Letter from the Campus Head

26 January 2018

Dear Parents and Staff

Welcome back to what promises to be a very exciting year here at St George’s Preparatory.  We have many new and exciting programs and developments in the mix this year and further information is provided in this Newsletter for you.

I will keep my message short today as there really is a lot shared in this week’s newsletter.  On return, we encouraged both the Staff and the Pupils to appreciate the many blessings they have and to show gratitude for what we have here in Port Elizabeth.  Yesterday I shared a TED talk with our Senior Management Team, which I would like to share with you, it certainly is worth the 8-minute watch.

 

“We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards? In this fast-moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive”

We look forward to a positive and wonderful year together!

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

Academic News

Afternoon Workshops for Grade 4 – 7 pupils only – (NEW – replacing Prep)

Prep sessions will now be called Afternoon Workshops. This will allow our pupils to complete their homework and receive focused attention from teachers in specific learning areas in a quiet, disciplined environment.

Pupils who are not picked up at 14h15 or who do not participate in sports will have to attend these supervised Workshops. There will be two sessions a day, Monday to Thursday afternoon. Pupils not attending because they have opted to be collected will be asked to return to the classrooms if they are seen still to be waiting for collection after school or after the first sports session. This is merely a safety and security measure with your children’s best interests at heart.  Please note new times of Workshops.

Grade 4 – 7 Life Orientation and Physical Education (Life Skills Program – instead of Clubs)

We are excited to introduce a new Life Skills programme this year. We will be combining Physical Education and Life-Orientation to establish a new Life Skills programme.

The programme will take place on a Friday from 11h15 – 13h00. All aspects will be assessed and pupils will gain accredited certificates.

The programme is as follows.

  • Grade 4:   Term 1 and 2:  Golf
  • Grade 5:   Term 1 and 2: Judo and Self Defence
  • Grade 6:   The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA)
  • Grade 7:   Life Saving

Golf – (Grade 4)

Pupils will be bussed to the Port Elizabeth Golf Club, where they will follow a programme established by Graeme Whale. The focus will be on all aspects of the golf course from playing, managing facilities, running golf days and ‘greens’ keeping.

Judo/Self Defence / Anti-bullying Programme – (Grade 5)

The syllabus that pupils will be following is the purple belt / self-defence syllabus used in Judo.  Pupils will be coached and accredited by Peter and Sandile from PS Bros. They will also be working through an anti-bullying programme.

The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa – (Grade 6)

The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) provides educational opportunities to promote the conservation and rehabilitation of the cultural and natural heritage of Southern Africa.  Pupils will be following the junior FGASA programme.  This will expose them to the world of conservation. Grade 6 pupils will become registered members and complete the various activities, tasks and exams. Linked to this program we will be looking at survival skills in the bush, scouting and orienteering.

Nippers – (Grade 7)

From January to May the Grade 7 pupils will be bussed to Kings beach where the Nippers programme will take place. In the first few months the focus will be on the physical aspects of surf lifesaving and training while still incorporating a fair amount of theory. The yearly theory will include: beach safety, sea sense, basic first aid, ocean knowledge, and the importance of team work. May to August the focus will still be water (held at the St George’s Prep pool), disciplines and techniques, and also include theory sessions in the classroom. Pupils that have passed the level test within a time frame will also be allowed to compete at the SA Nationals being held in Port Elizabeth at Kings Beach from the 2nd to 7th April 2018. Throughout the year we will incorporate fun events and educational talks by NMBL and ECL members.

“Real Life for Kids” is another addition which will be added to our Grade 5 classes and will start towards the end of the first term in 2018 and run for the remainder of the year. This is a Life Orientation program which will link up with all the Grade 5 subjects and will capture the imagination of the children.

Grade 7 Ubuntu Service Programme

Towards the end of Term 3 in 2018 our Grade 6 pupils are going to be introduced to the Ubuntu Service Programme. This programme is built around the core values of the Round Square IDEALS (a programme run in most IEB/ISASA High Schools in South Africa) and is aimed at equipping our senior pupils with a servant leadership mindset. The programme is voluntary for our pupils, however, we strongly encourage them to sign up and to follow through with their commitment.

Throughout the year pupils are required to complete four components namely:

  • Community Service
  • School Service
  • Learn a new skill
  • Complete a physical challenge

This programme replaces any monitor or prefect run system and looks at exposing all our pupils to some form of leadership within their senior year in the Prep based on the principles of service. Pupils are assigned a mentor teacher who will meet monthly to check on the progress of the project. Each pupil will present a portfolio file upon completion of the programme which will outline their commitment throughout the year. The reason for starting the programme at the end of 3rd term in Grade 6 is that the Grade 7 pupils will have shifted their focus already to high school and may not be driven any more.

Junior Prep:  We will be starting Singapore Maths in 2018 from Grade 1-3.  All Junior Prep teachers have been trained and supplied with the necessary resources to make this particular subject come alive.  For more information please feel free to read the article written on the PBS Parents website:

http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/math/math-tips-for-parents/whats-singapore-math/

Homework and Homework Diary

Homework should be a positive experience for both pupils and parents and not a chore that leaves parents and/or children with negative feelings towards learning.  It also needs to be purposeful and not a mere repetition of what has already been dealt with in class.

Grade 1 to 7 pupils are issued with a homework diary, which must be signed daily by parents. A parent’s signature indicates relevant tasks have been seen and supervised and that any additional information has been received.

When children are booked off school sick, it is not our policy to provide homework to be collected by parents and taken home on those days for their children to complete. We feel strongly that if a child is too ill to be at school, they should not be expected to do schoolwork on those days. Any catch-up work, due to illness, will be guided by relevant teachers on the child’s return to school. Exceptions are made in cases of long term absence due to certain medical conditions. In consideration of the above, please do not ask for homework to be sent home when your child is ill.

We are reassessing our homework policy and we will be moving towards a “no homework” environment and encouraging reading in its place.  Homework should not be an activity that upsets the home environment. If this occurs, parents are encouraged to discuss homework with their child’s teacher.

Prep News

St George’s Way Parent Handbook 2018

The St George’s Way Parent Handbook is updated annually and explains many of the policies, procedures and organisational aspects adopted at St George’s Preparatory. The entries are presented in alphabetical order to assist in the easy location of relevant information (from procedures on Absences to Visitors, IT Policy, School Shop uniform pricing, etc). Please refer to the d6 Communicator – RESOURCES – POLICIES & HANDBOOK for “The St George’s Way 2018”.  We encourage all parents to please browse through the Handbook to ensure you are up-to-date on the policies, procedures and organisational aspects for 2018.

Traffic: Security Guards and Traffic Monitors

The School provides two security guards at the Prep and one at the Pre-Prep daily who are based at the main front gate on Park Drive, the back gate on McIntosh Road and one outside the Pre-Prep.  On numerous occasions last year the security guards and our traffic monitors were asked by parents to either take their child’s forgotten school bag to the office, or to collect a child from Aftercare.

Please understand that the Security Guards and traffic monitors may not go on personal errands to classrooms as they need to man the points that they are responsible for.

Please respect our Security Guards and Traffic Monitors (Thando and David) if they ask you to move your vehicle due to our traffic regulations not being followed.  On numerous occasions their requests have been ignored and they have been addressed to very rudely.

You will also have noticed that we have 20km/h signs on McIntosh Road and we would strongly request that these are abided to by all drivers.  We are still very concerned with the manner in which many drivers speed on our Campus.

2nd Hand School Shop – Volunteers Needed

The 2nd Hand School Shop are looking for two volunteers to help run the Shop.  The 2nd Hand Shop is open on a Wednesday from 12h30 to 14h00 and on a Thursday from 07h30 – 08h30.  Each volunteer would need to work one of these opening hours.  If you are interested, please email the School Secretary at prep@stgeorges.co.za

Summer stock is available in the 2nd Hand Shop ranging from costumes, rash vests, shorts, white shirts, blue sports shorts and shirts, wide brim hats and caps.

Early Closure of School on Tuesday 13 February due to the SA vs India One Day International at St George’s Park

The Pre-Prep and Prep will close at 12h30 on Tuesday 13 February due to the section of Park Drive in front of the school being closed from 13h00-22h00 to accommodate the One Day international Cricket match at St George’s Park.

Therefore, there will be no afternoon activities and no Aftercare at the Pre-Prep and Prep.  Please collect your child promptly at 12h30 as there will be no access to the school when the road is closed off.  We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause to our families, but this situation is out of our control.

What’s on for the next two weeks – (School Events & Sport Fixtures: 29 January to 11 February 2018)

The d6 Communicator is kept up to date with the daily fixtures.  Also refer to your blue Calendars.

Upcoming Event – Save the Date

“Crash!” Music Course for Parents:  Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February 2018

We are excited to announce St George’s Preparatory Music Department’s first “Crash!” Music Course for parents taking place during the first term of 2018.  This music course gives adults an opportunity to learn an instrument from scratch with specialist instructors, play in a group and perform for an audience, all in just over a day!

We are offering the following instruments:

Strings:                 Violin, Cello.
Woodwinds:       Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone.
Brass:                    Trumpet, Trombone.

If you are interested in participating in this new event, please keep the weekend of 17-18 February 2018 open.  More information will follow shortly.

Important Dates for Term 1

(Please note that the d6 Communicator will be kept up to date with events and sporting fixtures)

Please refer to the little blue Calendars or the d6 for ALL our fixtures and events for the Term

Thursday 8 – Sunday 11 February             Oakhill Chukka u13 Waterpolo Festival

Monday 12 February                                      Eastern Cape Schools’ Maths Competition

Thursday 15 February                                     Grade 3-7 Gala (No co-curricular activities) (14h00-17h30)

Friday 16 February                                          Pre-Prep Family Fun Evening

Saturday 17 February                                     St George’s Parents ‘Crash Music Course’

Sunday 18 February                                        St George’s Parents ‘Crash Music Course’

Monday 19 February                                      Kids Lit Quiz (14h30-17h30)

Tuesday 20 February                                      Independent Schools Gala at Woodridge

Monday 26 Feb to Friday 2 March             Swimathon

Friday 2 March                                                  St George’s Camp Out

Friday 16 March                                                Junior Prep Swimming Gala (12h30 – 14h30)

Friday 23 March                                                Grade 1 – 7 Co-Curricular Activities end for Term 1

Senior Prep Big Bash Social Disco (18h30 – 21h00)

Saturday 24 March                                          St George’s Production Auditions

Monday 26 March                                           Grade 1 – 3 Parent Meetings (14h00 – 18h30)

Tuesday 27 March                                           Grade 1 – 3 Parent Meetings (14h00 – 18h30)

Wednesday 28 March                                    Term 1 ends

St George’s Preparatory Proposed Term Dates and Public Holidays 2018

Term 1

Ends:                                 Wednesday 28 March

Public Holiday:               Wednesday 21 March (Human Rights Day – School Holiday)

Term 2

Commences:                    Wednesday 11 April

Ends:                                  Friday 22 June

Public Holiday:                 Friday 27 April (Freedom Day – School Holiday)
Monday 30 April (School Holiday)
Tuesday 1 May (Workers Day – School Holiday)
Saturday 16 June (Youth Day)

Term 3

Commences:                    Wednesday 18 July

Ends:                                  Friday 28 September

Public Holiday:                 Thursday 9 August (Woman’s Day – School Holiday)
Friday 10 August (School Holiday)
Monday 24 September (Heritage Day – School Holiday)

Term 4

Commences:                     Wednesday 10 October

Ends:                                  Friday 7 December

Tour Dates, Festivals and Derby Days 2018

Below are the Tour dates, Festivals, Derby Days that we have confirmed.  All League fixtures will only be confirmed once the relevant season begins as they are confirmed by the various Unions/affiliations. We hope this information helps parents plan better for the exciting year to come.

A Peek around the Prep

We post photographs, events, announcements etc. on our Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram Accounts regularly – keep up to date with all that the Prep and Pre-Prep get up to – click on the links below and like, follow and share!

A warm welcome to all our new families and our returning families – we’re looking forward to an amazing year!

Our new Grade 1’s on their first day at “big” school

Our Senior Prep boys and girls loved their orientation to our new Life Long Learning sessions offered on a Friday. Watch this space!

Some photos from our various Senior Prep Camps, looks like even the teachers are having fun!
(please visit our Facebook page for all the photographs)

A Peek at the Pre-Prep

Grade R Sizzling Summer theme – making a sea with a beach