As summer in our valley gently moves into the golds and browns of a cooler autumn the Royal Drakensberg campus has settled down to some quiet with no running feet, shrieks of delight and concentrated learning. The first term of the year has come to an end and the quiet signals a well deserved holiday for everyone. It was a busy term as everyone settled into their new year of growth and it ended with an exciting Easter Egg hunt up at the Breakfast Boma – the children having to to hike to their treats! Staff have come and staff have moved on, enjoy reading about all that we have been busy with.
Teachers teaching teachers! – Melanie Van Zyl
The teachers at Royal Drakensberg Primary School spent an amazing rainy morning with the teachers from the various Khanyisile crèches. The rain did not dampen the excitement and willingness to become hands on making this morning beneficial for all the teachers involved.
All the teachers were split up into groups where they had to come up with a lesson plan for a variety of subjects such as numeracy, literacy, music, fine motor, gross motor, fantasy play, construction, art and sensory play. The teachers were given resources to help spark some ideas and time to plan their lesson.
After a lovely cup of tea and snacks everyone assembled so that the lessons could be presented, discussed and shared with one another. The most wonderful ideas came from the workshop such as the different aspects of numeracy, the fun ways to link your theme to fine motor skills. We also learned that we all have different easily accessible items that can be used for music, construction and even sensory play. And so much more!
At the end of all the brainstorming and sharing of ideas the best lesson plan creators walked away with a little treat. Each crèche went home with a pack of nine different lesson plans to use with their learners.
We look forward to the workshop in the third term with the aim to make it just as successful and enlightening.
Getting to know our little people! – Sine Ngobese
Sine spent some time chatting to the children and these are some of the answers she received.
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
A dog – so I could bite everyone who is not being kind. -Imani, Grade 1
A bunny – because I love bunnies and they are cute. -Mpho, Grade 2
What is the best smell?
Flowers -Melokuhle, Grade RR
My mom’s perfume -Zanokuhle, Grade RR
Sweets -Yamkela, Grade RRR
When you become a grown up, what’s the first thing you want to do?
Buy a car. -Vunokuhle, Grade 1
Go out on a boat. -Jameson, Grade 2
Get married. -Lwandle, Grade 1
What three things would you grab if the house was on fire?
My purse, tablet and my baby sister. -Hayley, Grade R
My gogo, money and my scooter. -Ntando, Grade RRR
My kitty, swimming costume and bag. -Enzokuhle, Grade RR
What is something you’re really good at?
Coming up with cool ideas. -Abigail, Grade 1
Swimming. -Sithandokuhle, Grade 3
Maths. -Vuyolwethu, Grade 2
The magic of the Easter Egg Hunt! – Britt Houghting
Before the holidays begin, the learners and staff of Royal Drakensberg Primary School enjoyed the wonder and excitement of an Easter egg hunt. Easter is the day of Christ’s resurrection and falls in the school holidays. We believe that it is important for our school to celebrate this day together.
As the learners prepare themselves for the day, there is excitement and a tangible buzz in the air. Once everyone was ready, the pre-school learners walked up to The Boma via the road and the primary school learners took an incredible walk through Fern Forest. With all the rain, the forest is overflowing with green foliage. The chirp of crickets can be heard all around. Walking through the forest seems to give everyone a burst of energy and the walk up to The Boma went by quickly.
As the learners crept quietly towards The Boma, there was an air of anticipation and delight as most of the learners knew what is going to happen next. Once around the last bend, some learners spotted Easter eggs, pointing at them with grins on their faces. We gathered under The Boma. The hunt then began. The learners ran to find their Easter surprise, shouting for joy as they made the great discovery. Some were trickier to find, but with the help of friends, everyone found their treats.
Each learner received a cup with Easter goodies inside. Their faces lit up and their expressions were ones of gratitude. They chose one treat to nibble at The Boma and then we made our way back to school.
It was a lovely day that was enjoyed by all. We are so grateful that during busy terms we are still able to enjoy such exciting and fun-filled days. We ended the term with joy and gratitude and are looking forward to the excitement that Term 2 is sure to bring!
Teacher Corner with Ntokozo Mdakane – Cait Gordon
Ntokozo joined us in January this year as an intern for 2022 thanks to the support of the N3TC. We look forward to helping her develop her skills in making her an effective teacher who will benefit both RDPS and the greater Amazizi community.
1. What made you want to become a teacher?
Everyday afterschool during my high school years, I would help the primary school children (my neighbours) with their homework and even if they don’t have homework, I will just call them so that we can revise and that is when I discovered my passion for teaching.
2. What is your favourite day of the week? Why?
My favourite day of the week is Monday. I always look forward to Monday. This is because it is a start of the new week day. I also look forward in hearing all the stories that were happening over the weekend of the students at Royal Drakensberg School.
3. What is your favourite quote?
“Take each day as it comes”.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My short term goal is to get a permanent job and in 5 years to come, my goal is to successfully obtain my honours degree and master’s in Education.
5. What is your favourite colour?
My favourite colour is black.
6. If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
Speed, because sometimes I just wish things can happen fast, I tend to forget that everything has its own time.
7. What song best describes you?
“Don’t stop believing” by Journey.
8. What would you do if you had a time machine?
If I had a time machine, I would revise time and live again, in the years my mother was still alive. My mum passed away in 2020. I am grateful for all the years that I had with her and I made great memories in which I live to remember all my life. In my heart, I live with a saying she loved which is “Never Give Up”; the bad times are the ones that make you stronger. I believe she lives in me. I will always love and miss her.
9. What is your best memory of your school career?
My best memory of my school career is the choir. Our school choir was the top and the best choir. We travelled to many places for competitions and in most of them we won. I loved choir.
10. What was your dream job as a child?
In my early years of high school, I wanted to become an architect but as the years went on, I realised I have a passion for teaching as everyday afterschool, I would help the primary school children of my township with their schoolwork like homework, revision, or learning for tests and exams, that is when I told myself that, this is what I want to be when I grow up. I love working around children, they bring out the best in me.
My time at RDPS, looking back and looking forward! – Heste Van Niekerk
When I came for the interview at the end of 2018 for my current position, I firstly did not quite believe there to be a school at the end of the road but I did not realise how much I would develop in my time at Royal Drakensberg Primary School.
We have all weathered a few storms in the past years but my class has been my “happy place” through it all. Teaching but more importantly building relationships with the children has been a privilege. There has not been a day since 2019 that I have not laughed at least once during the school day. I have loved watching my little Grade 1s growing and becoming confident young people as they progress through Grade 2 and 3 and onwards. The school is a place where the children and teachers are encouraged to reach their potential.
Megan and Loretta have been role models to me over these past years. Their work ethic, focus on family and care for the wider community has been inspiring. I am very grateful for their advice and encouragement that Megan and Loretta shared with all of us teachers.
An integral part of RDPS is the Big 5 Hike fundraiser. In 2019 when the hikers entered Cannibal Cavern for champers and lunch, I had no idea what exactly they had achieved at that point. When in 2021 the RDPS staff had the opportunity to complete the hike a few weeks before the big event, I was super excited! Now when driving to school I love looking at the mountain range knowing I have stood there, tired legs n all.
I will cherish the memories made while working and living here. I am thankful that I can start this chapter in my life knowing that I am a better teacher and person after the time I spent at Royal Drakensberg Primary School. It has been brilliant!
Our Big5Hike takes place in May. Raise R8000 for Royal Drakensberg and the Cavern family hosts you for the weekend. The Big 5 Hike summits the 5 peaks that surround the Cavern and it is approximately 18 kms and takes most folk 8 hours. If you would like to bring children or partners along they are welcome at a reduced rate of R1340 per adult sharing per night and children paying a percentage depending on their ages.
Our first term has been another wonderful milestone in the story that is Royal Drakensberg Primary. At times we see the need around us and wonder, but there is always someone to highlight the positive and to see the change that we are making. The second term beckons and we know that it will again be fun, exciting, productive and rewarding. Thank you to all of you for your continued thoughts, support and prayers. We are a significant member of this community and with your help we can make that more meaningful than ever.
We wish you all a blessed Easter with the peace of the risen Lord.
With kind wishes,
Mike, Megan & Loretta