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Delayed start to the third term

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12 July 2021
Dear VP Parents

As you are aware President Ramaphosa has announced that schools will be closed for a further week and will only reopen on Monday the 26 July 2021. Hostel girls are therefore to return on Sunday, 25 July.

One week’s worth of work is recoverable and we shall ensure this happens on the girls’ return. However, if there are further delays in schools reopening we will arrange for work packs and report collections during the course of the week of the 2nd August, depending on the revised term dates.

It is our greatest desire to get our girls back in the classroom and resume teaching sooner than later but we are cognisant of the severity of the third wave and everyone’s safety and well-being takes precedence at this stage.

We pray that you and your families remain safe during this time and we look forward to having our girls back in the classroom in due course and when it is safe to do so.

Warm Regards,

Mrs Michelle Rafferty
Principal

Addendum to letter regarding early school closure

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Dear Parents

Please note that we have just received notification from the minister of Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, that at this stage, schools will open for Term 3 on Monday, the 19th of July. Boarders are therefore to return on Sunday the 18th July. All other plans we have put in place will remain.

Thank you

Mrs Rafferty
Principal

Early closure for Term 2

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Dear VP Parents

As you may have heard from the president’s address, Mr Ramaphosa has called for schools to close this week. The girls’ last day this term will be on Wednesday, the 30 June 2021. Wednesday will still be a full school day and we will close at 12:30 for the Grade 00-3 and at 13:45 for Grade 4-7. We request that your daughters take ALL their books and textbooks home so that we are prepared for a possible further delay in returning to school for Term 3.

The staff will work until Friday the 2 July this week to finalise all our term’s work and our office will be open until 12h00 on Friday.

Hostel parents may take their daughters home AFTER school on Wednesday. Please do not arrange transport before then. All girls need to be out of the hostel by Thursday the 1 July by 17h00.

We still await clarity of when school will reopen for Term 3 as this has not been made clear. As soon as we know we will send further communication to you. Term 2 reports and the Term 3 calendar (once we are sure of dates) will be handed out next term on the girls’ return.

Please also keep an eye on the website for updates during the holidays.

Keep safe and have a restful holiday with your girls.

Warm regards,

Mrs Michelle Rafferty
Principal

VP Newsletter 25 June 2021

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Message from the office
We can finally breathe a sigh of relief as we have managed to get through the exams. It is a stressful time for all and I know that so many of you probably feel as if you’ve also been writing exams yourselves. Thank you for supporting and encouraging your daughters through their exams.

Please remember that every teaching day is invaluable and we need all girls to attend school every day for the last two weeks of school. We will be continuing our syllabus and teaching, making the most of every school day that we have as we do not know what the third wave may bring and how it will impact our school days going forward this year.

We are delighted that the Department of Health has opted to vaccinate the education sector. Many of our teachers and some support staff were vaccinated this week. I know that this will minimise the infections that may take place and be spread beyond our school environment.

This week we have noticed an increase in the number of people getting tested for COVID19 and those who need to go into quarantine. The cases are rife in Gauteng and the Western Cape and it is only a matter of time before we start to feel the impact of this third wave. We will resort back to our full academic day as from Monday and our IPs (Grade 4-7) will finish school at 13:45 (please see the attached times as a reminder), however we have decided that as a precautionary measure, we will not have extra murals for the last two weeks of term to limit our girls’ interaction outside of the classroom and to keep us all safe. Please try to make sure that your daughter is fetched timeously after her school day. School times next week will be as follows:

Screening Gr 4-7:  07:00 – 07:40

Gr 1-3:  07:15-07:45 

Home time Gr 4-7: 13:45    FP: 12:45
All grades NO EXTRAMURALS

Keep safe dear VP families. I pray for God’s hand of protection over all of you!


Staff news
Mrs Sauls will be going on maternity leave next week Friday, 2 July. As from Monday our Grade 6s will return to three classes and Ms Futter will take over Mrs Sauls’ class. Mrs Calitz will go on maternity leave at the end of the term and Ms Slabbert will be filling in for her as from Term 3. We have no doubt that our little Grade 00s will adjust quickly to their new teacher.
We wish both Mrs Sauls and Mrs Calitz all the best as they welcome their little girls into the world.


Merits
The following girls have received over 250 merits so far this year: Iyana Myataza, Cazlin Du Plessis, Lejaye Du Plessis, Jayla Frans, Sambese Njilo, Sanda Stofile, Thobile Willy, Chenelle Tupiri, Zehra Rizvi and Iminathi Nkatsha. Well done and keep it up!


Birthday wishes
The following teacher intern and girls celebrate their birthdays next week: Ms Denston, Uminathi Kate, Linamandla Teyise, Zama Gwarube, Amy-Leigh Jacobs, Luyolise Nakase, Chelsey Koesnel, Shaziah Loutz, Katherine Marais, Zimfefe Kopo, Olothando Sityata, Kendra Chrisjan and Gabriel Nazley. Have a very happy birthday!


Art project donations. Ms Ebel requests donations of large yoghurt containers and items such as fabric, beads, glitter, string etc that can be used as texture for the Grade 5 art project next term. If you have items such as these please drop them off at the office or your daughter can give them to Ms Ebel directly.

Albany Bread “collect a bag” competition
This week Mrs Lang was surprised by a beautiful bouquet made out of Albany bread bags. Thank you, Zazi! Due to your continued support we have now collected 670 bags. Please keep sending them in, the competition ends on the 30th of July, let’s aim for 1000 before then!.

Bread tags for wheelchairs
Ms Putzier would like to thank her class and their families for making such an effort to contribute to the collection of bread tags. The bread tags are given to Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities (APD) which collects them in order to get wheelchairs for needy disabled members of our community. Bread tags are made of High Impact Polystyrene and they have a good recycling value. A bread bag full of tags holds 1kg of tags and it takes 200kg of tags to bring in enough money to buy one wheelchair. One of Ms Putzier’s girls brought four bread bags full of tags this week and Mrs Lang also received a bottle with over a thousand breadtags!

Warm regards
Mrs M Rafferty
Principal

Update re school on Monday

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20 June 2021

Dear VP Families

A very special happy Fathers’ Day to you all!

We have received assurance that all parties involved in the strike have been served with an interdict and that there should not be any action against the court order. We have also been informed that there is going to be more police visibility tomorrow. Based on this assurance, we will be open for business as usual tomorrow.

Thank you once again for your patience and support.

Regards
Mrs Rafferty
Principal

URGENT NOTICE

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It has been brought to our attention that many girls do not have their Life Skills books and Language books at home in order to study. We are aware that this is due to no fault of their own as no one predicted the school would be closed for two days. Unfortunately this did not occur to us when we revised our exam timetable and we can understand the anxiety this has caused when everyone received the newsletter. Please replace the exam timetable in the newsletter with this one:

Exam timetable (if Monday is a school day)
Mon 21 June Exam

Grade 4-7 NS

Tues 22 June

Exam

Grade 4-7 English Lang and Comp

Wed 23 June

Exam

Grade 4-6 LS

Grade 7 LO and

Tech

Thurs. 24 June

Exam

Grade 4-7 Geog

Grade 7 Art

Gr 7 Dance Prac (After Art exam and into the afternoon)

Friday 25 June

Exam

Grade 4-7 History

Grade 7: Drama Prac

Exam timetable
If school is cancelled on Monday- notice will be sent out on Sunday Tues 22 June Exam

Grade 4-7 NS

Wed 23 June

Exam

Grade 4-7 English Lang and Comp

Grade 4-6 LS

Grade 7 LO

Thurs 24 June

Exam

Grade 4-7 Geog

Grade 7 Tech

Fri 25 June

Exam

Grade 4-7 His

Grade 7 Art

Mon 28 June

Gr. 7 Dance and Drama Practicals

Regards
Mrs M. Rafferty
Principal

VP Newsletter 18 June 2021

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Message from the office
Thank you for your understanding with regards to the disruptions the strikes have caused. We have been through many challenges as educational institutions of late and we appreciate it when we have encouraging words and understanding from our parent body.

As shared on our notice sent out yesterday we will closely watch the situation in town and try our utmost to give you timeous notice with regards to school opening on Monday or not. We have provided two possible exam timetables to accommodate either eventuality. We have tried to stick to the original timetable as closely as possible and if your girls were prepared for their original days it should only entail revision for the new dates.

Please find my original message (written before the strikes) which seems even more relevant than before. I am sure that you too are aware of many people who are struggling at the moment. Many are just barely coping and battling through each day. Little things that used to be easy to handle, now seem to be big enough to break people.

Our world appears to be at odds with each other, people are being offended, others are being unapologetic and un-empathetic and others feel marginalised and misunderstood and relationships are brittle. This, on top of the anxiety that COVID-19 has caused, makes the world feel like an unsafe and unhappy place and this is causing much anxiety for our youth today.

People are delicate and sensitive and this includes our little girls who are not immune to the trying times we are in and they are also very sensitive to the challenges their family members are facing. We, as a staff, are finding ourselves counselling and comforting more and more fragile girls who are facing many struggles and who are trying their best to cope with each day.

Although we can’t completely protect our children from the harsh realities around us at the moment, we can try our best to provide them with a softer cushion to land on by being cognizant of the many things we do on a daily basis and we can try to provide them with some tools to manage the stressors that they are able to control. Try these few things that may help ease the tensions our little girls may be facing:
• Avoid TV programmes that add to a sense of violence and uncertainty. More than ever opt for “feel good and happy” movies/programmes for our children to watch.
• Watch out for music that our girls may be listening to, that fuels anger and bitterness. Encourage music that is uplifting and soul enriching.
• Limit or manage how much news your daughter watches and what they are viewing on social media. Although they need to know what’s going on in the world around them, a bombardment of it can cause anyone at any age to have a sense of unease.
• Mind your conversations. Be very selective in what you share with your children. Protect them, they are little, don’t burden them with issues that they don’t need to know.
• Hug your children and be as affectionate as you can. We aren’t able to do it at school and the soul craves it.
• Although you may be struggling, the smallest thing you can do for your daughter is to have a set routine that will give your child security. Ensure that she knows who will fetch her, and that she is fetched on time. Ensure she goes to bed at a set time each day, so she gets enough sleep. Get the family up early every day and get your child to school on time. All this will ease her anxiety and make her feel secure. As children, they need to know that the adults in their lives are in control and can be trusted.
• Allow your child a space to share her feelings and fears with you, acknowledge them and let her know that you can get through it together and correct any misconceptions she may have. Let her know that you will always love her unconditionally.
• Our girls often have friendship issues and this often seems to get worse from Grade 5. This too is when their friendships become more important in their lives than ever before. Often there may be a ‘break up’ of friendships that they’d had since they were in Grade 1, as they start to discover their own unique interests and talents. The ‘break-up’ can be devastating and girls can be very unkind. Support your daughters through these difficult relationships and through it all, remind them to always be kind. We need to teach our girls that just because someone is no longer their close friend, doesn’t mean that the friend is now an awful person.
• Make a conscious effort to do things as a family that will still ensure your safety during COVID19, but will also give you time to relax, bond and release those ‘feel good’ chemicals for everyone.
• If you are feeling overwhelmed or are very worried about your daughter’s emotional well-being and state of mind, please let us know your concerns so we can try to support both you and your daughter through these challenging times.


Happy Fathers’ Day
We would like to wish all those wonderful father figures in our girls’ lives a very happy Fathers’ Day on Sunday! Whether you are a grandpa, uncle, big brother, close family friend or dad, thank you for loving our little girls!


Happy news….
Congratulations to Ms Grobbelaar who got married recently and is now Mrs Calitz and to Ms Hanslo who will be getting married this weekend and will return to school on Monday as Mrs Turner. We are so happy for you both and wish you much happiness!


TIMES FOR IP (Grade 4-7) FOR EXAMINATIONS
Please note the following times that we will follow until Friday, 25 June to accommodate the examinations. Please note that every teaching day counts. We continue with our syllabus after the exam weeks end. Teaching will continue from 25 June – 9 July 2021. Your daughters must attend school until the 9th of July.

The Pre-Primary (Gr 00&R) and Foundation Phase (Grade 1-3) will continue with normal times.
07:00-07:40: Screening (arrive at school by 07:35)
12:45: Home time for girls who do not have extramurals
13:00-14:00: Extramurals & Intervention sessions (some intervention sessions end at 14:45)

After exams, as from Monday the 28 June, we will resort back to finishing school at 13:45 for Grade 4-7. We will once again monitor the COVID 19 situation and assess our extramurals on a weekly basis. A reminder that while we do have an extramural programme it is compulsory for all girls to participate.

EXAM TIMETABLE  (if Monday is a school day)
Mon. 21 June Exams

Gr 4-6: Life Skills

Gr 4-6: English Comp & Lang

Gr 7: LO

Gr 7: Tech

Tues. 22 June

Exam

Gr 4-7:Geography

Gr 7: English Comp & Lang.

Wed. 23 June Exam

Gr 4-7: NS

Gr 7: Art

Thurs.  24 June Exam

Gr 4-7: History

Gr 7: Dance Prac

Fri. 25 June

Exam

Gr 7: Drama Prac

EXAM TIMETABLE
If school is cancelled on Monday – notice will be sent out on Sunday Tues. 22 June

Exam

Gr 4-7:Geography

Gr 7: English Comp & Lang

Wed. 23 June Exam

Grade 4-7: NS

Grade 7: Art

Thurs.  24 June Exam

Gr 4-7: History

Gr 4-6: English Lang & Comp

Gr 7: Dance Prac

Fri. 25 June

Exam

Gr 4-6: Life Skills

Gr 7: LO

Gr 7: Drama Prac


Merits
The following girls have received over 250 merits so far this year: Ovayo Mdledle, Okusha Dingani, Eleni Kyazze and Yakhanani Yapi.
Well done and keep it up!


Birthday wishes
The following teacher and girls celebrate their birthdays next week:
Ms Hanslo, Aventhandwa Ponoshe, Lithalelanga Tabensky, Ella Radovic, Tatiana Radovic, Lithalethu Santi and Nakweziphi Mthetho.
Have a very happy birthday!


Art project donations. Ms Ebel requests donations of large yoghurt containers and items such as fabric, beads, glitter, string etc that can be used as texture for the Grade 5 art project next term. If you have items such as these please drop them off at the office or your daughter can give them to Ms Ebel directly.

Albany Bread “collect a bag” competition. We have already collected over 400 Albany bread bags, thank you! Please keep sending them in.

Extramural programme 21-25 June

Warm regards
Mrs M Rafferty
Principal

Update on school closure due to stike action

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17 June 2021
Dear VP Parents

It appears that the strike action will continue tomorrow and we do not wish to put our girls at risk. We will therefore not be open tomorrow.
Please understand our predicament as we are just as uncertain as you are as to how volatile the situation can be and we do not have the authority to close schools at whim, we have to await approval from the department, and these decisions aren’t always made as swiftly as we’d like.

As there is word that the strikes may continue until Monday we will send out a further notice on Sunday with regards to school on Monday next week.

Please see the newsletter for the revised examination timetable in the newsletter that will be sent out tomorrow morning.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and above all, keep safe!

Regards
Michelle Rafferty

Newsletter 11 June 2021

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Message from the office

Narcissism seems to be more prevalent today than it ever was and I’m not sure if it is because the world at large is more aware of it, if it is more often diagnosed or whether it is because we as parents are promoting an environment that allows our children to develop narcissistic traits.
A narcissistic personality is characterized by someone who is self- indulgent, lacks empathy and who has an inflated sense of their self- importance and entitlement.

Although I acknowledge that there is far more to narcissism and the relationship between it and one’s upbringing, I thought the article ‘7 ways to nip narcissism in the bud’ from
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2015/03/11/7-ways-to-nip-narcissism-in-the-bud/ highlights the ways in how not to instill this in our children.
‘Have you heard? There’s a new study creating quite a buzz, probably among your friends too: It found that parents have a key role in whether their children become little despots. The findings found that parents who “overvalue” their children between the ages of 7 and 11 raised children who scored higher on tests of narcissism. In other words, parents who described their offspring as “more special than other children” and as deserving “something extra in life” had kids who think they’re God’s gift to the world.

“Children believe it when their parents tell them that they are more special than others,” said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University. “That may not be good for them or for society.”
It comes as no surprise that having children who think they are better than everyone else at anything they do isn’t a good thing—for the children themselves and for society at large. And children can attest, parents are some of the worst when it comes to bragging about their children’s achievements.

What struck me the most about the study was that in helping our children develop a healthy self-esteem, we can so easily slip into overvaluing their performances, which can then lead to a narcissistic attitude. As Eddie Brummelman, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam put it, “Rather than raising self-esteem, overvaluing practices may inadvertently raise levels of narcissism.” Parents should read the findings as a warning that labeling their kids as “extra special” may not be the self-esteem booster previously thought. “When I first started doing this research in the 1990s, I used to think my children should be treated like they were extra-special,” said Brummelman. “I’m careful not to do that now.” Here are seven ways we as parents can keep narcissism at bay in our kids and avoid overusing praise.

1. Love your kids, warts and all. The more we view our children as flawed (like we ourselves are), the more we will be able to love them in their imperfect state. None of us are perfect, and when we can accept that our children are not all geniuses or the next great sports star—that they are, in fact, wonderfully ordinary and average—we will be able to relax and enjoy them for who they are right now. The ability to recognize failings and to still love and accept them is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.

2. Stick to the point with your praise. Think about how you feel when someone says, “Good job!” as opposed to “You really nailed that presentation by including those questions at the end. Gave us something to think about going forward with this project.” General praise is much less meaningful than a compliment on a certain achievement. Our children are no different. When we are as precise as possible in our compliments, we tell them that we truly appreciate—and recognize—their effort.

3. Praise the present. When we talk in terms of “always” or “never,” we negate the effort right in front of us. We also mar the satisfaction in a job well done if that job is lumped in with the past and future. This means we shouldn’t tell our kids, “You always do such a nice job” when referring to their room cleaning. What we should say is something like, “You did a good job on your room today.” That anchors the praise in the present and shows the child it’s his current effort that’s being complimented, not his general achievement.

4. Be sparing, but not a miser, with your praise. Kids don’t need a lot of praise to build their self-esteem. The more you praise, the more the child craves compliments. When your child has had an overload of praise, she will start to crave it by asking you to compliment every effort she makes. Over-praising can also lead to a child viewing your compliments as meaningless and not special. Striking a good balance between too much and too little praise can be difficult but well worth the effort on our part.

5. Praise what is worthy of complimenting. More often than not, we tend to not think about what we’re praising for our children. I’m as apt to toss off a generic, “Oh, great job, dear,” as I am to truly think about why I’m complimenting my son’s effort. If we praise everything a child does, the praise loses its effectiveness. If we praise nothing a child does, their self-esteem can suffer. Again, the middle ground is our friend in terms of praise-worthy actions and efforts. For example, rather than praising every good grade on a test in a subject that’s easy for your child, praise the effort it took to finish a particularly difficult math worksheet. By using our praise judiciously, we help our children see that hard work pays off, that they are not special above all others, and that they have faults just like everyone else.

6. Teach the Golden Rule. The concept of treating others as you would like to be treated has taken a beating in today’s all-about-me culture, but it’s, ahem, golden in helping kids not think too highly of themselves. Have your kids memorize “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and use it to check motivations, actions and attitudes in their lives. This can be prescriptive against letting narcissism take root in their lives. When we think of others in terms of ourselves, we naturally are not putting ourselves on a higher plane above them and their needs. The Golden Rule helps to ground our children in a life of thinking of others.

7. Walk in their shoes. Along with the Golden Rule is the ability to empathize with others—the flip side of narcissism. The more we can guide our children in thinking about how the situation looks from the other person’s point of view, the less likely they will develop an attitude of superiority. By pointing out how the other person might feel or why the other person might have acted a certain way, we help our kids think through situations with compassion rather than a “what’s-in-it-for-me” outlook.

These are just some of the ways we can work with our children to have a healthy, open-handed approach to life, one that will embrace others as worthy of empathy and compassion. The more we can help our children see their limitations, embrace their abilities, and view others as worthy companions in their lives, the more we will help our children become happy, productive members of society.


Extramurals
Please note that we have shortened our school day to not only allow for our girls to study for exams but to also have some time to be physically active during the exam weeks. Physical activity is essential for our girls’ bodies and minds and helps improve energy levels, relieve stress and improve their moods. It also helps make one more focused and think more clearly as it helps to deliver oxygen to the brain and related tissues that support memory, focus and mental concentration. It also improves one’s self esteem and helps one sleep better. All of which is so important during exams, particularly when one can become overly sedentary while studying. Our extramural programme allows for a healthy break between classes and when they need to settle to study in the afternoons.

We are however closely watching the rise in Covid-19 cases in Makhanda, and with this in mind we have reduced the amount of days our girls will have sport without eliminating it altogether. We will re-evaluate this situation and our extramural programme on a weekly basis. Participation in our extramural programme is compulsory.
The extramural programme for next week accompanies this newsletter.

TIMES FOR IP (Grade 4-7) FOR EXAMINATIONS
Please note the following times that we will follow until Friday, 25 June to accommodate the examinations. Please note that every teaching day counts. Not only will we continue with lessons after each exam in the morning, we will continue with our syllabus after the exam weeks end. Teaching will continue from 25 June – 9 July 2021. Your daughters must attend school until the 9th of July.

The Pre-Primary (Gr 00&R) and Foundation Phase (Grade 1-3) will continue with normal times.

07:00-07:40: Screening (arrive at school by 07:35 at the latest)
12:45: Home time for girls who do not have extramurals
13:00-14:00: Extramurals & Intervention sessions (some intervention
sessions end at 14:45)

EXAM TIMETABLE
Mon. 14 June

Exam

Gr 4-7: Maths paper 1&2

Tues. 15 June Exams

Gr 4-7: Afr/Xho Comp.&Lang.

Gr 7: EMS

Wed. 16 June

Youth Day

NO SCHOOL

Thurs. 17 June

Exam

Gr 4-7: NS

Friday, 18 June Exam

Gr 4-7: English Comp.& Lang.

Mon. 21 June Exams

Gr 4-6: Life Skills

Gr 7: LO

Gr 7: Tech.

Tues. 22 June

Exam

Gr 4-7:Geography

Wed. 23 June Exam

Gr 7: Art

Grade 4-6: History revision

Thurs.  24 June Exam

Gr 4-7: History

YAY!

EXAMS

ARE     FINISHED!


Personality of the Week
Micarlin Daniels for Kindness and Consideration. Thank you, Micarlin for caring for others!

Ndlulamthi Badge of Excellence
Azile Hambaze was awarded her badge this week as she is noted for her dedication and for being a polite and respectful pupil. She is exceptionally hard working and her neatness and attention to detail in her academics is commended. Azile is also committed to her extra mural activities. Well done, Azile, you are a beautiful example of an exemplary VP girl.

Merits
The following girls have received over 250 merits so far this year: Aqhama Mamani, Joylyn Chikiwa, Faye Jordaan, Asavela Mtuze, Megan Peinke and Liyabona Mbutye. Well done and keep it up!

Birthday wishes
The following girls celebrate their birthdays next week: Bridget Akpeng, Tariro Chikafa, Rachel de la Mare, Layola Loliwe, Skyla Davies, Zothando Mzileni, Owami Shabalala, Sibonokuhle Benge, Sinesipho Mafani and Zinathi Mabunda. Have a very happy birthday!

Art project donations.  Ms Ebel has asked for donation of large yoghurt containers and items such as fabric, beads, glitter, string etc that can be used as texture for the Grade 5 art project next term. If you have items such as these please drop them off at the office or your daughter can give them to Ms Ebel directly.

Albany Bread “collect a bag” competition. We have already collected over 350 Albany bread bags! Please keep sending them in.

Warm regards
Mrs M Rafferty
Principal

UPCOMING DATES

Wednesday, 16 June ……..Youth Day (Public Holiday)

                                          NO SCHOOL

 

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