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Newsletter 06 - Dear Parents and Boys

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Newsletter 06 - Dear Parents and Boys Powered By Docstoc
					                                           ST JOHN’S
                            PREPARATORY SCHOOL
                              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
                                              cerebral palsy.

                                              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
                                                                     Page 1
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

                                                                       Page 2
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
                                         Wellington Hsu

                                         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
                                         2007.

                                           “You can’t stop waves, but you can
                                                      learn to surf”
                                                        Unknown


                                                                      Page 3
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
                                                         ANYMORE SCRAP.
Hooked on Books
                                                We have more than enough for now and
                                                ask that you rather contribute any spare
                                                fabric (any material) that you have
                                                lying around.

                                                Again, we are grateful for all the time and
                                                effort spent in gathering these items!

                                                                              J. Gunning



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!

                                    N. Sulter
                                                                             Page 4
                                          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
                                          for.
                                                                      Kishan Narotam

                                          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.
                                                                  Mohamed Sacranie

                                          I voted because I liked the boy and I liked
                                          what he spoke about.
                                                                     Wazeer Bulbulia

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”
                                                     Susan Bissonette


                                                                         Page 5
      Candidate         Party            Place your cross here

                           FF

                   Freedom Fighters




Cullum Grant
                          DPA

                   Democratic Peace
                     Association




Milan Conkic
                         PCRA

                         Political
                   Class Room Alliance




Owen Newton Hill
                          NCC

                   National Classroom
                     Congregation




Kishan Narotam



                                                       Page 6
Page 7
                               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
manners.

  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

                                                                                     Page 8
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
times:

       Are polite
       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
Second Master
Office Tel 645 3116
lees@stjohns.wits.ac.za




                                                                                      Page 9
Many of our boys struggle with organizational skills in their daily routine. These
suggestions may be useful.


                                                           Getting
                                                   organised is the
                                                     first step to
                                                   solving problems!



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?

                                            HINT:
               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!
                                                                                   Page 10
    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!

                                           HINT:
     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
Second Mistress
Office Tel 645 3122
longma@stjohns.wits.ac.za




                                                                                 Page 11
GO-KARTING

Well done to Chad Maciver who
obtained the following results in
various     races in  which    he
participated:

  • 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.

KARATE

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




                                                                      Page 12
                                    Wednesday 10 May
Soccer
                                    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”
                                              Albert Einstein



                                                               Page 13
Tennis                                   Chess




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



                                                                    Page 14
Page 15
               Walking Away
               C. Day-Lewis




     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.



                                              MICHAEL WORKMAN
                                                   HEADMASTER

                                                          Page 16

				
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