Message from the office:
Over this past weekend we had an overnight staff development where the VP staff discussed our plans for 2020. There are two new projects I’d like to highlight which will be implemented this year.
Firstly we have started a reading lesson in Grade 4-7 (reading is already done on a daily basis in Grade 1-3) where, for the first half an hour of each day, our girls will either be reading in silence, be reading in groups or their teacher will be reading to them.
Not only is it a noticeable trend in our school, but it was pointed out at the latest district meeting I attended, that one of the biggest hindrances to our children’s academic progress is their inability to read with comprehension and, added to this, is their inability to understand questions, their limited vocabulary and an inability to put thoughts into their own words. These were the findings from the 2019 matric papers. So as evident as it is to us, it is a nation wide dilemma. Unfortunately there only seems to be a handful of girls who, out of their own accord, sit down and read when they have a spare moment. Ask any teacher, those girls who do read at any opportunity very seldom display these areas of concern. And so this reading lesson is to create a time deliberately set aside for our girls to read. This half an hour a day may just be what they need to discover a character they get hooked on or expose them to the vocabulary and/or knowledge that they need.
The second new approach we have implemented is value-based living. Although this will be implemented from Grade 00 all the way to Grade 7, we have a special lesson set aside for the intersen phase (Grades 4-7) where we will be exploring values that we would like to nurture in our girls. We have identified six that we will be developing this year. They will be discussed at assembly, in the early morning messages, incidentally or deliberately introduced or discussed in their subjects, and in their Positive Ed lessons. We will also be adding articles and tips in the newsletter and we would love for you as parents to continue encouraging these values at home too. We will focus on each value for 6-8 weeks. The six values that we have identified as our focus this year are Respect, Trustworthiness, Responsibility, Compassion and Empathy, Resilience and Citizenship.
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviour. Keep your behaviour positive because your behaviour becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” Mahatma Gandhi
Excerpt from “Why Teaching Respect To Children Is Important” https://childventures.ca/blog/2016/09/teaching-respect-children-important/
“Respect is one of the most important virtues a child can have. Teaching your child how to respect others will ensure they develop positive relationships with their family, friends and teachers throughout their life. Respect can be taught in many ways, but ultimately it’s about ensuring your children lead a happy life and treat other people kindly.
Below are some of the most important traits your child can gain from learning the virtue of respect.
• Good manners
Teaching your child good manners might seem difficult, especially at a young age. However, good manners stem from respect. Saying a simple “please” and “thank you” can go a long way and, with practice, these gestures can become natural to your child. By practising manners, your child will learn that all relationships benefit from give and take.
Your child is bound to face conflict throughout their life. While they might not always agree or understand what’s being said or done, teaching them respect will ensure they do their best to address conflict in a productive way. Teaching your child respect will allow them to communicate in a way that is effective and also will encourage them to take responsibility for their own mistakes, and better tolerate the mistakes of others.
Listening is an important part of having a productive or positive conversation. Learning how to communicate effectively means knowing how to listen, and this can be taught by understanding the importance of respect. Show your child how to listen intently, not interrupt and take their turn in order to help them better engage conversationally with others. This will also help your child to better understand rules and avoid conflicts.
Teaching your children respect ensures they will get to know a person before making a snap judgement. This behaviour will help them throughout their entire life, and ensures they treat everyone with kindness. As well, for some children, diversity is a hard concept to understand. However, teaching children respect at an early age ensures they accept everyone for who they are.
For all children, learning respect takes time, but it’s never too early to start practising this essential life skill. Ultimately, teaching your children respect will help them to create more positive relationships with their family and friends.”
PTA Executive Meeting on Tuesday 28 January at 17:15
All parents who signed up to be part of the PTA, as well as those who are interested in joining, please attend this meeting in the staffroom to become part of this dynamic team!
Leadership Workshop – On Friday, 30 January the leadership team will be taking part in a fun filled day of teambuilding at the DSG Monastery just outside Grahamstown. We are certain that the girls will benefit from the outdoor programme that will teach teamwork, resilience and leadership. Girls will depart school at 08:00 and will return at approximately 16:00.
Tennis fixtures – On Wednesday, 29 January our top six senior players will be playing their first match against Port Alfred at our VP courts 14:00. Team practice will still continue as scheduled from 3pm to 4pm. The following Top Six girls will be playing the matches: Tara Bettridge, Sydney Edwards, Nicole Swart, Kendra May, Grace Mayekiso and Abbigail Rischbeter.
Best of luck to Tara Bettridge, Sydney Edwards and Nicole Swart who will be playing in the Gap Tennis meet this Sunday. Make us proud!
Sports uniform – Please note that Heinen Embroidery who are now situated at 23 Somerset Street have navy blue sports shirts available in all sizes at a cost of R120. They can also be contacted on 082 441 4708.
Medication administered at school
Please note that if your daughter needs to have medication administered at school you will have to complete a form at the office and provide a copy of the prescription. Unfortunately no “over the counter medication” may be sent to school to be administered.
Media Market Day
These take place on a Friday and each class (Grade 4-7) have an opportunity to bring in items (eg. cakes, cookies, hand-made crafts) which they sell at break time. Please support your daughter, when it is her turn, in her efforts to contribute to the sale. If possible send a little money on a Friday for her to buy an item. The funds raised will be used to purchase library books and class readers. We will track the totals to see which class manages to raise the most funds! On Friday, 31 January Gr 4s will bring items to sell.
The following children and staff member celebrate birthdays this week: Yonelisa Ngaleka, Zinathi Nondzube, Isla Orsmond, Nqobile Gxashe, Rebecca Phillip, Aventhandwa Hambaze and Ms Lang. A very happy birthday!
Mrs M Rafferty