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Newsletter 28 July 2017

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As we reflect on the week and the “Mandela Day” that was on Tuesday, 18 July,  we are grateful for the man that he was, his guidance, his devotion to humanity and to the people of South Africa.

Mr Mandela was a leader who, unlike any other, stirred up powerful emotions not only in South Africa, but across the world, becoming a global symbol of freedom, forgiveness, courage, justice, harmony and hope. Yet he was by no means meek or humble in his virtues. He was a fighter and a consummate politician who relied on traits such as guile, charisma and ego to achieve his ideals, reinforcing the fact that he was an ordinary human being and no saint.

Nelson Mandela saw himself first and foremost as a servant of South Africa’s people, to whom he felt he owed a duty and who he led by example. He firmly believed that people who were in leadership positions and in the public service held the responsibility of improving the world and making it better for everyone.

He left us the gift of positive change, which can only become South Africa’s legacy if we carry the torch and take up his challenge. The idea of change is not new, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”, is a well known quote from Mahatma Gandhi, encouraging each person to make a change in him or herself in order for the world to change as a whole.

Every school morning, our boys climb into a car and take a short drive to school. They are fetched and carried to their various activities such as piano lessons, swimming lessons, dance class or karate in the afternoons. They attend birthday parties close by, have play dates and attend sporting activities over the weekend.  Our boys have the privilege of going to movies, restaurants, bowling alleys and shopping malls.

Their entire world is in a small bubble that they rarely leave. This can be dangerous for our children. It's hard for them to understand life outside of what they know. They assume that every child lives the way they do; has been overseas multiple times, has access to shelves of books, unlimited wifi, computer games and television channels and can fill a glass of water from the fridge whenever they want or help themselves to snacks. They have heard about but do not understand race differences and unemployment in South Africa, much less the starving children and human trafficking around the world.

But do you know what? They need to know about it. They need to feel compassion and empathy for those who need support. Their first response should be, "I can do something about that!"

Our children need to recognise that their own comfortable South African lifestyle is not the rule, but a privilege.

At St Benedict’s, we try hard to make our boys aware of the people who are less fortunate than themselves, but many of our boys feel that if they bring a can of soup or donate a blanket once a year for Mandela Day, they have done their bit. But, they have actually done nothing. We as parents, need to get our boys to do some hard things on a more regular basis. Every day should be “Mandela Day” and it’s not always about giving things. Sometimes it’s about showing consideration for others, showing patience or having a kind word for a peer.

As parents, we could introduce our boys to an organisation that is doing big things around the world. Read about them, watch appropriate Youtube videos and then maybe look for ways to support them.

We need to encourage our boys to emulate the servant leader that we all loved by encouraging them to become servant leaders themselves – Madiba change-makers.

By becoming someone who makes every day a Mandela Day, they can show others that actions speak louder than words.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Friday

28 July

U13 Soccer Festival (Ravens Park)

Saturday

29 July

U13 Soccer Festival cont.

Prep and College Marimba Festival

Monday

31 July

Hockey touring team practice 14:00-15:00

Tuesday

1 August

Outreach Club to visit Nazareth House.

Hockey touring team practice 14:00-15:00

Wednesday

2 August

Sport’s Photographs

Hockey touring team practice 14:30-15:30

 

 

Polar Bear Swim

Thursday

3 August

07: 20 Colours Assembly – by invitation

 

 

11:30 – 1:45 Prep Music Competition - College Hall

Parents welcome, limited space

Hockey touring team practice 14:00-15:00

 

 

Tennis vs St Stithians

Friday

4 August

First Friday Mass

 

 

12:00 Break up for August holidays

AFTERNOON PROGRAMME

As from today, Friday 28 July, the afternoon programme comes to an end. All afternoon activities other than those listed in the calendar below and/or the sports planner are discontinued as staff finalise reports and prepare for special projects, tours, music competitions etc. Please check the sports planner carefully as most sessions have moved to an earlier slot.

COLOURS ASSEMBLY

Colours assembly will take place on Thursday morning at 7:20. This colours assembly acknowledges the efforts of athletes in the winter sports as well as academics, a few cultural activities and some Grade 7 Service. Parents of Half and Full colours recipients as well as Ravens Badges are invited. Re-award recipient parents are not invited but boys are acknowledged on the morning. Several cultural and service awards may still be made in November in the term 3 colours awards assembly as boys demonstrate their commitment to their several pursuits. 

REFLECTION 

LIVING THE PARABLES

Sunday’s Gospel is taken from Matthew 13. The parables used by Jesus in these scripture readings are simple lessons with significant meaning. The sower whose seed was contaminated by an enemy, the mustard seed that has the huge potential to grow into a tree and the yeast that leavens the dough, focus on the potential for good to prevail over evil. Goodness grows when encouraged and motivated by the right reasons. This week we experienced beautiful examples of how good deeds can enrich the life of the giver and the receiver in the outreach programme for Mandela Day. Matthew 13:32 describes the mustard seed as “the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air can come and shelter in its branches.” Good deeds have the potential to reach far and wide and positively impact many lives directly and indirectly. 

Our influence on the world is like the yeast that leavens the dough.  Common baker’s yeast is used to leaven bread, causing it to thaw and double in size. It energises and creates movement. So too are we called to energize and create movement in and around our own families and communities. Shaking up and influencing the world around us gives us purpose and identity. It drives us to knowing and understanding the love of God for us and His promise for our salvation. Matthew 13: 43 is a reminder that “…the upright will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Anyone who has ears should listen!”. We are known for our influence on the people around us, our families, community and country. The question we have to ask ourselves then is “What would I like to be known for?” As a school we encourage the boys to let their light shine before others, so that they may see their good works and give glory to your Father (Matthew 5:16). In the same way we encourage them to grow like the mustard seed and bear fruits of courage, hope, transcendence, joy and commitment. Values that are needed to influence the world for the better. Let us go out in the world and live the parables of the mustard seed, the sower and the yeast.                

Dr Oerson

GRADE 4 MATTERS

There will be no homework next week except for outstanding Shopping Price List task that was due today.  Monday is the absolute deadline please.

Please could all grade 4 boys bring measuring jugs, spoons, plastic containers for Mathematics on Monday and Tuesday.

Week 31 July until 4 August is "The Giraffe, Pelly and Me" Literature week.  We will be doing lots of creative, fun activities.

There will be PT on Monday and Thursday as usual.

Please bring a sweet wrapper and any candy, sweet papers.  Make sure you that have scissors, glue and coloured-pencils/kokis with your school stationery at school.

On Wednesday, the Grade 4 pupils will be making their candy houses.  Each group has shared the list of what to bring.  Pupils please remember a tray to "build" on and icing sugar for "glue".

Thank you

Grade 4 Teachers

Please consult this week’s newsletter for details.

CONGRATULATIONS

Congratulations to Brandon Blake and Sheldon Krishnasamy who made the Eastern’s u/11 soccer squad. Well done, boys. 

INTERHOUSE ART COMPETITION

This year, the theme for the interhouse art competition was ‘Tonal Drawings’.  All the boys from grade 4 to 7 participated and were given guidance during their art lessons.  Our judge was exceptionally surprised by the level of skill that our boys displayed. The points from each grade all went to house points and individual winners were also selected.

The individual winners were as follows:-

Grade 4 - 1st place: Ryan Van Zyl, 2nd place: Sebastian Brugman, 3rd place: Tayten Henry

Grade 5 - 1st place: Priyesh Lal Beharie, 2nd place: Alex Zacharias, 3rd place: Gino Anic