As I write, the leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, children are in winter uniform and darkness surrounds us as we drive to school in the mornings. Despite predictions of a cold winter, May was unusually warm compared to previous years. The first few days of June have been icy and children dropped early in the mornings head for Mrs Hoggan’s classroom for shelter and warmth.
Term 2 has been a very busy term with many sound accomplishments. Early in the term, children in Grades 1 to 4 wowed the crowds at the Rietondale has Talent Evening; singing, dancing, poetry and playing musical instruments was done with tremendous confidence and finesse. What a wonderful evening! The Junior Games Afternoon had the little guys on the hop and proved, once again, to be a popular addition to our calendar. Our little bell ringers entertained and delighted our grandmothers and grandfathers at their morning tea and parents and staff at an impromptu concert. Their faces were a picture to behold; serious concentration and looks of utter accomplishment after each rendition of a musical item; wonderful to witness and so good for the children. Mrs Lello plans to upgrade her bells and expand the group and we can look forward to many musical inserts at functions in the future. Bravo little ones, Bravo! Our netball girls deserve special mention as well. They’ve had a good season with the Under 12A team winning all matches and the Under 13A side winning the trophy at the La Montagne Winter Sports Evening; the girls were fired up, motivated and played superb netball. Well done to Ms Masengi, the lady in charge of netball, and Mrs Witbooi who helps to coach the Under 12 side. Soccer and rugby have had mixed fortunes this season, but we are happy to have enough players to field a bulletjie rugby side. It is so important to start at a young age and, who knows, there may be another Jan Van der Merwe in their ranks. Two of our senior boys have the potential of taking their rugby to stratospheric heights, Dylan Van Wyk and Kyle Meadows. We will watch their rugby careers with great interest and pride, knowing that it all began at Rietondale. We extend sincere thanks and appreciation to Mr Du Toit, our Sports Officer, for the very many hours he spends organising, encouraging and supporting sport at the School.
Governing Body members have met on three occasions and are well on their way to making a real difference at the School. They’re a talented group of people with many diverse skills and will always serve the best interests of our community. We wish them all the best under the inspired and able leadership of Chairperson, Mr Mark Kingon. The PTA has worked extremely hard this term by helping teachers and serving children at the ever popular Cake and Candy sales and mini sport tournaments. We extend gratitude to Mrs Deliyiannis and her crew of devoted helpers. Many fathers and mothers have been involved in mini sport activities and they also deserve our thanks and appreciation. We set a record this year by hosting 52 mini soccer teams at a morning tournament and thank Messrs Du Toit, Diepering and Deliyiannis for masterful organisation of what must have been one of the biggest mini soccer tournaments in Gauteng. Former learner, Bongani Khumalo, of Bafana Bafana fame, would have been proud of many of the slick moves and team spirit.
Towards the end of the term we wished Mrs Loggenberg well with her pregnancy and the impending birth of little Nina. Mrs C Oosthuizen, in her very professional way, has effortlessly assumed the reins in Grade 4 English. We look forward to Mrs Loggenberg’s return in 4 months time. Mrs Wall is in the family way and we wish her well with her pregnancy; her baby is due towards year end and we already have someone in mind for her position in Grade 3. Yes, Mr and Mrs Hoggan are the proud grandparents of a bonny little boy named Benjamin Daniel Hoggan. Whooooopeeeee! Recently, we appointed Ms Keitumetse Moncho as a Teacher Assistant in the Intersen. Ms Moncho is well known to many parents at the Aftercare Centre, as she worked there for the past 3 years. We wish her well with her new duties and trust that all will make her feel extremely welcome in the mainstream of the School.
The admission process for the 2016 academic year has been progressing very smoothly and we already have hundreds of applications to the School. Last year, we had approximately 1 500 application forms taken for 150 places in Grade 1 and we project that there could be more than this when the late register closes at the end of 2015. What a compliment to the School!
An African language, yet to be chosen, will be introduced next year in Grade 1. Apart from time allocated per week, two hours, and that it will be progressively phased in at the School, we have very little other details. We will keep you informed. Many thanks to the moms and dads who religiously support their children at Parent Consultation Days and other functions at the School; time invested will reap grand rewards in the future. We salute you! Governing Body members are still hard at work looking to the establishment of Grade R. As concrete progress is made, we will keep you informed. Regular visitors to the property have no doubt seen the two large containers near the tennis courts. Shortly, they will be painted and decked out with shelving for storing textbooks and the like. Phase 2 of the CCTV security system will commence shortly and we thank Messrs Kingon, Lowe and Donald for the many hours of planning and other input.
Many blessings to all families and a Rietondale welcome to parents and learners who joined the School recently; we trust that your time with us will be happy and fruitful.
I leave you with this thought :
God created the teacher
On the 6th day, God created men and women. On the 7th day, he rested. Not so much to recuperate, but rather to prepare himself for the work he was going to do on the next day. For it was on that day – the 8th day – that God created the FIRST TEACHER.
This TEACHER, though taken from among men and women, had several significant modifications. In general, God made the TEACHER more durable than other men and women. The TEACHER was made to arise at a very early hour and to go to bed no earlier than 11pm, with no rest in between.
The TEACHER had to be able to withstand being locked up in an air-tight classroom for six hours with thirty-five “monsters” on a rainy Monday. And the TEACHER had to be fit to correct 103 papers over Easter vacation. Yes, God made the TEACHER tough … but gentle, too. The TEACHER was equipped with soft hands to wipe away the tears of the neglected and lonely students.
And into the TEACHER God poured a generous amount of patience. Patience when a student asks to repeat the directions the TEACHER has just repeated for someone else. Patience when the kids forget their lunch money for the fourth day in a row. Patience when one-third of the class fails the test.
And God gave the TEACHER a heart slightly bigger than the average human heart. For the Teacher’s heart had to be big enough to love the kid who screams, “I hate this class – it’s boring!” and to love the kid who runs out of the classroom at the end of the period without so much as a “goodbye,” let alone a “thank you.”
And lastly, God gave the TEACHER an abundant supply of HOPE. For God knew that the TEACHER would always be hoping. Hoping that the children would someday learn how to spell … hoping not to have homework class duty … hoping that Friday would come … hoping for a free day … hoping for deliverance.
When God finished creating the TEACHER, he stepped back and admired the work of His hands. And God saw that the TEACHER was good. Very Good! And God smiled, for when he looked at the TEACHER, he saw into the future.
He knew that the future is in the hands of the TEACHERS. And because God loves TEACHERS so much … on the 9th day God created … HOLIDAYS.
~ Author Unknown ~
R D Hoggan