Newsletter – 1st Term 2024

Royal Drakensberg Primary School

Settling into Grade 4

Cait Gordon

This year we took on the challenge of Grade 4 at Royal Drakensberg Primary School. The children were extremely excited to have the opportunity of staying for another year, especially those with younger siblings at RDPS. The aim was to provide a safe space where the children could take on the challenges of the Intermediate Phase without the stress of a new school, new teachers and a whole new learning environment. The children have taken on the challenge, showing impressive effort to handle the increase in subjects and work load.

This is what they had to say about Grade 4:

We learn new things that we haven’t done before so we can write good sentences to make us better for Grade 5. – Vuyolwethu

I am happy to be here because it is a fun school, I can be helpful to the younger children when they get hurt. – Bandile

Grade 4 is hard but it can also be very fun, you must work hard so you can help others. – Mpho

I am able to spend more time with my friends before we go to different schools and we can stay with the teachers who look after us. – Aphelele

It is so lovely to see their excitement and willingness because they understand the importance of working hard at school. We look forward to seeing them thrive as the year unfolds.

Settling in

The Khanyisela Workshop showcasing sustainable resources

Mel Van Zyl

Teachers Workshop

We are thrilled to share the success of the recent Khanyisela Workshop held at our school. The workshop brought together the dedicated teachers of Royal Drakensberg Primary, who formed three dynamic teams: the Transport and Road Safety team, the Community Helper team, and the Hospital and Clinic team. These themes align perfectly with the Early Learning and Development Area curriculum used in all our KP creches.
The teachers collaborated and brainstormed innovative ideas to create fantasy play environments, including a petrol station, hospital, police station, and more – all designed to captivate the imagination of our pre-schoolers.

The primary aim of the workshop was to empower Khanyisela Project teachers to utilize recycled materials, such as cereal boxes, to craft their own teaching resources. Emphasizing the significance of fantasy play, we highlighted how learning through play is an invaluable educational approach.

It was heartening to witness the enthusiasm and dedication of our KP teachers as they eagerly worked together to craft resources. They freely shared ideas, collaborated on painting and cutting, and demonstrated remarkable creativity. Their commitment was so evident that many teachers were spotted working during their tea breaks, showcasing their passion for providing enriching learning experiences for their students.

We are immensely proud of our teachers’ proactive approach to enhancing learning opportunities for the pre-schoolers. Their enthusiasm and hands-on involvement serves as a testament to their dedication to nurturing young minds and fostering a love for learning.

Thank you to all the teachers who participated in the Khanyisela Workshop. Your hard work and creativity will undoubtedly make a lasting impact on the educational journey of over 750 of our students.

Teachers Workshop

Why we love coming to school at RDPS

– Michelle Brooks

Curious about what makes our school special to our students? We asked them, and their honest answers are here for you to explore. In this article, you’ll find out what our learners love most about being part of our school. Let’s dive into their perspectives and celebrate the essence of learning together!

I love riding on the scooters and playing with the small cars because I can put the policeman inside it. -Langelihle (Grade RRR)

I love dancing when the big TV (smart board) is on and I also like playing with the red toys. – Sibanesihle (Grade RRR)

We love coming to school

We love school
I love singing at school with my friends. I also love playing with the dolls because I can feed and change them. -Obanzi (Grade RR)

I love playing with the box cars that go on the grass and I also like building houses with the blocks. -Lisakhanya (Grade RR)

We love school

I love playing with my friends, my favourite thing to do with my friends is to play on the swings. -Ziyanda (Grade R)

I love swimming at school, we are learning to blow bubbles under the water. -Mileah (Grade R)

We love school

I love playing soccer with my friends. I also love it when I get a treat or a sticker for doing all my work. -Iminathi (Grade 1)

I love playing on the jungle gym at break. I also love school because my friends are here and they are kind to me. -Sandiso (Grade 1)

I love how Ma’am Melanie teaches me how to read, my favourite book is Floppy Floppy. -Mongezi (Grade 1)

We love school

I love doing Maths! Maths is easy for me because my teachers taught me nicely. I also love playing with the Barbies when all my work is done. -Fezokuhle (Grade 2)

I love playing soccer with Teacher Phola and my friends at break because they teach me cool tricks. -Mohau (Grade 2)

We love school

School makes me happy because the teachers love me and care about me. -Siphesihle (Grade 3)

I love playing soccer and doing cross-country. I also love playing “sticky man” in Miss Cait’s classroom when I have finished my work. -Asenathi (Grade 3)

I love learning new things, it is fun. I also love how friendly and kind the teachers are. – Lwandle (Grade 3)

We love school

I love doing Maths but it is hard. I also love Integrated Studies because I get to learn about nature. -Cebelihle (Grade 4)

I always want to come to school because I love everything about school. A few of my favourite parts are soccer, swimming, maths and most of all the teachers. – Zesipho (Grade 4)

I love it when we do tricky maths because we learn new things. I also love it when Miss Cait teaches us about why Easter is special. – Vuyolwethu (Grade 4)

Teacher Corner with Miss Mpume

– Thando Zondo

Miss Mpume

The excitement of the new member of staff is always around at the beginning of the year. Luckily for us this didn’t mean we had to lose anyone. Mpume joins as an intern as a part of the N3TC funding working together to help give teachers and interns the skills needed to go back into the community and make an impact after spending a meaningful year at RDPS. Thando took some time to get to know her and welcome her into our family.

This is what she had to tell us:

1.What is your hobby?

I’m an outgoing person and like socialising and spending time with friends, I enjoy being physically active and spend a lot of time dancing and doing sports.

2.What makes you happy?

What really makes me happy is spending time with my loved ones and giving back to people who are always there for me. Most important is that I appreciate small things with gratitude and taking care of myself.

3.What is your favourite food?

I enjoy a variety of food but some of my favourite food includes fish and chips as fish has good proteins.

4.If you were to go to a vacation where would it be?

I’m not picky!! But if I were to go on a vacation it could definitely be Margate because it’s warm and peaceful.

5.If you were given a super power what would it be, and how would you use it in real life?

I would have the control of time; it would give me control of any situation whether it involves me or not and it would be to make my life easier and I’d solve problems easily. There are so many things I wish I can do to improve my life and the lives of others, that alone will make me happy because I believe that happiness depends on what we can give, not what we can get.

6.Why did you choose teaching and if you were given a chance would you choose it again?

Paulo Freire once said “I cannot be a teacher without exposing who I am”

I chose teaching because I believe that every child has a right to learn. As a teacher I have strived to create opportunities and balance the classroom environment because it is the space for fun and laughter. I also want learners to feel heard and cared for as this does motivate them to feel excited about learning. My teaching philosophy is that all learners are unique, and all of them come from different social backgrounds, different educational backgrounds and are all different physically, mentally and emotionally. As a teacher I will provide a safe environment where all my learners are invited to share their ideas, their strengths and weaknesses. One of my aspirations is to assist my learners to express and accept themselves for who they are and also to embrace the differences of others. Teaching keeps me motivated and curious; it gives me inspiration to continue to grow with a spirit of honesty and compassion. If I had another chance, I would choose it all over again.

7.What makes you who you are?

My personality makes me the person that I am and sets me apart from everyone else. I believe that we are all unique, our beliefs and values shape us to being the people that we are. I have strong ethics and morals, and believe in being kind, helpful and considerate of others. I believe that I’m a strongly rounded individual who is going to go far in life.

Hats and Eggs galore making the last day egg-cellent!

– Hanelie Van Der Spuy

Every year our school comes alive with the laughter and excitement of the children as they show off all their hard work in the colourful and creative Easter hats they have created, ready for a fun-filled egg hunt.

Hats and eggs

As the clock hits 8am the preschool makes their way up the long road and through the forest to the Boma where they await the primary school. The primary school takes a lovely 30-minute hike up the trail, enjoying nature’s beauty, and keeping their eyes peeled for a peak at the Easter Bunny. The real excitement begins when they finally arrive at the Boma!

The children start their search, high and low, for their Easter treasure hidden amongst the trees and bushes where the bunny has hidden them so sneakily. The children are so happy to find the cups they decorated for the Easter bunny to put the treats in. The cups are filled with sweet treats and hot chocolate just waiting to be discovered.

Hats and eggs

Once all the children have found their cups, they sit down to enjoy the treats. Then, it’s time for the chicken parade where the children walk around to make sure there’s no rubbish on the ground, keeping the environment the way they found it.

We start our short walk down the road back to school. As the preschool waves goodbye and heads off for their lovely long holiday, the primary school kids have a little more fun waiting for them! Games from Bunny Putt-Putt to Carrot Toss and Tin Throw. There was also the egg race and the children could even pose in a cut-out and they instantly became a bunny.

Some of the children’s highlights of the day were,

1: Lubanzi – To go on the Easter Egg Hunt.
2: Gugulami – Eating the treats that we found.
3: Buhle – Looking for our cups with our treats from the Easter Bunny.
4: Abongile – The games we played back at school.
5: Fezo – Finding the Easter Cups.

It was a successful day filled with lots of smiles, laughter, and love as the children enjoyed every moment of our bright day. They waved goodbye from the taxi windows, ready for a fun holiday!

Final Word

Final Word

We all love a great parade! End of term was the perfect time to showcase our creativity and fun side, during the Easter Hat Parade. This was not just for the children. After wearing many hats during the term our teachers also participated. Creating and donning masterpieces that would put any queen’s ball to shame.

It was beautiful watching our magnificent teachers let their hair down or at least style them in a way that allows them to hold their work of art in place. Our teachers work so hard and have once again delivered on their promise, making sure that each child does not want to miss a single day of school!

The first term, which was filled by activity and learning, has been memorable for our children. We got a snap shot of what the year will look like, leaving room for pleasant surprises. We also welcomed Miss Mpumi, our new intern. We just know that her passion makes her the perfect candidate to help groom the next generation.

Final Word

To our RDPS Team, hats off to you!.
Wishing you all a very happy Easter.

Teacher Thoba & the team

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