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Newsletter | 2nd Term 2017

Dear Friends,

Winter has descended on the Drakensberg but it is a wonderful season with clear blue skies and crisp fresh air. The days are cooler so we are very grateful to Shirley Mackenzie and her team of ladies for our wonderful donation of 10 blankets for 10 years. Royal Drakensberg celebrates 10 years of quality education! The children completed their term with a winter wonderland soccer fest. We share our latest happenings here….


Winter Wonderland – Claire du Toit

On the last day of second term, the much-awaited Winter Wonderland soccer tournament took place. The learners at Royal Drakensberg Primary School had practised their soccer skills for the whole of term two in preparation for this special day. The day kicked off with the children singing Shosholoza as they walked onto the field and sat in their teams, the Bushbucks and the Duikers. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and everyone demonstrated brilliant team spirit. In the end, after a nail biting sudden death round between the grade fives, the Bushbucks were triumphant. Well done Bushbucks! Well done to S’bonga Radebe who won the player of the day trophy for trying his best and demonstrating an incredible amount of effort both on and off the field. Special thanks go to Uli and Christina Strohm from share-for-life who provided the school with a beautifully hand painted soccer ball.


The Media Room – Irene Mkhulisi

Royal Drakensberg Primary School has a media room on their school premises. The media room is where children learn to use computers and choose books for reading. In the media room, there are shelves full of books arranged according to the stages, from stage one to stage sixteen. The learners from Grade 1 to Grade 5 change their books every day to encourage more reading at home.

The media room has some computers too. They use computers for educational games, typing skills and to search for information about their orals. Once a week Grade R learners get the opportunity to use computers too. Most of our children at school have never had the opportunity to own or use computers in their homes. It is a wonderful opportunity and privilege for them to be able learn such a skill.

The children from Pre-primary and Grade R know this room as the “Movie Room” as they go there to watch a movie if the weather is too cold, rainy or snowy or if it is too cold for the children to play outside. The children love watching movies in the media room.

Occasionally the media room is used to host workshops for the teachers. In the second term, there have been 2 workshops hosted in the media room. Teachers enjoy sitting and relaxing on those beautiful and comfortable bean bags while engaging in new ideas and themes.

The media room is well looked after, it gets cleaned every day. Beautiful art made by the children from different Grades in the school hang on the walls. Everyone loves media room. It is honour for the school to have such an important room.


The Royal Drakensberg MTB Ride – #Riding4Education – Candice Clark

On the 8th of April 2017, the mountain bike challenge was hosted at All Out Adventures. As the participants started arriving for registration, a spirit of charity and adventure filled the air. This year, Ride4Education was organised slightly differently. The focus was not on racing and getting to the finish line first, it was directed at families bonding and having a fun time along the way. This included a water slide facility in which many families enjoyed in route to completing their ride.

In order to take part in Ride4Education, participants each needed to raise R1 000. All applicants were given a raffle sheet and encouraged to get friends, companies or their families to help support the Ride4Education cause. Each participant was given the option of doing either the 50km, 30km or 10km race. They were given a N3TC fleece jacket and were treated as VIP’S on the day. We are always enormously grateful to the N3TC. They provide a safe and convenient route between Heidelberg and Cedara on the N3 route but they are an organisation that continues to support projects in education, sport and the environment and we salute their commitment.

A special thanks goes out to all the local resorts such as, The Cavern, Montusi, All Out Adventures, Tower of Pizza and Alpine Heath who sponsored and helped host our guests in the refreshment tent. Thank you to Vinimark for hosting a wine tasting table and for providing our guests the opportunity to taste and learn more about different wines.

The staff at Royal Drakensberg Primary School hosted the children in the Kidszone. Here the children got involved in many activities such as face painting, sand art as well as designing marie biscuit faces. The children took great delight in playing on the outdoor equipment as well as the children’s zip line facilities. We thank Bergville Spar for donating the items needed to make the Kidszone area a success.

The Ride4Education went incredibly well and it was so good to see how much the families relaxed and enjoyed this wonderful experience. We are grateful to all our supporters and look forward to many more adventures.


Big5Hike – #Walking4Education – Kevin Mackenzie

On the 20th of May we were joined by over 100 adult hikers and 20 children for our annual Big5Hike. Our Royal Drak teaching staff and Cavern team carried all the treats and lunch up the mountain. The first stop was the Harrismith Mugg & Bean coffee station at Rustler’s Gap. The hikers were treated to Mugg & Bean coffee and muffins. The second stop was the Sparkles Sweets and Treats stop at the base of Sugar Loaf. After Sugar Loaf the hikers climbed Cold Hill, followed by a steep decline through the Devil’s Staircase and then down Cavern Gap into Cannibal Cavern for an amazing Wimpy Burger lunch. Our thanks go to Wimpy Harrismith who supplied the tasty burgers. It was an incredibly successful day. We are so grateful to all our sponsors, who together with our wonderful team of hikers, managed to raise over R900 000.

Read more about this wonderful occasion


Barefoot Brave on the Big5Hike – Megan Bedingham

Travis Gillespie has worked at the Cavern as a student but since leaving and building his career he has kept in touch and has always been involved in our annual Big5Hike. Last year Travis ran lap 1 in under 3 hours and then did lap 2 with the rest of the crowd. This year he decided to walk the entire Big5 barefoot! Absolutely crazy! He did it and managed to raise awareness for those without shoes. He also arranged for a new pair of school shoes for every child at Royal Drakensberg. The children and their parents were completely blown-away! You’re a legend, Travis. Well done! Read Jacqui Burnett’s blog.


Final Word

It has been a busy few months with our most important fundraisers and we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of so many corporates and individuals. It is a blessing to see so many people in this pristine valley, cycling or hiking, and helping to raise funds for the children and developing a greater awareness of the importance of quality education. The time in the outdoors, the interactions with others and the camaraderie of doing Good is incredible and we thank each and every person for their contribution.

Our best wishes to you all,

Megan & Loretta

Newsletter | 1st Term 2017

Dear Friends,

This year we welcomed 3 new teachers to Royal Drakensberg, Candice Clark teaching Grade 3, Emily Cotterill guiding our Grade 2 class and Claire du Toit working hard with our Grade 1 group as they begin their more formal education journey. They have all been warmly received and the children are enthusiastic and excited about learning. Following a recent visit to the school, a Cavern guest mentioned the happiness of the children in this small space. If children are happy to be at school, so much more can be achieved! Continue reading “Newsletter | 1st Term 2017”

Newsletter | 2nd Term 2016

Dear Friends

It’s midyear, the temperatures have dropped and the mountainside has changed to subtle tones of brown and orange. It’s a particularly lovely time in the berg because the days are filled with soft sunshine and hiking and mountain biking are fantastic in these conditions. We have even had a little dusting of snow on the peaks surrounding our school and this is a real South African highlight!

Since our last newsletter we have hosted our two important fundraisers, Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge and the Big5Hike. Our school term ended with our Winter Wonderland soccer fest with all the children championing for their teams and so we share our news with you… Continue reading “Newsletter | 2nd Term 2016”

Newsletter | 1st Term 2016

Dear Friends

Term 1 has come and gone. Just 9 weeks but filled with wonderful activity and learning. We welcomed Mary Campbell to Grade 1 and Irene Mkhulisi to our team and under the careful guidance of Mrs Sue Kraupner we continue to see wonderful progress.

We share a few happy happenings from Term 1 below. Continue reading “Newsletter | 1st Term 2016”

Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge Race Report 2016

The N3TC Royal Drak MTB Challenge has an awesome vibe. It starts early in the week as everybody gets sucked into the last minute trail preparations and marking missions. By the time Friday rolls around and the bicycle laden cars come pouring into the valley, you can almost taste the excitement. Even the weather got involved this year, with lovely soft rain in the week leading up to the race, and then beautiful bright sunshine on race day. The conditions were perfect…. Continue reading “Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge Race Report 2016”

Newsletter | December 2015

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Dear Friends

We have come to the end of yet another year. Prize giving last Wednesday was a wonderful gathering under the tall pine trees with special mention being made of our achievers.

The term has been a busy time with plenty of happenings and enthusiasm from the teachers, children and a host of wonderful folk who have done so much for our small school. This term we’d particularly like to thank Tony & Liesje Carter for their interest, incredible hard work and for the contributions they have helped realise for the school. Continue reading “Newsletter | December 2015”

Newsletter | 3rd Term 2015

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Dear Friends,

Term 3 has been a busy one. The Grade 2-5’s ended it with their production of The Bush Book, we have celebrated trees and our South African heritage during our September Spring month and we held our annual sports day when Bushbuck in red challenged Duiker in yellow. See more from our teachers below… Continue reading “Newsletter | 3rd Term 2015”