August 7, 2015

Thank you to Pete Raubenheimer and the executive committee for their invaluable assistance linked to the appointment of the Deputy Headmistress for 2016, Mrs Marcelle M’Crystal.  As mentioned in Pete’s letter to the community, she has been at Redhill for the past ten years and we look forward to her joining our ranks.

We recently received the Grade 7 IEB MATCH assessment results and are delighted to inform you that Cara Gouws was in the top 3% for the skills paper and Sonaly Ambelal, Razina Mahomed and Georgie Woodin were in the top 3% for the creative and critical thinking paper.  Overall the girls did exceptionally well and we are extremely proud of them all.  Certificates were awarded at our final assembly.

The Grade 6 girls performed exceptionally well at the Eskom Science Expo held at Wits University last weekend.  We received four bronze (Aachal Kalidas, Maya Kapelus, Katelyn Forbay and Sonia Modi), three silver (Amy Leishman, Mia Poulter and Olive Schonfeldt) and two gold medals (Jordan Dart and Megan Cleminson).  An outstanding achievement.  Well done to all of the girls, Mrs Cottrell, Mrs Macleod and Mrs van Rooyen, who assisted with the judging.  At the expo I was delighted to see a number of old girls in the Senior School section with projects on display.

Since our last communication we have had a variety of activities on the go.  The Fathers vs Daughters Hockey match was a resounding success and much fun was had by all.  The Mandela assembly and blanket making exercise twinned with the visit of 17 teachers from the ‘Education Programme Centre’ was a truly rewarding, sharing opportunity.  Gail Dore visited us and spoke about bullying, having recently launched her book ‘Bully Proof’.  The PA Film Premier, ‘Minions’ was a resounding success and we thank Thenjiwe Nhlapo and her team for an excellent event.  To Nicci Seymour and her team for the amazing Paella and Wine tasting evening which was a social highlight.  The Grade 6 and 7 Hockey Festival in Pretoria was a wonderful weekend with both teams going from strength to strength.  A tremendous learning experience for all.  The Junior, Intermediate and Senior Music Concerts were lively and entertaining and a true celebration of all of the growth of musical talent at APPS.  The Afrikaans assembly celebrated the wonderful use of technology in the classroom with amazing adverts and dialogues from Grade 5, 6 and 7 girls.  The visit from the Johannesburg Ballet in the last week was a highlight for many of the girls.  The parent interviews went well and I am pleased to note that most of the girls are working to their potential and doing wonders.  May this continue next term. The Mini Council have had their Prefects dinner and invited some of the other Grade 7 girls to sample what goes on at Council.

The school play “Mary Poppins” was once again outstanding.  Sincere thanks to the wonderful team responsible for this brilliance.  In particular Mrs Romy Levin, Miss Ally Gericke, Mrs Marion Spanos, Mrs Chrizelle van Rooyen, Mama Ndaba, Mrs Sam Morrison and Mrs Alethea Williams for their amazing work linked to the costumes and make-up.  The girls were so vibrant and up-beat on stage and made one truly proud.  Well done.

Tammy Coetzee is currently in Las Vegas representing South Africa in the Tang so Doo World Championships.  We wish her all of the very best.

Sadly Mrs Jess Gultig will be leaving APPS at the end of the year.  She has been appointed as a Grade 4 teacher at St John’s from 1 January 2016.  As some of you may know she has two sons at St John’s and this move will certainly assist the family.  She has been a loyal, committed, excellent class teacher and Netball coach for the last nine years.  She has also been the staff representative on the school Executive.  She will be sorely missed by us all.

Wishing you all a wonderful August break with plenty of time for family and friends.  Enjoy what you are passionate about, be it reading, going to movies, visiting friends, making discoveries, researching further  or securing hobbies.  ‘Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’ – Harvey MacKay.

Yours sincerely
Mrs Brenda Howden

August 7, 2015

 ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can choose to change the world’ – these are the words of a wise man, our father of the nation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.  For our 67 minutes here at APPS, we decided to give blankets to a charity of our choice, we cut little tassels on the end and paired up with a different grade then tying knots at the end of each tassel.  I do think that these blanket swill be cherished by our charity and I hope it keeps them warm throughout the winter months.
Mitali Mistry and Angela van der Riet – Grade 7

August 6, 2015

Senior Music Concert
My favourite time of the year has arrived again.  The music concert.  Preparing for hours on end, and then it’s over in a few impermanent minutes.  Knowing I was going first, I was scared out of my wits.  As I got up I decided to be confident instead of doubtful.  Once I was playing I was somewhere else in my own wonderland, nobody could shout at me, no-one could tell me what to do.  I’m so lucky that I get to perform twice and that my parents have given me the privilege to learn how to play music.  So that’s why I say music is my passion not just a hobby.
Ruby Jenkins – Grade 5G

August 6, 2015

Being on the Johannesburg Mini Council has been an eye opening experience.  We have made many friends who share the same interest in charity work as we do and we have been to many events and spent time with all the other councillors.  One of our favourite events was going to an underprivileged old age home and seeing smiles on their faces, this is because we are both on the Smile Committee.  Having contributed to this worthy cause, we hope we have inspired future Johannesburg Mini Councillors and lived by our motto “we are the inspiration to our generation.”
Reese Van Achter and Jocelyn Morrison – Grade 7

August 6, 2015

Grade 7
The Grade 7 girls of 2015 produced a phenomenal production of Mary Poppins and thoroughly enjoyed doing it.  The thrill of being the stars of the show was a real privilege.  The Grade 7 girls enjoyed the last performance together as the girls of 2015.  Overall we had four performances, three of which were 

in the evening.  It was lights, camera, action for all the girls, from the endless rehearsals to tricky choreography, it all paid off in the end.  The girls contributed and put on a great show and gave it their all which led to producing a wonderful remake of the classic old time favourite Disney film.  The experience enlightened us about responsibilities yet also living in the moment.  The play’s message that wishes do come true and that anything CAN happen with the power of magic, touched all of our hearts and brought back childhood memories.  Of course none of this would have been possible without our amazing drama and music teachers who continue to guide and make our performance better each time.  Every time we stepped on to the stage we felt confident.  We loved the help and support of all our teachers, parents and siblings who made it all come together.  Every single person participating in the play from Grade 4 to 7 ended the production with a smile, showing what we here at APPS are truly capable of.  A truly rewarding and humbling experience for every girl who had time in the spotlight.
Razina Mahomed and Emma Clark

Grade 6vR
This year for our APPS production we did “Mary Poppins.”  Since the beginning of the second term the adrenaline and excitement bubbled up in the Grades 4 to 7 girls as we awaited choreography and dress rehearsals.  A sprinkle of modern day songs and a variety of stunning costumes.  The Grade 7 girls were wonderfully cast with exciting roles and songs.  The Grade 4 girls were really excited about their first production.  They were toys in the nursery and they flew kites in the park.  The Grade 5 girls were great chimney sweeps.  The Grade 6 girls learnt about being Suffragettes and Bankers.  We all enjoyed the play and can’t wait for next year!
Anjali Naidoo

For our 2015 APPS play we did “Mary Poppins”.  Like every year the Grade 7 girls played the main parts in the acting roles with Grade 4 to Grade 6 girls singing, there were many songs, even a touch of modern day songs.  The play started at 6pm every evening, except on the Wednesday matinee, when we started at 2pm.  We waited in our classrooms for make up, the excitement bubbling, the moment we had all been waiting for.  After we changed, we all relaxed and watched a movie while we waited for Miss Pearson to call us.  The Grade 4 songs included:  ‘Let’s go Fly a Kite’, ‘Jolly Holiday’ and ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’.  The Grade 5 songs included:  ‘Chim Chimney’, ‘Feed the Birds’ and ‘Step in Time’.  The Grade 6 songs were:  ‘Fidelity Fiduciary’, ‘Money, Money, Money’, ‘Who will Buy’ and ‘Sister Suffragette’.  The Grade 7 girls had only two songs as they were the main acting roles.  This year the acting was amazing and they were all in their perfect positions, the costumes were outstanding and the music and singing was phenomenal.  Thank you for a great play.
Jordan Dart

Grade 6G
When I was told Mary Poppins was going to be the play I was over the moon with excitement. There and then we were given the songs we had to learn – they were Chim Chimeree, Feed the Birds and Step in Time. After a few weeks of practising the songs we went on to do the choreography with Michelle and we were taught an awesome dance. We practised day after day. We were finally ready for the dress rehearsal and we all got to watch the whole play. Mary Poppins is filled with optical illusions, UV lights and all in all it’s an awesome performance. Before each performance I had butterflies in my tummy but we ended up doing it well.
Kate Dixon

I felt a rush of excitement as we stood in the wings waiting for our time to go on stage. We were wearing our black shirts and dyed pants and we had our chimney brooms, which were actually feather dusters! I was so excited when I heard about the Mary Poppins play and even more excited when I heard we were chimney sweeps. We practised and practised until the day of the play came. We gave our all to each performance and Mrs Levin and Mrs Gericke said the Grade Fives had the most energy. In my eyes this is the best play ever!
Mia Mumbi

Grade 5H
Lights, camera, ACTION!  Mary Poppins for 2015 has begun with magic, excitement and loads of fun. We (Grade 5) are chimney sweeps, the Grade 4 girls are toys and children, the Grade 6 girls are suffragettes and businessmen and the Grade 7 girls are the main characters of course!  Hot lights and dirty faces, choreography and solos, this was going to be so much fun!  This was Grade 5 girls second school play since we did “Grease” last year. Sound effects were added which made the play even more exciting as well as backdrops.  There are amazing songs like ‘chim, chimney’, and ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ and ‘a spoon full of sugar’.  Thank you to Mrs Levin, Miss Gericke for directing and preparing the play as well as writing the script, also to Barry for helping with the lights and Michelle for helping with the choreography.  APPS presents Mary Poppins 2015!
Sarah Meddows-Taylor

Mary Poppins is the end of the year play for 2015!
The excellent idea came from our Drama and Music teachers – Mrs Levin and Miss Gericke!
The play has been brought up excellently with the help of our school moms!  They’ve designed the wonderful costumes for the seniors, Grade 4 to 7, and have prepared the make up!
The Grade 7 girls have been practising hard for the play!  They’ve been so excited, they’ve been doing their absolute best!
The Grade 4 girls (the toys) have also been excited since it is their first proper play!
The Grade 5 girls (the chimney sweeps) have been doing well with their second year of being in a proper play!
The Grade 6 girls (the suffragettes) are excellent in voting for women’s rights!
The Grade 7 girls all have a part which actually represents their character!
Everyone has been working so hard and has given their absoulute best!
The teachers deserve a lot of thanks, the same with the moms who have been involved in this special event!
This helps us to get to know each other better as well as making new friends!  APPS’s play ‘Mary Poppins’ has turned out to be a great success!
Rebecca Anagnostellis

APPS has presented a lovely musical performance called ‘Mary Poppins’.  I’ll start by saying that the performance is a lovely one.  Mrs Levin and Miss Gericke did a lovely job with the costumes and the choreography was incredible.  Watching the performance was impeccable and I wish that I could see it again!  I was a chimney sweep, a very dirty chimney sweep.  At first I wanted to be a suffragette, but I realise that a chimney sweep is much better and way more fun!  Of course Mrs Levin and Miss Gericke did a lot for the play but I couldn’t give all the credit to them because Mrs Spanos did a lot of the work herself and so did Mrs Burger and I think the girls did an amazing job!

There was also Michelle who helped with the choreography which I think is amazing!  Her incredible flexibility helped us a lot with many things and she did every single dance from Grade 4 to 7.  She put a lot of time and effort into every single play.  All the costumes were amazing and so in the theme and I think the beginning is so smart when the girl who invented Mary Poppins talks to the man who owns Disney.

Everything was amazing and I’m sure next year will be better.
Tatiana Williams

It’s a Jolly Play with Mary Poppins!
Good old Mary Poppins has stepped into the spotlight another time.  This time with the APPS Grade 7 girls
This was a wonderful play with so much work to make it perfect. “Turn on the lights!” “Sing!” “From the beginning!”  The songs were equally divided into three songs that each grade from Grade 4 to 6 sang in the middle of some parts, while the Grade 7 girls did the main parts.
The parts were brilliantly chosen because each Grade 7 did amazingly in their part with so much hard work.
There was lots of work in the background to make it perfect, with parents doing makeup, Mrs Govender doing the tickets, etc.
There were lots of great singers and musicians doing little solos in between.
I loved the play and how the Grade 5 girls and I were chimney sweeps with ashes on our face!
The teachers and parents, etc who were involved in the play worked fantastically well and had to make all of this happen and I’d like to thank them tons!
Alexia Jeffrey

My Mary Poppins Play Experience
After all the tiring rehearsals and choreography lessons came the first time we were going to do it in front of a live audience, the butterflies in my tummy were more like huge bats and I couldn’t stop shaking. I was about to go onto that stage and transform from a grade five girl in school to a chimney sweep on the streets of London.

When I got on stage, I tried to look for my parents but they were nowhere to be seen. I think my mother saw my eyes swivelling from one side of the hall to the other, because someone from the audience started to wave in my direction but I couldn’t see who it was because the lights were very dim but once they came on I knew for sure that is was my mother and after that I sang like I never sang before. Afterwards I was congratulated with a bunch of flowers, I think it was the best play I was ever in.
Anne-Marie Ohaga

Grade 4B
It was a wonderful learning experience.  I learnt that it’s a lot more fun to work in a group than alone and my favourite part was the beginning and Bert in Jolly holiday.
Megan Porter

My experience in the Mary Poppins play turned out to be amazing.  I learnt two important lessons, one that it is not about how you look, but how you act and have fun. Second, that everything is so exciting when you have kind teachers to assist and help you. I think that this year Mary Poppins was amazing.
Kelsey Richardson

Grade 4G
In the Mary Poppins play I was a toy soldier and a soldier boy.  I was so excited to be chosen as a soldier for a “spoonful of sugar”.  I was super nervous before the play while playing marbles and card games.  On the stage everyone had a lot of fun.  Even though we made a few mistakes like someone said “aint” in the middle of Bert and Mary’s duet.  Kate and my kites got all tangled up in “let’s go fly a kite”, and I nearly went on stage without a shirt!  After our performances I felt very proud of myself and everyone else.  We also got hot chocolate and pizza that I thought was very kind and a wonderful way to end the day.  On Sunday I was glad it was over, but very proud of myself as well.  I learned that if you make a mistake it’s okay, learn from it and don’t act as if it is wrong when are on stage just go with the flow.
Amber Aspoas

In the Mary Poppins play we sang the songs, “a spoon full of sugar”, “let’s go fly a kite” and “jolly holiday”.  In the song “jolly holiday”, I was a boy, my partner was Megan Porter and she was a girl.  Some people started singing while Bert and Mary were doing their solo.  I was also a bouncy ball in the scene when we sang “a spoon full of sugar”.  It was my favourite scene.  While we were in the classroom waiting to go on stage, we were playing cards, board games and marbles.  I felt really nervous and really excited at the same time.  I learned that if you make a mistake you just keep on going and no one will notice.  Altogether I think that it was a good experience and it was also very fun.
Chloe Collins

July 31, 2015

Hockey Festivals
The Grade 4 and 5 Hockey festival which took place on Saturday 11 July at St Mary’s was very successful for our APPS teams.  Both teams had many short matches against various schools.

The girls played very well and thoroughly enjoyed the morning.  Thank you to the parents for their support and congratulations to the girls who conducted themselves very well on and off the field.

Fun was had by all.

The Grade 2 and 3 Hockey festival was a fun morning with a lot of learning.  The players enjoy the festival and are very enthusiastic for their hockey next year.  Many thanks to Mrs Dane and Mrs Howden who coached and gave up their Saturday for the teams.

St Mary’s DSG, Pretoria Hockey Tour
The Grade 6 & 7 teams had a very successful tour to Pretoria where they played in the tournament that replaced the Riverside weekend. The teams stayed at the The Farm Inn and all thirty players were a credit to themselves, their parents and their school.

The Grade 7 team played exciting hockey during the weekend and had a lot of fun. The Grade 6 team improved their skills tremendously and are keen on their next trip.

Thanks go to Mrs Howden, Ms Pearson, Mrs Marecia and Mrs Dane for their assistance with coaching and valuable input.

Well done to all our players and to the Grade Sevens – keep the hockey going. Good Luck in the future.
Miss Mo Pearson

The remaining Netball that was played after our league season finished was the Inter House competition.

Some interesting facts:
120 goals in total were scored by the teams from Grade 3 to 7.  The Grade 7 girls scored 37 of these and the Grade 6 girls scored 28.
The top scoring team was the St Andrew Grade 7 girls with 17 goals, followed by the St Patrick Grade 5 girls with 14 goals.
The best goal difference (number of goals scored minus the number of goals conceded) was achieved by the St Patrick Grade 5 girls with 13 goals, followed by the St Andrew Grade 7 girls with 9, then the Grade 3 St Andrew girls with 6.  Go, the Grade 3 girls!

The winning houses in the various grades were:
Grade 3:     St Andrew
Grade 4:     St Patrick
Grade 5:     St Patrick
Grade 6:     St Andrew
Grade 7:     St Andrew

The overall winners of the Inter House Netball 2015 were:
1st :  St Andrew
2nd:  St Patrick
3rd:  St George

Well played everyone.
Miss Dot Hartmann



July 31, 2015

Grade 3V
I was in the General Knowledge Quiz and it was scary!  Madhuri, Lola and I all had butterflies.  When we got in the hall I got shivers down my back even though it was boiling hot.  I didn’t know what a lot of the questions were and I said that the capital of the USA was Texas!!  I did know quite a few of the French terms, like the sweet dessert that was made with white sugar and eggs whites, meringues, and the professional cook, a chef.  St George did very well, we came second and like always St Andrews came first.  All the girls who competed got a red, or blue or green polka dot balloon, according to what house you were in.  It was really fun and I hope to be in it next year.
Piper Jenkins

In the General Knowledge Quiz, when I found out I was chosen I was so happy, but…I was also a bit scared.  When I walked into the hall I was so scared….but when we started I felt much better.  Thankfully I got the first one right and it wasn’t that hard.  So I eventually got through it and I was fine. The only thing was to find out who won!  Mrs Hyland was taking forever to tell us who won, but when we found out I was so happy because St Andrews won.  It turns out it wasn’t that bad after all!
Madhuri Padayatri

Grade 7
The Inter House General Knowledge quiz is an annual event that is held at Auckland Park Preparatory School.  This year’s quiz questions were set by Mrs Spanos, the speaker was Mrs Hyland and the store keepers were Miss de Wet and Mrs Govender. The three houses of the school, St Patrick, St Andrew and St George, had a representative from Grades 3 to 7.  The winning house this year was St Andrew.  Everybody who witnessed this quiz had a lot of fun and was kept interested.  People on the floor were included in the questions as well.  Every house did exceptionally well.  Well done to St Andrew!
Oluchi Chauvin and Dikeletso Mutshekwane


July 31, 2015

The Grade 0 girls have been hard at work doing their 67 minutes for charity as our contribution to Mandela day.  The girls completed 67 minutes of chores at home and their generous parents paid them.  They brought this money to school on Mandela’s birthday and we will go shopping in the third term to buy art supplies for Siyabathanda Daycare Centre in Yeoville.

We also spent 67 minutes on 17 July with the rest of the school tying sewing free blankets for charity. As a school we made 67 blankets and the girls enjoyed spending time with their Grade 7 buddies. We have been impressed by the way our girls have embraced this initiative and young as they are, they are proving to be excellent South African citizens.

We went on our first outing to the Ice Age exhibition.  The girls were very good ambassadors for APPS and they all enjoyed the time we spent learning about all the creatures that lived long ago and are now extinct.  They enjoyed their first trip on a bus and a picnic lunch on the moving bus.

The girls presented speeches on “things that hatch out of eggs”.  They could choose any animal, insect or beast and the variety has been amazing.  We have heard speeches on the seahorse, the cockatiel and the crocodile, to name a few.  The standard has been excellent and the girls have enjoyed their time preparing their speeches as well as presenting them.  We have been treated to some very creative use of visual aids and it is exciting to see such young children so confident with technology.

We wish all our girls and their families a wonderful holiday.  We will see you all in the new spring term.
Mrs Morag Williamson – Grade 0W

June 26, 2015

Hockey Festivals
The Grade 6 and 7B Hockey festival which took place on Saturday 20 June at St Mary’s was very successful for our APPS teams.  Both teams had many short matches against various schools.

The girls played very well and thoroughly enjoyed the morning.  Thank you to the parents for their support and congratulations to the girls who conducted themselves very well on and off the field.

Well done to all who played.  We look forward to the Grade 4 and Grade 5 festival on the 11 July.

Hockey League
All teams, from the Grade 3 girls to the Grade 7 girls, have performed above expectations and there were some good results.  The Grade 7 A team has had a truly outstanding start to the season.  We will finish off the league games after half term.

Our success can be attributed not only to the girls’ utter determination, spirit and love for the game, but to the coaches who work hard at improving the players’ performance.  Huge thanks you to Miss Pearson, Mrs Marescia, Mrs Dane, Mrs Howden and Miss Bushell.

Touring Durban Girls’ College
Durban Girls’ College played a Hockey and Netball match against the Grade 7 girls on 24 June.  We would like to thank the families who billeted our visiting girls and to Mrs Seymour, Mrs Roy and Mrs Brink who put on the most wonderful lunch for our visitors.  You ladies are wonderful – thank you.
Miss Mo Pearson

The Grade 3 to 7 girls have just finished their Netball season and we fielded a minimum of three teams per age group and in the younger grades we were able to field four teams.  All the Grade 3 girls played in their first matches for APPS.

All in all we played five matches against various schools, winning some, drawing some and losing a couple.  The girls are to be commended on their enthusiasm and energy on the court.  Keep on enjoying the game, girls.

We wish to thank Mrs Witbooi, Mrs Spencer, Mrs Govender, Mama Ndaba, Mrs Cottrell, Miss de Wet, Mrs van Rooyen and Mrs Gultig for their professional and passionate input into all the teams.  It is awesome to see that in a school of our size, we can rely on so many teachers to manage and look after a whole age group.

We attended festivals at Crawford Prep with the Grade 3 and 4 girls and on two separate Saturdays, we played at Holy Rosary with all the grades.  These Saturdays were invaluable to the girls and a lot of fun was had.  A big thank you to all the coaches for giving up their Saturdays so we could participate on so many weekends.

We are now busy playing our Inter House matches.  The Grade 4 and 5 girls completed their matches before half term.  The other grades will play after half term.  (These will be confirmed in due course).

Netball practices will carry on after half term for the Grade 3, 6 and 7 girls until further notice.  There will be no more practices for Grade 4 and 5 girls on Mondays.

After half term Thursdays will work as follows:
Grade 3 and 4:  13:30 to 14:30;
Grade 5 to 7:  14:30 to 15:30.
We will play internal matches on these days.

The Grade 1 and 2 girls have also been busy practising Netball.  Thank you to Miss Seebregts for coaching the Grade 2 girls and Mrs Macleod and Miss Murray for coaching the Grade 1 girls.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents for helping us with transport to the various venues and for all the support throughout the season.

Well played to all the girls – keep on playing!
Miss Dot Hartmann

June 25, 2015

Dear Parents
What an invigorating, exciting, rather uncomfortable evening we had on Friday night at the Grade 5 Sleep Out.  A time to think about others and their conditions and to hopefully become a more aware, compassionate society who will endeavour to have fewer of our community on the streets and more housed and able to seek employment and opportunities than before.  This was an excellent initiative of the class teachers, Vicky Hyland and Jess Gultig.  The class are currently reading the book ‘Mpho’s Search’ about a young boy who goes to Jo’burg in search of his father only to land up on the streets and cleaning shoes to survive.  This sparked the idea of doing a similar event to that of the CEO Sleep Out.  The girls all arrived with their sleeping bags and pyjamas and were lucky enough to have hot chocolate and warm fires to set the scene.  They had been busy during the week and had raised R1 500 from shining shoes.  This money was used to buy a bite to eat from McDonalds.  Mrs Justine Malala shared a video with the girls of her BBC report on the CEO’s sleep out the night before and answered some pertinent questions linked to the event.  Members of Boys and Girls Town visited us during the evening and were delighted with the generosity of those who donated blankets which were collected from the APPS community.  After the girls had their bite to eat, Mrs Hyland read the next section of their set book and the girls were in their sleeping bags by 23:00.  Fortunately it was not as cold as we had predicted but it certainly was not the most comfortable of surfaces to attempt sleeping on.  Mrs Hyland has very kindly written an article for the ISASA Independent Education magazine which will hopefully be published shortly.  We received much coverage from the Sunday Times and the Sunday Independent.  Sincere thanks to Sam Morrison for assisting us in this regard.

We would like to welcome Miss Kate Borthwick to the music department.  She has joined us recently from Cape Town where she has been the musical director in a number of stage productions.

An excellent term of growth has occurred with involvement in a variety of events including the Grade 5 and 7 tours, the Ascension Day service at the Ridge, our feeder Nursery School Open Day, the Grade 7 Quiz, the Grade 0 parents’ picnic and the Grade 7 IEB MATCH pilot assessment.  We hosted Chatterbox and had a wonderful evening with numerous successes.  It was a good PR activity for the school.  Thank you to Mrs Baxter for her excellent organisation of the event and for the amazing team of teachers, ground staff and administrative staff who all added to the success of the evening.

Emma-Kate McCormack has run a couple of workshops with the staff, assisting them with coping mechanisms to deal with the added demands incurred these days.  Jackie Chetty, a lecturer at Wits, has very kindly been in to educate the staff on the use of robotics and programming to assist with problem solving.  This tied in beautifully with information which I received at the recent SAGSA Conference in Port Elizabeth where one speaker mentioned that over the last couple of years, 47% of jobs have been lost to robotics and how we need to be preparing our youth to problem solve and  to create programmes for mechanisation.  Our Grade 4 girls will be using their D & T and IT periods to build Lego items and to create programs to instruct these robots to move in different ways.  What exciting times for them all.

During assemblies we have covered the themes of love, Mother’s day, autumn, perseverance, hope, friends, Oluchi’s experience in Nepal, respecting parents, natural disasters,  World Environment day, Youth Day and Fathers’ Day.

The Music Teachers’ Soirée was an excellent evening showing the abundance of talent within our school.  Thank you to Miss Gericke, Helen Vosloo and their wonderful team for all of their efforts.

Sincere thanks to Kerry King for the outstanding speaker’s evening which she co-ordinated with John Kennedy who truly enlightened and enthralled us all when speaking on his run through Iceland.

You will be pleased to learn that the girls have all benefitted from a longer break at 10:30 and are having more time to reconnect with friends and eat prior to their next lessons.

Please ensure that your daughter is either in her full school uniform or full tracksuit when arriving at school.  She may wear a tracksuit when the temperature high for the day is 17°C or less.  She must not be seen off the APPS property in half of the uniform.  Please ensure that all items are clearly marked and that no toys are brought to school.

A big thank you to Mrs Caroline Schnell for her enormous efforts linked to the roll out of the new tracksuits.  They look fantastic and the girls say they are so much warmer and smarter.  There is no compulsion to purchase the new tracksuit right away as they will be phased in gradually.

We have had a very busy Netball, Hockey and Chess term with mixed results on all scores.  The sports policy has been updated and is available on the communicator for your perusal.  Some parents have mentioned that the Grade 3 and 4 girls would appear to be out of their depth on the netball court.  Please bear in mind that we are a small school and that most of our girls are afforded the opportunity to play.  This is not necessarily the case at other schools.  Perhaps I should take the advice of one of our moms who sent me the following sign to put up around the school:

These are kids
This is a game
The coaches are volunteers
The referees are human
This is not the World Cup

On this note, have a wonderful sporting half term.  I am off to watch my son play Inter Varsity hockey in Pietermaritzburg and shall take heed of the above message.

Yours sincerely
Mrs Brenda Howden