Newsletter | 2nd Term 2019

Dear Friends

Another term has come to a close and we are all enjoying a crisp Winter in the Drakensberg. Our teachers share a few special stories from Term 2.

The Big5Hike

An incredibly eventful day took place on the 25th of May – The 18km, Big5Hike!

The learners at Royal Drakensberg Primary School began preparation months in advance, assisted by our creative Miss Hesté, to produce beautiful beaded keyrings as gifts to thank those who took part in the event and assisted to raise funds towards their education.

The hike took place in the hills of the Cavern Berg Resort. The Cavern very graciously let all the hikers use their beautiful facilities for the weekend. The morning was clear and quiet with a light breeze in the air. All the hikers were awake early and ready for the day of hiking five beautiful peaks above the Cavern, challenging themselves, making new friends.

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The first peak is Hlolela, which truly does its name justice as it means “A kind of beautiful”. The second peak is the majestic Battleship which is followed by Sugar Loaf with a view “to die for”. Along the way, the hikers were treated to delicious refreshments, provided by generous sponsors and friends of RDPS. Hikers summitted Cold Hill before descending into the Cave for lunch.

As RDPS teachers, we were privileged to hike to Cannibal Cavern where we were part of the lunch station with Wimpy burgers, refreshing sparkling wine and various other snacks to refuel for the final “test” of the hike to Camel’s Hump where they had magnificent views of the Amphitheatre as there was hardly a cloud in the sky.

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The descent from Camel’s Hump was relatively tough but the approximately 100 exhausted hikers made it right to the end.

All staff members and learners at RDP are extremely grateful to each person for all their effort, energy and love for our precious little school in raising money for the longevity of our school.

– Melanie van Zyl

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New Additions To The School

Royal Drakensberg Primary school is extremely grateful to the Victor Daitz Foundation for sponsoring the supply, installation and networking of brand new computers, together with UPS devices and 2 printers within our school.
At the beginning of the year, the school was visited by a member of the Victor Daitz Foundation, who identified the need for upgraded computer technology within our school. Our needs were put forward to the Foundation and we were overjoyed to have received approval to go ahead with this project.

Along with the installation of new computers and UPS devices, the school also received an upgraded internet facility, which was installed by the team at Logical Wireless to accompany the new networked system. Avalon van der Heever and his team assisted with the digging of trenches and laying the wiring for the network during the April school holidays.

The entire project was completed by the Xtranet team on the 17th of May this year. The team worked tirelessly to complete the installation and within a week, the school’s new networked system was up-and-running.

We are extremely grateful to the team of humble people who have quietly each done their part in this process, which has resulted in the incredible networked system that we now have available at Royal Drakensberg Primary School. Both the learners and the staff are going to benefit enormously from the installation. Our learners will now be equipped with skills that are necessary in our modern world.

– Sue Kraupner

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Slipper Day 2019

On Friday the 10th of May, Royal Drakensberg Primary School joined in with the rest of the country to raise awareness and funds for the Reach for a Dream Foundation to help children who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses to fulfil their dreams. Each learner and teacher was encouraged to donate R5 or more towards the foundation and to wear pyjamas and slippers to school for the day.

The day was fully embraced by the school with warm pyjamas and fun slippers seen everywhere. Each learner and teacher donated something small to the foundation. The purpose of the donation and day was explained and it was humbling to see the willingness of the learners to help others in need. Every small contribution can be used to make a big difference.

Two days prior to Slipper Day, the country had also partaken in the national and provincial elections. After explaining to the learners the purpose and importance of voting day, it was decided to complete a voting day within our school for the movie to be shown during slipper day as a treat for the learners. Miss Cari, the grade 3 and 4 teacher ran the event as an exercise in data handling, language and public speaking for her learners. The learners, in partners, chose movies to campaign for. Once they shared their views and opinions with the school, each grade had the opportunity to vote for their movie of choice. Overall, it was an interesting and exciting exercise that allowed our learners to understand more about our country and the democratic system.

The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all with focus on the importance of helping others and sharing kindness where possible. Royal Drakensberg Primary was able to donate R456 to the Reach for a Dream Foundation.

– Brittany Houghting

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Experiments In The Classroom

This term the Grade 3 and 4 learners experimented with states of matter. We had an exceptional time watching our theoretical lessons come to life. We did three experiments, each focusing on a different state of matter. The first experiment we conducted involved the exploration of gas. The learners observed how to blow up a balloon using vinegar and baking soda. The children were amazed at the rate of inflation. We then proceeded to investigate the density of different liquids. Making a liquid rainbow seemed like an easy enough task but if the liquids are combined in the wrong weight-defined order, or poured into the container too quickly, the whole experiment would be ruined. Lastly (and most deliciously), we turned liquids into solids; and there is no better way to do that than shaking up a scrumptious batch of ice cream. This was the most physically demanding experiment. Using two Ziploc bags, salt, milk, vanilla, sugar and a lot of will power we made delicious homemade ice cream.

Practical, hands on learning is a crucial part of effective learning. Our children thoroughly enjoyed as our lessons came to life, and it was a joy to watch as our children’s inquisitive eyes took in every aspect of the activities.

– Cari Swanepoel

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Teacher’s Corner

Miss Hesté Gerber – interesting facts
The last book I read was ‘A Good Year’ by Peter Mayle, an old favourite that I have read a few times. My favourite song is ‘Forever in Blue Jeans‘ by Neil Diamond. My favourite quote is “You have brain in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” Dr. Seuss – Oh the places you’ll go! A new skill that I would like to learn is how to paint with watercolour paints. Painting has always been a passion of mine but water colours are very tricky. My favourite subject at school was Art.

I loved losing myself in the projects that I had to produce. My art teacher fostered my creative talents and taught me how to solve problems in creative and innovative ways. If I could have a super power, I would like to fly. It would make visiting my family and friends who are far away so much easier as well as the benefits of cheap travel abroad. My favourite thing about being a teacher is that I laugh every single day. There is always a joke or a funny story that my learners want to share.

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A final word

2019 has been a difficult one in South Africa. Economic growth is at an all time low, unemployment figures are on the rise and life is hard for the poorest in our communities. It’s important to keep looking towards the things that do sparkle and we were incredibly fortunate to have raised R1m from our Big5Hike. Our hikers were a committed group of individuals, many that went above and beyond, and our corporate sponsors were generous with their contributions. This vital fundraiser ensures our longevity as as a small school in the Drakensberg and we are grateful to each individual who contributed. See more:

We thank you all for your continued interest and support of our school and our mission of helping grow the little people.

With warmest regards,

Megan & Loretta

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