real mechanics of publishing – the choices between illustrators and designs, and deciding which countries should be sold publishing rights. Watching publishing veterans discuss sales strategies and marketing agendas was both impressive and unsettling; the meetings revealed the mercenary attitude that’s required in a multi-million pound business with competition on every side. Commercial publishing is often less about the quality of the writing or the beauty of the literary idea, and more about reader appeal and saleability. My love of profound, transformative writing would have to take a backseat in such an environment – this experience hastened my conclusion that if I ever returned to this industry, it would be in a Literary (the more intellectually stimulating books that often sell fewer copies but change more lives) rather than Commercial publishing role.

Overall, as a first experience of the world of work, interning at Pan Macmillan was very rewarding. I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in the reading and processing of books, and working with avid book-lovers. It gave me realistic insight into the good, bad and ugly of the publishing world, a taste of London life and a deeper understanding of my own passions and abilities. Not to mention a lot of free coffee.

NEWS LETTER 16 March 2018

Our First Ever Head Boy and Head Girl

After a lengthy selection process, we were in a position at our assembly today, to announce the first ever Head Boy and Head Girl of Waterberg Academy.

Lucy Calcott – Head Girl, Mark Godfrey – Headmaster and Aly Mosheou – Head Boy

Provincial Athletics

Our three athletes competed in Polokwane last Saturday. Michael Fourie placed 4th in discus – sadly he was unable to get in a throw as good as his best distances in previous weeks. This is the challenge in these skills based events.

Charmaine Rachele won the Bronze Medal in her long jump with a personal best of 4,56m. We wait to hear whether this distance qualifies her for the SA Schools Competition. This is Charmaine’s second visit to the Provincial competition. It is also her first podium finish, and it is the first podium finish ever in provincial athletics for the Academy.

Boitumelo Mataboge placed 4th in the 200m, but his time of 22,47 sec qualifies him for the SA Schools Competition.

Provincial Athletics
Michael, Boitumelo and Charmaine. Well done, Guys. We are SO proud of you!
This is the face of the future of athletics at Waterberg Academy.

This is the face of the future of athletics at Waterberg Academy. Morghan Posthumus shows off her Victrix Ludorum trophy from the Klein Vyf Athletics. I have heard that she is pretty good in the swimming pool as well.

Now comes the burning question: who does she take after – Mom or Dad?

Boarders

Saturday saw our boarders descending upon Boschdraai to enjoy a day as a typical Waterberg lodge visitor. They jumped on the trampoline, they played volleyball with their teachers, and they swam in the lovely cool pool afterwards. Some of the boys took charge of the braai fire and boerewors rolls were served by the Hospitality Studies department.

Volleyball
Volleyball
The men watching the fire
The men watching the fire

Mark Godfrey

NEWS LETTER 2018-02-02

Alumni News

Carl and Marné Leonard were in our very first matric group, The Class of 2009. They got married in 2011 and worked together at the Bushveld Mission for many years. In fact, Carl has often been called upon to conduct Monday prayer assemblies here at the Academy. In recent years this couple has been working in Steenbokpan where Carl manages a drug rehabilitation centre. We are happy to announce that they had their first child this week. Little Lea greeted the world on Wednesday and both grandmothers (who teach in the Pre Preparatory here) were “over the moon.”

NEWS LETTER 2 February 2018-4

 Conquesta 2017

The Conquesta 2017 results were published in the Newsletter last year when they became available. However, we have just received a certificate which congratulates the Academy on achieving 16th place overall in Southern Africa in Afrikaans. This is a regional Olympiad and schools from Swaziland, Mozambique and Botswana participate. Making this all the more excellent a result. This is one place better than our 17th place in 2016. Well done, Junior Preparatory teachers and learners.

Mrs van Niekerk with our 16th place certificate.

Mrs van Niekerk with our 16th place certificate.

 Slip Slide Fundraiser

Some slipped . . . some slid . . . and all enjoyed the ice cream.

Some slipped . . . some slid . . . and all enjoyed the ice cream.

Guppy Concert

This was the best Guppy concert ever. Well done Mrs Raubenheimer, Mrs McBride, Mrs Nortje, Mrs Van Druten, Mrs Jansen van Vuuren, Lucy Calcott and the Grade 12’s. The Grade 8’s were well rehearsed and the costumes were truly amazing.

The theme – The Lion King.

The theme – The Lion King.

No longer a Guppy – welcome to the High School

No longer a Guppy – welcome to the High School

Senior Preparatory Circuit Athletics Meeting

The Waterberg Academy team ready and raring to go

The Waterberg Academy team ready and raring to go

Mark Godfrey

2018-01-26 – High School Circuit Athletics meeting

Our athletes did us proud at the High School circuit athletics meeting today!

Welcome to our U.S. student teacher

Dana StewartMISS. DANA STEWART  hails from Fargo, North Dakota University  U.S.A. and is part of the Elementary Teaching Program. She will be teaching in Grade 1 until the end of Term 1  and residing in the Boarding Facility.

Welcome to Waterberg Academy Miss Stewart – we are honoured that you selected our school to persue your teaching studies.

2018-01-25 – Inter-house Athletics