I am sure that you’ll agree that 2017 seems to have come to a very hasty end. This is the last newsletter for the year and in it I would like to mention some of the activities and highlights of this final term of the year.
Our VP teachers have provided our girls with many opportunities to shine and to celebrate this special time of the year, so let me begin by thanking this group of dynamic, creative and talented educators. Their enormous commitment and energy set the very best example to our VP girls of people who are passionate about their life work! Next year Mrs Wilhelmi will be teaching in Grade R, Mrs Bester is moving to Grade Four and Ms Danckwerts into Grade Five and we welcome Mrs Pam Ryan into Grade Two. Miss Cloete who has been an intern in Grade R for the past four years has completed her studies and will be teaching our first ever Grade 00 class in 2018.
The end of year examination tested our girls’ skills and knowledge. Please go through your daughter’s report carefully with her and work on strategies to maintain or improve her results in 2018. As we went through our Assessment Meetings last week it was very evident that girls who have developed a good work ethic are the ones who have achieved their true potential this year. The following girls achieved Honours and Merit Awards at our Academic Assembly last Thursday:
Honours: Bronté Agnew (500 merits); Anne Cuthbert (500 merits);
Rutendo Chakona; Othandwayo Jaji; Kyla Banks (500 merits); Azosule Kanana (500 merits); Kuhle Mpama; Tara Bettridge (500 merits); Esona Mnqinana (500 mrerits).
Merits: Sydney Edwards; Ruby Short; Mika Davies; Danika Lensley; Chloe Maartens; Makayla Cock (500 merits); Catherine Roberts; Jennifer Sweetman (500 merits); Mairi van Schoor.
500 Merits: Likhanyile Peter
Honours: Kaede Bridger (500 merits); Isabella Greyling (500 merits); Lorena Jass (500 merits); Lithetha Mdaka; Danni Barrow (500 merits); Kaylee Koffie; Zukhanye Mzaidume (500 merits); Samatsha Khumalo (500 merits).
Merits: Sivuyisiwe Masingile; Sange Mafani; Khazimla Hempe; Tessa Ngoyi (500 merits); Lama Mbiko; Georgia-Mae Botha; Imihl’emihle Sibiya; Mpho Monaheng; Lakheni Qomiyana; Trisha Harjeven (500 merits); Iminathi Mengu (500 merits); Unathi Hlana.
500 Merits: Bamanye Mxoli; Sisitha Jaji.
Honours: Courtney Jacobs (500 merits); Emma Gush (500 merits); Siphosethu Mtyapi (500 merits); Ishka Fullarton; Alyson van der Merwe (500 merits); Sibulele Kulati (500 merits); Lathi-Tha Stofile (500 merits).
Merits: Lathitha Gxekwa; Tristyn Burger; Laaiqah Elie; Sinovuyo Mtsishe; Chanté Shaw (500 merits); Owethu Booysen; Thandile Mhlakaza.
500 Merits: Hayley Jade Wessels; Jasmyn Magabie; Sihle Tima; Akhona Fundani.
Honours: Tosca Stoloff; Nana Abebreseh (500 merits); Iqra Hayat (500 merits); Kamvelihle Ncula (500 merits); Priyanka Harjeven (500 merits).
Merits: Wafa Rizvi (500 merits); Sinokholo Ngwekazi; Amy Barrow (500 merits); Siwenza Matinyana; Emihle Maliwa; Marian Keen (500 merits); Avuyile Mbatyoti (500 merits).
Two new initiatives are being piloted next year; a Number Sense programme for the teaching of Mathematics will be used in Grades 1-4 and Physifun will be introduced in our Pre-Primary and Foundation Phase classes. All of our Foundation Phase teachers are being trained in Physifun techniques this week and Ms Christian and Mrs Arnold will be co-ordinating these lessons next year. Regular Physifun activities enhance core strength, postural control, balance and co-ordination, concentration, gross and fine motor skills as well as improved fitness and health.
The introduction of Chrome Books this year has enriched our girls’ learning and the Grade 6 and 7’s in particular, have developed many skills and embraced cloud computing. We will be adding to our bank of Chrome Books next year which will mean that a whole grade will be able to use the devices simultaneously. Our Grade 5-7 girls received their Google First Certificates for the coding course they completed this term. For this we thank Mr Chris Kabwato of Rhodes University for sharing his skills with our girls.
Our annual Prize Givings which were held in the Monument showcased our girls’ achievements this year. Thank you to all the parents and family members who supported our girls at one or both of the special functions.
Our music department has had a busy term. This year a record number of girls participated in the Trinity Music Examinations. Of the 23 girls who entered, ten obtained distinctions and thirteen achieved merit passes. Phoebe Bunyan was awarded full colours and Courtney Jacobs half colours in music. Our choir and orchestra performed at various events including our Prize Giving, the NG Church Carol Service and at our own Carol Service. Mrs Jones and Mr Wynne have spent many hours preparing our girls for these performances and I thank them for ensuring that music touches us all at VP. Billy Joel said, ” I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” Thank you to Mr Williams who assisted in our music department after Mrs Kunju left. Next year we will be joined by Mr Lwazi Mkula, a strings specialist.
Last week’s Carol Service and the Grade R Nativity Play, “Away in a Manger” was a really wonderful celebration of music and budding talent. Our Grade R’s made us all beam with pride as they reminded us of the love born in a stable.
At our House Assembly this term the 2018 Leadership Team was announced and the current team presented their reports. Mrs Sonne has steered the Leadership Team so well this year. Under her guidance this team has raised funds and continued to pay the fees of a child in the care of Child Welfare. The 2018 team start off the year with an exciting leadership training camp.
Our girls participated in the B league gala on the 25th November. Kyla Banks, Leah Banks, Abigail Benn, Alyson van der Merwe and Bronwyn van Onselen swam in the B- league gala at Newton Park in PE on the 25th of November. Everyone managed to get at least one personal best time, well done girls!
This term we held a fun morning of physical challenges at our annual Foundation Phase Mini-Olympics. The cool weather this term resulted in our girls not being able to spend much time in the pool. Despite the chilly conditions our swimmers participated in the Dolphin Shield Gala and a B-League Gala. All our swimmers who entered the B-League gala achieved personal best times and enjoyed the competition. Miss Knott-Craig continued with Dance classes all the way through the exam week and many of our girls took the opportunity to keep exercising and moving in time to the music!
Our annual Hostel Christmas Dinner was celebrated with the hostel girls and the hostel staff together with our teaching staff and their children. It was a wonderful family evening with our hostel girls particularly enjoying their interactions with the younger members of the VP family. Sadly we will bid farewell to Mrs Sandow (Aunty Mattie) at the end of January next year. She is moving to Hoopstad to be with her daughter. Mrs Sandow has served the hostel for many years, where she has been in charge of the kitchen and catering. This is an enormous task as you can imagine. Her hard work and commitment to our hostel will be sorely missed. Mrs Jones, our Hostel Co-ordinator, together with the matrons and the duty teachers, under the leadership of Miss Christian, have ensured that Thursford House is a caring and happy environment for our boarders.
The Leavers’ Dinner last week was a real highlight of the term and an opportunity for the staff to wish the Grade Sevens well as they move on to high school next year. Mrs Pike and Miss Phillips were assisted by the 2018 Leadership Team and their parents to organise this special event. We wished our girls all of the best and encouraged them to remember to always be proud of their VP roots.
I extend my thanks to all the members of our Finance Committee, the Governing Body and the PTA for serving our school so generously this year. Next year we will be holding GB elections in March and I ask all parents to get involved in this very important process. Mrs Weyl, Mr Barrow, Mrs Japp, Mrs Burger, Mrs Gqutyana and Dr Davies have volunteered their time and expertise for the benefit of our school and we thank them for their valuable contributions.
Tanya van Onselen and her team of moms and dads have worked enthusiastically to provide additional funds for projects at our school. The money raised this year has been allocated to the renovation of the building for our two new Grade R classes. The formal opening of this building will be held on Founders’ Day on 9 March next year.
Our Admin team also play a crucial role in our school – finances, admissions, SASAMS and a host of administrative tasks make these demanding and extremely busy positions. Mrs Terblanche, Ms Lang and Ms Jamela provide excellent service to our school.
Mrs Goodes, Ms van der Merwe, Miss Cloete and Aunty Maya take care of our girls in Aftercare; completing homework and supervising play. The girls had a wonderful end of term braai and treats and they just loved their “Dummy Awards”! Thank you to our caring Aftercare team!
Mr Nell, our caretaker, works closely with the grounds and cleaning staff to ensure that the our buildings and grounds are clean and well maintained. The junior hostel bathroom has been re-tiled and painted and is looking fresh and smart again. The staff restroom was also recently upgraded. The roofs of the hostel, the Media Centre, the Music block and the Aftercare are all in the process of being repaired, cleaned and painted and will be completed early next year.
I also thank Paola Schmidt for keeping healthy options in our tuckshop and for her valued service to our girls. Mrs Thomson and Mrs de Jongh run our clothing exchange which helps keep the cost of uniforms down and for this we thank them for their time they spend helping others.
We wish the following girls a happy birhday: Sange Mafani, Tatum Jacobs, Tshegofatso Thabana, Akhona Fundani, Amy Barrow, Siphesihle Fatyi, Kia Mager, Asiyolise Tshete, Agcobile Dyonashe, Zisanda Kesa, Nicola Podesta, Sinokholo Ngwekazi, Sambese Vubela, Khazimla Hempe, Jayda Kohl, Lindokuhle Ndwayana, Iyonke Nogqala, Caitlin Christian, Sade Lessing, Amber-Jade Marthinus, Sue-Ann Swanepoel, Milisa Manyati, Luthando Zono, Talitha Dingani, Sydney Edwards, Timna Fobe and Ishka Fullarton. Have a happy HOLIDAY birthday!
On behalf of the VP team I wish you a blessed Christmas, a happy holiday with your girls and safe travels. See you in January ready to rekindle the VP vibe!
Mrs C Kaiser