04 August 2017

Dear Preparatory School Parents and Guardians

Welcome back to the second semester. After a long winter break, I sense that both staff and students have returned with renewed energy and eagerness to tackle the months ahead. Parents received their daughters' assessment reports via Blue Sky at the end of last term. If there are still any outstanding queries regarding your child’s progress, please do not hesitate to contact the teacher.

This term, as St Cyprian’s School prepares to host the International Round Square Conference in October, the Preparatory School will be focusing on the philosophies of this organisation, best summed up in the words of its founder, Kurt Hahn: “There is more in you than you think.” Round Square is a network of international schools who embrace a holistic approach to learning and base their teaching and learning on six IDEALS, internationalism, democracy, environmentalism, adventure, leadership and service. We believe that effective learning happens when practical collaboration is infused with a range of extra and co- curricular activities.

As part of the adventure component, our girls have been participating in an orienteering programme which was set up around the school. We have been fortunate enough to use the services of Beth Hanson, a member of the English Orienteering Team who recently took part in the World Championships. She is in South Africa by invitation of the South African Orienteering Club and has helped in training both our teachers and girls. This event has given us both a practical and exciting opportunity to develop very necessary twenty first century skills like collaboration, tenacity, interpretation, and deductive thinking in our children.

Another component of Round Square is the spirit of environmentalism. As the water crisis deepens in Cape Town, every opportunity is taken to educate the girls in water saving measures. We have asked girls to bring 2l plastic ice cream containers to school in order to capture water when washing hands. Our cleaners will use the buckets placed under sinks to decant this water for floor mopping and general cleaning. Every drop counts.

Today we hosted “crocodile whisperer”, Vincent Shacks, at an assembly where he spoke to the girls about his life story involving these reptiles. Brought up in Maun, Botswana, he has spent much time living and observing crocodiles, even scuba diving with them and filming his adventures for National Geographic. He was the first scientist to attach a go-pro to these animals to track their underwater activities and certainly brought a renewed understanding and admiration of these ancient, elusive and feared animals.

Planned for this term is a whole school focus on project based learning (PBL). PBL in a nutshell, is a teaching method in which students work for an extended time around a complex question posed to the class. A myriad of skills, covering many aspects of the subject, is required in order to come to grips with what is needed. It allows for collaborative and independent learning as the teacher monitors and guides each pupil in their individual learning journey. Our Grade 7s were given the question, How do past inventions and innovations inform the technological advancements of our own age?, which will form the basis of the study of genius, Leonardo Da Vinci. They will be required to research his medical and scientific exploration, mathematical prowess, engineering inventions and artwork in order to produce video footage, models and a piece of creative writing in which Da Vinci speaks to the Mona Lisa while she is sitting for him and an essay in which they answer the question of their investigation.

Thank you to all those parents who have volunteered to host delegates at the upcoming Round Square International Conference for High School students in October. We will be confirming each family’s contact details and hosting requirements in the following weeks and the Class Liaison Parents will be informed of critical planning as it evolves. Please note that the September holidays are from 23 September to 8 October with the Conference starting on 30 September at the ITCC before moving onto campus from 3 to 5 October.  

On a sad note, one of our teachers, Mrs Coleen Samson, will be leaving the St Cyprian’s community after teaching here for twelve years. She has accepted a post in Abu Dhabi which she hopes to start in September. She has a quiet spirit and those girls who have been through her class, have benefitted from her solid teaching and clear discipline. We wish her well as she starts this fresh challenge in her life and our deep thanks go to her for shaping and developing the minds and lives of our children over the years. The girls held a farewell party for her today which came as a huge surprise. Our girls sometimes find it hard to contain their enthusiasm and excitement, but in this case, they contained their joy till lunch time and were able to give her the sendoff she deserves.

Next week, in celebration of National Women’s Day, a group of Grade 7 Round Square girls will be leading assembly. In the spirit of leadership and service they will be reminding the girls of the opportunities and responsibilities we have as women. We will be focusing on women’s issues in the classroom and certainly there will be room for much celebration in acknowledging the progress we have made in the past few years. I wish you all a relaxed day on Wednesday when we equally reflect on the work that still needs to be done to improve the lives of women in South Africa. The girls are allowed to come to school wearing a touch of purple in their hair, as purple is a regal colour that represents dignity and strength.
Warm regards
Carol te Water


Cross Country
Congratulations to all our runners who have achieved their South Zonal Cross Country colours and will now be participating in the Western Province Trials on the 12 August –
U10: Lulu Bergström, Micayla Mockford & Ella Ten Brink
U11: Annablu Bergstrom, Phillipa Pieterse, Josie McInnes
U13: Lara Lowe and Savannah Voigt
A special well done to Lara Lowe who won a medal at the zonal trials, coming 3rd in the Under 13 age group.
Congratulations to Savannah Voigt who participated in the Western Cape Winter Short Course Championships from 21-23 July. She took part in 9 events over 3 days. Well done, Savannah!    
Congratulations to the girls who played Provincial and Zonal Hockey in the holidays.
WP A Hockey Team - Frances Bolton, Lara Lowe, Sophia Matterson
WP South Zonal A team:  Isabella Dix-Peek. This team won the tournament.
Good luck to our girls representing the WP South Zonal B team, Sophie Hanssen, Gabriella Stevenson and Kiera Matthysen, as they play this Friday and Saturday.
Congratulations to the girls who played in the Indoor Nationals in July.
U11 Sunbirds: Jenna Chemaly (Captain) and Tamsin Chemaly (Vice-captain) – This team reached the finals against the Sharks
U12 Sharks: Holly Brand
U12Sunbirds: Chloe Cross
Congratulations to Jenna Chemaly who came third in a Wilson Tennis tournament during the holidays.
Rhthymical Gymnastics
Congratulations to the following girls who competed at the District Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition:
  • Amy Levick competed on level 5 and did extremely well to make the Districts team.
  • Christina Thirion competed on level 6 and came first overall, winning a gold medal.
Both girls will now compete at the Western Cape Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships on 1 and 2 September.
All sport continues as normal next week, except on Wednesday, 9 August, as it is a public holiday. The Weekly Programme will be available on Blue Sky under the Sport Website tab.
Netball and Hockey ‘Players of the Match’ will be available on the Sport Website, accessible through BLUE SKY on the ‘Websites’ tab . It is under ‘Results & Achievements’.
U13 Zonal Hockey girls
Lara Lowe with her 3rd place medal at Cross Country Zonal Trials
U8s Cross country league race  
U10 at Cross Country Circuit Championships 
U10 at Cross Country Zonal Championships 
U11 at Cross Country Zonal Championships  
Savannah Voigt, Turin Lambrechts and Lara Lowe at U13 Zonal trials  
Savannah Voigt at the Western Cape Short Course Championships 
Winter Woollies Drive

A big thank you from the Service Dining Rooms for all the socks received by them.  They were able to hand out 131 pairs of socks.

Gemma, Sarah, Mia and Caitlyn at the Round Square Conference in Nelspruit 
Round Square girls on the river  
Grade 1RC Insects 
Eric Carle inspired birds by the Grade 1s   
Jessica Stephen - Gr 2SU Artist of the week    
Grade 2SU with their flowers inspired by Van Gogh  
Ruby Ferreira Gr 2KB dyeing her Alien Cats  
Kira Hennig Gr 2SC practising overlapping with her colourful cats
Hannah McClelland Gr 3IP - I rode to school on a giraffe  
Ella Thornton - Grade 4MDW - Proteas  
Matilda Williams Gr 4MDW  Grade 4s explored value, design and colours with their beautiful proteas.  
I kindly request donations of the following:
newspapers, old magazines, old picture calendars, National Geographic magazines, 1 litre yogurt containers with lids, fresh cream containers with lids and ice cream containers.

Erin Daglish-Cooper in Gr 2KB with her Inventions project about the compass
Lily Humpreys-Davis and Ella-Marie Izzett in Grade 2KB with their knitting squares.
The Gr 6 girls grew crystals in Natural Science   
More crystals being grown by the Grade 6s    
Experiments in the Science room
More experimentation 
Round Square Conference and Post Tour - Penryn 

Representing St Cyprian's Preparatory School were Kiera Matthysen, Emma-Rose-Blacher, Amelia de Waal, Mia Leslie, Jessica Mulliner, Sarah Neumann, Angelica Schincariol, Gemma Schwendinger, Caitlin Simpson, Ella Stam, Gabriela Stevenson, Katherine Vineall, accompanied by Ms Davidson and Mr Dallas.

This year's theme was: "Make a difference where you are".  At the conference, the girls were assigned to barazza groups. Each barazza group was named after indigenous trees in the area.  Within each group the girls were able to meet and work with delegates from other schools.

Guest speakers presented inspirational and motivational talks to the delegates in the evenings.

The barazza group activities included making the highest human pyramid, clapping before catching a rugby ball, untangling the team tied together with a rope, modelling fashion garments created by using paper with the least amount of masking tape, dramatising comedy and horror scenes in various contexts and guiding a blindfolded team member to pick up colourful cones.

Penryn College invited children from their school to engage in projects with the delegates.  Everybody participated in drumming, puppet making, obstacle courses, puppet pals and they also explored their contribution to global warming.

The drive through the Kruger National Park, viewing wild animals in their natural habitat, was AWESOME.  We got to see the Big 5.

Our girls met new and interesting people.  They had opportunities to socialise with delegates from different backgrounds while learning and applying leadership skills and knowledge throughout this experience.  There were many tears shed when the conference ended, however, the girls found comfort in knowing that their new friendships would continue as they had exchanged contact details with the other delegates.

We then embarked on a post tour of the Lowveld.  We did a few sightseeing activities like visiting God's Window, the Pot Holes and Harry's Pancake House.  We also did zip lining and a river rafting trip down the Sabie River.  

Our girls made us proud from start to finish.

RS Day 14 August - our delegates will be doing a presentation on the Conference in Assembly. 

Mr R Dallas and Ms P Davidson

Round Square 2017
Grade 7s in the spirit of adventure
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St Cyprian's School · Gorge Road · Oranjezicht · Cape Town, Western Cape 8001 · South Africa