Letter from the campus head

Dear Parents, Pupils and Staff

“To dis or not to dis, that is the question!” Well, OK then, it really is not quite Shakespeare and perhaps just a Hallism for now! This is something that has been on my mind for quite some time and more so recently with certain events that have prompted me to write down these thoughts earlier than expected, so please do excuse my ramblings!
Coincidently, all in one week, I have had these three wonderful quotes land on my Facebook feed and felt them worthy of sharing!

“Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person” – TobyMac
#speaklife

“Being rude is easy. It does not take any effort and it is a sign of weakness and insecurity. Kindness shows great self-discipline and strong self-esteem. Being kind is not always easy when dealing with rude people. Kindness is a sign of a person who has done a lot of personal work and has come to a great self-understanding and wisdom. Choose to be kind over being right, and you will be right every time because kindness is a sign of STRENGTH.” – Anonymous

And finally from my favourite children’s author, Roald Dahl: “I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else – it covers everything to my mind. If you are kind that’s it.”

For all of us adults much of this is common sense and the majority of us would certainly echo these wonderful sentiments and fully subscribe to them. However, for our children, this is not as easy to comprehend, especially given their context. They live in a world where the celebration of failure, which I have written about before, is on digital and social steroids. They operate in a culture where the lines between banter and “dissing” (ask your children if you don’t understand this term) and cruelty and kindness are so blurred, I am convinced they sometimes do not realise just how hurtful their words can be on occasions!

I am the proud father of two teenagers and I am floored at the comments passed between my lads on occasion and upon my reprimands and sheer shock, the bog standard response from these highly emotionally developed beings (a tad sarcastic you may note) is, “Everyone is saying it Dad, chill man, it’s just bants!” My response, which I am not sure carries much weight, is always that it does not make it right and I will not “chill” as the words are hurtful and what might be humour to one may be hurt to another! At this stage I am happy to stick to that and hope that eventually it does get through to their teenage minds!

So here we have the problem, and what pray tell is the answer? I am not sure I know but there certainly are strategies we need to put in place before this gets worse. I attended a talk by a child psychologist many years ago and the one comment that has stuck with me all this time, is that a child’s values are pretty firmly set by the age of twelve and after that there is little we can do as adults to adjust it! Those were not the exact words, but certainly my interpretation at the time. As a Dad and a Prep School Master this really hit home to me at, as it really is a massive responsibility on both fronts.

As a school we need to develop a culture of kindness and be able to teach our boys and girls that it takes courage to be kind and that at times they need to stand up against what they believe to be unkind. This is why kindness is one of our core values at St George’s. We have to, however, live out our core values through our example in order to ensure that they remain authentic. This is not just for the children but even more importantly for the adults in their lives, their teachers and parents, as they are just Preppies and they model much of their behaviour upon our actions. This is why we need to keep a close eye on things like competition at school, if too great an emphasis is placed on winners, we will create far too many losers and we all know what happens then! Yes, the world is a tough place, and our children need to learn how to compete, but more importantly they need to learn how to co-exist with each other and to be able to embrace diversity respectfully because their world is far different to the world we grew up in.

I would encourage all our parents to please take time to speak to your children and to assist us to create this culture of kindness amongst our boys and girls as they need our guidance and example at this very impressionable age and stage in their lives. I will once again use my favourite Hobbit quote from Gandalf the Grey, to end this week’s newsletter: “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.”

Kind regards,
Alex Hall – Campus Head
Twitter- @AlexHallZA
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/AlexHallZA
Linkedin- za.linkedin.com/in/alexhallza

What’s on for the remainder of Term 3 – (School Events : 18 – 29 September 2017)

What’s on for the remainder of Term 3 – (SPORT – School Fixtures: 18 – 29 September 2017)

The Term 3 Sports timetable will run as normal for Grades 1 to 7 except for the following changes/additions to the Grade 3 – 7 schedule.

Grade 1 and 2 sport remains unchanged.

Monday 18 September – Friday 22 September 2017 Sports Programme

  • Soccer Match Days –NO PRACTICE
  • Girls and Boys, Hockey Match Days – NO PRACTICE
  • Monday 18 – Inter-house boys hockey matches Astro, 15h15 – 16h30
  • Wednesday 20 – Inter-house Soccer matches Union B, 14h15 – 15h45 (No u11 and u14 Boys Hockey practice)

U11A – CRICKET PRACTICE MATCH:
Monday  18 September – U11A Nets session 15h15 – 16h30
Tuesday 19 September – U11A Nets session -14h15 – 15h15
Thursday 20 September – Middle Practice or Match TBC.

Netball league and practice continues until 21 September.
Grade 1 – 7 sport and extra mural activities end on Friday 22 September and there will be no sports the last week of term due to camps.

Save the Date: Upcoming Events for Term 4

2018 Term Dates

  • Term 1: 17 January – 28 March
  • Term 2: 11 April – 22 June
  • Term 3: 18 July – 28 September
  • Term 4: 10 October – 7 December

Reading Week: 18-22 September 2017 

We are celebrating reading in all its forms and a number of activities have been planned for the week.

DEAR time: Daily – everyone will “Drop Everything and Read” for 10 minutes: Times announced daily by the School Secretary

Bargain Books: Wednesday 20 September pop-up bookshop in the library. Parents are also welcome to come in and purchase books from 10h00 – 15h00

Dress as a Book Character: Friday 22 September – each child to bring a second hand book in good condition to donate to Arcadia Primary in Bethelsdorp.

Buddy reading/Reading aloud: During clubs period Friday 22nd each senior grade will spend time with a junior grade.

Bunting in Library: As a whole school project, each child will receive a flag to decorate with their name and the title of the book they’re reading.

St George’s Prep “Celebrating the Arts” Exhibition : 20 – 24 September 2017

St George’s Preparatory School invites you to our 5th Celebrating the Arts visual art exhibition from 20 – 24 September featuring Bretten-Anne Moolman and many other well-known Eastern Cape artists in our Jan Immelman Hall.

Kids and Baby Expo : Friday 29 September to Sunday 1 October 2017

St George’s is celebrating our 5th year of exhibiting at the Kids and Baby Expo being held this year from Friday 29 September until Sunday 1 October at the Boardwalk Exhibition Centre. The Expo offers great entertainment for the kids and a chance for parents to speak one-on-one with top family brands and local businesses and the chance to take advantage of many expo specials. Kids can enjoy heaps of free entertainment including pedal go-carts, action cricket, bike park, toddler park, puppet shows, interactive animal shows, creative zone and face painting and all-day live stage entertainment. Expo visitors have a chance to win prizes on a daily basis with two prize winners drawn each day at 4pm. These winners will also be re-entered for the big prize draw valued at over R30 000.  The entry form will be published weekly in the PE Express and entry forms will be available at the entrance.  Do pop around and visit our stand too!

Family Fun Run – POSTPONED TO Saturday 4 November 2017

It has been brought to our attention that the ‘walk for freedom’ is scheduled to take place in and around St George’s Park on the same day that we planned to hold the Annual Family Fun Run (Saturday 14 October).

We have therefore decided to postpone our event to Saturday 4 November.

Please use the same Entry form reply slip – new closing date for the entries will be Wednesday 25 October 2017
We have three races scheduled – all starting and ending on the school grounds:

– Pre-Primary – 09h10 – 1km
– Grade 1-3 – 09h30 – 2.1km
– Open Fun Run – 10h00 – 5km

For this year’s event, we have included a secure soft play area for pre-schoolers with child minders at a cost of R40 per child for the duration of the event; hot meals and refreshments; a cash bar; a coffee bar and prizes. We also have musical entertainment from our own Music Department. Save the date and come and join us for this fun family morning!

Save the date and come and join us for this fun family morning!

A Peek around the School

Well done to all our Grade 1 and 2 superstars giving their all at the “Sum Fun” Festival last Saturday!

Grade 1 – 3 Open Book Hour was held last Friday.  Parents were invited to spend an hour with their child in their class, view their books and do a fun activity together. The pupils really enjoyed having their parents at school.

The u11s Fives Hockey Festival was held on our Astro last week.

Our Junior Prep and Grade 7 pupils collaborated on a veggie box project. The Grade 7’s built the veggie boxes in D&T & assisted the Grade 2’s in making the signs and planting. It’s exciting watching everything grow.

We celebrated our Grade 3-7 Inter-house Athletics day with all our preppies keenly participating in all events. Great fun! Well done to Brawn – the winning house this year.  For the full photo gallery of the event, please visit our Facebook page.

The Grade 2’s enjoyed an interesting outing with Route67Tours to view Port Elizabeth’s historical buildings, including the Feathermarket Hall, Opera House and St Mary’s Cathedral and ended the morning with lunch at  The Donkin Reserve

Our new Spring Concert and Art Exhibition was held on Tuesday 5 September.  We have amazing talented children at our school! Well done to all our artists, musicians, choirs, drama students & teachers – it was a fabulous evening!

Olympic Swimmer Myles Brown visited St George’s Preparatory School to speak to our Preppies and sign autographs

Our Community Service Club visited Animal Welfare Society (Port Elizabeth) to donate food and walk the dogs – they really enjoyed bonding with the animals and spending time with them

Grade 6’s – Play in your language!

Spring Day Outreach…Grade 1 & 2 classes visiting retirement homes to deliver spring flower posies to the residents.

A Peek around the Pre-Prep

Wow! … the beautiful new Fairy Garden at the Pre-Prep