Letter from the Campus Head

30 August 2019

Dear St George’s Family

Recently I have been talking to the Senior Prep pupils about social media, the internet and the inherent risks it may hold.  I was not surprised in the least, when I asked a group of Grade 6 pupils who had Facebook/Instagram accounts again recently and several of them proudly raised their hands!  Sadly their joy turned to sorrow when I honestly told them, that they had committed their first lie on the internet!  As you may or may not know, under the terms and conditions of Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat you need to be 13 years of age or older in order to join.  They had to either enter a false date of birth or accept T & C’s that specify they are older than 13 in order to join!  What would be the next step for these pupils: 

Press enter, if you are older than 18 (adult content)! 

What I was not startled with, however, is that many of the pupils had their moms and dads as friends/followers. This did not surprise me as I know many parents do so, so that they can monitor their children’s accounts.

They used to say, “The pen is mightier than the sword”, I think the new challenge is going to be, “The iPhone is mightier than the pen and sword!”  We all clearly understand the dangers a sword would provide in the hands of our children, but sadly, I think we are a little blasé about the dangers of the internet and social media that is flooding our children’s cyberspace.  And yes, we are all buying our children iPads/PSP’s/Nintendo DS’s/PS4’s and Smart Phones – all with internet access capabilities.  Again, this is the reality in which we live, so do we idly dish them out to our children or NOT at all, or do we do so with due consideration and provide the necessary guidance our sons and daughters require?

I suppose the 2 important questions to ask here are:

  1. So what are these dangers? 
  2. What can we do as Parents to protect our children?

So true to form, Google, I did, and I this is what I found on Web MD quite some time ago.  Apologies if it may seem a bit outdated, but I do believe it to be still relevant today and adjusted accordingly. Please see the full article at www.webmd.com/parenting/features/4-dangersinternet

Internet Danger #1: Cyberbullying

Internet Danger #2: Sexual Predators

Internet Danger #3: Pornography

Internet Danger #4: Damaged Reputations

Internet Safety Tips:

Cyberbullying

  • To keep others from using their email and social media accounts, children should never share Internet passwords with anyone other than parents, experts say.
  • If children are harassed or bullied through any online platform, help them use the “block” or “ban” feature to prevent the bully from contacting them. Do not encourage “mute” as they will still be connected.
  • If a child keeps getting harassing emails, delete that email/social media account and set up a new one. Remind your child to give the new email address/social media account only to family and a few trusted friends.
  • Tell your child not to respond to rude or harassing emails, messages and posts. If the cyberbullying continues, call the relevant authorities. Keep a record of the emails as proof and screen shot everything.

Sexual Predators

  • Ask your children if they use a social networking platforms or better still check their devices. Look at the platforms together or search for it yourself online. Social networking sites often have age limits.
  • Tell your boys and girls not to post a full name, address, phone number, school name and other personal information that could help a stranger to find them. Remind them that photos – like your child in a team shirt – can give away clues to where they live or go to school. Ask them not to send photos to people they meet online.
  • Learn about privacy settings that allow children to choose who can view their profiles. Explain that strangers who approach them online aren’t always who they say they are – and that it’s dangerous to meet them in real life. Tell them to “instant message” only with family or friends they already know off-line.
  • When it comes to Internet safety, there’s no substitute for parental supervision. Put all devices in a common area of your home, not a child’s bedroom, so you can keep an eye on online activities. Go to websites that explain the short-hand children use in instant messaging, like “POS” (parent over the shoulder), or “LMIRL” (“let’s meet in real life”), so you know what’s going on.
  • Ask your boys and girls to report any online inappropriate usage to you or another trusted adult right away. Also call your local authorities and save all offensive emails/posts as evidence. This they may be reluctant to do in fear of their devices being confiscated so try not to over-react and keep the conversations alive.

Pornography

  • Install Internet filtering software to block porn sites from any computer/device your child has access to.
  • Consider using filtering software that monitors and records instant messaging and chat room conversations, as well as websites visited.
  • Consider using a monitoring program that filters pornography keywords in several languages. Why? Because some have figured out how to get around filters by typing in porn-related search terms in other languages. 
  • Remember our children are often more tech savvy then us and know how to use incognito or private browsing where online history is not recorded.

Damaged Reputations

  • Explain that even if your children delete their posted photos, others may have already copied them into public forums and websites. ANY POST BECOMES PUBLIC PROPERTY ONCE SHARED, DOWNLOADED, POSTED ETC, screenshots are pretty instantaneous.
  • Tell your boys and girls not to let anyone, even friends, take pictures or videos of them that could cause embarrassment online – such as if a relative or teacher saw them.
  • Talk to your children about possible consequences, the experts say a 17-year-old might think it’s hilarious to post a Facebook photo of himself looking drunk, with empty beer bottles strewn around him. But will a varsity admissions officer or future employer be impressed? Probably not!

Much of this may seem relevant to only the older boys and girls of the school, but perhaps an innocent Google search could reveal something inappropriate, or an online game site with undesirable pop ups could be stumbled across! Boys being boys and girls being girls, I have no doubt they will then click, go back and maybe even share!  It’s what they do!

Having heard that some of our pupils are already falling prey to some of this, urges me to ask that every parent be vigilant in assisting all our boys and girls on how to navigate these rather tricky waters. It has also been brought to our attention that some pupils are following or communicating with strangers and possibly adults outside of our community that they do not know.  Open communication between parents, children and teachers can only benefit the safety of all our boys and girls and we would encourage further communication.

Good luck to all our U9 and U10 girls taking part in the St George’s Hockey Festival on Saturday at Crusaders and may you all have a wonderful weekend.

Kind regards

Alex Hall – Campus Head

Twitter- @AlexHallZA   

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/AlexHallZA

Linkedin- za.linkedin.com/in/alexhallza

School News

Eskom Expo for Young Scientists 2019 

Congratulations to the following pupils who received the following awards at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists:

  • Christopher Townsend – Gold Medal – Project on “How much Electricity do Foodstuffs Produce”
  • Trishul Mathura – Gold Medal – Project on “Off the Kerb” in the Engineering section (made a reflective Kerb using glass beads)
  • Cadence Kreusch – Gold Medal – Project on ” A comparative study of different water types in the hydroponic system “
  • Alex Goatè – Silver Medal – Project on “Keep it Simple, Go Solar”
  • Lauren Lippstreu – Bronze Medal – Project on “How Mould is Made”
  • James Ring – Bronze Medal – Project on “The Effect of High Energy Sports drinks on Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure”.

World Championships in Taekown-Do

Well done to Cade Hummel (Grade 6) who achieved a Bronze Medal at the recent World Championship in Taekwon-Do that was recently held in Brazil. 

Cade did the Country, his Club, as well as St George’s Prep proud and received a lot of praise for his performance from various other countries.

What’s happening in last few weeks of August – Term 3 : 2019

The d6 Communicator Calendar is kept up to date with the daily events and matches. 

PLEASE NOTE SOME CHANGES OF DATES BELOW.

TERM 3 PLANNER

Day

Team

Start Time

Opposition

Venue

Estimated Finish

Mon 1 September

Reading Week : Monday 1 – Friday 5 September

Summer Sports Programme commences until Friday 13 September for Grades 3-7

Grade 1 & 2 Sport remains unchanged until end of Term 3

Tues 2 September

Reading Week : Monday 1 – Friday 5 September

Wed 3 September

Reading Week : Monday 1 – Friday 5 September

Dress up as a Book Character Day

Spring Concert

18h00

Pupils Art Exhibition open from 17h00

Hot meals available to buy from 17h00

19h00

Thurs 4 September

Reading Week : Monday 1 – Friday 5 September

“Bargin Books” Sale

10h00

 

Library

16h00

Summer & Winter Sport photos and Group photos 

Pupils to ensure correct Team sports clothing for each Team they have played this year are packed to bring to School

Fri 5 September

Reading Week : Monday 1 – Friday 5 September

Pre-Prep Spring Picnic

 

 

 

 

Junior Prep Sports Morning

11h00

Grade 1-3

Daverin Field

13h00

Mon 9 September

Pre-Prep Roald Dahl Week

Independent Schools

Trail Run

13h30

Belmont Valley Golf Club, Grahamstown

±17h00

Tues 10 September

Guitar & Drums Studio Concert

18h00

 

Drama Studio

19h00

Wed 11 September

St George’s Prayer Group

07h50

All Pre-Prep & Prep parents welcome

08h30

Welcome Wednesday

08h30

All Welcome – Tour of the

Pre-Prep + Prep

10h00

Thurs 12 September

Independent Schools Athletics Meeting

09h00

School bus departs @07h00

Kingswood

±15h30/

16h00

Fri 13 September

Fri 13 September

Grade 1 – 7 Sport and Extra Murals Ends for Term 3

Grade 1-2 Open Book Hour

12h00

 

 

13h00

Grade 3 Open Book Hour

13h00

 

 

14h00

PTA’s Music Trivia Evening

19h00

 

Jan Immelman Hall

late

Sat 14 September

Grade 7 UK Exchange Pupils depart for Holmewood House

 

 

CALL FOR ENTRIES – St George’s Preparatory 2019 Celebrating the Arts Visual Art Exhibition : (23-27 October 2019)

Upcoming Events

Reading Week : 2 – 6 September 2019

Next week, 2 – 6 September 2019 will be an exciting time for us, as we are going to be celebrating reading  as a whole school.

On Wednesday 4 September, we will be having a ‘Dress as a Book Character’ day.  Please help your children to come up with some creative ideas for their costumes.  Improvisation by using masks or accessories is far more fun than hiring something ready-made. If you are short of ideas think of characters in nursery rhymes and fairy tales, or do a Google search on ‘dress as a book character’. 

On Thursday 5 September, Bargain Books will be hosting a pop-up bookshop in the Library, from 10h00 to 16h00.  Every class will visit the bookshop and have the opportunity to buy books. Parents are welcome to visit throughout the day.  Credit card facilities will be available.

As part of our Community Outreach Programme, all children are asked to donate a children’s book (in good condition), which will be donated to St Augustine’s Primary School.  This school has a functioning library but is badly in need of new books to revitalise its stock.

We live in a country where only 14% of us are active book readers, and only 5% of parents read to their children. As parents, you are encouraged to use this week to show an active interest in your children’s reading life.

Grade 4 – 7 ‘Bookface’ Photograph Competition during Reading Week

this awesome photo competition will be taking place during Reading Week and will be open only to Senior Prep pupils.  What is it?  The ‘bookface’ photography trend involves lining up a book cover with a person’s face or environment.  There will be prizes for the top 3, and only one entry per child will be considered for the competition. Entries to be emailed to Ms Clarke at e.clarke@stgeorges.co.za. 

Include your name, surname and Grade in your email.  Winners will be announced on Friday 6 September.

Spring Concert and Pupils Art Exhibition – Wednesday 4 September 2019

Parents are invited to our Spring Concert and Art Exhibition, showcasing all of our premier ensembles, including the Junior and Senior Bands, the Junior and Senior String Ensembles, the Flute Choir, and both Junior and Senior Choirs.

Hot food and drinks will be on sale from 17h00. 

The Art Exhibition opens at 17h00.  This is our 2019 Art showcase where all our children will have a piece of artwork on display in the Hall which includes 2D and 3D work.

Parents are asked to be seated by 17h50 for the start of the Concert. 

As this is a popular event please RSVP to music@stgeorges.co.za by

Monday 2 September.

PTA’s Music Trivia Evening – Friday 13 September 2019

Pre-Prep and Prep parents are invited to join us on Friday 13 September for the PTA’s Music Trivia evening in the Jan Immelman Hall at 7pm.  

It will be an evening of musical fun and madness – an event not to be missed!

R150 per person – Tables of 8 (why not book a table and invite your friends, family and fellow class parents to join you).

This includes finger snacks and Gin Bar – a cash bar is available.   

Tickets are available to purchase through Linda at the Pre-Prep School Office / Gill at the Prep School.

Inviting all Junior Golfers to play in the St George’s Prep Junior Golf Competition (Walmer Golf Club Festival of Golf)

  Golf Competitions are a fun way for juniors of all ages (with or without handicaps) to learn competitive golf and beginners are most welcome.

Sunday 8th September at “Little Walmer” Golf Club 

                  TEE TIMES: Players entering for 18 holes tee off at 11.30am

               Players entering for 9 holes tee off at 12pm

ENTRY FEE: R100 (entries close 2 days before the event)

 Parents, family members and/or friends are welcome to play with their juniors on the competition days. Simply indicate the adult’s participation (R100 green fee) when emailing the junior’s entry.

COMPETITION RULES:

· All first time beginners with no handicaps will be given a max hcp of 48 after which their EP Grad handicap will apply 

· The format will be stroke play using the double par rule (the maximum score on any hole will not exceed double the par…6 on a par 3, 8 on a par 4 and 10 on a par 5)

· Boys of 13 years and older will play off the men’s tees

· Under 13 boys will play off the ladies tees

· The under 11 boys and girls will play on a shortened course and tee off from markers on the fairways, but may have the choice to tee off the ladies tees if they so wish

· Parents are welcome to help caddy and score or even play

 Bookings can be made via email nbgolfacademy@gmail.com

(please indicate competition date(s), 9/18 holes as well as if any adults will be joining)

 For more information contact Nic on 0835340308

‘GROWING THE GAME OF GOLF’

   sponsored by St George’s Preparatory

A peek at 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!

https://web.facebook.com/stgeorgesprep/

https://www.instagram.com/stgeorgesprepschool/

 

Our excited Pre-Schoolers enjoyed presenting their concert to their parents on Wednesday … what a lovely time was had by all and we’re extremely proud of our school’s youngest flock

Our Grade 1’s enjoyed an outing to Homeleigh Farm tying in with their farm theme this Term

Some of Grade 3’s “African Safari” artwork

Some of our Grade 6 & 7 pupils visited the Royal Society of St George and entertained the members with poems, written pieces, Irish Dancing & violin

Very proud to of all our musicians who took part in the SASMT Music Competition last week and performed so admirably!

Our Grade 6’s are learning about medicinal plants this term in Social Sciences – last week they harvested lavender which they’ll use to make their own hand lotions

Working with percentages in the Grade 7 Maths class

Our Grade 4’s are learning about measurement – in an outdoor lesson they put their estimation skills to the test measuring distances using their hands, feet and arms. Next week they’ll measure these distances using tape measures to test their estimations.

Wonderful to witness our little and big Preppies using collaborative methods in class to unpack content!

A few snaps of our U13 lads playing football and hockey this past week!

Thank you to our wonderful musicians for the break-time entertainment

Fanatical Friday’s kicked off last week in support of the bokke for the Rugby World Cup!

The Drama Studio has been a hive of activity … lots of stage props in the making from dynamite to wolverine claws to gruffalo masks

The Drama Studio has been a hive of activity … lots of stage props in the making from dynamite to wolverine claws to gruffalo masks

Well done to our wonderful musicians who played beautifully at the Herbert Hurd Band Festival on 15 August!

Having fun with online problem solving quizzes during Mathematics!

Our Grade 00s had a wonderful time at Animals in Wonderland