Union High School

Termly Newsletter

24 June 2017

Dear Parents
Thank you for your continued support throughout this term. Your ever-present support is a tremendous encouragement to our learners and staff.

I appeal to all parents, however, to make every effort to ensure that school fees are paid in full before the commencement of each term. However much we may dislike the sentiment, the reality is that any school is a business and we cannot continue to provide the sort of education we want for our children without income. Non-payment of fees is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. No parent can send their child to a school of this nature and not contribute to fees.

Staff Matters
It was with shock and sadness that we received news of the untimely passing of Mr Fanie Bezuidenhout, Head of Department at the School, who passed away at home during the April holiday. Mr Bez impacted profoundly on the lives of thousands of Unionites, and especially the young men who resided under his care at Arthur Kingwill House. His absence has been sorely felt this term.
Mrs Wynford stepped into the breech to teach the senior Afrikaans classes and we thank her for her willingness to assist during this difficult time.
Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Grewar whose children all graduated during the April holiday and achieved cum laude passes: Stephen Grewar (Master of Engineering), Melissa Grewar (Honours in Psychology) and David Grewar (Master’s degree in Public Health).
Congratulations to Mr Lombard on his engagement to Ms Charlene Froelich on 28 May.

Academic Matters
School Based Assessment
The SBA mark in every subject constitutes a weighting of 25% of the final promotion mark for the National Senior Certificate, except for Life Orientation where the SBA constitutes 100%. It is therefore extremely important to note that a learner’s marks will be “pending” if a SBA mark is not produced and he or she will not be resulted. Parents hold a joint responsibility for their child’s performance and must ensure that tasks are submitted on time and that their child is present for tests and examinations.

Subject Changes: Grades 10 – 12
A learner may change a maximum of two subjects in Grade 10, provided this is done by the end of the second term, and with the written approval of the parent. A learner may change two subjects in Grade 11, provided this is done before 31 March, subject to the written approval of the parent and the Headmaster. In exceptional cases a learner may change one additional subject at the end of Grade 11, provided this is done before 15 December of the Grade 11 year. No subject changes will be allowed in Grade 12. A learner may not change classes to the new subject until the School has received written confirmation from the Department of Education approving the request for a subject change.

Subject Choices: Grade 10 - 2018
Learners offering Physical Sciences and Accounting, as one or more of their optional subjects, must offer Mathematics as a compulsory subject. The implementation hereof is as follows: 2017 in Grade 10; 2018 in Grade 11 and 2019 in Grade 12.

Pass Requirements Reminder
Pass requirements for 2017 are identical to those that were applicable at the end of 2016. Pay particular attention to requirements pertaining to Gr 7-9: Mathematics (40%); to Languages (50% for English HL, 40% for Afrikaans FAL), of the remaining subjects 3 at level 3 and 2 at level 2. It is obligatory to pass all subjects at the required level, otherwise a learner is NOT ready to proceed to the next grade. In Grades 10 – 12 a learner MUST achieve a minimum of 40% in 3 subjects of which English Home Language is one and 30% in 3 of the remaining subjects. Please understand that these requirements are not at the discretion of the school. Should a learner not achieve the minimum standards, the learner will repeat the grade.

Progress Report
Please study your son or daughter’s report very carefully. The school report contains important information. No parents should be able to claim to be unaware of their children’s academic progress (or lack thereof). Parents are encouraged to stay in touch with the school with regard to the academic challenges facing their children. I would, once again, like to urge you to be actively involved in encouraging and helping your sons and daughters to achieve as well as possible. Your involvement is of extreme importance if your children are to be successful in school.

The annual MintekQuiz was held on Thursday, 18 May in Port Elizabeth. Three of our top Mathematics and Physical Science Grade 12 Learners, Kerrin Kingwill, Anje Oelofsen and Amy Chaplin represented the School at this event, participating in the Gold Section. The first round consisted of a written section where each learner completed a test individually. Based on a school’s combined marks, five teams were chosen to go through to the oral quiz section held in the afternoon, where teams competed against each other on stage. Our team did themselves proud in the written section, coming out top in the Gold section, and was chosen to compete in the afternoon quiz event. Here they faced some very challenging questions and were very unlucky just to miss out on third place. Special congratulations must go to Kerrin Kingwill who was one of only five learners in the entire event to obtain a certificate for excellence in the written quiz. She obtained an astounding 98 % which saw her being placed amongst the top two learners and she was awarded Top Learner in the Gold Section. Kerrin was chosen to represent the Eastern Cape Team for the National Minquiz event in July.

Salisbury Exchange Programme
Kerrin Kingwill and Ross Stanley have been selected as our GAP students for 2018. We congratulate them and know that they will be fine ambassadors of the school. We are looking forward to the return of our four learner exchange students, Marli Brummer, Amber Binney, Corniel Vorster and Daniel Nell, at the beginning of Term 3.

Grade 11 Accounting Excursion to Volkswagen / KPMG - 22 – 23 June 2017
On Thursday 22 June 2017 the Grade 11 Accounting class left to Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage for their first Accounting excursion. The class visited the Volkswagen Plant in Uitenhage. There the learners were treated to a factory tour and witnessed how the Polo Vivo gets assembled. After the factory tour it was off to the Volkswagen Museum where our learners had lots of fun. At 11:30 they attended a seminar at KPMG where our learners were addressed by employees of the different departments from KPMG, definitely broadening their views on the Accounting field. Lunch was enjoyed at the beachfront where the learners were spoiled for choice. They arrived back in Graaff–Reinet on Friday evening and judging by how tired the learners were, it would be fair to the trip was a great success.

Focus on Parent-Teacher Partnership
Ms Paula Kingwill, a drama therapist from Nieu-Bethesda, facilitated a fun evening where teachers and parents explored each other’s needs and expectations. Through absorbing activities and thoughtful brainstorming Paula expertly encapsulated common views and paved the way for good relations between parents and teachers. Widespread consensus highlighted the wish that respect, kindness and good communication should prevail from both sides. Afterwards, companionable laughter over a light supper was enjoyed by all.

Cultural Matters
On Monday 22 May, our Senior Chess team participated in a friendly tournament against Middleburg High and Middleburg Primary School. Sixteen of our players participated in the tournament and played three rounds each. Union won the tournament with the final scores of 23.5 – 21.5. Some exceptional skills were displayed from both schools, especially by Middleburg Primary School. Congratulations to Liano Naidoo, Zintle Maki and Ronan Potgieter on winning all three of their matches.

Matric Farewell
The annual Matric Farewell Dance was held on Friday evening, 21 May, and what a beautiful evening of sophistication, elegance, and a celebration of beauty and joy it proved to be. Our Grade 12 class, and their partners, were dressed elegantly and appropriately and enjoyed an evening of classy sophistication, and danced the night away. The SA College for Tourism, otherwise known as The Panorama was beautifully decorated by the Grade 11 Dance Committee and their committed parents who had worked very hard over the past year fundraising and organising the event. From an educational perspective, the greatest benefit of organising a dance of this magnitude is witnessing the growth and maturation of the Grade 11 class as they take responsibility for the arrangements. I congratulate, in particular, Rebecca Langmead and Cameron Muir, and their committee on a spectacular success.

Art Club
On Thursday, 18 May, the Art Club visited the studio of photographer Jac Grobbelaar where the learners learned about the importance of symmetry and perspective when taking photographs. After a very informative lecture, the participants had the opportunity to crit photos taken using the knowledge they had gained. On the club’s next visit, Mr Grobbelaar will demonstrate the art of picture framing with the club. Recently, the Art Club visited a farm studio where Mr Rose-Innes demonstrated the magic of wood-turning on a lathe. He transformed a rectangular block of wood into a beautiful wooden chalice, then James Rose-Innes created beautiful glass beads using a gas flame and coloured glass rods. There was ample opportunity for taking photographs, and the learners put the knowledge they had gained on their previous outing to the test. It was a lovely outing and we thank the Waddelow family for the sweet breakfast treats.

ECO Schools
We are proud to announce the receipt of our Gold Eco-Schools Award for 2016's eco efforts. Stickers with the Eco-Schools logo were made for all School vehicles and prominent places in the school, and each learner received a small sticker for their school or tablet bag. These stickers are a good reinforcement of our Eco-School status and also serve to remind all learners how much we value Environmental Education. Ingrid Kingwill, Youth Pastor at The Assembly Church, and Rosemary Scheepers, Education Manager at our local SANParks office, prepared a thoughtful message about 'Humans as good Stewards of our Environment' for our special World Environment Day Assembly on Friday 2 June. Thanks are extended to both The Assembly Church and SANParks for their continued partnership in the education the youth of our town. At this assembly, the Class of 1957 enjoyed their 60th Reunion at the school and it was special to have them be part of our Eco Assembly.

Loyal Eco Clubbers enjoyed a reward outing to Ganora Farm, near Nieu-Bethesda. They did quite a bit of hiking, learnt about the San and Khoi peoples, as well as medicinal plants from Punti, their guide. Lots of fresh air, exercise, learning, good food and fun was had by all.

Blood Drive
Once again the staff and pupils rallied to take part in the quarterly Blood Drive. What a gratifying experience to see these young people enthusiastically supporting each other through their donations - the primary motivation being to help save someone’s life.

Monday Morning Devotions
Apart from prefects and groups representing clubs or societies at Union, senior learners are afforded the opportunity of sharing short devotions at the Monday Assembly. We thank them for their willingness. Thank you also to the members of staff who assist them.

Andre de Villiers Performance
The School was treated to the wonderful and heartfelt testimony and music of Andre de Villiers during an assembly this term. Speaking from the heart, Mr de Villiers held the attention of learners through his stories about his past, his precious family, his trials and successes in his music career and his walk with God. De Villiers is a very gifted singer and songwriter. His songs have a genuine message to them and he sings them with a real anointing. He certainly has a great touch with his audience and relates well to high school learners. Amongst others, he sang his famous "Memories" song, which ended in a standing ovation from the audience.

Primary SCA
Every Wednesday evening at 18h00, some Grade 5s, 6s, and 7s, enjoy a time of fellowship which consists of a lesson from The Word, fun and prayer. This is a precious time for all who attend, as these sessions are voluntarily and willingly prepared by the learners themselves. Ms Street’s role has gone from teacher to facilitator, as these brave young soldiers for Christ flock to prepare and present fun Bible lessons to share with each other. It’s a precious time of love and laughter right in the middle of each tough week. Thanks and appreciation also goes to the parents who support their children in preparing these lessons - your input is indeed welcomed and valuable.

Amazing Race
On Friday 9 June the School hosted the annual Eco-Amazing Race. This year teams were limited to UHS learners, particularly those who are Eco Representatives. Teams consisted of four learners of different gender and ages, working together to solve riddles and clues, conquer physical challenges and answer questionnaires. UHS educators and the staff of The Old Library Museum organized and managed stations. Congratulations to the winning team: Johan Vorster, Peter Watermeyer, Kayla Jaftha and Anna Pringle who each received a Spur voucher of R200. Well done to those who placed 2nd and 3rd, receiving vouchers from Brian Bands Sports and XTT respectively. Compliments are extended to all teams for completing the race and having a zero injury rating. Thanks also go to all assisting adults for an afternoon of fun activities that extended the learners in so many different and challenging ways. We are, as always, most grateful to our generous sponsors, Spur, Brian Bands Sports, XTT and Spandau Spar, as well as to our partners, The Old Library Museum and Blue Magnolia. We thank you and appreciate your continued support with our school’s eco activities.

Sport Matters
Detailed reports of all matches played are available on the Communicator, Facebook and the Website.

I appeal to parents not to permit their children to join sports clubs which are not suitably supervised by adults, as the School is experiencing behavioural problems associated with this.

On Friday, 31 March, the School hosted the SPAR Eastern Cape School Girls' Hockey Challenge. The 1st Team recorded the following results in very warm conditions: vs Kingswood College 0-0, vs Hoër Volkskool 3-0, vs Victoria Girls 6-0, vs DSG 1-0, vs Gill College 3-0, vs Brandwag 1-0, Final—Top 2 Teams after Round Robin vs Kingswood 1-0. Congratulations to our girls on displaying fine skill and gritty determination.

The 30th annual Senior Rugby and Hockey Festival, sponsored by Caltex College Motors, Hyundai Graaff-Reinet and Supa Quick took place from 1-4 April. Our teams performed admirably and, as always, rose to the occasion. Thanks are extended to the hard-working staff at Arthur Kingwill House and Herby Arnott House, as well as those at Huis Cronje (Hoër Volkskool) and Huis Eybers (Laer Volkskool), who had to cater for 800 players and 115 coaches. A special word of thanks goes to all our rugby and hockey moms and dads for feeding the coaches, sponsors, staff, medics and referees at the Tony Burrell Union. As always, the food was of the highest quality. Thank you also to Mr John Crankshaw and his team of Old Unionites for their contribution.
The following results were recorded:
RUGBY: vs Cambridge 13-5, vs Hoërskool Charlie Hofmeyr 17-39.
HOCKEY: 1st Team: vs Paarl Gim Invitational 8-0, vs Brandwag 2-1, vs Nico Malan 6-0, vs Settlers 9-0, vs Brandwag 4-0.
UHS Invitation Team: vs Victoria Girls 3-3, vs Westering 0-1.

A number of our multi-disciplinary athletes were selected to represent Eastern Province at the South African Biathlon Championships held on 8 April in Paarl. Biathlon consists of swimming and running and this popular sport is considered a true test of an all-rounder’s abilities. Gerrit Brink was also selected to be the captain of the Eastern Province team, a great honour for him, the school and our town. More than 600 athletes from all over South Africa congregated and it was an inspiring sight to see all these fit competitors marching under their provincial banners. Despite a gusting wind, the running times were very good and the athletes gave a good account of themselves. Gerrit Brink swam a new personal best time, and Cameron Muir (16th) and Gerrit Brink (8th) all finished in the Top 20 of their age groups. Gerrit Brink finished 8th in Men U19 and the many hours of hard work in training has clearly paid off for all these athletes. The biathlon season kicks off again on 1 September and the first event will be held here in Graaff-Reinet.

Cross Country
Results: Congratulations to the following athletes:
Girls U11 3km: 1. Caytah-Leigh Koeberg 18:59, 2. Princess Mcinga 25:02, 3. Sisipho de Vos 27:22
Boys U11 3km: 1. Camran Swartz 15:02, 2. Dylon Kivedo 18:00, 3. Peter Michaels 20:59
Girls U13 4km: 1. Brigette Oelofsen 22:50, 2. Drew Dobinson 25:02, 3. Sonwabiso Mroro 27:22
Boys U13 4km: 1. Siyamthanda Badiwe 19:46, 2. Ruzhe Hendricks 21:13, 3. Laython Carelse 21:44
Girls U15 4km: 1. Busisiwe Chimaliro 22:40:00, 2. Marche Green 22:53:15, 3. Vuyo Booysen 23:35:10
Boys U15 6km: 1. Matthew Carelse 29:22:25, 2. Josh Calitz 30:00:22, 3. Hlumisa Kalipa 31:52:11
Girls Open 4km: 1. Rebecca Langmead 19:14:01, 2. Micela Loock 20:59:10, 3. Candice Russell 20:59:19
Boys Open 8km: 1. Cameron Muir 35:44:14, 2. Matt Harpur 36:49:19, 3. Cowan Swartz 38:08:22

Goals for Cancer
The partnership between Union High School Hockey and College Motors / Caltex Fresh Stop, cemented by an initiative where the 1st Hockey Team's performance directly benefits the local Cancer Association, continues. The drive is called "Goals for Cancer" and every goal scored by the 1st XI girls this year results in a donation of R100 from Caltex Fresh Stop to the Cancer Association. Each game in which the 1st Team plays starts with a pink ball in play for the first 5 minutes. Should the girls score within these 5 minutes, they receive R100 for the team, as well as R100 for the Cancer Association. The player of the match is decided upon by the spectators at the AstroTurf, who vote by sending an SMS with the player's name to 076 913 2869. The player will receive a R75 voucher and play the following match in pink socks. This is a wonderful initiative for the girls to play their hearts out for the school and the Cancer Association.

Congratulations to Kia Hoffmann who received her 50th cap, and to Kelsey Minnaar who received her 100th cap for the 1st Hockey Team during the Senior Festival. Congratulations to Anje Oelofsen, Henze Jaftha and Candice Russell who earned their 50th caps in the match against Cradock. We are very proud of them.

The 1st Hockey Team has recorded excellent results over the course of the season thus far. They participated in the Greg Beling Festival, The Spar Challenge and the Kingswood Festival. Further to this, matches were played against Victoria Park, Aliwal North, Kingswood, Cradock and Westering.

Congratulations to Jenna McNaughton and Micela Loock on their selection to the Eastern Province Under 16A Team, and to Henze Jaftha (Under 18B) and Kelsey Minnaar (Under 18A) on their selection to the Eastern Province teams. Further congratulations are extended to Micela Loock on her selection as vice-captain of the Eastern Province U16A team.

Our Junior Hockey teams had a busy term, participating in the Collegiate Festival and St. Georges Festival. Further to this, matches were played against Gill College and Kingswood College. The determination and good team work of the girls resulted in excellent wins over some strong opposition.

The U11 Rugby Squad travelled to Port Elizabeth to participate in the Clarendon Park Primary School U11 Rugby Festival. They played against Herbert Hurd 7-15, Westering 0-15 and Sunridge Park 0-52. However, these three matches prepared them for their great 45-15 win against Muir on the following Saturday.

The following rugby players were selected to represent various teams:
Karoo U15: Bowen Langmead, Junior Duba, Ronaldo Welman, Kwezi Simon, Brett Amsterdam, Mack Rubidge, William Kayster and River Carey. Congratulations to Mr Felix who is the manager of this team.
The 1st XV have had a fair season and, other than our festival, the team participated in the Graeme Rugby Day and matches were played against St. Andrew’s School, St Andrew’s College, Muir College, Victoria Park, Aliwal North, Kingswood College, Cradock High School, Winterberg Agricultural School, Westering and Graeme College.

The junior rugby teams have had a tough year thus far, but they must be complimented on their “never give up” attitude. Matches were played against Muir College, Karel Theron, Niko Brummer, Kingswood College, and Graeme College.

18th Anne Beagley Junior Rugby and Hockey Festival: 1-3 July 2017
We will once again be hosting the Anne Beagley Junior Rugby and Hockey Festival. 14 Rugby and 15 Hockey teams will be taking part in a fun-filled festival. As always the sport will be competitive with the boys playing three rugby matches and the girls playing five hockey matches. We are looking forward to seeing our Junior Teams in action as they have performed well throughout the season and we are hoping they will continue this trend at the Festival.

Parents and Supporters are welcome to join us on Saturday night at 19:00 for a Steak Braai in the Tony Burrell Union. The cost will be R100 per meal and a cash bar will be available. On Sunday night, all are welcome to join us for a traditional Karoo braai in the Tony Burrell Union – a fitting end to the festival!

Despite a busy rugby and hockey programme, the 1st and 2nd boys’ and girls’ Senior Tennis Teams participated in the Graaff-Reinet and District Winter League. They all acquitted themselves well against strong and experienced opponents from the surrounding clubs. We received compliments on the behaviour of these players.

We will be hosting Interschools from 7-12 August this year. We are looking forward to a wonderful week's competition with Laer and Hoër Volkskool and to welcoming back to their alma mater many reunion groups.

General Matters
Grounds and Buildings
The Stables at AKH have received much-needed attention, with a new roof being fitted, and further renovations planned.

Facebook, Communicator and Website
We place a vast amount of information of these sites. Please visit them on a regular basis to keep up with all the happening at the school throughout the term.

MySchool Card
Each learner received a MySchool Card application form. Please return the completed form to school, if you have not done so yet.

All locker money must please be paid by the first Friday of next term. Cost: Small – R 25, 00 per term; Big – R 35, 00.

Clothing Shop Hours
The email address for Mrs Smit in the clothing shop is clothing@unionschools.co.za
The opening times for the shop are from 08h00 to 12h00 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Important 3rd Term Dates
Monday, 24 July : School reopens 08:00 to 14:00
Summer times are applicable to the rest of the week.
If the first school day attached to a long weekend is not a Monday: 08.00 to 13.30.
After a public holiday - not attached to a weekend: 07.05 to 13.30.
7-12 August: Interschools
Friday, 11 August : Assembly at 09.00
Old Unionite National Association A.G.M. at 11.00
Friday, 25 August : Winter Sports Awards Assembly and announcement of 2017 Prefects and
Induction Assembly.
Tuesday, 29 August : Grade 12 Trial examinations commence (Provisional date)
Friday, 29 September : School closes

I wish all our learners and their families a peaceful and restful holiday. If you are going away, travel safely and thank you for your continued support.

Enjoy the break.

Yours faithfully