NEWSLETTER No. 6
25 May 2006
Dear Parents and Boys lectures on topics such as dyslexia,
overcoming the digital divide, cochlear
We are now well into Trinity term implants, HIV AIDS, Tourette’s
and soccer season! Herewith the Syndrome, bipolar disorders,
latest news… behaviour and social skilling and
Guest speakers included Professor Roy
From Inclusion to Belonging McConkey from Dublin, Professor
Loretta Giorcelli from Sydney, Dr Vickie
Casella from California, Professor M.
Robertson from London, Dr Gavin Reid
from Edinburgh and Ms Shannon
Green from Vancouver.
We were moved to tears many times
by the courage of parents and children
in South Africa who had triumphed in
achieving, in spite of huge problems.
Dr Androula Ladikos of Pretoria gave
Helen Popplewell, Elaine Owen, an excellent address on “Medication
Geraldine Blackhurst, Julie Rigby and and Learning – what to expect”.
Jill Arnold were privileged to attend
this conference from 15 to 17 May “The challenge is for us all, educators
2006. The conference sought to and parents to work together to create
assist with the implementation of the a world where difference is valued and
inclusion of children with special accommodations are made as a matter
needs: those challenged in regular of course. So much time is wasted
classrooms. The scope of needs and so little effort spent on what is
varied from common learning really important i.e. making the world
difficulties, physical conditions as work for all citizens.”
well as acquired medical illnesses. Professor Loretta Giorcelli
Experts in their field gave informative
Learning Styles and Dyslexia – Emotional Intelligence at St
strategies for teachers John’s Prep
Julie Rigby and Jill Arnold attended In an age when we are realising that
this workshop on 18 May 2006 at emotional intelligence is a key
Bellavista School. Dr Gavin Reid component of success in all areas of
from the University of Edinburgh and our lives (academic, social, emotional
Director of a school in Lancashire for and career), we at St John’s are
children with specific learning committed to developing the EQ skills
difficulties, started the workshop. He of our boys.
spoke on the importance of each
child knowing his or her learning In November last year, a survey was
style preference and to be guided to conducted throughout the prep school
independent learning. He stressed to give some indication of the relative
that dyslexia is a processing emotional intelligence strengths and
difference experienced by people of weaknesses of the various year
all ages, characterised by difficulties groups. Mrs Maureen Groch and Ms
in literacy. Annale Krogh were appointed to
survey a random sample of
Ms Shannon Green, Director of the approximately 20 boys from each year
Reach Learning Centre in Vancouver, group from U1 to U3, using an
then presented a very practical assessment tool known as the BarOn
lecture on teaching spelling, based EQi (youth). This evaluates various
on the multi-sensory Orton- aspects of emotional intelligence,
Gillingham method. namely:
Questions were raised at the end of • Intrapersonal skills (such as self-
the conference with regard to all the regard, self-awareness,
different programmes available and assertiveness and independence)
methods used. Dr Reid said that any • Interpersonal skills (such as
programme is only as good as the empathy, social responsibility and
person who uses it and that what relationships)
works for one child won’t necessarily • Adaptability (flexibility, ability to
work for another. It was a very make adjustments to change)
interesting and worthwhile • Stress Management (stress
workshop. tolerance, impulse control)
• Mood (optimism, positive outlook)
“Swallow your pride occasionally, it’s A summary of the results is shown in
not fattening” the graph at the end of this article. A
Frank Tyger score of between 85 and 115 would be
considered normal, while a score of Any parents of boys who were
below 85 would indicate that the surveyed and are interested in further
group being assessed is weak in that details of the results of the survey,
area, and a score of over 115 please contact me.
indicates strength in that area. Some
of the interesting trends are the B. Nicolson
consistently good scores for general
mood (somewhat unusual for a
group of boys), the low scores for
stress management and Scholarships
intrapersonal skills amongst the U3s,
and the high score for stress Well done to the following boys who
management amongst the U1s! achieved College scholarships for 2007.
Overall, the Prep boys achieved amazing
This information is proving useful in results – we are very proud of them!
the structuring of our Emotional
Intelligence curriculum as we strive Academic - Foundation
to make this programme as relevant Sean Bierman
as possible to the particular needs of Thomas Geffen
each year group.
Academic - Minor
In the next newsletter we will publish Jarryd Wood
some guidelines to assist parents in
facilitating the development of their Music
child’s emotional intelligence. Watch Richard Berry
this space . . . Thomas Geffen
Music Exhibition Scholarship
Travis Bradfield (Recorder)
Francois du Plessis (Violin)
Congratulations to Nicholas Jackson who
has been awarded the St Andrew’s
College Duthie Exhibition Scholarship for
“You can’t stop waves, but you can
learn to surf”
The Travelling Bookshop Design and Technology
Stock up on some wonderful winter The D&T Department
reads! Next Wednesday (31 May would again like to thank
2006) and Thursday (1 June 2006) the parents and boys for
the Travelling Bookshop will be back contributing various
in the Fred England Centre from scrap materials for projects recently.
9h00-15h00. A large variety of books However,
at very reasonable prices are on
offer. Please come and browse. PLEASE DO NOT CONTRIBUTE
Hooked on Books
We have more than enough for now and
ask that you rather contribute any spare
fabric (any material) that you have
Again, we are grateful for all the time and
effort spent in gathering these items!
Andrew Forbes, Paulo Loureiro Kevin Tang and
Mohammad Abbasi in action!
As always, the Hooked on Books
team captivated the Prep boys with
their excellent dramatic
interpretations of extracts from
various children’s books. They
managed to hold the attention of the
boys with their acrobatic antics,
outrageous wit, outlandish costumes
and lots of audience participation,
with such practised ease. The book
that EVERYONE wants to read now is Wrap up warmly, winter is here!
Parent Swap by Terence Blacker. The
Library is busy stocking up!
This is what the boys had to say:
I now know how an election runs. It is
very hard to decide who you want to vote
I think this was a great idea. It taught me
a lot about how an election runs. It was
also great because the FFA, my group,
won the election.
I voted because I liked the boy and I liked
what he spoke about.
In History this week, L3 C held class Voting is hard. Many people may not
elections as part of their study of think that any of the candidates are good.
democracy. Four political parties were Matthew Temlett
formed, and candidates chosen to lead
each party. Each party had to design a Politics is fun.
logo or a symbol and draw up a set of Shaneel Kalyan
class laws they would implement if they
won the election. The candidates were I really enjoyed this morning. It was fun,
allowed a two-minute campaign speech but our class also put in a lot of effort and
and faced tough questions from it showed on the day. Some of the boys
opposing party members. didn’t really know much about voting
because there were some ticks instead of
In the final session, voters had to crosses – but all in all it was a great
produce identification at the polling morning.
station and were then given a ballot Jamie Odgers
paper to cast their votes. All parties
were involved in counting the votes and Well done, boys!
the winner was announced. Well done M. Long
to the candidate from the Freedom
Fighters – Cullum Grant – who won the
election! “An optimist is the human
personification of Spring”
Candidate Party Place your cross here
Class Room Alliance
Owen Newton Hill
The Meaning of Life
What a day Saturday was! I don’t think anyone has ever played a soccer match in conditions
quite like that. While I was watching my Under 9’s play with such enthusiasm and delight, I
looked at all the parents supporting their children at these two very expensive schools. I was
struck by a question, “Why Independent Schools?” Why do parents spend so much money
on their children’s education? I do not for a moment believe it is because of the Maths or
English teaching – these are a given. What is it then that makes the difference? I believe it
is a combination of opportunities and particularly values.
We have talked often and at length about the values that we endeavour to instill in our
young children. These values are (or should be) taught at home and reinforced at school.
Central to the concept of values I believe are the manners of our children. The manner in
which they behave! Unfortunately there was an incident at one of the football matches last
week where a few of our junior boys let the school down through unacceptable behaviour.
Whose fault is that? Is it the school’s fault? The parents’ fault? Or is it just accepted that in
this day and age it is all right to be rude because everyone is rude?
At St. John’s we are often critical of our own pupils’ behaviour, but I can honestly say that
generally it is something we can be proud of. There is, however, no room for complacency.
We have not yet got it totally right and there are areas that both, home and school, must
work on so that we will be able to confidently say that St. John’s pupils have impeccable
I recently received an e-mail entitled “Love him or hate him.” It was a list of
eleven points, supposedly accredited to Bill Gates, when he delivered a speech at
his high school speech day. Some of them were,
• Life is not fair – get used to it!
• If you make a mistake, don’t blame your parents, rather learn from the mistake.
• Your school may have done away with winners and losers – but life hasn’t.
• TV is not real life. In real life you have to leave the coffee shop and go to work.
There is no doubt that Bill Gates paints an accurate picture of what lies ahead for our pupils.
That, however, is in the future and while our children are still young and impressionable, we
need to educate and strengthen their value system to prepare them for the harsh world they
face. We all acknowledge the truth in the saying, “It is not what lies ahead or behind us that
counts, but what lies within us”. Young people today have a longing for purpose and
meaning in their lives and human needs are basically spiritual needs. We as adults, teachers
and parents have a responsibility to address these inner needs of our children. If not, they
will fill the vacuum with something disastrous. Young people whose lives lack depth and
substance are all at risk.
It is one of the reasons why independent schools exist and are so popular – to answer the
“meaning of life”.
I have decided that if we all work together on a few items it will make a huge difference to
people’s perceptions of St. John’s. I would like to be able to say that St. John’s pupils, at all
Stand and greet adults visiting our school
Offer to help others
Stand back in doorways to allow adults through first
Show respect for others, adults and fellow pupils
Pick up litter and never litter themselves
Dress neatly, particularly when in public (at shopping centres)
Are silent in chapel
Thank parents and teachers.
I firmly believe that if all parents, teachers and pupils make a conscious effort, St. John’s will
continue producing world-class young citizens. Your children’s education lies in their own
hands and all our hands, and the home is the essential foundation for building a value base.
The school cannot do it alone, and I urge you therefore to assist us in reinforcing manners
among our boys.
Please share your views on this or any other manners issue to make this campaign more
meaningful and successful.
Mr. Patrick Lees
Office Tel 645 3116
Many of our boys struggle with organizational skills in their daily routine. These
suggestions may be useful.
organised is the
first step to
Step One: Make sure your desk at home is organized.
• Is there enough space to work?
Throw away the rubbish on your desk!
• Is the light good?
Get a desk lamp if you can’t see clearly!
• Do you have the pens and paper you need?
Visit the CNA …
• Is it quiet?
Turn down the noise so you can concentrate! NO TV while you work!
• Are your books easy to find?
Use colour coding to find your books easily, e.g. green for History, etc.
• Is there a board where you can pin up important reminders?
Put one up or use prestik to stick up timetables, notices, etc.
Step Two: Pack your bag carefully!
• Have you got all your books for the day?
Pack with your timetable in front of you and use colour coding.
• Have you completed all your homework?
Check your homework diary and your timetable.
• Are there notices, letters, return slips?
Visit the bottom of your bag to check…
• Do you have your sports kit?
Check your diary!
• At the end of the school day: Have you packed all your books, kit, etc. to take home?
Pack your bag the night before so you don’t panic in the morning!
Don’t forget your lunch!
Don’t wait for your mom to do it for you!
Step Three: Do your homework when you get home!
• Have you got a routine that you follow every day?
Write it out in your diary and do it every day.
• Do you put off doing your homework?
Do it when you get home – then you can relax!
• How can you remember to do it all?
Check your homework diary and your timetable. Phone a friend if you are stuck.
• Do you rush through and work carelessly?
Spend time doing it properly!
• Is there too much on one day?
Plan your week so that you don’t end up doing it all the night before!
If you finish homework early, spend time revising for tests and doing extra reading!
Forget about that playstation during the week…
Step Four: Prepare well for tests!
• Do you know what to learn?
Check with your teacher to make sure you know what you need to learn. Ask
questions if you don’t understand!
• Is there enough time to learn?
Don’t leave it till the last minute – prepare well ahead!
• Do you know how to learn?
Use mind maps and flash cards to help you learn.
• Do you use your time well?
Don’t put off learning! When you sit at your desk, make sure you are working hard.
Mrs Margot Long
Office Tel 645 3122
Well done to Chad Maciver who
obtained the following results in
various races in which he
• Finished 15th out of a field of 38
participants at the Cape Town
National held in Killarney on 14
and 15 April 2006.
• Finished 3rd out of a field of 20
at the Zwartkops club race held
in Pretoria on 29 April 2006.
• Finished 9th out of a field of 24
at the Zwartkops Regional held
in Pretoria on 6 May 2006.
Well done to Matthew Frey and Chad
Maciver who have been selected to “If your success is not on your own
participate in the South African JKA terms, if it looks good to the world but
National Karate Championships, does not feel good in your heart, it is
representing Honbu Youth Karate on 19 not success at all”
and 20 May 2006. Anna Quintten
Wednesday 10 May
St John’s vs The Ridge
2nds Drew 1 –1
3rds Lost 1 -3
4ths Won 1 –0
5ths Won 2 –1
6ths Won 3 –2
7ths Won 3 –1
8ths Lost 0 -1
U11A Won 3 –1
NEW FIXTURE U11B Won 2 –0
U11C Won 1 –0
Monday 19 June U11D Lost 0 –1
U9A, U10A, U11A and 1sts to play U9A Lost 1 –2
SAHETI at SAHETI U9B Lost 1 –2
U9C Won 3 –0
Friday 12 May U9 Stars Drew 0 –0
St John’s vs St David’s Tuesday 9 May
2nds Won 3 –2 St John’s vs Bedfordview
3rds Lost 4 –2
4ths Lost 2 -3 1sts Won 5 – 0
5ths Lost 0 -1 2nds Won 3 – 0
6ths Lost 0 -3 3rds Lost 0 – 4
7ths Lost 0 –4 4ths Won 5 – 0
9ths Lost 0 –1 U11A Lost 0 – 2
U11A Drew 1 –1 U11B Drew 1 – 1
U11B Lost 1 –2 U10A Won 4 – 0
U11D Lost 0 –3 U10B Lost 1 – 5
U11 Eagles Lost 0 –2 U9A Won 2 – 0
U10A Lost 0 –3 U9B Lost 0 – 1
U10B Lost 0 –2
U10C Lost 0 –3
U10D Lost 0 –4
U10 SJ United Lost 0 –4
U9A Lost 1 –2
U9B Lost 0 –1
U9 Pros Won 2 –0
U9 Stars Won 1 –0 “When the solution is simple, God is
U9 Raiders Drew 0 –0 answering”
Thursday 18 May
1sts vs St Benedict’s Tuesday 16 May
Lost 28 – 35
St John’s A vs The Ridge
2nds vs St Benedict’s Won 36 – 27
Lost 18 – 45
St John’s B vs St Mary’s
Won 50 - 9
3rds vs St Benedict’s
Lost 16 – 47
U11s vs St Benedict’s Extra Afrikaans
Lost 2 - 61 Lessons
Wednesday 11 May
St John’s vs St Peter’s
1sts Won 37 – 26
2nds Lost 27 – 36 Mrs Antoinette Snyman is
3rds Won 32 – 31
U11 Lost 10 - 53
available to give extra
Afrikaans lessons after school
at her home
(The Ridge School).
Parents who are interested
“You’re only given a little spark of
madness. You mustn’t lose it” may contact her on (011)
Robin Williams 481-5872 / 083 289 4595
It is eighteen years ago, almost to the day –
A sunny day with the leaves just turning.
The touch-lines new-ruled – since I watched you play
Your first game of football, then, like a satellite
Wrenched from its orbit, go drifting away
Behind a scatter of boys, I can see
You walking away from me towards the school
With the pathos of a half-fledged thing set free
Into a wilderness, the gait of one
Who finds no path where the path should be.
The hesitant figure, eddying away
Like a winged seed loosened from its parent stem.
Has something I never quite grasp to convey
About nature’s give-and-take – the small, the scorching
Ordeals which fire one’s irresolute clay.
I have had worse partings, but none that so
Gnaws at my mind still. Perhaps it is roughly
Saying what God alone could perfectly show –
How selfhood begins with a walking away,
And love is proved in the letting go.