It is indeed a privilege for me to deliver my Principal’s Report to you on our 2019 school year:
Nobody can manage a school if there are a lack of funds. This year the staff, learners and parents went the extra mile with fundraising projects: For the first time in many years we held a Gr. R-3 Grandparents Day and it was followed by our successful Bazaar. The Gr. 7 class held an Entrepreneurs Day and donate their profit of just more than R5 500 to the school. Civvies, hotdogs and cooldrink days was held on a termly basis and who will ever forget the wonderful Civvies we hosted to support our Springboks. Cookie days and normal tuck shop forms part of all the fundraisings projects. From 2020 we will change the fundraising projects slightly, I already heard about a hot night, movies night, etc. We have made a promise last year to uplift sport as part of extra-murals in our school. We kept to our promise and I am extremely proud to reflect on what happened on the sporting field. We took part in the Albany Athletics Day and the Frans Erasmus u/13 Rugby and Netball tournament. Lelihle Matyolweni was selected in the Albany u/13 Primary Schools Rugby team and they participated during the June Holidays in the Eastern Cape Rugby tournament that was held at Marlow in Cradock. Soccer and Basketball has been played on a weekly basis at St. Andrews College. Earlier in this term we also took part for the first time in a Mini Cricket Tournament, played some mini-cricket matches against schools like Kingswood and Graeme. One of the highlights of the sport season was our matches away from school with a bus trip to the sea and the rugby and netball matches vs Port Alfred Primary.
On the cultural side our choir practice daily to be part of the Makana Choir Festival and it was with disappointment that it was cancelled on the last minute. Twenty five of our learners took part in the Shakespeare Festival and work together with the Rhodes Drama Department. The outcome was excellent and we have received many compliments. We were the only primary school that took part in this Drama Festival. I have negotiated with a parent who is willing to bring a new culture activity to the school in the form of gumboot dancing. During Mandela Day Celebrations we reached out to the community and visited the elderly by providing them with soup and bread at the Raglan Road Community Centre. We also visited two families after their houses with all furniture and food was completely destroyed in a devasting fire. We gave food parcels to them. We have participated in many academic programs and entered learners in Maths, Technology and Science projects. Some learners also took part in a Spelling competition. Academic Excursions was part of our academic program and our Gr. 5’s visited Amakahla Game Reserve. Early in the term our Grade 5 class also did a historical tour in the Cathedral building while our Grade 7 class visited the VW Auto Pavilion in Uitenhage. At the beginning of the year our Gr. 7 class attend a Gr. 7 Leadership Camp at Hobbitons in Hogsback and earlier in the term our Gr. 6 class went on a Leadership Camp at Fairewood. Our Foundation Phase classes attended a play at VP and Rhodes and also went to the museums. The opening of the Academic Year, Ash Wednesday and our Birthday Service in the Cathedral were attended in big numbers and as an Anglican School we work close together with the Cathedral. We can announce tonight that our prize-giving will be in the Cathedral from next year, this will save a big amount of money and I want to thank the Anglican Church Dioceses for this wonderful news. The new Director of Music at the Cathedral, Mr. Cameron Luke, is auditioning Good Shepherd Learners from Grades 4 to 7 for the Cathedral Choir, we want to motivate our learners to participate and make use of this wonderful opportunity.
We are part of the St. Andrews Community Outreach Programme and I want to thank them for transport, the organizing of the Clubs at St. Andrews and their overall involvement in our school. It is my privilege to announce that we have just received the fantastic news that the staff and boys of SACS will donate 132 pair of brand-new shoes to the Good Shepherd learners, this will be delivered to the school at the end of this month and will then be distributed among our learners.
We want to encourage all parents to discipline their children to read, read and read. How can one learn for a subject if you cannot read. Statistics showed that a good reader is academically good. Take this opportunity and support our well resources library. We have received almost 100 new books from the Rotary Club of Uttoxeter in the UK and children can now enjoy reading some new books. All books are now computerized and Mrs. Venn and her volunteers are doing an amazing job. We urge parents to see that all books must be handed in next week, a R80 penalty or fee is payable for learners that do not want to adhere to this rule.
The Numeracy Chair of Southern Africa working together with the Rhodes Univ Educ. Dept will now be assisting additional resources in Grade 1 from 2020. This year they have assisted with Gr. 2 and Gr. 3. The entire Foundation Phase will benefit from next year, my appreciation to Mrs. Roxanne Long for Rhodes Educ. Dept. Number Sense will also be implemented in 2020 from Gr. 1 tot Gr. 4. This amazing maths program deal in a different way with the traditional algorithms. Yes these four classes in future will be fluidity and flexible with numbers, they will experience the sense of what numbers mean and the ability to perform mental mathematics and to look at the world and make comparisons. We are the first no fee school in our city to follow this program and we follow in the footsteps of St. Andrews Prep, Kingswood, Graeme and Victoria Primary. Thank you to the Trust Manager, Mrs. Meiklejohn, who found donors to donate already R20 000 of the R27 000 to start the Number Sense Program.
We also received a small amount from the DOE to spend on maintenance on our school buildings. Last weekend we painted the passages from the staff room to the school hall and also the school hall as you can see. Engineers discovered a small structure failure at our main school building and the Trust will finance the repairs to it. I have already motivate a submission to the DOE that their will be no official school from Monday 25 Nov up to Friday 6 Dec as the CM Heunis Building Contractors must start working with the repairs.
Thank you to all volunteers, stakeholders, shareholders and just ordinary people who want to invest in our school to give our children hope for the future. I can keep you busy for very long to tell you more about the Social Skills Program for Gr. 6, the Religios Education, Remembrance Day Parade, The involvement of the Anglican Diocese in our school, remedial teaching, therapist programs, Sifunda Kunye, Acadamic Tracking Records, Dibels and many more.
The staff will have a strategic planning session for 2020, early in December. One of the focus points will be a better discipline system, it may come to the point where we will be forced to install security cameras in classes. Lastly I want to take this opportunity to congratulate 99 percent of our parents on the quality children you have, children that want to achieve success and want to make a difference in their own lives. I appreciate parents who make the positive difference at their house holds and that they do believe that good manners starts at home, as well as good discipline. I salute the following committees and individuals on their wonderful work, help, guidance and assistance throughout 2019: The District Director of the Sarah Baartman District, Mr. Godlo, our Circuit Manager in Grahamstown, Mrs. Xalabile and other staff at the District Office for all your guidance, advice, help and administrative duties. Our School Governing Body and specifically the chairman, Mr. Kwakhe Maramno which I will almost communicate with on a daily basis.
The Good Shepherd Trust and specifically the Trust Chairman, Prof Antrobus and the Trust Manager, Mrs. Cathy Meiklejohn for all your loyalty. The School Management Team: Mrs. Christian (HOD), Ms. Veliti and Ms. Siwa for all your support and integrity. Our qualified staff, Ms. Hillier, Mrs. Green, Ms. Gush, Ms. Botha, Mr. Mata, Mr. Accom, Ms Ngqandu and Ms. Gongqobe for all the long hours and your care for our parents most precious gifts from God. You are all winners in your own right, I salute you! Ms. Samantha Galada our secretary for all the admin and also your loyalty towards me and the staff. Ms. Galada will leave us at the end of the year to take up a new position at the District Office in Fort Beaufort. Mr. Buthi Sofiso our functional caretaker who is always walking around with a huge and sincere smile. You are just doing a great job and always doing more than your job description.
Ms Funika Madolwana the Gr. R Assistant and Cleaner. You are one of those people who are so proud of your job. Thank you Funika.
The Meal Servers, Jenna and Cherill for tasty food and the extra hours for the preparing breakfast. You are amazing, thank you that you are giving our children nutrious meals and that you are always smiling when you dish up the food.
The Anglican Diocisis for your spiritual advice and that you are just always their to inspire and guide us through the word of God.
All other stakeholders who wants to contribute and just make our Good Shepherd Learners very proud to be in the best no-fee school in Grahamstown. I also salute you for many hours without any payment, stipends, etc.
We are one successful team at GSS and will not allow the small jackals to destroy the educational vineyards, we will keep on focusing on the positive things and therefore we will strive to achieve our vision, mission, goals, norms and standards, all in favor of our children.
I cannot ask for a better place and school to be, I am a proud principal of this effective school in Huntley Street, I am so blessed. I salute all of you.
Enjoy your Festive Season with all your loved ones and let us focus to be good to each other rather than to focus on all the materialism around Christmas.
Location: Good Shepherd Primary School
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa