Good Deeds Are Recognized At UHS

If you have ever lost a phone or a tablet, you know the chances of having it returned to you are slim to none.  Those who stumble upon lost phones usually operate on the “finders keepers” premise. They find, they keep.  While most of us would never outright steal a phone, the test of honesty really comes down to what you’d do if you found a lost phone or tablet

Union was recently very impressed with the honesty and integrity shown by Grade 9 learner, Mihan Campbell.  Mihan happened upon a phone that had been lost by its owner during a sports day at Union.  Mihan immediately took steps to ensure that the expensive smartphone was returned to its owner by turning it in to the school’s headmaster.

Well done, Mihan!

At Union, we firmly believe that good deeds should be recognized, it’s not every day the world shows you honesty and integrity, and actions such as these deserve to be recognised by the community.

Innovative Learner

Behind every invention or new innovation is a person who saw a problem or an opportunity and invented a solution or a new device.

One such bright mind is Zack Botha, a Grade 6 learner at Union High School.  While sitting in Mathematics one day, inspiration hit him, and he proceeded to ‘upcycle’ two everyday stationery items, an empty Pritt glue stick and an old pencil sharpener.  From these two items, Zack created a pencil sharpener with a catchment.

“While it can be bought, this is an easy and cheap way to create a pencil sharpener that you can use at your desk without having to walk to the wastebasket every time you need to sharpen a pencil,” says Zack.

Maybe one day Zack will develop a world-changing new invention, who knows?

All we can say is that at Union, we’re big fans of innovation in all its forms, and we just love it when our learners think out of the box to create something inspired!

Manners Matter!

At Union, we strive to encourage proper etiquette, good manners and courteous behaviour among our learners to nurture a culture where learners respect their peers and authority figures such as teachers and coaches.

Today we received these photos from Christo Pietersen accompanied by the comment, “Impressed with the well-behaved boys”.

As the most effective approach to instilling good manners in a child is by being an example of proper etiquette yourself, we’d like to thank the exceptional parents of the Union schools as well as the members of staff and, in fact, the Union community as a whole for setting the example and for showing our learners the value of proper etiquette.

Most importantly we’d like to thank the learners for being such splendid ambassadors for our school!

Cultivating good manners takes time, but the rewards of respectful, well-behaved learners are truly endless.

Anti-Bullying Campaign

Anti-bullying campaign kicks into high gear

In 2017, Union High School’s Interact Club launched an anti-bullying campaign.  Over the past two years, their initial campaign has grown into a long-term project with a proactive, multi-faceted whole-school approach to the problem of bullying.

At first, a number of awareness campaigns were undertaken, including the introduction of a Bully-Bin to the school’s campus.  Since then -, supported by an effective anti-bullying policy – the focus has been on creating a safe and positive environment for the learners in the classrooms and on the school grounds with everyone working together to create a climate where bullying is not acceptable.

On Wednesday, 1 May, Old Unionite Ingrid Kingwill joined forces with Union in this initiative by training 13 peer counsellors to support the emotional and academic wellbeing of fellow learners.  This has been implemented as a support scheme to reduce bullying and as a means of reducing the psychological effects thereof on learners.

Union’s sincere gratitude is extended to Ingrid for her willingness to invest in the wellbeing of the school.

All peer counsellors who participated in the training found it an enriching experience and we have no doubt that this project will grow from strength to strength.

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.

2nd Term Blood Drive

Learners and teachers each waited their turn to donate blood to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) at Union High School on Tuesday morning, 9 April.

The regular blood drives at the school are aimed at fostering a culture of blood donation among the young learners and increasing the amount of blood donated in South Africa.Over the years, our learners – who always support the blood drives enthusiastically – have saved thousands of lives with this valuable contribution to the community.

Today, we hope to reach our target of 60 units.

• The SANBS also hosts a blood drive in Graaff-Reinet every second Monday afternoon of the month, between 14:00 and 18:00, at the Te Water Hall in Bourke Street. Those who are able, are encouraged to give blood and in so doing, save a life.

Anyone who is over 16, weighs over 50kg and who practices a healthy lifestyle can donate. When you donate one unit of blood you can save up to three lives, as blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.

RCL Training – Global Leadership Consultants

On 13 March 2019 the RCL had a training session with Global Leadership Consultants.

There are not many things that warm the heart of an educator more than when a past pupil ploughs back into the very community which shaped him or her. This was what could be sensed when Luphumlo Joka conducted training with the Representative Council for Learners of Union High School at Profcon yesterday.

The vision of Global Leadership Consultants is to build authentic leaders to effectively change society generationally. The values of the company, excellence, integrity, passion, discipline and stewardship was really the golden thread throughout the session.

Global Leadership Consultants was officially started in 2015 by founder Luphumlo Joka whilst he was studying Law at Nelson Mandela University. GLC was birthed out of genuine love and passion for the development of organizations and high performance individuals.

The team specializes in strategic management and leadership development and business leadership support. Their competitive advantage is in their new approach to leadership development birthed by our young innovative team of professionals.

A fun-filled, jam-packed half day session addressing topics like the purpose of leaders, the ultimate leader-shift and the duty of authentic leadership was enjoyed by fifteen excited leaders. We are looking forward to see our leaders finding their purpose and expanding their sphere of influence even further.

We are grateful to Global Leadership Consultants for this invaluable experience which our Representative Council of Learners thoroughly enjoyed!

Matric Dance 2019

This year the date of the Matric Farewell Dance was brought forward to February, setting the tone for a year of beauty, unity and the hope of some Rain for our Matric class of 2019! The Grade 11’s had the challenging task of raising as much money as they could in a very short time, and under pressure pulled off an excellent event very close to the start of the year.

The venue changed to the Botanics, which proved to be a fitting backdrop to showcase the beautiful young ladies and handsome gentlemen as they alighted from their carefully selected modes of transport against the backdrop of the Karoo. Parents and supporters streamed in to view the Matrics and their partners as they were welcomed by Master of Ceremonies Ashwon Davids, Brett Amsterdam and William Kayster.

On entering the outside venue, delicious canapés made by Muller House were served under a starry sky and welcome drinks were enjoyed by all on this sultry summer’s evening.   The outside courtyard had been transformed into an elegant welcome lounge and the guests had some time to admire one another’s outfits and mingle with their classmates and teachers.  The theme this year was ‘Rain’ which was made evident on entering the Botanics hall.  Puffy clouds with ploppy drops swirled around the gorgeous dresses as they entered the venue.  The hall had been transformed into an elegantly simple celebration of rain, with an installation of 100 umbrellas forming a fitting centrepiece over the dancefloor.  The décor was light, white and elegant – a perfect backdrop to the trending colours of maroon, teal and deep reds in which the matrics were adorned.


Head convenor, Jade Shires welcomed the guests before Head Girl Jenna McNaughton paid tribute to the grade – reminding everyone that this was the beginning of a wonderful year, and a start to beautiful memories.   Hoër Volkskool Headboy, Chris Burger, gave a speech of gratitude and Bowen Langmead said grace before the meal.   Muller house provided a delicious feast of fillet steaks and chicken pie, and the dessert was out of this world – complete with a delicious raindrop!  Decorating and raising funds aside, the Grade 11s also performed a fun dance which fitted well with the theme of ‘rain’, and grateful thanks go to Mrs Putter who choreographed the dancers.  Then the dancing began!  As always, the dancing is always a colourful mix of all styles and music, and everyone had a ball!  Towards the end of the evening, Sakhe Booi made a speech of gratitude to all those who had made the evening possible, and a beaming Lauren Rose-Innes proposed a toast to ‘The amazing class of 2019’!

The Matric Dance is an important rite of passage in the lives of all matriculants. It is a celebration of precious children on the cusp of adulthood and much thought and energy is put into each little detail from the dress to the shoes, to the tiepin, hair, makeup and hat and car.  Congratulations to the Grade 11 committee, Ms Vona van Rensburg and the team of hardworking parents who provided the platform for this night to remember, ‘Dancing in the Rain.’’


Matrics class of 2019
The grade 11s worked hard this week to create a beautiful venue for the Matric Dance. The theme was ‘Rain’ and the Botanics hall was transformed into a place of elegance and beauty! Well done grade 11’s!