This gallery contains 31 photos.A warm welcome to all our learners, staff and parents! We trust that 2018 will be your best year ever at Waterberg Academy!
This gallery contains 30 photos.
SENIOR PREPARATORY BIATHLON
17 November 2017
The Senior Preparatory Biathlon of Waterberg Academy at Vaalwater served to combine the swimming and the athletics training that has been taking place this term.
The learners competed in teams where one team member ran 1km and the second one swam 500m. Mr Johan Lochner, Head of Department, congratulated the winners.
The winning senior team (Grade 6 – 7) was made up of Ruben Doubell (swimming leg) and Joyce Lebese (running leg) in a combined time of: 16:14.
The winning junior team (Grade 4 – 5) was made up of Bradley Eager (swimming leg) and Ethan Gualdi (running leg). They completed the Biathlon in a combined time of 18:01.
In the individual category Quentin Brugnolo completed both legs in a winning time of 17:43
Anonymous Donation to the Waterberg Academy Educational Trust
Richard Wadley, Chairman of the Trust has asked me to pass on his thanks to the anonymous donor of R10 000 to the bursary fund and a further R10 000 to the scholarship fund of the Trust. This money comes at a time when the Trust is under great pressure and will be a great help.
Richard also asked whether other parents, friends of the School, or business owners might wish to make a donation to the Trust at this time of need.
Carols and Tableau
Foundation Phase Christmas Party
This year Oom Ben did the “Ho, ho, ho” honours (adult Christmas code), ably assisted by one of our support staff. And once again, Jacqui Le Sar sponsored the entire thing. Thank you, Jacqui. I can see that the learners had fun.
Grade R Graduation
Mrs Leonard, your graduation ceremony was amazing. And the stage decorations were incredibly apt for a school which puts such emphasis upon academic excellence. Thank you, Mrs Raubenheimer, for sharing your amazing decorating skills with us mere decorating mortals.
Junior Preparatory Prize Giving
This was a very “posh” affair! Well done, Ladies.
Senior Preparatory Prize Giving
High School Prize Giving
May I take this opportunity of wishing you all: Parents, Learners, Teachers and Friends of the Academy a blessed Christmas.
Waterberg Academy Rewarded for Excellence
17th November 2017
VAALWATER – On Wednesday 8 November Mr. Mashishi, Chief Subject Advisor of the University of Pretoria, came to Waterberg Academy in Vaalwater to present a Certificate of Excellence in Physical Sciences to Waterberg Academy. Mrs. Leonard seen above is the Physical Sciences Teacher. Mrs. Leonard was present to receive this accolade, signed by the Vice-Chancellor of Pretoria University, Professor Cheryl de la Rey.
The letter accompanying the award said the following:
“Based on the results of the Grade 12 final examinations of 2016, your school ranks among the 30 top-performing schools in South Africa in Physical Science.”
The University of Pretoria would like to congratulate you on this achievement, which bears testimony on the dedicated work done by both your staff and learners.
With this Certificate of Excellence, we would like to recognise Waterberg Academy as an institution of excellence.”
Rachel Calcott from WA scored 91% for Physical Sciences.
“It is wonderful that our school has been recognized with this entirely unsolicited award from one of the country’s premier educational institutions,” says Mr. Mark Godfrey, Headmaster of Waterberg Academy.
Archery gets several pages in this week’s newsletter simply because our archers deserve it!
Last week learners from Waterberg Academy travelled to Port Elizabeth to participate in the NASP Inter Provincial Archery Competition as part of the Limpopo Schools Team on Wednesday 4 October in which 250 archers shot, and then on the Thursday and Friday as a school team in the National Championships, an inter schools competition in which 600 archers from 6 provinces shot. Their many hours of training paid off as the Waterberg Academy Archery team came 2nd in South Africa in the 3D Competition and 3rd in South Africa in the Bull’s Eye Competition. For a school only in its 4th year of doing the sport, this can only be described as phenomenal.
In the Inter Provincials Nadja Nortje, a Grade 11 learner at the Academy, was involved in a shootout to break a tie for a medal position. She emerged with 3rd Senior Girl position and a bronze medal. Nadja is the third best girl archer in South Africa!
The Nationals were divided into two sections, 3D Challenge and Bull’s Eye. In the 3D Challenge, Bianca Nortje, a Grade 8 learner at the Academy, emulated her older sister and came in 3rd place and also got a bronze medal.
In the Senior Challenge (top 5 Senior archers per team), Waterberg Academy’s Nadja Nortje, Bianca Nortje, Wiané van Druten, Charlton Mwenesani and Shannon Carlton placed 2nd.
In the Grade 11 section of the Bullseye Competition Nadja Nortje and Wiané van Druten came 2nd and 3rd respectively.
In the Best Senior Team category (12 archers) Waterberg Academy placed 3rd, and to top it off, they also emerged in 3rd place in the Best Team Overall, Senior and Junior Combined.
In the 3D Challenge, the Waterberg Academy Seniors emerged in 2nd place, and the Seniors and Juniors combined also came 2nd.
To crown all these achievements, Shannon Carlton, a Grade 10 learner, has been confirmed in the South African team for the second year in succession. Team selection is based upon averages shot in competition over the past 12 months. Shannon will shoot in the African All Star Championship in April 2018 and in the World All Star Championship in Canada in July 2018.
The reward for 4 years of hard work by Mr Bridger and the archers.
Add to the above a screed of medals, and you will have an idea of the excitement which gripped the Monday assembly. We are SO proud of you, Guys. And let us not forget the Juniors, who share intwo of the trophies above for Overall School Team. Four archers shot personal bests, and these, together with all the excellent scores on the day, contributed to the Waterberg Academy success.
A final word on archery: Well done Archers, well done Mr Bridger, and thank you SO much Heidi Carlton. This has indeed been a team effort by everyone involved.
Matric Valedictory Service
Yesterday we held a very tasteful Valedictory Service for our matrics. The committee room in the
Farmers’ Hall was tastefully decorated, guests were invited, and speeches made. Shane Dowinton
reminded the group of five things they could take from the Academy as they went forward into life:
- Cultural diversity
- Sense of family
- Honour others
- Waterberg natural beauty
- God, a Father who loves you
Ayden Walker was the Valedictorian appointed by his class to speak their swansong. Among the
many things he said were these pearls of wisdom:
- Procrastination is not your friend.
- You are a work in progress — don’t expect to get everything right the first time.
- Parents are smarter than they appear.
- No one is holding you back.
- And – Don’t let crowds define you.
The Headmaster assured the Matrics that they have what it takes to be successful – financially, emotionally, and spiritually.
Mrs Leonard and Mrs Raubenheimer joined forces to set up a beautiful venue. We had two grandparents join us in Clive Walker and Jenny Dowinton, and the Board Chair and several members and their wives were present. Combined, this gave the occasion a certain “gravitas” of which all were very conscious.
Rachel Calcott (Matric 2017) spoke in the assembly about her experience in Borneo with Raleigh International. She shared a number of slides using power point and managed to give her audience a very real sense of the programme, its joys and its challenges.
The part of her 9 weeks that made the most impression on her was the community outreach. At the end of her presentation, Rachel invited the learners to join her in a practical project on Boschdraai, and 20 young people went forward to involve themselves in assisting a family that is in desperate need of a new house, donations for which are already pouring in.
It has become a tradition for the Grade Twelves to “Pass on the flame of Endurance” at their final assembly. This was done today in a moving ceremony at the end of the assembly. Above is a sequence of photographs showing Mrs Leonard lighting the flames of the Matrics, the Matrics passing on the flames to the Grade Elevens, and Moses enjoying a last few moments in the limelight!
The fact that the candles were kept burning long past the end of the assembly speaks volumes about the closeness of these two groups and their sense of loss at the forthcoming departure of the Matrics.
History Speech Contest
On 21 September Lucy Calcott travelled to St Mary’s, Waverley to compete in a History Speech Contest. Lucy chose The Six Day War as her topic as this was a subject from her Grade 10 year which had interested her and which she felt would interest an audience. She competed against speakers from six other prestigious schools in Pretoria in the Grade 11 category.
In true Lucy fashion, she applied her mind to the task at hand and prepared an interesting and engaging speech supported by an excellent powerpoint presentation. For her speech she was awarded the Best speech in Grade 11 award, and to this was added the Best Visual Presentation in Grade 11 award. Congratulations, Lucy! We are very proud of you.
Many of our archers are in Port Elizabeth taking part in the Archery Nationals either as part of the School Team or the Provincial Team. Many of our archers have shot personal bests at the competition and Mr Bridger was heard to surmise that the team may have shot its best team score ever today. Nadja Nortje will be shooting later this afternoon in a “shootout” for a position placement in the Inter Provincial Competition which took place earlier in the week. Hold thumbs for Nadja and the Team and . . . watch this space!
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
We are very proud of your achievements Kiandra and will be wishing you all the best for the next competition!
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.
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!
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!!!!
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
Today, Ruan is on his way to Bloemfontein to take part in the S. A. Cup Cross Country Mountain
Biking Championships. Go hard, Ruan!
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
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.
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.
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.
Three areas of outstanding achievement were acknowledged in the assembly this morning.
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.
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.
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.”
English Mathematics Science
Makwidi Kgomontsho 88%
Kiandra Doubell 100% 88%
Carla Jansen van Vuuren 100% 88% 100%
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.
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!