I begin to write with much anxiety and trepidation as this is my first Shrike’s Call that I will be sending out. Whitestone is such a wonderful school filled with great history and tradition which contributes immensely to the tone and ethos of the school. Effectively it is the soul of the school and, although it cannot be measured scientifically, it is nevertheless measured in other ways:- the happiness reflected on the children’s faces; the intense commitment of the children as they perform their given tasks in the classroom and on the sports field; the hustle and bustle in the administrative offices as the staff organize things; the kaleidoscope of interesting, effective and stimulating lessons delivered in the classroom’s corridors; and, of course, the tremendous enthusiasm, commitment and support that the parents of the school extend on a daily basis. These are all signs of a healthy and great school.
Whitestone School has also been tremendously busy right from day one of the first term of the year. Of course, it has also faced many challenges along the short journey. We have had an excellent and unusual rainy season where Bulawayo has been given a reason to rejoice and celebrate the filling of our dams that supply the city with water. However, it did cause a number of competitive sporting fixtures to be either shortened in format or cancelled. Grounds have been waterlogged and remain soggy making it virtually impossible to maintain. At the same time the grass is growing ferociously and the constant drone and buzzing of lawn mowers and trimmers can be heard around the school. The school staff remain undaunted and continue to be committed to keeping the school in good shape.
There is also a great deal that is happening behind the scenes. The staff are extremely dedicated and committed to providing the best education possible for the children. They strive to keep up with the modern trends of education and to this end have started to address matters as they occur. The School Monitor Selection System has been reviewed and refined ready for future implementation. To this end, leadership training for children will also be included. The approach to sport is currently being reviewed and refined in the hope of achieving a balance between developing skills, coaching and playing matches against other schools. In the classroom, teachers are looking at the ‘Learning and Teaching’ approach in the school. This involves a huge area in the academic realm. The school also has the ‘New Curriculum” to embrace and staff are also working feverishly towards that initiative. Finally, there are a number of other areas in the school that are being examined. One of them is to rejuvenate the school library to make it an interesting, stimulating and exciting place to be in. To this end, some parents have very kindly volunteered to get involved.
To this end, I am totally amazed and humbled by the fantastic work that the School Fund- Raising Committee is doing. The tremendous energy, vigor and interest that the parents have shown is mind blowing! The school is buzzing with new ideas, new fund raising initiatives and wonderful support and understanding. The close knit parent community is refreshing and encouraging and the school environment is feeling the positive energy. Parents are proud of their school and that is tremendous.
Without further ado, please find below some pictures and brief comments on events that have taken place at the school over the last few weeks.
Grade Seven Trip to Outward Bound
Our Grade Sevens went on their Leadership and Teambuilding Course at the beginning of the term. Despite the very wet weather, the children and staff were dedicated, enthusiastic and gave it their all. Many life lessons were learnt and a fun time was had by all.
Inter-House Cross Country
Results of the Interhouse Cross Country held on 14th February 2017.
Liam Maingehama received trophy for determination and consistently giving of his best, not only on the day, but at practice as well.
The Inter-Schools hot takkie competition will be held at Petra at a date to be advised.
1st XI Cricket Tour to South Africa
This year we went to Clifton Prep in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZula Natal and played against Waterkloof 2nd Team, Clifton Prep and Woodridge College. Congratulations to Matthew Rust who was awarded a trophy for ‘Good Bowling’ and to Mzimazisi Mabaso for ‘Good Batting’.
Drakensberg Choir Fundraising Events
The Choir Moms have been fund-raising for the tour to the Drakensberg’s “Music in the Mountains’ Festival which will be held in the April school holidays. They have been very busy with cake sales, movie lunch days and are still planning to have a “Bingo” evening. The children had a ‘blast’ at the “Coke and Crunchie Valentine Disco”. Well done to Ellie Rheam who won the “Sweetie Raffle”
Children representing Matabeleland at the Junior Nationals in March 2017
Congratulations to the following children who were chosen to represent Matabeleland Junior Swimming Team and who will be competing in the Junior Nationals in March 2017.
Savannah Smith, Shumirai Zvenyika, Chloe Werrett, Onyenyechukwu Onovo, Chante Querl, Timea Schultz, Ngozika Onovo, Patrick Duff, Kayden Bhana, Darren Ncube, Ruan Nel, Mitchell Stanley, Fanuel Zvenyika, Garrick Duff, Vidal Bravo, Aidan Waterfall and Sonny Brebner.
Timea Schultz, representing Zimbabwe at CANA Swimming Gala recently held in Bulawayo
Whitestone staff members in the Resource Centre remembering the endeavours of young Guglielmo Markoni and the debt we own him.
Grade 2T with Mr Sanderson’s Adventure into Learning in the Resource Centre