Message from the office (aka as the Rafferty’s lounge)
Greetings and lots of love to all our VP families wherever you find yourselves during the lockdown. We have decided to start our newsletter again in order to keep our gates of communication open.
I so wish I could be telling you when we will be opening our doors again and exactly how we will be proceeding ahead. Unfortunately at this point no one seems to know. I know that this uncertainty is causing anxiety and maybe even a sense of hopelessness in many. I myself wish I would wake up one morning and a cure would have been discovered overnight and life can go back to what it once was. But I know that this won’t be the case. I feel for all those who have to make such crucial decisions during this time. Their decisions will go down in history picturing them as either heroes or the village villains but the truth is, no one really knows what the future holds or what decisions will turn out to be costly and unnecessary or wise and life-saving. Our leaders have to trust the input from those who are experts in their relevant fields to guide them, and they need to put their egos aside to ensure that the citizens that they are there to protect are kept out of harm’s way.
This letter is meant to be uplifting and I seem to be going in the opposite direction. But the reason for the direction of my letter is that this is true too for us as a school in that we need to rely on the experts and unions for direction and have faith that the decisions that they make will be there to ensure that the health and safety of our girls, school staff and our community are of the utmost importance.
Various correspondence have indicated that they are looking into a phase-in approach at school where we will start with only one grade and then after some time slowly introduce the others. When and which grades we are not yet sure of. But they have stressed that there is NO final plan or return date and that this will be decided by the Minister of Education who is being advised by the Minister of Health and the National Command Council led by the president of South Africa.
Information with regards to social distancing, gloves, masks etc will also be shared with us and hence with you. We have been requested to stress the importance of being on high alert of any fake news that is being circulated as it contributes to our existing sense of uncertainty.
Like you, we as a school have many pressing questions and concerns about the proposal but as nothing is certain or definite, we need to at this time keep calm and have faith that the proposal will be made with clear heads and much consultation.
The VP teachers are missing their girls terribly and are desperate to be teaching them in the classrooms again and I have faith that this will happen in due course but we need to make the safety and health of our girls our biggest priority. As soon as we hear anything definite and I’m sure that this will very likely be shared with the nation, we will be in contact with you to share the unique plans that we will have in place at VP to secure the safety of all our precious girls.
In this newsletter we will be sharing messages from some of our teachers and I hope you enjoy reading them. My sincere wish is that you are all coping and keeping safe at home.
For next week’s newsletter I would like to encourage the VP families; parents and girls to send encouraging messages. It is our wish that it will make us feel somehow connected again. Please send photos too! Please email your message and/or photo to Ms Lang – I.firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of all the VP staff; we miss you girls very much, keep safe and we can’t wait to read your messages and see how you are all doing.
Mrs M Rafferty
Good morning Grade 7Gr
You know my favourite saying or phrase is “ Go and reflect” I sincerely hope you are using this time at home to reflect. Not only about school work but also about life in general. Maybe you have set yourself some long term goals for after the lockdown. Whatever that may be I hope one of your goals will be to spend more time with family and friends in the future. This lockdown made me think about time in general.
One of my goals will definitely be to spend more time with my family. During this lockdown, Luka taught me that life is full of questions because he is now at that stage of asking many questions. Isabella introduced me to some interesting apps like TikTok and we have been listening to music together. My wife and I are cooking together and we spend hours either in the garden or cleaning the house. I have lost track of time and I love it!!
But … I would like to be back in class teaching and I am missing my afternoon walkers. I am missing hearing the girls during break time and seeing some Grade 7’s sliding down the bannisters. And yes, I have seen some of you sending notes around or eating something under the table and also the chats in class even when I say to be quiet and get on with work. So whatever the outcome of this lockdown is, please know that I am thinking of you every day. Enjoy the tasks set by the teachers and treasure the time you have with your family.
Regards Mr Greyling
I miss you and think about you all every day! Lockdown has given me extra opportunity for reading, baking, building puzzles, chatting to my family over the phone, and best of all, spending time with my beautiful cat. I can’t wait to see you at school again, when I hope you will continue to laugh at my silly jokes, even if only for my sake if you don’t really think they are all that funny.
Here are two quotes that brought me some comfort during this time of lockdown. I hope they may do the same for you:
“Every situation in life is temporary. So, when life is good, make sure you enjoy and receive it fully. And when life is not good, remember that it will not last forever and better days are on the way.” – Jenni Young
“All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us.” – Gandalf
– Mr Keeton
A poem for the Grade 3’s from Ms Putzier
Please don’t forget to wash your hands
Now that Corona has come to our lands
Please don’t forget to stay at home
Don’t go out of doors to roam
Please don’t forget to read everyday
Then as your teacher I’ll say ‘hooray’
Please don’t forget that I think of you all
As everyday you grow strong and tall
Please don’t forget I am waiting for
that happy day you’ll walk through my door
My dearest Grade 00 darlings.
With a phenomenal time like this,
Staying at home with your superheroes is completely bliss.
Painting, drawing, running, jumping galore;
Puzzles and cool games found in the Play Store.
The activities are to keep your special minds busy,
Whilst bonding with your parents and having a high tea.
Soon the Lockdown will be done,
Then we can continue with our Grade 00 fun.
Teacher misses all of you.
Hope you miss me too.
To my Sweet Angels
My wish for you is that you see the light in this world, in yourself and in others because I see the light in you.
I am proud of you. Believe in yourself because you are stronger than you know. Try hard, but know your limits. Ask for help and trust others will help you.
Fill your hearts with laughter and smile, you are unique and special in your own way. There will never be another you.
I appreciate and miss all of you.
Dream, believe, inspire, nurture, love and always listen. These are the things I will also do for you.
Lots of love
Dear Grade 6’s.
We thought of sending you this ” Words to Build Resilience” caption to remind you that it is fine to be worried in these times but that we are all in this together and that we must just remind ourselves to take it slowly and deal with one thing at a time. Let us be resilient and show kindness where we can. We are missing you girls terribly and are all looking forward to the day we can see you again.
Love Ms Sauls, Ms Goodes and Ms Purdon.
Having missed this time in school, some of you may be worried about whether your daughter will be ready for Grade 1 in 2021. Dr Melodie de Jager is a qualified nursery school teacher and holds a doctorate in the role of neurological integration in the learning process. She is the founder of the Mind Moves Institute. She says that the foundations for school readiness and reading readiness include vocabulary and language skills, listening skills, motor development which includes using and developing all five senses and the muscles of the body. Therefore, if you are having daily conversations with your daughter which involve vocabulary development and listening skills, if she is actively involved in the day to day activities necessary to keep a household going, and she is keeping physically active you are doing a good job of helping her to be ready for school.
We miss you all and can’t wait to be together again.
Love Teacher Kerry and Teacher Sam
Dear Gr 7M and VP family
It’s been a while since we closed the school. I hope you enjoyed your long deserved rest with your family and are busy working on your activities. The lockdown made us think more about the value of life. As my late father-in-law would say ”Man proposes but God disposes”
During this period I have really enjoyed being with my whole family although my eldest daughter is working as she is a health care worker. We have shared some of the responsibilities in the house like cooking. We have also done some challenging exercises to keep active and I have had some quality time with my granddaughter.
Hope to see all of you soon.
Dear Grade 1s
Mrs Andrews and I have been so lucky because we’ve managed to have contact with you on our class WhatsApp groups. Thank you for the photos and videos. They make us happy (and sad). Happy, because we are seeing your faces and we know that you are safe and well. But sad because we miss you and we miss seeing you learn and watching you grow. You are the little pots of gold waiting for us at the end of the rainbow, which we know will appear when this “Corona Holiday” comes to an end.
Mrs Orsmond and Mrs Andrews
I hope you are all well and enjoying / surviving this strange time in which we find ourselves living. I am missing you all very much, especially the afternoons in the library and the chats that we have.
Grade 7s – not a day goes by when I don’t think of you. I wonder how you are getting on and whether you are managing to do some work. I hope you found the worksheet that I sent you interesting. I am fine – I have good, positive days and some down days. My good days are when I can focus and feel I have achieved something. I have made a couple of other comprehensions for you based on interesting articles that I have read pertaining to what is going on in our world at the moment. I can’t wait to share them with you and hear your thoughts. Other days I literally ‘veg’. I’ve decided against the setwork I had planned to do with you (The Boy who Harnessed the Wind) because I don’t think we’ll finish it. Instead, I’ve found another called The Whistlers, by Penny Maytham. Google it if you can and see what you think. It’s shorter and a little easier, but the uncertainty of when we’ll be together again prevents me from preparing too much on it. I mustn’t take up too much of this newsletter as I’m sure other teachers want to write to you too. If you feel like trying the book puzzle included please do. I’ll send answers next week!
With much love,