Learner Leaders Improving Together

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The members of Union High School’s RCL (Representative Council of Learners) share a dream of inspiring the youth of Graaff-Reinet.  In pursuit of this dream, the RCL invited the leaders of Union’s neighbouring schools (the Asherville, Nqweba and Spandau secondary schools as well as Hoër Volkskool) to enjoy a fun-filled evening together.

This event – the first of its kind to be held by the schools ever – will hopefully pave the way for regular engagements of this nature in future.

The evening started with an inspirational message on the important distinctions between managing and leading people delivered by pastor Dolan Cochrane. He shared some powerful information about the influence of leaders with the group, keeping the learners thoroughly engaged throughout the whole session.

Union’s Head Boy, Peter Watermeyer, then shared the idea behind the evening with all those present, and in so doing, portrayed true leadership as defined by John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”.

Zintle Maki, head prefect of Union’s Herby Arnott House, then led various activities in a very professional manner.

This evening was not only a celebration of youth leadership but also served as an amazing team building opportunity.

Thanks are extended to all the leaders and the educators who accompanied them for participating in the evening’s programme.

Jnr Rugby Results – UHS vs Adelaide

On Saturday, 27 April, Union’s junior rugby teams travelled to Adelaide for their first away fixture of the second term.  All the teams played to the best of their ability and managed to record positive results

The u/9B team won 27 – 15, the U/9A team lost 0 – 24, the U/11As won 27 – 5 and the U/13Bs won 32 – 12.

The u/13A rugby team played a challenging match against a strong Adelaide team. The game was played at a frantic pace with both teams playing exiting rugby.  Union’s boys managed to stick to their game plan, keeping the ball alive for numerous phases.  Continuous pressure on their opponents led to some brilliant team tries, with Union coming out the victors with a final score of 34 – 0.

Eco Club Members Attend to Local Nursery

The members of Union High School’s Eco Club recently paid a visit to the Camdeboo National Park.  During the visit, the learners only had one goal in mind – to clean and revamp the small plant nursery located in the park.

Upon arrival, the learners were divided into three teams – one cleaned the garden shed while the other two each cleaned a seedling structure.  This involved weeding, raking, sorting litter and organic materials for discarding or re-use, cleaning, dusting and a lot of organising.  The groups worked hard and laughed a lot while getting down and dirty – giving new life to the nursery.

The group will return to the park soon to start planting new plants.

• This activity formed part of the Biodiversity theme of Union’s Eco-Schools project.

Snr Hockey Results – UHS vs Collegiate

A tough encounter against Collegiate for UHS!

On Friday afternoon, 26 April, UHS met with Collegiate Girls’ High School in what turned out to be a very tough encounter for the Union teams.

It started with the U/16Bs facing Collegiate’s U/14As, which proved to be a huge miss-match.

The U/16As then showed real courage and determination in their match, to restrict their opponents to a 3 – 0 victory. Union’s players failed to convert their chances but delivered a really good performance overall.

In what was a very hard-fought encounter, the first team started their match on the back foot which resulted in them having to defend from the very first minute onwards.  With slick passing, Collegiate managed to score two goals in the 1st quarter.

The 2nd quarter saw three more goals against Union, but the girls fought their way back, with determination, to only allow two goals in the 3rd quarter and none in the 4th. The final score stood at 7 – 0 in Collegiate’s favour.

Special mention must be made of Sakhe Booi for her excellent agility in the goal box throughout the match.

Snr Hockey Results – UHS vs Aliwal North

Union gets the better of Aliwal North

On Saturday morning, 27 April, Union’s hockey teams were in action again, this time against Aliwal North High School.

At the start of the day, Union’s U/16Bs beat Aliwal 5 – 0. The third team drew 1 – 1 and the second team won their encounter 8 – 0.

During the first half of the 1st team’s match, the Union players struggled to find their rhythm and, despite several opportunities and penalty corners, no goals were scored.

In the second half, however, the Union players managed to up their game, with Laetitia Theron scoring a well-worked goal in the first minute.

Shortly thereafter, Laetitia doubled Union’s lead with a goal that was brilliantly set up by Jenna McNaughton.

Union managed to score again in the 15th minute with a goal by Micela Loock. This stretched Union’s lead and sealed the match 3 – 0 in Union’s favour.

Snr Rugby Results – UHS vs Aliwal North

Union and Aliwal North go head-to-head

It was a tough day on the rugby field for all the Union teams this past Saturday, 27 April, as Aliwal North proved to be a worthy adversary.The junior teams struggled a bit with the intensity, physicality and directness with which Aliwal North played.

The second team completely dominated their match, which encouraged the first team boys to give it everything they’ve got.

The first XV’s match started off with a bang with both teams playing at an incredible pace and intensity.  Lapses in concentration and defensive structures quickly saw the ‘Mighty Whites’ 12 – 0 down.  After calming the storm and regaining composure, the boys soon found their rhythm and got onto the scoreboard through a try by Bowen Langmead.

Aliwal North once again capitalised on one of Union’s mistakes and converted to make the score 19 – 5.  Good interplay between Ashton Dawids and Zusakhe Ngwane saw Union cross the line again.  Brilliant pressure from the base of the scrum saw Brett Amsterdam charge down a kick in the Aliwal North goal area which led to a try by Khanya Butshingi.

Union trailed 19 – 15 at halftime.

UHS regained control of the game in the second half and were first to score in the second half.  A brilliant maul followed up by great play by the backline saw Junior Duba score in the corner.  The scoreboard now read UHS 22 – 19 ANHS.  With confidence growing and good ball possession, Jaden Brotherton created space and put Bladen Jacobs away to score under the poles. Jaden converted to take the score to 27 – 19 in Union’s favour.

Aliwal North once again scored as a result of a blunder by Union and converted to make the score stand at 27 – 26 in favour of Union.  Union held on well and kept their heads in this seesaw battle. The boys showed tremendous character and a fighting spirit to the bitter end.  The final score was Union 27, Aliwal North 26.

Union’s try scorers were Bowen Langmead, Zusakhe Ngwane, Khanya Butshingi, Junior Duba and Bladen Jacobs.

Jaden Brotherton successfully converted 1 from 5.

Other Results

U/14A lost 14 – 17

U/15A team lost19 – 17

U/16A team lost43 – 14

2nd Team won 44 – 12

All teams are encouraged to work hard this week in preparation for the weekend’s fixture against Burgersdorp where the same type of rugby is expected.

Classroom Revamp

The teachers at Union High School play vital roles in the lives of the learners in their classrooms.

And, although the school’s teachers are best known for the role of educating the children that are placed in their care, they also serve many other roles in the classroom beyond that, such as creating a warm and happy environment for the learners in which to thrive.

Mrs. Louise Vorster, who teaches Grade 6 and 7 Afrikaans and Life Orientation (LO) at Union High School, demonstrated that recently when she spruced up her classroom by painting the desks and revamping the walls.

We hope that the learners will be happy in this new learning environment she created for them.

Don’t Bin It, Bottle It

The ongoing EcoBrick project is one of Union High School’s constant endeavours to reduce litter by recycling.  EcoBricks are constructed out of recycled 2-litre plastic bottles that are filled with all sorts of non-biodegradable waste.

Suitable materials to fill EcoBricks with include plastic bags, laminated paper, polystyrene trays, plastic fruit punnets, silvery packets from chips and chocolates, wax paper and dog-food bags.

The litter must be stuffed inside the bottles in such a compact manner, that the bottles are rock-solid and resistant to breaking and denting.  Once filled, these bottles can then be used as a “brick” from which even school buildings and houses can be built. The compressed plastic waste does not disintegrate and provides hardy support, similar to normal building bricks, but at almost no cost.  Apart from reducing the amount of trash that reaches the oceans, eco-bricks are also highly insulating and water- and fire-proof.

Each classroom at Union High School has again been tasked with creating an EcoBrick this year.  The learners are encouraged to participate, and in so doing, take personal responsibility for their plastic waste.

Centenary Banquet

On the occasion of the Union High School’s centenary, we request the pleasure of your company for an evening of celebration.

Tickets for the Centenary Banquet – a glittering formal dinner dance event that will be held on Friday evening, 3 May, in a Marquee on UHS’s beautiful sports grounds – are available from Mrs. Shell or Mrs. Marais at the Union High School office. Those from further afield are welcome to call the office at 049 891 0262 or send an e-mail to secretary@unionschools.co.za to reserve a ticket.

The evening will feature top class catering, a cash bar, dancing and entertainment and promises to be a most memorable event.

Tickets are limited so get yours now to guarantee that you don’t miss out!