The Shrike’s Call | May 2018

Since our last Shrike’s Call which was sent out in February, we have experienced many events before closing at the end of the first term.  The main events were obviously the Inter-House and Inter-School Athletics. We also had a very successful trip to the Drakensberg by the school choir.

The second term promises to be a very busy and exciting term with all the winter sports matches and festivals and of course, the school play which is a huge production as it involves the entire school from Grade 1 to Grade 7.

Inter-House Athletics: Junior School
This year our Inter-House Athletics was held Wednesday 7th March, 2018. There was a change to the normal programme where all the events were held on one day. This was to fall in line with the demands placed upon our children in the Inter Schools athletics programme, which is also held on one day. The event started at 10.30am and finished late afternoon.  The children all participated in at least one event.  Many records were broken and the weather was very kind to everyone despite the worry of rain that had occurred on the previous two days. Competition was stiff and the children made a supreme effort, not only individually, but also for their respective games houses. Results were as follows:

1st        Tuli
2nd       Shangani
3rd           Shashi
Well done, Tuli, on your amazing win!

 

Infants’ Sports Day
The Infants’ Sports Day was held on 16 March 2018. As always, this was a much anticipated day. It was a wonderful day, full of many happy children giving of their best both for themselves and for their very excited, proud parents.  Perhaps the most interesting part was to see the expressions of concentration and effort on many children’s faces. Well done to all the Grade 1’s and 2’s for all their hard work in preparation for this special day. Thank you to our hardworking Parents’ Committee for the coffee and delicious bacon and egg rolls. What a fabulous morning was had by all!

Pre-Primary Sports Day
Our little ones of Whitestone had their Sports Day on Friday 23rd March. They were very well supported by a crowd of enthusiastic parents including moms, dads, grans, grandpas, aunts and uncles. The effort and commitment from the children as they entered the arena and battled it out on the track was truly a fantastic sight to see. Well done to everyone!

Inter-School Cross Country
The Cross Country team faced a challenging time preparing for the Inter Schools Cross Country event. Certainly the weather was unkind and track conditions difficult. To make matters worse,  the original event was abruptly washed out by a huge thunderstorm. As a result the event was postponed indefinitely and the new  date was given at short notice.  The children certainly all rose to the challenge of running in cold conditions mid-week. Well done to Whitestone School!  Our boys came 1st, the girls 2nd and overall Whitestone came 1st.  A very pleasing and well deserved result reflected the  commitment, determination and sheer hard work  shown by our athletes.

Inter-school Athletics
Well done to all our athletes representing Whitestone at the Inter-Schools Athletics on Monday 26 March. They all gave of their best and we are very proud of their efforts. Overall there were 16 records broken and many were from our children. Our boys came 2nd and the girls 3rd. Overall, Whitestone came 3rd. Well done to Masiyephambili who came 1st followed by Petra.

 

Drakensberg Tour
Our Choir was privileged to be invited back to Drakensberg this year and to participate in the renowned annual “Music in the Mountains” Festival.

The children and the music teachers worked very hard from the beginning of the year including the holidays to produce an outstanding performance at the festival. They did us extremely proud and were fantastic ambassadors for Whitestone. Our amazing choir received a standing ovation and many asked about our beautiful school and country.  Well done to you all! This was a very proud moment in Whitestone’s history.

We would all like to thank the parents who have worked tirelessly towards this tour ensuring that the children attended all of the necessary rehearsals, as well as for your overwhelming support at the “Music in the Mountains” Festival.   Thank you.

2018 AMG Global Rugby Coaching Festival
The senior rugby boys started their rugby season very early by attending the AMG Global Rugby Coaching Festival held at Falcon College over the last weekend of the holidays. It was an exciting weekend full of wonderful experiences on and off the field. Our very young and small side certainly had a taste of the high standard of rugby that they would be facing during the course of the second term. Nevertheless they held their own and there were encouraging signs of determination and courage emanating from them. They also had the opportunity to meet and be coached by well-known provincial South African coaches. It was a very good start to the season.

Grade 6 Camp at Quiet Waters out at Falcon College
The Grade 6 Camp to Quiet Waters this year was a new venue for our camp and it was a resounding success.  The start of our trip out to Matopos, with Mr Sanderson as our instructor, was very informative. He has such a wealth of information. The children enjoyed his stories on the history of the area and we did a great deal of walking and observing. We also looked at the cave paintings at Pomongwe and had a super picnic lunch.

Our camp was situated at Pumula Camp at Quiet Waters and it was a beautiful site. The children’s day comprised of 2 lectures with three different groups of children. The sessions were on Rocks, Soils and Animals (including food chains and webs); Map Orientation and Reading with a scavenger hunt following map clues; Water Ecology and Insects; Bird Identification; an impala dissection and a Falconry talk and display.  The children were engaged in practical activities every day and they seemed to enjoy all of them. We spent an afternoon at Falcon playing problem solving games on their fields and had a treat visit to the tuck shop. The children had to cook two of their own meals; – a meal of mince made by following Mrs Osborne’s instructions and  the other, a braai on the last night.

The camp was very worthwhile and it included good Christian values and morals. The young Quest men, who led each team, were gentle and kind to all the children. They took every opportunity to get to know the children and to teach them responsibility and team work. It was a really fantastic few days with our children learning new skills in an outdoor environment.

Grade 5 Camp at Jabulani Safaris
It was a perfect way to start the second term! The children responded enthusiastically to the activities offered on camp and they studied water, soil and trees. They had the opportunity to complete a scavenger hunt and work as a team when rowing a boat. Great fun was had each evening around the campfire. On the final day, the children were taken on an extensive tour of a productive farm and learnt about cattle, pigs and pecan nuts. Bush Art was creatively tackled while children tubed down the slippery rocks at Mermaid’s Pool. Thanks must go to the staff at Jabulani Safari Camp who provided delicious meals, and who engaged happily with our children. Jabulani is the ideal, safe setting for our Grade 5 environmental camp.

Old Pupils visiting Resource Centre

Mr Dave Anderson just before he died at the age of 89.   He donated Matchstick Models, which he made when he was 70, to the resource centre.

Founder Pupil with his grandson visiting the Resource Centre

Past Pupils
Seven ex-Whitestone boys made the Zimbabwe “A” World Qualifier Squad for Waterpolo. They went on tour to Durban earlier this year in February. Congratulations to:  FC Muller, Euan Nesbitt, Liam O’Hara, Jack Ross, Ryan Dawson, Tayne Mitchell and Rhys Drage.  We are very proud of you, our past students.

Congratulations to Craig Kesson who was their coach, another ex-pupil of Whitestone and also a current parent here.

It has been a very exciting and busy start to the term.  Children have already faced the challenges with determination and enthusiasm. It is very pleasing and heartwarming to see happy faces each morning.

T. HARDING
HEADMASTER

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