Letter from the Campus Head

2 November 2017

Dear Parents and Staff

I had the privilege of attending the annual Greenwood Primary Music Concert earlier this week, as I did last year.   It reminded me of exactly why it is teachers do what they do, and that is that they all want to bring out the best in all the children in their care.  Hats off to all the Greenwood music staff because they certainly are doing that for their boys and girls. The final two pieces performed were a collection of Mango Groove songs (our 70’s and 80’s parents will know them) and Vicky Sampson’s, ‘My African Dream’. As music often does, this then took me on my second journey for the evening and that is what I wish to share today.

Listening to the children playing my African Dream and the penny whistle playing during the Mango Groove Medley, I could not help but be proud of being African.  Recently a South African living in London decided he was ‘fed up’, for lack of better words, with the negative sentiments often spoken about by fellow South Africans in London and he has taken this to Social Media.  Some of you may be following him, or have read some of his posts; he goes by the name, Joburger. His post on Wednesday was, “I am going to change the world, just watch me!”  Some may claim this to be the arrogance of youth, but I do believe in his own way he has already started a change asking some of the challenging questions he does.  He really is putting out only positive comments and celebrating both our differences and our sameness.  Please be warned he does use the occasional expletive.

I mentioned in one of my previous newsletters Prof Adam Habib the Vice-Chancellor of WITS saying that, “the world has never been as divided as much as it is right now!” and this is what I would like to further elaborate on in this letter.  This term during our SMILE groups we have been focusing on one of our core values, Kindness.  In many of the conversations I have had with my special little group, what has surfaced is that through acts of kindness, many issues can be very easily resolved and even avoided.  We also have learnt that one act of kindness invariably will lead to another and this can start a movement.  In today’s ever connected world that is so disconnected, perhaps this very basic value of kindness could reconnect us.  This is what I believe this young man in London certainly is achieving through his efforts on Facebook with his 153 735 followers!  With all the #hashtags around, that often enable a movement, wouldn’t it be great to see #respect, #integrity, #fellowship, #kindness and #commitment, surely this could change the world for the better?

A newsletter of this nature would be very empty without some words from our wonderful late President Nelson Mandela, “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.”  May we all have that compassion and acceptance of each other and to collectively live out the basic principles of uBuntu.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu explains uBuntu as‘’…Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity.  We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.’’

May you all have a wonderful weekend and really connect with your children.  We wish all our U13 Water Polo girls everything of the best with their festival at Kingswood tomorrow.

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

Knockfierna standing tall in the shadows of St George’s Park Cricket Ground’s new lights!

What’s on for the next two weeks – (School Events & Sport Fixtures: 6 – 18 November 2017)

SCHOOL EVENTS

SAVE THE DATE for our Family Fun Day – Saturday 25 November 2017

Inviting all our Prep and Pre-Prep families to join us for our Family Fun Day on Saturday 25 November. Test your cooking skills in our Potjiekos competition, play Mixed Doubles Tennis, enjoy a Family Braai and the live rugby match between the Springboks and Italy. Details on how to enter will be out soon!

 “Let’s Run!” Inaugural Weekly 5km Run

The PA inaugural weekly 5k run – all parents welcome!

Every Wednesday morning at 7am from the Prep Main Gate.

School News

SANBS Blood Bus – Friday 10 November 2017

The Blood Buddy visited assembly this morning to launch our 4th year of supporting this very worthy cause. November is our month to support the South African National Blood Service and our target is 50 units. The SANBS Blood Bus will be parked at St George’s Prep on Friday 10 November from 08:30 to 15:00 or you can donate at any of the SANBS centres – the challenge is on…….and we look forward to your support!  Donor slips have been sent home with each child.  Please ensure that each donor takes this slip with them when they donate blood.

 

A Peek around the Prep and the Pre-Prep

What a special treat to have the Alliance Française with us in assembly today!

We had an overwhelming response from our St George’s families supporting our Animal Welfare Awareness Week earlier this term – thank you to all of you!  Grade 3S won the class competition by bringing in the most items so they represented St George’s Preparatory delivering the items and helped wash, walk, feed and play with the animals.

Grade 1’s visiting Mr Hall to show him their work on “parts of a plant”

The Talent Show this year showed the depth of talent that we have at St George’s Prep and the audience was entertained with items ranging from singing, all types of dancing, musical instruments and also included unusual acts such as hula hooping and the cup song.  The finale was Grade 7’s showcasing their journey at St George’s Prep.  Well done to all our performers!

The Grade 7’s had fun participating in the annual inter-house Soapbox Derby cheered on by the rest of the school. Well done to them for building some very inventive and effective go-carts during their Technology classes – we have some future designers and engineers in the making!

Our Grade 3 boys in their Phys Ed class

A highlight of the Grade 4 visit to Holmeleigh Farmyard was learning how to milk the cow

The Grade 2’s enjoyed glorious weather for their outing to SAMREC and the beach

Grade 7s worked very hard preparing for their Business Day stalls on Friday 20 October, deciding on what products they were going to sell, creating a stall name and advertising posters, preparing a business plan, and then setting up their stalls today and selling their goods. Great Fun had by everyone!

Our Polo girls first outing for the term!

Well done, Lads and Mr Mtana! Winners of the bowl final at the Westering T20 festival!

Some history in the making, first girls cricket practice this Term!

Grade 1s showing Grade Rs literacy and numeracy games on the iPads

Buddy Reading – Grade 1s with Grade Rs

Our Grade Rs visited Newton Park Superspar recently to learn about shopping and they had great fun ending the morning decorating gingerbread.

Grade 000 learning about pond life.

 

Upcoming External Kids Charity event – Saturday 27 January 2018

An external event aimed at children between the ages of 6 and 15 is being held on Saturday 27 January 2018.  The event is a market where children will be able to come and sell their old toys, books, sports equipment to other kids, and so get a taste of business and making money. The charity angle to the market involves children being required to donate at least one toy or books to gain entrance to the market. The collected items will be donated to needy institutions.

For further information, you can contact Aadil Ahmed: 0798812559