Newsletter | 1st Term 2018

Dear Friends of Royal Drakensberg

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.

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Valentine’s Day – Idah Khumalo & Irene Mkhulisi

We hosted our Valentine’s Day celebration on Thursday the 15th of February. The children decorated 2 biscuits, one for themselves and one to share with their parents or caregivers. The children came to school dressed in red, pink and white clothes. The parents were invited to the Valentine’s celebration to watch their children perform poems and songs. The children were extremely excited to see their parents at school.

Each class put on a performance. The pre-primary classes sang a song called “It’s Love that Makes the World Go Around”. They also re-enacted one of their favourite stories about a rabbit. Their performance was excellent and they showed great confidence. The grade R class sang a song about God’s love with actions. The grade 1 class said a poem called “The Angry Valentine”. The grade 2 and 3 class performed a dance to the song “Accidentally in Love”. The grade 4 class recited a poem called “A Valentine for Mom” and the grade 5’s recited a poem called “Porcupine Valentine”. All the parents excitedly clapped and cheered for their children.

The parents enjoyed their time at school and appreciated tea and biscuits after the performances. The children drank juice and ate their decorated biscuits. It was a special day indeed.

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Smartboards – Kevin Mackenzie

With the introduction of smart boards into our classrooms, our ability to integrate technology into our lessons for the learners has grown. The smartboards were donated to us by John Mckenzie. Smartboards put simply, are a sophisticated replacement of the traditional overhead projector. Over the term the boards have proved popular for students of all ages. The interactive board turns a typical classroom into a fun learning environment with the children actively involved in the lessons. The boards help bring the wider world into our learners lives. The Elephant Class in particular have been using the boards to learn how to create PowerPoint presentations to convey information.

We utilize PowerPoint for flash cards and access to the internet to view video content. The smartboard has helped to develop visual learners, while supporting our more kinaesthetic learners in their need for movement. The change in lessons has helped to maintain leaners focus consistently on the board as the interactive media sound and movement is engaging in the current climate of children’s use of technology. Our leaners are relating to it in a way I had not imagined.

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Keys to Reading – Melanie van Zyl

Throughout the first term we have learned so much about letters and reading in fun and exciting ways. The learners have been able to use so many different methods of learning which has made it easier to recognise and remember new letters using each child’s unique learning style.

Our clever grade R’s are now able to easily recite the alphabet song. They can also recognise many sounds and will soon be able to recognise the whole alphabet.

This term they have written letters in shaving cream which was lovely for the learners who are tactile. For the visual and auditory learners we created stories and movies with the different letters. We watched and listened to these stories and sounds on a presentation shown on one of our brand new Smartboards. The children also used their bodies to make letters on the grass which helps the kinaesthetic learners.

The grade R’s had so much fun doing obstacle courses using musical instruments, bean bags as well as the jungle gym which turned into a fun test to practise recognising our letters. We also played a game where the learner who recognises the letter first has to catch a ball.

Their excitement for learning has grown and they now create their own games to revise the letters they have already learnt. The teachers at Royal Drakensberg Primary School are tremendously proud of how much our learners have done in only one term and we believe that it will just get better.

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The Introduction of NumberSense – James Barnard

An exciting new opportunity has been implemented by our teachers at the Royal Drakensberg Primary School. NumberSense is a wonderful addition to our way of teaching Mathematics. This year, NumberSense has been introduced into the classroom and students are having a positive response towards this new idea of teaching Mathematics concretely. Learners are using methods which involve kinaesthetic and tactile styles which helps our learners gain a deeper understanding of using different numbers. For example, students are required to use objects such as beans or counters. By using this method, learners find a way in which to comprehend numbers more thoroughly. We have seen evidence of learners improving their bonds and tables in a practical way which helps apply the knowledge learned on the carpet into their everyday learning, both in and out of the classroom. Teaching NumberSense is just that, making sense of numbers. By making sense of numbers, learners will eventually gain confidence and have a positive attitude towards Mathematics. This will remove the “taboo” or negative feelings that Mathematics is difficult. The Royal Drakensberg Primary excitedly embrace NumberSense to improve our young minds for the future.

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Easter Egg Hunt – Claire du Toit

The much awaited Easter Egg Hunt took part on the 21st of March. The learners walked up the mountain enthusiastically as they anticipated what Easter treats were waiting for them at the Boma. The Easter Bunny had hidden a bag for each child in the trees and bushes. Once the children had arrived at the Boma they went in search for their special bag. As soon as all of the children had found their treats we all sat together and the children devoured most of their delicious chocolates. Many of them kindly saved a few chocolates for siblings and parents at home. This is definitely a highlight of the term and is an event the children look forward to with great delight.

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Final Word

What a delight to end the term with a bag of treats! The children have worked hard and their teachers have supported them in their learning. It is an exciting and inspiring space!

We are reminded of the extensive work needed to ensure that South Africa is a successful nation and we do believe that the work through Royal Drakensberg helps us address the past and uplift the children for the future.

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The DG Murray Trust’s video clip is wonderful.

Children need love, food, safety and stimulation for success.

With our best wishes,

Megan & Loretta

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