Union High School

Termly Newsletter

31 March 2018

Dear Parents

The following members of staff joined the school at the beginning of the year: Ms Vona van Rensburg, who is teaching Afrikaans 1st Additional Language, Mr Floris Steenkamp who has been appointed Junior Sports Administrator, Mr J-P. Kruger – Tablet Technology Administrator, Mrs Maritza Burger who has been appointed Debtors Clerk.

Mrs Scott underwent open-heart surgery during the term, and has thankfully made a speedy recovery and returned to her post on 8 March. While she was away, Mrs Zelda van Rooyen taught her Music pupils and Ms Ingrid Kingwill taught her Life Orientation classes. Mrs van Rooyen has accepted a permanent part-time post at the School.

Mr Hannes Lombard, Senior Sports Administrator, leaves the school at the end of the term. We wish him everything of the best as he marries Ms Charlene Froelich on Saturday 1 April and then as they travel to Vietnam to teach English. Mr Lombard has had a significant impact on the administration and coaching of sport at the school and his work ethic and interest in the life of each learner will be missed.

The Union Pre-School celebrated the grand opening of its new facilities on Friday morning, January 26. Ms Sue Oliver, the pre-school's principal, was joined by representatives from the Union Pre-School Governing Body, the Union High School Development Trust, parents and learners for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The ceremony, which coincided with our annual Founders' Weekend, was opened by the school's Governing Body chairperson, Ms Jacqui Marais, who eloquently introduced the guest speakers and led the proceedings. After a few words of welcome by Mrs Olivier, Pastor Dolan Cochrane said an opening prayer after which Mr Derek Light, chairman of the Union High School Development Trust, addressed all those present. He expressed the Trust's pride at having been involved in the realisation of this dream and thanked all those whose generous contributions and assistance made it a possibility. The ceremony concluded with the presentation of gifts and the cutting of the ribbon by two of the pre-schoolers after which the keys to the school were gifted to its principal, Sue Olivier. Celebratory cake and refreshments were then enjoyed by all those present.

The Class of 2017 achieved a 100% pass rate in the National Senior Certificate Examinations. All 51 candidates passed, achieving 34 Bachelor Passes (67%), 15 Diploma passes and 2 Higher Certificate passes. Five candidates achieved A-aggregate passes. The top performer was Anje Oelofsen, with 6 subject distinctions, Amy Chaplin was placed second, with 7 subject distinctions, Kerrin Kingwill was placed third, with 6 subject distinctions, Gerrit Brink was placed fourth, with 6 subject distinctions and Timony Miller was placed fifth, with 4 subject distinctions. In total, the class achieved 53 Subject Distinctions.

The challenge has been laid down to the class of 2018, to emulate this achievement. A 100% pass rate is non-negotiable – the goal must be to better these results and to aim for a Bachelor pass rate (i.e., entry to university) of at least 70%!

At the Academic Awards Assembly, held on Friday, 19 January, our top academic learners were awarded academic prizes based on their results at the end of 2017. Congratulations to these learners on their achievements:
GRADE 6 (Based on Grade 5 results of 2017): Caytah-Leigh Koeberg, Na’eem Mahomed, Sadé May
GRADE 7 (Based on Grade 6 results of 2017): Lana Bouwer, Rachael Houseman, Tayla Kingwill, Jude Langmead , Brent Hesselink (Re-award), Cadee Arends (Re-award), Siphosethu Malotana (Re-award), Gemma Naudé (Re-award), Brigette Oelofsen (Re-award), Anna Pringle (Re-award), Jamie Rudlin (Re-award), Caitrin Spence (Re-award)
GRADE 8 (Based on Grade 7 results of 2017): Amber Binney , Michelle Doyle , Jamie Jaftha, Kendall Krige, Barbara McNaughton, Chloe Shires, Matthew Basson (Re-award), Hannah Bodenstein (Re-award)
GRADE 9 (Based on Grade 8 results of 2017): Catelyn Anthony, Marthinus van den Berg, Carmen Beaumont (Re-award), Kyle-Luke du Preez (Re-award), Shayna Japhta (Re-award), Amzolele Relu (Re-award), James Rose-Innes (Re-award), Hannah Watermeyer (Re-award)
GRADE 10 (Based on Grade 9 results of 2017): Katherine Imrie, Erin Mitchell, Laetitia Theron, Deger Williams, Matthew Hesselink (Re-award), Sara Kingwill (Re-award)
Bowen Langmead (Re-award), Erin O’Halloran (Re-award), Jade Shires (Re-award).
GRADE 11 (Based on Grade 10 results of 2017)
Full Colours: Megan Doyle, Sanja Du Plessis, Ethan Gedult, Zintle Maki, Jenna McNaughton, Taylyn Miller, Yu-Pei Rong, Bridget Stander, Peter Watermeyer
GRADE 12 (Based on Grade 11 results of 2017)
Half Colours: Faith Macdonald, Ronan Potgieter, Uthimna Somi, Michael Krige (Re-award)
Full Colours: Megan Meintjes, Amanda Brink (Re-award), Rebecca Langmead (Re-award), Kelly Rose-Innes (Re-award), Kirsten van den Berg (Re-award)

Congratulations to members of staff who were awarded certificates by ITSI Digital Teaching Technologies based on the number of resources being pushed into learners’ tablets: Level 1: Mr C. Bezuidenhout, Mr C. Felix, Mrs B. Gamiet, Ms J. Jones, and Mrs H. Keyser; Level 2: Mrs C. Pringle and Mrs A. Gedult.

Much fun was had as the new Grade 8 learners spent Thursday 18 January hiking to the Camdeboo Education Centre where they were met by the 2018 prefects and staff, who guided them through a series of teambuilding exercises! What an asset this beautiful centre is to our community! We extend our thanks to Rosemary Scheepers and the SANParks guides for their help and expert guidance.

The learners had great fun sand-skiing, trying to fit 10 people into a 500mm diameter circle, with Cameron keeping the tower upright, untangling themselves from each other, being tied together with two pieces of string, cheering under the Karoo night sky under the guidance of prefects, and spending some time around the bonfire. After very little sleep, and a good breakfast, they hiked back into town. Thank you also to our local Pick 'n Pay for their generosity in feeding the learners. We extend our gratitude to David and Bronwen Langmead, who organised this great adventure for our Grade 8’s. This was such an uplifting experience for our learners.

On Friday 2 February, we had the honour of hosting world-renowned motivational speaker, Dr Arnold Mol, where he presented three seminars – to the Matric class of 2018, the teaching staff, followed by one to the Union parents. Dr Mol addressed the Gr 12’s on the topic of “The pursuit of status” – the difference between external and internal status, and how to focus on internal status. During the afternoon seminar, the teaching staff had the opportunity to listen to Dr Mol in a very interactive session on “How to motivate your learners in the classroom” – how motivating your learners is a two-fold task; firstly conveying knowledge and values, and secondly motivating your learners to study. The parents were informed of the characteristics of a teenager – how they search for their own identity, struggling with poor self-image and striving for their independence, and that the main sources of conflict stems from parents still wanting to be in control and teenagers wanting to ‘prove’ that they are no longer children. Parents were advised to give their children unconditional love, unhurried time and “permission without approval”; how rules should always focus on the “consideration of others”, and to be hard on moral standards, but soft on people.

A Top Level Club meeting was held in the Union on Tuesday 23 January. It was a welcoming function introducing the learners to the body. On Tuesday 20 March, nineteen Top levellers attended a presentation on Meteorology by Mrs Danelle Botes, a Meteorologist, holding a Masters’ degree in this field and currently studying towards PGCE qualification residing in Graaff-Reinet, introduced a group of learners to the possibilities a career in Meteorology holds.

The challenges facing those who teach English in an English-medium school are real. Our Intermediate Phase (Grades 5,6 & 7) consists of approximately 20% of learners who speak English as their home language. Many learners have gaps in their English knowledge that can't be filled by the English teacher, because she/he is obliged to teach the Curriculum of that particular grade. Since English, like Math, is a 'stepping stone' subject, gaps in the learner's knowledge makes it extremely difficult for the learner to progress. With this in mind, the Primary Department hosted an intervention meeting on Monday 5 March for parents in order to empower parents to assist their children with reading. Parents and guardians brainstormed and came up with good solutions which each group shared with those present at the workshop.

Chevonne Prinsloo won a poster competition on Friday 23 March 2018. The poster was aimed at promoting tourism in Graaff-Reinet and surrounding areas. KayCee Rossouw of Algoa FM judged the competition. We congratulate Chevonne on this achievement.

The School celebrated Founders' Weekend on 26-27 January. Activities included: Founders' Assembly on Friday morning, the Old Unionite Association Annual General Meeting. Unfortunately the planned biathlon and colour splash was rained out on Friday afternoon; a Steak Evening, six cricket games from U9 to 1st Team between the boys and their fathers and past pupils on the school fields and the Botanics Sportsgrounds, the Gisela Kingwill Tea at Herby Arnott House, mini-hockey and junior hockey matches, and a 1st hockey squad match against the Old Girls.
Awards were handed to the boys for their play on the day. James Pienaar received the award for the Best U15 Player and Lunga Zantsi for the Best 2nd team Player. The Most Valuable 1st Team Player award went to Brett Amsterdam and Matt Harpur received the awards for the Best Batsman and the Best Schoolboy Performance by a 1st XI Player. Thank you to all the Old Girls, Old Boys, moms and dads for a fantastic day’s hockey and cricket.

I request that parents who are purchasing sports tackies for their children please consider whether or not the colour of the tackies is appropriate for use with the green and white Union sports uniform. Red tackies, for example, do not look good when worn with our uniform.

Further, when attending a school function, whether at school or at another school or venue, learners are expected to be dressed in school attire. I request that parents support the school in this matter.

The Junior Sports Day, in which the Prep and Middle School participate, was held over two days with the track events taking place on the Monday 29 January and the field events on Thursday 1 February. Both days were full of enthusiastic competition and everyone had the opportunity to participate in any one of the many events.

The Senior Sports Day was held on Monday, 22 January. All Arnott and Daly athletes participated in a wet and windy Interhouse Athletics Meeting. Arnott House claimed the Interhouse Athletics Shield with 808 points to Daly’s 694 points.

On Friday 9 February, six of our athletes took part in the regionals athletics trials at the Collie Koeberg Stadium. All athletes competed to the best of their abilities and special congratulations are extended to Matthew Paxton who was selected to compete in Port Elizabeth.

Daniel Short and Matthew Paxton both took part in the prestigious CMC Athletics Championship held at The Oval in Port Elizabeth on 17 February. Vigorous competition brought the best out of both athletes and they competed to the best of their abilities, Matthew came 5th in the Long Jump and Daniel won both the 100m and the 80m races.

Forty athletes competed at the Karoo Athletics Meeting, held on Tuesday, 13 February, at the Collie Koeberg Stadium. Our athletes all gave their best, despite the heat and lack of shade. The participants recorded the following summary of achievements: 10 Gold medals, 5 Silver Medals and 6 Bronze Medals.
The following learners received Golden Medals: Jenna McNaughton, 800 m in 2:50,29 min; Marché Green, High Jump, 1.35 m; Erin Mithcell, High Jump, 1,32 m; Thando Haarmans, Long Jump, 6,18 m; Ntsika Ngongoma, 400 m, 58,91 sec; Liyema Mjoli, Shot Put, 9,12 m; Rosslyn Sparks, Discus Throw, 23,75 m; Sanja du Plessis, 800 m, 2:38,69 min; Candice Russell, High Jump, 1,28 m; Cameron Muir, 5 000 m, 20:04,56 min;

The following ten learners qualified to represent the Karoo Athletics Team at the CACADU Mega District Meeting to be held at the PE Oval on Friday, 23 February: Erin Mithcell, High Jump, Girls u/15; Ntisika Ngongoma, 400 m, Boys u/15; Jenna McNaughton, 800 m, Girls u/17; Marche Green, High Jump, Girls u/17; Matthew Carelse, 400 m, Boys u/17; Candice Russell, High Jump, Girls u/19; Rosslyn Sparks Discus, Girls u/19; Cameron Muir, 5 000 m, Boys u/19; Thando Haarmans, Long Jump, Boys u/19.

Nine athletes represented the Karoo Team at the Sarah Baartman Athletics Meeting held at The Oval in Port Elizabeth. Between sunshine and rain, each athlete gave his or her best and we congratulate the following learners on their medals received: Erin Mitchell received a bronze medal for high jump, Rosslyn Sparks a silver medal for discus and Marche Green received a silver medal for high jump. Gold medals were awarded to Candice Russell for high jump and Sanja du Plessis for 800m.

Sanja du Plessis and Marche Green were selected to the Sarah Baartman Team to attend the Eastern Cape Secondary Schools Athletics Championships at Nelson Mandela University on 6 March.

On Saturday 20 January, 5 Union Biathletes entered into the last EP Biathlon league event for the season. For the rest of the events this season, the biathletes have to be invited to compete, after qualifing for them during the season, which started in September 2017. We await those names. After the long holiday these 5 biathetes took up the challenge and gained mixed results. Drew Dobinson competed in her first meeting and did well to obtain the best result for Union - closest to the bench mark of 2000 points. Kendall Krige also did well, closely behind her. Jason Wright also competed in his first event, with a fine time in the swim. Ben Kroon also swam a good race as did Corniel Vorster.

The Eastern Province Biathlon Team to compete in an Inter-provincial Meeting in Oudtshoorn on Saturday 3 February 2018 was selected from the results of all the EP League meetings that have taken place since September 2017. Congratulations to the following biathletes who have been selected: Cameron Muir EP A Team boys U19; Candice Russell EP A Team girls U19; Sanja du Plessis EP B Team girls U19; Micela Loock EP B Team girls U17; Jenna McNaughton EP B Team girls U17; Kendall Krige EP Development Team girls U15; and Drew Dobinson EP Development Team girls U13

On Wednesday, 21 February the EP Biathlon Championships were held in Port Elizabeth. Nine of our Union Biathletes were invited to participate in the event and certainly did Union proud. Congratulations to the following medal winners: U17 Girls: Bronze- Jenna McNaughton and Silver - Micela Loock; U19 Girls Silver - Candice Russell; U19 Boys: Gold - Cameron Muir.

The final event in the biathlon season is the SA Biathlon Championships. This year it is to be held in Pretoria at the end of March. The number of Union biathletes has grown during this last season. Each Union biathlete has improved on their personal times, where they must achieve on the track (long distance 1000m / 2000m) as well as in the swimming pool (100m). Congratulations to the following on their selection to the EP Team to attend SA Championships: Girls U/15: Kendall Krige, Boys U/15: Corniel Vorster (Reserve), Girls U/17: Micela Loock (Reserve), Jenna McNaughton (Reserve), Both Micela and Jenna have been included in the Senior Ladies Team, Girls U/19: Candice Russel, Boys U/19: Cameron Muir.

In December of 2017, six of our cricketers represented Eastern Province Country Districts at the Cricket South Africa U17 Rural National Week which took place in Nelspruit. We congratulate Sinethemba Ndudula, Waylon du Plessis and Matt Harpur on their selection to the South African U17 Rural Team.

Matt Harpur was also selected as the Player of the Tournament after his 10-wicket haul in a time-cricket match against Border and his consistent batting and bowling throughout the tournament. Sinethemba Ndudula also displayed superior talent in his bowling during National Week.

During the holiday, from 11-13 January, we hosted the 12th Annual Union Cricket Festival, with 10 teams from around the country participating. Visiting teams include Glenwood House from Durban, Paarl Boys, Paarl Gimnasium, Grey High School, Milnerton, Stirling, Daniel Pienaar, Brandwag and Marlow.

We have played fixtures vs Herbert Hurd, Stirling High, Volkskool, Gill College, Cradock, Graeme College, Muir College, Otto du Plessis, Daniel Pienaar, so far this term.

A group of 15 Union swimmers, from U12 to Open, participated in the 3rd B Age Group gala of the season, in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, 27 January. The swimmers did well, with a few improving on the previous times. The swimmers are hoping to be invited to the Top 8 Gala in a few weeks' time. It was great to see some of the junior swimmers participating in their 1st B-League gala. Union's boys were placed 1st overall amongst the high schools, and the girls 3rd overall, based on points awarded. We hope to see many more swimmers participating in the next B Age Group gala.
Boys Open: Ben Kroon 1st in 50m Backstroke, 2nd in 50m Butterfly, 3rd in 50 Freestyle; Michael Krige 2nd in 50m Freestyle, 2nd in 100m Breaststroke; Jason Wright 1st in 100m Breaststroke, 3rd in 50m Butterfly, 4th in 50m Breaststroke, 4th in 50m Freestyle
Boys 13 years: Corniel Vorster 2nd in 50m Backstroke, 3rd in 50m Butterfly, 3rd in 100m Breaststroke
Girls 13 years: Kendall Krige 2nd in 50m Breaststroke, 4th in 50m Freestyle; Hannah Bodenstein 3rd in 50m Backstroke.

On 17 March, nine of our Union Junior swimmers head off to Port Elizabeth to participate in a C Age Group Gala. With the drought having closed one of the scheduled venues, our swimmers faced a long day at the poolside to compete with schools from all over the Eastern Cape. The following swimmers did very well to place in the top 5 positions in their age groups: Daniel Marais 4th in 25m, backstroke, 4th in 25m freestyle and 5th in 25mbreaststroke; Caytah-Leigh Koeberg 3rd in 25m backstroke, 5th in 25m freestyle and 5th in 25m breaststroke; Max Price 4th in 25m breaststroke and 5th in 25m freestyle.

On 20 February, we hosted the 2018 Interschools Gala at the Hoër Volkskool pool. Our swimmers gave their all, many of them competing in every event they could to ensure that points were earned. Our junior section lost by roughly 100 points, while our seniors lost by a margin of just over 40 points.

The annual Karoo Interschools Gala was held in the Hoër Volkskool swimming pool, on 28 February. Our Primary division placed third overall, while our senior boys placed second overall and our senior girls clinched the first position.

We thank all the swimmers for participating with such determination, and are especially grateful to those learners who had to shake the cobwebs out of their swimsuits and be called out of “retirement” to fill lanes wherever necessary. It is this kind of selfless team-work that puts our school on the podiums. Well done to you all! Congratulations to the following swimmers who did very well to be placed in the top 3 overall in their age groups: Chloe Erasmus and Jade Shires - 1st overall; Finn Cilliers and Hannah Bodenstein - 2nd overall; Emma Short, Matthew Paxton, Corniel Vorster, Kendall Krige and Megan Doyle - 3rd overall.

On Monday the 12 March the annual Inter Districts Gala was held in the HVS pool. The participating districts were Albany (Grahamstown area), Amathole (Border Country Districts) and Karoo. Four of our U11 swimmers were in the Karoo team: Emma Short, Matthew Paxton, Chloe Erasmus and Daniel Marais. We are very proud of these young swimmers who all gave of their best for the Karoo team.

A full and exhausting season culminated with the Top 8 Invitation Gala held in Port Elizabeth on 17 March. Seventeen of our swimmers were invited to participate in this gala. Congratulations to the following swimmers: Amber Binney, Hannah Bodenstein, Drew Dobinson, Jenna Harvey, Kendall Krige, Michael Krige, Ben Kroon, Cameron Muir, Tracy Petit, James Potgieter, Rachel Pringle, James Rose-Innes, Kelly-Page Scott, Chloe Shires, Jade Shires, Corniel Vorster, and Jason Wright.

A group of 9 swimmers participated in the Top 8 Invitational Gala on Saturday, 17 March, which pits the top swimmers of schools in the province against each other. Union High won 11 medals in total and the swimmers were well rewarded for all their hard work during the season. Congratulation to the following swimmers on their medal wins: Hannah Bodenstein Silver 50m Freestyle, Bronze 50m Backstroke;
James Potgieter Silver 50m Breaststroke; Jenna Harvey Gold 50m Butterfly and 50m Backstroke; Ben Kroon Silver 50m Backstroke, Bronze 100m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke, Bronze 50m Butterfly; Jason Wright Silver 100m Breastroke, Silver 50m Breastroke.

The Top 8 tennis girls and boys travelled to Grahamstown on 21 January to participate in the annual tennis quadrangular tournament. The girls did us proud by winning the tournament for the third consecutive year. All the girls played well under extremely windy conditions. Their final scores were: UHS 9 – 3 vs DSG 9-3, vs Kingswood 10-2 and vs Victoria Girls 12-0. The boys finished 3rd in their group, with final scores: vs Graeme College 1-11, vs Kingswood 8-4 and vs St Andrews 2-10.

Our learners participated in the Graaff-Reinet and District Tennis Trials on Saturday 20 January. We congratulate the following tennis players who have been selected for the 2018 Eastern Province Country Districts team which represented EPCD on Tuesday 27 February against Albany, in Cradock: U14 Barbara McNaughton; U16 Kyle-Luke du Preez; U19 Micela Loock, Rebecca Langmead, Noä Cilliers; Reserves Kelly Rose-Innes, and Matt Harpur.

The Top 8 Senior Boys’ and Girls’ Tennis teams travelled to Bloemfontein from 2-3 March to take part in the McDonald’s Fichardt Park Sports Day. Playing in teams of 4, the 1st girls’ team ended a very commendable 3rd place and the 1st boys, 6th overall. The 2nd girls’ team also finished 6th and the 2nd boys’ team played very good tennis to win the B-tournament. There were 12 teams in each section of the tournament. Congratulations must go to Matthew Hesselink, Peter Watermeyer, Ryan Hobson and Brett Amsterdam on this fine achievement.

On Monday 5 March, the top 6 junior boys and 4 girls enjoyed a successful afternoon’s tennis against Gill Primary. The girls won 4 matches to 2, while the boys recorded a 5 – 4 victory. Well done to all the players.

Congratulations to Caytah-Leigh Koeberg who has been selected to represent the Eastern Cape U13 Tennis Team at the National Primary Schools inter-Provincial Tournament in Bloemfontein from 27 April to 1 May.

On Wednesday 14 March, the top 6 boys and girls travelled to Cradock on to play against Cradock Primary. Both teams struggled to match Cradock’s high levels of skill and pure determination. While some matches were closely contested, our players simply did not maintain focus and allowed opportunities to slip by. Final result: The girls lost 2-7; the boys lost 1-8. Cradock enjoyed a well-deserved victory.

Congratulations to Rebecca Langmead who has been appointed captain of the 1st XI Hockey Team for the 2018 season.

The School is once again particularly grateful to Mr Pierre Le Grange of College Motors for his very generous sponsorship of two Hyundai i10 motor vehicles for the school's professional hockey coach, Mr Geowynne Gamiet and our 1st XV rugby coach, Mr Carl Bezuidenhout. This is the sixth year that College Motors/Hyundai Graaff-Reinet will be involved in UHS Hockey and will also once again be sponsoring the Girls' 1st Hockey Team, and from this year will be sponsoring the 1st XV, along with Mr Dawie Putter of Supaquick.

On Friday 2 March, the 1st Hockey Team hosted a Training Clinic for Union Prep School and Middle School hockey players. This was an opportunity for the 1st Team girls to pass on their knowledge of the game to those younger future hockey stars who admire their stick work. The girls did a splendid job coaching a total of 95 girls throughout the day. It was a great way to begin a busy season for the 1st Team.

From 9-11 March, the Union 1st Team Hockey took part in the opening season festival which serves part of the 1st round of trials. The 1st XI used this as a great way to fine-tune their game plans for the season against Eastern Province’s finest hockey schools. On Friday Union Played Collegiate and lost 0-2 and later played Kingswood and drew 0-0. On Saturday Union played against Alexander Road winning 2-1. The second match against Woodridge saw Union win 2-1. The last game, against DSG, saw a 0-0 draw.

On Saturday 17 March, we hosted the girls of DSG of Grahamstown for a series of hockey matches. Results: 1st Junior 0-1, 2nd Junior 1-0, U16B lost 0 - 6
3rd Team lost 0 – 5, U16A lost 1 – 2, 2nd Team 2-1, 1st Team 0-1.

The 1st Team Hockey participated in the Greg Beling Festival in East London from 23-25 March. Results: vs GHS 1-0, vs Oranje Meisies 0-4, vs Clarendon 0-3, vs Hudson Park 1-1, vs Stirling 0-3.

Grens Festival:
U13A Results: vs Nahoon Laerskool 17-0, vs Lilyfontein 0-5.
U14A Results: vs Stirling 27-47, vs Port Rex 43 – 15.
Gill College Sports Day:
1st XV vs Andrew Rabie H.S. 34-3
U16A vs Aeroville H.S. 41-21
2nd Team Hockey: vs Templeton H.S. 1st Team 5-0; vs Gill College 1st Team 0-1

On Saturday 17 March, the rugby season began with a series of successful matches against St Andrews School of Bloemfontein: U14 17-10, U15 12-27, U16 19-12, 2nd XV 36-7 and 1st XV 12-19. The 1st XV attended the Graeme College Rugby Day and were victorious against Cambridge High School 17-14. The U16’s won 19-17, while the U14’s lost 0-48.

The School will be hosting the 31st annual Union Rugby and Hockey Festival, sponsored by Caltex College Motors/Fresh Stop Hyundai Graaff-Reinet, from 28 March to 1 April. We extend our most sincere thanks to Mr Pierre le Grange for his kind and generous sponsorship, not only of our festival, but of the participating teams too. We are very pleased to be hosting 18 rugby teams and 16 hockey teams. All parents and friends of the school are invited to join us over this time.

The Senior Musical “Go the Distance”, takes place from 17-20 April. The cast has been hard at work with Mrs Putter rehearsing for the event and everyone is encouraged to support this musical.

The school has received the International Award for Eco Schools from Wessa. Ms Street attended a prize giving in King Williamstown on 23 March. The Eco Schools Committee held their first meeting on 23 January. The theme for the year is ‘School Grounds.’ The Eco Club enjoyed an outing to Karoo Taxidermy and Pick ‘n Pay on Friday 17 January.

Indigenous trees on the school campus were labelled recently by the Eco Club. The tree tags are standard anodised aluminium tags, size 50x100mm. We have added the centenary logo to each tag, as the naming/tagging of the trees is part of our celebrations. The trees are as follows: Camdeboo (White) Stinkwood Celtis Africana, Yellowwood Podocarpus falcatus, Cape Ash Ekebergia capensis, Coral Tree Erythrina caffra, Cabbage Tree C. paniculata subsp. sinuate, Weeping Boer Bean Schotia brachypetala, Wild Olive Olea europea sbs. Africana, Fever Tree Vachellia xanthophloea (Acacia), Jacaranda Jacaranda mimosifolia (nvasive, but well-represented on our campus).

At assembly on Friday 16 January, the Eco theme and projects for 2018 were introduced to the school and the Eco Warriors received their badges of office. The Eco Warriors are: Alastair Imrie, Erin Gedult, Zara Deysel-Douman, Megan Nortje, Caytah-Leigh Koeberg, Finn Cilliers, Na’eem Mahomed, Ann-Noleen Koeberg, Shazie Ahmed, Caitrin Spence, Ryan Jenneke, Cadee Arends, Matthew Basson, Hannah Bodenstein, Sisipho Arnolds, Grace Merifield, Daniel Nell, Asa Matross, Sayma Wajid, Tracy Petitt, Shayna Japhta , Josh Calitz, Katherine Imrie, Liyema Sonjani, Samila Batala, Sulungeka Sibeku, Jemimah Manguado, Iviwe Ndumane, Kirsten King, Buntu Sota, Chevonne Prinsloo, Lunga Zantsi, Elijah Japhta, Jenna Harvey, Bavuyise Hermans and Edward Whitlock.

Our Eco-School Theme for 2018 is "School Grounds" and the Eco-Schools Committee has planned numerous projects for this year. On Tuesday evening, 20 February, the Eco Warriors, armed with their new magnifying glasses and sample bags, set off in small groups to find bits of nature that 'wowed' them on taking a closer look. They collected various insects: water boatmen, ants, crickets and a beautiful black beetle with white spots on. Through the magnifying glass they observed details that they had not noticed before. Being 'wowed' by nature is wonderful and the children had loads of fun taking a closer look at the biodiversity of our school grounds.

On Friday 16 March Union High’s Eco Club visited Karoo Catch to learn more about food security. What they learned at Karoo Catch really made sense to them. This Aqua Culture and Fish Processing business is unique to the Eastern Cape and will serve as the model flagship for more such enterprises.

The Union Schools Rose embodies the spirit of our beautiful school. Reflecting Union’s colours of green and gold, it is a neat, hardy, tough little bloom that flourishes in the Karoo – very much like our Union learners and educators who work together for the good of the whole. Order forms were sent home with all learners and parents are encouraged to place orders with Mrs Harpur in the Public Relations Office.

The Art Club met to participate in a series of exercises with acrylic washes on watercolour paper. They used a wet-on-wet technique with multiple layers of paint and had lots of fun shaking the paper for a dribble effect. Their inspiration was the artist Solly Smook!

The staff is now enjoying their break-time tea and chat on brand new chairs in the staffroom. Under the guidance of Ross Stanley (Headboy 2017) and Timony Miller (Headgirl 2017), the Class of 2017 donated beautiful chairs as a gift to the staff. We are having seven recently-repaired staffroom chairs re-upholstered to ensure that all staff have an appropriate chair on which to sit.

Three invasive trees were removed from alongside the Graveyard Tennis Courts.

Three learners from the Salisbury Cathedral School joined us this term: Lily Broillard, Max Firth and Sam Reeve. Next term we say farewell to our learners who will spend the second term at Salisbury. We wish Anna Pringle, Jemma Naude, Brent Hesselink and Jude Langmead a wonderful, enriching experience while on exchange.

On Valentine’s Day, 14 February, the young men of Arthur Kingwill House hosted the young ladies of Herby Arnott House to a picnic on the lawns. This was a lovely occasion which was enjoyed by all concerned.

The annual Herby Arnott House Dance was held on Thursday 22 February and was a pleasant occasion.

From 11-13 January, members of the Graaff-Reinet Scout Troop, Cameron Muir, James Potgieter, James Pringle, JJ Liebenberg and Corniel Vorster, embarked on a 3-day 30 km hike up Nardou Mountain in support of Cameron Muir's Springbok Scout badge. They completed the hike successfully, despite the dry and hot conditions. Well done to these adventurous souls.

The Graaff-Reinet Scout Troop led the morning devotion in assembly on Friday 23 February. Troop Scouter, Mr Bruce Maree spoke about the scout movement, while Ben Kroon spoke about the universal brotherhood of scouts and Cameron Muir led the school in the scout prayer.

At assembly on Friday 10 February, members of the Representative Council of Learners paid tribute to the ground-staff of our school. Taylyn Miller, Rebecca Langmead, Peter Watermeyer and Zolisa Dweba led a beautiful assembly.

The School Governing Body Elections took place 8-9 March. Congratulations are extended to all the parents who stood for election. The following parents were elected: Mr Kelvin Kayster, Mr David Langmead, Mrs Bronwen Langmead, Mrs Joan McNaughton, Mrs Lyn Rose-Innes, Mrs Wilmarie Spence, and Mr Kevin Watermeyer. The educator staff representatives are: Mr Stephen Bezuidenhout and Mrs Abigail Gedult. The non-educator representative is Mr Donald Kingwill. The learner representatives are Rebecca Langmead and Cameron Muir. Co-opted members: Mr Garth Jacobs, Mrs Amy Swart and Mrs Yvette Cloete.

The office Bearers are: Chairperson: Mr David Langmead, Vice-Chairperson: Mr Kevin Watermeyer, Finance Chairperson: Mrs Wilmari Spence, Secretary: Mrs Bronwen Langmead

The New Parents’ Tea on Tuesday 16 January was well supported, as was the Grade 5 parents’ meeting. It was wonderful to meet so many new families who have joined the Union family.
A Colour Splash, organised by the Grade 11 Matric Farewell Committee was held at the school on Friday 16 February from 12:30 to 13:30.
Peer Promoters for 2018: We appreciate the service to the school of: Peter Watermeyer, Cameron Muir, Yu-Pei Rong, Pholani Yayi and Kiah Hoffman, Jenna Harvey, Rosslyn Sparks, and Mtha Mzimba who received their badges of office on Friday 9 February. Blood Donation – took place on Tuesday 13 February.

The School Clothing Shop, which is housed at the high school for parents’ and learners’ convenience, now has banking facilities for the convenience of those wishing to pay by card.

Tuesday, 10 April School re-opens: 08:00 – 13:30 (See note re: school times)
Thursday, 18 May Matric Farewell
As from Monday, 28 May Grade 10-12 Examinations
As from Monday, 4 June Grade 5-12 Examinations
Thursday 21 June School Closes
Friday, 22 June – Monday, 25 June Junior Rugby and Hockey Festival

Winter school times: Monday: 08:00 to 14:00.
Tuesday - Friday: 07:05 to 13:30
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. See Term Planner for Public Holidays

Clothing Shop Hours
Monday: 08:00 – 12:00
Friday: 08:00 – 12:00

Yours faithfully