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.


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


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

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

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



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