Weekly Newsletters

Newsletter 19/2018

29 June, 2018

Bullying

At the assembly yesterday I took the opportunity of addressing the school about this topic. Over the last couple of weeks we seem to have been experiencing a few (which is already too many) examples of bullying, social victimization and exclusion, often through the use of various social media platforms. I explained to the community that we consider such behaviours completely contradictory to our identity and value system as a UWC school and I appealed to all to ensure that it stops. I challenged students in their tutor groups to collectively discuss the behaviours they come across on a day to day basis so that such behaviours can be named (and shamed) and eradicated. In this way, we can all identify what we don’t want to see in our community. This is necessary because bullying can be very subtle and it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly the victimizing behaviour or actions of the perpetrators.

I challenged all to ensure that anything they convey (images, words, emojis, etc.) they would be 100% happy for their tutor, their parent, their principal or even their grandmother to see. We should all conduct ourselves on the assumption that our words and actions could be broadcast for the world to see (and in this modern age of social media, this is now a very strong possibility!).

The previous week in a staff meeting we spent a while discussing the dangers of social media, based on some extracts from a book entitled “Don’t film yourselves having sex”, a provocatively-entitled book which is the most comprehensive summary of the dangers of social media I have yet seen (and an easy few days read).

There are wonderful opportunities for parents to become involved in this issue. Regarding bullying, perhaps check that you are comfortable with your child’s friendships and especially their digital communications.

Please also have a look at the sections in the GIB (pp 18 – 22 on the website), which outlines the College approach to bullying. It is very comprehensive and I think very useful to be used as the basis of a conversation with your child.

We do challenge our students to ensure that their behaviours to one another reflect the best of our common humanity as reflected in the College values.

 

Staffing Issues

I would like to announce newcomers and other changes at the school at the start of next week:

·         Mr. Mark Bradshaw starts in the Music department and will take over from Mr. Wilkinson as HOD at the start of term 3. In the meantime we have advertised for a teacher in the department.

·         Madame Therese Ndjeh (appointed to take over from Madame Caillet in term 3) starts now taking Madame Daffe’s classes while she is completing the residential requirements for her Master’s degree in France. In that regard we wish her all the best with those studies for the rest of the term.

·         Ms. Megan de Koning, newly graduated from Vassar in the US, will be doing Mr. Ramsay’s biology teaching until the end of the term (he joins us at the start of term 3).

And the internal changes:

·         Mr. Gambe starts as the HOR at Ekukhuleni taking over from Mrs. Owour.

·         Mrs. Ndjeh takes over from Mr. Gambe as the DHOR at Ekuks.

·         Mr. Wekesa takes over from Mrs. Owour  as the Director: Residences.

We will provide a short bio of each of the newcomers in next week’s newsletter.

 

New SRC Announced

The new Student Representative Council (SRC) was announced during morning assembly on Wednesday. This followed a democratic process in which students voted the new SRC into office, in line with the SRC constitution. The new SRC joint presidents are Lindani Khoza (IB1) and Massimo Shongwe (Form 4). The new Secretary Treasurer is Lars Tutturen (IB1). I congratulate the new students’ leaders and wish them the best of luck.

 

Kamhlaba Day Saturday 14th July 2018

Our first ever Kamhlaba Day will be held on the 14th July. It is a compulsory school day for all students and a chance for our community to come together to raise funds for our community service programme. The day will be a celebration of food, art and music. The entrance fee will be E60 for adults and E30 for children and as well as wonderful food and art we have a great line up of musical acts including Velemseni and Bholoja. Buses will collect students from the usual pickup points on Saturday morning at the following times; Matsapha 9a.m, The Gables 9.15a.m and Mbabane town stops at 9.30 a.m. Students will be transported home to the same stops leaving school at 5.30 p.m.

We are asking parents to please help us on the day, by providing cakes, biscuits and other sweet treats for Café Kamhlaba. These can be brought to the ComServe room either on Friday 13th or Saturday 14th.  If you would like help with anything else please contact Mrs. Fiona Mills at communityservice@waterford.sz.

 

Energy Hub website

As part of community service, a group of IB1 students have developed a website which will help the school to monitor the use of energy around campus. This project will help Waterford’s extensive program to become carbon neutral by 2020. I congratulate the students on this great work. The website can be found here.

 

2018 Phoenix Fund

The Waterford community keeps doing great things. Once again, we have achieved another huge millstone: we have reached our target for this year’s Phoenix Fund. We are currently at E100, 222!! Let me express our sincere appreciation to the entire community:  parents, students, GC and staff for making donations to the 2018 Phoenix Fund. You kind and generous donations will go a long way in helping us realize the four projects for this year’s campaign: 4 new drinking fountains, replacing plastic cafeteria cups, buying new cutlery and placing heaters in the classrooms. Parents can still donate either in cash through giving to their children when they come back from mid-term or by using any of the methods mentioned on our website.


 

Fees

We once again remind you that fees for Term 2 should have been settled. There are numerous cases where fees for Term 1 still have not been settled. Please note that students are excluded if fees are outstanding and currently a few have not returned from term 1. We do take this matter seriously as the school relies 100% on fee collections to function.

Please note that fees are supposed to be paid upfront at the start of the school term. If parents to find this difficult we are willing to make payment-plans with parents and expect such plans to be adhered to.

When making a deposit please remember to forward us a Proof of Payment to ensure we then capture the information accurately and on the correct school fee account.

Please contact the Bursar or Tricia Fraser to discuss the situation if you are experiencing difficulties in meeting your obligations.

 

Mid-term Break

Today marks the beginning of our mid-term break which will run until next Tuesday 3rd July. As usual, I ask that parents allow the students to take some time to sleep, read, eat, take a walk, generally catch their breath again before the rest of the term. Research has highlighted the need for sufficient sleep as an essential part of part of their growth. I wish everyone a great mid-term break until we meet on Wednesday morning. Of course for some it is also an important few days to catch up on some work, if you have fallen behind.

 

Reminder of important dates

        Saturday 14th July  - Kamhlaba Day

        Friday-Saturday 13th – 14th July – Visual Arts Exhibition

        Wednesday 25th July – Careers Fair

        Friday 10th August – School Closes, buses depart for Johannesburg

 

Any Questions?

If you have any questions and feedback, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at principal@waterford.szIf the question is of broad interest I will publish the question (with the permission of the writer and without the name) and my reply in the newsletter.

 

Kind Regards

Stephen Lowry

Principal

© Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA 2018

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