Mrs E Gouws, Head of Intermediate Phase

It’s that time of the year when children begin to remember the delightful and happy time of Christmas. How about teaching children to give the gift of kindness, a rare gift in our modern society? Kindness does not cost the giver a cent, but it is priceless.

Kindness may have been a normal part of society in the past but today the quality of kindness has to be taught and modelled by parents and influencers. Parents should lead by example and be kind. They should smile at others, say hello, hold the door open for people, say please and thank you. Parents should limit teasing. Families love teasing one another but it can be hurtful. Parents can teach their children to help one another. If a sibling drops something, the others can help him/her pick it up. If a brother struggles with a school subject, the others can support him/her in some way, by explaining the work or assisting with homework.

Here are some ways in which children can be kind to others at Christmas time (and thereafter):

Say please and thank you every time someone does something for you.
Acknowledge people who are older by greeting them.
Say something nice about someone just because.
Wash the dishes or empty the rubbish bin without being asked.
Bake a cake for your neighbour.
Ask your mom or dad how their day went.
Forgive someone who did something you did not like.
Weed someone’s garden. Mow someone’s lawn.

Christmas is …when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared (and) He saved us… Titus 3:4
Kindness is a reflection of Jesus Christ.

Source: everythingmom.com


Mr D van Straten, Head of Senior Phase

Despite not being a fervent rugby enthusiast, I have been following the recent Rugby World Cup. As of this writing, the final match remains on the horizon, yet the few games I’ve witnessed and the key moments within them have imparted valuable insights that I believe are worth sharing both as a teacher and a parent.

Firstly, it’s intriguing to observe that victory in a match doesn’t always favour the team that seems superior. A team may enjoy greater ball possession and territorial advantage, but that does not guarantee a win. An illustrative example arises from South Africa’s quarter-final victory over France, where despite France having 63% territorial control and 60% ball possession, they ended up losing the game. France outperformed South Africa in various aspects, such as gaining 82 carries over the gain line compared to South Africa’s 36, beating 43 defenders to South Africa’s 12, and winning 103 rucks to South Africa’s 56. This emphasises a crucial point to convey to our children: success in life isn’t solely determined by academic or athletic achievements during school years. It is not only the top achievers at school that make it in life – so do not lose heart. It’s often the choices made after school that play a pivotal role in shaping one’s future.

On the other side of the spectrum, some weaker teams faced humiliating defeats, including one instance where a team lost 96-0, with the opposition scoring 14 tries. That averages to a try every 6 minutes, witnessed by a crowd of 63 486 supporters. If anything can be demotivating, this certainly qualifies. It’s essential to teach our children that struggling academically, athletically, or socially is not a dead-end but rather an opportunity for them to develop traits like endurance and perseverance, which often thrive in adversity rather than success.

An episode involving South Africa’s lock receiving a 10-minute penalty, leaving the field due to a yellow card decision, offers a valuable lesson in sportsmanship. The Springbok coach emphasised the importance of respecting referees during the World Cup, and the player reacted to the decision gracefully. Similarly, children may encounter challenges at school, some of which may seem unfair or trivial, like comments from peers. However, such experiences should be viewed as opportunities to instill in our children the values of respect and integrity in the face of adversity.

Winning a World Cup demands resilience in the face of intense pressure. A single mistake can result in the opposition scoring and potentially costing a team the game and an opportunity to advance further. Nevertheless, Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard noted how the team embraced the pressure associated with the Rugby World Cup. This illustrates that through effective coaching, children can be equipped to handle high-pressure situations gracefully, whether during sports matches or exams at school.

I am certain that many readers could contribute additional, perhaps even more profound, lessons. Just like the Rugby World Cup, ordinary situations in daily life present opportunities for us to either merely observe or actively seek out valuable lessons. By doing so, we can teach our children how to confront and overcome similar challenges that life may throw their way.


Mrs J Sibeko, Head of FET Phase

Feeling prepared increases a person’s confidence. The learners are preparing for their final exams and some Grade 12s have already started their final exams. It all starts with preparation.

We all know of some famous athletes, sports teams, musicians and professional speakers. Despite having reached success, there is one thing they never stop doing, being prepared. Every successful person always tries to be prepared no matter how much experience he has got in a particular field.

One would never find a sports team simply arriving for a match with no prior practice or preparation. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. All our daily activities need preparation.

Students who are well prepared have an advantage over any obstacles they may encounter. Yes, we cannot be prepared for everything in life which comes with its own probability of eccentricity, but we can most definitely be prepared for that which is reasonably expected. In other words, students can’t just show up at the examination room without preparing.

Being prepared is planning for success. It may not be fun but it sure comes in handy. A student may have to put in a lot of preparation time and may feel like they are not making any progress at times. However, all the time and effort they spend preparing will eventually lead to success.

Indeed, people can also associate preparedness with confidence because most people do perform better and have more control when they are prepared compared to being unprepared. As noted earlier, being prepared allows individuals to respond better to challenges and opportunities than when unprepared.

Even Paul recognised the need for preparation as he wrote in 2 Timothy 4:2, “Be ready to do it whether it is convenient or inconvenient. Correct, confront, and encourage with patience and instruction.”

Source: https://www.albanyherald.com/the-importance-of-being-prepared


Mrs A du Preez, Head of Academics

Exams are an integral part of a student’s academic journey and can be a source of stress and anxiety for children and parents. Parents play a crucial role in helping their children with the challenges of exam preparation and ensuring they perform their best. Here are some ways parents can support children during this crucial time.

Create a calm and supportive environment
A peaceful and supportive home environment is vital for your child’s well-being during this time. Be available to listen to your child’s concerns. Encourage open communication, and let your child know you are there to support them, regardless of the outcome.

Help with time management
Teach your child the importance of time management. Help them create a study schedule that allows for breaks and adequate rest. A well-balanced routine can help reduce stress and prevent burnout. Encourage them to prioritise their study time wisely.

Provide the necessary resources
Ensure your child has the resources they need to study effectively. This includes access to textbooks, study materials, a quiet study space, and a computer if necessary. To promote focus, remove distractions from their study area.

Encourage healthy lifestyle choices
A healthy body and mind are essential for optimal exam performance. Encourage your child to maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Proper nutrition and physical activity can help boost their energy levels and concentration.

Offer emotional support
Exams can drain students emotionally, and your child may experience stress and anxiety. Listening to their concerns, praying together and reminding them of their capabilities will provide emotional support.

Teach stress management techniques
Help your child develop stress management techniques. Exercise can be an invaluable tool for reducing anxiety or when they feel overwhelmed.

Encourage effective study habits
Guide your child on setting goals, breaking down study materials into manageable chunks, and using active learning methods like flashcards or summarising notes. Also remind them to review their work regularly to strengthen their understanding.

Limit screen time
Excessive screen time, including social media and video games, can be a major distraction during exam time. Children need to be encouraged to limit their screen time and rather use it as a reward after they’ve completed their study goals.

Discuss exam strategies
Talk to your child about exam strategies, such as time management during the test, how to approach different types of questions, and the importance of reading instructions carefully.

Be patient and understanding
Every child is unique, and their study methods and exam performances may vary. Be patient and understanding of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Avoid comparing them to other students and focus on their progress and growth.

With the parent’s guidance, a child can develop the skills and confidence needed to excel academically and at the same time cope with the stresses of exams. Therefore, a parent’s unwavering support is and will always be an invaluable source of strength for any child on his/her educational journey.