Exchange Student Update

Exchange students enjoying life in the UK

UHS Grade 7 learners Matthew Davenport and Caytah-Leigh Koeberg, who are currently spending some time in the UK as part of the 2019 Salisbury Exchange Programme, are having a lot of fun abroad.

This past weekend, the two lucky learners were spoiled by their host family with a trip to Twickenham Stadium in London to enjoy the HSBC World Rugby Sevens tournament.  They have also become quite involved in the Salisbury Cathedral School’s extracurricular activities with Caytah-Leigh especially enjoying the school’s music programme, participating in singing and piano, while Matt did really well at the school’s recent athletics day.

Grade 7 Technology

Union High School’s Grade 7 Technology learners were recently tasked with designing and building a model of a cell phone tower using their knowledge of structures.

The learners were allowed to choose whether or not they would be building a standard cell phone tower or one that would blend in with the environment in order to limit visual pollution.

Seen here are some of their brilliant designs:








Learners Excel in MinQuiz

On Thursday morning, 16 May, four of Union’s Grade 12 learners represented the school at the provincial round of the annual MinQuiz competition held at NMU in Port Elizabeth.

MinQuiz, organised by the Council for Mineral Technology (Mintek), is regarded as South Africa’s premier national Maths and Science competition for Grade 12 learners.  During this competition, the Union team members, Peter Watermeyer, Ethan Gedult, Megan Doyle and Sanja du Plessis, were pitted against the top Grade 12 learners of schools from all over the Eastern Cape.

To start, the learners first had to write a preliminary multiple-choice question test individually.  The learners performed very well in this round and based on the aggregate score of their written tests, Union was announced as one of the top five schools in the Gold category that would be competing during the second round of the competition, a live, on-stage oral quiz.  That afternoon, the Union learners then competed as a team against the four other teams on the auditorium’s stage in front of an audience and a panel of judges.  After a nervous start, the team gained momentum and finished third overall, winning R550 for the school.

The school congratulates these learners on their stellar effort!

Maths Olympiad

Union’s maths whizzes participate in Olympiad

On Wednesday, 15 May, 23 Union learners will participate in the second round of the South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO).

The South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) is South Africa’s biggest Olympiad.  Approximately 86 000 high school learners across the country participate annually.

There are two divisions: a junior division for Grades 8 and 9 and a senior division for Grades 10 to 12. Learners who score at least 50% in the first round which was this year written on 12 March qualify for the second round in May.  The top (approximately) 100 junior and 100 senior learners from the second round qualify for the final round in July.

The senior learners who qualified for the second round are (top) James Rose-Innes, Elia Railton, Hannah Watermeyer, Megan Doyle, Sicelokuhle (SO) Sishuba (bottom) Sabrina Potgieter, Lungile Netnou, Laetitia Theron, Ezra Mangunda and Peter Watermeyer.

The juniors are (top) Matthew McNaughton, Hannah Bodenstein, AJ Victor, Matthew Basson, Chloe Koeberg, (middle) Caitrin Spence, Simone Prinsloo, Gemma Naudé, Tayla Kingwill, David Kinghorn, (bottom) Siphosethu Malotana, Trinity West and Cadee Arends.

Union wishes these learners the best of luck!

Salisbury Connection 2019

The two UHS learners participating in the 2019 Salisbury Exchange Programme, Matthew Davenport and Caytah-Leigh Koeberg, have officially started their schooling at the Salisbury Cathedral School in the UK.

They have been issued with their new uniforms, explored the school (which is spectacularly located on the beautiful grounds of Salisbury Cathedral) and are very excited about all that lies in store for them these next three months.

It is tradition for exchangees and gappies to leave their names on a brick in the boarding house of the Salisbury Cathedral School. Upon arrival, Matthew quickly found that of Brent Hesselink and Jude Langmead, who travelled to the UK in 2018. Mrs. Gerber’s (then Miss van Zyl) name is also on the wall, reminding us of her time as a gappie a few years back!



Integrated Learning Therapy

Mrs. Christine Scott, an educator as well as school and career guidance counsellor at Union High School, recently successfully obtained her certification as an ILT practitioner.

Developed by Educational Psychologist, Dr. Shirley Kokot, Integrated Learning Therapy (ILT) strives to uncover the root causes of children’s learning difficulties and behavioural challenges in order to help them overcome them.

Mrs. Scott, who has always sought ways to widen the scope of help available to learners at UHS, completed the ILT practitioner course in order to empower her with the knowledge needed to recognise the possible causes of learning difficulties in children and to then, initiate remedial movement and other activities in order to help.

Mrs. Scott encourages parents of children who experience learning and behavioural challenges to visit the ILT website to find out more about the efficacy of ILT:


What sets an excellent learning experience apart from a mediocre one?

The ability to solve problems in creative ways!

Geography learners at Union High School were recently tasked with planning a commercial farm on a specified landscape provided to them.

The lesson was simulation-based and required learners to plan the lay-out of their ideal farm by applying content recently covered in class with regards to valley climates, river management systems and factors to take into account when making decisions on establishing a settlement.

They could then present their effort to their respective groups and negotiate the best possible solution. Each group then made a final presentation to the rest of the class.

The young geographers had loads of fun applying their newly acquired knowledge.

Study Skills for gr 6 & 9 Learners

The importance of good study habits can never be minimized. But, how can you make studying not only tolerable, but actively fun?

This is something that Elevate Education – South Africa’s largest provider of study skills seminars – have mastered.

Earlier this morning, Wednesday, 17 April, Elevate Education’s two young and vibrant study skills facilitators, Brett and Guy, once again paid a visit to the school to meet up with the Grade 6 and 9 groups for their second study skills session. (The first session – a Study Sensei seminar – was held in February.)

Shouts of delight could be heard ringing through the corridors as the presenters entered their respective venues and were greeted by the excited learners.  Time management skills were on the agenda today and the learners were shown, among other things, how to create an effective study timetable.

UHS looks forward to seeing the Grade 6 and 9 learners’ parents when they meet the team tonight at 17:30 in the school hall for the Elevate Education study skills information session.  This is an opportunity for parents to find out what study skill students have been learning at school and how they can play an important role in supporting them at home.

Learners Introduced to the Culinary Arts

On Wednesday, 10 April, Olive Chef School – one of the top culinary arts schools in South Africa – paid a visit to Union High School.  During their interaction with our learners, executive chef Rinette Enslin proceeded to demonstrate the fine art of French cuisine.

Within 45 minutes, chef Rinette had prepared an exquisite looking three course meal, creating spectacular plates of food that were a delight to the eyes as well as the taste buds!  When asked how much such a meal would cost, learners were quite flabbergasted when chef Rinette answered “about R750”, after which she then explained how costing is done.

Olive Chef School – situated in Bloemfontein – is an internationally approved culinary school and their chef training courses are second to none.

The following are some of the career opportunities which formal, certificated studies in culinary education at Olive Chef School can afford you: chef, caterer, food stylist, hotel chef de cuisine, hotel food and beverage manager, test kitchen, restaurant manager and kitchen manager.

For those of our learners who are considering a career in the culinary arts, we hope you were inspired by this delicious presentation and that it has helped you in making an informed decision about your future.

Fun With Structures

Union’s Grade 7s are learning about natural and man-made structures in Technology this term.

Earlier this week, using spaghetti and marshmallows, students experimented with different structures to determine which ones are able to handle the greatest amount of load. This experiment helped them to further understand the effects that compression and tension forces have with respect to the strength of structures. Spaghetti cannot hold much tension or compression; therefore, it breaks very easily. Marshmallows handle compression well but do not hold up to tension.

At the Union schools, we are thankful for small class sizes that allow teachers the opportunity to successfully conduct these experiments. Teachers are able to be actively involved with everything the learners do, resulting in increased participation and better communication between the teacher and the learners.