Message from the office
This week, Mrs Jackson presented a heartfelt assembly about respecting animals. Mrs Jackson used the quote by Mahatma Gandhi; “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.”
I believe that it is important that we raise a generation of children who know that animals have as much right to be on this earth as we do and to understand the role they play in our ecosystem. Personally, having pets in my home has been a special way for my children to learn about birth and death and not to mention experiencing unconditional love of the highest level.
I have slightly adapted a few tips from https://www.monkeyland.co.za/21-fun-tips-to-help-teach-kids-to-respect-animals-today_article_op_view_id_2956 which highlight ways that you as a parent can encourage your daughter to respect animals.
Set a Good Example. Children learn by observing what the adults and people around them do. One of the best ways to get your daughters to respect animals is to model behaviour that respects animals. That means not hitting, kicking or yelling at your pets.
Show Kindness to All Animals. Being kind to all animals can be a challenge. It means not killing bugs you find in the house and using humane traps to catch mice or rodents. Doing these things might be less convenient for you but it sends a message to your children that it’s important to respect all living creatures.
Take Your Children to our local SPCA. One way to teach your daughters to respect animals is to take them to a shelter to visit dogs and cats. Your family can make a habit of volunteering at our local SPCA.
Watch Animals in Nature. Part of teaching your girls to respect animals is teaching them to leave the animals alone. Spend time observing animals in a natural setting. It can be in your backyard, at a nearby game reserve or even on your drive to P.E.!
Skip Entertainment that Harms Animals. Just as you want to model good behaviour for your girls, you also want to skip any programs or toys that disrespect animals. Fireworks should also be discouraged as they cause great distress and fear for many animals.
Clean Up Litter That Can Harm Wildlife. This links nicely with our theme on respecting our Earth, another way to teach your child to respect animals is to teach them to make choices that don’t harm wildlife. Take your child to the beach or other public areas and spend the day picking up litter. Explain the risk of certain types of litter to your children. Ducks can get stuck in discarded plastic in dams or small birds can chew and swallow pieces of plastic or discarded chewing gum.
Read Books Together About Animals. A number of books for children show animals in a positive light. These books can feature animals doing something helpful, such as “Charlotte’s Web.” They can also provide information about real animals, such as books about elephants or lions in nature. Some books feature a child and an animal being friends, which can help your child develop empathy and respect for animals.
Watch TV or Movies about Animals. Watch a TV show or movie that features animals. “The March of the Penguins” is a good one for showing animals in their natural setting. “Chicken Run” uses humour to help people sympathize with animals. “Finding Nemo,” “Bambi,” and “Free Willy” are a few more movies that help children learn to love animals.
Consider Getting a Pet. If you have the space, the time and the inclination, consider bringing home a pet to help your children learn to love and respect animals. It doesn’t have to be a dog or a cat. Fish or a hamster can be great pets for families that don’t have much space. Your child will learn to care for the animal and will come to love and care for it like another member of your family.
Teach Them How to Pet Animals. Children aren’t born knowing how to pet or play with a dog or cat. You need to show your child how to pet animals. Distinguish between rough play and gentle play with the pets, so that your child understands what the right way to pet is and what isn’t. Explain to your daughter that animals like to be touched or petted in some ways but can become very upset if their tails are pulled or their fur tugged.
Have Them Ask Before Petting or Approaching a Strange Animal. Along with teaching your child how to interact with wildlife and the family pet, it’s important to teach them how to interact with other people’s pets. Since you don’t know what a strange animal is like, it’s important that your child ask before they try to pet one. Some animals are skittish around strangers or don’t like to be touched.
Animals need their space. Tell your child not to go up to a pet who is sleeping and not to bother a mama dog who is with her puppies. It is also very important that you encourage your child to conquer their fear of animals and, if you have ascertained that the pet is tame and friendly, encourage your daughter to be brave and stroke the animal. Being indiscriminately fearful of all animals will not breed a love and understanding of them.
Looking Neat! Please note that we do not mix and match our school and sports uniforms. Sports clothes should be worn with tracksuit tops and NOT jerseys and tracksuit tops should NOT be worn with school uniforms. But overall I want to thank you for how neat and presentable our girls come to school every day.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no extra murals for Gr 3-7 on Monday, 17 February as the staff will be attending SASAMS training. Gr 1 will still have Karate and Gr 2 Swimming. Please ensure that your daughter is fetched promptly after school if she does not attend aftercare.
Well done to Hlombe Mvula and Hayley de Clerq who were awarded the Personalities of the Week this week. They both displayed kindness and consideration to their fellow VP pupils. We are proud of you both!
Interhouse and Splash gala
Please note that our big pool and shallow pool are due to be repaired over the winter season. At the moment neither pool is in an ideal state and we have therefore taken the decision to have our Interhouse gala at the Graeme College pool this year. We will have both the Splash gala and the Interhouse gala on Thursday, 27 February 2020 for all girls Grade 3 -7. The Pre-primary and Grade 1 and 2 girls will have a normal school day at VP. Please make arrangements to drop your daughter off at Graeme College at 08:00 and to fetch her from Graeme at 13:00. There will be a tuckshop at the pool but please send plenty of water, sun block and even an umbrella. All parents are welcome to support! Further details will be in next week’s newsletter.
Health Department Forms.
Please note that we were informed that they have changed the HPV vaccine to be for all Grade 5 girls from now on. As most of our Grade 5 girls were vaccinated last year, they will not be vaccinated again. If there are any Grade 5’s who didn’t get the HPV vaccination last year, please notify the school if you wish for your daughter to be vaccinated for the first time. We will ensure that the form is ticked at that relevant section if you haven’t done so already. These girls must also bring their clinic cards. The Health Department will be visiting VP on this coming Tuesday, 18 February. All Grade 4 girls will therefore only be vaccinated next year in Grade 5.
Our U13A hockey girls played their first match of the season against Pembroke Primary, who came all the way from Kenya. It was a tough first game and our girls lost 4-1 but they displayed some exciting promise for the season ahead. Both teams enjoyed a swim and braai afterwards in true VP spirit. Thank you to Mrs Andrews and Ms Knott-Craig who made this happen among all the summer sports and play practices that they are already committed to. A special thanks to our U13 moms who donned their aprons and served the girls!
Junior tennis team vs DSG.
On the 11th of February our Junior Tennis team girls played their first match of the season. The girls enjoyed the short afternoon and gained experience. Our girls lost the singles matches by 7 games. They tried their best during doubles but lost by 12 games. We look forward to a rematch in the 4th Term.
Senior tennis team vs Kingswood College.
With local bragging rights on the line, our Senior Tennis girls took on old rivals Kingswood College this past Wednesday the 12th of February. This was never going to be an easy task as the girls faced a very good Kingswood side. The girls showed terrific heart and resilience against their opposition, fighting for every available point. An incredible display of tennis was shown by both sides and the standard of tennis that was played was very exciting for all the spectators, parents and coaches to watch. Despite our efforts, Kingswood walked away victorious, winning both the singles and the doubles to secure a 69 to 35 game victory. Great sportsmanship and camaraderie was shown on the tennis courts and overall it was a great display for tennis.
The Davies family are currently collecting Eco bricks which they are using to help their employee build a house. This is an amazing project which we would like to encourage our girls to be a part of. Please have a look at www.ecobricks.org to see how to make these remarkable “bottle bricks” and put your household litter to good use. Bricks can be dropped off at Mrs Orsmond’s class.
Happy Birthday to Mr Keeton for last week and the following teachers and girls who will be celebrating their birthdays in the coming week – Mr Webber, Ms Putzier, Ayva Baatjes, Okuhle Smile and Gracie Chitsike. We hope you have a wonderful day!
Mrs M Rafferty
Friday 14/02 – Boarders Leave Out
Saturday 15/02 – B-League Gala, PE
Sunday 16/02 – Boarders return
Monday 17/02 – NO EXTRAMURALS (staff development)
Tuesday 18/02 – Albany swimming trials
Wed. 19/02 – Tennis Jnr. A team vs KC@VP