At times we may get despondent about life but I have found that spending 10 minutes in the company of children helps dissipate any negativity. A couple of Wednesdays ago, we were entertained by the children and it just struck me how incredibly brave and smart they all are. Next year many will move on to new schools and I just reminded them how important it is to think back to the play night and remember that when things get tough or challenges arrive they must remind themselves about how brave they can be and how smart they are. They learnt hundreds of words and hundreds of moves and were an absolute delight to watch. We share more from this past term…
May is normally a wonderfully tranquil month in the Drakensberg. The gardens are filled with the sounds of sunbirds and sugarbirds and the aloes are in full bloom. It is truly a magnificent time! It would be great to sip tea on the grass and take in the beauty but there is much-to- do on the fundraising calendar! We hosted our annual Royal Drak MTB & Trail Run in April and then our Big5Hike in May. Both events were incredibly successful and they help in keeping our precious school operational. We thank every sponsor, every helper and every supporter. Read more below: Continue reading “Newsletter | 2nd Term 2018”
2018 began with much excitement and are larger influx of children into our pre-primary section. What a blessing and a joy it is to see these little people happy and excited to be at school. Mam-Idah and Mam-Irene have them actively engaged and learning takes place in a nurturing space. We share some news from Term 1 below. Continue reading “Newsletter | 1st Term 2018”
The school year has come to an end and as South Africans we have received alarming news! Recent results reveal that 80% of Grade 4 children in South Africa are not able to read with understanding. Sadly if children cannot learn to read, how will they read to learn in the higher grades? This trend results in children dropping out of school and while it is distressing it once again reaffirms the importance of our work at Royal Drakensberg Primary.
The greatest need is in the rural areas and it also supports our move to focus more on pre-primary and foundation phase education as we believe this is where the greatest need in our community lies. We share our news below:
In 2018 we will continue to offer Grade 4 & 5 but will drop a grade in 2019, only offering classes up to Grade 4. As 2020 approaches, we will reassess our position financially and the children’s progress and will possibly drop a further grade, if necessary. These changes will result in us having more spaces available to offer in the pre-primary phase which will help ensure that the children are better equipped to begin formal learning in Grade 1. Early Childhood Development is crucial for success.
When Term 3 draws to an end we know it’s a downhill run to Christmas! It all started with Mandela Day in July. Guests from The Cavern joined the children at school and spent 67 minutes reading and face painting. It was a beautiful interaction and just lovely to see the sharing of stories, time and a little bit of love. And it has been an action packed term ending with our school play, The Gruffalo.
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….
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!
It has been a busy end to the year and we have much to share. Snippets of our happenings appear below:
Bubbly and Roses Festival 2017 – Kevin Mackenzie
The Mackenzie family once again hosted the Bubbly and Roses event in the Midlands. The weather played its part and as usual we had all four seasons in one day. Paula Mackenzie summed up the day simply in that each person who attended was making a dream come true for one special child who could then attend Royal Drakensberg Primary School. The family’s garden was opened to the public for the event in order to raise funds for the school. With the participation of 17 wine farms, the Vinimark staff and the RDP teachers the day was a fantastic success. It was a spectacular day out and fun was had by all. The event helped to raise just over R 45,000.00.
Term 3 ended quickly and before we knew it we were already counting the days until the Christmas Play! It’s been action packed and as we move towards December we have plenty more on the go. We share our recent news…
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…