17 August 2017

Dear Parents, Pupils and Staff

After attending a very inspirational workshop on the Wonder Of Learning this past weekend, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on what is considered to be the

“3 Wonderful  C’s  VS the Dreaded C…”   when thinking about children and learning.

Creative

Curious     VS      Conformity

Capable

Ultimately, as parents and teachers, we strive to have happy children who are creative, curious and capable. I was very excited, and relieved, at this workshop, to be able to share that at St George’s, we are all on the same learning journey with our children, all working together to help create happy, capable children, our future citizens. As Loris Malaguzzi (Italian teacher and psychologist) says of the capable child “ …discovering not so much the limits and weaknesses of children but rather their surprising and extraordinary strengths and capabilities linked with an inexhaustible need for expression and realisation”.

Ultimately, as parents and teachers, we strive to have happy children who are creative, curious and capable. I was very excited, and relieved, at this workshop, to be able to share that at St George’s, we are all on the same learning journey with our children, all working together to help create happy, capable children, our future citizens. As Loris Malaguzzi (Italian teacher and psychologist) says of the capable child “ …discovering not so much the limits and weaknesses of children but rather their surprising and extraordinary strengths and capabilities linked with an inexhaustible need for expression and realisation”. Unfortunately, the dilemma of education in general

Unfortunately, the dilemma of education in general today is that it is too focused on achieving a goal (academics, passing tests, the finished product). We should rather be focussing on the pathway and what children are learning along the way. If you were to spend time with our children at the Pre-Primary, you would see that

  • We nurture the child’s Intrinsic Motivation (inner motivation) – the self-desire to seek out new things and challenges.
  • We make learning relevant to the children’s lives.
  • We focus on engaged behaviour.
  • We draw out individual potential.
  • We stimulate creativity.
  • We build up the child’s self- worth and self-esteem.

And most importantly, we teach the CHILD, not the CURRICULUM.

Our children are constantly exploring and discovering new things inside and outside the classroom, with the teachers. Learning and teaching are about relationships, about the connection that happens between child and teacher. Our teachers and children explore education with each other. It is so important for us, both teachers and parents, to see our children as our co-researchers, co-teachers and co-constructors.

Our children are constantly exploring and discovering new things inside and outside the classroom, with the teachers. Learning and teaching are about relationships, about the connection that happens between child and teacher. Our teachers and children explore education with each other. It is so important for us, both teachers and parents, to see our children as our co-researchers, co-teachers and co-constructors.

One of the points that really hits home is that we have to be the difference for our children. We need to start speaking differently and acting differently. Listen to your child more, really listen to what they have to say. Don’t just impart knowledge on them, but challenge them to think for themselves. Ask them questions about what makes them WONDER. Just ‘BE’ with your child. We also need to focus more on our children’s strengths and be careful to not pay too much attention to their weaknesses. At school we teach to their strengths through creativity, music, learning collaboratively and ensuring they learn through real life experiences. This can happen at home too. Learning needs to be lifelong. It can, and should, happen all the time.

So, next time your child brings home a piece of art or project that leaves you baffled as to what it actually IS, think twice before you tuck it away. Look more carefully at the recycled bits they’ve constructed into their ‘work of art’ and think about what may have happened on the journey they took to get to creating that artwork. Ask them questions. Delve deeper, you will be amazed at what they learned along the pathway to what they created.

Children have real understanding only of that which they invent themselves.”  ~ Jean Piaget

Yours sincerely,
Shareen Combe 
Head of Pre-Primary
pre-primary@stgeorges.co.za

Prep News

Grade 7 Class of 2012 Reunion

A lovely evening catching up with our past pupils from the Grade 7 Class of 2012 on Tuesday night. Wishing you all the best for your matric exams!

Pedestrian Gate at Hall on Forbes Avenue / Access to the Prep School Campus

For the safety of our School community, we changed our Campus Access Policy a few years ago where access to the Prep Campus for parents and visitors is only via the Main Gate at 8 Park Drive.

We have become aware that some parents are accessing the school via the Hall Gate in Forbes Avenue.  Please note that we have changed the code and request that you enter the Prep School through the main access gate.

The Hall Gate is only open for the collection point for Grade 1 and 2 pupils at the following times:
13h00 – 13h15; 14h00 – 14h15; and Fridays only at 13h00 – 13h15. The pupils are escorted to this gate by their class teachers and if pupils are not collected within 15 minutes of school finishing time the class teacher will take pupils to the school office where a telephone call will be made to their parent.

To view this policy in full, please refer to the St George’s Parents Handbook 2017 (St George’s Way) which can be found on the d6 Communicator under RESOURCES – PREP – POLICIES & HANDBOOKS.

Merrifield East London Tour – 25-26 August 2017

Most of our sports teams, consisting of a large contingent of close on 100 Prep pupils, together with staff and parents travel to East London next weekend to take part in a Sports Tour playing in hockey, soccer, netball and chess fixtures against a number of different schools. Good luck to all our teams!

Science Week : 7 – 11 August 2017

It was Science Week at St George’s Preparatory School from Monday 7 to Friday 11 August and many science related activities took place.

The Pre-Primary and Foundation Phase pupils had the opportunity to watch a science experience conducted by Mr Peltenburg, one of our senior Science teachers, showing them how mixing glycerine with potassium makes a fire. The Grade 4s and 5s had great fun making “slime” in their natural science lesson.  The Grade 5s also had fun exploring why gas doesn’t like to be cramped into small places with their super soda fountain experiment on the Daverin Field and recorded the experiment on their iPads.  Our Grade 6s made their own terrariums to link into their learning about deserts and rain forests.  The Grade 6’s also had the opportunity to display their Eskom Expo for Young Scientists projects in the school hall showing their own scientific investigations and discuss their work with judges, teachers, parents and other pupils.  A fun week of learning for all!  Please scroll to the end of the newsletter for the photo gallery.

Spring Concert and Art Exhibition – Tuesday 5 September 2017

The Music, Art and Drama departments will present the Spring Concert and Art Exhibition on Tuesday 5 September in the Jan Immelman Hall. The programme includes various instrumental ensemble items, choral music as well as individual drama performances by selected pupils.

To reserve seats, please RSVP to the Music Department (music@stgeorges.co.za) by Tuesday 29 August as limited seating is available.

What’s on for the next 2 Weeks of Term 3 – (School Events & Sport Fixtures 21 August – 1 September 2017)

A Peek around the School

The atmosphere was electric for the Foundation Phase inter-house sports day – the children enjoyed all the activities and all three Houses showed great spirit! The parent/child races were great fun. Thank you to all our Foundation Phase parents for your support! To view the full gallery of photos, please visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/stgeorgesprep

A great start to our soccer season today for our boys!

Our cross-country athletes participated in the Eastern Province Cross Country Championships on 5 August 2017 – well done to all of you!

It’s was Science Week at St George’s Preparatory School and the Grade 6’s had the opportunity to display their Eskom Expo for Young Scientists projects in the school hall showing their own scientific investigations and discuss their work with judges, teachers, parents and other pupils.

One of our Senior Primary science teachers demonstrated a science experiment to the Foundation Phase pupils showing them how mixing glycerine with potassium makes a fire.

The Grade 4s and 5s had great fun making “slime” in their natural science lesson

The Grade 5s had fun exploring why gas doesn’t like to be cramped into small places with their super soda fountain experiment on the Daverin Field and recorded the experiment on their iPads

Our Grade 6s made their own terrariums to link into their learning about deserts and rain forests

Very exciting Inter-House General Knowledge Quiz happened last week for our Senior Primary boys and girls!

Our Grade 3s learning about the Phases of the Moon using oreos

Once their work was completed the Grade 1s had free play time and their imaginations came to life (they made a belt, hammer, screwdriver, camera, rainbow nail polish, the Eiffel Tower and a watch)

Our Grade 2s theme this term is “Buildings” and they explored the grand Victorian house “Knockfierna” which is home to their very own school St George’s Preparatory School

Our Grade 2s theme this term is “Buildings” and the Grade 2 classes visited the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum to view the exhibition and attend a print making workshop where they sketched buildings

A Peek around the Pre-Primary

Our Pre-Schoolers were fascinated when they also got to see the science experiment showing them how mixing glycerine with potassium makes a fire