February 18, 2016

Grade 6 Leadership – Term 1, 2016:
Congratulations to the Grade 6 leaders for Term 1:

Class Captain:  Sarah Meddows-Taylor
Deputy Class Captain:  Asia Morais

House Captains:
St Andrew:  Kerry Gilmour
St George:  Ayanda Malala
St Patrick:  Ruby Vos

February 18, 2016

It has been a very busy start to the term for the Grade 0 girls at APPS.  The first day of school was filled with much excitement and a few nerves for the Penguin and Flamingo classes.  The Grade 0 girls have settled in well, making friends and learning the new routines of school life.  We have covered ‘Our School’ and ‘Our Body’ with many arts and crafts as well as learning our sounds, ‘l’, ‘b’, ‘h’ and ‘k’.  The girls have enjoyed baking, computers, music, swimming, library and gym.  We have also been lucky enough to have JEFA (Junior Engineers for Africa) join us to teach our girls some basic robotics and engineering using Lego.

The Grade 0 Games Evening was very successful.  All the parents did well (although some found it quite tricky!)  It was a great opportunity for parents to see the different games their daughters play, to mingle with other parents and get to know the teachers.

The APPS Walkathon was great fun!  Mrs Howden led the Grade 0 girls around the school walking with their decorated hats and everyone participated with enthusiasm.  Thanks to the Parents’ Association for all the hard work that went into this event.

It has been a wonderful start to the term, enjoy the break!

Comments about their First Day:

  • I liked how I coloured my parrot.  I liked my classroom and my teacher.  I also liked the friends I made; 
  • I found a new friend, she was being so nice to me.

Miss Caroline Strauss – Grade 0

February 18, 2016

Can you believe that it is half term already?  What a whirl wind start to the year, extremely busy but productive.  Our new staff and girls have settled in beautifully and we have already had so much to celebrate.  The Parents Information Evenings, Grade 7 Leadership Workshop and braai, Grade 6 and 7 iPad Workshop, Chatterbox, Chess, Tennis, Swimming Galas and Ash Wednesday Service at The Ridge have ensured that we have all been engaged from the onset.

As you are all aware I have just returned from an exhilarating time in New York where I had the privilege of attending the Global Girls’ School Forum and visiting Nightingale Bamford and Spence School.  I am delighted to inform you all that we are right up there and on track in most avenues and I have one or two exciting ideas to share with the staff and girls which we will hopefully implement in the school day.  The schools we visited truly value academic stretch, developing a strong voice, having abundant opportunities, having a sense of community, diversity, values, relationships and citizenship.  The Conference themes encapsulated leadership, health, wellness and inclusion, STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics as an integrated approach to learning, Civic and Community engagement, Classroom Innovation and Strategic school advancement.

What I have taken from the conference is that women are the backbone of society and we need to unite and be one.  Globally, we all experience the same issues.  The world would appear to have become smaller with greater interdependence and interconnectivity.  Girls need to navigate their independence and their individuality.  We need to link activities to the social, economic and financial world so that girls are able to manage their own space going forward.  They need to be able to navigate their own destiny.  We are dealing with the jobless generation, 40% to 70% of jobs will be automated within the next decade and the youth will have between six to ten careers in their life span.

As a result the girls will need to become more flexible, adaptable, resilient, fearless, take risks and not be so perfectionistic.  They need to ask for help, stop keeping their feelings inside and be discouraged from spending too much time on over-preparation.  We will need to build on their coding skills and ensure that they are technologically savvy.  We as adults need to delete sarcasm from our vocabulary and convince girls that we truly care.  Health and wellness underpin academic performance.  Too many children have inactive lifestyles as a result of too much technology.

Adrianne Huffington said that time out makes us more effective.  Stress, sleep deprivation and burn out are not elements for success.  She advocates that wellbeing, wisdom, wonder, giving, being valued and working hard are elements for success.

I look forward to implementing a few new ideas in LO lessons around transformation and self esteem and a more cross curricular approach to STEAM.  I have already shared a power point presentation with the girls on Monday and look forward to holding one for interested parents next Thursday 25 February from 07:00 to 07:30 in the school hall.

I returned to an exciting Swimathon and Walkathon organised by our amazing PA.  Sincere thanks to Janet Bloom and her wonderful committee.  Great fun was had by all!  This was followed by our Grade 0 Assessment Day on Saturday 13 February where we had a bumper attendance and there was so much excitement and positivity from outsiders about the school.  They loved our Grade 6 and 7 girls who showed them around so willingly and shared many of their experiences.  I am now faced with the daunting task of placements for 2017!

This week we have had the exciting JEFA (Junior Engineers for Africa) team with us and the girls have loved learning about wheels, fulcrums, levers, building towers and cars.  They have loved this interactive process linking practical work with Lego.  Sincere thanks to Kay Cottrell for initiating this project.  It is so in line with the thinking and work which I have just observed overseas.

My sincere thanks to all parties concerned for ensuring that the APPS flag flew high in my absence and particularly to Marcelle M’Crystal for her amazing job.  Sincere thanks to Pete Raubenheimer and the School Executive for availing me of this wonderful opportunity to venture overseas.  Now to set the course for our beautiful ship for the next 5 years!

Wishing you all a wonderful half term with plenty of special family time.  Hopefully my body clock will have adjusted by our return.

Mrs Brenda Howden

December 2, 2015

Every year the Grade 7 girls have a poetry evening where we share all our poems we have written in the year.  Every girl says her individual poem and a group poem which is put together with about three to four girls in a group, they write about their experiences at APPS.  Every girl anticipates this evening with great excitement.

We sit in the music garden and all the parents bring picnics and eat while watching us preform.  This year we added music that every girl had created on an app called Garrage Band.  After the poems we thanked the two teachers who had been involved – Mrs Baxter and Mrs Marescia.  We all thoroughly enjoyed the evening and we thought it was a huge success!
Emma Brink and Keto Jenkins

December 2, 2015

Dear Parents
My, what a bumper year 2015 has been.  The following poem which I wrote in the recent 2015 magazine sums up all of the amazing happenings of the year.

“APPS has had another great year
Firing on all cylinders and in top gear.
Amazing staff who mentor, encourage and cajole
And get the best out of every girl in the school.
Girls who produce work second to none
Academics, sport and culture they’re number one.
With IEB, MATCH and IBT certificates galore
Who could ask for anything more.
Chatterbox, General Knowledge and the Science Expo
Oh so exciting, innovating, they continue to grow.
The Afrikaans ‘borg ‘n woord’ competition set in term one
Allowed creative juices to run – the girls having such fun.
The introduction of robotics to problem solve
Has energised, excited and allowed creative thinkers to evolve.
Awesome initiatives like the Grade 5 Sleep Out
Make all more aware of the hardships of those without.
Our Tata Madiba assembly and the amazing blanket making
Encourages all to think about giving and not just taking.
Heritage Day celebrating our environment was a great hit
With every child decked in their national kit.
Activities like this unite us all and make our diverse tapestry one
Out in the glorious African sun.
Our chess girls thrashed their dads to commence the year
And subsequently have had many a success and seldom a tear.
The ‘Top Choral Group in Gauteng’ was won by Grade Four
With an exceptional poem depicting creation and so much more.
‘Mary Poppins’ the senior play was outstanding, an awesome treat
Highlighting Grade 4 to 7 girls in drama and the music was upbeat.
The Grade 0 and Junior Play,‘Mr Fox’, was vibrant and happy, oh such fun
Celebrating our youngsters and how far they have come.
Music concerts, Soirees, Festivals, combined items at the Ridge
Excellent opportunities to profile the school and form a communal bridge.
Every sporting discipline has worked hard and held its own
With many Provincial representatives and such passion has grown.
A beautiful picture now hangs in the Music Centre
A tribute to Kath Salgado and the amazing time that she spent here.
The extension of the field now means more space to play
At break time, sleep outs and especially Sports Day.
We thank the Executive for all that they have done
To improve facilities which can benefit everyone.
Our Easter service and recent Xmas Carols at St Thomas’s church
Ensure that faith, values and morals at APPS find their worth.
Mrs Baxter retires after eleven exceptional years of selfless, dedicated service
We thank and applaud her for her commitment, loyalty and valued contribution.
May you be amazed by what unfolds in the pages to come
And may 2016 be even more crazy and fun!”

In addition to this, I would like to applaud the English teachers from Grade 3 to 7 who entered the SACEE writing competition.  We had 13 winners and won the overall trophy for the second year in a row, a truly amazing feat.

The end of term has been a flurry of activities with numerous Grade 7 items, assessments, the wonderful Grade 1 to 3 Play, the poetry evening, Ping-Pongathon, Speech Night, Leavers’ Party and Carol Service.

Our sincere thanks go to Natasha Thorp, an APPS old girl, who was the guest speaker on Speech Night.  She is currently a newsreader on the SABC and gave the girls a lot to think about as they leave the security of APPS and prepare for senior school.

The Leavers’ Party was absolutely superb.  Our sincere thanks go to Marion Spanos,Martine Kemp and their team for an amazing job.  The hall and surrounds were transformed into a Winter Wonderland of note.  The Grade 7 girls looked exquisite in their dresses and the Grade 6 girls were delightful as the waitresses.  The Grade 6 parents are thanked for running the bar and for providing a delicious meal for the evening.

Sadly, 13 girls will be relocating at the end of the term.  Most of them will be moving to other parts of the globe.  We wish them all of the very best in their future endeavours.  They know that they are more than welcome to return to APPS at any time.  We wish all of the Grade 7 girls and their parents all of the very best at their senior schools and know that they will all keep in close contact with us at APPS.  Four teachers, namely Mrs Baxter, Mrs Hyland, Mrs Gultig and Mrs Williamson will also be leaving APPS at the end of the year.  Mrs Williamson will be going to teach Grade 1 at St Katharine’s, Mrs Gultig will be joining her sons at St John’s, Mrs Hyland will be venturing to teach Grade 5 boys at Pridwin and Mrs Baxter will be retiring.  We thank them for their invaluable service, loyalty and dedication to APPS over the years and wish them all of the very best for the future.

As you may have seen, the builders have commenced the demolition of the houses on the two properties which we have just acquired bordering the school field.  This should be completed early in the New Year.

A reminder that we commence the New Year on Wednesday 13 January at 07:30.  We are looking to have a slightly different format for the swimming gala next year.  We intend to have some Grade 3 girls and all Grade 4 to 7 girls swimming in the Inter House Gala in Term 1 and a separate Junior gala for Grade 1 to 3 girls in the third term.  More information regarding this will be furnished in the New Year.

Wishing you all a wonderful, restful and enjoyable festive season with family and friends.  Take time to smell the roses and appreciate those that really make a difference in your life.  May the true essence of Christmas, the birth of our Lord Jesus, be central to all on and around the 25 December.

Yours sincerely
Mrs Brenda Howden

November 26, 2015

Tennis
The tennis championships have now come to an end and after many exhilarating hours the results are as follows.  The Senior singles champion is Sarah Roy who beat Cara Gouws.  In the doubles championship, Sarah Roy and Cara Gouws are the winners.  In the Junior section, Alison King beat Caitlin Hudson to win the Junior Grade4/5 singles championship.

The tennis season is finished and the girls have played hard.  Well done to the A and B teams for finishing fifth out of eleven teams.  Thank you girls for playing so superbly and good luck for next year.

To all the parents who continuously help with lifts and support the players, thank you so much for everything you have done.
Miss Mo Pearson

Swimming
League galas have been extremely exciting with APPS teams swimming well and giving all others schools a run for the top spots.

We would like to wish everything of the best to the swimmers in the future, especially our Grade 7 girls.

APPS hosted the Annual Junior Primary Gala for the Grade 1, 2 and 3 level.  The APPS team came second out of eight schools.  The team swam with great determination and some girls thoroughly enjoyed their first competitive gala.  APPS swam a B Team at this gala and the girls swam very well.  Well done to all the swimmers.

A few swimmers swam in a combined gala with Pridwin and came first.

Congratulations to all the swimmers for a successful term.

To all the lifting parents, a big thank you.
Miss Mo Pearson

November 23, 2015

The Chess Club has had a very busy year with many new members and challenges for positions on the ladder.  The year ended with the Inter House Chess match.  It was an exciting three weeks of intense competition between the teams.  The final result being St Andrew with 48 points, St George coming a very close second with 47 points and St Patrick with 30 points.

Many thanks to all the parents for their support throughout the year.  To Mrs Howden and Mrs Baxter who accompany the team to matches – your encouragement is much appreciated.

We look forward to another exciting year in 2016.
Miss Gill Seebregts

November 23, 2015

My Soiree Experience
Midnight Levels is a band that Anjali Naidoo, Amy Leishman, Kelly Brown and Zahraa Ismail decided to form.  Our band was born as a result of a burning desire to perform at the Soirée evening.  We were all so excited to be in a band together, that we couldn’t wait to get started!   Anjali’s saxophone teacher, Kirstin, provided us with a piece, and it wasn’t hard to convince our pals, Kelly (piano) and Zahraa (guitar) to join the band.  We agreed on a song, ‘Shut Up And Dance’ by Walk the Moon.  We went into the music department at break everyday to practice together and try and perfect it prior to our audition.

Our band comprised of Anjali on Saxophone, Kelly on Piano, Zahraa on Guitar and Amy on the Drums.  After a few weeks of hard practicing, (at houses on the weekend and after school) we made the cut for the Soirée and were all so excited and thrilled that we had made it this far!

We enjoyed working together with our friends and after our performance, we got great comments from parents, girls and teachers to say that we were amazing and sounded great.   We really gelled as a band and I think we complimented one another very well.  It was a great feeling seeing our names and band name in the lineup.  We would like to thank Kirstin and Miss Gericke for believing in us and for giving us this opportunity.  This is just the beginning…  We will definitely be working on some more songs together to perform!
Amy Leishman and Anjali Naidoo – Grade 6vR

My Junior Music Concert Experience
For the junior music concert, I played the Surprise Symphony by Haydn.  Miss Borthwick played the piano while I played the flute.  I practiced every day at home and had a few practices at break with Miss Borthwick.  I really enjoyed playing in the music concert and my flute teacher, Helen said I did really well.  I love playing the flute.  My Mum and Dad were really proud of me!
Kate Leishman – Grade 2W

Intermediate Concert
I enjoyed playing in the music concert.  I played “And the Cradle Will Rock” on the drums.  I woke up very early in the morning – at about 05.00 – so that I could practice.  I hit the drums so hard that the neighbours phoned us.  When I arrived at school I was excited.  I was the last person to go on stage and I had so much fun.  I loved the rhythm of my song.  My best part was when everyone cheered for me!
Chloe Collins – Grade 4G

I practiced and practised until finally I got it right.  I practiced with Charmelle, at home, and even with my fingers while I was waiting in the hall.

I was the first one up.  While I was performing I thought just stay calm and remember your notes.  You’ve got this, breathe and just pretend that you’re playing in Charmelle’s room or at home.

I started playing and I felt good, but I did a few mistakes in the beginning, but in the end I did fine.

I felt a bit disappointed because of my mistakes, but then I told myself everybody makes mistakes.  In the beginning I felt nervous until my name was called and said:  “This is it, I can do this.”  I really enjoyed the experience of being in the intermediate concert, especially because I also got to sing.
Anna Titterton – Grade 4B

Senior Music Concert
This year’s music concert was very different to any other we’ve had at APPS before.  There was a large variety of instruments, from singing to drums to saxophone and much more.  I really enjoyed preparing for the concert and listening to all the other girls perform their pieces.  There were some interesting self-compositions and we can definitely see some Adeles and Taylor Swifts in the making, or as one of the girls says it, Tay Tay Swift.  All the girls played to the best of their ability and everybody has shown immense development and progress this term.  I would like to thank all the music teachers for getting us all so far.
Cara Gouws – Grade 7

November 23, 2015

Grade 4G
The night before, I was throwing all my stuff into my bag.  I was looking all over for my black pants, luckily I found them.  On the 13 October I was so nervous I thought I forgot my book.  I did find it eventually.  When we went in, the first thing I did was my reading.  Our talks were on art and then I explained the pictures.  My picture was of someone fetching their keys.  The theme was on food.  Even though it was exciting I am glad it’s over.
Kate Titterton

I was so nervous when I walked into the exam room.  The examiner saw we were feeling shaky so she told us to go and throw our nerves into the bin.  That really got us laughing and in no time I forgot I was nervous.  I think the questions she asked were not too hard yet not too easy.  When it was time to do our theme I had so much fun.  This exam taught me that you do much better if you just concentrate on enjoying the moment.
Mia Babaya

Grade 4B
The nervous train started bubbling inside me, but eventually I calmed down.  We had a very kind teacher (so that was good).  It was actually a fun exam, and we enjoyed ourselves.  I really couldn’t have had it better.  We did our speeches, the book review, impromptu speeches and our play.  I really did love the exam.
Kelsey Richardson

I loved doing the drama oral exam.  I was very worried before but it turns out I quite like having a conversation with the adjudicator, as well as our play and speech.  I thought my group did really well on our theme.  If that’s an exam then it was the best exam ever!
Chloe Wagner

November 23, 2015

Grade 4G
We went to Buffelspoort for our tour.  We did many fun activities like building a go-cart.  Lots of teamwork was involved and listening to our leaders was an absolute must and so was the use of sunblock.

Our facilitators were very kind, they didn’t shout.  The food was delicious.  One of the activities were human foozeball and our group were the champions.

Another activity involved soccer balls and we had to kick the ball into the goal to get the goal keeper out.  There were two very hard activities involving water.  The one was when we had to take a cup of water and place it on a tight cloth and walk to a bucket further away.  The other was when we had a pole with lots of holes and we had to try to keep the water in the pole using all our fingers.

On our way home we went to the cable cars in Hartebeespoort.  We had pizza and a slush drink at the top of the mountain where we watched the beautiful scenery.

Thank you to our teachers; Mrs. Govender; Miss Bushell and Miss Dane for a fantastic trip and it was amazing.
Amy-Jo Pheiffer

On Sunday night I couldn’t sleep because I knew that the next morning we were going to pack the bus and leave…

After assembly we packed the bus and left for Buffelspoort.  On the way there we stopped at the Elephant Sanctuary.  This was so amazing as we got to touch the elephants.

At Buffelspoort it was so hot, I felt like doing nothing.  We met in the hall to have a chat with our facilitators.  We were excited to go to our chalets and choose our partners for the next two nights.  Our group’s name was Revolution.  Our first activity was to build a go-cart and our team won the race.  The other activities were fun and lots of team work was involved.

I loved the food, which was delicious.  The last day’s breakfast of waffels and ice cream was a special treat.

Thank you to our teachers for an amazing trip.
Thando Maphumulo

Grade 4B
The tour was so exciting.  On Saturday I actually packed, I couldn’t sleep I was so excited!  The place we were going was Buffelspoort.  The first stop was the elephant sanctuary.  We interacted with the elephants.  At Buffelspoort there was a big slide and a giant swimming pool.  When we got back to school I was so happy to see my mum and dad again.
Sinead Erasmus

I was terribly excited for our tour.  Finally we got to Buffelspoort and as we were driving in we saw a giant slide and that made us very excited.  Tatum and I had so much fun in our group.  We went swimming and this was the our favourite part of the day because we got to go on the slide.  The tour was one of the best things I have ever done!
Sophia Pellett